Revisiting Michael Anthony in Van Halen

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by mattj1stc, Jun 3, 2020.

  1. mattj1stc

    mattj1stc Gold Supporting Member

    Jan 13, 2009
    Dallas, TX USA
    I'll start by saying something I should have known but for some reason, forgot - Michael Anthony is a really good bass player.

    Now, here's the longer story. Since the pandemic, my wife and I have been taking walks in the evening. I've been listening to a wide variety of music on these walks, and last evening, I was kind of bored with picking music myself, so I connected to a older set of songs that I downloaded at least 20 years ago (remember the original Napster?) and had the music player randomly pick. After a few hits and misses, I was greeted with Han Halen's "in a simple rhyme" from women and children first. I probably hadn't listened to that song in years (decades?). What a revelation - it's like Michael Anthony was channeling John Entwistle on that one. The sad part is, that album originally came out back when I was in middle school and I played it a lot back then, yet somehow, I had forgotten all about it.

    Michael Anthony is usually the forgotten member of the band - not a Van Halen brother and not a front man. At best, he's usually thought of as a solid bassist who could sing high harmonies while holding down the low end. At worst, people remember him only because he was treated so badly by Eddie at the end of his time in Van Halen. Anyway, just wanted to say that he could really play bass too.

  2. Sursonique


    May 17, 2020
    Agreed Mikey is way underrated, and also quite a likeable dude. Ed treated him so unfairly, lost a lot of respect for him then.. not that I had much to begin with when it comes to his personality (always team DLR)

    There are old bootlegs from the Van Halen club days where they play mostly covers and Mikey's bass was especially awesome in those, love to listen to those early bootlegs although sound is somewhat cr*p.
  3. bassdude51

    bassdude51 "You never even called me by my name." Supporting Member

    Nov 1, 2008
    Central Ohio
    Michael got the shaft from the band but is alive and well with Sammy Hagar. Love Michael's bass. (Sorry that I am off topic here but Michael is a great guy!)

    jack-daniels-bass_141.jpg image_2328.jpg
  4. bolophonic


    Dec 10, 2009
    Durham, NC
    I love Michael Anthony as a bassist. His work on Fair Warning is probably my favorite bass guitar in all of rock and roll history.
    Datsgor, Riff Ranger, nixdad and 3 others like this.
  5. Smooth_bass88

    Smooth_bass88 vaxx!

    Oct 31, 2006
    Western Hemisphere
    I'm a huge fan in Michael Anthony. He's great in every way.
    rickwebb, tindrum, truand85 and 2 others like this.
  6. Peavaria


    Oct 10, 2018
    I know this is an older post however, I was shuffling Van Halen on Amazon today and got to wondering if he used any effects in the early Van Halen days to get that thumpy punch.
  7. Not that I know of. Flat wounds for the thump.
  8. David76112


    Feb 19, 2012
    I keep contemplating the box set of VH on Amazon. It's all the albums of the Roth era and it's really cheap. I need to get it mostly because of Michael and just try to ignore the rest. Yea Eddie was great, but he did some sleazy things to people who helped him become what he was.
    danesdad likes this.
  9. Is Eddie’s sleaze a different type of sleaze than Amazon’s?
    Tanner5382 likes this.
  10. David76112


    Feb 19, 2012
    Sleaze is sleaze. Sort of like dog crap. You know it when you step in it.
  11. Michael Anthony is indeed underrated, I don't understand why some people say he's not good. He's a great rock bass player and seems like a very nice guy, I lost some respect for Eddie because of his mistreatment of Michael.
    rickwebb and tindrum like this.

  12. You can actually here Mike's bass in these demo's...
    Gluvhand likes this.
  13. tindrum

    tindrum Supporting Member

    May 2, 2007
    Suffolk, VA
    Best backup vocal harmonies EVER. The dude can flat out sing his ass off! A massive part of VH’s sound.
  14. Peavaria


    Oct 10, 2018
    Couldn't agree more. Without his backup vocals Van Halen isn't Van Halen even during the Sammy years. His bass playing is just thumpy and fun sounding.
    tindrum likes this.
  15. Lesfunk

    Lesfunk Bootlegger guitars : S.I.T. Strings Supporting Member

    Apr 5, 2007
    Florida USA
    Mike is an underrated player for sure and his vocals are really a big part of the Van Halen sound
    tindrum likes this.
  16. bikeplate

    bikeplate Supporting Member

    Jun 7, 2001
    Upstate NY
    MA has nothing to prove to anyone. Stellar career
  17. Great bassist and all around good guy. Noel Monk's book "Runnin With the Devil" details how the rest of the band united against him to take his royalties away because he wasn't a song writer. And Michael always takes the high road in discussions of the band, he's a better man than I am in that regard.

    His bass and vocals were so important to the VH sound, he was great as a way to hold Alex and Eddy together as a cohesive unit.
    Gluvhand and tindrum like this.