Eddie Van Halen has tapped his 15-year-old son, Wolfgang, as the replacement for Michael Anthony in Van Halen, a spokesperson confirms to Billboard.com. Father and son, along with Eddie’s drummer brother Alex, have been rehearsing for a 2007 tour, but it is unknown who will serve as the band’s vocalist.
Rumors continue to swirl that David Lee Roth will be back in the fold for the first time in more than 20 years. Roth told Billboard.com in May that he hadn’t seen Eddie Van Halen in “a couple of years” but that he was up for reuniting with his old mate.
“I see it absolutely as an inevitability,” said Roth. “To me, it’s not rocket surgery. It’s very simple to put together. And as far as hurt feelings and water under the dam, like what’s-her-name says to what’s-her-name at the end of the movie ‘Chicago’ — ‘So what? It’s showbiz!’ So I definitely see it happening.”
No details have been provided about Anthony’s departure, although Van Halen knocked the bassist for aligning himself with Sammy Hagar during a September appearance on “The Howard Stern Show.”
“I got no problem with these guys, but they’re billing themselves as the other half of Van Halen,” he said. “My brother is the other half of Van Halen. They’re out there selling hot sauce and tequila and playing all my songs. It doesn’t bother me. It just makes them a cover band.”
As for the musical acumen of Wolfgang, he enthused, “If I excel at the speed of sound, he excels at the speed of light. This kid is just a natural.”
As previously reported, Van Halen is one of nine acts on the ballot for the 2007 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction.