A ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Van Halen Stage at a new park in Eddie Van Halen's former hometown of Pasadena, California — the city where VAN HALEN formed 50 years ago — was held earlier today (Saturday, September 17). Video and photos of the event can be found below.
The park, which was named Playhouse Village Park at the urging of the late Councilmember John J. Kennedy, is located at 701 East Union Street (between El Molino Avenue and Oak Knoll Avenue). It has open space for informal recreation, relaxation, and community gatherings; children's playground with shade structures; public restrooms; a 48-space parking plaza; and a dog run.
The city held public outreach to solicit suggestions for the name of the new park, with the most popular suggestions being for Eddie Van Halen and science-fiction writer Octavia Butler. Eddie Van Halen Park received over 3,400 favorable responses in the survey, Octavia E. Butler Park got 526 favorable responses, and Playhouse Village Park and similar variations, including Playhouse Park, got 135, according to a tally reported jointly by the Planning and Community Development Department and the Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department. The Van Halen family then requested that the stage area be named for the entire VAN HALEN band instead of exclusively for Eddie Van Halen. The Commission then amended its recommendation on the naming of the stage to the Van Halen Stage.
A memorial honoring Eddie Van Halen in Pasadena was officially unveiled last October — a little over a year after his death. A plaque was presented near the city Convention Center, which is next to the Civic Auditorium, where VAN HALEN played a number of times between 1975 and 1978.
A couple of weeks after Van Halen's passing, a City Council meeting was held in Pasadena where a memorial honoring Eddie was discussed.
City manager Steve Mermell was directed to come up with ideas for how to best honor the musician, who died earlier that same month at the age of 65.
In the first three weeks after Eddie's death, the city was bombarded with requests to pay tribute to the guitarist "to recognize both his local connection to Pasadena, as well as the impact that his artistry had on music," Mermell wrote in a report.
"Recognizing Van Halen the band and/or individual members should be considered," according to the report. "With his passing, Eddie Van Halen's international recognition as a musical artist is noted for the significant impact he had on the Rock & Roll genre and his legacy is a source of hometown pride for the city."
"Given the band's connection to Pasadena," city spokeswoman Lisa Derderian said Thursday, "we agreed it was appropriate to place a plaque outside the Civic Auditorium."
Following Eddie's death after a long battle with cancer, fans left flowers at his childhood home on Las Lunas Street in Pasadena. Additional flowers, candles and fan mementos were placed on Allen Avenue where Eddie and Alex scratched their band's name into the wet cement of a sidewalk when they were teenagers.
VAN HALEN was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 2007.
Rolling Stone magazine ranked Eddie Van Halen No. 8 in its list of the 100 greatest guitarists.
Long awaited Grand Opening of our neighborhood park and Van Halen Stage. Looking forward to bringing grandkids and their...
Posted by Deborah Dentler on Saturday, September 17, 2022
“Jump”ing for joy at the wonderful grand opening of the new Playhouse Village Park today with the Van Halen stage!...
Posted by Felicia Williams - Pasadena City Council District 2 on Saturday, September 17, 2022
Van Halen is getting a stage dedicated in their name in Pasadena this morning! Of course I’m here, bright & early!
#VanHalen #EdwardVanHalen #MammothWVH #Pasadena
Posted by Joseph Carletta on Saturday, September 17, 2022
Thank You Pasadena!!! We were absolutely delighted to see The Van Halen Stage dedicated this morning! And wowza, SO many Van Halen Fans there! We did it!!!
Posted by Pasadena 4 Van Halen on Saturday, September 17, 2022
Just went to the ribbon cutting for the Van Halen stage at the newest park in Pasadena. Sadly, none of the surviving...
Posted by Jodi Taffel on Saturday, September 17, 2022