Massive Eddie Van Halen Mural Unveiled at Hollywood Guitar Center
Is it a fair assumption to say that Guitar Center wouldn’t exist if not for Eddie Van Halen? I don’t think it’s a stretch — EVH inspired millions of guitar players, who in turn inspired millions more, changing the way the instrument is played forever — but at the very least we can say with 100% certainty that Guitar Center wouldn’t exist in its current form if not for Eddie.
It’s appropriate, then, that America’s largest musical instrument retailer has unveiled a massive mural of the guitar hero outside of its Hollywood location, not far from where the Van Halen brothers grew up in Pasadena.
Renowned muralist Robert Vargas unveiled the mural yesterday, January 26, on what would’ve been Eddie’s 66th birthday. The artwork stands 17 feet tall and 105 feet long and covers the entirety of the store’s outer wall at its rear entrance.
“Eddie was one of my creative heroes. When I was young, the debut Van Halen record was the first album I ever owned. He influenced me over the years in so many different ways. As soon as the news hit of his passing, I knew I had to do something creative to memorialize him, and Guitar Center was the obvious venue. Right here on the Sunset Strip, where the band made their bones – I can’t think of a better place for this tribute to him, and I thank Guitar Center for giving me the canvas to share it with the world.”
Jean-Claude Escudie, Guitar Center category manager, commented:
“Eddie Van Halen was a truly monumental force in rock music. He made lead guitar playing popular when it might have been slipping away into punk and new wave minimalist territory, and then basically the entire 80s hard rock scene followed in his wake. Guitar Center saw this first-hand, as generations of lead guitarists have flocked to our stores to try to capture something of what inspires them about Eddie’s sound. Besides that, sometimes people forget that he was an immigrant and multi-racial, so in so many ways his story is the story of the American experience.”
You can see the mural for yourself at 7425 Sunset Blvd, Hollywood, CA 90046. MetalSucks is not responsible for badly-played versions of “Eruption” you may be forced to endure upon entering the store.
Have a look at Vargas putting the finishing touches on his glorious work of art in the brief video below.
In October of last year, the City Council of Pasadena began considering a memorial honoring Eddie. Both a potential street renaming and public monument are on the table.