Alex Van Halen, the older brother of Eddie Van Halen, is the co-founder and drummer of the hard rock band named "Van Halen". Although Alex never reached the stardom of his brother Eddie, Alex is generally considered to have been a major contributor to the Van Halen Band’s success over the years. Alex’s brother Eddie, is generally considered to be, second only to Jimi Hendrix, one of the most influential and talented rock guitarist of the twentieth century.
Alex Van Halen was born Alexander Arthur Van Halen on May 8, 1953 in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. The family later moved to Nijmegen, the Netherlands, where Alex spent his early years. His father, Jan Van Halen, born in 1920, was an accomplished saxophonist and clarinet musician. His mother was Eugenia Beers, who was born in Indonesia in 1914.
The family moved to the U.S.A. in 1962 and settled near other family members in the Los Angeles area where Alex and his brother attended elementary school. Both brothers took piano lessons at an early age, and both became accomplished pianists. The influence of the piano clearly became the foundation of the future musical careers of the Van Halen brothers.
The invasion of the British rock movement in the late 1960’s mesmerized the two Van Halen brothers. They abandoned their piano and began playing drum and guitar. Initially, Alex was the guitar player, and Eddie was the drummer. However, shortly thereafter, the two brothers switched instruments, a wise move because Alex became better at drums than Eddie. However, Eddie’s prowess as a rock guitarist is legendary history.
Some of the brothers’ early bands were, “The Trojan Rubber Company”, “Genesis”, and “The Space Brothers”. In 1972, the brothers formed the “Mammoth Band”, with Mark Stone on bass. Two years later, in 1974, Michael Anthony was brought in to replace Stone, and David Lee Roth became the lead vocalist. Also the name of the band was changed to “Van Halen”, the name it retains to this day.
As a musician Alex lived in the shadow of his more famous brother Eddie. But Alex is, and is recognized as an outstanding musician in his own rights. His powerful and dynamic double drumming style is as unique and instantly recognizable as Eddie’s guitar sound. Alex has been the recipient of numerous accolades and awards and is considered to be one of the eminent percussionists in rock and roll music.
Alex’s only solo performance as a musician can be found in the instrumental “Respect the Wind”. The instrumental was used in the movie “Twister”. Both brothers performed in the movie, Eddie on the guitar, and Alex on the piano, but each one had solo pieces in the instrumental. The instrumental was nominated for a Grammy Award in 1997, but the brothers did not win.
Alex was married to Kelly Van Halen and the couple had one son named Arie, a typical Dutch name. In 1996, Alex and Kelly divorced, and apparently Alex has remarried since then.
Alex Van Halen, www.drummerworld.com/drummers/Alex_Van_Halen.html
Alex Van Halen, www.classicvanhalen.com/bios_avh.shtml
Alex Van Halen, Wikipedia
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