Recent rumors that Michael Anthony would be rejoining Van Halen for a stadium tour in 2019 have been dampened by the bassist himself, who says he hasn’t spoken with the members of Van Halen in years.
Anthony checked in with Premiere Radio Networks following the report that the classic Van Halen lineup would tour again, saying, “The only comment I have is that I haven’t spoken to any of the guys since we last played together back in 2004.” He added that he ran into drummer Alex Van Halen “a few years back” but only made small talk.
While he didn’t specifically say that the rumors were not true, it goes without saying that it’s hard to plan a reunion without talking about it first.
Speculation started when singer David Lee Roth told Vulture a couple weeks back, “When we come back through town in the summertime and do the original thing, maybe somewhere sportin’, maybe with somebody famous, I’ll make sure we get you all tickets so you can see what we do for gainful employment,” adding, “Because, you know, next time my rock band will be playing the same place that the Yankees play. Okay?”
Then fuel was added to the fire when Eddie Trunk, radio personality and onetime host of VH1’s That Metal Show, told listeners of his SiriusXM show, “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.”
The classic lineup of Michael Anthony, David Lee Roth, Eddie Van Halen, and Alex Van Halen last played a concert together in 1984.
Roth left the band 1985, and was replaced by Sammy Hagar. Gary Cherone would eventually take over vocals in the late ’90s, before Hagar returned to the band from 2003 through 2005. By the time Roth was welcomed back in the band in 2007, Anthony had been replaced by Eddie’s son, Wolfgang Van Halen.
In the years since he was ousted from Van Halen, Anthony has played with Hagar in the band Chickenfoot, as well as the newer outfit Sammy Hagar & The Circle, who are releasing their debut album, Space Between, in January.