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"Van Halen-1984 All Over Again"


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Apparently relations with ousted bassist Michael Anthony are REALLY BAD. On the band's official site, Van-Halen.com, there was an altered image of the band's debut album, with a photo of new bassist, Eddie's 16-year-old son Wolfgang, in place of Michael A. It's since been replaced by the original cover, apparently due to fan protest over this slight.

--Howard

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Relations are bad. Im waiting for them to go into the studio, and have Wolfie redo the bass parts on all the albums. Ozzy did that with his first two albums recently and the fans weren't happy to say the least.

It all stems believe it or not, over Anthony selling his Hot sauce during the last VH tour. It wasnt being sold at the shows, but it raised the ire of the VH brothers when it was mentioned during interviews on the tour. Then having Hagar and Anthony perform as "The Other Half" performing VH songs during Hagars tour didnt help the situation. It's so stupid. What was he supposed to do? Wait around until they decided to start touring again?

Jeff

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Because I missed out on Edward's GREAT years, I've been trying to make up for it with these reunion shows. Even though he was solidly wasted during the last reunion with Sammy, Kathy and I attended and had a great time in spite of Ed's condition. Dugie got us backstage and we got to chat up Sammy and Michael—both TERRIFIC guys! So, we will be back for some more VH at the Philly show. It's pretty early in the schedule and I'm thinking the guys should still be getting along. The expected implosion will probably happen sometime mid-tour.

eye

Bernie

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What they WILL miss is Michael's backing vocals. Unless Wolfgang can sing, David is going to be in trouble. I saw David on his solo tour a few months ago here in Milwaukee, and it was a great show! What helped, was that even though David sounded good, he was smart to have 2 of his band members sing along with him on parts and fill in some of the backing vocals that Michael would ordinarily cover.

What Van Halen needs is some of their own "Overdubs" to join them on the tour! wink

Tim

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And the saga continues...

Report: VAN HALEN Removing Bassist From Songwriting Credits

Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 15:38:41 EST

The Pulse Of Radio has issued the following report from Don Kaye:

VAN HALEN may have restored former bassist Michael Anthony's photos to the album cover art on the band's official web site, but it seems the group is still trying to remove Anthony from its history.

According to AntiMusic.com, Anthony's name has been taken off the writing credits for some of the group's music. An email to the site from a Van Halen fan explained, "On every single Van Halen song (with exception to the three new songs on the Best Of Both Worlds compilation), credits have always gone to Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen, Michael Anthony and the lead singer who is featured on the song... However, during the credits of the film Superbad, which features the song 'Panama', the song is only credited to the two Van Halens and (David Lee) Roth! Anthony continues to get snubbed by his former band as they attempt to erase him from the history of the band."

AntiMusic checked the ASCAP database and learned that Anthony's name has been removed from the songwriting credits of the album 1984, on which 'Panama' originally appeared, although apparently he still gets credit on other Van Halen releases.

Anthony was reportedly forced to sign a reduced royalty contract in order to take part in the 2004 reunion tour with singer SAMMY HAGAR, according to Wikipedia.org. Anthony also apparently did not play on the three songs recorded for the Best Of Both Worlds collection.

A furor erupted online last week after photos of Anthony at the band's official web site were either removed or replaced by an image of guitarist Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang, who will play bass on the group's upcoming tour. The photos were restored less than two days later.

Van Halen announced the details of its long-awaited reunion tour with original singer David Lee Roth last Monday (August 13th). The tour kicks off on September 27th in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Pre-recorded tapes will reportedly be used to recreate Anthony's backing vocals on the tour.

