Mad Anthony’s Hot Band and Hot Sauce (Part 1)


by Bryan Reesman

Michael Anthony certainly enjoys himself. He’s played in and toured with one of the biggest bands in rock and roll, Van Halen. He has his own hot sauce brand (Mad Anthony) and owns an outrageous collection of cars and bass guitars. And he’s still successful, currently playing with his ex-VH bandmate Sammy Hagar in Chickenfoot, the power quartet they formed with guitarist Joe Satriani and Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer Chad Smith. Their self-titled debut album has sold over a half million copies in the U.S. They have a live DVD on the way and a second album in the works. Life is good.

Despite all of this success, the veteran rocker, father and hot rod aficionado was one down-to-earth dude when ADD sat down to chat with him. While I needed 20 minutes or so to chat for my “Eat, Drink and Rock & Roll” story for, Anthony gave me an hour of his time. And he was very forthcoming about his career, his hot sauce business and the positive path he is taking in his life.

So you’re taking a break from Chickenfoot right now?
Well, not really a break. We’re finishing up working on a DVD that we’re putting out [soon]. We filmed one of our shows in Phoenix last year. We put together a pretty cool live DVD.

You’ve been spending some time on your hot sauce, which you’re actively involved in developing. In some respects, that’s the way to go. Sammy got involved in making tequila after visiting all of these different farms and companies down in Mexico. Eventually it got bigger, and he had to hire people to oversee everything.
There are two ways you can do. You can either do it that way, like the way I did it, or because you’re somebody with some notoriety you just endorse something, and they pay you and slap your name on it. You really don’t have any input in the making of the sauce, but a company wants to do a hot sauce with your name on it. That isn’t what Sammy wants to do with his tequila, and that isn’t what I wanted with my hot sauce. Obviously I’m not as big an entrepreneur with this hot sauce as Sammy was with his tequila. I do it more for just fun.

Care for something hot?
(Read the fine print.)

Or something XXXtra hot?
(No disclaimer needed.)

You’re planning to expand a little bit. How is that going?
When we were first designing the labeling — and I have a zillion hot sauces with all kinds of screwy names likes Sphincter Blowout and stuff like that –  on my original hot sauce we came up with this phrase on the front saying, “So hot you’ll need two assholes.” Which I thought was kind of witty. But unfortunately places like Trader Joe’s [and bigger outlets] take a look at the bottle and go, “No, I don’t think we’re going to go for that.” So we’re in the process of revamping that. It’s actually only on the one bottle of my hot sauce. On my barbecue sauce or my mustard we didn’t use any of that kind of language. I’m not going to do the full-on blowout thing, but it would be cool to expand a little bit more because I’ve got people that work with companies like Trader Joe’s, which is a big specialty store, and they’re interested in doing something. In fact, we have my hot sauce at Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grills, and it does great there. People love it. These guys just order by the case, but unfortunately when we send it through our manufacturer, they actually take a razor blade to every single label and slice off the part that says, “So hot you’ll need two assholes”. Because at the official grand opening of his Beach Bar & Grill on Maui, a couple of city officials were [skeptical] about the label. We whacked that off, and that’s what got me thinking that it would be cool to expand it out a little bit more to a broader range of people, so we’ve got to clean up the label a little bit.

Maybe those will become collector’s items. So you’ve been mentioned on the Food Network. Have you ever been on the Food Network?
I’ve never actually been on the Food Network, but Sammy has introduced to some of his buddies. I know Emeril. He loves my sauce. And Guy Fieri and a couple of the other guys. Sammy’s played on Emeril’s show a couple of times. “Maybe we ought to develop a recipe here and there, and bring your hot sauce on the show.” I don’t really seek those things out. I love creating it. Chickenfoot’s not a total full-time deal because everyone else has different projects. Chad’s doing some stuff with the Chili Peppers again, so everything is on hold for a little bit. It does free me up a little bit of time, and that’s when I was thinking about going for a little bit at this. I was talking to couple of the marketing guys that help Sammy out with his tequila, and they’ve agreed to help me along as far as marketing this stuff.

