Thursday, July 24, 2014

Home of the King

Its been a few days since our visit to Graceland, Elvis Presley's home in Memphis, and I have been thinking about it quite a lot.

Firstly, by today's standards its not that snazzy a place and when you go inside it really isn't so cutting edge that you'd think Elvis crazy.  He took a lovely, big traditional home already called Graceland (Elvis being a fervent Christian loved the name, so kept it) and turned it into a family home.  He moved his mum, dad and granny into the house who helped in the office and cooked his meals and generally looked after him.

Elvis' living room

OK he had 3 TV's in the basement (not that big a deal today of course) so he could watch the 3 TV networks then available -- Elvis was an avid reader and had read that the President had 3 TV's for this reason too.

Showing on the TV when we visited were The Outlaw Josey Wales, Dr. Strangelove and Get Smart. Elvis was a big Monty Python fan too and loved reading.  

And the basement was a bright yellow.

And he had really great leather sofas and chairs.

This was a home.  Elvis' home.  He loved it.

Even his cars weren't that spaced out.  Elvis loved cars and bought, sold and gave away loads of them all the time.  His entourage in particular made out pretty well in this respect.  But he didn't sell or trade his mum's favorite pink cadillac!

I could rave about the place but really its a place to visit.  We went early in the day and paid for the full VIP package (everything but you get to the front of the line).  We spent over 3 hours there and by the time we left the huge car park was full of cars and the grounds were full of people... of all colors and nationalities, and of all ages too.

Elvis wasn't a song writer but he got co-credits for 'All Shook Up'

Today 'Elvis' is no doubt trademarked and his 'brand' is still worth a fortune.  I was trying to figure out who actually owns it all seeing as Elvis and his parents plus granny are all dead -- buried in the family memorial ground in the garden along with Elvis' still born twin -- but then of course his daughter, Lisa Marie is still around ...and visits regularly.

A very young Elvis

The Graceland experience really is a celebration of Elvis' life and legacy and focuses on all the good bits in his life (there are a lot).  It avoids much of anything about the Colonel and his addictions -- ironically Elvis was a non-smoking, teetotaler. His problems were apparently due to 'prescription drugs' issued by quack doctors.  The parallel with Michael Jackson in this respect is interesting.

I just loved it all!

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