‘I’m sure I would have remembered': Eddie Van Halen denies asking to join Kiss in the 1980s

Gene Simmons reignited an old debate yesterday when he told Rolling Stone that he’d once talked Eddie Van Halen out of joining Kiss in the early 1980s. Thing is, Van Halen himself says that never happened.

Of course, Thursday’s update wasn’t the first time Simmons has talked about this potential combining of rock supergroups — said to have been contemplated after Ace Frehley’s first split with the Kiss. Simmons talked about it as recently as last year’s Kiss Expo in Indianapolis. The Kisstory coffee table book also made mention of the supposed incident.

Van Halen, however, has already said he remembers things differently — completely differently — during a conversation with Alan K. Stout not long after Kisstory first appeared on bookshelves. In fact, asked if he’d ever asked Kiss about joining, Van Halen said: “Not that I know of. Unless I was so fucked up I don’t remember.”

Van Halen’s eponymous band was also headed for a collision course with its original lead singer in that era. David Lee Roth would leave after the release of 1984, and wouldn’t return until the release of 2012’s A Different Kind of Truth.

In a moment of uncertainty, it’s completely plausible to assume that Eddie Van Halen could’ve contemplated jumping ship — thus transforming the decade’s musical landscape. But the guitarist insists that’s not the way it went down.

“They might have just asked me in passing, and I just kind of laughed it off, probably,” Van Halen tells Stout. “If it happened, I’m sure I would have remembered.”

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