Michael Anthony and Eddie Van Halen had unresolved issues that will never be resolved following the rocker’s death last year. The original Van Halen bassist said the two never reconciled following an acrimonious separation 15 years ago.
Anthony was on the “Talkin’ Rock With Meltdown” podcast when the subject came up. Van Halen died on Oct. 6 after a long battle with throat cancer.
“We actually hadn’t spoken and unfortunately we didn’t get a chance to,” the 66-year-old said. “It kind of bothers me because we had some issues that were never resolved. But, I mean, what can you do? It was on the track of a reunion, which I’m really sad that it never happened. But life, the show goes on.”
It’s unclear what issues or rifts existed between the two, but it likely is the reason Anthony left the band in 2006. Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang replaced Anthony in the line-up.
After the split, Anthony and Eddie fought it out in the press. Anthony claimed in 2009 that he didn’t quit the band, but found out one day that he’d been replaced via a news report.
“I found out about that tour like everybody else did — in the press,” Anthony told Music Radar. “I had no idea. At that point, I kind of sighed and went, ‘Whatever. If this is what Eddie wants to do, he’s going to do what he wants to do.’ If he wants me out of the band and for Wolfgang to play bass, what was I going to do about it?”
Ousted Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar defended Anthony at the time.
Some Made Amends with Van Halen Before His Death
Hagar split from the band in 1997 after internal tensions forced them apart. He and the talented guitarist left on bad terms, Hagar said. And Hagar spent years trying to speak with Van Halen.
They were eventually able to reconnect through a mutual friend.
“I said, ‘Why don’t you respond? I’ve been reaching out,'” Hagar told Fox News, “and Ed said, ‘Why didn’t you call me? Don’t f—ing call my brother, f—ing call me!’ And I said, ‘I love you man,’ and it was like, boom, we were good. It was a beautiful thing.”
Hagar replaced Roth in the band after similar internal strife broke up the band in the 1980s. Roth has reunited with the band on multiple occasions. He and Van Halen seemed to have largely gotten past their issues. Roth even released a tribute song for Eddie Van Halen last year.
The band was in talks recently to reunite for what they called a “kitchen sink” tour that would have featured Anthony, Hagar, and Roth. Though, Van Halen’s illness put those talks on hold.
Eddie Van Halen’s ashes will be scattered into the Pacific Ocean off of his home in Malibu, Calif., per his final wishes, TMZ said.