ON THE GOING OF EDDIE VAN HALEN. Now that the shock waves around Eddie van Halen’s death are slowly ebbing away, here is a small in memoriam. The photo shows him together with his first wife Valerie Bertinelli,
photographed on the jetty of the Amstel Hotel during a visit to the Netherlands in the eighties.
What is missing as essential information from all press publications is that Eugenia van Beers, the Indo-European mother of Eddie and Alex Van Halen, was a displaced person from the Republic of Indonesia. That status meant that the family was eligible for emigration to the US under the so-called Pastore-Walter Act. Eugenia Van Halen-Van Beers was therefore the applicant for the visa.
Between 1958 and 1962, some 10,000 visas were issued to displaced families and bachelors of color: Indo-European, Moluccan, Chinese and Indo-African. White Dutchmen were not eligible this time: since American immigration policy used a ‘color bar’ as standard, the law was a one-off exception. However, the selection procedure was a long and arduous process, which meant that many applications were lost.
Regardless of details such as who financially guaranteed the Van Halen family in their new hometown Pasadena, one question in particular is concerned if the family had been rejected, would the brothers have had a similar fabulous career in music in The Netherlands? Hint: the same country where the Tielman Brothers with their Indo Rock were largely reviled?
All AmerIndos including SoCal Indos should be eternally grateful to Senator John Pastore and Representative Francis Walter for their legislation. And Eddie Van Halen for his otherworldly talent as a guitarist and inventor. Rock on forever, Eddie. Van Halen albums are up now non-stop with the speakers on 11.
Thank u to Grieselda Meulemans for sharing this with all of us.