hard rock history – the beginning
Some companies have a history that stays firmly in the past. We’re fortunate to have a legacy that permeates our present like a classic song, not with nostalgia, but as the reminder of a timeless foundation and simple beginnings.
When you consider we have over 192 locations, which include restaurants, hotels, casinos, and live music venues, in 60 countries, it’s hard to believe that it all started so innocently: the search for a good burger.
1971 – The BeginningIsaac Tigrett and Peter Morton were two shaggy-haired Americans who just wanted to find a good American burger while living in London. Their solution? They opened up their own American style diner in an old Rolls Royce dealership. They called it Hard Rock Cafe.
Fun fact: Isaac & Peter were only given a 6-month lease. Guess the landlord didn’t think it would last…
The now famous logo was actually created by celebrity artist Alan Aldridge, who’s best known for his work with the Beatles. It was based on Isaac’s idea to model it after the simple design of Chevrolet’s car hood ornament. Originally, they were going to make the colors red, white and blue, but decided that would be too much “Americana”. Good move guys, we like it just the way it is.
1973 – The First Live MusicPaul McCartney & Wings perform an impromptu concert at Hard Rock Cafe, a warm-up gig for their 1973 U.K. tour. Today, Hard Rocks around the world host 15,000+ live music events every year. 15,000+!
1974 – The T-ShirtWould you believe that we came by our signature world-famous t-shirts completely by accident?
The London cafe sponsored a local football (soccer) team, and the team t-shirt featured the simple Hard Rock logo. The extra shirts were returned to the cafe and then given away to loyal customers. They became such a huge hit with the public that one report said more people would show up to buy a shirt than to sit and have a bite. Not only did Isaac and Peter have the good sense to begin to sell them, but a stand-alone shack had to be built outside of the cafe just to handle the retail requests.
Today, retail makes up approximately 40% of our Cafe business. What they say is true: Better lucky than good.