When David Lee Roth confirmed recently that Van Halen returned to the band’s vaults in search of old pieces of music and existing lyrics for a much-anticipated new album, it brought up the question of royalties for original bassist Michael Anthony.
Van Halen had a policy, back then, of crediting all four members equally for each song — meaning Anthony could potentially make a case for a cut of the cash when it comes to the forthcoming A Different Kind of Truth.
That won’t happen, though. Anthony, who was ousted from Van Halen along with singer Sammy Hagar in advance of this reunion with original frontman Roth, tells the UK digital radio station Planet Rock that he won’t be lawyering up.
[SOMETHING ELSE! INTERVIEW: First-call rock drummer Kenny Aronoff talks about working with Chickenfoot on tour, his nearly two-decade stint with John Mellencamp, and the lasting impact of jazz.]
“I don’t want to do anything,” Anthony says. “I just let it be. And, hey, it’ll be nice to hear some of those old songs again that I haven’t played in a long time.”
Earlier, Roth had spoken candidly in a chat with the Los Angeles Times about the recycled songs: “It’s material that Eddie (Van Halen) and I generated, literally, in 1975, 1976 and 1977. Usually fellas in our weight division will kind of gamely — or ironically, wink, wink — try to hail back to it, keep a safe, mature distance from it.”
The ever-affable Anthony, who was replaced by band co-founder Eddie Van Halen’s son Wolfgang, was since co-founded Chickenfoot with Hagar. A Different Kind of Truth, set for release on February 7, is Roth’s first album with Van Halen in 28 years.
[READ OUR REVIEW OF ‘TRUTH’: In a pre-release review, we called the Van Halen reunion album “a return to form in the most complete sense of the word.”]
“Are there second chances?,” Roth mused. “I don’t know, Mr. Faulkner, I’m tending to agree with you: No. We’ve managed to stretch our adolescence like a Chiclet to the moon and maintained the respectful dignities along the way that got us on that turnpike up in the first place. We love what we do for a living. Even in our wildest, most beer-soaked days, we never missed rehearsal.”
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on Van Halen. Click through the titles for complete reviews …
SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: VAN HALEN: A long-waited reunion with original lead singer David Lee Roth has Van Halen back in the news … and us digging through some old albums. Here’s a look back at a few favorite moments with Roth — and yes, Sammy, too — along with updated tour date information, a link to video from Van Halen’s recent small-club date with Roth and an early demo of one of the tracks to be included on the forthcoming A Different Kind of Truth, to be issued on February 7. Let’s start shredding!
SOMETHING ELSE! SNEAK PEEK: VAN HALEN, “SHE’S THE WOMAN” (2012): Van Halen’s first reunion gig with original lead singer David Lee Roth included plenty of parachute-pantsed favorites, but there was also one new track. The reformed band played a 45-minute set on Thursday at Cafe Wha?, at 250-seat club in New York’s Greenwich Village. Van Halen opened with “You Really Got Me,” and closed with “Jump,” but perhaps most interesting was their inclusion of this previously unreleased song that was first demoed in the 1970s. “She’s The Woman” was first recorded in 1976 with producer Gene Simmons of Kiss, then was re-recorded a year later as part of Van Halen’s initial Warner Brothers sessions. Riffs from the track eventually made their way onto “Mean Street,” from 1981’s Fair Warning album.
THE FRIDAY MORNING LISTEN: VAN HALEN – WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST (1980): Maybe the best thing about this Van Halen deal is the reemergence of the great Roth vs. Hagar debates. I’ve spent more than a little time over the years (and over the last week) reading fan commentary on this and it never fails to entertain. I’ve written enough about musical resonance to know that people have their own reasons, from nostalgia to general musical leanings, for their preferences. What cracks me up is when guys (and let’s face it, it’s mostly guys) start plastering the opposition (because face it, they are now “the enemy”) with all sorts of nasty labels. Gees guys, it’s only rock ‘n roll, you know?
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