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Thread: Alex Van Halen Underrated?

  1. #1

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    Default Alex Van Halen Underrated?



    My two favorite drummers are Neil Peart and Alex Van Halen. While I believe Neil to be the best well known drummer of all time (and my first favorite), Alex Van Halen is my second favorite. He not only can play fast and lay down cool and complicated beats, but he also has a unique kit and sound. I especially love his snare sound, drum set up, inclusion of octobans and roto toms, choice of cymbals, etc. When I stumble upon the 100 Best Drummer threads and posts (not that they matter anyway), I never see Alex's name. Does anyone else think he's underrated?
    Current Set Up:
    Ludwig 1963 Black Diamond Pearl 20" Bass and 12" Tom
    5 Roto-Toms: 6", 8", 10", 16", 18"
    Premier Chrome Snare
    Zildjian Hi-hats
    Paiste 2002 Reverend Al's Big Ride 24"

    "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"- Neil Peart

  2. #2

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    Default Re: Alex Van Halen Underrated?

    MP, I would definitely agree with you that Alex Van Halen is underrated. The problem was that he was playing in the shadow of his brother, and then there was all the drama over the frontmen. Too bad Alex got lost in the mix.
    Quoting gonefishin: Just have some bacon with ya when you go pick her up..........youre an instant chick magnet.





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  3. #3

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    That's probably true PB. Things got pretty messed up recently for those guys.
    MP, I think it's definately better to be underrated rather than overrated. When it comes to Alex, you have to listen real hard sometimes to the little things he's doing back in the mix. One classic example of this is during "Girl Gone Bad" (from 1984 obviously). Listen to the combination of swinging double kick and the hits on the ride bell that he does at the end of Eddie's solo towards the end of the song (just before the bass drops out and he's hitting the cowbell). It's things like that that really stand out to me.
    Tama Rockstar & Paiste User and Abuser......

  4. #4

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    He's one of the most important figures in rock drumming history, he gets his share of attention for sure(this is Van Halen after all). Maybe not as much as his brother, and definitely not as much as Peart does(because Peart is massively overrated). As long as his fans know him and his achievements, it's all good. The ones that know to look for him are true and dedicated, with taste in good drumming.
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by spesman View Post
    I think it's definately better to be underrated rather than overrated.
    Very good point Spes.
    - Tom

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  6. #6

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    ^^ Drummer dude, your avatar is freaking me out man!!
    Tama Rockstar & Paiste User and Abuser......

  7. #7

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    If you achieve any kind of fame, usually you are overrated.

    From what I've seen, people tend to look at it this way: If you are famous, you must be great, and if you should die young, you must have been even greater than they thought you were in the first place.

  8. #8

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    Alex Van Halen often cites Ginger Baker as one of a number of his influences (as well as John Bonham, Buddy Rich and others), which is pretty evident in the way that he has a certain 'swing' in the way he plays, even though what he's doing isn't jazz by a long shot, lol. But never underestimate him.....that guy learned and played quite a number of instruments, not just drums and guitar (thank heavens he and Eddie swapped instruments at a younger age.....God knows where they'd be if they didn't!). Plus if you can rightly (righteously?) call yourself Reverend Alex Van Halen.....well he must be the coolest minister in the drum world.

    Apart from PB, that is....
    "...it's the Paradigm Of The Cosmos!" Stewart Copeland on Youtube

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  9. #9

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    I don't think Neil is overated he is just one of the most active drummer out there these days. He is always in the news touring etc he is a busy man alot more than Van Halen. I was watching a show yesterday about Rush it was called Stage secrets which shows all the tech setting up the gear for Rush and found the drum tech Gump explaning Neil's set up etc. Very interesting.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    and definitely not as much as Peart does(because Peart is massively overrated).
    ..............I definitely don't think he's overrated..........one hell of a musician

  11. #11

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    I'm a big AVH fan too and I think Dave just stole the spotlight so much then there was Eddie people kind of didn't pay attention to the rythm section too much. Both of em.

    That's one of my favorite kits of his, in the picture. Only thing missing is the extinguisher on the kick. Where is that on display at?
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by longgun View Post
    ..............I definitely don't think he's overrated..........one hell of a musician
    How is Peart not overrated? He's in a ton of drummer conversations and articles, not to mention he's practically the face of DW and Sabian. I mean yes, very very talented but also very often brought up.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by spesman View Post
    ^^ Drummer dude, your avatar is freaking me out man!!
    Ha-ha!
    - Tom

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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by Russ View Post
    How is Peart not overrated? He's in a ton of drummer conversations and articles, not to mention he's practically the face of DW and Sabian. I mean yes, very very talented but also very often brought up.
    What you have to remember is Peart is often brought up in conversation as an influence on players, whether they play big kits or not (have a look at a number of prog-rock and prog-metal bands whose drummers when interviewed will often cite Neil as maybe one of their main or secondary influences when developing as drummers). And then have a look at a number of interviews where Neil himself will mention drummers that had influenced him at various stages of learning and development as a player.....it's pretty diverse, and he gives a lot of kudos to those guys too.....he would be the last one to try to put himself above another player, no matter if they possessed less chops than him or not.

