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.

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