PASADENA (CBSLA) — In the wake of Eddie Van Halen's death of throat cancer at the age of 65, fans and Pasadena natives are remembering him as the hometown boy who immortalized his band's name on a local sidewalk and played backyard parties during the 70s.
Van Halen and his band never received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, where many fans flock to pay their respects to celebrities and musicians who have passed. But Van Halen is a hometown band -- they formed in Pasadena, attended Pasadena City College and played local venues like the Whisky A Go Go, so fans have been flocking to these locations to leave flowers and mementos in honor of Van Halen.
In Hollywood, Eddie Van Halen's hand prints and his signature were set in stone on the Hollywood California RockWalk in front of Guitar Center on Sunset Boulevard. Fans left flowers and guitar picks in honor of Van Halen, whose guitar is also displayed at the entrance to the store.
In Pasadena, Van Halen's childhood home on Las Lunas Street has also become a site where fans have left flowers.
"You know they were the neighborhood garage band. They were just incredible," Gabriel Wisdom said. "You just knew they were going somewhere."
Many Pasadena natives chimed in online with their memories of Van Halen before they reached rock stardom.
As teenagers, the Van Halen brothers scratched their band's name into the wet cement of a sidewalk on Allen Avenue. The site also drawn flowers, candles and fan mementos after Van Halen's death.
Ricky Parish called Eddie Van Halen the greatest guitar player who ever lived.
"I've listened to Van Halen my whole life. My band's heavily influenced by the band, and it's just a tragic loss," Parish said.
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