Published On: Tue, Aug 27th, 2013

Hard Rock Café Glasgow


By Laura Maxwell

Once upon a time, a long time ago, in a galaxy not so far away, a man was sitting in a London café. A café he visited often due to its brilliant music and American-diner feel. But, like so many others in their home away from home, someone kept stealing his seat. To put an end to this act of villainy, he asked to hang his guitar above the seat, marking “his spot”.

That man’s name was Eric Clapton.

After a few weeks someone from a little band named The Who, thought “Two can play at this game” and delivered another guitar, declaring in a note “Mine is as good as his”.

And thus, the Hard Rock legacy was born.

Now Glasgow is getting a piece of the action as The Hard Rock café is opening in the city, on November 2013.

The institute is rumoured to be making its new home at A-listed former Athenaeum Theatre building on Buchanan Street.

So let’s see what’s going to be inside…

Elvis Presley

 According to his display Elvis is – in fashion terms – The King of the Skinny Jeans. Elvis is why I can’t tell the gender of a person from behind. That, of course, bored him after a while and he switched to sparkling bootleg – like the legs hanging from his famous white jumpsuit displayed at the entrance of the exhibition. This outfit is so famous, in fact, that it feels weird imagining him not in it.


Guard your eyes! Even the glass case around them can’t stop “The Pointer Sisters”.

Madonna’s coned corset, worn on her Blonde Ambition tour, was, as usual, attracting a – shall we say “curious” – crowd. The pioneer of underwear as outerwear is the skimpiest outfit of the collection and a major inspiration to our next contestant…

 Lady Gaga

Her gothic black lace dress is a tamer of her eccentric outfits. It doesn’t leave much to the imagination but isn’t the most shocking thing to adorn her body.

 Ace Frehley – Kiss

Burn mark on the right thigh? There’s a story here! You hear such stories about old rock. Biting heads off bats, smashing instruments and whatever happened to the art of stagediving? Too dangerous?

I guess a burn is to be expected from setting your guitar alight on every gig. At least it proves it’s authentic. Don’t worry, Ace. Your make-up was enough to distract us from your tatty clothes.

 Freddie Mercury – Queen

You’d think after dying a guy would take a break? Not this guy. Two unknown, unheard duet songs with Michael Jackson are rumoured to be released soon. Freddie’s poetic words live on, as does his fashion sense. The striped skin-tight onesie of Queen’s Jazz world tour hangs proudly in the centre of the exhibition and would actually fit in nicely in today’s Primark. Monochrome stripes are in right now!

Taking the café into the present day is a wall for a photo-op branded with the Hard Rock Café’s logo and a computer/TV/tablet contraption giving access to details of every piece of memorabilia the café owns and displays, plus each of their secrets and stories.