Soon after Van Halen guitarist Eddie Van Halen passed away on October 6 in a Santa Monica hospital, fans began flocking to the San Gabriel Valley to pay tribute to their guitar hero. Flowers and candles began appearing on a Las Lunas street in the family’s old neighborhood where Eddie and Alex Van Halen scrawled their names in wet cement decades earlier.
The duo began their career playing parties and small clubs in Pasadena, and an effort quickly took root to praise the hometown hero. Fans Randa Schmalfeld and Julie Kimura quickly raised the $3,000 application fee to rename an alley in Old Town Pasadena on GoFundMe. The city took notice and put a motion to create a permanent tribute to the musician on Monday’s city council agenda. A city staff report recommends a couple of options.https://www.instagram.com/p/CGy2YDmnFqb/
Renaming a Street or Alleyway
City staff was cautious about attracting hordes of rock fans to a quiet residential neighborhood near the onetime Van Halen family home. They offered up Electric Drive, behind the Raymond theater, once owned by David Lee Roth’s father, where the band used to rehearse and a walkway near the Pasadena Civic Auditorium.
A plaque or statue at the onetime Van Halen home, on the campus of Pasadena City College, Convention Center, Civic Auditorium, or Hamilton Park, where the fledgeling band once performed, was another idea that will be presented to the council. The City Manager would have to determine if the city would pay for a monument or accept one from fans. A fan contacted the Pasadena tourism office offering to host a virtual benefit concert to pay for the statue.
That first GoFundMe has now reached over $6,000 and organizers now have a fund to donate electric guitars to the kids of Pasadena High. Rock on!
RELATED: In 1977, Ted Templeman Went to Check Out an Unknown Band from Pasadena and Changed Rock History
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