those of you that may not have heard… the Hard Rock Café
is celebrating an anniversary this year. 2011 marks forty years
for the groundbreaking, trendsetting, legendary establishment.
are some that may claim the Hard Rock is nothing more than a glorified
burger joint that happens to have some priceless stuff on the
are some that may claim other venues attempted decorating efforts
before Hard Rock did…
some will claim others made better use of similar elements and
marketing and menus and all sorts of stuff both before and after
Hard Rock did…
may be some truth for the critics to use as a foundation for such
not here to debate those points. Because the simple truth is,
few have established the track record of success or reached the
levels of influence in their fields that have been ascended by
are talking about a presence in international markets… a photo
opportunity for visitors… an anchor-store kind of treatment for
uniting with hotels, resorts, casinos, shopping districts, and
on and on… a tourist destination in some of the most traveled
locales… and, oh yeah, a treasure of items that can pass as a
museum and rival any collection of musical artifacts you could
~ ~ ~
story has become legendary. A guitarist joked with the owners
of a hamburger place he really enjoyed about saving him a regular
table. As a unique gift, to express his friendship (and to reserve
the table), he presented the owners with a guitar.
guitarist is Eric Clapton.
hamburger place is the world famous Hard Rock, a name that has
inspired dedicated followers around the globe.
guitar became the first item in a collection of rock memorabilia
and artifacts that now totals more than 70,000-pieces. So large
is the inventory that it is continuously displayed in 51 countries
and has been catalogued on-line with an interactive web site.
In fact, with more than 165 locations around the world, the Hard
Rock brand has become the name for combining good food,
great times, and treasured memorabilia. Many of the items associated
with the biggest moments in the history of Rock and Roll are part
of the Hard Rock collection.
Rock menus are famous for their burgers and other delicious dining
options. In addition, seeing visitors wander around the restaurant,
cameras in hand, is more than a daily occurrence at any Hard Rock
to maintaining high standards of quality, tireless efforts to
give back to the community their locations are a part of, and
the strong recognition of the importance of items placed in their
care, the Hard Rock business and staff are consistently supported
by some of the biggest names in music. Whether donating a treasured
item from their personal possessions or assisting with a charitable
cause, music industry professionals are proud to be a part of
Hard Rock efforts.
All. Serve All.
Rock began celebrating is fortieth anniversary in 2011, and their
company slogan continues to be one of the most succinct and powerful
in the corporate world. It’s simple really, and all wrapped up
in just four words.
Rock is a proud supporter of local and world-wide causes, and
endorses some incredible programs with its philanthropic efforts.
As examples of the fantastic work Hard Rock takes part in, and
unites so many with, are important campaigns organized for combating
world hunger and raising awareness for breast cancer research.
IMAGINE THERE’S NO HUNGER and PINKTOBER
have been very successful international efforts in the past that
continue in 2011.
and visitors will find several items for sale that turn over portions
of proceeds to agencies and efforts in a respective local region,
across the country, and all over the world. Some pieces are prized
collectibles and one-of-a-kind or limited productions.
addition to benefiting deserving causes, many Hard Rock locations
are also active in building relationships and opportunities with
local citizens. As an example of this, many area musicians have
been able to reach larger audiences by performing on a Hard Rock
All. Serve All. It’s a way of approaching life that makes the
world better for everyone.
~ ~ ~
part of the anniversary celebrations, Hard Rock has hit the road.
They’ve created a traveling display… in the trailer of a truck
carrying the 40th Anniversary Memorabilia Tour. And, I have to
be honest, in a space that couldn’t exceed 400-square feet, they
have brought together an amazingly impressive show.
Lennon… Roy Orbison… Jimi Hendrix… Buddy Holly… want me to go
on? Ok. George Harrison… Prince… Queen… Johnny Cash… and some
guy named Elvis Presley. Guitars… microphones… hand-written notes…
glasses… heck, Ray Charles autographed a braille edition of Playboy
and it’s here.
had a chance to visit the exhibition, and it was a great experience...
it also was offered for free and they let me bring a camera along.
enjoy a few pictures from what easily could be the greatest single
travelling rock and roll exhibit ever…
Presley – Gibson Super 400
I saw this guitar, the first impression became the lasting impression
-- the thing is HUGE. The picture doesn’t really do it justice…
and maybe some of it is just some kind of visual trick… but the
guitar is thick and deep and… look, it’s big.
Orbison – Gretsch 6120
what I loved about this guitar… the pick guard. This is a “Chet
Atkins” model. How often does that happen? …an artist prominently
using another artist’s endorsed guitar? Probably more than I’m
giving credit here, especially as I consider what I’m saying.
Many aficionados will tell you that Gretsch and Chet more or less
went hand in hand at the time. And that’s fine… but this guitar
has the pick guard and a Bigsby and… classic.
Hendrix – Custom Gibson SG
look… it’s Hendrix and a guitar. I can only add so much to this
one. But, worth noting… just like always… right-handed model that
he flipped and restrung to play lefty.
Cash and Ray Charles
main shot is of Cash’s guitar. And that’s cool. But, take a look
a look off to the side. It’s a braille edition of Playboy…
and yes, autographed by Charles.
different idea… and yet exactly the same as Hendrix’s guitar.
There’s just nothing to add.
Mercury – Tour clothing
my opinion… and I never saw him perform live in person… Freddy
Mercury is the greatest front man ever. And it’s not even close.
Harrison and John Lennon
Elvis and Hendrix and Orbison and… haven’t had enough yet? How
about hand-written lyrics from Harrison for “While My Guitar Gently
Weeps” or the leather jacket Lennon wore in the picture on the
cover of Rubber Soul?