Michael Anthony confirms there is a huge archive of unreleased Van Halen material

Van Halen peforming live onstage in 1978 – Michael Anthony says the band used to record all their early shows
(Image credit: Gus Stewart / Getty)

Michael Anthony has been discussing unreleased Van Halen material and says there is a “ton of stuff” in storage at Eddie Van Halen’s 5150 studio. 

Speaking to Eddie Trunk recently on the latter’s Sirius XM show, Anthony was questioned about the notable lack of live material, reissues and other releases from the Van Halen archive – a fact he acknowledged had been frustrating for fans. 

“There is a plan,” Anthony told Trunk. “We're starting a bunch of the reissue stuff with the Sammy [Hagar] years, with all his albums, and the first one that will come out will be the Right Here, Right Now live album that we did in 1992… 

“So there is movement in there. We're digging back into stuff. There's a lot more stuff at Ed’s 5150 studio; Wolfie or Alex will start going through stuff there and see what there is. There's a ton of stuff.”

Elsewhere in the interview Anthony comments that “hopefully, we’ll be following it up and doing Roth stuff, too.” The former Van Halen bassist also notes, on Trunk’s prompting, that he has a personal stash of material in storage, including unreleased live video footage and audio recordings.

“I used to know people who collected really quality bootlegs and I’ve got sacks of bootleg stuff [including] shows that are almost album quality,” says Anthony. “Back in the day, there was always that one sound guy who would ‘accidentally’ record a live show for himself – and all of sudden, there it is!”

The bassist says he also has a few videos taped by “the house” at venues like the Maryland Capital Center, noting, “It is kind of sad that there hasn't been more stuff like that that has been available to the public to see from the band, especially the Roth days.”

Perhaps the most enticing tidbit from the interview is the prospect of an extensive catalog of early live recordings stored at Van Halen’s 5150 facility that have yet to see the light of day.

“I know for a fact [on] all early tours, we used to record every single show,” says Anthony. “That was just for the band so that we could critique ourselves after every show and this went on for a few years... the first few tours we would record almost every show. I'm sure [they’re] somewhere around Eddie's house, or Wolfgang's got them now – they've got a lot of these tapes."

Hopefully, Anthony finds the time to dig into his own storage soon. He’s otherwise been kept busy lately, though. Firstly, touring in Sammy Hagar’s supergroup, The Circle, but he also recently hinted at a project, featuring Bon Jovi and Aerosmith band members and “a really, really cool singer”.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.