Eddie Van Halen May Have New Park in Pasadena Named After Him
Update (09/19/21): While voting for the name of Pasadena’s new park is still underway, a memorial plaque honoring Eddie Van Halen has received "formal approval" to be installed near the Pasadena Convention Center, which neighbors the Civic Auditorium, where Van Halen played numerous shows between 1975 and 1978, Blabbermouth reports. A GoFundMe organized by Randa Schmalfeld and Julie Kimura has raised nearly $7,000 to go toward the plaque, more than doubling its $3,000 goal. See the original story below.
Not long after the death of Eddie Van Halen last fall, discussions in the city of Pasadena, California where Eddie grew up started about how to properly honor the guitar great and his tie to the community. Now it appears as though Van Halen is in consideration to have a local park named after him, with voting ultimately having a strong say in who the park will be named after.
The City of Pasadena Department of Public Works has set up a voting page that is currently live and will remain open through 4PM PT on Friday, Sept. 24 with Eddie Van Halen Park (or the variation Edward Van Halen Memorial Park) under consideration.
It should be noted that Van Halen is not the only nominee on the ballot as cases have been made for other residents of note to the Pasadena community. There is also a tab for voters to view the justifications for each of the park names under consideration. Under the Eddie Van Halen Park justification, the following is listed:
An American musician and songwriter. He was the main songwriter and guitarist of the American rock band Van Halen, which he co-founded in 1972 with his brother, drummer Alex Van Halen, bassist Mark Stone, and singer David Lee Roth. He is regarded as one of the all-time greatest guitar players in rock history and was well known for popularizing the tapping guitar solo technique, allowing rapid arpeggios to be played with two hands on the fretboard. Eddie Van Halen moved to Pasadena in 1962 and attended elementary school in Pasadena.
After the poll closes, votes will be tallied by the Recreation and Parks Commission, with a recommendation for the park's official naming to be made to the City Council. Construction will soon start on the park, which is said to have open space for informal recreation, relaxation and community gatherings, a children’s playground with shade structures, public restrooms, a 48-space parking plaza and a dog run.
Though born in Amsterdam, the Van Halen family moved to the U.S. in 1962 and settled in Pasadena near other family members. Eddie and his brother Alex attended school in Pasadena and the brothers formed their first school band in Pasadena while Eddie was still in the fourth grade. Eddie and Alex would form their first official band in 1972.