Canadian documentarian Sam Dunn says a Van Halen documentary remains the “Holy Grail” of stories yet to be told.
Dunn (Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, Rush: Beyond the Lighted Stage, Super Duper Alice Cooper) was asked by Death Angel’s Ted Aguilar during an “Alive & Streaming” YouTube interview if he had a bucket list of documentary ideas.
“Van Halen, for me, has always been a bit of a Holy Grail story, particularly the David Lee Roth years, up to ’83, ’84,” Dunn said . “That run of records is such a phenomenal run, and it happened in such a short period of time.”
“I know there have been books written about Van Halen, and I know that it would never be an easy film to make, for many reasons,” he continued. “And that’s fine. And maybe it won’t get done. Maybe someone will be blessed with the opportunity to do it one day. But certainly for me, that’s one that I would love to do. Van Halen’s place in the canon of rock legends is firmly established. They don’t need a documentary to cement that. It would be more about really digging deeper into the story about how that band came together and getting beyond the stock stories that we’ve heard many, many times over the years. To get the deeper story, to get the more intimate story, to get to understand who initially those four guys were as people, as kids.”
“The thing I love about making these films probably more than anything is kind of going back one or two steps further than we know,” Dunn continued. “Like that footage of Alex Lifeson as a teenager [from Rush: Beyond The Lighted Stage], that’s the stuff I wanna know. I wanna know who these musicians were as kids and their family life and their struggles growing up in those early days. That’s the stuff I’m really fascinated with, and that’s a part of the Van Halen story that I don’t think — it’s there in pieces, it’s definitely there, but it’s never been put together in any sort of definitive documentary way.”
Dunn had more to say about Van Halen including his thoughts on the passing of Eddie Van Halen. You can hear the entire segment below: