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Van Halen’s lost ‘Jurassic Park’ video surfaces after 40 years

VH 1981
(Image credit: Kosmo VanHalenItalia)

The truth behind a mysterious ‘lost’ Van Halen video which has baffled fans of the Californian hard rockers for decades can finally be revealed, as the video has surfaced online some 40 years after it was filmed.

For years, Van Halen scholars have been attempting to discover the story behind images which capture a young Van Halen, circa Fair Warning, playing their instruments outdoor in a park populated only by life-size dinosaur sculptures. Even after the photos were published in Van Halen fan mag The Inside, no-one was able to shed any light on the mystery, with the most informed guesses suggesting that this was a video shoot commissioned by Warners but shelved following a veto from the band.

A good guess, but wrong.

As reported on the Van Halen News Desk site, a magazine called Lethal Amounts proposed the theory that the video was shot in the winter of 1981, when the Pasadena quartet undertook a promotional tour through Europe to promote their Fair Warning album, which had been released in April. It was known that the band lip-synced an appearance for Italian TV during the trip, and the Lethal Amounts team suggested that the lost footage may have been filmed around the same time.

Now we know the truth, as, thanks to a YouTuber named Kosmo VanHalenItalia, the video has appeared on social media sites, with an accompanying explanation of its origins.

‘At the end of 1981,’ this extended caption, ‘Van Halen filmed some videoclip settled in a Jurassic park in Italy, the "Prehistoric Park" of Rivolta D'Adda (near Milan) The band was engaged in a European tour for promoting "Fair Warning" These videos aired on Italian state television, RAI 1, during a TV show called "Happy Circus". Van Halen Italia Fan Club found those video clips and shares them with fans all over the world.’

Hurrah! The truth will set us free! What a day to be alive!