During an appearance on the latest episode of the “Talkin’ Rock With Meltdown” podcast, former VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony was asked when the last time was that he spoke to Eddie Van Halen before the legendary guitarist died last October. Michael responded (hear audio below): “We 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.”
Anthony also talked about the first time he saw Eddie play live. He said: “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 VAN HALEN 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.”
Last November, Wolfgang Van Halen revealed that Eddie Van Halen had contemplated a “kitchen-sink tour” that would have included Anthony, as well as vocal turns from both Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth. There was even talk about bringing back Gary Cherone, who sang with VAN HALEN on one poorly received album, 1998’s “Van Halen III”.
According to Wolfgang, the original plan was for him to personally contact Michael and ask him to come back to VAN HALEN. “Unfortunately, Irving hit [Michael] up before I had a chance to,” he said. “The plan was for me to [reach out to him].” Wolfgang went on to say that he was also the one who called Roth in 2007 to get him to return to VAN HALEN for a reunion tour.
VAN HALEN and Anthony had not been on good terms for more than a decade, with Anthony not invited to join the reunion with Roth that began in 2007. The subsequent two tours and studio album, “A Different Kind Of Truth”, featured Wolfgang on bass.
Anthony took a pay cut and signed away all of his rights to the band name and logo in order to participate in VAN HALEN‘s 2004 tour, which featured Hagar.
Eddie died at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The iconic VAN HALEN axeman passed away from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.
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