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Former Dio Members Tried to Hire Eddie Van Halen

Eddie Van Halen
Larry Marano, Getty Images

There’s a long list of rock musicians who’d love to have Eddie Van Halen in their band, but only a few of them have the means to actually make the invitation in person.

It’s a short list that apparently includes drummer Vinny Appice, who recently revealed to My Global Mind that he and bassist Jimmy Bain, who departed Dio with Appice in 1989, once tried to lure Van Halen out of … well, Van Halen.

Asked to name musicians he’d like to play with, Appice responded, “There are lots of cool people. It would be fun to play with Eddie Van Halen — we both know Eddie. We almost played with him one time, a long time ago. Jimmy and I were putting something together. I called him and he called me back, and I didn’t know it was him. ‘Vinny, it’s Eddie.’ I went, ‘Eddie?’ Then I caught on.”

Appice’s outreach went about as far as you might imagine. As he recalls now, “I said, ‘You’re probably busy, but we were thinking about you. We thought we’d start at the top for guitar players.’ He said, ‘Aw, man, that’s really cool, and I appreciate it, dude. But I’m joined with my brother.’”

Although Appice didn’t mention exactly when the conversation took place, it seems safe to assume it happened after he and Bain left Dio, which would have put Van Halen near the peak of their commercial heyday during the late ’80s and early ’90s, and made the idea of Eddie striking out with a new band little more than a crazy dream. Still, we have to hand it to Appice and Bain for giving it a shot. Who knows what they might have come up with?

These days, Appice and Bain are keeping busy with fellow former Dio members Vivian Campbell and Claude Schnell, as well as singer Andy Freeman, in Last in Line. The new band, which performed classic Dio cuts on tour this year, kept a somewhat low profile due to Campbell’s ongoing commitments with Def Leppard, as well as his struggles with lymphoma. Campbell recently told fans that he’s almost finished with his treatment and quipped, “Strangely, my hair’s already started to grow back a little.”

Next: Top 10 Eddie Van Halen Guitar Solos

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