The Person Alex Van Halen Credited For Van Halen’s Success

We can’t choose the family we’re born into; however, where we end up and the people surrounding us have more to say about who we become as we get older. For most people, the parents who raise them tremendously influence their future, from what kind of people they later become to what they do as a living.

For Alex Van Halen, the experience of growing up with a disciplined mother and a musician father shaped him and his brother Eddie to become the iconic rockers we know them to be. Alex had a lot to say about his upbringing and life on the road in a 1991 interview.

Alex began to explain his childhood, where the most crucial factor was always to have a career they loved. He said, “I think it was from very early on grained in us that if you’re doing something that you like, then that is of the utmost importance because, in our family, there were two opposites.”

However, his father and mother were polar opposites in how they viewed the world and what they valued. The drummer added, “There was my dad, the musician, the happy-go-lucky guy, let’s have a drink, that type of thing; the other side was our mother. She said without a suit and tie, you aren’t diddly; you know you’re nothing. You come by a visit today or tomorrow, and she’ll say, ‘Alex, when are you going to get a job?’ She’s 75. ‘Mom, does it really make any difference?’”

So, growing up with a musician father, his lifestyle and love of music impacted their career as future musicians. Alex shared, “Yeah, my dad, if I say Ed and my father or our father, that sounds holy, doesn’t it? He was a musician. Again it’s tough to put into words, but musicians are different than the nine-to-fivers; you know, it’s a different mentality. It’s something that is in your blood, and the lifestyle is different. You have roots, and there are certain places where you come home to, but the whole planet is your home.”

The drummer continued, “Here’s your suitcase, here’s your instrument, let’s go. Because music is all about people, meeting people, and playing for them, so we picked that up very early.” He and Eddie were eager to have that lifestyle, so the brothers’ late father can be credited for Van Halen’s success. But on the flip side, his alcohol addiction was something they could have done without.

The brothers struggled for many years with alcohol addiction. Their father, who coped with the nerves with cigarettes and alcohol, rubbed off on their sons before it became their go-to to take the edge off. Although they were aware of the deadly effects, they continued to carry that lifestyle until their father passed away. This was the push Alex needed to completely change the way that he was living and cut his alcohol consumption to get on the right track.