Former VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony has once again shot down rumors that he will rejoin the band for a reunion tour this summer.
A new rumor has suggested that the original VAN HALEN lineup — including Anthony, who has not played with the band since 2004 — will reunite in 2019 for a stadium tour. This would be the first time that the four founding members of the band, including singer David Lee Roth, guitarist Eddie Van Halen and drummer Alex Van Halen, perform together since 1984.
During an appearance at this weekend’s NAMM show in Anaheim, California, Anthony was asked by Music Radar if there is any chance of him reuniting with VAN HALEN in the not-too-distant future. He responded (see video below): “I’m a ‘never say never’ guy. At this point… I don’t know what kind of rumors are floating around or whatever, but I personally haven’t been contacted by them yet or anything. So, at this point, nothing is happening. But you never know.”
The rumors stem from a recent interview Roth did, as well as a report from radio personality Eddie Trunk. Roth hinted to Vulture that the band would “come back through town in the summertime and do the original thing, maybe somewhere sportin’, maybe with somebody famous…. next time my rock band will be playing the same place that the Yankees play.”
Meanwhile, on his SiriusXM show, Trunk said that he heard from reliable sources that the band would tour in 2019 with Anthony back in the fold. He explained, “Every year there’s some rumor about VAN HALEN about to do something or announce something, and ultimately it just doesn’t happen. But, a little more so than normal as we close out 2018, I’m starting to hear some rumblings.”
He went on to say: “The rumors from reliable sources — but still rumors that are unconfirmed — is that the band will tour in 2019 with the original band, which would mean the return of Michael, and that it’s gonna be some sort of stadium package.”
VAN HALEN and Anthony have not been on good terms for more than a decade, with Anthony not invited to join the reunion with Roth that began in 2007. The subsequent two tours and studio album, “A Different Kind Of Truth”, featured Eddie‘s son Wolfgang on bass.
Anthony has said that a reunion of the original VAN HALEN lineup would be an opportunity for “closure.” He told The Pulse Of Radio not long ago that he’s ambivalent about playing VAN HALEN songs live even though he still feels like he has “ownership” of the old songs. “Part ownership, anyway,” he said. “I was part of it. You know, that’s kind of one of the reasons why I’ve never wanted to like actually put a [solo] thing together and go out and play like that. I know Roth did it for quite some time. But you know, to me, I mean, that’s basically, that’s VAN HALEN‘s stuff, and it’s best left to VAN HALEN doing it.”
Anthony took a pay cut and signed away all of his rights to the band name and logo in order to participate in the 2004 tour, which featured singer Sammy Hagar. Anthony later participated in a series of post-VAN HALEN collaborations with Hagar, including THE CIRCLE and CHICKENFOOT, which also reportedly irked the Van Halen brothers.