Words can not describe the impact that Jimi Hendrix had on us all - his innovation with music, his style, and the never-again matched way he played a guitar. In celebration of Jimi's 70th Birthday today, pick up a Signature Series T in the Rock Shop, to benefit the Jimi Hendrix Park in Seattle and Fender Music Foundation. Peace, Love & Jimi! ALL IS ONE.
11.26: On this day in 1939, The Queen of Rock & Roll, Anna Mae Bullock, found out what love had to do with it when she confidently sauntered into this world. The singer, better known as Tina Turner, was born in a Brownsville, Tennessee hospital. We've previously spoken of Tina's split from Ike Turner in the '70s and her subsequent rebirth in the '80s, but it was in the late '50s when Tina spread her wings for the first time. That's when she joined Ike's soul revue, Ike Turner and the Kings of Rhythm, at the tender age of 18, going by the name "Little Ann." It wasn't until one of Ike's other singers failed to show for a recording session that Little Ann took the spotlight, singing lead, while pregnant with Ike's child, on "A Fool In Love" and earning Tina her first hit. This almost never came to pass, however, as her vocals were intended only as a place-holder until the proper, intended, male vocals could be dubbed in. When Ike sat down and finally listened to Tina's version, though, he saw the entire direction of the band change, and with it their name and Little Ann's name. From then on they were known as The Ike & Tina Revue and Tina Turner, respectively. The beginning of a long, amazing, and storied career began right there. Tina's longevity is no coincidence. She's earned every accolade and hit, showing the showmen how it's done.
11.27: On this day in 1942, the best guitar player in the universe was born, as James Marshall Hendrix (birth name John Allen Hendrix) greeted the world with guitar in hand, ready to rip it up. We can't say enough about Jimi, about his influence on every guitar player who came after him, on the incredible music he left behind (and that continues to be put out), so we won't. So much ink has been spent on Hendrix that it is redundant to really say more. So, we'll just say, "Happy birthday, Jimi! You rock!" 11.27: Digital file sharing, it seems, wasn't the first way the recording industry's been threatened by people sharing music. Way back in the dinosaur era of cassette tapes, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI), the UK's music trade association, issued a statement on this day in 1981 denouncing the newfangled cassette tape as the death of the music world as we knew it. The BPI began a campaign called "Home Taping Is Killing Music." This, of course, came true, as bands and singers were no longer able to make money and there were no massive hits or concert tours or merchandise sales or records sales from that day forward, and music vanished from Earth, never to be heard again. Damn you, cassettes! You ruined music forever! Wait…what's that you say? The '80s saw popular music become bigger than ever, as well as the rise of alternative music and hip-hop? Well, what about cassettes and home taping? Oh, they actually helped spread music to the masses and helped artists gain fans where they otherwise might not have? Oh, okay. Never mind.
Imagine There's No Hunger helps fight childhood hunger and poverty worldwide through grassroots solutions that secure basic rights to food, water, land, jobs, and credit. Hard Rock has partnered with WhyHunger, and incredible organization, and Yoko Ono Lennon, who has graciously allowed us to use John Lennon's likeness and words for this very worthy campaign. Imagine There's No Hunger is very near and dear to our hearts, as we feel that no child should go hungry, that everyone deserves the right to food.
11.19: 2002 saw one of the most bizarre megastar behaviors in the recorded history of megastar behaviors when Michael Jackson, a parody of both his former self and a human, dangled his baby boy, Michael Prince II, over the balcony, to the horror of onlookers and paparazzi alike, of his Berlin hotel room on this day. Your guess is as good as ours as to what, exactly, rambled through Mr. Jackson's brain at that very moment. Some people say drugs. Some say his mind never evolved beyond his childhood. Some think he was just crazy. Whatever. Jacko never disappointed, that's for sure. In our minds, Off The Wall and Thriller represent two of the best albums, in any genre, of all time. Michael, your insanity and problems could never take those albums from us. We still shake our collective heads and wonder what happened, as we listen to the awesomeness that is "Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough" and "Wanna Be Startin' Something." 11.20: On this day in 1965, Mike D’s mom rocked the sure shot when the rapper was born. One of the beastliest of the Beastie Boys (actually, they're all fairly beastly), Mike D started making music in '79 as part of a punk outfit called The Young Aborigines, opening for hardcore and punk legends such as Bad Brains, Misfits, and The Dead Kennedys. Eventually changing their name to The Beastie Boys, shedding two of the founding members, adding Adam Yauch (MCA) and Adam Horowitz (Ad-Rock) , and jumping into the emerging world of hip-hop, the group became one of the most well-known in the world, transcending their early party rap personas to become full-fledged and well-deserved hip-hop superstars. Still rockin' and rappin' to this day, Mike D's mom must be proud. Happy, happy, joy, joy!
This past Saturday, Hard Rock Cafe Nashville hosted the Musicians On Call (MOC) Nashville 5th anniversary celebration with Martina McBride. What an absolutely extraordinary event! With only 150 tickets available to the public, the concert setting was perfect, Martina was amazing, and guests were brought to tears with MOC’s new video and to laughter from Martina’s jokes throughout the night. And to top it all off a young lady won the auction to sing on stage with Martina. What a great memory for all. And it all took place at the Hard Rock Cafe Nashville!
