Wolf Van Halen Reacts to Mural of His Father, Eddie

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Muralist Robert Vargas puts the finishing touches on the Eddie Van Halen mural at Guitar Center Hollywood (Photo via Guitar Center)

A new mural of Eddie Van Halen has been unveiled on the outside wall of Guitar Center’s flagship Hollywood, Calif. store. located on the famous Sunset Strip. With January 26, 2021, having marked the late guitar legend’s 66th birthday, renowned muralist Robert Vargas teamed with the world’s largest musical instrument retailer to pay tribute to the musician’s legacy. The mural depicts Van Halen playing his iconic “Frankenstrat” guitar. Vargas donated his time and talent to design and create the work, which measures approximately 17 feet tall x 105 feet long and covers the entirety of the store’s outer wall at its rear entrance. All of the work was done free hand.

Van Halen’s son, Wolfgang, reacted to the project. On his Facebook page, he wrote, “I want to extend my most heartfelt gratitude to the unfathomably talented Robert Vargas and Guitar Center for the painting of this incredible mural of my father at Guitar Center Hollywood. What an incredible honor it is to see Pop immortalized in such a beautiful way.”

His father died Oct. 6, 2020.

Vargas himself noted, “Eddie was one of my creative heroes. 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.”

Watch Vargas talk about the project

Guitar Center’s Hollywood location has a history of paying tribute to Eddie Van Halen, with Eddie’s handprints being a centerpiece and main attraction of Guitar Center’s iconic RockWalk outside the store, along with several of his prized instruments and other memorabilia on display behind glass.

A closeup of the work

When people experience the mural, Vargas wants them to see the classic rock legend “in his full glory” and feel like anything is possible. He continues, “When you work hard at something, you can reach your full potential. Be true to your art, and your art will be true to you. I had the chance to meet Eddie a few years back, and because he and I connected on the nature of art and creativity, painting him here is therapeutic.”

In addition to the monumental mural on the exterior wall, the store also features a Jimi Hendrix mural, unveiled Nov. 3, 2018, in tribute to the musician. Outside the entrance to the store are concrete blocks bearing the signatures and handprints from more than 150 notable musicians (including Van Halen), producers, iconic bands, and music instrument manufacturers which have been recognized for achievements with induction into the world famous RockWalk.

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