Eddie Van Halen Sues to Stop ‘5150 Vault’ Documentary
Eddie Van Halen has launched legal action against a filmmaker who was hired to shoot a documentary about Van Halen in 2006. The project was abandoned when the guitarist decided he didn’t like the results, but he has accused videographer Andrew Bennett of trying to release the material without permission.
The footage is based around rehearsals featuring Eddie's son Wolfgang Van Halen and his brother Alex Van Halen, and would have been shot around the time Wolfgang replaced Michael Anthony in the band. TMZ reports that the intention was to release the material as a “DVD or video project.”
In legal documents seen by TMZ, Van Halen claimed that Bennett “threatened to release it years later and claimed he never got paid.” The guitarist said that an agreement was reached in 2015, and the rights were handed over to Van Halen, but that Bennett is now trying to sell the material, and has released a trailer (above) via his website 5150vault.com. Although Van Halen had the site shut down, Bennett launched another one. Van Halen is now pursuing Bennett through the courts, asking for prevention of the sale or screening of the video, plus damages.
Earlier this month Anthony revealed via Instagram that a separate Van Halen documentary was being made, and that he’d been interviewed by a British organization for the production. “Brought up great memories!” he added. Former singer Sammy Hagar commented on the post, saying: “Yep, these guys were great, feels like a good doc so far.” The film is believed to be unauthorized.