Steve Stevens recalls Eddie Van Halen’s condition for performing on stage with Billy Idol

During a recent appearance on AXS TV’s Rock & Tell, Billy Idol’s Steve Stevens recalled a time when he surprised Eddie Van Halen with a small request. It is common in the music industry for artists from the same era to meet each other on tours, shows, or other events. As contemporaries, two prominent guitarists, Steve Stevens and Eddie Van Halen, also knew each other from a young age. They had a long friendship until Eddie’s untimely death from cancer on October 6, 2020.

They also performed on the same stage on several occasions. Eddie Van Halen appeared on some Billy Idol shows, so he played with Stevens. They later opened for Van Halen on their 1993 tour, while Steve Stevens was working with Vince Neil. In a new interview, the guitarist recalled one of his memories from one of Idol’s performances with the late musician. Steve Stevens first displayed a photo of himself, Billy Idol, and Eddie Van Halen performing on stage together. When asked about the significance of the photograph, the guitarist revealed that they had invited Eddie Van Halen to hang out with them. He and Billy Idol claimed they had to persuade him to join them on stage.

Stevens then asked Eddie if he wanted to play and accommodated his small request. The late guitarist was curious about the drinks they were drinking. Stevens said he could have whatever he wanted, so Eddie agreed to play, and they had a great time on stage and afterwards. In Steve Stevens’ words, Eddie Van Halen’s condition for playing with them was: “We had invited Eddie just to hang out. We bring him in, and Billy and I say, ‘We have to get him up to play.’ So he’ll be joining us on ‘Mony Mony’. ‘We’ve got to get him,’ we said. ‘All right, I’ll ask him.’ ‘Do you think you’d like to get up and play, Ed?’ He is with Valerie at the time, and he says, ‘Yes, perhaps, what do you have to drink?’ ‘I’ll get you anything you want if you come up and play,’ I said.

We had a little get-together. So by the time he arrived, he was spontaneous, which was one of Ed’s best qualities. For me, it was an honor to be up there and jam with the guy as a friend at the time, and I later got to tour with him when I was with Vince Neil. We were fans of Van Halen, and that photo obviously means a lot more to me now. He is no longer with us, but I have so many fond memories of hanging out with him and just being friends.” The rest of the conversation can be found below.

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