MICHAEL ANTHONY Says He Was ‘Surprised’ By ALEX VAN HALEN’s Gear Auction: ‘It Appears He’s Selling Everything Right Down To His Last Drumstick’

Michael Anthony Alex Van Halen

In a recent interview with Greg Prato of Ultimate Guitar, former VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony was asked about whether he remains in touch with Alex Van Halen and his thoughts on why the VAN HALEN drummer might be reluctant to continue performing music.

“I haven’t spoken to Alex in a while, probably about a year,” Anthony responded. “And I actually texted him on his birthday this month [May 2024], and I didn’t hear anything back from him. But yeah, I was pretty surprised when I heard about this auction [via Backstage Auctions] that he’s going to be holding in the beginning of June. Somebody had sent me the link to it, and it appears like he’s selling everything right down to his last drumstick. So, I don’t know. I really couldn’t tell you. I know that he continues to grieve today over Eddie‘s [Van Halen] passing. And basically, Eddie was the only person that he actually ever played music with.”

“I never really knew Alex to be a person to go out and jam with other people or other bands,” he continued. “Unless Eddie was a part of it. Maybe he feels that… Since his brother’s gone, he doesn’t feel the desire to go out and play anymore. But I can only speculate. When I found out about this auction and started checking it out, it is pretty sad, because it truly means that it’s the end of anything that that could have been as far as tribute-wise, you know?”

When asked if he is looking forward to reading Alex‘s upcoming book, Michael responded: “Yeah, I actually am. I heard that the title is Brothers. And knowing Alex, he’ll probably speak about the band and everything. But I think that he might be focusing more on just his and Eddie‘s relationship growing up and moving here with their family to the States. And just the relationship that he had with his brother.”

HarperCollins Publishers has scheduled the release of Brothers for October 22, 2024. The 384-page book falls under the genre of “Biography & Autobiography” and is currently priced at $32.00.

In 1972, Alex and Eddie Van Halen established a band known as MAMMOTH in Pasadena, California. Following the inclusion of singer David Lee Roth and, subsequently, bassist Michael Anthony, the band was renamed VAN HALEN.

As per Modern DrummerAlex played a pivotal role in shaping VAN HALEN‘s dynamic and intense sound, steering the rhythm section on memorable tracks such as “Ain’t Talkin’ ‘Bout Love”“Unchained”, and “Panama”. His innovative use of the double-bass pedal in “Hot For Teacher” left a profound impact, blending technical skill with an innovative and distinctive drum arrangement.

In October 2020, Eddie Van Halen passed away at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. Alex, his brother, and Eddie‘s son, Wolfgang, were both present by his side during his final moments. Wolfgang confirmed that his father, the iconic guitarist, succumbed to complications arising from cancer.

In early 2022, it was confirmed that Alex had engaged in discussions with David Lee Roth and guitarist Joe Satriani to organize a commemorative event for Eddie. Nonetheless, Wolfgang subsequently clarified that the project was “in such an early stage that it never even got off the ground.”

Sammy Hagar is set to embark on a 2024 tour focusing on VAN HALEN‘s music, featuring Michael AnthonyJoe Satriani, and Jason Bonham, with support from LOVERBOY.

The tour, scheduled to begin in July 2024, will cover 28 cities in the US and Canada, aiming to delve deep into the VAN HALEN catalog, celebrating both Hagar‘s and Roth‘s eras in the band. Hagar emphasized his hope for Alex Van Halen‘s participation despite previous unsuccessful attempts to contact him.

“We’re gonna go deep into the VAN HALEN catalog,” Hagar said on “The Howard Stern Show”. “If you’re gonna go deep into the VAN HALEN catalog, you need Joe Satriani.”

“It’s time. Nobody else is gonna do it,” Sammy stated about performing songs from different eras of VAN HALEN during a recent appearance on “The Howard Stern Show.” “If Dave [Lee Roth] goes out, he can’t sing my stuff. [But] we can do a few of the early VAN HALEN songs. I have no problem with that; I did it when I was in VAN HALEN. This is really a celebration of all that, and we are the only ones who can do it.”

“We’re gonna invite every musician in every town,” he continued. “First of all, whenever you play, if there’s a guitar player in town, no matter what city it is, they come out to see Joe, just like they used to for Eddie [Van Halen]. So if we’ve got other guitar players, we’ll get them involved, other singers, get them involved. If [VAN HALEN drummer] Alex Van Halen wants to jump up, if David Lee Roth wants to come out and join us, come on, motherf**ker. You are welcome. This is about VAN HALEN.”

When asked about the likelihood of Alex Van Halen participating in the tour and potentially joining in the commemoration of his brother,” Sammy responded: “I would hope so. I reach out to Al about once a month for about five years now, and he doesn’t get back to me… I call, I leave a voice message, I send a text and I send an e-mail. All three things. ‘Al, give me a call.’ Al‘s favorite line to me was always, every time he wanted to get back together, he would say, ‘You know, Sam, we ain’t getting any younger.’ So I’d say, ‘Hey, Al, we ain’t getting any younger. Give me a call. Let me know. What do you wanna do? Come on over. Let’s get together. Mike and I’ll meet you somewhere.’”