Maynard Keenan and Geoff Tate each have a wine brand. Alice Cooper co-owns a restaurant. And I chatted with Sammy about his tequila. It seems like there are a lot more rockers getting involved in outside food and drink ventures. Do you see this as something you could transition to when you get tired of being up on stage?
I totally could. I’ve been approached by I don’t know how many people about opening up a restaurant or helping open up a restaurant. I’ve got my product in a lot of local restaurants out here. When I meet people and they ask me about it — and I get asked all the time when I go out to dinner at different places — I’ll send somebody the hot sauce, mustard or the barbecue sauce, and they’ll actually start using it in the restaurant. It would be cool to do a venture like that, but I know that’s more of a full-time deal, doing a restaurant because you really have to be involved and on top of it. From what little I’ve learned, your employees and everybody will just wipe you clean. When Van Halen first opened up the Cabo Wabo, we decided on how much we planned on making that year and what the projected income would be. We didn’t worry about anything other than that because more than that, everybody else would just skimming off the top. As long as you make what you project what you want to make, then you don’t worry about the rest. We were told about that way back then. It’s always kept me a little bit standoffish as far as going full-on into a venture, but in seeing some of the stuff that Sammy’s doing — he’s opening up a restaurant with a local guy right now up in Mill Valley, where he lives — that should be a cool deal, and of course, the Cabo Wabo, which I’m indirectly involved in. I had to get out of it when Sammy left Van Halen because it wasn’t the politically correct thing for me to have anything to do with once he left the band.

You two have a very loyal friendship. You guys stick together. Obviously there was the Van Halen reunion in 2004 with Sammy, but when the reunion with Roth happened in 2006 you stayed with him.
It wasn’t that I chose to stay with him, it’s just that the brothers, mainly Eddie, were so bent that I’d buddied up with him again after he left the band that they felt that they would just like to exclude me from everything that they did. I would’ve gone back and done a reunion with those guys.

Chickenfoot kicking back.
(Photo credit: LeAnn Mueller.)

Isn’t it sad to see how ego dictates a lot of decisions that are made in this business?
Yeah, and this is one of the reasons why Sammy and I get along so great. Sam has made a ton of money off of tequila, and I haven’t done too bad myself. And it all molds together with Chickenfoot — at this point in my life and my career I want to have fun. I don’t want to be sitting there bitching and moaning and playing the games till I go to the grave. Unfortunately, the Van Halen brothers still want to play those games. I want to hang around people that are very positive, and I want to have fun doing what I’m doing. If making the big dollars isn’t involved with it, I don’t care anymore. I want to have fun, and that’s basically what the whole Chickenfoot thing is, for us to have fun, and not go out there and demand the big money. Our CD is doing really well and our tour did really well, so we’ll demand a little bit more money now, but we wanted to earn the fans’ respect like that. Most of these people who put together a supergroup, it’s a big ego stroke — they put the CD out, play the stadiums and make a big thing out of it. We did it because we’re all friends, and we love playing the music.

And you guys have a Deluxe Edition of the album out now, too.
It’s got a DVD. We thought it would be something cool to do anyway, to document the whole thing. We started filming and videotaping from the moment the four of us got together in the studio, which is kind of cool because Van Halen really didn’t do a lot of that kind of stuff. We got a lot of stuff later on, but it’s kind of cool to have this, and a lot of the stuff that’s on that DVD and that we plan on putting out is behind-the-scenes from when we first got together, screwing around in the studio and stuff like that.

A few years ago Joe Perry told me that young bands should document everything, because it seems like a lot of the older bands didn’t think about that. You guys were just enjoying the ride and not really thinking about what would happen in 10 years when you were famous. Are there any things that you wish that you had on film or on tape?
Probably the way that Van Halen first started out, it’s probably good that we didn’t because there was a lot of drinking and partying, and probably a lot of stuff that, besides myself, I probably wouldn’t enjoy having my kids watch. [laughs] Doing it with Chickenfoot, it made me realize that it would’ve been cool to do it with Van Halen. In hindsight it’s something you wish you would’ve done, but back then we didn’t think about those things. We were living in the moment, and it was balls to the wall back then.

