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Hard Rock Cafe London
Review by - Kevin Curtis

Hard Rock Cafe London 22.09.10 - Inducting the Signed Gene Simmons Guitar Hero Guitar and GH : Warriors Of Rock Launch Party \m/

After having recovered from the free bar Activision paid for last night I thought I’d let you all know about the goings on at the Guitar Hero Warriors Of Rock event! What an event it was too!

Being a BSc Computing (Graphics & Visualisation) student and huge KISS fan it was really a priceless opportunity for me to not only induct a future rare piece of KISS/Guitar Hero memorabilia but get to chat to people from the largest game company in the world Activision and several other very talented major gaming industry people. It was really an offer/opportunity just too good to pass up! (Even if they put me in a bad ‘Spaceman’ costume and left me at the whim of the make-up ‘artist’!) ;) <- I did it perfect the night before practicing with eyeliner hahaha.

Inducting the signed Simmons Guitar Hero Guitar just was an awesome experience and I didn’t think it at the time but probably a pretty controversial thing as it’s the first ‘fake’ instrument to be displayed in a Hard Rock Cafe, but that’s a whole other story. (*Gaming and music forums are buzzing with equally good and bad press!....any press is good though hey?*)
I arrived at the Hard Rock Café @ 10am for preparation/makeup which turned out to be a mad rush as I had to be ready and in costume in 45minutes for the photo-shoot! (No Joke!) Once ready we headed down into the ‘Vault’ if any of you have been to the London Hard Rock Café it’s the sectioned off part which you have to wait/book to go down to take a look as it contains some of the most valued possessions. (Hendrix’s guitar that was used at Isle Of Wight for instance! Insured for £ 4 Million!) **KISS fans If you haven’t been yet its worth checking out as not only is a Bruce Kulick Asylum era guitar on display at the top of the stairs so is a Gene Simmons signed Axe Bass and a Paul Stanley Microphone stand in the vault itself!**

So @ 11am we headed down into the vault for a pretty long photo-shoot with the framed signed Gene Simmons Guitar Hero guitar that would be hung on the wall. The photo-shoot consisted of at I’d say about 200 photos as they were having some trouble with the lighting down there and reflection on the case the guitar/controller was contained in. We tried a few camera tricks like photos of the case and my reflection being caught in it and tried several other ideas. The shoot was great fun and camera crew and PR company people were great to share KISS stories with. Between ideas I also got to play the real Gene Simmons Axe Bass that has been in the vault for some time now. Very cool.

In several of the shots there’s actually one of the girls from Activision behind the case perching it up with it pretty much on top of her head, some pretty amusing stuff. I decided to keep quiet about wanting to break into the gaming industry while wearing “more makeup and higher heels….” than anyone else in the room/building at that moment in time! Not an outfit to be taken seriously in!! XD Haha!!
So with the main KISS themed part of the event over (or so I thought) Activision put me on the guest list for the Guitar Hero Launch Party @ 730pm. 

(**As this moment I was zonked out in Green Park in the sun for a few hours. Ahhh lovely. **)

When I arrived back at the Hard Rock Café later on that evening I was down on the guest list as ‘Superfan’ – The world’s biggest KISS fan. Greeted at the door with as many free Margarita’s as I could guzzle and a free bar (to get a real drink!) and free food for the whole night it just got better and better. The venue was packed out for the invite only event and just how big guitar hero actually is really hit me as I entered and they had playable ‘pods’ containing the new game and people just going mad for it.

Activision had booked several bands for exclusive acoustic performances the main band being ‘Lostprophets’ if you like them or not…they are pretty big. They got a great reaction although they aren’t really my thing. (**See Photos**)

I got to chat with lots of talented people in the gaming industry which was a great plus for me and then a highlight of the evening, getting careers advice from Activision!! That is pretty much priceless and I really got to sell myself degree wise…..personal mission accomplished! 

Even managed to have a chat with a familiar face to any Xbox Gamers reading, Dan aka ‘MrPointyHead’ who runs some of the ‘Inside Xbox’ features on the Xbox Dashboard (‘SentUAMessage’ and a next up ‘NExUS’ a new feature). A pretty cool introduction as we got chatting by rocking out to KISS ‘Love Gun’ on one of the Guitar Hero pods. (**See Photo**) Later on we posed together with the inducted Simmons Guitar Hero Guitar (**See Photo**) when they brought it out to show people and he also gave me a few tips on getting into the gaming industry and invited me along to ‘Euro Gamer’ which is held next weekend in London. (3 Day Gaming event on new games and careers in the industry) Which I apparently must get to.

Overall a thoroughly entertaining KISS filled night, getting home at 3am with the remains of the black demon makeup around the eyes…well worth it.