On June 28th, the Hard Rock opened its latest venue in AC at the intersection of two of my favorite Monopoly properties – Boardwalk and Pennsylvania Ave. They now have 24 hotels and 11 casinos globally. And their cafes are really rocking with over 200 in 75 countries!
Despite their apparent good fortune, don’t rush out to buy the stock. According to reports online, the company is a subsidiary of Seminole Hard Rock Entertainment, Inc. and private. A native American tribe, the Seminole of Florida, purchased a major interest in 2006.
I can’t report on the quality of the hotel rooms (we stayed at Caesars a short walk down the Boardwalk), but the casino is shiny, colorful, and not overly gaudy. Rock ‘n roll memorabilia is sprinkled throughout the vast casino.
The spotlight shines, and rightly so, on Jersey bands done good. You know the usual suspects – Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen. But I also saw a guitar owned by our dearly departed Tom Petty. And if you are a fashionista – check out the dress worn by Whitney Houston and a golden bronze David Bowie outfit. Backed up with guitars from Bob Dylan and Richie Sambora.
Our main reason to be there was to attend the Third Eye Blind concert, a fantastic band from San Francisco. The concert hall is large and non-descript, but what is key is the acoustics. Excellent songs and music! If you don’t want to stand the entire time, buy a ticket for the seating behind the main floor.
What does it mean to be blind in your third eye? Well, I found out. You are dead to spiritual growth and focused on amassing material goods and lust and not leading an enlightening life. Guilty as charged! But I will try to do better and work on using that third eye at least monthly.
Don’t miss the massive guitars on the ceiling but the band’s photo is distorted. Blame it on the third eye!
After the short concert, we stopped at the Hard Rock Café inside the casino complex. Ample elevated bar seating provided an excellent view of the talented musicians. The place is so new the sign behind the stage said, “ARD ROCK.” Life as a writer; typos haunt me all the time.
Back to more important things: the bar. The menu had many innovative specialty cocktails so selecting just one was my biggest decision of the evening. But what’s not to like about that? I could have stayed for hours except the third eye was watching. Now I’m ready to pack my bags to tour the Vegas Hard Roc and later search out the other 22.
Besides the usual mix of guitars and music memorabilia, check out the matching suits the Beatles wore way back in the beginning. And they are standing before some fancy wheels owned by the forevermore hipster Elvis. Bruce is on guard in a red-t and jeans. Scout out this exhibit, my favorite. Look behind the escalators going to the upstairs concert hall and in the back near a driveway.
I can’t resist closing this out with a bawdy poem from Mr. Louie Armstrong to his pal Bob back in 1954. He’d be surprised to know it’s on view today. Hint: The original is in a case across from the Beatles!
And if you are hot and don’t want to read about being hot at a beach, how about November in New York City and Copenhagen, Denmark? I promise to chill you down to the ’60s.
Karen Stensgaard is the author of the novel AQUAVIT, the first book in the Aquamarine Sea Series with a second novel on the way soon. AQUAVIT is available as a paperback from Amazon and Ingram Spark or as an e-book from almost everyone else. Libraries have free access via Overdrive. Link to free chapters on Amazon