Wolfgang Van Halen Was Ready for Michael Anthony’s Return
Wolfgang Van Halen said he’d been ready for Michael Anthony’s return to Van Halen, even though it would have meant giving up his position in the band.
Bassist Anthony was fired in 2006 and replaced by Eddie’s son, who was 15 at the time. Despite rumors of bad blood as a result of the lineup change, Anthony was all set to take part in a reunion – until it was canceled amid the health issues that finally ended Eddie’s life last month.
In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Wolfgang was asked if he's ever had a “personal conversation” with Anthony about taking his place.
“Never had too much of an opportunity,” he said. “That’s kind of what that whole tour was supposed to be. And then it never panned out. I was really looking forward to speaking with him, and that hasn’t happened yet. I’m looking forward to the opportunity that I have in the future to speak to him.”
Asked if there were maybe “hard feelings” about the lineup change, Wolfgang said: “I don’t think there are. I’ve seen things he’s said. He’s always been an amazing guy.”
Van Halen agreed with the assessment that he was ready to “sort of retire” to make way for Anthony, “other than maybe jumping onstage for a song or two.” “Dad would be like, ‘You got to be onstage at least a couple of times,'" Wolfgang said. "He kept trying to pull me back in. Not that I didn’t want to be there. Playing with my father was the best thing I ever did. It was my favorite thing to do.”
Elsewhere in the interview, he was asked about his relationship with singer David Lee Roth. “We’re cordial,” he explained. “But it was very business-related. You know, we were always cool, but we really only ever saw each other onstage.”