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Time Line

< >-5/08: Alex Arthur Van Halen is born in Amsterdam, NL to Jan and Eugenia Van Halen.
< >-6/20: Michael Anthony is born at St. Joseph Hospital in Chicago, IL.
< >-1/26: Edward Lodewijk Van Halen is born in Amsterdam, NL. The family later moves to Nijmegen.
< >-Michael follows in the footsteps of his father Walter, and begins playing the trumpet.
< >-2/22: The Van Halen family immigrates to the United States with a piano and 75 guilders ($15 US) in their possession. After settling in California, Jan supported the family by washing dishes at Arcadia Methodist Hospital and working as a janitor at an area Masonic Temple. Weekends were spent gigging on the saxaphone and clarinet at proms, bar mitzvahs, etc.
< >-Edward and Alex form their first band - The Broken Combs. Decked out in turtleneck shirts, the group performed lunchroom concerts at Hamilton Elementary School and featured Ed on piano and Alex on saxophone along with Don Ferris. In addition, Brian Hill played drums and Kevin Hill played a plastic Emenee guitar.
< >-Ed begins playing his four-piece $125 Japanese St. George drum set, learning the Dave Clark Five's "Glad All Over" and "Bits and Pieces," while Alex takes flamenco guitar lessons. While Edward was delivering newspapers to pay for his kit, Alex would sit at the drums learning "Wipeout." A short time later, they switched instruments. < >-Michael and his family move from Chicago to California, where he later goes on to play trumpet in his junior high school marching band.
< >-Edward is bitten by a German Shepard in Covina, CA. His father gave him a Pall Mall cigarette and a shot of vodka to help ease the pain. < >-Michael begins junior high at Dana Junior High School in Arcadia, CA. < >-Ed purchases his first electric guitar: a Teisco Del Ray, for $110 at Sears.
< >-Edward begins junior high school at John Marshall Junior High in Pasadena, CA.
< >-Edward Van Halen attends a Led Zeppelin concert where he gets the idea for tapping after watching Jimmy Page perform "Heartbreaker." < >-The Trojan Rubber Company is formed, featuring Ed on guitar, Alex on drums, Dennis Travis on bass and occasional guitar, and a short-lived keyboardist. The band also went by the name The Space Brothers so they could perform at area schools.
< >-Mammoth is formed, featuring Edward on guitar and lead vocals, Alex on drums, and Mark Stone on bass. < >-Michael graduates from Arcadia High School in Arcadia, CA and goes on to attend Pasadena City College in Pasadena, CA.
< >-David Lee Roth auditions for Mammoth. He is accepted and leaves The Red Ball Jets to join Edward, Alex and Mark as their new vocalist. Over the course of the next few years, Mammoth (later becoming Van Halen) gigs EVERYWHERE - from backyard parties and weddings to wet-shirt contests and bar mitzvahs, they are reputed to have a 200-song repertoire. < >-Edward attends Pasadena City College, in Pasadena, CA.
< >-Mark Stone is kicked out of Mammoth. After a rigourous audition in a Pasadena, CA garage, Michael Anthony accepts an invitation to take Stone's place, quitting his band Snake in the process. The quartet changes their name to Van Halen due to the fact that Mammoth is already in use by another band. The band often rehearsed in the basement of Roth's parent's home. < >-4/04: Van Halen gets their first break when they become a regular act at Gazzaris in West Hollywood, CA (now known as the Key Club). < >-5/17: Robin "Rudy" Leiren becomes Edward's guitar tech. He remained with Ed until 1985, when he was replaced by Zeke Clark. Leiren later returned to handle tech duties on the Balance tour.
< >-By now, Van Halen are playing in schools and clubs throughout the Los Angeles area on a regular basis, including the Starwood, the Whisky A GoGo, and Walter Mitty's Rock & Roll Emporium to name a few. To advertise themselves, the band would often make flyers for upcoming gigs and paper them everywhere. < >-In May of this year, Van Halen is "discovered" by Gene Simmons at the Starwood in Los Angeles, CA. He financed a demo recorded at Village Recorder Studios in Los Angeles (two guitar solos were later recorded at Electric Ladyland Studios in New York). While in New York, Simmons setup a showcase performance for S.I.R's Bill Aucoin, but Aucoin saw no commercial potential in Van Halen, and passed to sign Piper.
