Sibling Rivalry Still Driving Van Halen

Eddie and Alex started young, and still finding ways to hold it together on tour

By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff

Posted Jun 1, 2008 1:24 PM CDT

(Newser) – Eddie Van Halen took time out from touring to ruminate on the band and his guitar virtuosity with Rolling Stone. Turns out, the Van Halen brothers actually started out on opposite instruments: “I bought myself a drum kit, and my mom convinced my brother Alex to take flamenco-guitar lessons. I had a paper route to pay for the drum kit.”

“While I was out throwing papers, Alex got better than me on the drums, so I said, 'OK, fuck you. I'll play your guitar.'" The band's sometimes-suspect personal chemistry appears to be holding up: “The press made more of a stink out of shit than we did. Everybody kind of parts ways and tries to find their own niche … but no hurt feelings.”

David Lee Roth, left, and Eddie Van Halen perform with Van Halen at Madison Square Garden Friday, May 23, 2008 in New York.
David Lee Roth, left, and Eddie Van Halen perform with Van Halen at Madison Square Garden Friday, May 23, 2008 in New York.   (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
Eddie Van Halen is shown during a news conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles in this, Aug. 13, 2007, file photo.
Eddie Van Halen is shown during a news conference at the Four Seasons Hotel in Los Angeles in this, Aug. 13, 2007, file photo.   (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian, file)
Eddie Van Halen performs with Van Halen at Madison Square Garden Friday, May 23, 2008 in New York.
Eddie Van Halen performs with Van Halen at Madison Square Garden Friday, May 23, 2008 in New York.   (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)
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