Until now, former Van Halen bass player Michael Anthony has been pretty kind to his former band mates by not sharing his true feelings about his experiences while he was with the group, and his more recent exclusion from the Van Halen reunion tour. At least not publicly. Although he still seems reluctant to say anything really nasty about Van Halen, he does reveal a little more about the process that led to his separation from the group.
Although Anthony concedes that he sees himself as the ultimate “sideman”, and not necessarily the guy in the spotlight, he stresses that the role of a sideman is vital, and holds things together when the guy who is in the spotlight plays a ten-minute solo.
Although Anthony has talked about his disappointment that resulted from his exclusion from the Van Halen reunion tour which featured the return of original vocalist David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang on bass, he is talking more about his feelings now and admitted that he would have loved to have been part of it.
Revealing some of the negative feelings and disappointment about his parting ways with Van Halen, Anthony sounds like he has it all behind him now and seems to be very excited about the new group he has been playing with, which is being called “Chickenfoot” for the time being.
You can read more from the interview Anthony did with Music Radar and even download the audio from the interview.
Sammy Hagar, on the other hand, is a lot more open about his feelings when he talks about his time spent with Van Halen – a period in the group’s history that resulted in some of the group’s best material in my personal opinion.
Hagar, talking with Classic Rock Revisited not long ago, was clearly not pleased about the way Michael Anthony was treated by Van Halen when he was excluded from the last tour. “He got f***ed and it was horrible. I am not going to go on about ‘why and what,’because I have no idea…(The fans) have been waiting for this reunion and they (Van Halen) did it wrong. It is one more strike against those guys. They are not healthy, mentally, and they make bad decisions. They don’t take the fans in mind for one second and it is not good."
Hagar also relates the story of how a drunken Eddie Van Halen tried to knock the window out of a plane the group was flying on during a tour, and almost left the group as a result. Although Hagar remained in order to finish up the tour, he insisted on flying in a separate airplane for the duration of the tour to avoid being exposed to Van Halen’s alleged dangerous drunken rampages.
Hagar has his own album that was released just yesterday called Cosmic Universal Fashion, and he is also heavily involved with Michael Anthony, guitarist Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith in the aforementioned “Chickenfoot” project, something Hagar is no less excited about than Anthony and has described in the past as something that “could rival Led Zeppelin.” A bold claim to be sure, and it will certainly be interesting to hear this new material when it finally starts making its way out for us all to hear. They are hoping to complete the album they are working on sometime next summer.
For more on Hagar’s comments, check out KBS Radio.