< >-5/02: On a rainy Monday night in May, Van Halen's first manager Marshall Berle, brings two Warner Bros. executives to the Starwood to check out the band. That evening, Van Halen are "re-discovered" by Ted Templeman and Mo Ostin and are offered a recording contract on the spot, which they accept less than 24 hours later.
< >-1/28: Van Halen releases "You Really Got Me," the first single from their forthcoming major label debut, "Van Halen" (released on 2/10). The song cracks the Top 40, peaking at #36 on the US charts and #34 in the UK. < >-3/03: Van Halen embark on their first world tour, in support of "Van Halen." They open for Journey and Black Sabbath as well as headlining several smaller, club gigs. < >-5/24: "Van Halen" is certified Gold by the RIAA and on 10/10, the album is certified platinum. < >-12/31: While at a New Year's Eve party at Ted Templeman's house, Edward noodles around on an acoustic guitar. Templeman hears him and suggests he write an instrumental on it for the upcoming "Van Halen II," which the band had begun recording on 12/10.
< >-During a photo shoot for the soon to be released Van Halen II," David Lee Roth breaks his right heel; landing incorrectly on it after a jump. < >-3/23: "Van Halen II" is released. On 4/03 it is certified Gold by the RIAA. A little more than a month later, on 5/08, it is certified platinum. < >-4/28: "Dance the Night Away," the first single from "Van Halen II" is released. It peaks on US charts at #15. 1980 < >-February: David Lee Roth forms the Jungle Studs - a group of adventurers consisting of lawyers, accountants, and doctors (Dave is the only musician). In between Van Halen gigs, the outfit travels the globe including mountain climbing treks in Nepal and kayaking Alaskan rivers. < >-May: While filming a performance for Italian television at Rome, Italy's Piper Club, David Lee Roth executes a flying leap from Alex's drum kit and hits a low-hanging lighting rig, fracturing his nose and giving himself a minor concussion. < >-3/26: Women and Children First is released. It is certified gold on 5/29 and later platinum on 6/02. < >-12/31: Edward gets down on one knee and proposes to Valerie Bertinelli with an $8,000 emerald-cut diamond ring.
< >-4/11: Edward marries Valerie at St. Paul the Apostle Church in Westwood, CA. Nicolette Larson sings a love ballad in French, composed especially for the couple. The 400-guest reception was held at the Grayhall Mansion owned by millionaire Bernie Cornfield in Beverly Hills, CA. Valerie's mother Nancy helped design the five-flavored wedding cake. < >-4/29: Fair Warning is released. It is certified gold on 7/07 and platinum on 11/18.
< >-4/14: Diver Down is released. It is certified gold and platinum on 6/30. < >-6/26-27: Van Halen holds rehearsals for their upcoming tour in support of Diver Down at Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Studios in Hollywood, CA. < >-10/15: Edward fractures his left wrist and is taken to Hand Surgery Associates in New York, NY for x-rays. The injury results in the cancellation of three shows, all of which were re-scheduled. < >-10/22: Van Halen Day is declared by Mayor Sara Robertson in Worcester, MA after WAAF sponsors a 25,000-signature petition to get the band to add a third show at the Centrum.
< >-4/28: Beat It goes to #1 on the Billboard Charts. Edward recorded two guitar solos for the song for no money. < >-Summer: Edward writes and records "Strung Out" (Balance) and three instrumentals for The Seduction of Gina while vacationing at Marvin Hamlisch's Malibu, CA beach house.
