In fact, Eddie was offered a spot in all three Bill & Ted films, according to actor Alex Winter (who plays the title character Bill Preston in the franchise). EVH declined the offer for the first two films, but it sounds like he would have entertained the cameo in Face the Music if not for his ailing health at the time. (Spoiler alert for those show haven’t seen it yet…)
“We asked Eddie to be in every single movie and every single movie he said ‘no,'” Winter said on Darren Paltrowitz’s “Paltrocast.” “So when we got to ‘Bill & Ted 3‘ — and this is a somewhat bittersweet anecdote — we had a whole sequence which ended up being the Dave Grohl sequence. That’s supposed to be [at Eddie] Van Halen’s house.”
Winter continued: “We went to Eddie, and we were like, ‘Would you please, please be in the third movie?’ He’s, like, ‘You know what, you guys. This one I would have done.’ But he was dying at that point. He was already quite sick. He didn’t tell us that he was literally gonna pass, but he was, like, ‘I’m not well and I can’t do it. But I really appreciate these films. We all love them. And if I wasn’t sick, I would absolutely come down to New Orleans and shoot this with you.'”
Winter said it became a “running joke” among the Bill & Ted family that “every single movie we would be like knocking on Eddie’s door, and he’d be, like, ‘no’ and slamming it, so it was not for lack of trying.”
Bill & Ted Face the Music was released during the pandemic in August of 2020 and featured a heavy rock theme, including a soundtrack packed with notable contemporary hard rock and metal acts. Sadly, Eddie Van Halen would pass away less than two months later in early October after a lengthy battle with cancer.
Below you can hear more from the podcast interview with Alex Winter.