Earlier this week, Eddie Van Halen told Rolling Stone that bassist Michael Anthony left Van Halen by choice. Anthony, who was replaced by the guitarist’s teenage son Wolfgang on the band’s tour with David Lee Roth in 2007 and 2008, has responded to Eddie’s claims, reiterating his assertion that he never quit the band. “I never ‘quit.’ I never once said, ‘I’m out of here.’ It never happened,” Anthony told MusicRadar after hearing Van Halen’s comments to RS. “That’s the weird thing right now, for Eddie to be trying to paint himself as ‘not the bad guy.’ ”
“The funny thing is that everyone who quits the band always claims they got fired by me. Hey, I’m not the bad guy here. When [Sammy] Hagar left the band, Mike went with him,” Eddie told RS after being asked what he thought about Hagar and Anthony’s new band Chickenfoot. “Then when we get back together with Dave, and all of a sudden, he wants back in. It’s like, ‘No, dude, you quit the band.’ ”
Anthony spoke to Rock Daily in 2007, just days after Van Halen reunited with Roth, telling us that Eddie Van Halen had tried to push him out of the band as early as Van Halen’s 2004 tour. “[Eddie] was always put off that I was going out and playing with Sammy [Hagar] when we weren’t doing anything. It wasn’t like I was doing it to spite anybody. I was just tired of sitting at home and doing nothing,” Anthony said, adding that he only found out about the reunion tour with Roth by reading about it on the Internet and that he was never contacted to participate.
Speaking to MusicRadar, Anthony said, “Why would I have quit Van Halen? It never happened. And what’s weird is, he was being asked about Chickenfoot, whether he had heard us or not, and suddenly he launches into this thing about me quitting the group. What does one thing even have to do with the other?” Regardless of who is reinventing history, Eddie says he has no hard feelings, telling RS, “I’ve got no beef with anybody. I wish them well. I hope they are … I don’t know what a ‘supergroup’ means, but I hope they accomplish what they’re setting out to do.”