Eddie Van Halen was planning a farewell tour with the original Van Halen lineup

Van Halen in 1978
(Image credit: Fin Costello)

Extreme guitarist Nuno Bettencourt has revealed that Eddie Van Halen was planning to bring Michael Anthony back to the band so that the original line-up could complete a farewell tour.

Bettencourt told the story while speaking with host Tommy London on SiriusXM’s Hair Nation, where he was promoting the upcoming Extreme album Six, scheduled for release via earMusic on June 9. In the interview, Bettencourt speaks of meeting the late Van Halen in 2019, during the recording of the first single from the album, Rise.

"He's playing us some of Wolf's new stuff, which we all know now was coming out," recalls Bettencourt. "And he was like a proud papa saying that, like he played all the instruments and he did that and everything else. 

"And then he said something really cool, he was like, 'Hey, just between us, I'm like, I wanna let you know, like Van Halen's coming back and we gonna go out the way we came with Michael. We're planning a run, and we're gonna go out the way we came in like a farewell tour, but like, do it old school.' 

"And I'm like, 'Amazing. Overdue, way overdue.' He was even saying, like, 'You know Wolf, he's the one who's like, he's reaching out to Michael.' It was like a really cool thing, right?"

The full video is below. 

Michael Anthony recently told broadcaster Eddie Trunk that the Van Halen archive contains lots of unreleased material, and that some of it could see the light of day.

"We're digging back into stuff," said Anthony. "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."

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.