We live in a different culture now. We’re exhibitionists 24/7.
Yeah, exactly.

You can’t get much more colorful advertising than this!

Is it weird coming from that old-school rock mentality to see how everything’s changed? To see how everything is just put out there, whereas in the past you had secrets that you kept?
Yeah. We could not go out today and do what we did way back then [without it ending up online]. But it has to do with any form of entertainment. Your life is an open book for everybody to see, so you better watch what you do. Our man Tiger is the latest in a long row of that kind of stuff.

A lot of people know things about you musically, but you’re private in other ways. There is not a ton of stuff floating around the Internet about you.
No, for one reason: I’m not a lead singer or a lead guitarist. I don’t have that kind of notoriety or anything. I can take my family to Disneyland and pretty much remain anonymous, within reason. Now anywhere Sammy walks into, anybody who knows music knows it’s him. I try to keep my home life and my career pretty separated.

But you still played in one of the most famous rock bands in the world, so it’s not like people don’t know who you are. Most of my friends would recognize you in a second.
In Van Halen we always credited ourselves with being four individuals as opposed to, for lack of a better example, someone like the Eagles, where a lot of people probably couldn’t name every single guy in that band. In a way it’s kind of cool because I can go out and do things other people like Eddie Van Halen couldn’t go out and do in public. I’m leaving here for a few days to go to a car auction that I go to every year in Scottsdale called Barrett-Jackson Auction. Craig Jackson and I are buddies, and he invites me every year. I can go into this thing and walk around there for four days and have fun. People can say, “Hey, Michael Anthony,” and it’s no big deal. Sammy went a few years back because he sold a car, and I was there out, too. He was there for half a day and had to get out of there. So in a way it’s kind of cool. My wife says as long as one person comes up and asks me for my autograph, then I’m ok. Otherwise if I’m looking around going, it’s like, “Hey, guess who it is here?”

  • Fletch5150

    How come no one asks Mike about Bonspeed?

  • Roth_the_Scissors_Kicker

    I have an old-school mentality when it comes to these frequent updates on Mike’s hot sauce business or Sammy’s tequila income. I just want my rock stars to create great music and leave it that — too much to ask? I like music because it’s art and I could care less what kind of businessmen these people are. Am I alone in thinking this way? I get so much negative feedback from you Sammy lovers who keep bragging about his tequila fortune but y’all never seem to defend the quality of his music with Chickenfoot.

    For those of you utterly fascinated by products being sold on Food Network or Cabo Wabo’s quarterly earnings, then I suggest you leave this website and check out Fortune or Inc. magazine. 50 years from now, no one is going to be talking about Hagar’s liquor sales, but they will still be singing the praises of a kick-ass album like “Fair Warning”. Our grandkids will be awe-struck at Dave’s 10 foot split-eagle leaps off the drum riser and I’m sure they wont be looking up ingredients for “Sphincter Blowout”.

  • Ryan

    Sammy is the most underrated guitar player ever. I always felt bad for him because people saw him just as a singer. People forget or don’t know about his guitar playing abilities. I think Eddie respected him as a guitarist too, because he used to play with Eddie on “There’s Only One Way to Rock”. What do you guys think? 🙂

  • 51yr old fan

    scissors kicker which one of your rockstars are making music?

  • Andrew

    I remember a few months back, reading a comment from a guy. He said he was tired of Eddie selling his stuff online. He loved Sammy and Mike for what they do? I guess it fine to sell Tequila and Hot Sauce. But personally I think that what Eddie is selling is improving music, but then he cares about his trade.

  • Adrian

    yaaaaaannnn…. And Ryan regarding your comment I think Live Without a Net just emphasizes how lacking a guitarist is. His lead on Love Walks In is overdone and clouded and his dual with Eddie during the credits is just lame at best. Though I gotta say many guitarist look like retards in front of Edward Van Halen!!!

