Guitar Center Hollywood officially unveils epic Eddie Van Halen mural

Eddie Van Halen Long Live the King
(Image credit: Guitar Center)

Not too long ago, we got a glimpse of a mural that was being completed at Guitar Center Hollywood by mural artist Robert Vargas in tribute of Eddie Van Halen.

Now, with January 26 marking the late guitar great's 66th birthday, Guitar Center has officially unveiled Vargas's "Long Live the King" artwork, which celebrates the life and legacy of the influential rock guitar icon.

The artwork itself – which measures a massive 17ft by 105ft – sees Van Halen wielding his iconic Frankenstrat, and covers the entire rear entrance of the flagship Guitar Center store on the iconic Sunset Strip. The mural was entirely painted by hand, without the aid of templates, stencils or projections.

"Eddie was one of my creative heroes," said Vargas, who is known for his mixed-media portraits and murals. "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."

"Long Live the King" hopes to showcase Van Halen at "the absolute height of his power", and highlight the inspirational impact that he head on future generations of guitarists. 

The video below shows how Vargas completed the fitting tribute, and sees him discuss the impact Van Halen had on his own life.

Echoing Vargas's comments, Guitar Center Category Manager Jean-Claude Escudie said: "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."

"Generations of lead guitarists have flocked to our stores to try to capture something of what inspires them about Eddie's playing."

Eddie Van Halen Long Live the King

(Image credit: Guitar Center)

Guitar Center added: "Eddie forever changed what we imagine was possible on the guitar. This striking work of art at our flagship store is a tribute to all of those Eddie has inspired and will continue to do so for generations to come."

Vargas's mural is one of a number of tributes created by artists who have sought to pay tribute to the rock music legend.

This week, a stop motion animator created a video of a Jawa shredding Eruption as a creative way to pay his respects.

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Matt Owen

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.