I’m all shook up! After visiting Graceland, it’s official. I love Elvis Presley! I must preface this post by confessing that I was never big on Elvis. The Beatles. Yes. Michael Jackson. Guilty. But Elvis was always kind of a joke…
Bejeweled jumpsuits? Elvis Impersonators? Really?!?
Unfortunately, Elvis Presley died before I was born. So I only ever heard about Fat Elvis, Vegas Elvis - the guy who curled his lip, shook his hips and ate Peanut Butter and Banana sandwiches. I never got to see him perform. I never understood or appreciated how supremely talented he was until now.
Passing through Memphis I thought, We have to stop at Graceland. This’ll be a hoot. I was expecting over the top tacky décor and a bunch of voyeuristic crazies wandering about. What I encountered was a lovely estate preserved like a time capsule from 1977 and a moving tribute to a man who changed the music industry.
Elvis’s wardrobe was particularly impressive, especially the black leather suit he wore during his televised 1968 Comeback Special.
Check out those boots…swoon.
And I loved his wristbands. I was totally tempted to buy these in the gift shop.
There were MANY gift shops:
And it was Christmastime, so I couldn’t resist this pic:
You can almost hear him singing now…
♫ I-I-I’ll h-h-have a Blue Christmas without you ♫
This is the living room. Love the piano and peacock stained glass.
This room was especially moving. In addition to an impressive collection of The King’s jumpsuits and a dizzying number of records that were mounted floor to ceiling, there was a video of Elvis performing (I think in Hawaii.)
To set the scene, there were about 20 of us snapping away, creating a cacophony of cameras clicking and flashes popping. Suddenly I noticed that everyone had stopped and everything went silent except for Elvis. I looked around the room and found every single person staring up at him on the screen, mesmerized. One woman behind me was red-faced with emotion, wiping tears from her cheeks. For the first time I understood Elvis and the power he had over people. He didn’t strike me as saccharine or ridiculous like his impersonators seem to portray. He truly moved people.
He moved me.
…More stories and photos from the road to come.