Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony has addressed rumors that he will join the band on tour as a guest, with Wolfgang Van Halen remaining as the primary bass player. The rumor was comparable to Mick Taylor joining The Rolling Stones onstage for a few songs per show, along with Steven Adler playing a couple of songs at select shows with Guns N’ Roses in 2016. Van Halen fans heavily criticized this as a terrible idea.
A fan asked Anthony, “Is Van Halen touring again this year and are you gonna to be with them ? I heard you were asked to play just a few songs and Wolfgang was gonna be the primary bass player.”
Anthony responded, “Not true.”
A couple of weeks ago Sammy Hagar shot down the rumor of Michael Anthony playing as a guest with Van Halen on Eddie Trunk’s SiriusXM show, though he did reveal that Van Halen’s management contacted Anthony six months ago about a reunion tour.
“As usual, Mike’s hearing about it through the news, just like the way he heard about when Wolfie [Eddie Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen] replaced him [back in 2007],” Hagar said. “It was, like, ‘Oh, I guess I’m not in Van Halen anymore.’ He read about it instead of these knuckleheads giving him a call and just being straight upfront with him. So Mikey’s still sitting in that same position again to where all these rumors are going around.”
Hagar said that he is “sure [the Van Halen camp is] trying to put something together. Whether or not it’s gonna materialize, I wouldn’t have a clue; it’s nothing to do with me,” he said. “But I told Mike, ‘If this happens, you freakin’ have my blessings. You go do this. You’re a founding member in that band.’ And for the fans, he needs to do it. He is the missing element right now. If you want my opinion, without Mike, it just doesn’t seem quite the same. Mikey, he’s the flag bearer — he walks out there with the flag, the VH flag. He holds it high, like the guy in the cavalry. And he’s a special guy and he has my blessings. And when they’re done, [The Circle will] go back out — if they do it; if it happens.”
Seemingly addressing the rumor that a Van Halen reunion tour with Anthony would see the bassist splitting the set with Wolfgang, Hagar added: “The things I’ve been reading, it ain’t gonna happen,” Hagar continued. “They think Mikey’s gonna come out and do his bass solo with the Jack Daniel’s bass and say goodbye and stand on the side of the stage and watch Wolfie play his songs all night. I mean, I don’t think the fans are gonna go for that either. That’d be real hard on little Wolf — he don’t deserve that. So I don’t know what to think. Maybe it’s just a rumor. Who knows? Those guys, they don’t tell me nothing, ’cause I don’t wanna know. But you’d think they’d at least tell Mike. [Laughs]”
Hagar went on to say that he is “not trying to hide anything” about what he knows regarding Anthony’s status with Van Halen. “Mike and I have had the conversation,” he confirmed. “I’m telling you, Mike don’t know shit. They’re gonna have to eventually… Somebody’s gonna have to give the guy a call. I mean, he got a call six months ago from [Van Halen’s] management saying, ‘Are you interested?’ And he said, ‘Yeah. I’m doing a record with Sammy right now. We’re booking shows, so you’d have to work around it.’ And they said, ‘Okay. We’ll get back to you.’ And that was it. I can tell you that much.”