Eazy-E memorial bench erected in small Sussex town after local man’s successful campaign

The local council previously said they had "no idea" who the rapper is

A memorial bench dedicated to Eazy-E has been erected in Newhaven, Sussex. 

The news follows Guy Stevens’ successful bid to get his local council to remember the NWA rapper, who died from AIDS in 1995, by building a memorial – despite him having no connections with the town.

“Just do it,” he told Newhaven Town Council, as reported in The Argus in February. “Get a statue or a plaque up. Why not? You just wasted money on a bandstand on Denton island no one cares about so why not an Eazy-E memorial?”

Now, Stevens’ wishes have come true – albeit with a bench instead of a statue, as originally proposed. A post on the Newhaven Town Council Facebook page shows the bench and its plaque, which reads: “Rest In Peace Eric “Eazy-E” Wright 1964-1995″. 

In the post, Newhaven Mayor Graham Amy was quoted as saying: “Eazy-E appears to have led a rather colourful life – but if someone contacts us wanting to buy a memorial bench to their aunt, say, we don’t ask questions about her lifestyle. And indeed, Eazy-E is greatly admired in some quarters – there are clearly two sides to his story. The town council has recently erected a bandstand on Denton Island and would very much like to see some additional seating near the bandstand which could be used by people listening to music there.”

Stevens said earlier this year that a memorial to the rapper would be “unique”, “eccentric”, and would “stand out”, adding it would “bring some interest” to Newhaven. He also claimed that because Eazy-E died from complications from AIDS it could “raise awareness of things like sexual health.”

“He needs to be remembered in some way in our town,” he said. “We have nothing going for us and no notable landmarks other than a fort. And Eazy-E is a legend.”

The rapper has no links to Newhaven and, and the council previously said they have “no idea who Eazy-E is.”

Deputy mayor Graham Amy said in February: “I’ve lived all of my life in Newhaven and I’ve never heard of him, not a clue. I’m 72 years old and more of a Beatles fan than anything. If I had my way I would have statues to them around the town.” Stevens responded by saying The Beatles “suck”.

A bench in tribute to Eazy-E was been permitted by the council in February after Stevens raised the required funds. His GoFundMe page has reached £1,642 of the £2,000 goal at the time of writing.

The memorial cost £1,177. Extra money is going to local AIDS charities.

“Any funds left over will be given to local AIDS charities in the area so this is all for a good cause,” Stevens explained. “Eazy-E is global. This is bigger than Newhaven. He and 2pac are probably the greatest rappers of all time, along with Kurupt who’s still alive.”

Photo of N.W.A., (Photo by GAB Archive/Redferns)

Responding to critics who claim that the bench is “a waste of money”, Stevens argued: “It’s better than nothing which is pretty much all Newhaven has.

“If people are upset about a bench then they don’t have much going on in their lives. It’s a bit of fun that has brought interest to the town. If they want to do something similar then they should.”

In other statue news, the world’s first statue of David Bowie was unveiled last year in Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire. Bowie is reported to have first performed as his Ziggy Stardust persona and debuted two albums at gigs at the town’s Friars music venue in the early 1970s.