Have you ever wondered where all the Hard Rock Cafe memorabilia comes from? Everything on the walls of Hard Rock Cafe restaurants has a story to tell. I am going to share the secret as to how you can take a FREE tour of Hard Rock Cafe world-wide locations.

hard rock cafe tour

Orlando Hard Rock Cafe features John Lennon furniture photo credit: Jennifer Greene Tween ‘n Teen TravelingMom

My 16 year old and I love music, especially music from the past. Once I learned about the free Hard Rock Cafe tour, I knew I had to take her with me on one. We often fight over the 70’s channel in the car; that’s how much she loves music.

During a recent visit to the Hard Rock Cafe in Baltimore, we took the tour and learned about every inch of memorabilia on the walls from the bathroom halls to the retail spaces. If you have been to a Hard Rock Cafe, you know they don’t leave much space between items. There is so much great history on those walls.

hard rock cafe tour

Ready to tour Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore with my teen photo credit: Jennifer Greene Tween ‘n Teen TravelingMom


History of Hard Rock Cafe

The first Hard Rock Cafe opened in Piccadilly, London in 1971 and the rest is rock history. The cafes worldwide  host over 15,000 LIVE music events every year! Hard Rock Cafe had its first live concert in 1973 – it was none other than rock royalty Paul McCartney and Wings performing a “warm-up” gig before a UK Tour.  Can you even imagine being in that cafe at the time?

Where did the memorabilia collection begin?

Did you know that the first piece of memorabilia came from Eric Clapton? He was a regular at the Piccadilly location and wanted his regular bar stool marked with his guitar over it. The bartender hung it on the wall; a week later, a guitar from Pete Townsend of the Who came in the mail. The rest has now become the biggest memorabilia collection in the world. Imagine the stories some of these items could tell.

Hard Rock Cafe VIBE Tours

On a recent visit to Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore, my sixteen year old and I were treated to a special tour of the Cafe memorabilia collection. What you see on the walls tells a story, a story from a time in music history. If your kids love music this is a fantastic fun and FREE tour.

This tour is called the VIBE tour and is free to any Hard Rock guest. These tours are given by a specially trained VIBE host. The host knows every inch of history from floor to ceiling of that location. Some have a background in music themselves; some just a passion for musical history. Either way, you are in for a fun treat.

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore photo credit: Jennifer Greene Tween 'N Teen TravelingMom

Hard Rock Cafe Baltimore photo credit: Jennifer Greene Tween ‘N Teen TravelingMom


Bear, our VIBE host, knew his stuff. He is a music historian and actually performed with a few of the artists on the walls. I mean, talk about knowing your musical history. He has a pretty great story about the first time he met Prince. Be sure to ask him about it next time you are at the Baltimore Hard Rock Cafe.

While the Baltimore Hard Rock Cafe may be on the smaller side, it has great items to show off.  We learned the history of the art on a Led Zeppelin album cover, saw a home-made guitar by Bo Diddley and an outfit Prince once wore. Oh, and a really swanky jacket worn by Elton John!

We have also done the tour in Orlando. All I will say is be sure to ask for a tour if you visit that location. They have a few tricks up their sleeve that any music lover would die to see.

The first US Hard Rock Cafe opened in Los Angeles in 1982. You can now find over 200 Hard Rock Cafe locations in over 68 countries. On your next vacation schedule a VIBE tour and learn about the rock history at Hard Rock Cafe. You may just find some amazing items from your favorite artists.



Have you taken the free VIBE tour at Hard Rock Cafe? If so, which one have you visited?