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Hard Rock Cafe guitar gets star treatment at Neon Boneyard

Updated March 4, 2019 - 10:04 pm

The Hard Rock Cafe guitar sign is up and running at the Neon Museum. Does it look like what museum officials expected?

“It looks like what we thought,” Neon Museum Chief Executive Officer Rob McCoy said Monday night, “and a little bit more.”

McCoy was joined by sign designer and former Hard Rock Cafe creative director Warwick Stone at the ceremony. “This was the first neon Hard Rock Cafe sign ever,” Stone said. “Every one that you see anywhere else came after this one.”

Las Vegas City Councilman Cedric Crear and Rep. Dina Titus joined McCoy and Stone in flipping a giant light switch to animate the sign. The Neon Boneyard is in Crear’s Ward 5, and Titus’s District 1.

The famed visage that stood for 28 years at the cafe on the corner of Harmon Avenue and Paradise Road was formally plugged in for the first time Monday night during a VIP event. A fundraising campaign of $350,000 was launched to fund its move from Hard Rock Cafe at Hard Rock Hotel, to YESCO for renovations, and another move last month from that sign facility to the Neon Boneyard. About $120,000 still needs to be raised to complete that effort.

The sign was moved in six pieces over five days to its current, and permanent, home. It will be lit up all day, every day, through the night until midnight.

“It’s the exclamation mark on the crown jewel of Las Vegas,” McCoy said as he looked up at the 80-foot-tall, Les Paul Gibson electric. “It’s wonderful.”

The Next Big Thing at Neon Museum is the “Tim Burton @ The Neon Museum” art exhibit beginning in October.

“Tim Burton is coming, and we’re doing more to prepare for that then anything we’ve ever done here,” Burton said, referring to the 2.6-acre display attraction, which opened in October 2012. “People are from all over the world are planning their vacations to see it. It will be a Herculean effort.”

John Katsilometes’ column runs daily in the A section. His PodKats podcast can be found at reviewjournal.com/podcasts.Contact him at jkatsilometes@reviewjournal.com. Follow @johnnykats on Twitter, @JohnnyKats1 on Instagram.

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