    Also consider that he has been part of a band that has had a helluva lot of longevity and respect from a wide swathe of musicians (and even a few non-musicians), never mind the fact that he has written words about so many aspects of the human condition (both lyrically and in literature), combine that with his diverse travelling and touring experiences, plus his humble disposition and his lifelong urge to keep pushing himself.....well, how can anyone not mention him in any forum?

    I wouldn't say Neil is the face of DW & Sabian, but he's certainly pretty popular. But don't forget, in the 80's Neil was also an often-seen face in Tama and Zildjian advertising and posters (his signature red Tama drumkit certainly would have caught anyone's eye) and then later on, even though he was still with Zildjian, he had then become one of the poster-boys for Ludwig, whether with his white double-bass kit when he first signed with them, or his latter blue Ludwig set with a double pedal. And way before the 80's, I'm sure his face would have popped up in adverts for Slingerland drums.

    Talented? Definitely. Overrated? Not quite. Rush have put way too much work into their craft as musicians and artists over way more than three decades to be overrated. All of them, Peart especially, have their feet firmly planted on terra firma and would be the last ones wanting to be put on pedestals. So much so that whilst their fans might adulate them, they're usually poking fun at themselves whilst they still restlessly create music and push themselves. They've more than deserved their accolades.
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbledore View Post
    What you have to remember is Peart is often brought up in conversation as an influence on players, whether they play big kits or not (have a look at a number of prog-rock and prog-metal bands whose drummers when interviewed will often cite Neil as maybe one of their main or secondary influences when developing as drummers). And then have a look at a number of interviews where Neil himself will mention drummers that had influenced him at various stages of learning and development as a player.....it's pretty diverse, and he gives a lot of kudos to those guys too.....he would be the last one to try to put himself above another player, no matter if they possessed less chops than him or not.

    Also consider that he has been part of a band that has had a helluva lot of longevity and respect from a wide swathe of musicians (and even a few non-musicians), never mind the fact that he has written words about so many aspects of the human condition (both lyrically and in literature), combine that with his diverse travelling and touring experiences, plus his humble disposition and his lifelong urge to keep pushing himself.....well, how can anyone not mention him in any forum?

    I wouldn't say Neil is the face of DW & Sabian, but he's certainly pretty popular. But don't forget, in the 80's Neil was also an often-seen face in Tama and Zildjian advertising and posters (his signature red Tama drumkit certainly would have caught anyone's eye) and then later on, even though he was still with Zildjian, he had then become one of the poster-boys for Ludwig, whether with his white double-bass kit when he first signed with them, or his latter blue Ludwig set with a double pedal. And way before the 80's, I'm sure his face would have popped up in adverts for Slingerland drums.

    Talented? Definitely. Overrated? Not quite. Rush have put way too much work into their craft as musicians and artists over way more than three decades to be overrated. All of them, Peart especially, have their feet firmly planted on terra firma and would be the last ones wanting to be put on pedestals. So much so that whilst their fans might adulate them, they're usually poking fun at themselves whilst they still restlessly create music and push themselves. They've more than deserved their accolades.

    Nicely stated!!!!!

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drumbledore View Post
    What you have to remember is Peart is often brought up in conversation as an influence on players, whether they play big kits or not (have a look at a number of prog-rock and prog-metal bands whose drummers when interviewed will often cite Neil as maybe one of their main or secondary influences when developing as drummers). And then have a look at a number of interviews where Neil himself will mention drummers that had influenced him at various stages of learning and development as a player.....it's pretty diverse, and he gives a lot of kudos to those guys too.....he would be the last one to try to put himself above another player, no matter if they possessed less chops than him or not.

    Also consider that he has been part of a band that has had a helluva lot of longevity and respect from a wide swathe of musicians (and even a few non-musicians), never mind the fact that he has written words about so many aspects of the human condition (both lyrically and in literature), combine that with his diverse travelling and touring experiences, plus his humble disposition and his lifelong urge to keep pushing himself.....well, how can anyone not mention him in any forum?

    I wouldn't say Neil is the face of DW & Sabian, but he's certainly pretty popular. But don't forget, in the 80's Neil was also an often-seen face in Tama and Zildjian advertising and posters (his signature red Tama drumkit certainly would have caught anyone's eye) and then later on, even though he was still with Zildjian, he had then become one of the poster-boys for Ludwig, whether with his white double-bass kit when he first signed with them, or his latter blue Ludwig set with a double pedal. And way before the 80's, I'm sure his face would have popped up in adverts for Slingerland drums.

