“Ran into an old friend”: Wolfgang Van Halen and Michael Anthony meet up for the first time in 20 years

Michael Anthony (left) and Wolfgang Van Halen
(Image credit: Kayla Oaddams / Stringer / Gus Stewart / Getty Images)

Michael Anthony and Wolfgang Van Halen recently reunited in Las Vegas, NV in an event that marked their first meeting in 20 years. 

The two musicians met following Mammoth WVH’s performance at Vegas’ House of Blues on Friday (December 8) and both took to social media afterwards to share their warm wishes and affection for one another.

“Went to see @mammothwvh last night here in Vegas, and they threw it down!!!” wrote Anthony on Instagram. “Love ya Wolf, so great to see ya!! (Proud of you brother!!)”

Wolfgang also documented the event, writing: “Ran into an old friend at the @mammothwvh show in Vegas tonight. (Love ya, Mikey)”. 

Alongside a picture of the two of them together, Anthony also shared a clip of the show, which was, somewhat poignantly, a solo performance of the song Distance – the song written by Wolfie about his father, Eddie Van Halen.

A fan later asked how long it had been since the two had been in the same room together, with Anthony replying: “First time in 20 years!” Using the power of math, we can tell you that Wolfgang would have been about 12 at that time.

Wolfgang famously took on bass guitar duties (at the behest of Eddie) for Van Halen’s 2007 reunion with David Lee Roth, leaving Anthony excluded from the run in the process. 

However, as two class acts, they have both remained complementary about each other in the intervening years and, if there ever was any bad blood between them, there seems to have been little evidence of it this past weekend.

Sammy Hagar also chimed in on the conversation, commenting on Anthony’s Instagram: “Totally awesome to see you & Wolf together.”

The news has set tongues wagging among Van Halen fans, who are hungry for any hint of WVH’s involvement in forthcoming tours, but we’d say it remains wise to limit any expectations of a reunion to the point of non-existence at this point.

Even on a practical level, Mammoth WVH has significant tour commitments, with a new US run kicking off from February next year, before they take in Europe in April and bounce back and forth across the Atlantic for a string of summer appearances.

For his part, Anthony is committed to his new project with Hagar, Joe Satriani and Jason Bonham, the Best of All Worlds tour. That tour – set to commence next summer – seems currently like the best bet for fans who’d like to see Van Halen material performed live once more. 

Regardless, it’s heartwarming to see the two players reunited and on such good terms…

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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.