Hard Rock | February 2010

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Posted on February 26, 2010 | Tags:
Proceeds to Benefit Shakira’s Fundación Pies Descalzos

Orlando, Fla., February 22, 2010 – Beginning in February 2010, with the launch of Hard Rock International’s Shakira Artist Spotlight T-Shirt and Bracelet, a “She Wolf” won’t be the only thing in every Shakira fan’s closet. This limited-edition merchandise will benefit Shakira’s Fundación Pies Descalzos, an organization devoted to finding and providing opportunities for children who are victims of violence in Colombia.

I’m proud and excited to continue my partnership with Hard Rock International through the Artist Spotlight program,” said Shakira.  “With the launch of the Shakira Artist Spotlight T-Shirt, I hope to increase international awareness and support for the Fundación Pies Descalzos, an organization that is extremely close to my heart.”  

In 1997, Shakira created Fundación Pies Descalzos, which promotes education and strives to provide help for some of the basic needs of Colombian children. As a result of her efforts, Shakira was appointed UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador – the youngest world representative of this organization.

We were thrilled by the outstanding response to Hard Rock’s Shakira Signature Series T-shirt, launched in 2007, and are excited to continue our relationship with Shakira for her Artist Spotlight T-Shirt,” said Hamish Dodds, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hard Rock International.  “We look forward to our ongoing work with Shakira and her Fundación Pies Descalzos, helping to improve the quality of life for the children in Shakira’s home country of Colombia.

 Hard Rock’s Shakira Artist Spotlight T-Shirt and Bracelet will be sold online at www.hardrock.com, as well as at select Hard Rock properties worldwide:

  • Shakira Artist Spotlight T-Shirt – Designed by Shakira, this limited-edition T-Shirt features two angels sitting on an amplifier with a pink guitar in between them and set on the background of a large purple heart. The city-specific design is set on a black T-Shirt and is available exclusively in women’s sizes (S-XL).  15% of the retail price will benefit Fundación Pies Descalzos. ($26)
  • Shakira Artist Spotlight Bracelet – Inspired by Shakira, this limited-edition bracelet features Chakira beads with custom clasps. All of the proceeds from the Artist Spotlight bracelet will benefit Fundación Pies Descalzos. ($12)

Since it was established in 1971, Hard Rock has been committed to a wide variety of philanthropic causes and activities around the world. With the success of Shakira’s Signature Series T-shirt, Hard Rock has once again partnered with the undisputed “Reina of International Pop” to create the brand’s second Artist Spotlight T-Shirt and Bracelet. As with the Signature Series program, the Artist Spotlight program features the work of noted artists and performers and contributes to global and humanitarian causes worldwide.

To learn more about Fundación Pies Descalzos, please visit www.fundacionpiesdescalzos.com.
For further details regarding Hard Rock International, please visit www.hardrock.com

About Fundación Pies Descalzos
Fundación Pies Descalzos is a Colombian non-profit, non-governmental organization, created in 1997 by Colombian artist Shakira, focusing on finding opportunities of education and development for the most vulnerable and displaced children affected by the Colombian internal conflict. Pies Descalzos has a mission of developing a public education model with holistic protection strategies that improve the quality of life of students and their families. Currently, Pies Descalzos supports five schools and 17 communities in Quibdó in the Pacific Coast, Altos de Cazucá in the outskirts of Bogotá and Barranquilla in the Caribbean, where more than 5,000 children receive education, balanced food, uniforms, school kits, psychosocial support and over 35 thousand people from the community benefit from vocational training, artistic and cultural activities which allow them to achieve decent life standards, promoting empowerment and the establishment of a culture of peace. Pies Descalzos, a model of public education, is expanding to the poorest Latin communities in Los Angeles through the non-profit organization Para Los Niños. In addition, Shakira has responded to the recent natural disaster in Haiti by offering to build a Pies Descalzos Elementary School.

