A McDonald’s in Missouri Is Now Home to Iconic Van Halen Burger Photo
A classic photo of Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth outside of a McDonald's in Missouri from the '70s has now been hung in the same place where it was taken. It's at the (newly remodeled, but) oldest McDonald's in the state, the Crestwood McDonald's in St. Louis.
The popular photo of a hungry Eddie Van Halen and David Lee Roth is familiar to many Van Halen fans. It was shot during a Van Halen promotional tour in 1978. The photographer, Richard Upper, had been sent to document the young band's journey as they made their way around the country supporting their debut album.
In the blustery winter pic, Van Halen and Roth are posing in under the iconic McDonalds Arches, Eddie sneering with what looks like a bite of burger in his mouth, David cradling bags of food and looking a bit weary.
Van Halen's Iconic McDonald's Photo in Crestwood, Missouri
Last year, the original photographer and other local St. Louis hobbyists narrowed down the location of the McDonalds after studying the photo and looking at an old reverse phone book in the archives of a local library. The exact location of the photo before that was a mystery, as the photographer couldn't remember where it was taken.
Upper talked about taking the photo to West Newsmagazine. Before the picture was taken, he was in Van Halen's limo driving from a radio interview "and we saw the McDonald's sign. We were already hungry, and they said, 'Let's go guys'... We got our meals and we were walking back to the limousine. I looked up at the sign and said, ‘Eddie, we can’t leave without taking a shot of this with you guys.’ So he’s rifling through his bag trying to eat ‘cause he’s really hungry, and he and David get perfectly right in the middle, under the sign, and I take a bunch of pictures. This was the best one.”
Now the picture hangs in the newly remodeled McDonalds that re-opened last week. According to Ultimate Classic Rock, the new owner said that the original store that Van Halen and Roth snacked at was knocked down soon after Van Halen got their food there. Then THAT building was recently remodeled and turned into the state-of-the-art McDonald's it is today.
Check out a short documentary on the how the photo happened and how local rock fans discovered the location where it was shot below.