Michael Anthony Takes the High Road, Praises Wolfgang Van Halen
It's been great having Van Halen back in action with David Lee Roth in recent years, but the dark cloud hanging over their reunion has been the absence of original bassist Michael Anthony, who was exiled in favor of Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang. Don't expect to hear any sour grapes from Anthony, though.
Speaking with For Bass Players Only, Anthony continued to maintain the high ground he's held since learning of his dismissal from the band via press conference. Asked for his feelings regarding being replaced by Wolfgang, Anthony called him "a great kid" and pointed out, "I mean, obviously, I've known him since he was born." But he didn't stop there; he went on to insist that the younger Van Halen is more than qualified to hold his post in the band.
"He's a great bass player," continued Anthony. "He plays drums, guitar, bass and sings. His dad, Ed, wanted his son to play with him, so, you know, that's, you know, totally great. I mean, I found out that he was going to be playing bass with everybody else … when they did their press conference. I wished him luck in a couple interviews I did, and hopefully he read those."
Anthony is so committed to saying good things about everyone that not even a recent appearance on Howard Stern's show -- in which he called while his Chickenfoot bandmate Sammy Hagar was visiting the studio -- could induce any trash-talking, despite a relatively in-depth discussion of the many ways he was wronged by Van Halen. You can check out the complete audio from the segment here.