Michael Anthony on David Lee Roth: He’s “Kind of a Crazy Guy”

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During a lively Q&A session at the Rock ‘N’ Roll Fantasy Camp in March 2024, Michael Anthony shared insights about an upcoming summer tour. Joining him will be vocalist Sammy Hagar, guitarist Joe Satriani, and drummer Jason Bonham, with a focus on VAN HALEN’s iconic music.

Reflecting on the genesis of the tour, Anthony revealed, “Sammy and I were reflecting on the 20th anniversary of our last VAN HALEN reunion. Time flies, you know? With uncertainties looming and the unfortunate passing of Ed [Eddie Van Halen], we felt compelled to act. Alex [Van Halen] is still grieving, and we wanted to bring the music to the fans while we can.”

Asked about his rapport with VAN HALEN’s original frontman David Lee Roth, Anthony admitted, “It’s been ages since I’ve spoken to Dave. Last time was when talks of a reunion surfaced. Dave’s a character, to say the least. I’ve got no ill will, though. If the opportunity arises, I’d be open to jamming with him.”

The passing of Eddie Van Halen in 2020 marked a somber chapter for music lovers worldwide. Hagar and Anthony, known for their stint in the supergroup CHICKENFOOT with Satriani, had never before integrated VAN HALEN classics into their performances. However, recent collaborations with Bonham and guitarist Vic Johnson in SAMMY HAGAR AND THE CIRCLE have seen them revisit the VAN HALEN repertoire.

Hagar’s reconciliation with Eddie prior to his passing added poignancy to their musical legacy. The quartet last united in 2004 for a memorable U.S. summer tour, a moment Anthony recalls with fondness despite the contractual concessions he made at the time.

Now, under the banner of “The Best Of All Worlds” tour produced by Live Nation, the ensemble will embark on a 28-date journey, commencing in West Palm Beach, Florida, on July 13 and concluding in St. Louis, Missouri, on August 31. Hagar emphasized their commitment to delving deep into the VAN HALEN catalog, supported by Satriani’s virtuosity.

While Hagar and Anthony typically integrate VAN HALEN classics into their sets with THE CIRCLE, they plan to prioritize these hits alongside a selection of Hagar’s solo material for the upcoming tour. The prospect of revisiting songs not played since 2004 excites Anthony, although he acknowledges the challenge of honoring Eddie’s intricate guitar work.

Satriani, tasked with replicating Eddie’s iconic riffs, acknowledges the weight of the responsibility but also finds excitement in uncovering the nuances of Eddie’s live performances. As he delves into the guitarist’s improvisations, Satriani finds the process both daunting and exhilarating, a fitting tribute to a musical innovator.

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