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Van Halen III producer says Eddie played the drums in many tracks

Van Halen 90s
Photo by Neil Zlozower

Classic Rock

Van Halen III producer says Eddie played the drums in many tracks

After Sammy Hagar was fired from Van Halen in 1996, the band tried to reconnect with David Lee Roth but the possible reunion didn’t work. So they decided to bring a new singer and the chosen one was Gary Cherone of Extreme. In 1998, the infamous “Van Halen III”, which is the band’s eleventh studio album, was released.


Although the album peaked at number 4 on the Billboard 200 charts, it failed to be as successful as the records with Roth and Hagar. It was produced by Eddie alongside Mike Post, who is best known as the composer of many theme shows, like “Law & Order”, “The A-Team” and “Magnum P.I.”

In an interview with Hustle (Transcribed by Ultimate Classic Rock), the musician recalled that Eddie played the drums in many tracks of that album. His older brother Alex was going through a divorce at the time and battling drug addiction, so he wasn’t playing like he used to.

Van Halen III producer says Eddie played the drums in many tracks

“I knew the record wasn’t really good. I knew the record was kind of crappy. But it’s the way Ed wanted it. It was one of the worst periods in his life (Alex). He was drinking a lot. … and he just wasn’t Al. He wasn’t playing like Al. I said, ‘Al, I gotta do something here really difficult. This is really going to be a hard conversation. And I just ask you from the bottom of my heart to stay calm, and use your logic and your kindness. (…) Al, you’re in the middle of a divorce, you’re really fucked up, and you’re not playing like Alex. You are not playing like you.”

“And my job is to get your little brother to do a record sober, and to facilitate that. So you gotta sit down, and concentrate on yourself, and concentrate on your divorce, and concentrate on getting rid of all the substance abuse. You don’t want to stop your little brother from doing something that’s very different for him. He’s had tremendous struggles. Be a big brother here. Put yourself second and let this kid do what he wants to do, he’s earned it.”

“It didn’t take him long, it took him four, five or six months and he was great. They start rehearsing, and god, Al just sounds like Al and it’s just fucking great. Twice as good as what Ed played on the record,” Mike Post said.

It’s worth reminding that when they were young kids, Eddie first started to play the drums and Alex the guitar. After some time Alex realized he was better at playing the drums and Eddie playing the guitar. So they swapped instruments and entered Rock and Roll history.

I'm a Brazilian journalist who always loved Classic Rock and Heavy Metal music. That passion inspired me to create Rock and Roll Garage over 6 years ago. Music has always been a part of my life, helping me through tough times and being a support to celebrate the good ones. When I became a journalist, I knew I wanted to write about my passions. After graduating in journalism from the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, I pursued a postgraduate degree in digital communication at the same institution. The studies and experience in the field helped me improve the website and always bring the best of classic rock to the world! MTB: 0021377/MG

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