Happy Birthday, Michael Anthony! Van Halen’s bass player of three decades recalls joining Van Halen in 1974:
“The very first time I jammed with Eddie and Alex, it was in a little garage in Pasadena,” Mike recalled in a Rockline interview on 1/20/92. “The garage was so small I could barely even get what little amp I had in there. And these guys just blew me away, the way they were playing. I was like ‘I’m just gonna keep up with these guys.’ I knew ’em. I had seen their band play many times, I was like, ‘Whoa!’, blown away that Ed even asked me to jam with them. Al went, ‘Would you like to join the band?’ and I went, ‘Uh…yeah!’ I was about 23.”
This rounded out Mammoth, which would soon become known as Van Halen.
The band discovered Mike’s background vocals when they asked him to sing background on their unreleased track, “She’s the Woman.” They were blown away, and Michael’s unique vocals would become a very special part of the Van Halen sound.