Edward Van Halen donated some musical equipment to the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History in Washington DC today. He donated an exact replica of his original black and white Frankenstein guitar, a Stealth, and an EVH amp and speaker cabinet during a closed ceremony, which took place right before his speech/interview.
The folks at the Smithsonian presented Ed with a plaque and even brought out a cake and sang “Happy Birthday” to him!
In attendance were his brother Alex Van Halen and family, and, not surprisingly, Ed’s wife Janie and son, Wolfgang. Also in attendance were Guitar World’s Brad Tolinski and guitar maker extraordinaire, Chip Ellis.
His hour-long speech, which we will have full video of Friday, was absolutely amazing! Ed was relaxed, heartfelt, honest, funny, and informative. He spoke about his humble beginnings, all the way up to his brilliant innovations he’s come up with throughout the years. He even picked up the Stealth and proceeded to run through parts some of his memorable solos.
After the speech and fan questions, there was a cocktail reception where everyone in attendance got to meet and take a photo with the guitar legend. Ed was all smiles, and was happy to shake hands and pose with everyone, one guest at a time.
Every one of the 260 attendees knew they were seeing something truly special. It was simply a perfect event. Believe us, everyone is going to LOVE the video of this on Friday! Even the most diehard fans will hear Ed mention some things that they’ve never heard before.
Wolf tweeted, “SO proud of my pop being honored at the Smithsonian today in D.C. Couldn’t be happier for him.”
Janie tweeted, “I just have to say – my husband is absolutely amazing! Can’t wait for everyone to see the footage tomorrow.”
The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. In 2011, they acquired the Van Halen “Frank 2” guitar.
Photos by VHND, Ike Richman, Pam DeStefano, and Wolf Van Halen.
WATCH Edward’s Smithsonian speech/interview here.