6 memorable memorabilia displays at the Hard Rock Hotel

Warwick Stone, curator and creative consultant for Hard Rock Hotel, gives a tour of his studio at the Hard Rock Tuesday, June 21, 2011.

Hard Rock Hotel and Casino curator Warwick Stone has been purchasing and styling memorabilia for the Hard Rock brand since the first U.S. café opened in Los Angeles in 1982, before most of the Hard Rock Hotel’s customers were even born. He’s helped to curate nearly 2,000 unique pieces of rock-themed memorabilia at the resort, where he now works exclusively, and thousands more for Hard Rock International.

Among his favorite pieces are a jumpsuit worn by Elvis and Pete Townshend’s 1975 guitar. Click through his top six pieces below:

Hard Rock Curator: Warwick Stone
Justin M. Bowen

Pete Townshend’s 1975 Gibson Les Paul

The 1975 Gibson Les Paul guitar owned by Pete Townshend, the legendary guitarist for the Who, was Stone’s first rock ’n’ roll memorabilia purchase in 1986. He purchased the guitar at an auction for $1,100, but it’s now valued at $40,000. The guitar is marked with a No. 9 so Townshend would know in which order the guitar would be used in a show. It has become an icon as the sign for Las Vegas’ two Hard Rock Cafes.

Hard Rock Curator: Warwick Stone
Justin M. Bowen

Jimi Hendrix’s black book

In the Jimi Hendrix exhibit is the rocker’s little black book. The book includes women’s phone numbers from New York, London and Los Angeles and fellow musicians such as Eric Clapton, Sammy Davis Jr. and Ginger Baker. Hendrix’s display also features a 1964 Fender Stratocaster guitar, still pristine white.

Hard Rock Curator: Warwick Stone
Justin M. Bowen

Elvis' jumpsuit

Elvis' Shooting Star jumpsuit was worn by the legendary artist on stage at Madison Square Garden on June 10, 1972. Around the waist is a replica of a belt given to Elvis for selling the most tickets at the International Hotel, which is now the Las Vegas Hilton. Stone purchased the suit at an auction in London in 1986 for 25,000 pounds, or $40,000. It’s now one of the priciest pieces of rock memorabilia in the hotel, valued at $300,000.

Hard Rock Curator: Warwick Stone
Justin M. Bowen

Michael Jackson's glove

A few days after Jackson’s death, Stone scooped up one of his Swarovski-covered gloves worn by Jackson during the 1996 “HIStory” tour and his wedding to Debbie Rowe for $50,000 from an Australian auctioneer who called looking to sell. Months later, the glove Jackson wore when he premiered his trademark moonwalk dance in 1983 fetched $420,000.

Hard Rock Curator: Warwick Stone
Justin M. Bowen

Slash's leather jacket

In the pockets of a leather jacket given to the Hard Rock by Slash, the rocker left two lighters, $7 in change and a receipt for the jacket from Leathers and Treasures in Los Angeles, across the street from where he went to school. The items remain in the pockets. Also in Slash’s display is one of his guitars and his iconic top hat.

Hard Rock Curator: Warwick Stone
Justin M. Bowen

David Bowie suit and album cover

David Bowie’s colorful suit on display wasn’t a stage costume; it was his everyday attire, Stone said. “He’d wear something like this to lunch because it was the 1970s and that was Bowie,” Stone said. His display also features an original airbrushed painting of Bowie as part man, part dog by Belgian artist Guy Peellaert. The painting was done for Bowie’s 1974 “Diamond Dogs” album cover.

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