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Commemorative Eddie Van Halen Pasadena plaque gets formal approval for installation

Eddie Van Halen performing live in 1982
(Image credit: Larry Marano/Getty Images)

A memorial plaque honoring late electric guitar legend Eddie Van Halen has received formal approval to be installed in his hometown of Pasadena at the city’s Civic Auditorium – a venue EVH played at numerous times between 1975 and 1978.

The commemorative initiative was championed by Pasadena residents Randa Schmalfeld and Julie Kimura, who, through a GoFundMe page (opens in new tab), raised over $6,500 from fans to push through the permanent plaque.

In an update posted to the page on September 17, Schmalfeld wrote, “Julie and I are so grateful for your patience, and we finally have a BIG announcement.

“We have received formal approval for our plaque which is set to be installed at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium! This plaque will honor Edward Van Halen and highlight the role that the Pasadena Civic played in Van Halen’s rise to international stardom.”

The pair had initially set a base target of $3,000 to cover the material and staffing costs for the installation, though smashed that due to the enthusiasm of EVH fans. As a result, the Executive Board of the Pasadena Civic Operating Company vetted and approved the plaque.

“We are delighted to share that the plaque has been ordered and will be fabricated very soon,” the update continued. “The details surrounding the fabrication and installation of the plaque are still being worked out. We will keep you informed as we learn more, including details on when the plaque will be unveiled.”

Eddie Van Halen

(Image credit: Daniel Knighton/Getty Images)

In her weekly newsletter (opens in new tab), Pasadena assistant city manager Julie A. Gutierrez recently revealed the City received "several requests and suggestions from the community to do or name something in Mr. Van Halen's honor" since Van Halen's passing.

She also hinted that the new plaque may be unveiled at a time close to the anniversary of the guitarist's passing on October 6.

The commemorative plaque may turn out to be the first of two Pasadena-based initiatives to memorialize Eddie Van Halen, after it was announced that voting was underway to determine the name of the city’s newest park.

Located at 701 East Union Street, the park will have an open space for informal recreation, relaxation and community gatherings, a children’s playground and other outdoor amenities.

Out of the numerous options available, the "Eddie Van Halen Park" and the "Edward Van Halen Memorial Park" are among them, with Smalfeld and Kimura once again banding together to push through the vote.

“We are recommending that the city establish Edward Van Halen Memorial Park,” a recent update read. 

“I’m envisioning a beautiful public park with musical playground equipment and gathering spaces which honor Edward with quotes and lyrics from some of Van Halen’s best-loved songs.”

Voting is now open and will run until September 24 at 4:00pm, at which point votes will be tallied and presented to the Recreation and Parks Commission, who will then present a recommendation to the city council.

Head over to the City of Pasadena website (opens in new tab) to vote.

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.