About Hard Rock International

With a total of 162 venues in 52 countries, including 130 cafes and 13 Hotels/Casinos, Hard Rock International is one of the world's most globally recognized brands. Beginning with an Eric Clapton guitar, Hard Rock owns the world's greatest collection of music memorabilia, which is displayed at its locations around the globe. Hard Rock is also known for its collectible fashion and music-related merchandise, Hard Rock Live performance venues and an award-winning website. In addition to the two flagship Seminole Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos in Tampa and Hollywood, Fla., Hard Rock Hotels/Casinos are located in Las Vegas, Biloxi, Orlando, Chicago, San Diego, Pattaya, Bali, Macau, Penang and Singapore.  Additional hotel and casino projects have been announced in Punta Cana, scheduled to open in 2010; Panama, scheduled to open in 2012; and Atlanta, Hungary, Dubai and Abu Dhabi, scheduled to open in 2013.  Hard Rock International is owned by Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment, Inc. For further details on Hard Rock Hotels and Casinos, visit www.hardrockhotels.com. For more information on Hard Rock International, visit www.hardrock.com.

Posted on February 26, 2010 | Tags:

Everyone knows the Hard Rock memorabilia collection is chock-full of amazing instruments, handwritten lyrics, incredible clothing and other traditionally “important” bits of history, but we’ve also got quite an assortment of exceedingly bizarre stuff. A comprehensive list of the weirdness in our collection would take up all of your computer’s bandwidth, so let’s just take a look at some of the goofiest pieces currently on our interactive memorabilia website.

It’s safe to say that folks wouldn’t normally expect to go into a Hard Rock and see a toaster on display, but we like to defy expectations. Here’s an absolutely inexplicable wedding gift from mega producer Chris Thomas to Elton John. Elton shocked the world in 1984 by marrying a woman – German recording engineer Renate Blauel. The marriage only lasted four years until Elton decided he could “no longer deny my true nature.” This toaster was engraved to the couple and reads, “You can choose between muffins and crumpets”. Make of that what you will.

hard rock cafe memorabilia elton john toaster

This piece of psychedelic “Mad Hatter” artwork is more than just a groovy picture. It’s a perforated sheet of L.S.D. There are 900 tiny squares that were intended to be dipped in the drug and probably distributed at some horribly psychedelic Grateful Dead show. Acid blotters are a unique art form, and we own some pretty amazing examples. Don’t narc us out, man.

hard rock cafe memorabilia grateful dead acid blotter

This is a fantastic example of fan art. It’s a drawing from the mid-‘60s that depicts a sort of composite character who has individual traits of all 5 Rolling Stones – Mick’s hair, Brian’s face, Keith’s eyes, Charlie’s nose, and Bill’s mouth. A teenage girl in England created this masterpiece and managed to get the Stones to sign it. In its own weird way, this is one of the most endearing Stones pieces in our collection.

hard rock cafe memorabilia rolling stones fan sketch

Here’s a completely over-the-top pencil sketch from a teenage Jim Morrison back when the future Lizard King was a high school student. We’ve got a bunch of these adolescent Morrison drawings, and they’re all prime candidates for psychoanalysis.

hard rock cafe memorabilia jim morrison sketch

Here’s one that can be filed in the “We Have No Idea” folder. It’s a plaque that was presented to Sammy Davis, Jr., by Caesar’s Palace in ’77. Yes, it’s a recipe for Milano sauce and Milano meatballs. No, we don’t know why. The cryptic “Good Luck, Bobby” on the bottom only makes this thing more of a head-scratcher. We like to think that the “Bobby” mentioned is Robert Goulet – because that would be awesome – but we honestly have no idea what’s going on with this kitschy bit of Vegas weirdness.

