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Elise Tedeschi strikes a pose in front of John Lennon's white suit. Rich Eldredge
Even the most jaded media folks couldn’t resist snapping a few selfies in front of the iconic rock outfits unveiled Monday night during a press preview party for the Treasures of the Hard Rock exhibition at the downtown restaurant and rock club’s Velvet Underground space. There were moments during the three-hour cocktail party when you couldn’t even get near TLC singer/rapper/lyricist Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes’ white CrazySexyCool tour outfit for all the pop up amateur photography occurring.
Also on display in the exhibition, which is free and runs through Sunday: The Who drummer Keith Moon’s Mexican custom-tailored leather outfit, Kurt Cobain’s childhood Ovation Lore Folklore acoustic guitar (originally owned by his aunt) and his eighth grade yearbook, one of Elvis Presley’s karate robes, Bob Marley’s Guild 12-string the reggae king played on his LP Kaya and John Lennon’s hand-tailored iconic white suit and gold-rimmed glasses, along with artifacts originally owned by Sir Elton John, U2’s Bono, The Doors singer Jim Morrison and guitar gods Jimi Hendrix and Stevie Ray Vaughan.
For many in the crowd, the best treasure on display was Hard Rock eastern division regional marketing manager Elise Roth Tedeschi. Eleven months ago, Tedeschi’s family, friends and supporters had gathered in the same space to raise money for her skyrocketing medical costs as she waged war on stage three pancreatic cancer.
Now through with chemo and enjoying clear CT scans, Tedeschi was cracking wise about her shorter 'do as she plots this summer’s cancer-free celebration with Toad the Wet Sprocket’s Glen Phillips. The singer, who had previously performed a living room concert for Tedeschi and husband Patrick just before her cancer fight began, promised he would play a follow up show after she beat The C Word. With a Toad gig set for this summer in Peachtree City, she’s holding him to it.
“What could have been the worst and last year of my life was instead one of the most amazing,” Tedeschi reflected. “People have been amazing. That fundraiser last summer in this room was better than our wedding. The people in this city will never know how much that support has meant to our family.” Tedeschi says she is now planning to write a book about her experience.
Performing an acoustic set in a room where the focus was fixed firmly on Lennon, Hendrix and Cobain was no easy task, but Monday night Atlanta singer-songwriter Brandon Stiles proved he had the chops and the charisma to capture the crowd’s attention as he played selections from his new gorgeously produced Brandon Stiles EP, along with some whimsical takes on AC/DC’s “You Shook Me All Night Long” and Garth Brook’s “Friends in Low Places.” Treasures of the Hard Rock is free and open daily (except for Thursday, May 9 when the venue will be closed for a private function) through Sunday.