Van Halen: Bring Back Michael Anthony!

Michael Anthony live in 2013.
(Photo by Kristy Fox.)

Ex-Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony recently acknowledged that his former band’s management had reached out to him last fall with the possibility of a reunion. But those talks stalled, according to Anthony, because of issues on their end. He has not spoken to his old bandmates since 2004. It is probably no surprise to Van Halen fans that this state of affairs continues.  Ever since the group got back together with their famed original front man David Lee Roth for the second time in 2007, Michael Anthony has been kept out of the situation because of various business issues and likely because of his friendship and musical collaborations with former frontman and Roth successor, Sammy Hagar. (Their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction in 2007 was awkward as well. Hagar and the freshly fired Anthony showed up while Roth and drummer Alex Van Halen did not. Guitarist Eddie Van Halen could not make it because he was in rehab.) There’s no reason why Anthony should not be a part of the group he helped make famous.

Some people have joked over the years that Anthony is the luckiest man in rock, that his bass talents are not that great.  Firstly, he is a better bass player than many people think, and secondly, his distinctive vocal harmonies are an integral part of Van Halen’s classic sound that have been sorely missed since he was dismissed from the group and replaced with Eddie’s son Wolfgang.  There are some recent videos that make a case for the fact that Anthony is still a solid bassist and great backup singer.  Just take a listen to the clips below.  The first one features him in Hagar’s group The Circle during a performance on the Howard Stern Show of a Van Halen tune made popular on the OU812 album.  The next two clips are spontaneous live performances featuring guitarist John 5, Slipknot/Stone Sour front man Corey Taylor, Cinderella drummer Fred Coury, and Anthony himself.  They played a number of different covers live at a recent John 5 show at the Whisky a Go Go in L.A., including a classic Van Halen song and a Kinks cover that VH brought to a new audience back in the day.

These clips are proof positive that Anthony should be reinstated back into the group.  Van Halen: Bring back Michael Anthony! Not only is he important to the band, but your fans will love seeing him back on stage with you.

One Response


    I am a long-time fan of Michael Anthony, and have had the pleasure of seeing and hearing him perform with Van Halen, The Circle, and Chickenfoot. I love to watch him on his bass; it’s easy to see he loves playing. His stage presence is impressive, and with his charismatic personality, he knows how to work a crowd. Plus, he is genuinely good guy. Van Halen was lucky to have him.


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