Monday, October 8, 2012


Okay, I lied.  There is one 'Tourist Trap' that I intentionally went looking for.  After all, I was a teenager when Elvis came on the scene and I sobbed over several lost boyfriends while listening to Elvis' songs (notably "Heartbreak Hotel") --over and over and over again.  My mother loved music and dancing but thought Elvis was obnoxiously loud and gaudy.  My step-father said he thought Elvis' music sounded like 'some virgins were about to be sacrificed in a volcano.' (I suspect he was right--except for the volcano)

Graceland sits right on the edge of Memphis in a not-very-upscale part of town.  The first thing I learned is that parking for my vehicle at Graceland was $25!  Whoa!  So I drove a 1/2  block down the street to a shopping center featuring only Elvis memorabilia and asked, "How much to park here?"  "It's free," the security guard said.  Of course he was hoping I would buy a few souvenirs.  So I did--two postcards.
As I  approached the mega complex of museum, memorabilia, movies and mansion I passed two of his private planes but declined the tour of either.

When I told a young friend of mine that morning that I was going to Graceland she asked, "Isn't that the home of that 'Parsley' guy?"
Sigh!  A reminder that fame (and this tourist trap) will not last forever.
He was also known as "Elvis the Pelvis"...
I don't think 'Pelvis Parsley' would have sold as many records.

If you blow this photo of the mural up to gargantuan size you will see that it is made up of hundreds of tiny photos--of all them, fans, I suppose.  His music was playing everywhere and I was definitely one of those fans at that moment.

A mini-bus picked a group of us up in front of the ticket complex and drove us across the street onto the very extensive grounds and up to the front door of  Elvis' home.  He bought this house in 1956 and lived here for 20 years until he died.  By today's standards it is not that ostentatious.  There are whole subdivisions everywhere with houses that are larger than his. But there are enough acres around this one to protect it from the street and all those adoring fans.

Is there any other musical entertainer's home in this country with this designation?  I can think of writer's and artists but not singers.  
The decor is definitely '60's and '70's with a lot of art deco' thrown in.

According to the guide, Elvis did most of the decorating himself.

I do not think I could have worked in this kitchen.  It was dark and dismal.  The carpet made me think of 'leftover pizza'.
Would I ever have liked this?  I admit to liking the hanging lamp shades and we even had some similar in our house in Santa Barbara.

This was Elvis' pride and joy--his TV room.  The colors are actually all yellow, white and navy blue.  He had 3 tv's installed because he heard that President Kennedy watched all three news channels at once.

Something tells me there is a story with this little guy but I never found anyone that knew what it was.

Now, look carefully at his gameroom--every surface is covered with material....

Floors, ceiling, walls and all match the fabric on the sofa.  It's just a bit over-whelming.  I couldn't help but wonder what he was smoking when he designed this.

I was astonished at the number of gold records he had in his lifetime--and beyond.  Year after year he continues to gross millions through his music.  

John Lennon once said,  "Before Elvis, there was nothing."  
Well the impact of his music is legendary and has influenced everything popular that we listen to today--over 50 years later.  

The pool wasn't that impressive but right behind it were the graves of...

His mother, his father, his twin that died at birth, and Elvis himself.

On his tombstone...

".....He revolutionized the field of music and received its highest awards.
He became a living legend in his own time and earned the respect and love of millions....."

I cannot argue with that.

I skipped the car museum and the concert film.  But I am not sorry I stopped here.  It was fun to see and remember old Elvis...

He would have been 77 this year!
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  1. I went to Graceland too, back in the mid 1990's. You are right. It is not that large of a house. What I thought was funny is that there is no garage. Only a large carport. He had converted the garage to an office for his manager.

  2. Toni,
    I enjoyed this tour very much, especially since I doubt I'll ever go there. I'm so glad there was no prohibition on taking pictures. You, as usual, got some good ones.

    1. Lynda...Thanks so much. Wanted to answer your other comment with a blog entry and I will do that soon . You asked some good questions. BTW, I am headed back to Arizona and will be there around the end of November--for doctor's appointments, etc. Will probably stay a few months before the bug bites and I take off again. Toni

  3. Linda and I toured Graceland several years ago. Was not a big fan but I place I wanted to see. Of course I also toured the cars and the planes. It was interesting that the last flight of the big plane (a real fuel guzzler) was for Elvis and his friends to go get a platter of his favorite peanut butter and banana sandwiches in Denver. Definitely an interesting lifestyle...


  4. Did you get an Elvis sticker for the RV