MICHAEL ANTHONY Reveals When He First 'Came To The Conclusion' That DAVID LEE ROTH Was 'Bipolar'

June 29, 2023

In a new interview with "THAT Rocks!", the weekly YouTube series hosted by Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson, former VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony confirmed that he does "very little" social media nowadays. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): "I do a little bit of Instagramming and whatever, but… [otherwise] no… I don't like to get involved in the drama. And that was really hard in certain times in VAN HALEN. Because, believe me… It's kind of funny, because I look at TV and I'm watching things like 'Behind The Music' [specials] with other bands, and I go, 'Oh my God. Look at all the shit they went through.' And then I sit back and I go, 'Oh my God. We've got probably the most drama out of anybody.'"

Speaking about VAN HALEN's touring days with the band's original singer David Lee Roth, Michael said: "There was always drama on the Roth tours… There were times… God, I forget which tour it was. I'll just give you a real quick story — not so much drama, but just how it was with Dave on tour. We were staying somewhere in the Midwest, and Dave… After this, we all kind of came to the conclusion that he was bipolar. 'Cause he would be great, and then all of a sudden he would just kind of freak out or whatever. And one night… We had a night off, and everybody was… whatever we were doing. It was, like, around midnight, one in the morning, and everyone was pretty much back at the hotel. And I hear all this commotion out in the hall and pounding and screaming, and I'm going, 'What the hell is going on?' So I put my shorts on and I go walking down the hall. And our security guys have got Roth in a strait jacket. Our security guys carried a strait jacket on tour; I won't get into that part of it. But they used to carry a strait jacket on tour, and Roth was just, like, screaming naked, sitting in one of our security guys' rooms, wearing this strait jacket."

Anthony added: "Dave, he liked to drink Jack Daniel's, but he couldn't handle it like I can handle it. Dave'd have a little bit of Jack Daniel's and he'd get a little crazy. And I guess they found him wandering around outside the hotel naked. And this was just one night out of seven nights a week being on tour."

Back in May 2022, former VAN HALEN bassist and current MAMMOTH WVH frontman Wolfgang Van Halen reflected on Roth's "lead singer disease" during an episode of "Wolfgang's Top of the Pack" on SiriusXM's Classic Rewind. He said: "I remember right before the first… In 2015, [Dave] fired the video director because he wouldn't film his feet well enough."

In December 2021, two months after Roth announced that he would end his career with a Las Vegas residency, Wolfgang, who joined his father Eddie Van Halen in VAN HALEN at the age of 16 for the band's 2007 reunion tour with Roth, replacing Anthony, was asked about David's retirement in an interview with Consequence. He said: "Dave is a… he's very much a one-of-a-kind [chuckles] sort of guy. We don't really talk, if ever. We were always cordial on tour together, but it's not like I've spoken to him at all in the last six years. But, I mean, he's fucking David Lee Roth. I'm so happy for him and for everything that he's accomplished. And he's just a phenomenal… He'll always be one of the best."

In November 2020, Wolfgang told Rolling Stone about his relationship with Roth: "We're cordial. But it was very business-related. You know, we were always cool, but we really only ever saw each other onstage."

In 2020, Wolfgang revealed a hilarious prank a tour manager played on Roth during VAN HALEN's final run of shows, which concluded in October 2015 at the the Hollywood Bowl. Speaking to SPIN, Wolfgang said: "Throughout the whole tour, Dave had an issue whenever someone in the audience had a beach ball. Outdoor theater, summer concert, Southern California party rock, VAN HALEN — it's not out of the ordinary. But every time he saw them, it would really upset him for some reason. And he would stop singing and then stand at the front of the stage and say, 'Throw the beach ball up here, throw the beach ball up here, throw the beach ball up here' eight times until it eventually got up, and he would stamp it out. Then he'd throw it off the stage. I guess he just really didn't want that out there.

"Before the very last show, the tour manager came up to my dad and me and whispered, 'Hey, you've got a funny little surprise for all of you guys at the end of the show,'" he continued. "We're, like, 'What?' And he goes, 'At the very end of 'Jump', when you're doing the ride out, we're going to release 50 beach balls from the top of the audience. And we'll just see what happens.' But even if he gets pissed off, what was he gonna do? It's the last fucking show. And sure enough, we get to 'Jump', and there was just a cavalcade, an avalanche of beach balls, and Dave was just, like, short-circuiting. He didn't understand how to handle it. But we all laughed it off. And it was just a really fun, almost like a fun practical joke. And yeah, that was a really fun memory of that show. As time went further and further by, the more I thought about it, like, 'Wow, if that is the last show, what an amazing way to cap it off.'"

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