Ratt’s Stephen Pearcy Recalls Using David Lee Roth To Meet Eddie Van Halen
Ratt founder Stephen Pearcy recently gave an interview to Metal Edge Magazine in which he recalled the time he used David Lee Roth as a means of meeting Eddie Van Halen.
Stephen Pearcy is mainly known as the founder, singer, songwriter, and the only remaining original member of Ratt. When he was young, he wanted to be a top fuel race car driver and had no intention of pursuing a music career. So, Pearcy listened to music and went to concerts in the 1970s occasionally, and that was all of his interest in music.
In the summer of 1970, while Pearcy was riding his bicycle, a hit-and-run driver struck him. Due to that, he had to spend six months in the hospital to recover. At that time, someone gave him an acoustic guitar which made Pearcy shift towards playing music rather than driving race cars. He then created the bands Firedome and Crystal Pystal.
In 1980, Stephen Pearcy went to The Whisky A Go-Go and saw Van Halen. After that, he decided to move his band to Los Angeles. According to an interview with Metal Edge Magazine, he used David Lee Roth to meet Eddie Van Halen. The musician stated during the interview that he went to Whisky just to see them but went there early to catch a specific Van Halen member.
Pearcy then said that he waited for someone to come up, and after a while, he saw David Lee Roth. He then yelled at Roth to ask him if he wanted to smoke a joint, and when Roth said yes, he entered inside. According to Pearcy, as soon as he was inside, he asked Roth where Eddie Van Halen was. Later on, Eddie and Pearcy became friends.
In the interview with Metal Edge Magazine, Stephen Pearcy recalled the first time he met Van Halen as:
“It was at the Whisky. I lived in San Diego, but a friend of mine kept saying, ‘You gotta see this band – they’re playing Gazzarri’s and they’re amazing.’ I kept missing them at Gazzarri’s, but then one time he said, ‘Okay, now they’re playing the Whisky. You’ve gotta go.’ So I figured, ‘Okay, well, I’ve seen enough of how shows work in San Diego to know that the bands go to the club early and they go in the backstage.’
So I drove myself up to the Whisky, and I just parked around the corner, on Clark St, and waited. And soon enough, I f*cking saw Dave Lee Roth pull up, park, and walk up the steps. And I just yelled out, ‘You wanna smoke a joint?’ He said yeah, and I got in. And once I was inside I said, ‘Later! Where’s Ed?’
I’d go up to L.A. and see them all the time after that, and I became good friends with Ed. I’d go to the house where Ed lived with his mom, and he had a little cot and a little workspace with all his guitars. It was f*cking amazing. And I’d go back to San Diego and tell people, ‘There’s this f*cking band that’s gonna blow minds!’ ‘Yeah, yeah, sure.’ And then a year or whatever later, you know, boom!”
After Pearcy decided to move to Los Angeles in 1980 when he saw Van Halen, he shortened the band’s name to Ratt a year later. Deciding on the original lineup and playing clubs like The Roxy, The Whisky, and The Troubadour, Ratt then gained a large local audience.