Hard Rock Cafe Hollywood on Hollywood BLVD Memorabilia
The Go Go's
This sweater is a perfect talisman of the early ’80s punk scene. It was given to Go-Go’s drummer Gina Schock in 1980 by Madness bassist Mark Bedford. The two soon-to-be new wave royals started a romance when the Go-Go’s opened up for Madness at the legendary Whisky a Go Go on the Sunset Strip.
LA Woman Lyrics
This set of lyrics for the Doors’ mega-iconic “L.A. Woman” is in Jim Morrison’s own hand and was almost certainly a reference lyric for the recording of the song. Less than four months after this song was released in April of ’71, Jim was gone forever. Handwritten lyrics from rock’s golden age are incredibly personal and affecting pieces of memorabilia – and this is one of our best examples.
Holy moly. Check this thing out. A jacket like this could only exist in the late ’80s. This fringed, bedazzled and airbrushed white leather jacket simply screams, “hair metal power ballad!”, and there’s good reason for that – this eyesore was worn by Warrant vocalist Jani Lane in the video for their 1989 ballad “Heaven”. This song and the video which accompanied it was one of the very last gasps of the big-hair metal ballad plague that was so prevalent in the late ’80s. Unbeknownst to the guys in Warrant, a couple years after “Heaven” was released, Kurt Cobain would come along and sweep all the hair metal chart-toppers into the dustbin of history. This jacket is like a time capsule of bad taste. To us, that makes it awesome.
Pop princess Rihanna slinked around in this vintage Rose Marie Reid swimsuit in the video for “If I Never See Your Face Again” – a collaboration with the group Maroon 5. The video clip is extremely high-concept and self-conscious. It’s also sexy as hell, thanks to Rihanna and this swimsuit.
The world of pop princesses is a fickle one. For every glammed-out, overproduced vixen who becomes a household name, a thousand other contenders crash and burn into the world of awkward obscurity. Gospel singer turned pop chanteuse Katy Perry defied the odds and actually forged a viable career in the cutthroat world of bubblegum pop. She wore this tiny little dress onstage at the Hollywood Palladium in 2009.
This lovely bit of verse is entitled “Blue Oaka the Tamer” and was written in 1970 by Marc Bolan. This is a great example of Bolan’s lysergic, stream-of-consciousness writing style. Check out his handwritten addition – “A song with melody” – and his exceedingly tiny copyright signature.
When Michael Jackson set out on tour in support of his Bad album in 1987, he took a young female guitar virtuoso named Jennifer Batten on the road with him. She proceeded to blow minds all over the world with her incredible ability and undeniable charisma (not to mention a gravity-defying hairdo). This was Jennifer’s personal jacket from the tour. Check out where she embroidered her nickname, “Jenny Jam”, on the front. All the pins and stickers were added during the tour and are a bit like a travelogue of pop supremacy in the eighties. This jacket shows just how excited Jennifer Batten was to be traveling the world and playing to hundreds of thousands of fans – an all-too-rare feat for a young female guitarist.
Yes, folks, this is a bona-fide pair of old-school Reebok Pumps. Hard to believe that these things were wildly popular isn’t it? This particular pair graced the feet of none other than MC Hammer in his video for “Dancin’ Machine” from his smash album, Please Hammer, Don’t Hurt ’Em in 1990. Combine these sneakers with a pair of super-baggy pants and you’re well on your way to the dubious dress code of early ’90s pop-rap.
Bad Religion guitarist Brian Baker is much more than another aging punker slogging it out on the Warped Tour circuit. The guy is a full-blown American rock ’n’ roll legend. He started his career playing bass for mega-iconic DC punks Minor Threat and has put in time with groups like the Meatmen, Dag Nasty, and Samhain, but Brian found his home in the mid ’90s with Bad Religion. In fact, Brian turned down a spot as touring guitarist for REM in order to join the SoCal smartpunk overlords. He’s a truly inspired player and one of the cleverest people you’ll ever meet. This battered and bruised Gibson SG was one of his main weapons in the ’90s.
Los Angeles’ psychedelic icons the Doors were the archetype for the self-consciously literate, jazz-infused, relentlessly hedonistic scene that emerged in the late ’60s, and lead singer Jim Morrison was their guiding force. Morrison has become such a legend that it’s hard to find a vocalist today who hasn't borrowed something from the Lizard King’s look, sound, and ultra-cool swagger. The man defined the role of the moody front-man in modern rock. These brown leather pants were worn by him nearly every day for the better part of two years. They've been photographed literally thousands of times and are one of the great treasures of the Hard Rock collection.
