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The city of Pasadena is unveiling an Eddie Van Halen memorial plaque on Monday

Eddie Van Halen performing in 1978
(Image credit: Fin Costello / Getty)

Eddie Van Halen’s hometown of Pasadena, California will unveil a memorial plaque commemorating the guitar icon on Monday October 11.

The ceremony will be led by Pasadena’s mayor Victor Gordo, following fundraising efforts led by local residents and Van Halen fans Randa Schmalfeld and Julie Kimura. 

The duo originally hoped to submit an application to rename a public space in honour of the guitarist, but following initial consultations with local residents and the council it was suggested another form of memorial take place.

As such, the city has agreed to erect a plaque outside the Civic Auditorium, which was the venue for some of the band’s earliest shows.

The unveiling will take place on Monday, but it will be closed to the public, due to the current Covid-19 restrictions.

Van Halen have strong ties to Pasadena. Both Van Halen brothers attended the local high school and David Lee Roth and Michael Anthony were also raised locally.

Following the success of their fundraiser and the plaque, Schmaleld and Kimura’s Pasadena4VanHalen group is now focussing on raising money for a mural at Pasadena High School.

Meanwhile, just over one year on from Eddie Van Halen’s death, the guitarist’s legacy seems stronger than ever. With biographies, tales and tributes emerging in recent months. 

By far the most poignant, however, was a recent post from his son Wolfgang Van Halen, who has recently been touring in support of Guns N' Roses with his band Mammoth WVH. 

He marked the sad milestone with a message to his father. “I miss you so much it hurts,” he wrote on Instagram. “I'm trying to do my best here without you, but it's really fucking hard. I hope you're still proud.”

Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.