The King had a lot of toys. This display of slot cars and a control stick came straight from Graceland. Elvis and the Memphis Mafia could kick back and enjoy a little racing action in the comfort of the King’s gold gilt and leopard skin parlor. Rest assured the Memphis Mafia always let Elvis win.

hard rock cafe memorabilia elvis presley slot car

Holy moly. A bedazzled rotary phone? Yes. A bedazzled rotary phone. It was Jefferson Airplane/Starship singer Grace Slick’s personal communicator, so a non-bedazzled phone just wouldn’t do for a giant rock icon such as Grace. Strangely, this phone will only call someone named “Rollo” who picks up and says, “How much you need, baby?”

hard rock cafe memorabilia grace slick phone

A few years before they formed Apple Corps, The Beatles did this poster in conjunction with the U.K. Dental board. Its purpose was to encourage kids to eat an apple after every meal because, “It’s nature’s toothbrush!”

hard rock cafe memorabilia the beatles poster

This thing gives the phrase “shoot your mouth off” a very literal meaning. It’s a microphone/gun thing that Prince used on his 1997 Jam of the Year tour. The idea of Prince pointing this thing directly at his mouth is disturbing on about 23 different levels.

hard rock cafe memorabilia prince gun microphone

We’ve seen more bizarre guitars than you can possibly imagine, but this thing right here is the holy grail of weirdness. It’s a custom (obviously) Hamer “sax guitar” that was built for Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen. This guitar has a functional sax mouthpiece that makes a strange little honking noise, but it also has synthesizer electronics installed. So – it’s a guitar/sax/synth. Never ask why, ask why not. Click the photo to see a short video of Rick with this crazy thing.

hard rock cafe memorabilia rick nielson sax guitar

We’re going to keep on digging up some of the hidden oddities from our gigantic collection to share with you, so check back with us often. Also, be sure to check out our memorabilia website and our fancy new Facebook page. It’s the second most fun you’ll ever have sitting at a computer – especially if you’re at work.


Posted on February 26, 2010 | Tags:

With March On Stage, select Hard Rocks around the world present up-and-coming bands and established performers playing to packed houses and enthusiastic fans. Blistering sets and sweaty encores are the norm, but at the end of the day, we're doing it all for some amazing international and local charities.

You can participate in a number of ways. Show up, rock out, and have fun at any of our live music events. We're also offering a limited-edition March On Stage pin, with 15% of the proceeds going directly to Musicians On Call and Bombay Teen Challenge. You'll even be able to upload your own photos from any March On Stage event and share your good times with the whole world!

March On Stage is about helping people, about helping those who make a difference, as well as those who desperately need change in their lives. From hospitals around the United States to the streets of Mumbai, Hard Rock is proud to be a part of organizations that help make a difference.

march on stage hard rock musicians on call bombay teen challenge

Posted on February 26, 2010 | Tags:

If we had a million dollars, we'd hire Barenaked Ladies to rock at our house all the time. As it is, though, we'll take 'em rocking out at Hard Rock Cafe Niagara Falls U.S.A. anytime. That's where they set up shop earlier this week for a special lunchtime show presented by Star 102.5-FM (WTSS-FM Buffalo). We just wanted to share some photos from the show.

hard rock cafe niagara fall u.s.a. barenaked ladies

They band was originally supposed to do an in-studio performance at the radio station, but decided to play in front of a slightly larger audience, which worked out perfect for us and about 125 incredibly lucky fans.

hard rock cafe niagara fall u.s.a. barenaked ladies

An extra big "Thank You" to the guys in the band for bringin' it during the lunchtime hour! You rock.

hard rock cafe niagara fall u.s.a. barenaked ladies

Posted on February 26, 2010 | Tags:
Tax season is once again upon us and many taxpayers will be in serious need of a break as the discouraging deadline approaches. In order to provide guests with some much-needed tax relief, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego has introduced two unique packages for a limited time - EFFEN Taxes! and Rock a Return - that making living like a rock star even more affordable no matter what their 1040 says.

