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Behind the scenes on the Hot For Teacher video: "I'm 13 years old and I'm drinking with Alex Van Halen"

Van Halen in 1984
(Image credit: David Tan/Shinko Music)

If any video sums up Van Halen's 1980s, it's Hot For Teacher. Carefree and ribald, it features a socially awkward schoolboy (Waldo) and underdressed two models: Miss Canada runner-up Donna Rupert and former Playboy Playmate of the Year Lillian Müller. It's not the kind of video anyone would commission today, but as a time capsule it's priceless: bawdy, irreverent, and alive with the spirit of the age. 

Starring along side Waldo, the models and the band were four young actors employed to play the members of Van Halen as children. Amongst them was Van Halen nut Yano Anaya.

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How did you end up playing a junior version of Michael Anthony in the Hot For Teacher video? 

Yano Anaya: I was thirteen years old, and Van Halen was one of my favourite bands at the time. I’d done some commercials and a movie, A Christmas Story, before that, so when I got a message from my manager on the answering machine that I had an audition to play the part for Michael Anthony Jr in an upcoming Van Halen video, I swear to god I was so excited. In my mind I was thinking: “Holy crap, I look just like Michael Anthony – this is my job.” 

Did you know any of the other kids before you met them on the shoot? 

No. I went to an audition in Hollywood, then I got a callback two days later, then two days after that I got the call that I actually got the job. I didn’t meet anybody else until I got to the location, which was at a high school [John Marshall High School] in Los Feliz. The school wasn’t operating, because they used it so much in movies and commercials. 

What do you remember about the day of the shoot? 

The shoot took four days. I got there on the first day at nine-thirty in the morning, and I told my mom: “I need to go meet the band, that is my priority.” So I found their trailer and knocked on the door. Alex Van Halen answered, and he looked at me and went: 'What's up, kid?' And I went: “I'm part of the cast, I'm playing Michael Anthony Jr. I just wanted to see if I could hang out with you guys.” And he went: “Come on in.” I was like: “Yeeeeahhhh!”

You were a thirteen-year-old kid. Were they on their best behaviour when you were with them? 

Well, their best behaviour for Van Halen. Cos there was no filter. Alex was like: “Hey, man, why don’t you go to the back and grab us a couple of beers?” So I walked back there, and Dave Lee Roth was there. He looked at me and went: “Who the fuck are you? Why is there a kid in our trailer?” And Alex was like: “Don’t worry about it, man, he’s part of the cast, he’s hanging out with us.” 

They had an ice chest in the back with nothing but Coke and Schlitz Malt Liquor beer. So I grabbed two of them and went up the front, and Alex challenged me to a shotgun. I’m like: “I’m thirteen years old, it’s ten-twenty in the morning, and I'm a drinking a Schlitz beer with Alex Van Halen.” I drank that one beer, and I was so drunk. 

What was the real Michael Anthony like? 

He was very cool. He was just chilled. Eddie was kind of quiet as well. And I don’t think Dave was into hanging out with some kid. But Alex was the one. He wanted to know who I was, where I was from. 

What's your favourite memory of actually shooting the video? 

The thing that stuck with me the most was the part where the teacher was dancing on the table and all the kids were looking at her legs. The director was shouting: “Grab her legs!” I looked at my mom: “Should I actually do that? Is that okay?” And my mom was like: “Do your job, son.” I was so embarrassed to do that. 

Did you get to spend much time with Eddie? 

Yeah. I grew the balls to ask him to play the intro to Running With The Devil, which was my favourite song. He took me to the back of the trailer, pulled out a tiny little amp, pulled out his guitar, and literally played the whole thing for me, in person, by myself, just for me. That experience was epic.

Dave Everley has been writing about and occasionally humming along to music since the early 90s. During that time, he has been Deputy Editor on Kerrang! and Classic Rock, Associate Editor on Q magazine and staff writer/tea boy on Raw, not necessarily in that order. He has written for Metal Hammer, Louder, Prog, the Observer, Select, Mojo, the Evening Standard and the totally legendary Ultrakill. He is still waiting for Billy Gibbons to send him a bottle of hot sauce he was promised several years ago.