The Hard Rock Hotel is known for its vast collection of rock-and-roll treasures. You can find Kate Pierson’s silver dress worn by the retro redheaded vocalist from the B-52s on the front and back covers of Cosmic Thing, a blue feather outfit donned by Elton John and a pearl snare drum signed, “While it is true…now beat it,” in black by Terence Trent D’Arby, who actually got his music career going while in the U.S. Army.
Now it adds a collection of photos from the legendary rock photographer Neal Preston. The exhibit includes a comprehensive overview of Preston’s body of work, shot over four decades. But most impressive is a limited-edition, never-before-seen Led Zeppelin enlarged contact sheet, a collaboration between HRH magazine and Preston.
“Hard Rock encourages what this collection is all about,” Preston said. “These photographs represent more than just a singer at a mic; there is an emotional connection that occurs when people view them. Classic rock has exploded in the past few years, and music photography is now recognized as a true art form. It is an honor to have my work displayed at the Hard Rock.”
Preston’s photography is regarded as one of the music industry’s most extensive and significant collections. While rock fans best know Preston as the legendary photographer who has toured the United States with Led Zeppelin, The Who, Queen, Fleetwood Mac, Bruce Springsteen, Duran Duran, Billy Joel and countless others, his rock-and-roll travels have also included touring Europe, Canada, Russia, Japan, China, South Africa and South America with a unlimited list of rock artists.
Photo above, Robert Plant with a dove. Photo by Neal Preston.
Other Treasures at the Hard Rock Hotel:
- In 1964, Roy Orbison released what was to be the most successful hit single of his career, “Oh Pretty Woman.” The hotel has the handwritten lyrics to this legendary song, co-written with Bill Dees.
- A black satin jacket worn by Madonna during the 27-engagement “Virgin” tour in April 1985.
- A studded denim jacket worn by lead vocalist Mike Tramp of the ’80s rock band White Lion.
- A Gibson acoustic guitar owned by Elvis Presley that was stolen from Graceland but returned to Vernon Presley after the perpetrator was apprehended.
- During his career, Brian Setzer has had a hand in popularizing hollow body electric guitars like the Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville model hollow body, which was played by Setzer at a Stray Cats show in New Orleans.
- A mint green Charvel Surfcaster electric guitar played by Daisy Berkowitz, former guitarist for Marilyn Manson. Berkowitz played it in the video for “Dope Hat,” a song released on the 1995 album Smells Like Children as “Dance Of The Dope Hat.”