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The Hard Rock cafe is a chain of restaurants, memorabilia shops, casinos and museums founded in 1971 by Isaac Burton Tigrett, an american idealist born on November 28, 1948 in Jackson, Tennessee and Peter Morton, an american businessman born on August 7, 1947 in Chicago, Illinois. The two Americans went to London on a vacation in 1971, they were surprised by the absence of american hamburgers in London and decided that it would be a good idea to open a classic american dining cafe.
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Later that year, on the 14th of June, the two founded the first Hard Rock Cafe, in Gloucester House, in an old Rolls Royce showroom. This first cafe received great feedback from the usual clients, but business didn’t take off until Eric Clapton, a famous musician at the time, decided to ask Tigrett to hang his guitar in the wall, since he was a regular at the cafe. Some weeks later, another guitar arrived, it was from Pete Townshend, he too asked to hang his memorabilia on the wall.
Business was busy, hundreds of musicians started donating their instruments to the cafe, in 1982 and 1983 the cafe went global, dozens of cafes, restaurants and memorabilia shops were founded across the globe.
The Hard Rock administration saw how well business had improved because of memorabilia donations, so an auction binge was organized in 1986. In 1994 The first Hard Rock Live concert venue was opened in Mexico City. Today, Hard Rock Lives have hosted some of the biggest bands in the world, from Coldplay to Beck, Weezer to The White Stripes. In 1995 Tigrett founded the first Hard Rock Casino and didn’t stop there, 11 casinos have been built since that day. A year later, in 1996, Hard Rock gained it’s independence from the myriad of brands it was still dependent to brands with Hard Rock Cafe Mordor Shirt. From that day, the Hard Rock Cafe has expanded to be one of the leading restaurant chains, rock and roll culture museums, casino chains, memorabilia shops and much more.
In 2015 the cafe acquired it’s 80.000th piece of memorabilia, Elvis Presley’s Gold Piano. On December 7, 2006, Rank sold its Hard Rock business to the Seminole Tribe of Florida for $965 million. Included in the deal were 124 Hard Rock Cafes, four Hard Rock Hotels, two Hard Rock Hotel and Casino Hotels, two Hard Rock Live! concert venues, and stakes in three unbranded hotels.
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Rank retained the Hard Rock Casino in London, and rebranded it the G Casino Piccadilly. The Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas was also not part of the deal, as it was sold by Peter Morton to Morgans Hotel Group in May 2006. The cafe itself is loved by many, but people may be surprised to know of someone who adores it as well. Prince Harry is a huge fan of the cafe and has been seen a number of times visiting the annual Hard Rock Calling Festival.
The now famous logo was actually created by the artist Alan Aldridge. It was based on Tigrett’s idea to model it after the simple design of Chevrolet’s car hood ornament. Originally, they were going to make the colors red, white and blue.There are some interesting alternative stories about how the name “Hard Rock” came to be: it could derive from a one of the “Door”’s music pieces or it could come from a fictional tv cartoon named “Flintstones”. The official “Hard Rock Cafe” t-shirts actually were an accident:The London cafe sponsored a local football team, and the team t-shirt featured the Hard Rock logo with Hard Rock Cafe Mordor Shirt. The extra shirts were returned to the cafe and then given away to loyal customers. They became such a huge hit with the public that the cafe owners had to open a different shop, outside of the cafe, just to sell t-shirts.