Eddie Van Halen Tribute Plaque Unveiled in Pasadena
Almost exactly a year after his death, the city of Pasadena, CA has unveiled a memorial plaque dedicated to Eddie Van Halen.
The city began considering a permanent public memorial of some kind in the weeks after the guitarist’s October 6, 2020 passing, at the time mulling over a possible street re-naming or monument of some kind in the city in which the Van Halen brothers spent most of their youth (Eddie’s family emigrated from the Netherland’s when he was seven years old). The local government eventually decided on a plaque, although Eddie’s likeness and iconic “Frankenstrat” striped guitar design were barred from appearing on it for “legal issues” that remain unclear.
The plague was unveiled this past Monday, October 11 at the Pasadena city Convention Center, which is next to the Civic Auditorium, where Van Halen played “a dozen times” between 1975 and 1978. Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo and council members Tyrone Hampton, Andy Wilson, Gene Masuda and Felicia Williams took part in the official unveiling of the plaque, which was designed by Randa Schmalfeld and Julie Kimura. The event was not open to the public due to Covid-19 concerns.
The text on the plaque reads:
“The Van Halen family emigrated from the Netherlands to Pasadena in 1962. Alex and Eddie Van Halen attended schools in Pasadena and began playing music together with Eddie on guitar and Alex on drums. Years later, the brothers formed the band Van Halen, along with bassist Michael Anthony and vocalist David Lee Roth. Between 1975 and 1978, Van Halen performed 14 concerts at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and Conference Center. Regarded as one of the most successful bands of all time, Van Halen will forever be remembered for reinventing Rock ‘n’ Roll and their connection to Pasadena.”
William, the city council member, commented:
“This event brings together history and community to celebrate a world-renowned artist. It’s not just the history of Eddie as a guitar legend, but also the challenges he faced growing up mixed race in Pasadena, which always spoke to me. And the community support and initiative to make this happen is inspiring. Thank you to everyone.”
There are two unofficial Eddie memorials in Pasadena as well: the Van Halens’ childhood home on Las Lunas Street and the cement curb on Allen Avenue in which the brothers etched their family name, both of which became makeshift memorials for fans to gather, grieve and leave flowers and messages after Eddie’s death. Additionally, a massive mural of Eddie was unveiled earlier this year down the road in Hollywood outside of a Guitar Center.
[via Pasadena Now]