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OFFICIAL BIOGRAPHY
ISAAC BURTON TIGRETT


Founder - Creator:

The Hard Rock Cafe
The House of Blues


Throughout his professional career Isaac Tigrett has followed the evolution of music, art and other social trends and their impact on culture. Mr. Tigrett’s keen insights into trends and social/cultural movements, together with expansive creative capabilities, fuel his visionary approach to creating experiences and environments that entertain and educate customers and participants.

In his early career Mr. Tigrett’s focus was on the evolution of music and pop culture and their impact on society. In 1971 he created (At 22) the world famous HARD ROCK CAFÉ in London with his then 50/50 partner Peter Morton (23). Tigrett was the concept creator and named the venture HARD ROCK CAFÉ. Morton was from a distinguished restaurant family in Chicago USA. He supplied the food and catering know-how. Eric Crisman, an early manager, describes the two young entrepreneurs. “Tigrett and Morton couldn’t have been more dissimilar! Like oil and water! Tigrett was a revolutionary hippie activist with long hair, dressed in King’s Road “blue velvets” and snake skin boots. Morton sported Seville Row tailored blue blazers, Turnbull & Asher shirts, blue jeans and Gucci shoes” (See Newsweek photo shoot 1971). While Tigrett’s musical tastes were Jimmy Hendrix, Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin; Morton’s brand music was the group Bread, Cat Steven’s and Roxy Music. Tigrett’s crowd consisted of hippies, artists, and musicians while Morton hung out with models and fashion designers.”

Tigrett and Morton held together their shaky partnership until 1981. Tigrett then bought out Morton’s interest in the only existing HARD ROCK CAFE on London’s Hyde Park Corner and All World Rights to the name Hard Rock Café. Morton retained rights to develop the Hard Rock Café’s in the USA states west of the Mississippi River and three foreign countries; Israel, Colombia and Australia. Tigrett controlled all the USA States East of the Mississippi, and all other countries “World Wide”. Morton opened the 1st Hard Rock Café out side the 1971 original in London, in Los Angeles CA. in 1983 with the original 1970’s Americana format.   

Tigrett re-launched THE NEW HARD ROCK CAFE “BRAND” in 1984 on 57TH Street in NEW YORK CITY with long time friend and partner Dan Aykroyd. Tigrett wowed the music world and its fans with his new creation of The World’s First “authentic” ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME. Musicians “world wide” rushed to donate their Rock Memorabilia to Tigrett’s Rock Museum for “time memoriam”. A week later he re-launched the original LONDON, HARD ROCK CAFE as Europe’s First ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME. Morton quickly copied Tigrett’s creations in London and New York keeping Tigrett’s “new” HRC “BRAND” consistent in his “west of the Mississippi” territory.

Tigrett went on to develop The HARD ROCK HALL OF FAME in Stockholm, Sweden; Tokyo Japan; Dallas Texas, Reykjavik Iceland; Boston Massachusetts; Orlando Florida; Cancun Mexico; Washington DC; a mini HRC in Jackson Tennessee (Tigretts home town) and began to develop other franchises opportunities world wide.

Tigrett took the HARD ROCK CAFE though three Public offerings in the United States and Europe.

Morton went on to develop Hard Rock Café’s in San Francisco CA; Chicago Ill.; Denver Colorado; New Orleans Louisiana, Australia and other sub markets in his territories west of the Mississippi River. Morton developed the 1st Hard Rock Café Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas Nevada, using original designs created by Tigrett and “the world renowned” Graphic Artist to their “Royal Majesties” The Beatles, Alan Aldridge. (www.alanaldridge.net)

Tigrett and Morton sold their perspective Hard Rock Café companies which eventually went to England’s Rank Origination PLC. Rank went on to expand the Hard Rock Café Brand in 40 countries; 124 HRC Restaurants, 4 Hard Rock Hotels and 3 additional HRC Casinos. Rank sold the Hard Rack Café Brand to the Seminole Indian Nation of the USA in 2007 which continues aggressive Global Expansion of HARD ROCK CAFÉ, HOTELS, CASINOS & HARD ROCK CAFÉ RESTURANTS.