  • Shawn

    Dear Roth the Sissor Kicker- I will argue the quality of the music. The first Chickenfoot album is very good. I can still listen and hear new things each time. The songs are diverse and interesting. The songs bring back the fun side of rock and roll. Some of the songs have a few questionable lyrics but overall the album ROCKS!!! I am sure I will be listening to this album for years to come. Collectively, I like more old Van Halen songs than any of the incarnations of VH. I still like many Van Hagar songs, Hagar’s and Roth’s solo songs as well. I venture to guess that with a screen name like yours you haven’t even given Chickenfoot a chance. As far as asking me to go to a different website to hear the latest non music news, I suggest you go to the Official Van Halen website and listen for any news at all and let the rest of us hear about our favorite rockers and their lives.

  • Rob Newell

    Just a side not from all of this, the Van Halen website wishes everyone a happy New Year. That’s how up to date it is. Can’t even be arsed to change a bit of text. Still, soon enough they will be early for next year as it didn’t specify which year was ‘ New. ‘

    Hot sauce anyone ?

  • Roth_the_Scissors_Kicker

    Hey look…..I’m as pissed off as anyone that the official VH website doesnt have frequent updates on the band’s current activity. I like old school Van Halen but I think they need to become new school and keep their fans happy with fresh news in our 24/7 digital news cycle world. For piss sake, Dave should’ve logged a truckload of funny interviews since the reunion tour ended — the silent treatment is Eddie Van Hitler’s brilliant mind at work, eh?

    However, I dont think filling the Halen void with constant updates on Mikey’s hot sauce biz is pumping anyone’s nads. OK we get it….Mike is making a nice living off his sauce…..end of story, so let’s move on. Sammy has an another b-day bash at Cabo — repeat ad nauseum. Chickenfoot is not about the money, it’s all about fun, we’re having a blast…..ZZZZZzzzzzz.

    Ah well…..I’m gonna go crank “In a Simple Rhyme” on my iPod, chug some Jack and forget about the real world for a little bit….it’s too depressing.

  • mjc

    scissor kicker,sam&mike fuckin care,the disturbed evh does’nt give a shit about you or any fan out there.

  • sammyvanroth

    Roth_the_Scissors_Kicker….maybe you should change your name to Roth_the_Slow_Marathon_Runner!

  • ImTheOne

    yeah yeah here we go…I don’t care about the dollars and just want to have fun…bla…I suppose removing the “politically incorrect” lables is all about the fun and not about the dollars…dripping hypocrisy.

  • 51yr old fan

    scissor kicker move on to what. i really believe vh doesn’t exist anymore. look at the facts, no new music, no updates, and it seems to most of us after the last couple of interviews nothingis going to happen. the mid 50’s dave is not the mid 20’s dave. just the reality of it, not negative.

  • Dave Bridge

    Good to hear Mike so upbeat and enjoying himself, he’s moved on from Van Halen. He was an integral part of Van Halen and it’s sound………even though BIG ED would like to have him wiped out.
    Chicken foot may not be to everyones taste but at least they get people talking about the future as opposed to “BIG ED and its my band”, going on an all our yesterdays tour.

  • RickieVanWhalen

    How much longer?

  • DiamondDean

    Cld u have anymore respect for Mickey??????? what a trully great guy, he shd really be a lot more bitter of the way he was treated by the Van halens but no , gees cld u ever imagine how great a book he cld write!!!!!!!

    @ ROTH THE SCISSORS , why wld u worry bout these guys making money , good on them , all the best to them , wish i cld buy there sauce n tequila in Oz i wld buy it tomorrow.

    SAMMY HAGAR AS A GUITARIST ???????? mmmmmmmmm really, very avg at best , up there with Paul stanley n Scott ian in my books . Sammy is pretty avg cross the board , lyrics very very avg , song writing avg , frontman avg , but as a singer hes great .

