Eddie Van Halen Vs. Michael Anthony

Eddie Van Halen recently proclaimed that bassist Michael Anthony left Van Halen on his own terms. In response, Anthony said Eddie is full of chickenfoot and that the bassist was replaced by Eddie’s son Wolfgang Van Halen without knowing he had been kicked out of the band. Who do you believe?

Eddie brought up Anthony’s departure from the band after Rolling Stone asked if he had heard Anthony’s new band Chickenfoot, a supergroup including fellow former Van Halen member Sammy Hagar, guitar god Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Peppers’ drummer Chad Smith.

Eddie said he hadn’t heard Chickenfoot and explained that he doesn’t “listen to anything really.” He then proceeded to defend his reputation, proclaiming that he’s not a “bad guy.”

“Yeah, I’m too busy doing my own thing. I wish them well. The funny thing is that everyone who quits the band always claims they got fired by me. Hey, I’m not the bad guy here,” Eddie told Rolling Stone.

“When Hagar left the band, Mike went with him. Then when we get back together with Dave [for the band’s 2007 reunion tour with David Lee Roth], and all of a sudden, he wants back in. It’s like, ‘No, dude, you quit the band.’ So my son became the bass player. But we didn’t give Mike the boot to have my son play. He was around. We didn’t have a bass player. ‘Hey Wolfie, you want to play?’”

Photo: AP Photo / The Star Ledger
Van Halen at the Continental Airlines Arena, E.Rutherford, N.J.

Anthony told MusicRadar.com Eddie doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

“Why would I have quit Van Halen? It never happened. And what’s weird is, he was being asked about Chickenfoot, whether he had heard us or not, and suddenly he launches into this thing about me quitting the group. What does one thing even have to do with the other?” Anthony said.

After Hagar left the band back in 1996, he and Anthony, Eddie and Alex Van Halen teamed up once again in 2004 for a U.S. summer tour. MusicRadar.com noted that in exchange for doing the tour, Anthony had to agree to take a pay cut and sign away his rights to the band name and logo. According to Rolling Stone, Anthony said Eddie tried to kick him out of the band as early as the 2004 tour.

In 2007, the Van Halen brothers, Wolfgang Van Halen and singer David Lee Roth announced they would be hitting the road for a reunion tour. This was news to Anthony.

Photo: Alan Poulin / AlanPoulinPhoto.com
Roxy Theatre, West Hollywood, Calif.

“I found out about that tour like everybody else did – in the press,” Anthony told MusicRadar.com. “I had no idea. At that point, I kind of sighed and went, ‘Whatever. If this is what Eddie wants to do, he’s going to do what he wants to do.’ If he wants me out of the band and for Wolfgang to play bass, what was I going to do about it?

“I never ‘quit.’ I never once said, ‘I’m out of here.’ It never happened. That’s the weird thing right now, for Eddie to be trying to paint himself as ‘not the bad guy.’

Anthony told MusicRadar.com he felt “weird” talking about the band’s old drama because he’s having such a good time with Chickenfoot.

“Ultimately, all’s well that ends well,” he said. “I just find it odd that I’m put into a situation where I’m forced to defend myself. Everything is great in my world and I couldn’t be happier with the group I’m in. But I don’t want people to think I quit Van Halen, because I didn’t. It never happened.”

Read the Rolling Stone articles here and here.

Read the MusicRadar.com article here.