Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” Jacket in City Hall Plaza

It stands to reason that the Hard Rock Café would celebrate a milestone anniversary like…well, like a rock star.

Touting itself as “music’s greatest memorabilia collection,” the Hard Rock on wheels (a big-rig truck outfitted with a high-end collection of priceless rock items) rolled into Boston’s City Hall Plaza on Saturday as part of a cross-country tour to celebrate the restaurant chain’s 40th anniversary.

According to the Hard Rock website, the celebratory tour is “…the most ambitious and spectacular tour we’ve ever undertaken.” Hard Rock’s memorabilia team scoured its vault and searched Hard Rock cafes and hotels worldwide to find only the best pieces in their 73,000+ item collection.

The museum-on-wheels features high-end collectibles such as Jimi Hendrix’s Flying V guitar, flamboyant front man Freddy Mercury’s Spandex stage suit, and Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” dress. According to Hard Rock International music historian Jeff Nolan, “Our 40th Anniversary Memorabilia Tour will give fans the chance to experience our most amazing and outrageous music memorabilia. We are bringing out some of the coolest, most historic and rarest items in our collection.”

Michael Jackson’s “Beat It” jacket, perhaps the most gawked-at item, was on display on Saturday in all of its red leather glory, allowing curious rock-inclined revelers to stand inches away from priceless pop culture history.

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