A Van Halen Stage has opened in Playhouse Village Park in Pasadena, California. The stage was declared open at a ribbon-cutting ceremony at the weekend attended by fans and local dignitaries.
Eddie and Alex Van Halen moved to Pasadena from The Netherlands with their parents in 1962. The brothers attended high school at all Pasadena City College, a mile east of the park, where they met singer David Lee Roth and bassist Michael Anthony and formed Van Halen. The band went on to make their name in Pasadena before signing to Warner Brothers and releasing their debut album.
When Eddie Van Halen died in 2020, local resident Randa Schmalfeld and her partner Julie organised a GoFundMe campaign to erect a memorial to the guitarist, swiftly raising $7000 to pay for a commemorative plaque at Pasadena Civic Auditorium, scene of many of the band's early triumphs.
Schmalfeld also pushed to name the stage at Playhouse Village Park – which includes a children’s playground and an area for exercising dogs – named after the band, and the City Council agreed.
"This park belongs to all of us,” said Brenda Harvey-Williams, director of Pasadena’s Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department. “For all of this multi-family housing that is being constructed and is constructed in this area. This is those children’s backyard.”
The first performance to take place on the newly designated Van Halen Stage was by the first in a series of Jazz in the Park concerts, featuring the Elliott Caine Quintent. Upcoming shows include the Susie Hansen Latin Band Jazz Trio on September 25, and the Michael Haggins Band on October 2. Shows begin at 5pm.
A ribbon cutting ceremony for the Van Halen Stage at a new park in Eddie Van Halen's former hometown of Pasadena, CA, the city where Van Halen formed 50 years ago was held on Sept. 17. #Music pic.twitter.com/HBP4eGow2RSeptember 18, 2022