HOLLYWOOD — Rock returned to Hollywood with the grand opening Thursday night of the Hard Rock Hollywood Cafe. It marked a fitting return to a city rich in rock history, boasting hometown heroes like the Doors, the Runaways, Mötley Crüe and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Nestled between the iconic Grauman's Chinese Theatre and the Kodak Theatre, the venue itself is fit for rock royalty, with a full stage in the middle of the café and music memorabilia adorning the walls. Some key pieces of memorabilia in the Hollywood collection include a Michael Jackson fedora that he wore in the '90s, a suede jacket worn by John Lennon for the Beatles' Rubber Soul album cover and a sheer nightgown worn by Gwen Stefani in her "Wind It Up" music video. But the coolest of all might be the Microsoft 2.0 Touch Wall that allows users to virtually interact with memorabilia from Hard Rock Cafes all over the world.
Celebrating the opening in grand style, celebrities and VIPs were treated to a performance by R&B crooner Robin Thicke. And while not necessarily a rocker, the singer clued MTV News into what his plans for the performance were before he took the stage.
"I just wanna keep it Hard Rock Cafe, not soft rock café — that's what I'm thinking," Thicke joked. "But really, we just do what we do. We like to bring a lot of musicality and have a great time."
Thicke, who said he used to sport some Jim Morrison-inspired long hair, talked about his longstanding love of rock music and his admiration for the Hard Rock.
"When I went to Tokyo, the place I went to eat was the Hard Rock, listening to rock and roll," Thicke said. "And you realize that the Hard Rock is a worldwide staple of memorabilia and music and history, and all the greatest artists who have ever been a part of music have been through the Hard Rock Cafe in some way."
Thicke later made his own contribution with an energetic, sweat-filled performance on the Hard Rock Hollywood stage. Introducing the soul singer, host George Lopez declared, "It's about to get Thicke in here!"
Backed by a live band, Thicke ripped through a set that included "Magic" and "Shakin' It 4 Daddy." To make his contribution more permanent, Thicke donated the suit he performed in to the Hard Rock's collection — let's just hope they send it to the dry cleaners first.