During a recent interview with Michael McCarthy from Love Is Pop, former Ozzy Osbourne bassist Phil Soussan praised former UFO and David Lee Roth bassist Billy Sheehan.
He descriped Billy Sheehan as “Eddie Van Halen of bass guitar”. Here’s the statement:
“I love Billy -Sheehan-. And he’s a good friend and he’s certainly a fantastic bass player and I’m flattered that you would put me in that category. I think my motivation for playing might be a little less technical than Billy’s.
Billy’s always been someone I’ve seen as Eddie Van Halen on the bass. For me, I’ve been much more of a melodic, McCartney…”
“Do you think you would have approached them about the gig if you heard they were looking for a new bass player?”
“No. No. That’s not the kind of way that I was thinking or that I would think. Like I said, I think they were probably just debating whether to even bother continuing. If I had found out that they were putting it together, would I have called them? No, I probably wouldn’t. I probably would’ve waited just to see if somebody would ask me because it’s just not my nature to do that.
Years and years before, Ronnie Dio had expressed an interest in me playing bass for him. I don’t know what was going on between him and Jimmy but there was obviously something that was making Ronnie feel like he had to investigate and see if there was anybody who would be interested in playing – for whatever reason. And at the time I turned it down straightaway.
I said, I can’t do that, Ronnie, I’m really good friends with Jimmy. And apart from that, we live together. Why would you ask me? You know? I guess that sort of came through to the present day. And so when they did decide to ask me, it wasn’t even that they said, hey, do you want to join the band? Or do you want to replace Jimmy? Some people said that I replaced Jimmy, which I think is really not an ideal way of putting it.
I think what they wanted to do is they said we did this record and it meant a lot to Jimmy and we feel that it’s our duty to play it for the fans and would you like to perform it on these shows? And that’s how it started. From the very beginning, I don’t know that it was ever anticipated that we were going to be continuing the band forward.”
Click here for the entire interview.