Michael Anthony has offered more details about the aborted VAN HALEN reunion tour that was being planned for this summer.
During an appearance on today's (June 19) episode of SiriusXM's "Trunk Nation", the former VAN HALEN bassist — who spent much of the last few years on the road with SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE — confirmed that he was approached by VAN HALEN's management last fall about re-teaming with the group.
"The reason THE CIRCLE is taking a break right now is that if things would have worked out as they were starting to go and was planned, we would have been in pre-production rehearsals with VAN HALEN right now," Michael said (hear audio below).
"I'm sure you know Sammy [Hagar] had made a statement [earlier in the year] saying I was offered [to do a tour with VAN HALEN]. And I can tell you, I spoke with [VAN HALEN's manager] Irving Azoff last October — that's when I first heard from him — and he asked if I would be interested in any kind of a reunion, and I told him, I said, 'Yeah.' I was finishing up a couple of shows with Sammy and I said, 'Yeah, I'd be interested to hear what you guys have going on. I've got these few dates left, and give me a call.' And I never heard a call back. And then, right after the first of the year, I got… [VAN HALEN singer] David Lee Roth's, Dave's business manager or lawyer, or something, got ahold of me about a meeting or something. And so at that point, I gave it over to our manager, because I didn't wanna start getting in this whole thing — I wanted to do it the correct way, especially after the way things went for me in 2004.
"From what I've heard, and I haven't spoken to any of the guys, they were gonna try to plan a thing for this summer," Anthony added. "And for whatever reason… I was never… My people were never… They never got in touch with us about any kind of a contract or any kind of a meeting to discuss or whatever. And the next thing I knew, the plug got pulled on it."
A few months ago, a rumor surfaced that the original VAN HALEN lineup — including the bassist, who has not played with the band since 2004 — would reunite in 2019 for a run of stadium shows. This would have been the first time that the four founding members of the band, including Roth, guitarist Eddie Van Halen and drummer Alex Van Halen, performed together since 1984.
The rumors originally started with Roth, who hinted to Vulture that VAN HALEN would be playing stadiums this summer with Anthony back in the lineup.
VAN HALEN and Anthony have not been on good terms for more than a decade, with Anthony not invited to join the reunion with Roth that began in 2007. The subsequent two tours and studio album, "A Different Kind Of Truth", featured Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang on bass.
Anthony took a pay cut and signed away all of his rights to the band name and logo in order to participate in VAN HALEN's 2004 tour, which featured Hagar.
Anthony's THE CIRCLE bandmate Sammy Hagar — himself a former VH member — was the first to publicly confirm that Michael was contacted last year by VAN HALEN's management about reuniting with the group for a tour.
SAMMY HAGAR & THE CIRCLE's debut album of original material, "Space Between", was released on May 10 through BMG.