Eddie Van Halen will speak at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History on February 12, as part of the “What It Means to Be American” program, an initiative aimed at engaging people from all walks of life to explore how the United States became the nation it is today. The program will serve as a preview of the museum’s upcoming exhibitions exploring the themes of democracy, immigration, and migration.
Van Halen, a Dutch-American musician, songwriter, producer, and inventor, will discuss his American journey, his role in creating one of the biggest American rock bands of all time, and how he has shaped the way the electric guitar is played and designed.
For the event, Van Halen and Fender will donate a replica of the black-and-white striped guitar he used in the late ’70s, an EVH 5150-III amp, and an EVH Wolfgang guitar. Video of Van Halen’s appearance can be accessed February 13 at www.whatitmeanstobeamerican.org. For more, visit americanhistory.si.edu.