< >-1/09: 1984 is released. It is certified gold and platinum on 3/1. < >-February: MTV announces their Lost Weekend with Van Halen contest. Entry requirements are a simple postcard. The winner gets to spend the weekend with Van Halen. < >-2/25: Jump begins a five-week peak at #1 on the US Billboard Singles Chart. The single is certified gold on 4/03. < >-3/17: 1984 begins a four-week peak at #2 on Billboard's Top LP Chart. < >-3/20: MTV chooses Kurt Jefferis of Phoenixville, PA as the winner of their Lost Weekend with Van Halen contest. Jefferis, who's postcard was picked from more than one million entries, passed on offers of clothing, cars, women and even $5,000 to take his best friend, Tom Winnick. 1,000 runners-up in the giveaway won a copy of 1984. < >-10/22: 1984 is certified quadruple platinum. Van Halen is certified platinum five times over. Van Halen II is certified triple platinum. Women and Children First is certified double platinum. < >-12/31: While still in Van Halen, David Lee Roth releases "Crazy From the Heat," a 4-song EP, which signals the beginning of the end of Dave's tenure as lead vocalist.
< >-1/23: 1984 is certified platinum five times over. < >-April: David Lee Roth leaves Van Halen. < >-August: Edward calls Sammy Hagar from Claudio Zampoli's auto shop and invites him to jam with the band at 5150. Hagar claims he knew they'd call and ask him to jam and shares the sentiment with both wife and Ed Leffler. A few days later, he appears and the band plays an unfinished "Summer Nights" and "Good Enough," with Hagar improvising lyrics on the spot. 20 minutes later, he accepts the invitation to join the band. Hagar's joining however, presents a problem for his solo label, Geffen. He has just come off his most successful solo album to date and the record company isn't about to let him go without a fight. After several weeks of negotiations, the label lets him go but Hagar owes Geffen one more solo album. < >-11/13: Edward places his hands in cement as he is inducted into the Hollywood, CA Rock Walk located in front of the Guitar Center on Sunset Blvd. < >-November: Mick Jones begins overseeing production on 5150.
< >-February: Edward attends the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) show in Anaheim, CA. He presents one of his striped Kramer guitars to Michael Guiterrez, the winner of a contest that 80,000 people entered. < >-3/24: 5150 is released. < >-4/25: 5150 reaches #1 on the Billboard charts. < >-5/28: 5150 is certified gold, platinum and double platinum. It is certified triple platinum on 10/10. < >-11/24: The band's first home video, Live Without A Net is released. It is certified Gold on 12/22 and Platinum on 2/25/87. < >-December: Edward and Alex's father Jan passes away at the age of 66. Ed and Al go into the studio on the day of his death and jam for hours.
< >-7/01: 1984 is certified platinum seven times over.
< >-April: While vacationing with Valerie off the coast of Turtle Island (located off the Australian coast), Edward is infected with the dengue fever virus. Two days later his temperature reaches 105 degrees and he spends five days in the hospital recuperating. < >-5/16: Alex and Michael appear on Rockline. All callers receive an autographed copy of the Black and Blue CD single. A random drawing of postcards for an additional 150 CDs is also held. < >-5/24: OU812 is released. It hits #1 on the charts on 6/25. < >-7/26: OU812 is certified gold, platinum and double platinum.
< >-1/18: 5150 is certified quadruple platinum. OU812 is certified triple platinum. < >-2/01: Van Halen is certified platinum six times over. < >-2/22: Diver Down is certified triple platinum. < >-10/15-16: Edward and Michael take part in the First Annual World Music Invitational Pro/Am Charity Celebrity Golf Tournament held at Stonebridge Ranch in Dallas, TX.
< >-7/05: Van Halen II is certified platinum four times over.
< >-January: The 5150 studio is remodeled. A new console is installed, and the size of the studio is doubled with the addition of a drum room. < >-3/16: Edward and Valerie welcome their son Wolfgang William (named after Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart), born at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica, CA and weighing seven pounds, 13 ounces. < >-6/13: Van Halen appears on national radio from 5150 to premiere For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge. The album is released on on 6/17. < >-6/18: Alex places his handprints in cement as he is inducted in to the Hollywood Rock Walk in Hollywood, CA. -8/22: For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge is certified Gold and Platinum. It is certified Double Platinum on 11/08.
