MICHAEL ANTHONY Was 'Surprised' By ALEX VAN HALEN's Gear Auction: 'It Appears He's Selling Everything Right Down To His Last Drumstick'

June 3, 2024

In a new interview with Greg Prato of Ultimate Guitar, former VAN HALEN bassist Michael Anthony was asked if he is still in contact with Alex Van Halen and why he thinks the VAN HALEN drummer doesn't want to perform music anymore. He responded: "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 [via Backstage Auctions] 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's [Van Halen, VAN HALEN guitarist] passing. And basically, Eddie was the only person that he actually ever played music with."

Michael continued: "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?"

Asked if he is looking forward to reading Alex's upcoming book, Michael said: "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."

"Brothers" will be released on October 22 via HarperCollins Publishers. The 384-page book is categorized under "Biography & Autobiography" and currently has a list price of $32.00.

Told with acclaimed New Yorker writer Ariel Levy, "Brothers" is the 71-year-old drummer's love letter to his younger brother, written while still mourning his untimely death.

"Brothers", which includes never-before-seen photos from the author's private archive, will also be made available as a 720-minute audiobook and an eBook.

Alex and Eddie formed a band called MAMMOTH in Pasadena, California in 1972, then renamed it VAN HALEN when singer David Lee Roth joined the group and, later, Anthony.

VAN HALEN was one of the biggest rock bands in the country in the 1980s, with hits like "Runnin' With The Devil", "Dance The Night Away", "Hot For Teacher", "Panama" and "Jump". The group, which later featured Sammy Hagar on vocals, was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.

The Van Halen family moved to Pasadena after emigrating to the U.S. from the Netherlands in 1962.

VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.

According to Modern Drummer, Alex was instrumental to VAN HALEN's electrifying, dramatic sound, leading the rhythm section on standout hits like "Ain't Talkin' 'Bout Love", "Unchained" and "Panama". His double-bass pedal work throughout "Hot For Teacher" was deeply influential, combining technical prowess with a restless, thoroughly original drum composition.

Back in 2021, Hagar said that he had tried to reach out to Alex after Eddie's death but that he was rebuffed.

"Alex just seems to he just doesn't want to communicate with anybody," Sammy told Ultimate Classic Rock. "You know, Mike has reached out, and I reached out many times. I don't know. I'm sure he's still in pain from the whole thing, but I'm not dogging him. I'm just saying he just really doesn't want to be friends or doesn't want to communicate. I don't know why, but we've still got the rest of our lives to work this out."

When Alex turned 68 in May 2021, he commemorated the occasion by sharing the following statement: "First birthday without you, Ed. The view from my drum set will never be the same. VH forever!"

Eddie passed away in October 2020 at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California. Alex was by his side, as was Eddie's son, Wolfgang. The axeman died from complications due to cancer, his son confirmed.

Eddie's final Instagram post was a tribute to Alex. On May 8, 2020, the guitarist shared a black-and-white photo of him and his brother to his followers to wish the drummer a happy birthday.

He captioned the picture: "Happy Birthday Al!! Love Ya!! #vanhalen #alexvanhalen #birthday #may #drummer #musician #musicians #family #rock #classicrock #rockband #love".

In early 2022, it was confirmed that Alex had been in talks with Roth and guitarist Joe Satriani to put on a special show in honor of Eddie. However, Wolfgang later said that it was "in such an early stage that it never even got off the ground."

Find more on Van halen
  • facebook
  • twitter
  • reddit
  • email

Comments Disclaimer And Information

BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).