Saturday, 8 November 2008

Graceland, Memphis, Tennessee

After wandering around Graceland for a few hours, I'm still not sure what to make of it. The house itself is surprisingly small, and you can only follow the (planned) downstairs route, through rooms and outbuildings.



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Some of the inside rooms I quite liked and thought were tasteful and restrained enough.



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Others, perhaps less so. Though I do like his use and choice of lampshades:



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The whole experience is very efficient; seeing the house, and doing the four additional mini-exhibitions took around two hours. Today was apparently a quiet day, but it seemed crowded to me, so in August especially when major events happen the place must be mobbed. Inevitably, much of the display area in Graceland (in the back) is focused on Elvis's achievements. The visitor is left in no doubt that he sold a lot of records:



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The side exhibitions held varying interest for me. You could go inside Elvis's private jet, which was quick and not that interesting. Better was the car collection, including a Sheila's Wheels type pink Cadillac:



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The place is a huge money generator; doing the maths on the number of people and thro-rate, it's racking up a lot of income quickly. Plus the restaurant, gift shop et al. Ah, the gift shop was the one part of the Graceland experience I thought was tacky, with some dubious items for sale not out of place in a Father Ted spoof. But overall it seems a fitting tribute to a man who did sell over two billion records in his career. Though the experience, as Larry Mullen Jr. noted, is jarred somewhat by rounding the swimming pool outside to be confronted with the most photographed part of the complex - the family graveyard. Five graves (Elvis, parents, sibling, grandmother) next to the swimming pool and close to the house just seemed uncomfortably odd.  

4 comments:

  1. Is Elvis still dead?

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  2. Roderick: No. And here's the proof:www.flickr.com/photos/silversprite/3011225066/

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  3. Thanks for posting this, I found it very informational. I grew up in Memphis and still have many warm memories of the area. I am planning a vacation back there this summer. Has Memphis changed much from the early 80's? I am really looking forward to seeing Graceland again.

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  4. after going through everything, I just want to thank the owners of graceland for keeping it like it was when he was alive,some people say it is a money maker,maybe so,but we look at it as a way to go back in time and see how it was back then.the man never really knew how much of an impact he had on society as a whole ,and thats besides the music world, and everyone aroung him.my wife said,it was an honor to see him in concert when she was young.and for those who say it is a money maker,it takes a lot to run Graceland,and besides,how many people are named Elvis Presley !! thanks for having us

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