Van Halen 3 producer Mike Post has revealed that Eddie Van Halen had to take over on drums in place of his brother Alex during the recording of the album.

The 1998 record was the only Van Halen record to feature Gary Cherone on lead vocals, and was the band's first commercial failure. Post, who is best known for writing the theme songs to famous TV shows such as Rockford Files, Hill Street Blues and NYPD Blue, agreed to work on the record to help his friend Eddie maintain his sobriety. "I knew the record wasn't really good," he admits. "I knew the record was kind of crappy. But it's the way Ed wanted it."

In a new interview with the Hustle, Post explains that Alex was going through a messy divorce and a substance abuse battle that kept him from playing to his usual standards. "It was one of the worst periods in his life, and he was drinking a lot. ... and he just wasn't Al. He wasn't playing like Al."

Eddie decided the best plan would be for him to take over on drums, so Alex could focus on his health and getting his divorce settled, and asked Post to relay this difficult message to his brother.

How Mike Post Convinced Alex Van Halen to Step Back from 'Van Halen 3'

"I said, 'Al, I gotta do something here really difficult. This is really going to be a hard conversation. And I just ask you from the bottom of my heart to stay calm, and use your logic and your kindness.'" After making it clear that he considered Alex one of the three best rock drummers ever born (alongside John Bonham and Keith Moon), Post made his case.

"Al, you're in the middle of a divorce, you're really fucked up, and you're not playing like Alex. You are not playing like you. And my job is to get your little brother to do a record sober, and to facilitate that. So you gotta sit down, and concentrate on yourself, and concentrate on your divorce, and concentrate on getting rid of all the substance abuse. You don't want to stop your little brother from doing something that's very different for him. He's had tremendous struggles. Be a big brother here. Put yourself second and let this kid do what he wants to do, he's earned it."

Read More: How Far Did Van Halen Get Into a Second Gary Cherone Album?

After some tense moments, Alex agreed to back away from the project. Post doesn't specify how many Van Halen 3 songs feature Eddie on drums. Happily, Alex was able to work through his issues in time for the band to tour in support of the album. "It didn't take him long, it took him four, five or six months and he was great," the producer recalls. "They start rehearsing, and god, Al just sounds like Al and it's just fucking great. Twice as good as what Ed played on the record."

Eddie Van Halen Year by Year: 1977-2017 Photos

You'll see him with long hair, short hair, a variety of his most famous guitars and all three of his band's lead singers.

Gallery Credit: Matthew Wilkening

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