Alex Van Halen has broken his silence on the death of his brother and longtime bandmate, Eddie Van Halen.
"Hey Ed. Love you. See you on the other side. Your brother, Al," the 67-year-old drummer wrote.
The short but touching message was accompanied by a sweet childhood photo of the siblings that showed Eddie as a toddler sitting on a vintage wooden rocking horse and holding a pair of drum sticks, while Alex stood behind him on the back of the rocker. The black-and-white, 1950s-era pic showed that the future rock star always had a love for music, as a toy drum could also be seen in the pic.
Alex was the last of the main Van Halen bandmates to release a statement following the death of Eddie. David Lee Roth, Sammy Hagar, and Michael Anthony all took to social media to post photos and tributes to the co-leader of their iconic band in the hours following his death.
But shortly before Eddie died Tuesday, Alex was reportedly by his side at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, California, along with the guitar legend's wife, Janie Liszewski, his son Wolfgang, and his ex-wife Valerie Bertinelli, according to TMZ.
The Dutch-born brothers were close. In fact, Eddie's final Instagram post was a birthday tribute to his big brother. In May, Eddie shared a sweet throwback pic as his sibling stood with his arm around him. In the caption, the music legend told Alex he loved him.
The photo was reposted on the official Van Halen Instagram page where fans revisited it to pay tribute to the late guitar great.The Van Halen brothers inherited their love for music from their father, Jan, who was a working-class musician proficient in playing the clarinet, saxophone, and piano, per The Chicago Tribune. Starting at age 6, the future rock stars were schooled on the piano and performed in recitals, despite Eddie's lack of sight reading.
As a teen, Eddie took up the drums, while Alex began playing guitar, but the musical siblings eventually switched their instruments and became experts at playing them. They would go on to form their iconic rock band in 1972 when they were still teenagers and they won a Grammy Award for their album For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge in 1992.