< >-4/09: Police confiscate a Van Halen shirt worn by teen Shawnn Pierce outside a restaurant in Little Rock, AR. Pierce is cited and fined for public display of obscene material on clothing. The offense is punishable by 30 days in jail and up to a $100 fine. When Pierce appeared in court on 6/18 for sentencing, Van Halen paid his fine. < >-9/09: Van Halen attends the MTV Video Music Awards at the Pauley Pavilion at UCLA in Los Angeles, CA and take home awards for the "Right Now" video, including Best Editing (Michael Sinaway), Best Direction (Mark Finske), and Video Of the Year.
< >-2/23: Live: Right Here, Right Now is released. The album is certified Gold and Platinum on 5/04 and Double Platinum on 9/20. < >-3/03: Van Halen plays the Whisky A GoGo to celebrate their 15th anniversary. < >-3/21: Michael takes part in the opening of The Bass Centre in Birmingham, England. < >-9/29: Van Halen is certified Platinum seven times over. < >-10/16: Manager Ed Leffler succumbs to thyroid cancer and passes away at Cedars Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles, CA. Funeral services are held on 10/19 at Hillside Park & Mortuary in Los Angeles. < >-12/07: Edward visits the Rock Walk outside the Guitar Center in Hollywood, CA to celebrate the induction of Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page.
< >-2/23: Edward assists in groundbreaking ceremonies at the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, NV along with BB King, Chris Issak and HRC founder Peter Morton. < >-5/25: The band begins recording Balance. Recording ends on 9/02 and mixing begins on 9/07. < >-7/11: Van Halen is certified Platinum eight times over. 1984 is certified Platinum seven times over. < >-8/04: Women and Children First is certified Triple Platinum. Fair Warning is certified Double Platinum. < >-8/17: 5150 is certified Platinum five times over. For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge is certified Platinum three times over. < >-10/02: Edward quits drinking permanently.
< >-1/12: The band appears on Warner/Reprise's Cyber Talk on AOL. < >-1/17: Van Halen premiers Balance on Westwood One radio. Two hundred and forty radio stations carry the live broadcast from Air Studios in London, UK. One hundred twenty contest winners from across the U.S. attend the event. < >-1/24: Balance is released. The band makes a promotional appearance in Paris, FR. < >-1/28: The Amsterdam video is filmed while walking the streets in Amsterdam, NL. Eddie also receives his first tattoo: "Wolfgang" in a banner over the VH logo. MTV refuses to air the video due to strong drug references in the lyrics. < >-3/29: Balance is certfied Gold, Platinum and Double Platinum. < >-4/03: Van Halen celebrates the Double Platinum award given to Balance along with the sale of more than 60 million albums total while at the Museum of Flying in Santa Monica, CA. < >-10/06: The band places their handprints in cement as they are inducted into Guitar Center's Rock Walk in Hollywood, CA.
