February 05, 2021 I Retail
Guitar Center Celebrates Eddie Van Halen with Mural at Hollywood Store
Guitar Center has unveiled a new mural of Eddie Van Halen on the outside wall of its flagship Hollywood, California, store located on the Sunset Strip. Muralist Robert Vargas teamed with Guitar Center to pay tribute to the legacy of Van Halen which depicts Eddie playing his Frankenstrat guitar. Vargas donated his time and talent to design and create the mural, which measures approximately 17 feet tall by 105 feet long and covers the entirety of the store’s outer wall at its rear entrance.
“Eddie was one of my creative heroes,” Vargas said. “When I was young, the debut Van Halen record was the first album I ever owned. 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. 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, and I thank Guitar Center for giving me the canvas to share it with the world.”
Guitar Center’s Hollywood location has a history of paying tribute to Van Halen, with Eddie’s handprints being a centerpiece and main attraction of the RockWalk outside the store, along with several of his prized instruments and other memorabilia on display behind glass.
Jean-Claude Escudie, Guitar Center category manager, said, “Eddie Van Halen was a truly monumental force in rock music. He made lead guitar playing popular when it might have been slipping away into punk and new wave minimalist territory, and then basically the entire ’80s hard rock scene followed in his wake. Guitar Center saw this first-hand, as generations of lead guitarists have flocked to our stores to try to capture something of what inspires them about Eddie’s sound. Besides that, sometimes people forget that he was an immigrant and multi-racial, so in so many ways his story is the story of the American experience.”