Musicians On Call was so kind to give the Cafe two VIP tickets, but instead of using them themselves, the Cafe wanted to give them to a family who may have needed a night away. So MOC helped them out in finding the family. They had such a wonderful time, and at one point Dad said he was brought to tears during Martina’s performance of “Anyway."
Overall, we have to say we are very blessed to have been a part of such an amazing evening and help Musicians On Call raised over $35k!
11.12: On this day waaaaaay back in 1955, Billboard magazine ushers in "The Top 100." That's right, another music chart. More charts than you can shake a stick at! Go ahead, just try to shake that stick. You can't. The Top 100, based on sales and radio play, eventually replaced the three charts that'd preceded it, those based on airplay, jukebox play, and disc jockey play. The Top 100 eventually became The Hot 100, which remains, to this day, an all-inclusive, genre-bending barometer for, well, a song's hotness. What was the first #1 song on that Top 100 chart way back in 1955? You get a lollipop if you remember, or even know, "Love Is A Many Splendored Thing" by The Four Aces. 11.13: On this day in 1967, Yellow Submarine opened in theaters. A psychedelic tour of an undersea kingdom (called Pepperland, of course) that's been occupied by the "Blue Meanies," who have taken the kingdom's protectors (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, naturally) hostage, turned all the citizens into statuary, and drained the countryside of color, the movie makes no sense and people loved it. Somehow, John, Paul, George, and Pete Best, er, we meant Ringo, help drive the Meanies from Pepperland and…..does it really matter what the plot was? This movie came out in 1967, was chock full of groovy and colorful animation, and blared Beatles' songs, including, of course, the eponymous track, one of the group's oddest. Of course the movie became a hit. How could it not?
The Vaccines, one of the U.K.'s hottest bands, recently stopped by Hard Rock Cafe London for an intimate and incredible performance, as part of the semi-regular Absolute Radio Sessions. We really wish we could've been there, but we'll have to live vicariously through the pics the Cafe sent us. We've been to that Cafe, and to see a band like The Vaccines in such an intimate and cozy space would've just blown our minds, just as we're sure it did to the lucky gathered. People lined up around the block waiting to get in because they knew what a special time it would be. Lucky!
Tracks Volume 7 Playlists to Support Breast Cancer Research Foundationand Rock the Vote
Orlando, Fla. – Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos – with locations from Bali to San Diego, Singapore and Macau – announces the release of Tracks Volume Seven, a collection of free downloadable playlists available exclusively to hotel guests as part of the brand’s complimentary music amenity program, The Sound of Your Stay®.Through their partnership with BMF Media Group, Hard Rock Hotels & Casinos launched the Tracks program to introduce guests and music fans around the globe to artists such as Black Lips, Cut Copy, and Passion Pit, while also celebrating industry icons from The Doors to James Brown, Dolly Parton to The Beach Boys – ultimately showing the brand’s support of the music industry through playlists exclusively curated by celebrities, including Perez Hilton and Mayer Hawthorne.
Billy Corgan, that is. Billy, the maestro, as we like to call him. He of one of the biggest groups of the past 25 years, Smashing Pumpkins. In conjunction with 92.9, a local radio station, Hard Rock Cafe Boston hosted a "Breakfast With Billy" event. What, exactly is "Breakfast With Billy," you ask? That's a great question. Basically, Billy's on stage, being interviewed and answer audience questions about his life in music, his past, present, and future. Billy has a ravenous fan base, for good reason. He's always come across, at least to us, as a very cool cat, the kind you'd want to hang out with and maybe jam a little. Now, those in attendance didn't get to jam with him, but they got to ask questions, get stuff signed, and pose for pics with the rock 'n' roll superstar. Thanks for hanging out, Billy!
11.05: On this day in 1959, Bryan Adams was born. You can insert your own jokes here, but we shall refrain. Mr. Adams is the quintisenntial '80s and early '90s rocker. Though we can't name any song after "Everything I Do, I Do It For You," we still appreciate Bryan Adams' gruff voice, working-man style, and Cannuck charm. And we thank him for "Summer Of '69." Really. We still dig that song. It takes us back. Ah, the '80s. We probably haven't heard anything from him in a while because he's chillin' comfortably atop his pile o' cash and doesn't have to do anything ever again. If you see him, tell him we said "Hey." 11.06: On this day in 1975, The Sex Pistols played their first live show at Saint Martins College in England. Wow. How many people do you think were in attendance at that show? The Pistols opened up for a band called Bazooka Joe, whose only claim to fame is that they headlined The Sex Pistols first show and their lead singer was one Adam Ant. Anyhoo, at the show, The Pistols were using Bazooka Joe's gear to churn out loud, unmusical renditions of Monkees, Small Faces, and Who tunes. When the guys in The Pistols began to trash the equipment, Bazooka Joe took offense and a scuffle ensued. Ah, the beautiful, singular beginnings of a group that would last only a few years, but remain in the rock conscious forever. We wish we coulda been there. Check out this video of them from a few months after their debut.