Wednesday, February 27, 2008

So, about Graceland



Paul Simon sings "for reasons I cannot explain, there's some part of me wants to see Graceland" from his 1986 hit. I felt the same way. I'm not a big Elvis fan and don't really remember him in the 1970's. But if I and the family would be in Memphis we needed to drive down Union Street and go visit his famous house, Graceland.

Which we did. And don't need to do again.



It cost $8 just to park in the parking lot. Then for the most basic tour of the house and grounds we paid almost four times what we paid to walk around Sun Studio, and that was much more impressive.




I think even the kids struggled with why this man was important. After all, we had spent the morning at the National Civil Rights Museum so really nothing short of a personal meeting with Nelson Mandela of South Africa or Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar (Burma) was going to be very impressive.

The house was actually quite small (we only saw the first floor and basement). I expected huge rooms and high ceilings and while some of the rooms reminded me of that "Man Caves" shown the house itself was small. And the famed "jungle room" was really an enclosed porch off the kitchen and had some of Lisa Marie's stuffed animals on big wooden chairs carved with monkey heads. Definitely a weird vibe there.



I guess I can't see the hold he has on people. At one point a woman hurried by us on her way to one of the memorabilia stores (note I wrote "one of" - there were at least four that I saw) wearing her Elvis jacket and carrying an Elvis purse made of TV Guide covers. Now, I know some of you think I'm mad for Erasure but I don't own a purse with Vince Clark's image on it (yet) and actually rarely wear the t-shirts I own.


Although, to be honest, I do want a better picture of the gates. And I don't have to pay $8 to park on the street for 5 minutes.

17 comments:

painted maypole said...

ha ha. i would probably go, too, and feel the same way.

Thalia's Child said...

I think I would have felt exactly the same. Interested, but in the end, ambivalent.

Heather said...

You know, this is one place that I've really never felt the need to visit. My mom never was a big Elvis fan, so I guess her lack of enthusiasm must have wore off on me. Although I do like to listen to his songs now and then.

I'm more of a Simon and Garfunkel kind of girl I guess.

the dragonfly said...

I even lived in Tennessee but never went to Graceland. I think I would have enjoyed the trip, although not been overjoyed, if you can see the distinction...but my husband would never agree to that trip. He's more the Civil War battlefield memorial type. :)

Goofball said...

Graceland is so well known around the globe, so it must be hard to skip a visit. But it does sound very disappointing. What a rip-off.

Although it must be very interesting to watch "people" there.

June said...

Thanks for the photo tour. I've seen enough now. I think I'd have gone too...just to see it. But you've quelled that curiosity. I'd much rather see the studio, the Lorraine Motel site, etc. than this museum. I'll leave it for the North Korean president :-)

Lilacspecs said...

How, um, anticlimactic...well at least you can say you've been there...

chelle said...

I have never quite understood the Elvis phenomenon either. Cool that it is something you could experience with the kids :)

Candy said...

Never understood it myself. You're braver than I, to go all the way to Graceland, though.

capitolady said...

I wasn't much into him either, but my sisters were. I did a tour of his home once and wasn't impressed either. I suppose if I was a fan it would have been different.

Fourier Analyst said...

Elvis and my Dad had the same birthday, though my Dad was a few years older. But they were also both "country boys" and I guess my Dad had a kind of soft spot for him, though he was never really into his music. And neither was I except for a couple of songs. "In the Ghetto" was popular when I was a teen and I think I wore grooves in the 45 playing it so often. (Okay, guys stop laughing, yes I am 50 and so I'm talking "Back in the day..."!)

But yes, if I was in the neighborhood, I would also have to visit Graceland. But thanks for the tip about the prices. DH and daughters would be sent for ice cream or shopping somewhere and be instructed to drop me off and pick me up at an appointed time and spot. Otherwise I would not get to enjoy it and would have to listen to the grumbling about the waste of money as none of them would understand my attraction to "The King".

Flower Child said...

I heard the giant couch was cool. what I'd like to see is where he was found slumped over dead. I think that was one of the bathrooms. a King's Throne as it were.

Jenn in Holland said...

Hahahahaha! You know, I don't think I've ever known anyone whose ever been to Graceland before. It seems that my only education or inspiration about the place comes from the two musicians you've mentioned this week. eg: Marc and Paul.
I like Elvis. Really, I do. Meaning I can sing any number of his greatest hits, but I am not a fan. No, not a fan.
And will likely never be paying tribute at his house... in Graceland.

Jenn in Holland said...

...and did Flower Child just say she wants to see the spot where he died?
Eeeewww!

Jerseygirl89 said...

I like Elvis well enough, I suppose, but all I've heard about Graceland is that it's a big letdown. Especially after the prices - yikes!

But I would be totally gung-ho for a trip to Vince's house.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

Still haven't been there. I have a friend who just adores Elvis. I don't quite get the phenomenon, either.

cablegirl said...

Yeah, I'm so not an Elvis fan. Two places I wouldn't ever feel the need to visit: Graceland and Dolly World. lol