Alex Van Halen

Born: May 8, 1955
Amsterdam, Holland
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Alex van Halen was born in Amsterdam, and shortly followed Eddie. The family moved to Nijmegen, a country town in Holland, but the family soon transplanted to California when they heard from relatives how glorious and beautiful it was there. It was quite a trek, but the family arrived in California, where they changed the spelling of their name to Van Halen. Both Van Halen boys developed a keen interest in the music that was popular in America. Alex started learning the guitar, while Eddie bought himself a drum kit and began to thrash away. Alex found the guitar boring, however, and ended up playing Eddie’s new drum kit while Eddie was out throwing papers to pay for it. In the end, they traded instruments and Alex dove into the drums headfirst. Alex joined several bands during and after high school, and Eddie was involved in all of them. Alex briefly attended college, and took a few music courses including theory and arranging. Eventually, their band began to get serious, however, and in 1974, the brothers became Van Halen, with Michael Anthony on bass guitar and David Lee Roth on vocals. The band began touring the L.A. club circuit, which was alive with activity. In 1977, Warner Brothers signed Van Halen, but Alex almost lost his finger in an accident at his day job. He was working as a machine operator in a machine shop at the time. The rest of the band members urged Alex to quit the job, which he did, and they went into the studio to record Van Halen.

Ever since the release of their first album, Van Halen have been a phenomenal force in rock and roll, with Alex thrashing out the hard-driving beat. He has developed his own rocking style, and is a fundamental part of the Van Halen sound. His drumming works hand-in-hand with Anthony’s thunderous bass sound. Alex is also a masterful percussionist, and a well-versed pianist. Much of Van Halen’s music has been written or co-written by Alex. In the wake of Eddie Van Halen’s fight with cancer, it is hard to say what will happen with the band, but Alex Van Halen has already made rock and roll history.



Instruments Played / Skills:
Backup Vocals Drums Songwriter

Genres:
Hard Rock Stadium Rock

Bands That Alex Van Halen Has Played For:
Van Halen (1974-present)

Alex Van Halen Has Worked With:
Eddie Van Halen Sammy Hagar David Lee Roth Gary Cherone Michael Anthony

Alex Van Halen Was Influenced By:
Ginger Baker John Bonham Keith Moon
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"When I first knew Elvis he had a million dollars worth of talent. Now he has a million dollars."

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