Today Van Halen co-founder and drummer Alex Van Halen celebrates his 70th birthday. Alex said he knew he wanted to be a musician when his family immigrated from Holland to Pasadena, California aboard a cruise ship back in February 1962.
Alex and his late brother Eddie Van Halen once discussed Alex’s desire to be a musician:
AVH: "Ed and I played piano on the boat and we noticed that after we did this we got to sit on the special table for dinner. We had little special treatment."
EVH: "Al got all the girls."
AVH: "Ever since we were kids. The vibe, if you want to call it. It's the ambience, the energy that surrounds musicians. I mean the true artists. There's something you cannot describe. Like for instance with my dad [Jan]. I started working with him when I was 13 years old and I watched him as he would work a room. What he tried to do was elicit the inner-child in people."
Alex and Eddie started Van Halen back in 1972 and the band came to an end with Eddie's death from cancer in 2020.
Alex is an ordained minister, having presided over Eddie's second wedding in 2009 to Janie Liszewski. He also presided over the second wedding of Eddie's first wife, Valerie Bertinelli, to Tom Vitale, in 2011.
Alex is married to his third wife and he has two sons. The oldest, Aric, who is an avid runner, competed in the Olympic trials for the steeplechase in 2016.
With this birthday today, Alex becomes the first male Van Halen in his immediate family to turn 70. His father Jan died in his mid-60s back in 1986, and Eddie was 65 when he passed. Their mother Eugenia lived to the age of 91.
Sammy Hagar is the oldest former Van Halen member at 75. Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth are both 68. Gary Cherone is 61, and Wolfgang Van Halen, Eddie’s son, is 32.
[Source: Classic Hits Today]