Eddie Van Halen Files Lawsuit To Prevent Rehearsal Footage From Being Released

January 29, 2018
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In an effort to prevent footage of their rehearsals from being released, Eddie Van Halen has filed a lawsuit against videographer Andrew Bennet under the violation that it breaks the contract that the Van Halens hired him for.

Bennett was hired in 2004 and 2006 to record the Van Halens in their rehearsal space "Studio 5150" twice a week. According to a statement released by Bennett on the website www.thefiftyonefiftyvault.com, "Since this was, to say the least a very private endeavor, no other cameras or people were allowed to join me. For months, from Wolf's (Wolfgang Van Halen) first day up until the decision for a reunion with Dave (David Lee Roth) was made, I filmed almost every reheaersal and moments in between."

He went on to add, "I also never took any form of payment from Ed or the band. Once the band went on the first reunion tour, the footage remained on a hard drive and stayed there for the last ten years."

So why is Bennett deciding now to release the footage? "A decade later, it simply felt right to let the fans see some of this, and I had the chance to oversee and decide what gets released."

But is Bennett really doing this because he might be a disgruntled filmmaker? According to him, no. "I had had Ed's personal feelings as well as his legacy and that of the band's at the front of my mind at all times. This footage is Eddie Van Halen at his purest. I wouldn't have it any other way. Over the years I have had the chance to show this footage to a few friends and musicians, and the looks on their faces has always been one of sheer joy. I hope everyone who has the chance to receive this vault is as blown away as they were."

Bennett says he has only 500 vaults in stock and is selling them at $500 each.

Meanwhile, court documents say that Bennett and Van Halen had come to a financial agreement in 2015 where all of the recored video and audio were given to the Van Halens on a faulty hard drive. Van Halen is also suing to obtain rights to the domain name of www.thefiftyonefiftyvault.com, as well as reimbursement for damages and lost profits due to Bennett's alleged infringement on the band's copyrights.