Elvis, Freddie Mercury and John Lennon's personal possessions on display with free tour

April 18, 2024
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Back in 1971, the world’s first Hard Rock Cafe opened in Mayfair London and quickly became one of the hottest places in town for rock stars to hang out and even perform impromptu gigs.

Today they have hundreds of venues around the world with amazing music memorabilia hung on the walls, but this is the one where it all started.

Just across the road from the iconic burger restaurant’s 150 Old Park Lane location is the Rock Shop, where there’s a hidden gem found in the basement.

Located in an old Coutts bank’s lower levels with heavy safe doors is The Vault, which was once used to protect the late Queen’s coffers.

Behind a locked barred cell door is a treasure trove of personal possessions once owned by the likes of , , and Jimi Hendrix. So Express.co.uk headed down to see what all the fuss was about.

The free tour (yes it really is free) is guided by a highly knowledgable member of staff who tells the stories behind the guitars, clothing and other items once owned by rock’s biggest stars.

Getting up close and personal (with photos allowed afterwards), highlights included a “1000 year old Ming Dynasty chair” from Freddie Mercury’s Garden Lodge home, a coat owned and worn by Elvis Presley, Madonna’s Blonde Ambition tour bustier and the guitar Jimi Hendrix played at the Isle of Wight Festival which is insured for over £4 million.

Other axes features are those that were owned and played by the likes of Bob Dylan, Glen Matlock, Bob Dylan, Gene Simmons, Brian May, Keith Richards, Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, David Bowie, Kurt Cobain, Eric Clapton and Slash.

In fact, the Guns N’ Roses’ guitar sits right by the outfit the latter wore in the November Rain music video.

Among memorabilia are a pair of John Lennon’s glasses and his US Army jacket he wore throughout the 1970s during peace concerts.

Then there’s the harpsichord the Fab Four used to record All You Need Is Love and Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds at Abbey Road Studios.

And if that wasn’t enough, original handwritten lyrics and signatures of all the four members of the band are on display and you can have a photo taken on a pew sat on by Ringo Starr himself.

Hard Rock Cafe’s The Vault is open for free tours Mon-Sun from 1-9pm, every 15-20 minutes with no booking required.



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