Located on the corner of Surfers Paradise Boulevard and Cavill Avenue, Hard Rock Café Surfers Paradise is a popular bar, restaurant and entertainment venue that has become a tourist attraction in itself. Part of the famous international chain, Hard Rock Café offers a unique American-style diner experience surrounded by some of rock’s best memorabilia.
Beginning in the 70s in London, a former Rolls Royce dealership had been transformed into a quirky diner known as the Hard Rock Café. Run by a couple of young Americans who loved music and in particular, hard rock, the diner was frequented by guitar god Eric Clapton. After befriending the proprietors, Clapton asked them to reserve him a regular table. Rather than a plaque or something similar, the proprietors suggested his guitar – half in jest. However Clapton was happy to hand over his Fender Lead II guitar and up in went on the wall.
About a week later, a Gibson Les Paul guitar arrived from Pete Townshend of The Who. The proprietors also put that up on the wall. After that, the guitars never stopped coming. In fact, in Hard Rock Café’s across the world there are over 70,000 guitars, microphones, drums, harmonicas, pianos, clothing, lyrics, motorbikes and assorted memorabilia – the world’s largest and most valuable collection.
The Hard Rock Café Surfers Paradise is home to its share of impressive memorabilia, however some of the most famous items include a guitar played by Paul Stanley of KISS, a road case by Allen Collens of Lynard Skynard, a portion of the wall from legendary punk rock club CBGB, a hand-written letter by Guns N’ Roses guitarist Slash, a smashed drumhead from Silverchair, a red Mada guitar played by Willie Nelson, a hand-annotated setlist from Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam, a shirt worn by Keith Moon of The Who and a drum played by Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers.