Nearly 50 years ago, two American gentlemen living in London longed for a culinary taste of their homeland. With no eateries in the area serving American food, the guys decided to pen an establishment of their own.
They name their establishment the Hard Rock Cafe – a place that specialized in American hamburgers. In those days, the walls were bare of treasures, but a musical gentleman from England who was known for his guitar prowess and the nickname Slowhand frequented the American Cafe and always sat on the same bar stool.
One day the owners of the Cafe received a package – a guitar with a not stating that the guitar was to mark the spot where Eric Clapton sat.
A short time later, a second package arrived – another guitar with a note that said, “mine’s as good as his..Pete Townsend,” and a tradition was born.
Today, there are nearly 200 Hard Rock Cafe restaurants, hotels, and casinos around the world each featuring hundreds of musical artifacts from thousands of artists.
Collectively the Hard Rock Cafe owns the largest collection of musical memorabilia in the world – even more than the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Each year on June 14 the Hard Rock Cafe celebrates Founder’s Day to mark the opening of that first Cafe in London in 1971.
In the past the day was marked by slashing the price of the original Legendary Burger to just 71 cents, but this year the day was marked with hundreds of balloons, DJ’s, and live music.
At the Hard Rock Cafe located in Niagara Falls, New York the DJ kept the tunes spinning all day long, but once the sun went down the rock band Last Call took the stage for some original songs and cover tunes primarily from the 80’s and 90’s.
After opening the show with a unique rendition of the Johnny Cash song “Ring of Fire”; the night included music from blink-182, Joan Jett, ZZ Top, Elle King, AC/DC, The Cranberries, Eve 6, the Tragically Hip, Alice in Chains, and the Violent Femmes before endinbg the night as they began with Johnny Cash and “Folsom Prison Blues”.
And to think it all began with a longing for a taste of home…and a single guitar.