Legendary guitarist Eddie Van Halen will speak at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History and Zócalo Public Square in Washington D.C. on February 12. The event will be broadcast online, so fans will be able to watch video of Eddie's speech the very next day.
The Dutch immigrant and naturalized U.S. citizen will discuss his American journey, his role in creating one of the biggest American rock bands of all time, how he has reinvented the way the guitar is played and designed, and he will answer the question, "Is rock 'n' roll about reinvention?" Entertainment journalist Denise Quan will moderate the sold-out event.
Best known as the lead guitarist and co-founder of VAN HALEN, Eddie Van Halen is recognized for his innovative performance and recording styles, two-hand tapping, scorching solos and energetic concerts. Van Halen has invented guitar technology, technique and instruments that have redefined how the guitar is played and heard.
For the event, Van Halen and Fender will donate a master-built replica of Van Halen's infamous white-with-black-stripe Stratocaster. This is the guitar that changed the guitar world in 1978 when Van Halen cross-pollinated Gibson electronics with Fender body and neck designs. To represent the path of progressions in his instrument designs, a Stealth finished EVH Brand Wolfgang will also be included to represent his modern-day workhorse.
In addition to the guitars, Van Halen and Fender Musical Instruments Corp. will donate an EVH Brand 5150-III amplifier and speaker cabinet to embody the journey and progression of his amplifier designs from the early '70s through the modern day.
The February 12 event is sold out, and no public tickets are available.
Through incomparable collections, rigorous research and dynamic public outreach, the National Museum Of American History explores the richness and complexity of American history. The museum helps people understand the past in order to make sense of the present and shape a more humane future. For more information, visit americanhistory.si.edu. The museum is located at 14th Street and Constitution Avenue N.W., and is open daily from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (closed Dec. 25). Admission is free. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000.
Zocalo Public Square, a proud affiliate of Arizona State University, is a not-for-profit Ideas Exchange that blends live events and humanities journalism. Zocalo partners with educational, cultural and philanthropic institutions, as well as public agencies, to present free events and conferences in cities across the U.S. and beyond and to publish original daily journalism that is syndicated to more than 160 media outlets.