Did you know that Patty Smyth almost became the lead singer for Van Halen, following David Lee Roth’s ouster?
I saw Scandal open up a Hall and Oats concert in Wisconsin back in 1983 and even though their set was short – they only had a 5 song EP out at the time – they impressed the hell out of me. Except for the much shorter stage time, they totally blew Hall and Oats away that night. I bought Scandal’s debut EP a day or two later and eagerly awaited their upcoming full length LP.
When “Warrior” came out the following year I was not disappointed – it was great power-pop rock. Maybe a bit more polished than their EP, but not too much. What worried me though, was the band’s name on the album cover. It was no longer just Scandal, it had become Scandal featuring Patty Smyth. It’s never a good sign when one person becomes too much of a focal point in a band. I couldn’t help but wonder if this would be the first and last full album by Scandal.
Shortly after Scandal fell apart, Eddie Van Halen asked Patty Smyth to take over the vocals spot in his and his brother’s namesake band. She turned it down. I read that it was mainly because she was pregnant, but also because of Van Halen’s reputation for heavy drinking and in-fighting. I had mixed feelings when I first heard that Smyth had been asked; it seemed like an odd fit musically. Then again I remember the energy Patty Smyth exhumed when I saw Scandal live. She was a madwoman on stage. In front of an audience, it would’ve been incredible. Of course, in the end, Sammy Hagar would end up fronting Van Halen instead.
Patty Smyth released her first of two solo albums a few years later. They were both modestly successful.
Sammy Hagar and Van Halen had huge success together for a little over a decade before they parted ways. As far as I know, Patty never got a call after he left Van Halen.