    Why wld anyone complain about chickenfoot??????? good on them ,

    Look the VAN HALENS dont care less about the fans , thats a fact , cld anyone disagree?????? EDDIE is only in it for the money , i cld think of a million examples

    Id imagine Eddie is the most self centred person after axl rose, a person who deserves no respect at all.Treating fans like shit , what trully great people they both are

  • Ryan

    This is how I feel about the matter:

    Eddie Van Halen is an amazing guitar player. He made a lot of people happy with his guitar playing for the past 30 years. He had mouth cancer. Let me say that again…HE HAD MOUTH CANCER. He had a divorce. He has been through a lot. I think he deserves to do whatever he wants to do. He had an awesome run with Van Halen. He gave me a lot of joy with his playing and songwriting. I think people need to let him go. I understand how people could be upset with the on-and-off “writing music” and “not writing music” comments EVH makes; however, give the guy a break. He is Eddie Van Halen!! He did a lot for music.

    Chickenfoot is great. This is a free country. They can get up on stage and play polka music. I will not care. But I have heard enough of the interviews. “Eddie Van Halen was mean to me.” I understand. I get it. But I don’t care what anybody says…Eddie Van Halen made that band who it was. If Eddie decided to replace all three other members of Van Halen with different people, I would still go to see them. Eddie Van Halen is the reason I got interested in Van Halen. It wasn’t Mike Anthony’s bass lines. It wasn’t Mike Anthony’s background vocals (I think they sound gay). It wasn’t Diamond Dave’s spandex pants (that, if anything, might have turned me off about the band).

    In conclusion, Eddie Van Halen is Eddie Van Halen and he can do whatever he wants. He is enjoying a little peace in his life. He put in lots of years with Van Halen. If you guys want to listen to new music, there are a lot of great bands out there. You need to stop being so stubborn and give new music a chance. I’m not talking about this cooperate rock music on FM radio (i.e. Nickelback). Go listen to some underground (i.e. indie) rock n’ roll. It still exists! I go to shows all the time. You might have fun. Give Eddie a break. He did so much for music, and you are the most demanding pricks ever!

  • Lupercal


    At least Eddie turns up on time for concerts!

    Let the bitching begin. Its easy to point the finger but when you’re rich and successful like these guys of course you’re going to venture into different territory.

    Difference between Mike and Eddie is that everybody wants a piece of Eddie. He’s had to trademark coloured stripes! Eddie is at the age now and has been in the business long enough to give the fans back something in terms of material goods. It might not be music, but doesn’t a pair of sneakers save people from having to make their own? Wolfgang pickups save people destroying guitars to make the “brown sound”. EVH MXR pedals get people closer to his actual rig (same with cables, picks, etc). People always want a piece of the celebrity, why do you think every other C-lister is bringing out some new fragrance every day?

    I could care less about Sammy’s Tequila and Mike’s Hot Sauce as here in the UK we don’t have them for sale. But I don’t necessarily think that merch is a bad thing – at least Mike is bringing out merch WITH music.

  • Mark

    Mike and Sam’s side businesses don’t seem to get in the way of them releasing new material, so who cares?

    Ed seems to have become only an equipment manufacturer and nostalgia touring act. Which is fine if that is what he wants to do, but how can anyone get on Mike and Sam about making some side money?

    They will be putting out two albums and a live DVD in a three year period, Ed has put out three songs in the last twelve years.

    No comparison.

  • ME!!

    Mikey’s Hot Mustard is awesome. I put it on almost everything.

    Hey, Shawn, I hear ya, man. I gotta tell ya though, you’re wasting your breath on people like Roth_the_Scissors_Kicker. They don’t get it. With their mentality, I guess that guy flippin’ burgers who has the next great invention in mind or dreams of opening his own restaurant is just supposed to forget it and flip burgers for the rest of his life so people like Roth_the_Scissors_Kicker can get his order promptly.

  • Top Jimmy

    Now, I’m a BIG Mike fan but I have to say people like Mark and the others who say Eddie’s only in it for the money or whatever are crazy. Eddie single handedly changed the way rock and roll sounds. He is the most important guitar player to come along since Jimi Hendrix. When he was younger he had a fire in his gut that burned lightning hot. Sometimes as you get older the fire burns out. It doesn’t mean he’s only in it for money, it means that he’s just getting older.

