Van Halen dramas were bad.. but not as bad as Sabbath’s, says Anthony
Chickenfoot bassist Michael Anthony admits there was some melodrama attached to his 2004 reunion tour with Van Halen – but says it was nothing compared to the recent Black Sabbath soap opera.
And he’s cast doubt on his former band’s claim that they cancelled 31 tour dates due to exhaustion, asking why it took them three days to say that was their reason.
Commenting on Black Sabbath’s public disagreements with drummer Bill Ward, which has led to his absence from their reunion, Anthony tells American Rock Scene: “I’ve read three different sides of that story. Ours wasn’t as much drama as this.
“There was some drama in the 2004 tour, which I don’t care to get into. The reason I did it was, I didn’t need the money or anything to do it. It was going to be the last Van Halen tour – and for me it was the last Van Halen tour.
“There’s still drama surrounding the band, I guess.”
The current lineup, featuring original singer David Lee Roth and Eddie’s son Wolfgang in Anthony’s place, surprised fans by pulling three months of shows. Roth later appeared in a video to explain: “The band is getting along famously, better than we have in quite some time. As usual, we’ve bit off way more than we could chew when it came to scheduling.”
Anthony says: “Everybody’s got their own opinions. Who knows? To me it sounds kinda interesting – if you say you’re tired and you want to recharge your batteries you don’t put 30 shows on sale. If I were a fan I’d be going, ‘Why are you putting 30 shows on sale?’”
Asked why it took three days for Van Halen to explain why they’d changed their schedule, he replies: “Maybe that’s the three days you take to come up with your story?”
But he says he’s happy with his life and his career in Chickenfoot, also featuring former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar. “I wish them well – they put out a great album, they’re a great live band, they always have been,” he says.
On the subject of playing with them again one day he comments: “I don’t know. As time goes on now, less and less. Eddie’s got his son up with him now. The circumstance would have to be right. I was always the never-say-never guy, but I don’t really think about it any more. If it’s going to happen it’s going to happen.
“I’m having a great time in my life – My wife and I just bought a house, I have a daughter who gets married this year. Chickenfoot, my relationship with those guys is great.”