Following the sale of his interest in the Hard Rock Café, Mr. Tigrett was involved in numerous charitable activities. Prominent among those was his role as a founding trustee of the Rama Foundation of Zurich, Switzerland, which was the principal sponsor of the creation of the Sai Institute of Higher Medicine, a free, 500-bed advanced surgical hospital that serves the rural poor in Andhra Pradesh, India. (picture here)

Following the opening of the Medical Institute, Mr. Tigrett turned his attention to his next venture. Using the skills that he has demonstrated in building the Hard Rock Café “Brand”, he again wowed the music community with his “new creation” the famous HOUSE OF BLUES, again with long time friend and “Blues Brother” Dan Aykroyd. Mr.Tigrett’s vision for The House of Blues grew from his belief that popular tastes were evolving from rock’n’roll to alternative original music art forms such as  Blues, Jazz,  Latin, Country & Western, Urban, Rhythm & Blues and Rap & World Music. The latest HOB in opened in 2010 by new owners Live Nation, who won the most prestigious Pollstar Award for selling the greatest number of tickets worldwide.

Tigrett’s new HOUSE OF BLUES “cultural creation” consisted of a dynamic Live Music Venues for 2000 people plus. An exclusive Private Club and gourmet restaurant called The Foundation Room and a 350 seat “New Orleans Style Restaurant” filled with previously unseen Original American “Out Sider Art”.

He extended the HOUSE OF BLUES “BRAND” into other media including a HOB Record Company (with BMG), HOB Radio Shows (with CBS), HOB Television Productions, which produce “LIVE FROM THE HOUSE OF BLUES” ON TBS (with Time Warner), and the Internet’s First Live Music Address, Live Concert.Com (in partnership with Real Audio) and Europe’s 1st Live Internet Event Company, Traffic Interactive (with Freud Communications, London). House of Blues also launched the Famous multi artists music tours “SMOKIN GROOVES” (Urban & Rap) and “BARN BURNER” (Heavy Blues) across the US.

Tigrett founded the much-heralded HOUSE OF BLUES venues first in Harvard Square, Cambridge Massachusetts in 1992; New Orleans Louisiana’s French Quarter, Los Angeles California’s Sunset Strip, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina; Orlando, Florida at Disney World; and Chicago Illinois, Including the HOB Hotel, (340 Rooms) also in Chicago.

Tigrett left HOUSE OF BLUES in 1997 and went on to form The Word Foundation with the Interfaith Center of New York, which broadcasted on the Worldwide Web. Some of those Video Internet broadcasts included: The Parliament of the World Religions from Cape Town, South Africa 1998. His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s “A Global Quest for Union”; World Sacred Music Festival 12/8-10/1999 in Cape Town, South Africa; His Holiness the Dalai Lama’s World Sacred Music Festival, April 2000 in Bangalore, India; The Sixth Annual Alternative Therapies Symposium & Exhibition on 4/25-29/2000 in Kohala Coast, Hawaii. The Fez Festival of World Sacred Music, under the patronage of His Majesty Mohammad, King of Morocco, 5/31-6/8/2000 in Fez, Morocco; and “Wisdom Sharing: Community, Ritual and Healing”, The Association for Transpersonal Psychology 8/4-6/2000 in Vancouver, Canada.

Tigrett returned to his native home town Jackson, Tennessee in 2000 to attend to his ailing mother, Frances, until her death. Tigrett now lives in Andhra Pradesh in South India. Tigrett is currently preparing to launch his next venture, a Teaching & Healing Center in the rain forests of South India, “THE MYSTIC INN OF THE 7TH RAY”.

HONORS AND ASSOCIATIONS

HONORED ON THE FLOOR OF THE UNITED STATES SENATE BY FORMER REPUBLICAN MAJORITY LEADER, SENATOR BILL FRISK, FOR HIS SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND RACIAL CONTRIBUTIONS, NOW CONTAINED IN THE CONGRESSIONAL RECORD, JULY 23, 1996, VOL. 142, NO. 109.

