A California Memorial to Eddie Van Halen Won't Include His Likeness or Iconic Guitar

"Legal issues" prevent a Pasadena tribute from featuring a statue of the rock icon
A California Memorial to Eddie Van Halen Won't Include His Likeness or Iconic Guitar
Image via the National Museum of American History
Around the world, some of popular music's most influential players have been immortalized with statues following their death. But when it comes to an Eddie Van Halen memorial in his American hometown of Pasadena, CA, the iconic guitarist won't have his likeness represented at all.

Pasadena Now reports that the city is close to approving a memorial for Van Halen following the completion of a GoFundMe campaign, launched last October in hopes of renaming an alley in Old Town Pasadena after the guitar great.

Earlier this week (April 19), campaign co-head Randa Schmalfeld shared that that they had met with a city official and an official with the Pasadena Center Operating Co. to instead discuss the design and installation of a memorial plaque near the city's Convention Center.

Schmalfeld noted that the Convention Center sits next to the Pasadena Civic Auditorium, explaining in a campaign update, "Van Halen played at this location a total of 14 times between 1975 and 1978, and the shows that the band played at the Pasadena Civic brought the band the widespread recognition and fan base that helped to launch them into international stardom."

However, Schmalfeld added that the plaque design cannot "use any likeness of Eddie or the band, or even Eddie's famous Frankenstrat Guitar" as a result of "legal issues surrounding copyrighting."

The organizer wrote that a second memorial project, a mural at Pasadena High School "honouring it's most famous alumni, Eddie and Alex Van Halen," will soon be discussed in a separate meeting with officials from the Pasadena Unified School District and will hopefully be allowed to feature the brothers.

The Van Halen family moved to Pasadena in 1962 and began playing with pre-Van Halen outfits "everywhere and anywhere, from backyard parties to places the size of...bathrooms," ahead of vocalist David Lee Roth and bassist Michael Anthony from other area bands to form what would stand as Van Halen's first lineup.

Eddie Van Halen's son and one-time bandmate, Wolfgang Van Halen, will make his solo debut as Mammoth WVH in June.