Michael Anthony Says Eddie Van Halen Tribute ‘Hinges Upon Alex’
"I have spoken with Alex on occasion," Anthony noted (as transcribed by Blabbermouth). "And for the most part, we don't even speak that much about music — more about just family, how we're doing and stuff like that. I know it still pains him a lot as far as Eddie goes and will probably for the rest of his life. But I spoke with him and Dave [Lee Roth] last year about a possible something, but Dave just starts going [talking really fast]. And I'm, like, 'Okay.' And we basically just had kind of a conference call about having a conference call to discuss it, and then that other call didn't happen for whatever reason on their end. I told them that I'd obviously be interested. And it would be more like a celebration of the music rather than putting together something and calling it Van Halen because that just wouldn't be right at this point."
Roth, Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani and Jason Newsted have all been linked at various points with a potential Eddie Van Halen tribute concert. While some have indicated that the undertaking could be extended into an entire tour, Anthony insisted the conversations he was involved with only focused on a single show.
"What was being talked about was not actually doing a tour," the bassist clarified. "You take something like this on tour and people are gonna think it's a cash grab. I'd rather have something, like a memorial-type thing, done at a venue. And there were actually a couple of venues discussed. But do it that way instead of taking it on the road. And make it just a real celebration of the music.”
In Anthony’s opinion, one person will determine whether the long-rumored tribute actually comes to fruition. "I think it all really hinges upon Alex," he said. "And he's gotta be the person, really, that wants to do this and give his blessing to the whole thing for it to move forward. And like I said, when we speak, we really don't even speak about doing anything like that at this point. He's still healing. And if it gets to that point, I'm sure Alex will be the first one that'll wanna do something like that."
While Anthony’s insight may give some Van Halen fans reasons to be optimistic, the bassist was sure to temper expectations. "At this point, I've gotta tell you, I don't know if anything will ever happen,” he admitted. “'Cause Alex is — he's really hurting. Him and Edward were so close on all levels — musical levels and personally and whatever. It just seems to me like it might be really hard for Alex to even enter into something to bring back all those memories. I don't know. I could be wrong. I'm the guy that always says, 'Never say never.'"