Watch Eddie Van Halen play the riffs from Amsterdam years before its release in newly unearthed 5150 studio footage

It’s been a heck of a week for newly unearthed Van Halen vids – see the unseen-for-40-years clip of the boys performing the Fair Warning track So This is Love? in Italy’s Rivolta D'Adda “Prehistoric Park,” surrounded by fake dinosaurs, for starters.

Now the Van Halen Brasil YouTube page has given us more VH gold, with footage of Eddie Van Halen playing the electric guitar riffs to the song Amsterdam at 5150 Studios. The catch? The clip hails from the mid 1980s, years before the tune saw release on Van Halen’s final album with Sammy Hagar, 1995’s Balance.

And while a message at the beginning of the video places the footage in 1985, Eddie's haircut and "Team Jams National Champs 1986" jersey suggests that it was likely shot in 1986 or early 1987. 

Eddie would later take issue with Hagar’s lyrics to Amsterdam, which was titled in homage to the Van Halen brothers’ birthplace, telling Guitar World:

“I always hated the words to ‘Wham, Bam Amsterdam,’ from Balance, because they were all about smoking pot – they were just stupid. Lyrics should plant some sort of seed for thought, or at least be a little more metaphorical.”

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Richard Bienstock

Rich is the co-author of the best-selling Nöthin' But a Good Time: The Uncensored History of the '80s Hard Rock Explosion. He is also a recording and performing musician, and a former editor of Guitar World magazine and executive editor of Guitar Aficionado magazine. He has authored several additional books, among them Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck, the companion to the documentary of the same name.