    I can’t and won’t defend Eddie’s treament of Mike or for that matter his own health. But I don’t think it’s fair to label him as only ever being in it for the money.

  • Dante

    “I can take my family to Disneyland and pretty much remain anonymous.”

    Funny. I ran into him in line for Small World just before Christmas of ’98.

  • No Mas Tony

    Just shout outs today, folks…

    @ Dante, lucky dude!

    @ Top Jimmy, yeah I know it’s hard not to rag on Eddie, when we constantly see the EVH guitars, song books, D-tunas and T-shirts popping up and yet ZERO announcements from the camp as to w-t-F is going on. •BUT•, you’re right — he IS the man who made guitar driven rock what it is today. As DLR once said, “of course rock music is incestuous, and what you see running around today are its retarded kids”. I really think that Ed is ready to retire, and wants to fade out, probably why they changed the ‘official’ website to just reflect the first 6 albums; wanting us to remember them for the glory days.

    @ Roth_the_Scissors_Kicker, “In a Simple Rhyme” is probably my favorite DLR era song. Great choice bro. I really disagree with 100% of EVERYTHING ELSE you said LoL. •BUT•, I love Roth… and it pisses me off we hear NOTHING from the man. I hope what the guitarist from DLR band was right and they have a CD in the works. fingers crossed. The last couple DLR posts on here were real let-downs. NYC marathon, crazy bitch, whatev.

    @ Ryan, Hagar IMO is a decent guitar player, in that he can *sing too*. I was watching Clapton sing Layla and play those intricate melodies and never looked down at the guitar once. Never even opened his eyes… if you watch most other guitarists play, their eyes stayed glued to the strings most the time. Hendrix could play & sing too. Hagar as nowhere in the league of the other guitarist mentioned, •BUT• one can argue that Hagar plays the guitar better than Eddie can sing.

    @ Diamond Dean, what kills me, is that I really don’t think Ed is as much of a dick as Axel Rose is. •BUT• If he doesn’t AT LEAST address his fans by the middle of 2010 he completely loses every last ounce of respect he once had.

    @ I’m the one, I know where you’re coming from, •BUT• nobody would be able to BUY the hot sauce if they can’t put it on shelves. Just like when F-U-C-K became “For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge”, so they’d put it on store shelves. Ah yes, the gentle compromise between marketing and artist integrity. It’s a real bitch, I know.

    Ok, I’m going to Disney land with Mike now.

  • Ron

    For all the people who complain about these “non-music” related updates, you realize that the guys that run this site want to get traffic to it, right?

    Posting new content on a regular basis is a big part of that, and like it or not, there’s not a heck of a lot of it coming from the VH camp. Their happy new year message on their own website is a pretty good statement about how often they release updates.

    If you don’t like this stuff, you don’t have to read it, but unless you want the site to just start making stuff up, you’re probably going to continue to see it.

  • 51yr old fan

    top jimmy so what WE ALL KNOW HE CHANGED MUSIC AND GUITAR PLAYING where the hell is the music. thats all everyone wants to know. that other crap doesn’t mean shit!

  • darin

    Great story! Mad Anthony is one laid back, easy going fella. I wish more people had his outlook on life after all the stuff he’s been through. His sauces are actually pretty damn good ta boot!

    Cheers and bring on Part2

  • http://vhnd exodus

    I think mike should hookup with wolfie and form a band…..
    He’s gotta leave Sammy at some point just like Wolfie has to leave Ed.

  • No Mas Tony

    I can see Mike’s position when an interviewer asks a question, and you are forced to answer it truthfully, like maybe the interviewer lives under a rock, and honestly did not know that Mike was fired simply for doing a tour with Hagar (and performing =VH= music), but THAT is when Mike could be like, “yeah, that’s been drudged up in every other interview so let’s not dwell on it.” But hey, I guess he wanted to set the record straight, that he WOULD have done the =VH= reunion tour if given the chance. And then the interviewer wants to stir the pot again with, “Isn’t it sad to see how ego dictates a lot of decisions that are made in this business?” 🙁 Yeah, that’s not a bated question at all. But Mike didn’t really fling mud at Ed; just stating his side. As he said, he needs to be around positive people.

