In a new interview with Rolling Stone, Wolfgang Van Halen dicussed his recent revelation that his father, legendary VAN HALEN guitarist Eddie Van Halen, had contemplated a “kitchen-sink tour” that would have included bassist Michael Anthony, as well as vocal turns from both Sammy Hagar and David Lee Roth. There was even talk about bringing back Gary Cherone, who sang with the band on one poorly received album, 1998’s “Van Halen III”.
Asked if he thinks he could have gotten Roth to take part in such a tour, Wolfgang said: “I would have loved to see it happen. Unfortunately, we’ll never know the answer to that. I think at a certain point you would have just had to get everybody in a room and just be like, ‘Come on, how awesome would this be?'”
Wolfgang also confirmed that he was “pretty much” ready to retire from VAN HALEN and leve the door open for Anthony to reclaim his rightful place in the band. “Other than maybe [me] jumping on stage for a song or two, because Dad would be like, ‘You got to be on stage at least a couple times,'” Wolfgang explained. “He kept trying to pull me back in. Not that I didn’t want to be there. Playing with my father was the best thing I ever did. It was my favorite thing to do.”
Asked if he ever had a personal conversation with Anthony about Michael returning to VAN HALEN, Wolfgang said: “Never had too much of an opportunity. That’s kind of what that whole tour was supposed to be. And then it never panned out. I was really looking forward to speaking with him, and that hasn’t happened yet. I’m looking forward to the opportunity that I have in the future to speak with him.
Wolfgang added that he doesn’t think Michael has had any ill feelings toward him regarding his involvement with VAN HALEN. “I’ve seen things he’s said,” Wolfgang said. “He’s always been an amazing guy.”
In early 2019, a rumor surfaced that the classic VAN HALEN lineup would reunite that summer for a run of stadium shows. This would have been the first time that Michael, Eddie, David and Alex Van Halen performed together since 1984.
The rumors originally started with Roth, who hinted to Vulture that VAN HALEN would be playing stadiums with Anthony back in the lineup.
VAN HALEN and Anthony had 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 Wolfgang on bass.
Anthony‘s THE CIRCLE bandmate Hagar — himself a former VH member — was the first to publicly confirm that Michael was contacted in 2018 by VAN HALEN‘s management about reuniting with the group for a tour.
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.
During a June 2019 appearance on SiriusXM‘s “Trunk Nation With Eddie Trunk”, 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 two years ago about re-teaming with the group.
“I spoke with Irving Azoff [in] 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,” Michael recalled. “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… 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 [that] 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.”
Eddie died on October 6 at St. John’s Hospital in Santa Monica, California. The iconic VAN HALEN axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.