TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – It’s gold, it’s grand and once was played by the “King of Rock and Roll.” As of recently, this piece of music history has a new home, right here in Tampa!
Last Thursday, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino unveiled Elvis Presley’s iconic 24-karat gold leaf grand piano. This treasure is a part of the hotel’s ongoing $700 million expansion project.
“The piano itself is part of the architecture we designed into this new atrium with the new escalators – literally amazing architectural attraction here in Tampa,” said Jim Allen, the chairman of Hard Rock International and CEO of Seminole Gaming.
The grand piano was originally displayed inside of Presley’s music room at his Graceland home in Memphis, Tennessee.
Guitarist James Burton, who played guitar with Presley and has seen the piano in his home, says its permanent place at the Hard Rock is fitting.
“You know what, Elvis would be proud. It’s in a beautiful place and it’s secure and it’s in a great home and we have a place that will love it and enjoy it,” said Burton.
The instrument was originally purchased for Presley’s mother’s in 1955 but was placed into storage after her death in 1958. The gold finish, however, didn’t come into play until Priscilla Presley decided to have the piano adorned in 24-karat gold-leaf. She then presented it to the “ King” as a Christmas and anniversary gift.
Now, Elvis Presley’s grand piano will be among some of the most significant music memorabilia in the nation.
“This piano was sold for over $2 million dollars and has been featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, movies and TV shows, so it is truly a legendary piece,” said Allen.