“I’m not gonna point fingers but one of the ingredients was not playing ball with everybody else”: Michael Anthony on why the rumoured Van Halen tribute did not happen

“I’ll let you all figure it out,” says the bassist.

Micahel Anthony

Image: Scott Dudelson / Getty Images

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Michael Anthony has spoken about the reason the rumoured all-star Van Halen tribute concert never took off, saying “one of the ingredients was not playing ball with everybody else”.

Back in 2022, fans speculated that a Van Halen tribute project was in the works when ex-Metallica bassist Jason Newsted revealed that he’d been approached by Alex Van Halen and Joe Satriani about a possible tour celebrating the legacy of the late Eddie Van Halen.

After months of back and forth, things eventually fizzled out and now two years on, it seems the closest we’ll get to an official Van Halen tribute is the upcoming ‘Best of All Worlds’ tour masterminded by Sammy Hagar, featuring Jason Bonham, Satriani, and Anthony himself.

Speaking about how things went down on the latest episode of The Hook Rocks podcast, Anthony said [via Blabbermouth]: “You’re talking about Joe being approached by Alex and Dave [singer David Lee Roth]. And then there’ve been people that — all of a sudden, in the press, I read that Jason Newsted, who played with Metallica, was [approached about it].”

“Now I, myself, I got a call from Alex and Dave right around that same time. And they wanted to put something together, and Joe was in the mix. I remember talking to Joe a couple of times after that, too. And Joe was telling me, ‘Yeah, well, they gave me some of that album and told me to listen to it or whatever.’”

“All I can say is — I’m not gonna point fingers — but through all of this, one of the ingredients was not, let’s say, playing ball with everybody else,” he said. “And that’s all I’m gonna say. I’ll let you all figure it out. And that’s why none of it worked. And you’ve read it probably with Wolfgang’s interviews, too, that he’s been doing this past year.”

Wolfgang previously cited the “dysfunctional” relationship between surviving members as a major reason a Van Halen reunion hasn’t materialised. Radio personality Eddie Trunk also claimed — per “a very reliable source” — that David Lee Roth was the one holding up the entire venture.

Anthony continued: “It’s pretty sad, because even when the band was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame — this was in 2007 — Sammy and I were the only two from the band that showed up, and we weren’t even in the band at the time. And it was pretty sad, because I turned to Sammy during the show — I forget who was on stage playing – and we were sitting at our table and I go, I go, ‘Sammy, could you imagine if all of us, if we were all here and everybody got along and we got up there, we would kick the ass out of this thing. It’d be an induction ceremony that nobody would ever forget.’ And sadly enough, it wasn’t to be.”

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