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Sammy Hagar on Michael Anthony: EVH never appreciated his talent

Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by A.K., Apr 6, 2014.

  1. A.K.


    Jan 9, 2010
    Pacific Northwest
    He's playing his ass off in this band [Chickenfoot]. He never played like this in VAN HALEN. Eddie [Van Halen] doesn't even realize what a great bass player he had. I think he never realized it, and that is his complete loss. I remember recording in VAN HALEN, Eddie was always saying, "Just play eighth notes." And he would play all this stuff, and Mike's just going, "boom, boom, boom, boom." Boy, Mike's really capable of playing more than that, and he never found out.

    So Mike and I, one time, we're in Cabo San Lucas when we were in VAN HALEN — say probably around '89, '88 or '89, when we were still loving each other, and having a good time — and Mike was in Cabo jamming and doing a live broadcast from the Cabo Wabo for some album network that I think used to be around that would do live broadcasts. And Ed is listening to it on the radio, and we get back and he asked me who was playing bass? He went, "Yeah, yeah, you guys did 'Crossroads' by CREAM," and he goes, "Who was playing ****ing bass on that?" I'm saying, "That's your brother right over here." That was Michael Anthony on the bass. And Ed goes, "Yeah? Yeah? Yeah? Yeah?" And then he'd smoke a cigarette, take a hit off a beer and go, "Hmmm." But, he didn't get it, you know? But Michael has been tearing it up on this record.
  2. Stinsok

    Stinsok Supporting Member

    Dec 16, 2002
    Central Alabama
    I read where he would offer different options on playing songs and he would get "nah, just play one note..."
  3. StayLow


    Mar 14, 2008
    Worked very well for those songs. Busy isn't always best.

    Funny, I was just admiring his restraint and economy yesterday on some of the classic VH material. Maybe I should've given Eddie credit for that? :)
  4. Kmonk


    Oct 18, 2012
    South Shore, Massachusetts
    Endorsing Artist: Fender, Spector, Ampeg, Curt Mangan Strings, Nordstrand Pickups, Korg Keyboards
    I was never a fan of Michael Anthony's playing. He is average at best. I wish I had his singing voice though.
  5. The Bass Clef

    The Bass Clef Formerly "thebrian" Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 17, 2010
    I've seen several interviews with MA and he seems like a really easy going, humble guy. I bet he probably didn't care if EVH knew how good he really was. Maybe he just figured if they don't want to utilize him for all he can do, it's their loss.

    I really think MA is a fantastic rock player and was held back by VH musically, but maybe MA realized from the start that the band was really all about EVH's guitar playing. I think his 8th notes do help to make EVH's playing stand out just that much more, so maybe he thought the simplicity fit the music better.? Whatever the case, I think he was smart enough to know that he was living a life that only a select few in this world get to, so putting up with EVH's ego was still better than digging ditches or playing in crappy clubs for peanuts.

    Personally though, I think MA and EVH could have been more like JPJ was to Page, and I can't see how that could have ever been bad.. especially seeing what he can do with Chickenfoot.
  6. lbbc

    lbbc Supporting Member

    Sep 25, 2007
    Seaford , DE
    I personally like and appreciate the way Michael Anthony plays and sings. I've seen interviews where he is very humble about his abilities and doesn't speak poorly of EVH. Michael Anthony is a "class act" and I'm glad that everyone has the opportunity to witness it.
    carsbybigd likes this.
  7. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    Average...LOL! OK, so he ain't Stanley Clarke, but who cares? Does what's needed and can sing his ass off.
    carsbybigd likes this.
  8. shaboda


    Apr 14, 2002
    To Anyone that thinks Mikey is average or less than a pro player....

    PLEASE listen to "Seventh Seal" or "Poundcake", and tell me that's not a professional player. That is NOT easy to play like that, with consistent tone and attack. I have always given him much props.. he just happened to play with EVH, and any bass player is going to be overshadowed by that fact alone, including his son.
    carsbybigd likes this.
  9. patrickm

    patrickm Supporting Member

    Jul 9, 2008
    The role of our chosen instrument is to support,to not stick out, like it or not. MA is to Van Halen as Chris DeGarmo was to Queensryche. Once the both left their respective bands they never quite.recovered.
  10. philvanv

    philvanv Gerbil Turds, Kitsap County Turd Core

    Jul 2, 2012
    and at the bottom it says thank you, and now you can shag off
    I think if you make the big show regardless of what the public hears or sees there has got to be something special that only a few have seen. Just like sports.
  11. SirMjac28

    SirMjac28 Patiently Waiting For The Next British Invasion

    Aug 25, 2010
    The Great Midwest
    +1 Plus he's loaded
  12. I always knew there was more to Mr. Anthony's playing. A band like VH hiring a hack on bass wouldn't make sense. I think he's under appreciated to say the least.
  13. Not yet

    Not yet

    Mar 26, 2012
    Was never that impressed myself until I learned better. Don't really know what coukdy have been more fitting on that first album..... Definitely could have been mixed louder though
  14. cableguy


    Jun 4, 2009
    North Bend, WA

    I saw an interview with him once talking about his bass solos. He basically said "what am I going to do on a bass to impress musicians after Eddies guitar solo?" So I add a lot of weird effects, played my Jack Daniels bass & ran around the stage making a lot of noise and people ate it up. He also stated he really liked to go jam at small little blues/jazz clubs where he could play outside the box and let loose. This made him a very rich man who has traveled the world many times over. You think he cares one bit some people (not me) on TB think he's a hack? I don't think so.....
  15. Joebone

    Joebone Supporting Member

    Oct 31, 2005
    Los Angeles
    Bass Player: locked with the drummer, and did honor to the tunes.

    Plus, some great background vocals.

    And stage presence.

    And keeping it together while gigging with some world-class prima donnas!

    So, what's not professional about THAT?

    I see so many posts questioning Michael Anthony's professionalism…and suspect it's from a lot of folks who have sour grapes because they think they could do what he did, but better.

    Are they TRULY certain that's the case? As some poster said above, he's not Stanley Clarke, but that was not the gig!

    Don't know why the same criticisms leveled at MA would not apply to so many other bassists in so many other bands…and probably with as little justice as with MA.

    So he anchored a gui**** visionary…it is what it is! Gonna rag on Tommy Shannon because he wasn't matching SRV note for note?

    People…get a life…and appreciate competence and professionalism when you see it.
  16. Johnny Crab

    Johnny Crab ACME,QSC,Fame/Hondo/Greco user & BOSE Abuser Gold Supporting Member

    Feb 11, 2004
    South Texas
    Besides restraint, vocal ability, and professionalism....he got the financial part under control during the "money flood". THAT is VERY smart.
  17. FunkHead

    FunkHead Supporting Member

    Mar 10, 2007
    Phillipsburg, NJ
    MA is a true great. Underrated?? maybe. But not in my book. +1 on the sour grapes theory.
  18. REMBO


    Jul 26, 2011
    I had the pleasure to meet him....the coolest guy on the planet!! he is an AWESOME bass player!! trust me when i tell ya!! the man can totally Rock!!
  19. OldDirtyBassist


    Mar 13, 2014
    Why would Sammy Hagar want to change anything in the first place?
  20. TexasGopher


    Jul 25, 2012
    could it be that maybe he actually improved post--VH?? The guy is my age so I would like to think that there is always room for improvement. I always liked and respected him in VH.