    Everybody is hypersensitive when one “side” says anything about the other. Like when Hagar said in that phone interview last week: “I’ve made this statement a million times — some people don’t like it, some people do — but Joe is the best guitarist I have ever played with. That’s a strong statement. I realize that. You’ve got to give Eddie a lot of love for his innovation of what he did as a stylist with the guitar,” Hagar added. “He broke a lot of ground. But Joe is a master. He can play anything and everything — folk, blues, jazz, hard rock, soft rock, fusion, you name it. As a guitar technician, Joe is the best guy I’ve ever stood in the same room with on any instrument. And he’s so soulful when he solos. He puts more feeling into a solo than any other player I’ve been with.”

    So he in turn received a lot of flack for the comments, but the guys bashing him for what he said seemed to miss, the “You’ve got to give Eddie a lot of love for his innovation of what he did as a stylist with the guitar” part of the statement… ya know.

    I just hope that someday while they’re all still alive; Ed, Al, Wolfie, Dave, Mike and Sammy can just burry the hatchet and maybe even tour together. That would be the crowning jewel for me. Meanwhile, I’LL *try* to stop saying all this shit about Eddie. Cause, he may even be in a hospital somewhere, and won’t we all feel like dicks if that’s the first “real” piece of news to hit the VHND.

  • Joe

    Great article about a cool guy that knows how to live.

    Too bad this site has turned into the Van Halen BITCH desk.

  • pete

    im glad to see everything has worked out for mikey and look forward to the next chickenfood CD.

  • Ryan

    There is no comparison between Eddie Van Halen and Joe Satriani. I’m convinced Eddie Van Halen sold his soul to the devil to acquire his masterful skills. Satch, on the other hand, appears as if he sold his soul to the Gillette Shaving Company.

    Eddie Van Halen is the man. I do not care what others think about him. He is a hero of mine. Maybe he has a difficult personality. I do not care. He was the reason I listened to Van Halen, not Mike’s background harmonies, not David Roth’s spandex pants; it was EVH’s guitar playing. If he wants to retire, SO BE IT! He is EDDIE VAN HALEN, SULTAN OF STRINGS!!

  • Ron

    @Ryan: “He was the reason I listened to Van Halen, not Mike’s background harmonies, not David Roth’s spandex pants; it was EVH’s guitar playing.”

    The thing is, you might have never heard of them if it wasn’t for Dave’s spandex pants and his amazing sense of showmanship and marketing the band. And Mike’s background vocals were part of the band’s signature sound.

    EVH is the star but he’s not the only reason they’re as big as they are (were?)

  • Joe

    @Ron, I agree 100%. It’s all about the sum of the parts.

    Alex’s drum sound is almost as iconic as Eddie’s sound. The first time I heard “Jump”, I realized it was VH as soon as the drums kicked in. Unmistakable.

  • steve

    Hey Ryan….Oh great nabber of the nose nugget! You can bash Joe all you want but I’ve seen him in concert ten times (including CF) and he is more devoted to his craft! he is more technical, more inspired, and a FAR better composer of outright tunes! I challenge Eddie to kick out one let alone ten or twelve albums with as much melody or heart without a singer. Aint gonna happen. I grew up on VH…VH2 was my first show in 80′ I love VH to this day and Eddie did change Rock as much as Hendrix or anyone but I dont hear no new stuff. You can say what you want about CF but I can go to best buy and find em on a front shelf at least dueling it out with all the trashy pop crap they try to call rock now! Give it a break! Dont trash Joe! Given his talent, he is pehaps the most humble and fan loving guy out there. he loves his fans and loves to play for them and it dont get no better than that!

  • Ryan


    but Eddie did more chicks in his day.

  • steve

    Cool can you still smell’em? what a legacy….(high schooler!)