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Like many fans, this interview may have popped into your e-mail box. A mate state side does not have further details but read the comments about DLR by Mike...great stuff this.
(may have come from a Fargo publication)

The Resurrection of Van Halen

Michael Anthony on Sammy's Return, Mr. Lee Roth, and becoming a hot sauce mogul...
By Chris Rausch
Associate Music Editor

This is pretty much 50 years in the making," Michael Anthony says, almost wistfully. The surreal thing is, the longtime Van Halen bass player isn't talking about his band's return to glory by reuniting with singer Sammy Hagar, or their colossal new tour, or about his musical career at all.

He's talking about hot sauce.
More specifically, Mad Anthony's Hot Sauce -- his own brand, which won second place in a national contest run by Chili Pepper magazine (which Anthony dubs the "gospel of fiery hot foods").
"I guess I'll become a hot sauce mogul, too," Anthony says, laughing. "I knew it wasn't anything that I was going to become a millionaire doing; I've always loved hot sauce.
"When we were shooting a video from our 'Balance' album the caterers had this hot sauce … I loved the picture on the bottle, so I had a tattoo done on my arm. And [the sauce's] company saw it. They sent me a bunch of hot sauce, and it got to the point where everybody was telling me, 'Hey you should do your own hot sauce.' I just thought it would be a really cool deal."

If Anthony isn't the friendliest person on the planet, he's at least in the Top 10. He's instantly likeable, has an infectious laugh that erupts almost every thirty seconds on the nose, and understands that -- considering the company he's kept over the last three decades -- everything is fair game, and he gladly opens up about it all. But perhaps it's easy to understand why he's so chipper. After all, his band hasn't been this functional or well-adjusted for a decade, no small thanks to their reunion with Hagar -- the man who kept the VH torch burning after losing David Lee Roth in 1985.

"I actually reconnected with Sammy probably about 3 years ago," Anthony says. "Ed was going through his health issues and marital problems, and I talked to Sammy about doing a side project. And we started talking about [Van Halen] and all of the good times. I kind of prodded him a little bit."

Laughing, he continues: "One thing led to another and Sammy ended up calling Alex and said he actually had a dream about getting back together. So it went on from there. Everyone decided that we weren't going to rehash the past and dig up old bones. If we're going to do this, let's start out fresh."

And a fresh start is something Van Halen has been in desperate need of for years, after a long period of relative inactivity, years without a hit record, personal strife, and a brief, ill-conceived reunion with Roth at the MTV Video Music Awards -- all watched like a soap opera by a fascinated public.
"Believe me, it's not a planned thing!" Anthony jokes. "You don't really wish for that kind of problem in your career. That was just kind of the way it unfolded. And all we wanted to do was keep moving ahead, moving forward. After Sammy had left, we just wanted to go on as a band, and that's when Gary Cherone entered."

Ah, Cherone.
When the former Extreme singer joined the fray - followed by the release of the under whelming "Van Halen 3" -- fans cried foul, and the band treaded dangerously close to becoming a punch line, no matter how well- intentioned all the parties were.

"I speak to Gary every now and then," Anthony says. "Gary and I became pretty good friends when we were on tour. He's a great guy, but just didn't fit in with the scheme of things. His writing and stuff like that just didn't mesh. I thought a lot of that material was really great stuff, but let's face the fans -- with them it's either Dave or Sammy."

Then what of the third head of the beast -- that whimsical, ringmaster of the early days; the prodigal son who has (depending on your viewpoint) been either the recurring thorn in the band's side, or the man who encompassed the "classic years" of jumping around in multi-colored spandex and getting aroused by your math teacher?
"The dynamic with Roth was definitely a lot of the 'flashy show'; that's what Dave brought to the band," Anthony says. "The rest of the band wanted to play music, and Dave would say, 'Well, yeah, but you should wear this!' Not that it was bad when Dave was in the band … that was great music too. [As for him returning to the band], for some people, Dave wasn't going to be the choice. I witnessed it a couple years ago when I played with Sammy [Hagar] on the "Sam and Dave Tour," and I saw Dave go downhill real fast. Getting into old partying ways on the road and stuff like that. I seriously didn't believe that Dave would be able to hold up on a full Van Halen tour, because it's not a pleasure cruise. We're out there working hard." Fortunately for Diamond Dave, he now has a back-up plan, as he has recently been taking courses to become an Emergency Medical Technician. To which, of course, Anthony laughs.
"I know that if I was lying in the street," he says, "I wouldn't want him doing any kind of mouth-to-mouth on me."
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