< >-1/04: "The Seventh Seal" is nominated for a Grammy in the 38th annual Grammy Awards for Best Hard Rock Performance. < >-6/26: Van Halen releases an official statement announc-ing that Sammy Hagar has left Van Halen and that the original lineup is currently in the studio recording new material. < >-Van Halen In Studio With David Lee Roth < >-SRO Management has announced that Van Halen is in the studio working with original lead singer David Lee Roth. Their collaboration will be included on the band's upcoming Warner Bros. Records Greatest Hits collection, scheduled for release this fall. < >-It has also been announced that Sammy Hagar, Van Halen's vocalist since 1986, is no longer with the group. The band is currently considering a replacement < >-8/07: Van Halen is certified Platinum nine times over . < >-9/04: Van Halen appears with David Lee Roth on the MTV Video Music Awards to present the award for Best Male Video to Beck. The appearance receives a standing ovation. < >-10/03: Van Halen releases an official press release in response to an open letter released to the public the day before. < >-We parted company with David Lee Roth 11 years ago for many reasons. In his open letter of October 2nd, we were reminded of some of them. The intention all along was to do two new songs with Dave for the Best Of Volume 1 package. He was never led to believe anything but that. When the four of us were asked by MTV and Warner Bros . to present an award at the 1996 MTV Video Music Awards, the four of us agreed. Dave was never an "unwitting participant." We appeared in public just as we do before releasing any other Van Halen record. For the last two weeks we have been working with someone who we hope will be part of the future of Van Halen, although no final decision can be announced until contractual considerations have been resolved. Van Halen will go forward and create the best possible music we can. < >-Edward, Alex and Michael < >-10/04: Edward and Alex appear on the Mark and Brian radio show to announce Gary Cherone is 99.999% locked in as the new vocalist. < >-10/05: Edward, Alex and Michael are presented with an Outstanding Contribution to Music award at the 1996 Foundations Forum at the Palladium in Hollywood, CA. They are also presented with Platinum awards for surpassing the 10 million sales mark for Van Halen. Later that day, the band is honored with a plaque commerating the event. The plaque is located in the sidewalk right outside of the front door at the Whisky A GoGo in West Hollywood. < >-10/22: Best Of Volume 1 is released. Video Hits Volume 1 is released on 10/29. < >-11/09: Best Of Volume 1 hits #1 on the Billboard Top 200. The album remains on the charts for 52 weeks. < >-12/16: Edward, suffering from avascular necrosis, is scheduled for hip replacement surgery. The operation is re-scheduled for February 1997 and later put off indefinitely when his doctors advise him to wait until the operation is absolutely necessary. < >-Edward and Alex shoot a "Got Milk?" advertisement at 5150, marking the first time that members of a rock and roll band appear in the famous ad campaign.
< >-Edward receives the award for Best Rock Guitarist at the 1997 Orville H. Gibson Awards held at the Hard Rock Cafe in New York, NY. The Kinks' Dave Davies accepts the award on Edward's behalf. < >-1/04: Van Halen returns to the studio after a short holiday break to continue writing and recording with new vocalist Gary Cherone. < >-5/01: Best Of Volume 1 is certfied Gold and Platinum.
< >-3/12: The Album Network airs the Van Halen III premiere party from Billboard Live (now known as The Key Club). The broadcast is aired nationwide and afterwards, the band surprises the crowd with a live performance. The album is officially released five days later on 3/17. < >-5/21: Best Of Volume 1 is certified Double Platinum and Diver Down is certified Quadruple Platinum. < >-8/19: Van Halen III is certified gold.
< >-2/08: 1984 is certified Platinum 10 times over. < >-3/16: 1984 is certified with the newly created Diamond award, which is awarded to albums that have sold 10 million copies. The Van Halen album also receives Diamond certification. < >-11/05: Van Halen and Gary Cherone part company. The following official statement is released: < >-The members of Van Halen have announced that singer Gary Cherone is leaving the band. The band stressed that the departure was both mutual and amicable and they remain good friends. The band is currently working on its next LP and Cherone is pursuing new musical ventures. < >-The members of the band, Eddie Van Halen, Alex Van Halen and Michael Anthony, expressed their appreciation for Gary's work with the band and wished him well in his future endeavors. < >-"I had a great time singing with the band and I wish Eddie, Alex and Michael all the best. I'll see 'em in Boston," said Cherone. < >-Eddie Van Halen said, "Gary is a brother and he and I will continue to have a personal and musical relationship." 2001 < >-4/26: Edward announces that he is battling cancer in a personal message to the fans: < >-"I'm sorry for having waited so long to address this issue personally. But, cancer can be a very unique and private matter to deal with. So, I think it's about time to tell you where I'm at." < >-"I was examined by three oncologists and three head & neck surgeons at Cedars Sinaijust before spring break and I was told that I'm healthier than ever and beating cancer." < >-"Although it's hard to say when, there's a good chance I will be cancer free in the near future. I just want to thank all of you for your concern and support. Love, Eddie"