You may roll your eyes nowadays whenever you see a bunch of tourists being waved into a Hard Rock Cafe, but there was a time–maybe 1987–when it was the most exciting place in the world: You’d walk underneath the oversize novelty guitar awning, stare at Johnny Rotten’s used pants, and order such punny dishes as “Cyndi Lopster” or “Chili Peppers Soufflé” (we may be remembering those wrong). The restaurant’s cool factor may be nil at this point, but it still brings in customers, which is why the Seminole Tribe of Florida just purchased the chain for $965 million. Though the deal doesn’t include the Las Vegas casino, the tribe will get 124 restaurants, two concert venues, and boxes upon boxes of “Love All, Serve All” leather jackets:
With it, the tribe acquires what is said to be the world’s largest collection of rock memorabilia, some 70,000 pieces including Jimi Hendrix’s Flying V guitar, one of Madonna’s bustiers, a pair of Elton John’s high-heeled shoes and guitars formerly owned by Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton and Chuck Berry.
“This is a proud moment for the Seminole Tribe of Florida and for all Indian tribes,” said Mitchell Cypress, chairman of the elected Tribal Council. “It is also an opportunity for the Seminole Tribe to diversify its business operations and help a very successful company to achieve even greater growth.”
Cypress then paused to look at the guitar hanging over his head. “What? Another Eddie Van Halen red-and-stripey number?” he sighed. “They must have sold us, like, 70 of these things! Ah, ca-rap.”
Seminole Tribe of Fla. buying Hard Rock [AP via Houston Chronicle]