PASADENA, CA — Pasadena’s place in rock history will not go unremembered.
One year after the legendary guitarist’s death, the city of Pasadena unveiled a plaque Monday in honor of Eddie Van Halen at the Civic Auditorium, where the then-fledgling musician and his band performed more than a dozen shows before becoming global icons.
A small group of people, most of which were city employees and media, attended the private event at 10 a.m. outside the hall where the band played at least 14 times before achieving worldwide stardom. City spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said Eddie Van Halen’s relatives weren’t able to attend, but they endorsed its installation. The people who organized the fundraiser and awareness campaign, VanHalen4Pasadena, were also on hand for the event.
Some unexpected pre-publicity left authorities to quell the throngs of Van Halen fans who wanted to see the unveiling at what was to be a quiet, private event. Apparently, a local newspaper didn’t honor a request Derderian’s request to not promote the event ahead of the scheduled unveiling.
Pasadena Mayor Victor Gordo, along with Pasadena councilmembers Tyron Hampton, Andy Wilson, Gene Masuda and Felicia Williams were on hand for the unveiling. Williams recognized Randa Schmalfeld and Julie Kimura, who initiated the plaque efforts by raising money on a crowdfunding site. With a goal of $3,000, the pair eventually raised more than $7,000 to make the plaque idea happen.
Here is what Schmalfield and Kimura posted to their GoFundMe site today:
Hey Van Halen Fans!
It was a great morning here in Pasadena as our plaque was unveiled at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. Here are a few photos and links to a couple of news stories. Julie and I are so happy to see our plaque in place at such a prominent location in Pasadena and we hope that you’ll have a chance to visit soon!
Pasadena 4 Van Halen has had donations from around the world! If you live too far away or are unable to come to Pasadena, please send us an email and I’ll mail you a photo or rubbing of the plaque by the end of the week.
Thank you to all of you for making this happen! More to come…
Eddie and his brother Alex moved to Pasadena from Holland in 1962 and later attended Pasadena High School. According to Pasadena Now, Van Halen played at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium 14 times between 1975 and 1978.
The plaque states:
“The Van Halen family emigrated from the Netherlands to Pasadena in 1962. Alex and Eddie Van Halen attended schools in Pasadena and began playing music together with Eddie on guitar and Alex on drums. Years later, the brothers formed the band Van Halen, along with bassist Michael Anthony and vocalist David Lee Roth. Between 1975 and 1978, Van Halen performed 14 concerts at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium and Conference Center.
“Regarded as one of the most successful bands of all time, Van Halen will forever be remembered for reinventing rock ‘n’ roll and their connection to Pasadena.”
Shop official EVH FOREVER T-shirts, Long Sleeves & Hoodies at Van Halen Store