Rock and roll-themed memorabilia populate the public areas and sometimes the guest rooms of Hard Rock … [+] Hotels. This is the bathroom of the Rock Star Suite at the Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, Mexico.

Hard Rock Hotels

Hard Rock Hotels and Resorts (as well as Hard Rock Cafes around the world) are famous for their eclectic collections of rock and roll memorabilia. However, this wasn’t the brand’s original offering.


Chase McCue, Hard Rock International memorabilia director

Hard Rock International

Chase McCue, director of memorabilia for the brand shares where the idea of ​​collecting things to display and how hotels and resorts are acquiring these unique pieces for each property began.

How did the idea of ​​exhibiting rock’n’roll items come about?


Pete Townshends original guitar, which is the memorabilia collection at the Hard Rock Hotels and … [+] Restaurants.

Hard Rock Hotels

The idea to start collecting and displaying memorabilia was a fluke. Eric Clapton, a regular at Hard Rock Cafe London, asked to mark his favorite spot at the bar by hanging one of his guitars (a Fender Lead II, to be precise) on the wall. After Clapton’s donation, the founders of Hard Rock received a package with a black Gibson Les Paul and a note that said, “Mine is as good as his. Love, Pete “by Pete Townshend. The rest is history and now we have over 86,000 unique pieces of music history in our archives.


Dee Dee Ramone, on display at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun, played this bass guitar at the Victoria in … [+] London in 1981.

Hard Rock Hotels

Prior to these two donations, the Hard Rock Cafe’s original location on Old Park Lane, London began as an Americana-style diner with college pennants and tin toys as decorations.

When did the brand expand into hotels?

Hotel room

A guest room at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Hard rock

The first Hard Rock Hotel opened in Las Vegas in 1995, and there are now 30 Hard Rock Hotels with Hard Rock Madrid opening this summer to make it 31 numerous all inclusive resorts with properties in Cancun, Los Cabos, Riviera Maya and Vallarta, Mexico and Punta Cana in the Dominican Republic.

The resorts are popular for a variety of facilities such as golf courses, spas, numerous pools, family-friendly amenities, as well as adult-only areas and specialty restaurants. Guests pay a price and have access to everything as part of the price, though a fee is charged for certain activities such as tours and spa services. The music theme continues in the resorts with regular concerts and daily live music.

In addition to our warm weather resorts, Reverb by Hard Rock Hotel brand debuted late last year with our first opening in Atlanta.

How do you acquire memorabilia?


Elton John’s stage suit, now on display at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, was made in his south in 1995 … [+] American tour

Hard rock

Over the years we have been fortunate to receive donated memorabilia from some of the world’s greatest music artists and bands. We also worked directly with artists to contribute to their charity initiatives in exchange for memorabilia. Hard Rock also strategically participates in auctions to buy memorabilia, and yes, all of the memorabilia we proudly display in Hard Rock locations are the real deal.

Do memorabilia rotate between locations?


The Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya in Mexico features all kinds of well-known rock and roll as well … [+] cinematic memorabilia.

Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya

Memorabilia are on the rotation schedule. Our goal is to provide an updated display every 10 years along with a fully updated interior design for most Hard Rock venues. It’s not a hard and fast rule, but that’s our goal.

Who decides what goes where?


The Hard Rock Hotel in Cancun, Mexico

Hard Rock Hotel Cancun

Memorabilia is selected by Hard Rock’s team of memorabilia designers who conduct extensive research into the rich musical history of our locations and our collection to find the pieces that are most relevant to each market.

What are some of the strangest things in the collection?


Some of the items in the memorabilia collection are quite strange and not all of them are on display.

Hard Rock Hotels

There are so many weird and peculiar memorabilia in the collection. There is a lot of real hair from a lot of artists, whether it’s real hair from the Beatles or Jerry Garcia’s actual ponytail. We also have unusual contracts, firearms, and art. You can imagine that in 86,000+ pieces we have what you might come across.

What are some of the most famous items?


Eric Clapton, a regular at Hard Rock Cafe London, asked if he could mark his favorite spot at the bar … [+] hang one of his Fender Lead II guitars on the wall. This sparked the idea for rock and roll memorabilia in the brand’s restaurants and eventually in hotels around the world.

Hard Rock Hotels

Memorabilia are a very personal thing, so everyone has a different favorite, but the most popular pieces usually come from legends like Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, the Stones or Elvis Presley.


Elvis Presley’s Graceland piano is now on display at the Hard Rock Hotel Tampa

Hard rock

The 24k Gold Leafed Kimball grand piano, taken from Elvis’ music room at Graceland, has drawn a lot of attention since we brought it out as a feature display at our Tampa Casino.


John Lennon’s letter and sketch to “Maurice” at the Hard Rock Hotel Cancun.

Hard Rock Hotels

John Lennon’s lyrics to “Imagine” are another thing that stops guests when visiting the Atlantic City location.

If you are lucky enough to take a tour of the Memorial Vaults in London, you can see Jimi Hendrix ” Flying Angel ‘Gibson V, which he used on the Isle of White and in 1970 when he played’ Red House ‘which historically most important guitars in the world.


These cannons can now be seen on Hard during AC / DC’s 1991 Monsters of Rock show in Donington Park … [+] The Rock Hotel Riviera Maya was 60 feet above the stage.

Hard rock

The cannons on display at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya are some of my favorite stage props. During AC / DC’s 1991 Monsters of Rock show in Donington Park, these cannons were mounted 60 feet above the stage and shot down every time Brian Johnson shouted “fire,” a tradition on AC / DC shows, and was made by 26 individual cameras recorded for the Live at Donington video.