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego’s Tax Relief packages include the following:

  • EFFEN Taxes! Package – Taxes can be the ultimate buzz kill so Hard Rock Hotel
    is helping take the edge off two ways. First the hotel will pay room tax as well as tax on breakfast for two at the hotel’s retro-chic diner Maryjane’s. In addition to tax relief, each guest will receive a complimentary EFFEN Vodka cocktail at Maryjane’s.  Rates start at ($199).
  • Rock a Return Package – File this.  For those who seek the immediate gratification of a quick return, Hard Rock Hotel San Diego is offering a $50 return per night of stay – in the form of a hotel credit to be used at the hotel outlets of the guest’s choice including Maryjane’s, the luxurious Rock Spa, or the property’s acclaimed hotspots Float and 207 bars. Guests will receive a floating credit of $50 per night of stay up to $200. Rates start at $224.

Hard Rock Hotel San Diego’s EFFEN Taxes! and Rock a Return packages are available from April 9 to April 30, 2010, subject to availability. Certain blackout dates apply.  Rock a Return credit must be used during the stay and taxes, service charges and gratuities are additional.  To book Hard Rock Hotel San Diego’s tax relief packages, please visit www.hardrockhotelsd.com or call 888-593-6177 and use Promo Code: EFFEN or Promo Code: RETURN.

Posted on February 25, 2010 | Tags:

Last year, over 150 bands entered Hard Rock's Ambassadors of Rock Battle of The Bands, but only one band got to go to Hard Rock Calling in London's Hyde Park, rocking the same festival as Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band, Neil Young, and The Killers. Rudy Vaughn from Atlanta, GA, survived the 1st round at Hard Rock Cafe Atlanta, blasted through the 2nd round of celebrity judges, and then emerged triumphant during the 3rd round, when the public voted on who should go to Hard Rock Calling.

This year, one band will get the same chance to rock Hard Rock Calling 2010! More Hard Rock Cafes are involved this year, which means more competition, which means every band that enters has to bring their A-game! Hard Rock Calling - will your band answer?

Click here to get the Entry Form and here to read the Rules.

hard rock battle of the bands ambassadors of rock

Posted on February 23, 2010 | Tags:

Shakira is a very busy woman, what with her music career, her philanthropic career, and, we assume, her personal life (though, we don't know how she finds the time). Yesterday, after meeting with the President of the United States (!) and the president of the World Bank Group, Ms. Shakira swung on by Hard Rock Cafe Wasghington D.C. to launch the newest Hard Rock Artist Spotlight series. 

hard rock artist spotlight, shakira, washington d.c., hard rock cafe

Featuring a T-shirt designed by Shakira and a limited-edition bracelet inspired by her, 15% of the retail price from the T-shirt and 100% of the profits from the bracelet will go to the displaced children of Colombia via Pies Descalzos Foundation. We just wanted to share a couple of pics from the event and give a big shout out and thank you to Shakira. Hard Rock is honored to help this talented humanitarian give back to the country she loves.

hard rock artist spotlight, shakira, washington d.c., hard rock cafe

02.22: On this day in 1968, one Mr. Brad Nowell joined this world, a scant twenty years before he would form one of the most popular, and remembered, bands of the '90s, the gloriously catchy and beautifully derivative Sublime. That Sublime gathered influences from punk, funk, hardcore, dub, reggae, hip-hop, and ska didn't, however, detract from their sound, but, instead, added layer upon layer to their grooves, helping them stand out from the pack of SoCal bands barreling into the national scene (No Doubt, Offspring, Green Day). Brad wasn't the most gifted lyricist, by any stetch of the imagination, but he was sincere and passionate about his influences and his own songs. He knew when to hit the accelerator and when to hit the breaks, when to get a pit going and when to get the dirty hippies dancing. Two self-released albums, 40 Oz. To Freedom and Robbin The Hood, and a relentless tour schedule, including a spot on the inaugural Warped Tour, helped land the band their first major label disc, on MCA. Unfortunately, Brad wouldn't live to see its release, as he overdosed on heroin in a San Fran hotel room two months before it hit stores. What an album and what a waste. That eponymous album, Sublime, is still remembered fondly to this day by those who knew it back in the day, still being discovered by a new group of kids and music lovers today. From the rolling "What I Got" to the laid-back "Santeria" to the furious surf-punk of "Paddle Out", Sublime showcased a band that'd practiced relentlessly and found their groove, that were confident in who they were and what they wanted to do. It sucks that Brad couldn't enjoy that success. The album has sold 5 million albums to date, but that doesn't bring Brad back. We know he would've done even more amazing things in the ensuing years, but there's really no use speculating and getting depressed. We just want to celebrate his life and, today, his birthday. Happy birthday, Brad! We miss you, kid.

