Steve Perry Denies He Started Crying When Eddie Van Halen Got Guacamole On His Jacket In 1978
There were many touching tributes to Eddie Van Halen in the wake of the musician’s death earlier this month. There have also been some funny Van Halen memories along the way, including Tommy Lee talking about the time Mötley Crüe’s Vince Neil once bit EVH while they were on tour together (“He wasn’t very receptive to it”) and a story involving EVH, David Lee Roth, former Journey frontman Steve Perry, and some guacamole.
The story, as has been told over the years, was summed up in this viral tweet: “True story: In 1978, Eddie Van Halen got so pissed at David Lee Roth backstage that he threw a bowl of guacamole at him. The guac didn’t hit Roth. It hit Steve Perry, though, and Steve Perry cried.”
Rolling Stone recently talked to Perry about his Van Halen memories and the joint tour that Journey went on with the band in 1978, which is when the “guacamole incident” occurred. Perry insists that he did not cry, but that he was indeed upset after a food fight between the band landed guac on his favorite satin jacket. Here he is telling the tale:
But to be honest, I didn’t spend a lot of time with Eddie on that tour. They really had a bit of a punk “fuck you” thing going. They really didn’t hang with me. Neal may have hung with Eddie, but I didn’t.
But one night, I decided I had to go tell him, “I just love you guys.” I open the door and was about to say, “Hey, guys …” Now, back in these days, guacamole came in a cottage-cheese–like container. The band was having a food fight. Just as I was opening the door, a container of guacamole bumped off the mirror to my left and splashed against my most prized possession, being a small town kid from Fresno. It was my satin tour jacket that had “Journey” on the back of it. Wearing that, I felt like I was finally somebody.
The guacamole went on my left shoulder and my left arm. I looked down on it and I looked up at them and they sheepishly laughed like, “Oh shit.” I just looked at them and I closed the door and left because I was pissed. I went into the bathroom and I was just pissed. That was my prized jacket. I still loved them, but I couldn’t give them props anymore after that. I wiped my guacamole off my satin jacket.
After that, he sets the record straight about his crying: “No. There was no crying! I wouldn’t cry over guacamole. It becomes folklore at some point. It becomes silly.”
Perry goes on to talk about some more touching, non-guacamole related memories of Van Halen, including the time in 1985 when Eddie invited him to jam with the band, before Sammy Hagar was hired:
The next day and in the weeks to come I thought, “I don’t know that I should do that. If it goes creatively to what I know it can go to …” Whatever I could bring to that, I know it would be something I’d really love doing. My only problem I had with it was the thought, “I don’t know that I could be the guy to go out and represent the David Lee Roth years with my voice.”
Perry ended up declining the invitation. You can check out more here.