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17 Dec 2012

A New Hard Rock

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December 17, 2012 Category: Local Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO: The robe that Marvin Gaye wore during his ‘Sexual Healing’ concerts.

(Photo by Denise Clay)


Among the new treasures at Philadelphia’s revamped Hard Rock Café are musical instruments, stage clothing, and a robe Marvin Gaye used for “Sexual Healing”


By Denise Clay


If the orange bathrobe hanging on the wall of Philadelphia’s Hard Rock Café were anywhere else, you’d probably not pay it a whole lot of mind…If you didn’t throw it away that is.


It’s got a few holes in it. It looks like something that Hugh Hefner might slum around in. It’s seen better days. It’s not all that special.


That is, until Jeff Nolan, Rock Historian for Hard Rock Café International gives you a little big of history regarding this rather ordinary looking orange bathrobe.


“This belonged to Marvin Gaye,” he said. “He wore it during his ‘Sexual Healing’ tour.”


Nolan was on hand to give a tour of the newly revamped Hard Rock Café at 12th and Market Streets in Philadelphia earlier this week. He showed a group of reporters some of the new features and memorabilia that restaurant goers will be able to check out as part of their Hard Rock experience.


The restaurant reopened on Thanksgiving after a two-year remodeling process that included changing over all of the restaurant’s memorabilia and adding the Philadelphia Room, a room designed to reflect it’s Reading Terminal Head House train shed location, said Mike Chrupcala, general manager of Hard Rock Philadelphia.



As part of the process of revamping the restaurant, which also includes an interactive touch screen Rock Wall that allows you to see more of the 77,000 pieces of memorabilia that Hard Rock International has collected from your favorite musicians, Chrupcala got the chance to tour the Hard Rock’s Orlando, Florida-based vault.


“We wanted to focus on musicianship so we have 19 guitars here,” he said. WE also have an outfit from Taylor Swift and a Phillies baseball cap signed by Madonna in our Philadelphia Room.”


The Philadelphia Room is the showcase of the revamped restaurant. In addition to the Material Girl’s homage to the Phillies and Swift’s purple jumpsuit, there is an autographed Dick Clark doll, an autographed photo of Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff back when they were Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince, an autographed cymbal from Questlove of The Roots and a dress that the divalicious Patti Labelle wore in the 60s.


In addition to the internal changes that took place at the restaurant, there will also be some other new things going on, Chrupcala said. Folks who love live music will be able to catch some at the Hard Rock on it’s new stage every week and those who love outdoor dining and great music will be able to hang out at the venue’s sidewalk café tables when the temperature warms up.

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