1962 Photo: The Van Halen Family On a Boat to America

This historic photo was taken on the very boat that carried the Van Halen family to America (Feb. 1962). It was a nine-day boat ride, and to help pay their fare, Jan, Edward, and Alex provided the ships musical entertainment.

Special thanks to Jan and Eugenia for taking their two beautiful boys and risking everything by immigrating to America with their nothing but 75 Dutch guilders (the equivalent of about 15 American dollars) and a piano. Thanks for inspiring your boys to become musicians.

Special thanks also to Edward and Alex Van Halen, who, from the moment they got to America, continued to be immersed in playing the piano, and later, guitar and drums. Thanks for all your countless hours of practice, for not giving up on your dreams, for teaming up with kindred spirits Michael Anthony and David Lee Roth, and for forming VAN HALEN. The rock world has never been the same.

(Thanks to Edward Van Halen’s for donating this photo from his personal collection. We first published it in issue 15 of The Inside magazine).