Ex VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony talks about when he and the rest of the band came to the realization that David Lee Roth was bipolar
Speaking with “THAT Rocks!”, the weekly YouTube series hosted by Eddie Trunk, Jim Florentine and Don Jamieson, Michael Anthony discussed his absence from social media. He said (as transcribed by BLABBERMOUTH.NET): “I do a little bit of Instagramming and whatever, but… [otherwise] no… I don’t like to get involved in the drama.
“And that was really hard in certain times in VAN HALEN. Because, believe me… It’s kind of funny, because I look at TV and I’m watching things like ‘Behind The Music’ [specials] with other bands, and I go, ‘Oh my God. Look at all the shit they went through.’ And then I sit back and I go, ‘Oh my God. We’ve got probably the most drama out of anybody.'”
Michael also spoke about VAN HALEN‘s touring days with original singer David Lee Roth, Michael saying: “There was always drama on the Roth tours… There were times… God, I forget which tour it was. I’ll just give you a real quick story — not so much drama, but just how it was with Dave on tour. We were staying somewhere in the Midwest, and Dave… After this, we all kind of came to the conclusion that he was bipolar. ‘Cause he would be great, and then all of a sudden he would just kind of freak out or whatever.
“And one night… We had a night off, and everybody was… whatever we were doing. It was, like, around midnight, one in the morning, and everyone was pretty much back at the hotel. And I hear all this commotion out in the hall and pounding and screaming, and I’m going, ‘What the hell is going on?’ So I put my shorts on and I go walking down the hall. And our security guys have got Roth in a strait jacket.
“Our security guys carried a strait jacket on tour; I won’t get into that part of it. But they used to carry a strait jacket on tour, and Roth was just, like, screaming naked, sitting in one of our security guys’ rooms, wearing this strait jacket.”
Anthony added: “Dave, he liked to drink Jack Daniel’s, but he couldn’t handle it like I can handle it. Dave‘d have a little bit of Jack Daniel’s and he’d get a little crazy. And I guess they found him wandering around outside the hotel naked. And this was just one night out of seven nights a week being on tour.”
Check out the full interview below.
Back in December 2021, soon after Dave announced his retirement from music, Wolfgang Van Halen, who replaced Anthony as the bassist for VAN HALEN, was asked about Roth‘s retirement in an interview with Consequence. He said: “Dave is a… he’s very much a one-of-a-kind [chuckles] sort of guy. We don’t really talk, if ever. We were always cordial on tour together, but it’s not like I’ve spoken to him at all in the last six years. But, I mean, he’s fucking David Lee Roth. I’m so happy for him and for everything that he’s accomplished. And he’s just a phenomenal… He’ll always be one of the best.”