According to The Pulse of Radio, Michael Anthony says that Eddie and Alex Van Halen hold a grudge against him for maintaining a friendship with Sammy Hagar. Anthony recalled to Mojo, that the problems started between him and the band when in the late '90s, VAN HALEN once again tried unsuccessfully to bring David Lee Roth back into the fold. With VAN HALEN seemingly on hiatus, Hagar had called Anthony to see if he was interested in hooking up with him and Neal Schon in their side project PLANET US.
Anthony explains, "Some VAN HALEN fans say I left the band to hook up with Sammy, but I never said, 'I quit.' There was nothing going on in the VAN HALEN camp, but Eddie kinda backed me up against a wall. . . Eddie felt that I was a traitor. I helped hook Sammy back up with them for the 2004 reunion tour, but Eddie didn't want me to be a part of that originally, so I took a big pay cut. I'm not crying, I didn't need the money. I did that because I wanted to play for the fans. I signed away any legal rights I had with the name, the trademark or whatever. I did it because if that was the last time VAN HALEN would ever be on stage, I wanted to be part of it."
He went on to say, "The major reason why I'm not in VAN HALEN (now) is because I became friends with Sammy again. The Van Halen brothers never got over that. If they hold a grudge, they hold it forever."
During VAN HALEN's August 2007 press conference announcing their reunion tour with David Lee Roth and Eddie's son Wolfgang Van Halen on bass, Roth skirted over the issue of why a then-16 year old kid was playing bass instead of Anthony. "Michael Anthony is part of this band's history, " he said. "There's a lot of great alumni who have been through this band. I'm shocked that any of us are still vertical after 30 years. And as far as why Wolf is in the band, may I speak for you, Ed? I understand how he wanted to play with the boy because he's amazing."
Photo below courtesy of Mad Anthony Cafe