Greg Prato for Ultimate Guitar spoke with bassist Michael Anthony (Van Halen, Chickenfoot, The Circle) about his former bandmate, Alex Van Halen. The column appears, in its entirety, below.

Ultimate Guitar: Are you still in contact with Alex Van Halen? Why do you think he doesn’t want to perform music anymore?

Michael Anthony: I haven’t spoken to Alex in a while, probably about a year. And I actually texted him on his birthday this month [May 2024], and I didn’t hear anything back from him.

But yeah, I was pretty surprised when I heard about this auction that he’s going to be holding in the beginning of June. Somebody had sent me the link to it, and it appears like he’s selling everything right down to his last drumstick. So, I don’t know. I really couldn’t tell you.

I know that he continues to grieve today over Eddie [Van Halen‘s] passing. And basically, Eddie was the only person that he actually ever played music with.

I never really knew Alex to be a person to go out and jam with other people or other bands. Unless Eddie was a part of it. Maybe he feels that… Since his brother’s gone, he doesn’t feel the desire to go out and play anymore. But I can only speculate. When I found out about this auction and started checking it out, it is pretty sad, because it truly means that it’s the end of anything that that could have been as far as tribute-wise, you know?

Ultimate Guitar: I was also surprised by the announcement out of nowhere that Alex is releasing a book later this year. Are you looking forward to reading it?

Michael Anthony: Yeah, I actually am. I heard that the title is Brothers. And knowing Alex, he’ll probably speak about the band and everything. But, I think that he might be focusing more on just his and Eddie‘s relationship growing up and moving here with their family to the States. And just the relationship that he had with his brother.

11 Responses

  1. Such a sad situation. It’s a shame that the living members who played in Van Halen at one point in time or another couldn’t put their personal feelings, desire for money, etc, to the side and just honor the damn guy with one f-cking show! Play for an hour, that’s it. Ed didn’t get the proper send off he definitely deserved. People, forgive one another. Life is too short.

    1. Sad to learn this news about your brother, Robert. I can’t even imagine the loss. Prayers…..

    2. Sorry for your loss, Robert. I empathize, as I lost my older brother 7 years ago June 11, a mere 48, left a cute little daughter behind as well.

      He turned me on to some great music and I enjoy warm & wonderful memories of a deep love for everything Beatles. He was Paul, and I was Ringo, the good looking one. ;0]==

  2. It’s sad, but I respect the hell out of Alex for not doing any tribute shows…..this attempt at manufcaturing a feeling with no other purpose except to make money…and I hope we don’t see ANY frankenstein “new” Van Halen material, unless maybe instrumentals that are already full compositions from Edward…please do not go into those tapes and start fiddling around with his music…it won’t be from Edward’s heart….I also can’t listen to the demos…I can only listen to the parts in the context of those great records they put out…serously, that Mean Street solo only belongs in Mean Street

  3. Alex Van Halen was one of the most explosive, dynamic drummers in Rock. Gotta put him in the same league as Neil Peart, Brian Downey and a few others

Leave a Reply