Hard Rock Cafe Seattle Music Memorabilia
This lovely DW kit was brutalized by Sean Kinney, drummer for alt–metal demigods Alice in Chains, throughout the band’s career. It was first heard on the album Dirt and the ’93 Lollapalooza tour. Later, Sean brought this badass set of tubs out of retirement for Alice’s 2007 Re-Evolution tour with Velvet Revolver. This kit has seen it all from the grunge explosion of the early ’90s to the rock revival of the 21st century. During the full moon, these drums whisper the tales of 10,000 flannel-shirted stage divers.
What's left to say about Kurt Cobain? He was a brilliant artist, a father, and a troubled soul. His loss still hurts. This Ovation Folklore acoustic belonged to his aunt, Mari Earl, and was one of the first professional-quality instruments Kurt ever played. Mari was a musician in the Aberdeen, Washington area and Kurt would often avail himself of her equipment. After his rise to fame, Kurt would still strum this axe when visiting his aunt. It’s a great piece that played a significant role in the development of one of the 20th century’s most important artists.
Too many up-and-coming rock bands think they’re the Stones before they’ve even made a dent on the music scene, so when we meet a group that has a sense of self-deprecating humor, we sing their praises. Seattle’s Crystal Skulls definitely qualify. Check out main man Christian Wargo’s note that accompanied this badass old Kawai guitar: “Here’s and old Kawai guitar from the ’60s. It’s a knockoff of a Vox Teardrop. It is with great pleasure that I offer it to you to hang on a wall or a pillar to enhance the dining experience of the many patrons who will look at it and think, ‘Cool guitar! Who the hell is Crystal Skulls’?”
Original Draft of a Poem
This is an original poem straight from Bob Dylan’s typewriter. Check out his handwritten annotations and corrections – Bob was clearly in “angry young man” mode when he wrote this piece. There are a lot of references to injustice, “phony laws”, and inequality. Take some time to read this – it’s classic Dylan.
1969 Fender Stratocaster
Though many fine guitarists have made their reputations on Fender Stratocasters, one name stands alone as the undisputed Strat master – Jimi Hendrix. He used this one towards the end of his career (and life) with both the Experience and Band of Gypsies. Jimi gave it to his roadie, Tappy Wright, in 1970. Tappy used it for a while as his personal instrument (the cigarette burn on the headstock is from Tappy) and then turned it over to us. Many people are surprised to learn that of the dozen or so Hendrix guitars we own, only two of them are Stratocasters. We tend to go for more unique Hendrix guitars since Jimi went through Strats the way most folks go through socks – he had zillions of them. This one is so spectacular, though, we knew we had to snatch it up.
What’s left to say about Courtney Love? There’s nothing left to say, so we present you with Hole guitarist Eric Erlandson’s set list from the late ’90s. The notes in the margin indicate which guitar to use on each song. According to this list, Eric busted out his Veleno on “Celebrity Skin”. He’s one of the lucky few to own an original Veleno guitar. In fact, Eric owns three of these killer axes.
Line 6 Delay Pedal
Minus the Bear guitarist Dave Knudson has forged a style that’s a bit like Eddie Van Halen (he’s an accomplished two-hand tapper) meets the Edge (he’s an effects junkie). That sort of technique combined with the group’s indy aesthetic has made Dave a kind of 21st century guitar hero. This green metal box was a Line 6 delay modeler effects pedal. It’s an extremely powerful echo unit and sampler. Dave uses four of these boxes onstage to create his trippy soundscapes. This one, apparently, wore out its usefulness. It is stomped beyond recognition.
Door From Robert Lang Studios
This graffiti-riddled door is from legendary Seattle studio Robert Lang Recording. Since 1974, a veritable who’s who of musicians from Seattle and all over the world have made Robert Lang’s the go-to studio for countless album productions. In January of 1994, Nirvana did one of their very last recordings there and Kurt tagged the door with a drawing of a little guy. Three months later, Kurt was gone. His drawing is toward the upper right-hand corner of this door.
Letter to Spin Magazine
Courtney Love is nothing if not opinionated. She’s also not shy about expressing herself in letters, blogs, and through public spectacle. In this letter to Spin magazine, Courtney unleashes a torrent of vitriol at Madonna (“She’s artless... She’s a disco singer”) and also tosses a few verbal grenades at Alanis Morrisette, Maverick Records, and Spin itself. The irony is that Courtney probably worships Madonna and was just spewing the tired “kill your idols” attitude that so many ’90s poseurs often used to try and gain some attention and street cred. This is a pretty amazing glimpse into the mind of an attention-craving rock star who was clearly struggling with insecurity.
This super-cool leather jacket was part of Keith Moon’s wardrobe in the mid ’70s. At a Seattle gig in 1976, the Who’s legendary soundman Bob Pridden spilled a drink on it. Keith joking told him he had to pay for the jacket, so Bob bought it from Keith, dried it out, and rocked it himself for the next 15 years. In his own way, Bob Pridden’s contributions to rock music are as important as Keith’s. Bob created the “wedge monitor” floor speaker concept that has been a mainstay on every single concert stage in the world for nearly 40 years. He’s also among the most respected live sound engineers in music history.
