Michael Anthony: 13 Things You Might Not Know

Van Halen Live In New York

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On June 20th, 1954, Michael Anthony was born. We all know the bassist for his time in Van Halen and Chickenfoot, but here are 13 things you might not know about the now 70-year-old rocker:

1. Anthony is actually his middle name. His real last name is Sobolewski.

2. Michael was born in Chicago but grew up in Southern California, where he played baseball in high school and was a pretty good catcher.

3. Anthony chose the bass because all his friends played drums or guitar and he wanted to do something different.

4. Mike’s first instrument was actually a Fender Mustang electric guitar that he transformed into a bass by removing the two highest strings.

5. Anthony modeled his bass playing after Cream’s Jack Bruce.

6. Michael is left-handed but he plays right-handed.

7. Mike’s first band was called Poverty’s Children. Other bands included Black Opal, Snake and Balls.

8. Snake occasionally played gigs with a band called Mammoth featuring Eddie and Alex Van Halen. One show at Pasadena High School when Snake opening for Mammoth, Mammoth’s PA broke so Mike lent them Snake’s.

9. Even though he was in Van Halen, Mike took some time in the 80s to work on a project with his brother, Robert Lee Sobolewski. In 1988, they made a demo for their band together, Asylum Sweet.

10. In 2002, Mike joined a supergroup called Planet Us featuring Sammy Hagar, Joe Satriani and Journey’s Neal Schon and Deen Castronovo. They recorded a song called “Psycho Vertigo” for the original Spider-Man soundtrack but it didn’t make it on the album.

11. In 2006, Mike toured with Sammy as The Other Half.

12. Along with being a rocker, Michael is a businessman too and sells a line of signature products that includes hot sauce, hot mustard and barbecue sauce. The Mad Anthony’s brand hot sauce can be found at Hagar’s Sammy’s Beach Bar & Grill locations.

13. Mike has been married to his wife, Sue, since 1981. They have two daughters together, Elisha and Taylor.

Happy birthday, Mike! Hope you have some fun celebrations!

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