02.25: George Harrison, "the quiet Beatle," let it be known, on this day in 1943, with his first breaths, that he was here and he was ready to rock. As lead guitar for, inarguably, the biggest and best rock band of all time, Harrison is responsible for some of the greatest licks ever to be put on record. Though his work with the Beatles was generally overshadowed by the melodies and rhythms of John and Paul's songwriting and instrumentation, George still managed to come out of the band with some genuinely amazing songs for his resume, including "While My Guitar Gently Weeps," "Something," and "Taxman." After the breakup of the greatest band of all time, Harrison released a number of solo albums and became the first member of the post-Beatles to hit the top of the charts, with the Phil Spector- (yes, that Phil Spector, he with the amazingly awesome wig as he sits in court on murder charges) produced All Things Must Pass, which included "My Sweet Lord," a truly beautiful song. Harrison also organized what has been called the very first charity rock festival when he put together The Concert For Bangladesh, which went on to influence events such as Live Aid and Farm Aid. In the '80s, George joined a little supergroup known as The Traveling Wilburys. The band consisted of Harrison, Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne, Bob Dylan, and Tom Petty. Holy moly! Can you say, "Awesome!"? We could then and we can now. We woulda loved to have been a fly on the wall in Dylan's garage when they recorded that first song (yeah, they actually recorded in a garage). Harrison died from throat cancer in November of 2001. Today, we celebrate his birth and his life. We can't wait to go home and put on The Beatles Revolver, open a beer, sit on the porch, and let the music wash over us. We miss ya, George. Happy birthday.

02.26: A day of mourning, we were all cursed today in 1954, as the birth of an abomination heralded the coming of dark days, when Michael Bolton clawed his way into this world, ready to assault our collective ears with the schmaltz he passes off as music, ready to take something as beautiful as "(Sitting On) The Dock Of The Bay" and turn it into an unlistenable pile. Seriously, why would someone do that?! It makes us cry and curl up, fetal-like, in a corner, racked with sickening convulsions. It makes us angry that so many people don't know, because of the undeserved popularity of Bolton's version, that the amazing Otis Redding wrote and recorded the song way back in 1967. We've said it before and we'll say it again, if Otis were alive, he'd totally kick Bolton's ass. We envision him doing it today, on Bolton's b-day, singing the birthday song as he did it, and then topping off the butt kicking with the awesome whistle part from "Dock Of The Bay." It would be glorious and is the only thing that can bring a smile to our face on this sad, depressing day.

Over the last couple weeks, we’ve been pretty obsessed with our spectacular new Hard Rock Cafe Seattle and all the cool stuff we put on display, so as a bit of a palette cleanser, let’s take a look at some of the incredible memorabilia in our flagship cafe. Hard Rock is based in Orlando, Florida, so we keep the Orlando cafe stocked with some of the greatest treasures from our collection. It’s also a gigantic facility with two floors of rock history and a 3000-seat concert venue. People are continually amazed that this vibrant rock museum is smack-dab in the middle of what is too often thought of as a hollow tourist town dominated by a certain cartoon rodent. It’s much, much more than that. You can check out a much larger sampling of the Orlando collection at our interactive memorabilia website by clicking here.


