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Michael Anthony Still Has Painful Memories of David Lee Roth’s Butt

Van Halen, 'Jump'

It’s well known that David Lee Roth took issue with Eddie Van Halen‘s growing fondness for keyboards during the sessions for Van Halen‘s ‘1984‘ album. In fact, if Roth had gotten his way, former bassist Michael Anthony says the band never would have recorded its only No. 1 single.

The song in question, of course, is ‘Jump,’ which ended up being the album’s lead single. But initially, Anthony says Roth rejected it out of hand. “I remember Dave hearing ‘Jump’ and he did not want to do it,” he told Billboard. “He told Eddie, ‘You’re a guitar hero. You’re not a keyboard player. You need to play guitar.'”

Battles like that one helped lead to Roth’s 1985 exit from the lineup, and Anthony added that “the tension level started to rise” during the band’s 1984 tour — during which Roth’s larger-than-life stage persona rubbed more than a few people the wrong way.

“He’d do something to piss off a male fan, and then he’d say, ‘Hey buddy, after the show I’m going to f— your girl,’ and point right at them. And boy, sometimes some guys would get heated up for that,” Anthony laughed. “This is the guy that would do tours where he’d wear assless chaps, and I have to stand behind him while he’s looking that way. Some nights you want to just laugh, and other nights you want to go, ‘Oh, I don’t want to stand near this.'”

Next: Top 10 Van Halen Songs

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