Mad Anthony

Like many of you, I’ve had several sleepless nights since Michael Anthony’s unceremonious dismissal from Van Halen. Has he been able to maintain himself in the lifestyle to which he had become accustomed? I could only hope he did not have to sell off his bass guitar collection just to make ends meet.

I was thrilled, then, to learn the other day that Michael Anthony is making his own lines of hot sauce and bass guitars, and, most important, is still a functioning, touring, rock and roll musician.

The Mad Anthony Xpress, surviving quietly in the shadows of the reunited Van Halen, is Michael Anthony’s attempt at keeping alive his part of the legendary band’s legacy. Michael, Vic Johnson, and John Douglas just finished a supporting spot on Sammy Hagar’s current tour, including appearances at Sammy’s 60th birthday party in Cabo San Lucas.

The band first played together on Hagar’s annual Cabo Wabo cruise. Anthony told Iowa’s Quad City Times he didn’t want to be just a backup for Hagar, so he put together his own band. “It went over so well that Sammy just wanted to roll that into part of the show,” he said.

Anthony said it’s different to be a lead singer instead of a backup player. “It’s more work,” he told the paper. “You’ve got to pace yourself a little bit better because you’re not just playing an instrument and singing background. You’re lead vocals now and you’ve got to take care of yourself a little bit better.”

Today’s post comes from the Oct. 31 show in South Bend, Ind. The Mad Anthony Xpress opened the show with a short set of Van Halen covers (and one ZZ Top cover). Michael Anthony then returned later to perform alongside Sammy Hagar.

I’m only posting a couple of songs from the set because the sound quality isn’t so great. And – in my opinion – the band sounds like a local bar band doing Van Halen covers. Maybe they’re better in person, I don’t know. Take a listen and see what you think. Just sleep easy knowing Michael Anthony always has his hot sauce business to fall back on.

Running With the Devil.mp3
Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers (ZZ Top cover).mp3
Bottoms Up.mp3

(Note the yells for “Freebird” at the beginning of “Bottoms Up.” That had me laughing out loud!)

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