Guns N' Roses
This gorgeous Alvarez acoustic played a big role in the early days of G&R’s rise to superstardom. It’s the guitar Izzy Stradlin used to record all the acoustic tracks on their second album, G n’ R Lies. A hastily produced album, Lies was cobbled together from an old live record and four new acoustic recordings in order to capitalize on the runaway success of Appetite for Destruction. Nevertheless, it’s a damn good record which contains some classic jams like “Patience” and “Used to Love Her”. The guitar was built (and signed) by Japanese master luthier Kazuo Yairi - a legend in the world of guitar making. Though Izzy used this guitar throughout the recording of the album, it didn’t belong to him. It was borrowed from Robert Sarzo of the L.A. band Hurricane.
Seminal Los Angeles trio Concrete Blonde may be known predominantly for their 1989 smash “Joey”, but their real rock ’n’ roll soul is best experienced on their self-titled debut. Check out the tune “Still in Hollywood” to hear lead singer Johnette Napolitano’s raw power and easy grasp of gritty imagery. The woman is a true force of nature. She owned this jacket in the late ’80s. It was hand painted by Pleasant Gehman. Pleasant is an L.A. counterculture institution – a singer, writer, poet, actress, painter, and acclaimed belly dancer. In many ways, Pleasant Gehman has been at the epicenter of Southern California alternative music since the ’70s. This is a truly unique jacket that celebrates two of rock’s most creative and influential women.
In any informed list of the greatest American rock bands of all time, X must be near – or at – the top. Their blend of raw power and visceral appeal put them squarely at the forefront of the first wave of Los Angeles punk bands in the late ’70s, but it was their songwriting that made them truly great. They also had an incredibly inspired guitarist – Billy Zoom. Already a rockabilly and blues veteran when he joined the group, Billy brought a level of musicianship to X that other punk bands lacked. His wide-stanced, smiling stage presence and ability to play intricate, lightning-fast licks without ever looking at his guitar (Billy literally never even glances at his instrument during a show) has made him an underground icon and cult guitar hero. He’s the king and that’s all there is to it. This incredibly gorgeous ’56 Gretsch Silver Jet was Billy’s during the early days of X.
Eddie Van Halen single-handedly created the “Shredder Guitarist” phenomena of the '80s (but don’t blame him). And with his level of skill, an off-the-rack guitar is simply out of the question – so Eddie created his signature “Frankenstein” out of a Strat-style body with a Gibson PAF humbucker pickup and Floyd Rose tremolo. Largely due to Eddie's influence, this guitar configuration came to dominate the '80s. With its striped pattern of paint and electrical tape, it's among the most recognizable instruments in rock history. This particular example was assembled by the master himself at the Kramer factory and featured on the cover of Guitar World magazine in 1987.
Pro Mark Drum Sticks
If you’re like us, you get irritated when self-appointed music snobs try to denigrate Ringo Starr’s drumming ability. Ringo was, is and always will be the king. He’s one of the best groove drummers the world of rock has ever seen. Ringo used these sticks in 2010 at a performance with Ben Harper at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
It’s been said countless times that six degrees separate Kevin Bacon from the rest of the show biz world, but he was only one step away from this gorgeous 1963 Silvertone 1448 guitar. It belonged to his brother and bandmate, Michael Bacon. These old Silvertones came with an amp built right into the case, but we can’t display it because we’re using it in our secret rock vault for late night jam sessions.
Colombian force of nature Shakira wore this oh-so-skimpy leaf bikini on the cover of her smash 2005 album, Oral Fixation Vol. 2. The cover depicts Shakira in a surreal Garden of Eden setting holding an apple. She gave this outfit to the Hard Rock in appreciation of a donation to her Pies Descalzos foundation.
The man alternately known as Sean Combs, Puff Daddy, Puffy, P. Diddy, or just plain Diddy has gone so far beyond the label of mere “rapper” that he’s now an international business institution. Musician, producer, label magnate, fashion mogul, restaurateur and actor – it seems that everything he touches turns to gold (or platinum). Is there anything this guy can’t do? Well... he’s pretty funny when he dances. These Porsche sunglasses graced the face of Mr. Combs on the cover of his 2006 album, Press Play. This was the first release under his latest moniker – Diddy.