Miljenko Matijevic Regrets Turning Down Eddie Van Halen’s Gift

Renowned singer Miljenko Matijevic recently reminisced about his interactions with Eddie Van Halen in a new interview with Metal Edge. Matijevic shared an anecdote about his time spent with the late guitarist, highlighting their unique connection and the time they spent together in the studio.

Matijevic not only met Eddie in person but also developed a deep bond with him after being introduced by a mutual friend in the early 2000s. They crossed paths after the tumultuous tour with Hagar in 2004, when Eddie was working on his health, and the band’s future was uncertain. Although Miljenko never had the opportunity to front Van Halen, he shared an amusing story about a musical exchange they had in the studio.

During their time together, Miljenko Matijevic recalled requesting to sing the same verse in different ways, which prompted Eddie to comment that the singer had more ‘ideas’ flowing through him than Eddie himself did. He expressed sympathy for Matijevic, who seemed to be overwhelmed with creative energy.

Additionally, Miljenko remembered how the Van Halen guitarist had offered him a Steinway upright piano. However, despite Eddie’s insistence, Matijevic’s cultural background held him back from taking the gift. The Steelheart singer expressed a sense of regret when he recalled not accepting Eddie’s generous offer of the Steinway upright piano.

The vocalist’s recalled his time with Eddie, saying:

“That was a heavy period for everybody for that ‘path,’ I should say. One funny thing, I said, ‘Let me sing over some of this music.’ He [Eddie] goes, ‘All right.’ So, we get the engineer in there, the whole thing. I go, ‘All right, put it on.’ I sing one verse one way, then I go, ‘Put it on again.’ I sing the verse another way. ‘Put it on again.’ Sing the verse another way. And [Eddie] comes into the door, and he says, ‘Dude. You got more sh*t comin’ through you than I do. I feel sorry for you‘ [laughs].

He had a Steinway upright piano, and I said, ‘I need my piano; I don’t have my piano anymore,’ He goes, ‘Take that one; you can have it.’ And I go, ‘Naw, I don’t want to take your piano!’ ‘No, really, take the piano! You can have it – I can deliver it.’ I felt bad, just… In my culture, coming from Europe, it’s not what I do – you know? But he really was like, ‘Take it!’ I should have taken that piano.”

Matijevic’s account of his time with Eddie Van Halen reflected the late icon’s generosity and his ability to connect with fellow musicians on a deep level. Although Milajenko seems glad that he had the chance to meet and bond with Eddie, it’s pretty clear that he still regrets to taking his piano.