Florida's Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino a Marriage Made in Rock-and-Roll Heaven

Last week while I was on vacation in Florida, my sister treated my husband and me to a Brian Wilson Concert. Although Mr.Wilson shows his age, he still had the same voice I remember so well from my Beach Boys albums. He belted out his greatest hits for over two hours. It was a great concert and the venue, well where else could it be but at the Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood. Yes there is another Hollywood.



This casino was massive, glitzy, and heaving with people. The Hard Rock holds a special place in my heart. When I worked on cruise ships, collecting memorabilia from the Hard Rock was a favorite pastime for most of the crew. I even wrote about it in my novel. At first it seemed bizarre to me, collecting tacky souvenirs, but finally I got it. When they got home, the small metallic pins, shaped like guitars proudly displayed on their worn denim jackets proved that they had really been to faraway places.


As I walked through the casino I stopped to watch the monitors that tracked the action at Hard Rocks all over the world. That got me to thinking, how many Hard Rocks are there? I visited their website and found out that there are 173 venues in over 51 countries, so that is a lot of pins to collect. It all started out when Issac Tigrett and Peter Morton couldn't get a decent hamburger in London. They remedied that by opening the first Hard Rock in 1971.


Now I haven't been to all of them, but I have visited many Hard Rocks across the globe. Most of the time the casino staff couldn't agree on anything but when it was a holiday or birthday many times we celebrated at the Hard Rock. When you are traveling for months to far away places on a very big ship and start to feel a little homesick, what you really crave is a bit of home and a good pig sandwich. It was a favorite spot in Acapulco, back in the day when you could walk back to the ship without the threat of being caught in a drug war. Whether it was Singapore or Stockholm you knew that when you ate at a Hard Rock you would get good food at a reasonable price.


Now the big push is to casinos, and my husband and I know a little about this since we have been in the gaming industry for most of our adult careers. From London to Las Vegas whenever we walk into a Hard Rock casino we always see someone we have worked with somewhere in the world. I also love looking at all the memorabilia; they own the world's most comprehensive "visual history" of rock 'n' roll. I never realized that the 70,000 piece collection is rotated from restaurant to restaurant. After visiting the Hard Rock in Hollywood and Las Vegas I must agree, casinos and the Hard Rock are a marriage made in rock and roll heaven.

Do you have any Hard Rock stories?

author of Cruise Quarters - A Novel About Casinos And Cruise Ships

Also available at Barnes and Noble and Smashwords

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