Turns out Billy Sheehan was offered the Van Halen bass player slot three separate times

(Image credit: Gonzales Photo/PYMCA/Avalon/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

It’s no secret that Eddie Van Halen has had issues with former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony over the years, which eventually resulted in his being ousted from the band in 2006 and replaced with Eddie’s son, Wolfgang.

But way before Wolfie took up the four-string mantle, Eddie apparently had his eye on another player – bass wizard Billy Sheehan, who over the years has played with everyone from Talas, Mr. Big and the Winery Dogs to Sons of Apollo, Niacin and, of course, David Lee Roth in his post-Van Halen, Eat ‘Em and Smile and Skyscraper days.

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.