Michael Anthony ‘Never Resolved’ Issues With Eddie Van Halen
Former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony expressed regret that he and Eddie Van Halen never got to work out their problems before the guitarist's death in October 2020.
On a new episode of the Talkin' Rock With Meltdown podcast, Anthony revealed that he and the guitarist "actually hadn't spoken [for many years], and unfortunately, we didn't get a chance to. And, you know, it kind of bothers me, because we had some issues that were never resolved. But, I mean, what can you do? We were on track [for] a reunion, which I'm really sad that it never happened. But, you know, life and the show goes on."
In the fall of 2018, Anthony received a call from Irving Azoff, Van Halen's manager, about the prospect of coming back to Van Halen for a tour. The bassist soon turned all matters over to his manager, because "I wanted to do it the correct way, especially after the way things went for me in 2004," when he took a pay cut and signed away his rights to the band's name before going out on the road with them. That was also their last trek with Sammy Hagar; when Van Halen went out on the road again, it was with original lead singer David Lee Roth and Eddie's son Wolfgang on bass.
Anthony was going to be a part of what became nicknamed the Kitchen Sink tour, where former members Anthony, Hagar and Gary Cherone would all take part in some capacity. But before any of that could be worked out, plans had to be permanently shelved when Eddie's health declined.
Anthony was quick to show his love and respect to Van Halen upon his death, sharing photos of the two performing live together on social media, and posting a video tribute with current Circle bandmate Hagar.
In the interview, Anthony also recalled the first time he ever saw Eddie Van Halen perform. "We were just out of high school, and in the city where I lived, they were having a carnival on the field for the school. And on the weekends, they would have a few local bands play. And it was just the three guys — Eddie, [original bassist] Mark Stone and Alex [Van Halen]. And Eddie was doing the singing also. That's the first time I ever saw him play. And I remember I was impressed because they played — they must've played the whole Who Live at Leeds or whatever, or any of the classic Cream stuff they played, Eddie played the lead stuff note for note. And back then, when you're a kid like that, that's very impressive to see somebody playing like that."