Eddie Van Halen Told Friends He Was Hoping For Michael Anthony Reunion

By Andrew Magnotta @AndrewMagnotta

October 9, 2020

While plans for a Van Halen reunion with bassist Michael Anthony in 2019 never came to fruition, Eddie Van Halen was still hopeful for one more go-around when his health allowed.

Eddie, who passed away of cancer on Tuesday at age 65, apparently told friends this year that he was eager to tour with Van Halen's original lineup one more time.

In a social post Thursday, Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt revealed details of one of the last conversations he had with Eddie.

Bettencourt says he was working on a guitar solo for Extreme's upcoming new album this past winter when his idol and friend, Eddie, dropped by unannounced.

"As usual I got a warm hug and kiss from Eddie," Bettencourt wrote. "Even as a God, he always made you feel important. He was in great spirits. A proud dad, bragging about how Wolfie's new solo album is gonna blow minds, etc... What's cool though, was the last thing Eddie talked about."

He continued: "He said he was super excited about reaching out to Michael Anthony to finally put the original VH lineup back together. Saying that he wanted to do one final tour and have Van Halen go out the way they came in...Together...Guns Blazing!"

While neither Eddie nor Alex Van Halen ever addressed the rumors publicly, Anthony, David Lee Roth and other sources suggested that 2019 would have been a VH reunion year had Eddie's health not precluded it.

The plans to tour never advanced to rehearsals, tickets were never put on sale and no official announcement was made.

On Wednesday, Anthony and Sammy Hagar shared a short video of them talking about their former bandmate's sudden passing. Anthony described learning the news as like being hit by a truck.

Bettencourt recalled promising to show Eddie the new Extreme album when it was finished. Eddie joked that "it better be good."

The album was completed shortly before the pandemic shut everything down. Bettencourt describes himself as a like "kid, counting the Covid Days down" to when he could finally invite Eddie back over to share the new album with him. They never got that chance.

Still, like so many others fortunate to know Eddie personally, Bettencourt says he's grateful for the friendship, the inspiration and the music.

Thumbnail Photos: Getty Images

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As a kid who’s life was forever altered when the needle dropped on the fade in of Running With The Devil. I dreamed that one day I could earn my own stripes. But those stripes are only and forever Edward’s. Today, 40 years later, I can only mourn those Stripes. Once upon a time in Hollywood, recently, while recording the latest Extreme album in my home studio I got a call to come down to the front of my house, that someone is asking for me. I was like, damn that’s annoying as I was in the zone cutting a guitar solo to a new song called RISE. I dropped my guitar and headed down. I walk out and... I was being summoned by the one and only... Edward. As usual I got a warm hug and kiss from Eddie. Even as a God, he always made you feel important. He was in great spirits. A proud dad, bragging about how Wolfie’s new solo album is gonna blow minds, etc... What’s cool though, was the last thing Eddie talked about. He said he was super excited about reaching out to Michael Anthony to finally put the original VH lineup back together. Saying that he wanted to do one final tour and have Van Halen go out the way they came in...Together... Guns Blazing! Finally as Eddie said his goodbye, he asked about the new Extreme album that we were recording up in the house. As we hugged, he says: “I’ll be back to listen to it when you’re done, and with a sinister raspy laugh , adds “it better be good “. Finished it. Then. PANDEMIC. Man, I was like a kid, counting the Covid Days down to when I could blare the new Extreme album in the studio, sitting side by side with My Hero, the GOAT, selfishly wanting to play him all the new guitar work that shamelessly, but with pride has his DNA all over my playing. I guess that moment wasn’t meant to be... It’s incredible how as a young player, your guitar chord, is the umbilical chord that intimately connects you to someone you may never meet, moreso than even someone in your own family. At the drop of a needle or the touch of a space bar. They are there for you 24/7. As Eddie was... and forever will be. Thank you for shaping who I am today. Love you, Edward. You are the ONE. #edwardvanhalen

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