Former VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony says that he “can pretty much confirm” that the band’s singer David Lee Roth personally donated thousands of dollars to a fundraising campaign launched by Anthony‘s family after the bassist’s two-week-old grandson died of heart disease.
Rex Becerra was the son of Anthony‘s eldest daughter, Elisha. Michael‘s fundraising page with the Los Angeles Children’s Hospital noted that the boy was “quickly diagnosed with heart disease” after his birth on March 20.
In a Facebook post announcing his loss, Anthony revealed that he would participate in the hospital’s Walk L.A. in June to support the facility. He invited the public to donate to his family’s team, “Rex And The Heart Beaters.” Anthony was hoping to raise $3,450 for his team, and that goal was easily eclipsed — in large part due to the generosity of the campaign’s top donor, a “Dave Roth,” who chipped in $10,000 for the cause.
During an appearance earlier this week on the “Trunk Nation” show on SiriusXM channel Volume (106), Anthony was asked if he confirmed that the “Dave Roth” that donated the money was in fact the VAN HALEN singer. Anthony responded: “I check the donation page every single morning when I wake up, just to see how the team’s doing and raising money and people that are donating. And I saw this one morning, ‘David Roth,’ and I’m, like, ‘Oh my God! I can’t… What? No, this can’t be right.’ And then what happens is an e-mail gets sent to me personally saying, ‘A donation has been made on your behalf by David Roth. Ten thousand dollars.’ And so I can e-mail back to thank the donors. This e-mail went to a business management agency — that’s what the donation came through. And I actually e-mailed back and said, ‘Dave, is this you? I hope it is.’ And I thanked him for the generous donation from the bottom of my heart. I sent the e-mail and I said, ‘Here’s my e-mail address. E-mail me back, let me know it’s you, ’cause I would really like to talk to you. Anyway, just thank you.’ And I got an e-mail back a couple of days later — from the same business management agency. It just said, ‘Hi, Michael. It’s David. Sorry about your loss. I’ll be in touch.’ [So] I can pretty much confirm that it was him.”
Michael was also asked about former VAN HALEN singer Sammy Hagar‘s recent comment that he would be open to a VAN HALEN reunion tour, including Roth, with the two frontmen taking turns performing their classic VAN HALEN numbers.
“I think now’s the time, especially if you listen to some of the interviews [Sammy has been] doing or whatever now,” Anthony said. “Right now he’s saying the proper way to do a VAN HALEN tour, he’s saying, ‘Let’s do it with Dave and myself.'”
The bassist continued: “If we did, like, an hour with one singer and then an hour with another singer, you never know — there might be a lot of people that don’t wanna come for the first hour, or don’t wanna come for the second singer, or whatever. This way you mix it up and everybody’s gotta stay for everything. And believe me, if something like that came to fruition, I guarantee there wouldn’t be one person who would leave that show disappointed with anything — with either singer, probably.”
Anthony went on to say that a VAN HALEN reunion involving all the original members plus Hagar would only happen if “everybody was equally excited to do it. Because you don’t wanna go out and have it be work, you don’t wanna do it and have people say, ‘Well, they’re doing it just for the money,'” he explained. “I wanna truly go out there and just kick ass and give the people everything, and that’s what it would have to be.”
Anthony revealed in a 2016 interview that he reconnected with VAN HALEN drummer Alex Van Halen less than a year ago after more than a decade of not speaking to each other. Asked by “Trunk Nation” if he has had any further contact with Alex, Michael said: “No. With Alex, no, actually, I have not. And then people were going, ‘Why don’t you call him back? Call him back and tell him it was great talking with him or whatever.’ And I said, ‘You know what? No.’ We had a great conversation and I’ll just let it lie and see what happens. ‘Cause I don’t know what his situation is or whatever — I don’t know if there is something keeping him from calling me back or whatever. But I’m not gonna speculate.”
Anthony, Hagar, Alex and Eddie Van Halen last teamed up in 2004 for a U.S. summer tour. In exchange for taking part in the tour, Anthony reportedly had to agree to take a pay cut and sign away his rights to the band name and logo.
In 2007, the Van Halen brothers, Wolfgang Van Halen and Roth announced they would be hitting the road for a reunion tour. Anthony later told Music Radar that he “found out about that tour like everybody else did — in the press.”
Anthony has played primarily with Hagar in the thirteen years since he last performed with VAN HALEN, in groups like CHICKENFOOT and THE CIRCLE.