Thursday, October 18, 2012

AUDIO: Van Halen – Mitch Malloy’s 1996 audition

When Van Halen found itself at a crossroads in 1996, with Sammy Hagar on the way out and before his soon-to-be replacement Gary Cherone was on the way in, the band auditioned and hired Mitch Malloy for the gig.

"A guy who worked for their management at the time used to be my road manager,” Malloy explained to Melodicrock. “And he kept calling me and telling me they were going to fire Sammy and that I was going to be the next singer in Van Halen, and he was calling and calling and finally, I got annoyed by this and told him to stop, and that I didn't think I was a good fit in VH and that if he was serious he should have Ed call me.”

“A week later Desmond Child calls me,” Malloy continues, “and says he has just left Ed's house and was writing with them and that they were talking about me and that they were watching my ‘Anything At All’ video, and that he told them that I was perfect for them, and that they would be lucky to get me, and before I knew it, I was on a plane to LA. Ed did call, a bunch of times. He was great."

Malloy was offered the VH gig after three days of jamming and hanging with the band at Eddie’s 5150 studios. Ultimately, though, manager Ray Danniels brought in Gary Cherone from another band he was handling – Extreme – to usher in the “Van Halen III” era.

Mitch’s 5-song audition was recorded with the band, and featured versions of “Panama,” “Ain't Talkin 'Bout Love,” “Why Can't This Be Love,” “Don't Tell Me (What Love Can Do)” and “Jump.”

Now, fans can hear a Malloy-led Van Halen run through the band’s “1984” smash, “Panama,” as the audition audio has surfaced online.

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