UPDATE: We just learned that Alex Van Halen is indeed playing the drums on “Ripley.” That is one of the few tunes from the “Wild Life” sessions that had Alex playing…most of the others were Ed programming a LINN DRUM machine!
“The Wild Life” movie score is legendary to Van Halen fans, as Eddie Van Halen wrote the score for the movie (Universal Pictures, 1984). “The Wild Life” stars Chris Penn and was the first script Cameron Crowe wrote after the success of “Fast Times At Ridgemont High” and is a typical ’80′s comedy and is somewhat of a “Fast Times” clone. The movie was only released on VHS – never on DVD, unfortunately.
The film has an official soundtrack, but it contains only one song by Eddie Van Halen, “Donut City” (3:57). So “Donut City” is the only officially released complete track for the movie that was written by Edward Van Halen.
But sharp-eared VH fans will recognize unreleased music from Eddie interspersed several times throughout the film. Portions of early versions of “Right Now,” “Good Enough,” “Feels So Good,” “A.F.U. (Naturally Wired),” and “Strung Out” can be heard throughout the film. In addition, the synthesized backdrop music for David Lee Roth’s “Tai Chi Solo” on the 1984 tour also made its debut in this film. Die hard VH fans have re-watched the movie for years just to hear the bits of EVH genius throughout. The movie’s score is one of the best kept secrets in rock music. The songs were recorded and mixed at 5150 by Donn Landee and Ken Deane. Eddie Van Halen on guitar and bass and Alex Van Halen on drums.
Presented here is a compete song from the movie score which has never circulated before now. Eddie played it on a Ripley guitar and the song is rumored to be called “Ripley.” It’s a wonderful piece of music and is about the closest thing to “new” Van Halen music that we’ve had in a long time. Enjoy!