Classic Rock Revisited: Eddie Van Halen told RollingStone.com that Michael quit Van Halen and was not fired. Michael: I am so far past thatů I wish that he would be too. Unfortunately, he is a bitter guy. At my age, at this point in my life, I don't want to be bitter. I want to hang around positive people, and I could not find three more positive guys than the guys I am playing with now. Why keep rehashing the past? They were asking Eddie questions that had nothing to do with that. They said, "Have you heard Chickenfoot?" And he goes, "Yeah, but by the way, Michael Anthony wasn't fired; he quit." It had nothing to do with anything. I never quit the band. At one point, I was forced to make a decision to sit on my hands, at home, and do nothing for a number of years, or go out and play some shows on a tour with Sammy and Dave [Lee Roth]. What would you do? I felt that I was doing those guys a service by going out and flying the Van Halen flag and letting people know that Van Halen is still here. My last name is not "Van Halen." People tend to forget you. I didn't want people to go, "That is that guy that used to play in Van Halen. What's his name again?" The fans wanted to hear that music.
I was kind of forced into a situation like that. I never quit the band. When we did the 2004 reunion, Eddie didn't even want me to be a part of that because he was so torqued up that I was buddies with Sammy. Why can't I be buddies with Sammy and still play with Van Halen? With those guys, it was a cut-and-dried situation. You are in or you are out. You are with us or you are not. He still keeps bringing this stuff up. I talked to Joe Bosso [of MusicRadar.com] yesterday about it, because Rolling Stone was on his back for a response. I wanted the fans to know that I never left the band. For whatever happened, I am not a bitter person about it. I loved Van Halen; I loved everything we did. Hell, I was one of the only two guys who showed up for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction. I love the legacy of the band but I am moving on. I am in a great place with Chickenfoot. Ed needs to do that too. [Eddie says he's] got a studio right there at [his] house, and [he says] that [he has] a million songs written. Well, go ahead and record some, and go out and have fun. Let's look back fondly at Van Halen and what it was. How was that? I am not a guy who gets mad. A lot of people are looking at my response and going, "Oh my God, Mike grew a set of balls." I didn't grow a set of balls. I just got tired of rehashing this s***. I am tired of it. I would always skate around the subject, but this is the way it is. I have gotten on with it and they need to get on with it too. They need to go out and remember why they are in this business. - Read the full interview