April 18, 2024

During a March 2024 question-and-answer session at the Rock 'N' Roll Fantasy Camp, presented by Rock Camp: The Podcast, the camp's official podcast hosted by David Fishof, Britt Lightning and Miles Schuman, Michael Anthony spoke about the upcoming summer tour featuring him, vocalist Sammy Hagar, guitarist Joe Satriani and drummer Jason Bonham that will focus largely on the music of VAN HALEN. Asked how the tour came about, he said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "Well, Sammy and I figured it's 20 years ago this year that we did the last VAN HALEN reunion. And Sammy and I were talking about it. We're always reminiscing and stuff like that, and we thought, 'Gosh, 20 years.' And who knows what's happening now? We obviously can't wait much longer. Sammy's an old man now. But we didn't wanna wait any longer. And with Ed [Eddie Van Halen, VAN HALEN guitarist], unfortunately, passing away the other year. And Alex [Van Halen, VAN HALEN drummer], he's still pretty much — I know he still grieves and stuff like that. And he doesn't really get out; he doesn't get out and play. And so Sammy and I wanted to get the music out to everybody. And we thought what a better way… Let's get together and take it and play it. Someone's gotta play it."

Asked if he has any relationship at all with VAN HALEN's original singer David Lee Roth, Michael said: "Uh, I haven't spoken with Dave in quite some time. The last time I actually spoke with him was when [there was talk] about a possible reunion thing. It's really crazy because I hadn't heard anything about Jason Newsted [METALLICA] coming into the fold [and doing the tour]. And I got a call from Alex and Dave from [manager] Irving Azoff's office some years back asking about my thoughts on doing a reunion, a tour. And Joe Satriani was gonna be the guitar player. And that was probably the last time I talked to Dave. That was — God, I don't know — about a few years ago now. I forget — something like that.

"Dave's kind of a crazy guy," he continued. "It's hard to explain Dave. We don't have enough time. But, no, other than that, no. I mean, I don't have anything against Dave. And I've said this in the past to different people, whatever, that if the chance ever came up or whatever, I would definitely be willing to jam with him or whatever. In fact, I think the last time he did his last [residency] shows at the House Of Blues in Vegas some years back. I was actually gonna come to one of those shows and surprise him and come up and jump on stage, but, unfortunately, we were playing a gig somewhere else — Sammy and I were. But to answer your question, [it was] probably a few years ago [that I last spoke with Dave]."

Eddie died in October 2020 at the age of 65. The legendary VAN HALEN guitarist passed away at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California.

Hagar and Anthony previously worked with Satriani in the supergroup CHICKENFOOT. They recorded two albums between 2009 and 2011 and toured across America but never performed any VAN HALEN material. More recently, Hagar and Anthony have played some of the VAN HALEN catalog with guitarist Vic Johnson and Bonham in SAMMY HAGAR AND THE CIRCLE.

Hagar mended his relationship with Eddie Van Halen months prior to the legendary VAN HALEN guitarist's passing.

Sammy, Eddie, Alex Van Halen and Michael last teamed up in 2004 for a U.S. summer tour. In exchange for taking part in the tour, Anthony reportedly had to agree to take a pay cut and sign away his rights to the band name and logo.

Produced by Live Nation, the 28-date "The Best Of All Worlds" tour will commence on July 13 in West Palm Beach, Florida and will conclude on August 31 in St. Louis, Missouri.

"We're gonna go deep into the VAN HALEN catalog," Hagar told "The Howard Stern Show". "If you're gonna go deep into the VAN HALEN catalog, you need Joe Satriani."

Although Hagar and Anthony normally play five or six VAN HALEN songs" on the road with THE CIRCLE, Sammy told Stern they are planning to only play "five or six of my songs" alongside VAN HALEN classics and deep cuts.

"When we go out in July, it will be almost exactly 20 years since Mike and I did a reunion with Ed and Al in '04," Hagar said. "Mike and I just said, 'We can't wait another 20 years. How long can I even sing these songs? How long can I do this stuff? I just thought it's time to serve the fans."

"There's stuff we're going to do on this next tour that we haven't played since that tour in 2004," Anthony added.

Regarding the challenge of learning legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen's parts, Satriani said: "There are things that are so iconic, you have to nail it. But if you go deep with what he did live, he never played the same thing twice. He kept evolving; he kept pushing. He'd do the recorded version a little bit, but then he moved on.

"It's a daunting task when you do the deep dive into what he did," he continued. "But it's good to start at the beginning, and then you just learn all his little improvs and you get the idea of what he was trying to do. It's thrilling; it's fun."

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