A new mural paying tribute to the late Eddie Van Halen was unveiled at Guitar Center’s flagship store on the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, California, today, which would’ve been the legendary guitarist’s 66th birthday.
The giant painting, which features a depiction of Eddie playing his signature “Frankenstrat” guitar, was created by lauded muralist Robert Vargas. The mural, which is 17 feet tall and 105 feet wide, covers the entire outer wall of the store at its rear entrance.
“Eddie was one of my creative heroes. When I was young, the debut Van Halen record was the first album I ever owned,” notes Vargas. “He influenced me over the years in so many different ways. As soon as the news hit of his passing, I knew I had to do something creative to memorialize him, and Guitar Center was the obvious venue.”
He adds, “Right here on the Sunset Strip, where the band made their bones — I can’t think of a better place for this tribute to him.”
Guitar Center’s Hollywood franchise has had a long association with Eddie. Van Halen’s handprints are a main attraction of the RockWalk located outside the store, and several of Eddie’s instruments and other memorabilia are display in the store.
Vargas says he hopes the image of Van Halen playing his guitar on the mural will inspire other artists to strive to reach their full potential.
“Be true to your art, and your art will be true to you,” he maintains.
Guitar Center will be posting behind-the-scenes video clips of Vargas working on the mural on its Instagram page and YouTube channel.
Eddie died of cancer on October 6, 2020. He was 65.
By Matt Friedlander
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