A Perth man is still proudly wearing a T-Shirt he bought at the Hard Rock Cafe in Los Angeles during a Contiki tour in the mid-1990’s.
Peter Braybrook, now a married father of three, wears the shirt on a weekly basis, with absolutely no hint of irony, but with a huge amount of pride. He says he often has it on when “ducking down to the shops to get the paper” or “picking the kids up from footy training.”
“What a great shirt,” he reflects wistfully. “Brings back so many memories of that trip. I got the shirt in the gift shop on the way out after we got a hamburger. It was hard choosing between the black and the white, so to be honest I got one of each. You only go to a Hard Rock cafe once right?”
“I got some shot glasses too, they’re great. Not much time for shots these days with this lot though,” he laughs, gesturing to a bored 7 year old.
The first Hard Rock cafe was opened in 1971 in London, and in the 1980’s and 90’s were a popular stop for Australian tourists enjoying a holiday overseas. Few tourists returned without a memento of their visit. Since then, the rock themed restaurants have opened in nearly every tourist destination, absolutely everywhere on the face of the planet. But in 1994, it was a very big deal.
And while the dye of the shirt may have faded, Peter’s memories of the cafe have not.
“Mate what a great place. All the old gear, the memorabilia. Just brilliant,” Peter says, his eyes lighting up. “I even saw Jimi Hendrix’s guitar. Jimi Hendrix. I’m not having you on mate, it was the real deal.”