HONORARY Ph.D., Centre College Doctorate of Humane Letters, January 17, 1996 - Mr. Tigrett was Awarded an Honorary Degree from his alma mater, Centre College in Danville, Kentucky, for promoting African American Culture and Racial Harmony. (www.centre.edu)

HONORARY Ph.D., Rhodes College Doctorate of Fine Arts, honoris causa, May 17, 1997 - For Mr. Tigrett's contribution to the rebirth of the blues, his commitment to promote racial harmony and for his vision and work towards a more harmonious world. (www.rhodes.edu)

NATIONAL FREEDOM AWARD - Mr. Tigrett founded the National Freedom Award, given every year on behalf of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee to an individual who has displayed a dynamic commitment to Civil Rights. Past recipients presented the National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Award by Mr. Tigrett includes President Jimmy Carter, Reverend Desmond Tutu and many distinguished International Civil Rights Leaders. (www.civilrightsmuseum.org)

CATHEDRAL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE IN NEW YORK CITY - Mr. Tigrett served as Trustee & Regent of the Cathedral, and on the Executive Board of Directors. (www.stjohndivine.org)

Nation’s Restaurant News - Named Mr. Tigrett as one of the greatest restaurateurs of the 20th Century in it TOP 100 Book Publication

The House of Blues Foundation - Mr. Tigrett founded The International House Of Blues Foundation (1993) which promotes the teaching of Music and Art in American Public Schools. To date, nearly one million kids have experienced this highly acclaimed program developed with the help of many social pro-activists, educators ,musicians and actors along with the help and blessings of Harvard University and Cambridge Bridge & Latin Schools of Cambridge Mass. (one public classroom at a time, 5 days a week) at each HOUSE OF BLUES Location. 100’s of scholarships have been granted by the HOB FOUNDATION to America’s brightest urban kids for college education. (www.ihobf.org)

The Rama Foundation of Zurich, Switzerland - Mr. Tigrett is a founding trustee of the Foundation, which funded the creation of a Free (500 bed) Advanced Surgical Hospital for the rural poor in Andhra Pradesh, India. Designed by Dr. Keith Critchlow of the Prince of Wales School of Architecture, London, England (Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences)

The Ark Trust of Great Britain - In 1988, after selling the Hard Rock Cafes, Mr. Tigrett became CEO of the non-profit environmental group with fellow supporters Sting, Dustin Hoffman, Chrise Hyne, Peter Gabriel and others which launched the first “environmentally friendly” Household Products in the U.K.

Blues Foundation, Memphis, TN - Former National Board Member (blues.org)

The Smithsonian Rock & Soul Museum, Memphis, TN - Founding Board Member (memphisrocknsoul.org)

American Folk Art Museum, New York, NY - Man of the Year, 1998 (www.folkartmuseum.org)

Inner City Arts Award - Man of the Year, Los Angeles, CA, 1997 (www.inner-cityarts.org)

Angel Foundation, Los Angeles, CA - Angel of the Year, 1997

Agape Church of Los Angeles - Man of the Year, 1998

BECOME A LEADER - Board Member, 2011 (becomealeader.net)

SELECTED LECTURES

Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Sloan School of Business, Cambridge, MA, USA

Young President's Organization, Boston, MA & Los Angles, CA

The Global Forum of Spiritual and Parliamentary Leaders, Moscow, Russia

University of Mississippi Institute of Southern Culture, University, MS, USA

"Ethics in Business", Sathya Sai University, Brindavan Campus, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Lecture, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL, USA

Keynote Speaker on Metaphysics, Annual Professors and Administrators Conference, Sathya Sai College Campuses, Muddenahalli, Anantapur, Puttaparthi, Brindavan, India, Fall 2013

(Upcoming) Keynote Speaker, Leadership Conference, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, USA, Feb. 6, 2014

TESTIMONIALS

Tigrett says:


