PASADENA (CNS) — The Pasadena City Council is scheduled to consider a possible memorial honoring hometown hero Eddie Van Halen at its meeting Monday, a city spokeswoman said Thursday.
The innovative guitarist, who died from cancer Oct. 6 at age 65, attended school in Pasadena with his drum-playing older brother, Alex, and it was at Pasadena City College that the beginnings of the band that would be known as Van Halen can be traced. The group played backyard parties in the city for hard rock-loving teens during the early 1970s, before climbing to international fame.
Since Eddie Van Halen's death, fans have been flocking to locations in the city to leave flowers, candles — and even a Fender guitar — in honor of the late guitar hero.
City public information officer Lisa Derderian said that the city council on Monday will discuss a possible memorial, and that several city commissions may become involved if plans go forward.
"We've had numerous requests from the public, both locally and internationally," she said. "This is something that has gained attention around the world since his unfortunate death. We're proud of the fact that he was hometown raised."
Derderian said that many Pasadena residents have fond memories of the Van Halen brothers playing local parties and performing in clubs throughout the San Gabriel Valley. Early band names included the Broken Combs, the Trojan Rubber Company, and Genesis. Van Halen signed with Warner Bros. Records in 1977 after the company's president attended one of their gigs.
Eddie Van Halen led the band through five decades and three lead singers, and was considered a guitar virtuoso due to his two-handed tapping technique. He played the blazing guitar break on Michael Jackson's 1982 hit "Beat It."
The guitarist — born in Amsterdam, Netherlands — died at St. John's Hospital in Santa Monica. His wife, Janie, was by his side, along with brother Alex and Eddie's son, Wolfgang, whose mother is actress Valerie Bertinelli, to whom Eddie was married from 1981 to 2007.