Alex Van Halen “Continues To Grieve” His Brother’s Passing, Making Tribute Concert Unlikely, Former Bandmate Says

Legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen died in October 2020 of complications from throat cancer at age 65. The larger-than-life musician left an indelible mark on classic rock history and a gaping hole in the lives of his family. The loss was particularly immense for Alex Van Halen, Eddie’s younger brother and co-founder of the rock band Van Halen. The siblings shared everything, from a deep love of music to the struggles of fame and substance use. Recently, Alex Van Halen announced plans to sell his personal gear and instrument collection at auction. Former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony thinks he may have an idea why that’s happening.

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‘It Is Pretty Sad:’ Michael Anthony Speaks Out On Alex Van Halen

In 2022, former Metallica bassist Jason Newsted mentioned that Alex Van Halen and Chickenfoot guitarist Joe Satriani had approached him about a Van Halen tribute tour. Speculation ran amok, but the tour has yet to materialize. Now, with Alex selling all his gear, former bandmate Michael Anthony has little hope it ever will.

“[I]t appears like he’s selling everything right down to his last drumstick,” Anthony said in a recent interview with Guitar magazine.

Anthony, 69, admitted hearing the news was surprising and “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?”

Still, the current bassist for Sammy Hagar and the Circle says he understands. “I know that he continues to grieve today over Eddie’s passing. And basically, Eddie was the only person that he actually ever played music with,” Anthony said

[RELATED: Sammy Hagar Addresses Alex Van Halen Not Participating in Tour]

He added, “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.”

Brother’s Memoir Will Pay Tribute to Eddie Van Halen

Alex Van Halen may not be participating in any musical tributes to his younger brother. However, the 71-year-old drummer is paying homage to Eddie in his own way. Alex’s forthcoming memoir Brothers—set for an Oct. 22 release—is “a love letter” to his brother and bandmate.

The memoir—written while Alex was still mourning his brother’s untimely death—will dive into the “musical politics, infighting, and … bad-boy behavior” that came with being a rocker in the ’70s and ’80s.

Featured image by Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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