Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Madonna bra in Hard Rock display

Madonna's cone bra costume designed by Jean Paul Gaultier is part of the Hard Rock Cafe's Couture Exhibition

Madonna's gold corset is among the costumes from some of the world's most famous rock and pop stars going on display in Glasgow.

The famous corset with pointed bra cups designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, Michael Jackson's red leather jacket worn in the Beat It video and a black and white striped spandex catsuit worn by Queen frontman Freddie Mercury during the band's 1978 Jazz Tour will all be on show as part of the Hard Rock Couture exhibition.

It has taken organisers two years to compile a total of 20 items from legendary and contemporary performers from the Hard Rock Cafe's collection of more than 77,000 pieces of memorabilia.

As well as Madonna's corset which the Like a Virgin singer wore during her 1990 Blonde Ambition tour, there are items from Elvis Presley, Lady Gaga, The Who, KISS and Katy Perry.

The launch of the exhibition served as a backdrop for the announcement that a Hard Rock Cafe is to open on Glasgow's Buchanan Street in November this year.

The 170-seater restaurant will be located in the restored Athenaeum Theatre, will employ 80 people and is set to host live music.

Among the other items to adorn the walls of Hard Rock Cafe Glasgow will be a green two-piece suit worn by The Who's Pete Townshend in the 1975 film Tommy, an artists' palette used by Scottish-born 'fifth Beatle' Stuart Sutcliffe, the mirrored guitar featured in KT Tunstall's video for Hold On and a sports tie that once belonged to Eric Clapton.

David Pellow, European vice president of operations for Hard Rock International, said: "I am excited about coming to Glasgow.

"It's a city we've looked at for a long time. I was very much interested in moving into a monument and creating an icon, and I think we've got that with the old Athenaeum.

"We're going to build something with live music capability and this city is entwined with live music, producing some of the best artists of yesterday and today, so if we can become part of that I think it will be fantastic."

Rita Gilligan, 72, was employed as a waitress at the first Hard Rock Cafe in London when it opened in 1971 and has fond memories of her time there, where she served Freddie Mercury.

She said: "We all loved Freddie. He used to come into Hard Rock in the early days and I remember him at Live Aid, he just rocked the stage. He came in afterwards in his beautiful white suit.

"Freddie was the star when he walked in the door of the Hard Rock amongst them all.

"He was one of my favourites because he just performed to the best and he was lovely to serve, not in a flamboyant way, just very mannerly."

Ms Gilligan now tours the world promoting Hard Rock and opening new venues, and is set to return to Glasgow in November, when she will don a hard hat and smash a guitar to mark the grand opening of the new cafe.

Hard Rock Couture is one of three exhibitions devised this year as part of the Treasures of Hard Rock project.

The Gone Too Soon, Music Gives Back and Hard Rock Couture exhibitions will tour locations in the US and Europe throughout 2013.

An Eric Clapton guitar was the first item in the Hard Rock collection after the musician donated it to the London cafe.

Hard Rock Couture opens at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall on August 16 and runs until August 25.

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