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Another one bites the dust: Hard Rock Café and its memorabilia

There are very few known details about the closing of the Hard Rock Café downtown. Manager Kim Templeton deferred answering questions to a public relations firm. That firm would not answer phone calls.

According to a Sacramento Bee article, it will close March 27, but is that before or after the private event listed the same day on the Hard Rock website as "Morgan’s Bat Mitzvah?" 

One thing is for sure. With the Hard Rock closing, Sacramento is losing several important things: a restaurant, a music venue, a 36-foot guitar with neon highlights and a small museum chock full of Rock ‘n’ Roll memorabilia. Not to mention an employer.

The following is a photo essay depicting some of Hard Rock’s historical artifacts.

The first four photos are part of a small collection from local band Tesla. Pictured: Troy Luccketta’s kick drum.

Caption: BRIAN WHEAT, TESLA. At a time when Rock & Roll consisted of makeup, strange hairdos, and elaborate costumes, Tesla were always about being comfortable. Simple blue-jeans, t-shirts and pure rock. With over 14 million albums sold, Tesla is Sacramento’s finest. This bass was custom built for Tesla bass player Brian Wheat. It’s known as the Shredded Wheat Bass. That was Brian’s nickname in the early ’90s. This bass was used on the Tesla 1991/1992 tour.

Caption: FRANK HANNON, TESLA. "This guitar has been used throughout my career in Tesla and specifically to record the hit single ‘What You Give.’ This guitar is featured in the video for ‘What You Give’ and has been in many live performances including ‘Hanging with MTV’ and the ‘Psychotic Supper’ tour of 1992. This guitar is also featured in the video solo of ‘Love Song’ from the ‘Times Makin’ Changes’ DVD." – Frank Hannon.

Caption: TOMMY SKEOCH, TESLA. "Hey, what’s up? Tommy Skeoch from Tesla Here. I put this guitar together when I was about 20 years old. It’s a Kramer Voyager body with a Kramer Berreta neck. I used it a lot on our first record and many other recordings! I’ve also used this guitar at countless rock shows! I did the artwork on it too. …Hard Rock forever!" – Tommy Skeoch.

Caption: BILL HALEY. 1959 swamp brown Guild guitar was used and signed by Bill Haley. Given to a former employee of Haley’s "Essex" record company in Chester, Pa., Bill Haley signed the guitar just seven months prior to Bill Haley’s death.

Caption: ELVIS PRESLEY. Orange "TCB" bodyguard’s jacket with "TCB" patch on lapel worn by bodyguard Sonny West. West became a member of the Memphis Mafia (Elvis’ bodyguards) when he was introduced to the King by his cousin Robert "Red" West – also a Presley bodyguard.

Caption: JANIS JOPLIN. Janis had a major part in defining the role of women in rock. Her wailing voice and amazing stage presence was truly a blessing in the late ’60s. This is her silk shaw that she owned and loved in the ’60s.

Caption: TONY IOMMI, BLACK SABBATH. Tony Iommi and Jimmy Page are debatably the only two guitarists that can take full credit for pioneering the sound of heavy metal. This guitar was used by Tony in performances and recordings.

Caption: PETE TOWNSHEND, THE WHO. Heavily influenced by the Beach Boys and Motown, The Who was one of the key groups in the British Invasion. Pete was known to be a very active guitarist from his wild windmills to his demolishing of guitars. This guitar is one of the famous numbered series of guitars used by Pete.

Caption: NIKKI SIXX, MOTLEY CRUE. 1986 custom Harley Davidson Softail. This motorcycle appeared on the cover of their 1987 album "Girls Girls Girls," but has since been repainted.

Caption: FREDDY MERCURY, QUEEN. Never really taken seriously by critics, Queen was taken seriously by fans being one of the most popular groups, especially in England. These red vinyl pants with black tie belt were worn by Freddie during Queen’s 1980 European tour. They were featured on the cover of the program for that tour and signed on the back of the left leg by Freddie.

This vintage Fender Jaguar was owned by Carl Wilson of the Beach Boys. 


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