“ The only important things I have done in my career is opening the first “classless” restaurant in the UK, The Hard Rock Café at Mayfair’s Hyde Park Corner London in 1971; The creation of the International House Of Blues Foundation in 1993; The financing of the Sai Super Specialty Surgical Hospital in 1990, which provides advanced medical surgery, completely free of cost, to the rural poor of Andra Pradesh in South India.” (picture here)

Recent Notes

British Rank Origination PLC sold the HARD ROCK CAFÉ RESTURANTS, HOTELS, CASINOS, World Wide “rights" & Casino “RIGHTS” EAST of the Mississippi River, USA & The HRC Entertainment Group in 2007 to the USA Native American Seminole Indian Tribe of Florida, for US$ 965 MILLION.

Which now includes in 2012: 175 HARD ROCK CAFES in 53 countries, 16 HARD ROCK HOTELS AND CASINOS, WWW.HARDROCK.COM. In addition in 2007, The HARD ROCK “RIGHTS” for Casino’s in The Western half of the USA were sold to The New York based Morgan’s Hotel Group for US$ 770 million.

THE HOUSE OF BLUES ENTERTAINMENT GROUP was sold in 2007, to Live Nation PLC (A Public Corp.  spin off of Clear Channel Communications) for US $354 MILLION and plans launching additional HOB’s across Europe, Asia and the USA. THE HOUSE OF BLUES HOTEL, CHICAGO sold for $228 MILLION TOTALING A”BRAND VALUE”OF $582 MILLION SEE: WWW.HOB.COM. (IN 2010, THE ONE YEAR OLD HOUSE OF BLUES BOSTON WAS VOTED THE #1 VENUE IN TICKET SALES WORLD WIDE).

TIGRETT, IN 2010, ACTED AS ”BRAND CONSULTANT” FOR THE HOUSE OF BLUES (LIVE NATION/ TICKETMASTER ) AND THE INTERNATIONAL HOUSE OF BLUES FOUNDATION AND ALSO ACTED AS ”BRAND CONSULTANT” FOR HARD ROCK CAFE AND HOTELS.

TIGRETT IS CONSULTING PRESENTLY FOR THE CREATION OF A NEW ECOSUSTAINABLE HEALING AND TEACHING CENTER IN INDIA, THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN ENTERTAINMENT COMPLEX IN NASHVILLE, TENNESSEE THE EXPANSION OF, AS BOARD MEMBER, BECOME A LEADER. (becomealeader.net)

TIGRETT FACTS

Tigrett was born in 1948 into an influential Southern family that founded Jackson, Tennessee in the 1820’s. Family entrepreneurial activities included lumber, farming, railroads, bus lines, real estate, banking, and manufacturing. Tigrett moved to England in 1967 where he worked as a dough boy at Carr’s Biscuits of Carlyle. On a 600 pounds savings, Tigrett founded the Century Carriage Company in 1968 which exported used Roll Royce and Bentley automobiles to the U.S.A. Tigrett cleared $250,000 by 1969, which financed the Hard Rock Café in 1971. Tigrett had 1 child, Augusta, with Maureen Starkey Tigrett (formerly married to Ringo Star) and raised her children, Zak, Jason, and Lee from 1976 until her death 19 years later. 

OFFICIAL WEBSITE: WWW.ISAAC-TIGRETT.COM  SEE UNDER MEDIA TITLE TO VIEW VIDIOS ON HOUSE OF BLUES FOUNDATION, DAN AKYROYD ON METEORIC RISE OF HOB, ACCESS HOLLYWOOD TV SPECIAL ON HOUSE OF BLUES, PRESS, LECTURES, PHOTOS ETC. 

TIGRETT & MORTON
NEWSWEEK MAGAZINE PHOTO SHOOT 1971
HARD ROCK CAFE LONDON
MID-SOUTH MAGAZINE, OCT 4, 1974
"LONDON HAMBURGER KING"
AMERICAN WAY MAGAZINE, 1988
"HARD ROCK CAFE FOUNDER SWAPS
BURGERS FOR KARMA"
MEMPHIS MAGAZINE, JULY 1994
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