Hard Rock Cafe Prague Memorabilia
In the early ’80s, journeyman bass player Bob Daisley (Ozzy, Rainbow, Gary Moore) joined English prog-metal mainstays Uriah Heep for a couple years. Uriah Heep kicks ass, but they’ve been through about 17,486 different band members. Bob played this Hamer bass during his time with the mighty Heep.
REO Speedwagon’s frontman, Kevin Cronin, used this ugly Ovation acoustic on two tours between ’87 and ’89. In a perfect “Spinal Tap” moment, he last used it at Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida. When he hit the stage with this guitar’s wireless unit, the school’s Doppler radar wreaked havoc on his guitar signal. In frustration, Kevin tossed the thing – cracking the body.
ESP Strat-Style Guitar
Every word just seems cooler when you use an umlaut. Heavy metal bands figured this out ages ago. We should probably rename ourselves the Hard Röck Cafe. Seattle prog-metal legends Queensrÿche are the Pacific Northwest’s umlaut kings, and their unique brand of theatrical heavy rock has earned them a special place in our hearts. This ESP strat was owned and operated by Michael Wilton on stage and in the studio with Queensÿche. How coöl is that? Süper Coöl.
Customized Ibanez Electric
If you really, really want your guitar to spew forth with the heaviest noise imaginable, hack it into a 4-string and use a couple bass strings for the low end. Be careful, though – you may accidentally knock your house down with the result. This one was Wes Borland’s and he knocked down many an arena with this bad-boy during Limp Bizkit’s Significant Other tour. If you want to see this machine in action, check out the video for their mega-smash “Nookie”. This guitar is featured prominently in the clip.
Custom Nathan Sweet 12 String Acoustic
Sweet-voiced chanteuse Judy Collins is as important a figure in the development of American folk music as Dylan or Baez any day. Judy was instrumental in bringing the music of Leonard Cohen, Phil Ochs, and Randy Newman to a wide audience in the sixties and she was the inspiration for Crosby, Stills and Nash’s classic “Suite: Judy Blue Eyes”. She played this lovely Nathan Sweet 12 string at the New York Hard Rock in ’97.
Gibson Les Paul ’59 Reissue
Journeyman English guitarist Mick Ralphs has played with everyone from Mott the Hoople to David Gilmour and, of course, Bad Company. He’s the common factor in so much classic ’70s rock that the decade would be almost unrecognizable without Mick’s influence. When he joined former Mott bandmate Ian Hunter’s band in ’04 for the Rant tour, he took this lovely ’59 Les Paul reissue with him as his main axe on the road. You can see Mick working his magic on this killer guitar in the live DVD Just Another Night.
Waterstone 12-String Bass
If you really want to make a lot of racket, get yourself a 12-string bass like this beautiful Waterstone. Cheap Trick’s Tom Petersson has always been the leading proponent of multi-string basses and has influenced an entire generation of bassists to try these beasts (Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament is a prime example). This one was used both live and in the studio by Tom.
Signed Les Paul
In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Velvet Revolver came to Hard Rock Live in Orlando to play an absolutely amazing benefit concert. The highlight was AC/DC singer Brian Johnson’s surprise appearance. He joined the group for a blistering rendition of Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll”. What we had, essentially, was AC/DC’s singer fronting Guns ’n’ Roses playing Zeppelin songs. If that doesn’t appeal to you, you need counseling. After the gig, the boys (including Brian) all signed this Gibson Les Paul.
When the members of Yes, King Crimson, and ELP teamed up in 1981 to form Asia, they put the “super” in “supergroup.” Their self-titled debut shot straight to number one, stayed there for nine weeks, and spawned the classic tune, “Heat of the Moment.” Led by former King Crimson bassist/vocalist John Wetton, Asia was sweet revenge on the too-hip rock critics that dismissed true musicianship as passe in the days of punk rock. In 2006, the guys reunited for a triumphant world tour and sold out theaters everywhere they went. Substance trumped style once again. This Zon bass was used by John Wetton on that reunion tour.
Here’s a wonderful piece of Dylan history acquired from his longtime friend and guitar tech, the late Cesar Diaz. For a Dylan set in 1989, this gig was packed with classics – “Just Like a Woman,” “Tangled Up In Blue,” “Maggie’s Farm,” and “Highway 61,” among many other gems. And what a gem of a show.
Hondo Coyote Guitar
They stumbled on the beard gimmick by accident, getting together after a two-year hiatus to discover that guitarist Billy Gibbons and bassist Dusty Hill had grown massive facial fur. With the mega-success of the “Sharp-Dressed Man” video in 1983, chest-length beards – with a mustache for their ironically named drummer Frank Beard – became the trio’s unique signature. Releasing its first Texas blues-and-boogie album in 1970, the group was also unique in that it still had its original lineup when it joined the Rock ’n’ Roll Hall of Fame 34 years later. This badass Hondo Coyote was signed by the band.