This week marks 35 years since the death of the King of Rock n Roll. Do you know who I’m talking about? It’s Too Much for me to conceal…Elvis Presley, born 1935, is one of the biggest cultural icons of the 20th century. In 1948 finanicial problems forced his family to move from their home in Tupelo to a poor neighbourhood in North Memphis, Elvis promised he would provide a comfortable life for his parents in the future. In 1957 Elvis gave his parents a $100,000 budget to find a farmhouse type property.
Graceland was Elvis’ home for 20 years, he bought it at age 22 and died on the estate in 1977. It has been open to the public for tours since 1982, with over 600,000 visitors a year and numerous other exhibits on show – it is a dream for any Elvis fan and very interesting for those foolish enough not to love the King!The tour is done by audio guide and covers the ground floor and basement. In total the building consists of twenty-three rooms, including eight bedrooms and bathrooms, and was renovated by the Presley’s. Most of the rooms are decorated out it in an outrageously 70’s style. In the living room you’ll see the large stained glass peacocks, there is a seven-foot white couch with matching chairs and you can see the piano in the background that Elvis loved to play.There was no flash photography so you’ll have to go there to see some of the more garish rooms, above you can see the downstairs TV room where Elvis often watched 3 televisions at once.The billiards room pictured above, which I rather liked, was completely covered in fabric.You can then go on to see what must be one of the largest collections of gold and platinum records in the world… there was the corridor pictured above and then a whole other room.The Meditation Garden pictured above was one of Presley’s better known modifications to Graceland. Elvis Aaron Presley, his parents Gladys and Vernon, and grandmother are buried there. A small stone is placed in memory of Elvis’ twin brother Jesse Garon who died at birth.The Elvis estate still receives tributes daily to be placed by the graveside. The crucifix above was my favourite feature. Elvis loved cars and the Elvis Presley Car Museum displays some of his favorites. Pictured above is his famous 1955 Cadillac Fleetwood, he bought and had custom painted in the 50s and is one of the few things he kept from his rise to fame. He originally used it for touring and later gave it to his mother. Other highlights include his Harley-Davidson motorcycles, Stutz Blackhawks, a 1975 Dino Ferrari, a 1956 Cadillac Eldorado Convertible, the red MG from Blue Hawaii and more..The ICON exhibit recognises Elvis’ huge influence on music in the last 60 years. There are various items of clothing on display from Katy Perry to Neil Young with stories of their experience and love of Elvis.
“There have been a lot of tough guys. There have been a lot of pretenders. … There have been contenders. But there is only one king.” Bruce SpringsteenI never knew but Elvis had his own jet! He purchased a 1958 Convair 880 in April 1975 and named it Lisa Marie after his daughter. He spent more than $800,000 having the jet remodeled.Onboard you’ll find it features a living room, conference room, sitting room, and private bedroom, as well as gold-plated seat belts, suede chairs, leather covered tables, 24-karat gold-flecked sinks and more! It really is fit for a KingThe best thing I learned about Elvis on my visit was that in the 70s he developed a logo – pictured above. TCB stands for Taking Care of Business alongside a lightning flash. Love it.
Location: 3734 Elvis Presley Blvd (of course!), Memphis, TN 38116
Entry Fee: Prices vary from $14-$70 according to which tour you take. Worth every penny
I’ll leave you with my favourite Elvis song…
Image taken from Elvis.com
If I’d been alive 50 years ago I would’ve been one of those screaming girls in the crowd!
This page is translated in Thai at http://musicstation.kapook.com/view45667.html