When people who have a limited knowledge of rock music discuss the early ’90s Seattle scene, bands like Nirvana and Pearl Jam are usually the only groups that get mentioned. However, folks who have a deep passion for the real underground sounds of regional rock scenes – like us – know that Mudhoney absolutely define the fuzzed-out, raw and reckless sound that became known as grunge (we try to avoid that term because it is stupid). If you’re unfamiliar with Mudhoney, just go buy their Superfuzz Big Muff album and get back to us in a month after you’ve absorbed its grandeur. Only then can you look at this drumhead, signed by all four members, and appreciate its awesomeness.
Slingerland Drum Kit
The twisted path to rock immortality is rife with folks who came within inches of the brass ring, but didn’t quite wrap their mitts around it. Pete Best got kicked out of the Beatles, Ian Stewart got demoted from Stones’ piano player to roadie, John Rutsey quit Rush, and Dave Mustaine was booted from Metallica. With that thought in mind, we present to you this groovy Slingerland drum kit. It belonged to early Nirvana drummer Chad Channing. Chad laid the groundwork for Nirvana’s rise to power and played on their blistering debut, Bleach. He left the band in 1990, was replaced by Dave Grohl, and watched his former group become the biggest rock phenomenon since the Beatles. Ouch. This kit was almost as iconic as a drumset from Bonham or Moon. Almost.
When the guys from Mother Love Bone were forming the group that would become Pearl Jam, finding the right vocalist was crucial. They hit the jackpot – big time – when a baritone-voiced surfer named Eddie Vedder came into their world. Incredibly soulful, creative, and charismatic, Eddie is sort of like a punk rock Paul Rodgers with a social conscience. This Yamaha acoustic was Eddie’s and it has his handwritten crib notes for the song “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town” from Pearl Jam’s sophomore album, Vs., taped to the sides.
The King picked up this extra-cool suede and sheepskin coat while he was visiting Colorado. Elvis needed something warm and stylish to wear when he cavorted in the snow with the Memphis Mafia. Do you think Sonny or Red let the King win their inevitable snowball fight? Count on it.
Ray Charles and Quincy Jones
Letter from Quincy to Ray
Legendary composer, producer, and bandleader Quincy Jones wrote this letter to his good friend Ray Charles in 1991. Quincy first met the Genius of Soul in the ’40s when they were both teenagers. They formed a musical and personal bond that lasted over six decades until Ray’s death in 2004.
Selmer Mk. VI Saxophone
The tenor sax has been a staple of rock ’n’ roll since the beginning and Bobby Keys has been the instrument’s leading rocker the whole time. Bobby started out in Texas playing alongside legends like Bobby Vee and Buddy Holly when he was just a teenager and went on to play with just about every important rock artist in history, but his lasting legacy is as the horn man for the Rolling Stones. Bobby joined the Stones in ’69 and has been with them ever since. He’s a bona-fide rock legend and this was his horn from the Stones’ 1994-1995 Voodoo Lounge tour.
The Rolling Stones
This set list is from the Stones’ November 28th, 1997 show at the Seattle Kingdome. This was one of the last gigs ever held at the famous stadium – it was demolished a couple years later. Though the list has them playing “Dead Flowers” as the tenth song, the Stones had a change of plans. They played “Respectable” from the Some Girls album in its place.
Signed Drum Head
When the men-mountains of Screaming Trees emerged from the dark woods of Ellensburg, Washington in 1985, it was like a gang of Sasquatches armed with punk rock records and electric guitars descending on an unsuspecting Pacific Northwest hellbent on creating a brand of heavy rock that would become known as grunge. They succeeded. This drum head was signed by all four Screaming Trees – Mark Lanegan, Barrett Martin, and brothers Van and Lee Connor. Incidentally, Van Connor does such a spot-on impersonation of the famous Bigfoot captured in the "Patterson film" that there has been speculation he is actually a shaved Sasquatch.
If Hendrix and Cobain are the kings of Seattle, then Heart’s Ann and Nancy Wilson are the unquestioned queens. Their potent brand of female-powered, Zeppelin-inspired hard rock has been a dominant force in music since the mid ’70s and they continue to influence generations of musicians and songwriters who weren’t even born when they released their classic debut, Dreamboat Annie, in 1976. Guitarist extraordinaire Nancy Wilson wore this exceptionally badass outfit on stage during the mid-’70s.
Yamaha 12-string Acoustic
Though they were at one time touted as the vanguard of the burgeoning Seattle sound, Mother Love Bone collapsed just prior to the early ’90s Seattle explosion. Sadly, this was due to frontman Andrew Woods untimely death from a drug overdose just as they were about to release their debut l.p., Apple. Fellow Mother Love Bone members Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard went on to form Pearl Jam and Andrew was immortalized on the now-classic Temple of the Dog album. This Yamaha 12-string belonged to Andrew in the late ’80s. It’s painful to think about what he could have contributed to the music world with this fine guitar had he not flamed out so early.