Here’s a great example of the completely over-the-top spandex bodysuits that Queen’s Freddie Mercury favored in the ‘70s. He wore this one in 1978 during Queen’s world tour in support of the album Jazz. Don’t you wish you had one just like it?

hard rock memorabilia, hard rock cafe orlando, freddie mercury


This unique piccolo trumpet was played with great effect by British orchestral musician David Mason on the recording of The Beatles “Penny Lane.” He played the middle solo and the Bach-like figure on the song’s outro with this horn, catapulting him into pop culture history. In a way, Mr. Mason and this trumpet upstaged The Beatles on their own turf – the trumpet solo on “Penny Lane” is arguably the single most identifiable part of the song.

hard rock memorabilia, hard rock cafe orlando, david mason, the beatles, penny lane


Rock 'n' roll’s eternal schoolboy, AC/DC’s Angus Young, rocked this fancy velvet outfit onstage in the ‘80s.

hard rock memorabilia, hard rock cafe orlando, angus young, ac/dc


This old Epiphone upright bass is one of the most significant instruments in the entire Hard Rock collection. It was used by Bill Haley and the Comets' bassist Marshall Lytle to record “Rock Around the Clock” in 1954 – the song that truly lit the fuse on the rock revolution. An incredible piece of history.

hard rock memorabilia, hard rock cafe orlando, marshall lytle, bill haley and the comets, rock around the clock


When our guests see this piece hanging on the wall, they tend to do the type of double-take that induces whiplash. Yes, this is a Braille copy of Playboy magazine – the January 2000 issue to be exact. It belonged to Ray Charles and he was kind enough to sign it for us. Braille editions of Playboy bring a new level honesty to the old saying, “I just read it for the articles.”

hard rock memorabilia, hard rock cafe orlando, ray charles, playboy magazine


Here’s a great letter handwritten by John Lennon to his friend Lindy Ness in 1962. John was in Hamburg at the time and he fills this letter with vitriol towards the German city and his general dissatisfaction with his lot in life. In less than a year, Beatlemania would take over England and John had a few million reasons to cheer up. Click the pic to get a much closer look at the letter at our interactive memorabilia website.

hard rock memorabilia, hard rock cafe orlando, john lennono, hamburg


These really are Buddy Holly’s glasses. ‘Nuff said.

hard rock memorabilia, hard rock cafe orlando, buddy holly glasses


This exceedingly bizarre Italian guitar with a built-in speaker was used by Keith on the Stones’ brilliant 1969 album, Let It Bleed.

hard rock memorabilia, hard rock cafe orlando, keith richards, let it bleed


This badass Pearl drum set was used by Pantera/Damageplan drummer Vinnie Paul Abbott on December 8th, 2004 at a gig in Ohio. That night, a crazed gunman jumped on stage and killed Vinnie’s brother – legendary guitarist and all-around great guy Dimebag Darrell Abbott. This drum kit was a witness to one of the most senseless tragedies in the history of popular music.

hard rock memorabilia, hard rock cafe orlando, vinnie paul, pantera, damageplan


The greatest female rock singer who ever lived (that’s not an opinion, folks, it’s a fact) wore this shawl in the back cover photo of her breakthrough album, 1967’s Cheap Thrills.

hard rock memorabilia, hard rock cafe orlando, janis joplin, cheap thrills

Hard Rock Cafe Orlando is so huge, there are literally hundreds more amazing pieces of history on the walls. If you’ve put off a trip to Orlando because you don’t want to deal with the tourist thing, come on down, drop the kids off at the theme park, and spend some time with us basking in the glory of rock 'n' roll.

Posted on February 19, 2010 | Tags:

After a short hiatus, Hard Rock Cafe Ocho Rios is back in the business of servin' up some of the best damn grub in the Caribbean. That's right, now you can enjoy one of our world famous Legendary Burgers right along with that Red Stripe. Mmmm...Jamaica and Hard Rock...two great tastes that taste great together. We'll see you at the bar, chowing down!

hard rock cafe ocho rios

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