Canadian artist Paul Archer has paid tribute to Eddie Van Halen with a massive mural of the guitar great, who died of cancer on October 6 at the age of 65.
The painting, which features Eddie with his Frankenstein electric guitar, is emblazoned across the back of Archer’s airbrushing shop in downtown Victoria.
Archer says he got to know Van Halen years ago after working for him as a stagehand.
“I was a stagehand at the Memorial Arena [now known as the Save-on-Foods Memorial Arena], and we actually went to lunch together and had fish and chips,” Archer told CTV News.
“We talked and he became kind of like a friend because every time Van Halen would play, I would be at the show and I’d be a stagehand and he’d know me by name."
According to Archer, it took “two hard days” to complete the mural, which was reportedly painted under wet and windy conditions. A tarp and heater kept the artist and the wall warm during the process.
Archer also said he initially planned to paint the mural three times larger than its current size, but had difficultly securing a location for the project.
“People kept saying, ‘No, red tape, permit,’ all sorts of stuff so then I decided, 'Well, you know what? I’ve got a wall on my building,’” he said.
He continued, “A lot of people say he’s up there looking down and smiling, and I hope so. I think he would love [the mural]. Being immortalized on a wall is kind of a cool thing.”
Locals and fans are invited to stop by Archer’s shop, at 847 Fort St. in Victoria, during business hours to see the mural and are encouraged to take pictures beside it.
For more information, head to Archer Airbrushing.