(This is a Dutch name; the family name is Van Halen, not Halen.) Alexander Arthur "Alex" Van Halen (born May 8, 1953) is a Dutch-American musician, best known as the drummer and co-founder of the hard rock band Van Halen. Originally, his brother Eddie played drums, while Alex practiced guitar. After spending time playing Eddie's drum kit, Alex became more skillful at the drums than Eddie. In 1974, the Van Halen brothers, David Lee Roth, and Michael Anthony formed a band, simply called Van Halen. They were signed to Warner Brothers in 1977 and released their first album in 1978. The two brothers are the only members of Van Halen who have been in the band for its entire duration.