Not many cities can say they have iconic belongings from some of the most well-known rock gods and performers of the century. But at Hard Rock Rocksino, we’re proud to showcase everything from Diana Ross’ famous dress to Eminem’s iconic t-shirt for visitors and locals alike. Visiting our memorabilia is like taking a step back in time, reminiscing about the time you saw Jackson 5 on their variety show or when you tuned in on the John Lennon immigration hearings during the Nixon election. These items are more than just clothes and knick-knacks; they’re mementos that represent the history of musicians who have changed the music scene in countless ways.
Below are just some pieces from our extensive collection:
The Supremes and Diana Ross
Miss Diana Ross, of the Supremes, donned this dress during her tour to promote the soundtrack from Mahogany, which came out in 1975. What makes this situation so interesting is the Mahogany soundtrack out-popularized the film itself, with the theme song reaching #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. Other than a 29% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, the film’s only claim to fame was its Academy Award nomination for “best original song” (even the Academy Awards agreed the music was better than the movie!). As a Motown legend, it’s no surprise that Diana Ross’s melodious pipes outshined the lights of the big screen.
It’s hard to say which is more elaborate: Elton John’s showmanship and stage presence or his fashion sense. Luckily for fans across the globe, Elton never chose one over the other! This military-style tailcoat was part of the icon’s on-stage wardrobe. If only coats could talk, right?
Known for always speaking his mind, hip-hop star, Eminem expressed his views on his friend’s arrest by wearing a “Free Yayo” t-shirt at the 2003 Grammys. Tony Yayo was a rapper and part of the G-Unit crew who was arrested for weapon possession and held in prison due to an outstanding warrant. This “Free Yayo” t-shirt, along with the Adidas tracksuit, was owned and worn by Eminem before being put on display here at Rocksino.
This t-shirt’s iconic owner was the one and only, Joe Walsh. As one of the greatest guitar players to have ever graced the stage, Joe Walsh has been successful as a solo artist, with the group James Gang, and of course, a with band you may have heard of … The Eagles. This particular shirt was actually made be a Cincinnati based clothing line called Generall Jacket. A legendary musician and he supports Ohio companies … now that’s rock n’ roll.
The Beatles – John Lennon
This particular tweed suit holds more than just musical significance; it also represents a political dispute between John Lennon and President Nixon. President Nixon feared John Lennon’s musical influence would sway younger voters away from electing Nixon into office, so Nixon ran an aggressive campaign to have Lennon deported back to the United Kingdom. Lennon wore this suit to one of his many immigration court hearings.
Motley Crue – Nikki Sixx
Bad boys of the 80’s, Motley Crue, have been kickstarting hearts since 1981 and fans still can’t get enough. Here you see bassist Nikki Sixx’s Gibson Thunderbird, which he used during their ‘Tattoo’ tour in 2000. Never to be understated, the bass guitar is heavily decorated after some of Sixx’s very own tattoos.
Nine Inch Nails
Talk about not holding back! This synthesizer is straight from the stage of a Nine Inch Nails concert and it has seen better days. Nine Inch Nails and frontman, Trent Reznor, are known for their uniquely dark lyrics and rock-meets-synthetic sound that makes the band truly one-of-a-kind. As anyone can see from this synthesizer when exploring the Rocksino Memorabilia, they put on one heck of a show!
Aerosmith – Steven Tyler
Chances are, the majority of the population can recognize this scarf-clad microphone stand and immediately know who it came from. Steven Tyler of Aerosmith walked this way and personally donated the microphone stand to the Hard Rock Memorabilia collection to go along with his pant and scarf outfit that he wore during an Aerosmith show.
Beautiful on the inside and out, Whitney Houston left an astonishing impact on the world of music with her larger than life vocals and live performances. As one of the biggest selling stars in history, Whitney Houston and her powerful voice touched hearts all across the globe. Like a true diva, Houston kept her fans on the edge of their seats with not only her talent but also her fashion. This outfit was one of the many wardrobes that were used during her stage performances.
The Jackson 5
The boy band that started it all, The Jackson 5, dominated the charts with their catchy tunes, uncanny harmonies, and sparkling suits. Of course, their music carried on through the youngest brother, Michael Jackson, for years until his untimely death in 2009. These flashy ensembles were worn by the brothers when they hosted their own television variety show in 1977.
As exciting as it is to have the biggest names in the industry donate their items to the Hard Rock Rocksino, it’s even more exciting for avid music lovers to experience seeing the belongings their favorite musicians once used. When top names in the business, like Nine Inch Nails and Eminem, donned these clothes or played these instruments, they were following their dreams and making differences in people’s lives. All of these items represent something special and we work hard to enjoy and preserve them for decades.