Sunday, October 05, 2014

Memphis/Gonerfest Part Six - Graceland

We were in Memphis and who knew if we would ever get back, so how could we NOT go to Graceland, even though neither of us are huge Elvis fans. Still, it is an American institution that we needed to see.

Of course, this is a big business enterprise here - not dissimilar to something like Disneyland. Incredible amount of people, lots of chances to spend money, and plenty of long lines. We were a little pressed for time as we slept in a bit to recover from the night before and I had to be back for a sound check, so we saw what we could without delving nearly as deeply as is possible with the iPad tours.

The opulent living area opens, looking like something out of Liberaces' pad! Lots of over-the-top decorations throughout, showing that having money does not equal having taste! But, that's why so many people come - if this were a tasteful mansion, it wouldn't be nearly as interesting!

Elvis portraits are everywhere, though I dug this early one.

The downstairs rec room had several TVs featuring old time television shows and lots more wild decor.

How many huge stars met up with Elvis in this pool room? I need to start researching photos, but I know many, many icons graced this room. It is surprisingly small, as are all of the rooms here. Considering that this is a mansion, the spaces themselves are not very large and seem somewhat claustrophobic, though, of course, there are areas that we are not allowed to access, such as the King's bedroom and the bathroom where he died - in fact, the entire second floor.

OK, blogger is giving me all kinds of grief, so I can't post all of the pix that i have, but dig this one of his jungle room (at least that's what I'm calling it), complete with tiki bar!

View out back by the horse paddocks.

There were countless toys and memorabilia, but I found this Elvis doll the creepiest of them all!

And how many times have we seen a photo of the man with these shoes on?

This room was a bit boggling - think they even called it something like the "Gold Room". Filled floor to ceiling with gold records and augmented by some of his most outlandish costumes. Wild!

His cemetery is in the back, where Elvis, his parents, and grandmother are all interred, as well as a commemorative stone for his "twin" who died in childbirth. Apparently, the bodies were all moved here, which makes it somewhat eerie and morbid.

At the end of the tour you can take pix of the outside, though you have to be quick as there are always more people coming in!

We spent a little extra in order to see the car exhibit, as well, since Melanie used to take care of Liberace's cars in his museum. Plenty of hip automobile and some silly stuff like a golf cart and tractor and such. Nice exhibit, though.

Although we are taken by shuttle from across the street, we briefly viewed the outside walls, which are scrawled with thousands of names and homages. Wish we had had a chance to walk around it.

As I said, this is all big business, with Disneyland-like prices ($6 for a bumper sticker!), and you get the cattle-like treatment (though politely!), but it is something to see.