In Defense of Michael Anthony

Previously posted elsewhere, but it seems appropriate. Enjoy.

Right Now…Mike is planning a solo tour.


Or so the line in the “Right Now” video went.

There was a time when Van Halen was my favorite band in the world. They always looked like they were just having a lot of fun.

It was a bit of a running joke between me and my buddies that Michael Anthony had the best job in the entire world. I mean he was the bass player in Van Halen. How hard could that be?

Turns out it might have been a lot harder then we thought.

When the Van Halen reunion tour was announced earlier this year it was exciting news for old fans like me. We’d finally get to see the reunion of the original lineup we’d all been waiting since the mid-80s.

Then the other shoe dropped.

It wasn’t going to be the original lineup. It was going to be David Lee Roth surrounded by Van Halens. Eddie, Alex, Dave and Wolfie? That doesn’t sound right.

And then quicker than you can say rehab, things were off.

As Eddie sat in rehab and Alex toed the company line, Van Halen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame represented by Sammy Hagar and Mike. Again, that doesn’t sound right.

I never had a problem with Van Halen Version 2 (or Van Hagar). It was a different band but I still liked them.

What does all this have to do with Michael Anthony?

I have come to realize that, much like Derek Smalls, Mike’s role in VH was to be the lukewarm water between the more iconic stars in the band. That and to sing that high background harmony that is as much a trademark of the Van Halen sound as an Eddie guitar solo or a DLR yelp.

Mike’s harmonies have always helped hide the vocal shortcomings of the band’s lead singers, and let’s be frank, they’ve all had them. Mike, aside from being the luckiest man on the planet, has always been VH’s secret weapon. It just took me a long time to realize it.

Van Halen without Michael Anthony is not Van Halen. Its a vanity project for the Van Halen family and a last gasp for Dave.

No matter what offenses have been taken by Eddie for Mike siding with Sammy on things said and unsaid, the sooner Mike is brought back into the fold and given his rightful spot on the reunion tour, the sooner they’ll get some more of my money.

Mike has a line of hot sauce available through his website. I haven’t tried it, but if you want to click here.

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