If you’re a Van Halen fan who’s missed that “pint-sized, Jack Daniels-drinking bass player”, there’s good news.
As Van Halen begins work on Encore, their first studio album since 1997, they will now do so with a new but familiar lineup.
Janie Liszewski, soon-to-be Mrs. Edward Van Halen and the band’s publicist, said market research indicates the Van Halen fans want the original band together.
This would mean replacing her soon-to-be stepson Wolfgang Van Halen on bass with original Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony.
“Contracturally, there are problems since Mr. Sobolewski (Anthony’s real last name) is currently under contract with Sammy Hagar in the band Chickenfoot,” Van Halen said in a statement. “But the Van Halen fans have spoken: they want Mikey.”
Anthony was replaced a few years ago by Eddie’s son Wolfgang after a reported falling out with the band’s co-founder and guitarist.
Wolfgang added: “Of course, I’m disappointed. But I’d like to see Dad and Uncle Al (Van Halen drummer Alex Van Halen) and Dave (lead singer David Lee Roth) release a new album. It’s been too long.”
Liszewski reiterated the lineup change has nothing to do with Wolfgang’s youth or bass playing. “He’s a completely capable musician who has skills beyond his years. This is just what the fans want,” she explained.