And from Michael Anthony:

Bassist Michael Anthony - "I Was Not Invited To Do The VAN HALEN Tour"

Posted on Tuesday, August 21, 2007 at 18:23:45 EST

Former VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony has issued the following update:

"First of all, I hope all of you are having a great Summer!! I want to thank everyone for all the support you're shown me during the past months. It's all been pretty crazy, and I just wanted to bring you all up to speed. A lot of you have been asking about the upcoming Van Halen tour and my response to it. It's not that I'm not touring with Van Halen because I'm going out with Sammy (Hagar). I'm going out with Sammy because I was not invited to do the VH tour. Sammy told me that if I was asked to be part of the VH tour and decided to do it, it would be totally cool, and it would not tarnish our friendship in the least!! Well it's not to be, and life goes on. I'll still be out there with Sam, and I can't wait to do some partying with all of you. One last note from myself to all the Van Halen fans out there who will be attending their shows...Wolfgang (Van Halen) is a great kid, so don't judge him too harshly. I'm sure he'll do just fine!!"

Jeff

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All theatrics aside (lol, figuratively AND literally, within the VH camp!!), I've always felt the DLR years were the best..sorry, JMHO wink

Diamond Dave may be a royal pain in the you know what, but that was THE Van Halen for me...being a fan from day one, I'll never forget how cool the music was back then ....even the album covers were ultra cool (love the Women And Children First cover lol!)!! I'm surprised at how they're treating the legacy of their band by how they altered the cover of the VH album on their website...not cool...but I'm still interested to see how this all plays out in the long run. Time will tell! smile

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This was posted on a music forum I frequent. The guy claims to be an insider in the VH camp, so don't know how true it is or not...

"VH rehearsals are starting to deteriorate rapidly due to Ed's resumption of drinking. This guy loves his wine and he has jumped back on the vino bandwagon in full force. There have been multiple firings in terms of tour staff because of Ed and he is verbally abusive to just about everyone (which isn't surprising because I had several myself with him in my time around the band).

Dave is VERY concerned about this and I know has expressed it to management.

That's it. The same old story with him. His drinking destroyed a once great talent and a once friendly guy.

Ed doesn't need a tour or even music...he needs serious therapy and I hate Alex for what he is not doing to save his brother!

Jeff

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if it's all true..it's sad indeed..eddie needs to stick around for his family,and second,as a person..fans should be last on his list as far as i'm concerened at this point...i do'nt understand the michael part of it..thanks for the info paul..it already sounds like a train wreck ready to happen..but..i wish them the best..i know there is no way in hell i would put my kid thru the touring life,yet alone the crap he is gonna see at his young age..lol,chris

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  • 2 weeks later...

Here it is:

Fired Van Halen Bassist: “I Found Out on the Internetâ€

As you’ve almost certainly heard, later this month the reunited Van Halen is hitting the road for an extensive tour with David Lee Roth out front. But something is missing. Original bassist Michael Anthony — whose distinctive backing vocals are crucial to classics like “Running With the Devil†and “Panama†— has been fired and replaced by Eddie Van Halen’s sixteen-year-old son Wolfgang. Many outraged fans are pledging to stay home, while others will be showing up with “Where Is Michael Anthony?†T-shirts. Last week Anthony got on the phone with RS to explain what happened.

When was the last time you saw Eddie Van Halen?

The last time I actually spoke or saw him in person was right after we walked offstage in 2004, the last show of the tour.

How were things then?

It really didn’t end in total peace and harmony within the band, for whatever reasons. I’m not going to finger-point at anyone, but the tour, after eighty shows, just couldn’t go on at that point.

How did you find out they were going to do this upcoming tour without you?Probably like everybody else, I found out on the Internet and through word of mouth. I can understand that he wants his kid to play with him. If I had a kid like that, I’d like to have him perform with me, too. It was kind of funny when I first heard about it being a Van Halen “reunion.â€

(Keep reading for Anthony’s take on the 2004 tour, the doctored album covers that appeared online after the band’s recent reunion announcement, his sixteen-year-old replacement and more.)

So they never called you?

No, nobody ever contacted me about anything. I just kind of found out with everyone else.

Is it true they tried to keep you off the 2004 tour?

Yeah. Ed didn’t really want me on that tour.

Do you know why?

He 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. Sammy asked me one day if I would like to come out and maybe make an appearance at one or two of [his] shows and have some fun, and I said, “Yeah, great.†It kind of snowballed into me coming out and doing a few songs with him here and there.

Didn’t they make you sign something to participate in the last tour?

