The original Van Halen lineup is rumored to be reuniting for a stadium tour, but bassist Michael Anthony has cast doubt on those reports.
In light of the rumors, Anthony talked with Premiere Radio Networks on Wednesday and revealed that he had not talked with original bandmates David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen in 14 years. He also noted that he ran into drummer Alex Van Halen "a few years back" but nothing since.
“The only comment I have is that I haven’t spoken to any of the guys since we last played together back in 2004," Anthony said.
It's worth noting that he did not outright deny the rumors, but only noted he had not personally talked to his bandmates. Anthony only has touring commitments on the calendar for 2019. He is playing with rock band The Circle alongside Sammy Hagar on four dates: Jan. 18 in La Quinta, California; Feb. 21 in San Antonio, Texas; and Sept. 28-29 in Huntington Beach, California.
The reports of a Van Halen stadium tour being put together were first sparked by Roth during an interview with Vulture. He touted summer plans with a bunch of other famous acts.
“When we come back through town in the summertime and do the original thing, maybe somewhere sportin’, maybe with somebody famous, I’ll make sure we get you all tickets so you can see what we do for gainful employment,” Roth said. “Because, you know, next time my rock band will be playing the same place that the Yankees play. Okay?”
After being pressed by writer Lane Brown, he added “Yeah, but I can’t … If I say something on tape here and everybody goes, ‘Oh, this leaked…’ But, the band will be — I can’t say. ... The band is solvent. And I can say that I contacted colleagues about being part of the show — Metallica, Guns N’ Roses, Jason Aldean, the Foo Fighters, [Eric] Church, and [Chris] Stapleton. And they all said that, if everything happens, they would certainly be involved.”
The rumors escalated when media personality Eddie Trunk, known for co-hosting VH1 Classic's That Metal Show, told his radio audience that a music industry source told him an original lineup tour was being pieced together.
“I hesitate to even talk about this because every year there’s some rumor about Van Halen about to do something or announce something, and ultimately it just doesn’t happen,” Trunk said. “But, a little more so than normal as we close out 2018, I’m starting to hear some rumblings. The rumors from reliable sources — but still rumors that are unconfirmed — is that the band will tour in 2019 with the original band, which would mean the return of Michael, and that it’s gonna be some sort of stadium package."
Van Halen's original lineup last performed together in 1984. Roth then left the group only to be replaced by Hagar. After years of on-and-off activity with Hagar and a period of with Gary Cherone as lead vocalist, Roth rejoined the group in in the 2010s. That lineup reunited Roth with the Van Halen brothers and Eddie's son Wolfgang. The Anthony-less lineup recorded the 2012 album A Different Kind of Truth, which included supporting tour dates that stretched into 2015.
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