    Talented? Definitely. Overrated? Not quite. Rush have put way too much work into their craft as musicians and artists over way more than three decades to be overrated. All of them, Peart especially, have their feet firmly planted on terra firma and would be the last ones wanting to be put on pedestals. So much so that whilst their fans might adulate them, they're usually poking fun at themselves whilst they still restlessly create music and push themselves. They've more than deserved their accolades.
    DD, you definitely know how to put things into words........my feelings exactly, just don't think I could ever word it that well.....thanks

  17. #17

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    ^^Thanks guys. Sorry for stealing the thread a bit.

    Anyway, let's back to the original track. I'm like the OP of this thread, in which I'm a fan of Alex and Neil. And any other drummer that I've heard and begged, borrowed or outrightly stolen ideas from. From the well known ones that have graced various music publications or on other popular media like Youtube, all the way to the unknown or little-knowns playing and battling along in the pubs and clubs. Even if I didn't like a particular player for what he or she did, I learned what to do or what not to do, in any and every situation.

    By the way, has anyone seen on Youtube "Van Halen: The History Of Van Halen?" I would put up the links, however there is a bit of objectionable language in various spots. If you search on Youtube, it had been uploaded by the user VanHalenFanClub. Look it up folks!
    Last edited by Drumbledore; 12-11-2012 at 12:06 AM.
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  18. #18

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    If youre not convinced how good of a drummer Rev Al (yes he is ordained) just listen to anything off of Women And Children First.

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by pastor_bob View Post
    MP, I would definitely agree with you that Alex Van Halen is underrated. The problem was that he was playing in the shadow of his brother, and then there was all the drama over the frontmen. Too bad Alex got lost in the mix.
    I think this played a big part in it. Eddie and DLR were up front and so famous that he was looked over. And it's funny that you say is Spesman, I was just playing Girl Gone Bad, and that's what made me start the thread.

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    DD, I completely agree. He gets all the credits he deserves, not to mention he writes the lyrics and comes up with insanely fast, precise, complicated drum parts. But you're right, let's get back to Alex.

    I'd have to agree about WACH, Alex really shows how good he is. My favorite drum track (one of them) that he does is Outta Love Again. They played it this tour, but I saw Van Halen in Indianapolis and they didn't play it. Van Halen did play Girl Gone Bad in Indy, and it was absolutely stellar. He ruled the drum kit.
    Current Set Up:
    Ludwig 1963 Black Diamond Pearl 20" Bass and 12" Tom
    5 Roto-Toms: 6", 8", 10", 16", 18"
    Premier Chrome Snare
    Zildjian Hi-hats
    Paiste 2002 Reverend Al's Big Ride 24"

    "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"- Neil Peart

  20. #20

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    The only I will say is that I love his kits BUT for the record he doesnt use all the octobans, they are just for show. The actual played part of his kits go back and forth between a two up two down, or 3 up 2 down and both double kick of course

    BTW did you know that one of his kicks has a beer fridge inside?

  21. #21

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    I know he doesn't use all the drums, but it sure makes his kit look awesome. I did read that! He's a clever man.
    Current Set Up:
    Ludwig 1963 Black Diamond Pearl 20" Bass and 12" Tom
    5 Roto-Toms: 6", 8", 10", 16", 18"
    Premier Chrome Snare
    Zildjian Hi-hats
    Paiste 2002 Reverend Al's Big Ride 24"

    "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"- Neil Peart

  22. #22

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    My fave for pure asthetics is the 5150 kit followed very closely by the 1984 kit.

  23. #23

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    To be honest, I'm partial to his newest kit from the 2012 tour.

    Current Set Up:
    Ludwig 1963 Black Diamond Pearl 20" Bass and 12" Tom
    5 Roto-Toms: 6", 8", 10", 16", 18"
    Premier Chrome Snare
    Zildjian Hi-hats
    Paiste 2002 Reverend Al's Big Ride 24"

    "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"- Neil Peart

  24. #24

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    Woah, those are awesome! I'm having trouble uploading images. How is everyone doing it so easily?
    Current Set Up:
    Ludwig 1963 Black Diamond Pearl 20" Bass and 12" Tom
    5 Roto-Toms: 6", 8", 10", 16", 18"
    Premier Chrome Snare
    Zildjian Hi-hats
    Paiste 2002 Reverend Al's Big Ride 24"

    "If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice"- Neil Peart

  25. #25

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    I still can't play the intro to Hot for Teacher. Alex has some serious chops to lay down a part that long ago, and people modern day like me aren't yet able to do some of the stuff he does. The man is insane! I don't think i'd be able to play those kits though, I don't know why they just don't flow a certain way i'm accustomed to. But he's able to, probably because he's so good.
    ZildjianLeague/LP/Aquarian/Mapex/Pearl
    Snares: 4
    RIP- Frank, Wolvie, Les Paul
    Quote Originally Posted by Pearl MCX Man View Post
    I wish I was your wife
    Quote Originally Posted by amdrummer View Post
    if double bass is cheating then so is using two sticks

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