You’re putting all the dirt in this one, huh? I gave up a lot to do [the last Van Halen] tour, as far as my percentage of what everyone was being paid. I did have to sign something at the end of the tour, that I was relinquishing any rights or claims that I had to anything that had to do with Van Halen. The reason I did the tour was: I didn’t need the money, but I kind of figured if it was the last time Van Halen ever went out, I’d be kicking myself if I didn’t go out onstage one last time for the fans. So I kind of sucked it up a bit.

But that didn’t affect your royalties or anything?

No.

Do you regret doing that?

There’s always things that you look at in hindsight that you could have done differently or whatever, or tried to make it better. I don’t regret going out, because I did enjoy going out and playing for the fans. I kind of regret the way that it turned out, because it should have been a tour that possibly went on for at least a year, and toured all over the world, and it just wasn’t meant to be. And that’s pretty sad, in my eyes.

Some fans are saying that this current tour is not the real Van Halen. How do you respond to that?

I had a post on my blog the other week stating that it is what it is, and I’m not going to sit here and go, “Hey, those a-holes, going out and doing this without me.†I even told the fans, “Don’t judge his son, Wolfgang, too hard, because he’s the innocent guy in this whole thing.†I’m sure he’ll do fine. But as far as it being a full reunion, well, it’s not. There’s no reason for me to sit there and cry over it or whine over it. Life goes on.

Do you think Wolfgang is too young to be taking on such a huge task?

I really can’t say, because I’m not around the guy a lot. He came out and did some shows in 2004, came out onstage when his dad was playing a solo, and played a little bit. Being thrown right out into big arenas, a sixteen-year-old kid, I’m sure there’s going to be a lot of possible overwhelming things that are thrown at him in that kind of a situation, plus, when they get onstage, who knows how the fans are going to react to him? Hopefully, he’ll be able to work through all that.

Your backing vocals were an important part of the sound.

Mm-hmm. I guess it will be interesting. I don’t know, I’m not to say how they’re going to pull that one off, but I’m sure they’ve thought of something.

Dave and Ed were smiling and shaking hands at the press conference — do you think it’s genuine?

[Laughs] There again, I really can’t tell you, because I’m not around them or know what’s going on. I can speculate, but that wouldn’t really mean anything here or there. I guess the proof will be once they get out and start playing. Because once Dave gets onstage, he becomes Diamond Dave.

Did you see that they removed your image from Van Halen’s first album on their Web site?

Yes, I did. And that was the one thing that kind of saddened me a bit, when I was pointed to that, to see that my pictures were removed off of the first album. With Women and Children First, they took the picture off completely. I couldn’t figure out what they were trying to do except for brainwash the fans into thinking I was never in the band. That bummed me out quite a bit. I’m proud of all my history with Van Halen, and maybe they feel otherwise.

You seem to be taking the high road with all this.

I’m not a spiteful person. At this point in my life, I don’t need the drama. I went through that when I was in my twenties, and I don’t feel like going through it again in my fifties. I just want to have fun, be able to go out onstage and play and have a good time.

Are you touring with Sammy Hagar this summer?

Yeah, we’re actually going out late October, and we’ll be touring on and off until next summer. It stems from around March, when Sammy Hagar did this cruise thing with Carnival Cruise lines, where they cruise down to Cabo San Lucas. His fans pay an extra premium and his band goes on the ship, and they asked me if I wanted to come and perform one night. I didn’t want to just get up with his band and do Hagar stuff, so I put this thing together and I said, “Let’s just do some old Van Halen stuff and have some fun with it and do maybe a couple other covers that we all grew up to, like some Zep or Cream.†So we call it the Mad Anthony Express, and we did about two hours on this ship, and the fans loved it. I said, “Hey, this is pretty cool.â€

Do you see a day in the future where the four original Van Halen members could possibly share a stage again?

At this point, I really don’t know, because I think they’ve chosen their path. They would be the ones to really ask. As far as myself, I think if the situation was right and everything was on the up and up I’d be interested in doing it. It would definitely have to be on those terms.

Photo: Kramer / Getty

-- Andy Greene

Jeff

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