At least one thing that glitters in Tampa Bay is gold – a 24-karat gold leaf gilded piano once owned by Elvis Presley.
Yes, you read that right, Hard Rock International’s 80,000th item of memorabilia – and a particularly special one – has been selected to be placed in Tampa’s Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The installation of the piano in the place of honor in the hotel’s new atrium is part of its ongoing $720 million expansion.1
The W.W. Kimball grand Elvis purchased shortly before his No. 1 hit “Heartbreak Hotel” was gilded by his wife Priscilla as a first-anniversary gift. It was originally purchased by a collector, following his death, for $2 million, then ended up with Hard Rock International at a 2015 auction.2
Recently tuned, it supposedly sounds “incredible,” according to a contractor working on the hotel.3 I mean, how else would a golden piano sound, especially one that belonged to Elvis?
Only time will tell as to who will be allowed to tinkle those ivories (some are speculating: Elton John?), but it’s another win for Tampa, for sure. It’s over the top, but we still Can’t Help Falling in Love.
Cridlin, Jay. “Tampa’s Hard Rock Hotel Unwraps Shiny New Toy: Elvis Presley’s 24-Karat Gold Piano.” Tampa Bay Times, 11 July 2019, www.tampabay.com/music/tampas-hard-rock-hotel-unwraps-shiny-new-toy-elvis-presleys-24-karat-gold-piano-20190711/.