Details You Didn't Know About Eddie Van Halen's Brother, Alex

Eddie Van Halen is the most famous of the Van Halen brothers. His riffs inspired the next generation of rock stars in the same way that Jimi Hendrix did with the Van Halen generation. His name has recently hit the news again after his death on October 6, 2020, but he wasn't the only Van Halen brother worth talking about. Alex Van Halen was also one of Van Halen the band's founding members. 

Both of the Van Halen brothers were raised in the music business thanks to their father who was also a professional musician. Alex took up his position within the band on the drums while Eddie Van Halen rocked six strings like it was nobody's business. What's often overlooked is that Alex Van Halen was an equally talented musician with a way of playing that baffled music professors when he was in school, according to Van Halen News Desk, and inspired a new wave of drum composition. Let's look at a few other things you probably didn't know about Eddie Van Halen's brother.

Alex and Eddie Van Halen switched instruments

Though it sounds like something out of a Bizarro world version of Van Halen, Alex and Eddie Van Halen didn't start out playing the same instruments they would once the band was formed. Both of the brothers began their musical training by learning how to play classical piano. From there, Alex would go on to learn classical guitar, but he wasn't really digging the six-string instrument. So, he opted for a pair of drumsticks instead.

Oddly enough, it wasn't Alex's drums that he learned to play on. According to Van Halen News Desk, Eddie Van Halen had busted his butt delivering papers so he could afford a cheap Japenese drum set. It was Eddie's drumset that Alex used to gain all those awesome "bangity-bang" skills that would later make him millions. Alex Van Halen was a natural with two sticks in hands and an equal number of pedals beneath his feet. It didn't take long before the brothers realized they needed to switch instruments, and soon they were playing their first gigs at intermissions during their father's shows.

Alex Van Halen sued his ex-wife

Alex Van Halen actually has two ex-wives. His divorce from his wife, Valeri Kendall, wasn't really a big deal. The couple wasn't together very long and everything went fairly smoothly following the dissolution of marriage. It was his divorce from his second wife, Kelly Carter, that would cause major problems and eventually lead to a lawsuit.

Van Halen married Carter in 1984. Carter was no longer "Carter," and was now Kelly Van Halen. The couple divorced in 1996, but Kelly kept the Van Halen last name for professional reasons that seemed suspiciously like her trying to capitalize on her husband and his band's fame to make few dollars. She used the last name for her construction company and interior design business. ELVH Inc., the Van Halen intellectual property company that Alex Van Halen co-controls, believed that Kelly using the Van Halen name in any business capacity was an infringement on the band's trademark, according to Hollywood Reporter, and subsequently sued her for such.

The lawsuit was filed back in 2013, claiming that Kelly using the Van Halen name on her products and services was similar enough that it would confuse customers into thinking they were buying a product related to the band's brand. Hollywood Reporter says the lawsuit was settled out of court in 2015.