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Part II of II of my Memphis Sunday post from December. Graceland, the King’s once home, and final resting place, did exactly what I had hoped: it blew me away. Note that I am speaking of the actual estate, and property, immediately surrounding it, and not the bogus tourist trap “museums” across the street (although the car exhibition could be interesting, if it wasn’t an extra, but instead included in the price of admission).

Admittedly, I had driven by the estate numerous times, on various trips to Memphis, but had never made the trip inside. This oversight can be blamed on a mixture of a) the intense mid-south, Mississippi river summer humidity, b) the frothing-at-the-mouth, rampant pan-Elvis crowds, and/or c) the previous night’s bourbon intake; not too mention old fashioned general skepticism. Let it be said though, that on Sunday, December 16th, I came, and I came correct. Here are a few of my favorite shots.

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Located in the basement, this was one of my favorite rooms at Graceland – Elvis’ hang-out and media pad, complete with a hi-fi stereo system, three televisions (the King noted that the president would watch three TVs simultaneously and, being the King, thought he’d better do the same), full bar, and the topper – a HUGE TCB lightening bolt painted on the wall!

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Cavernous hallways, behind the house, wrap around housing Elvis’s gold/platinum records. The man was veritable hit-machine, and would be akin to a superhero, if he existed in today’s floundering music industry.

elvis outfitselvis-jumpsuits.jpgelvis-presley-jumpsuits.jpg

Forget the Jungle Room, I became completely fixated on the range and scope of Presley’s epic jumpsuit collection – he had hundreds, and they clearly evolved throughout the ’70s, ranging from the (relatively) conservative suits shown above to the all-out Vegas, cape, wearing craziness, that sadly became a self-fulfilling caricature.

Both tracks below are from Elvis’ 1968 Comeback Special.

Download:
MP3: Elvis Presley :: Trouble/Guitar Man
MP3: Elvis Presley :: Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
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Amazon: Elvis Presley – The ’68 Comeback Special

+ Download your music DRM free via eMusic’s no risk 25 Free MP3 trial offer.
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+ Visit The Hype Machine for additional Elvis MP3s.

10 Responses to “Graceland :: Elvis Has Indeed Left The Building”

  1. It is a surprisingly beautiful room.
    I suppose those big belts came to be required feature.

  2. Bittersweet. I was listening to Roy Orbison when I scanned your blog. And for some odd reason it seemed fitting to be listening to “Crying” as I read through. As time moves on those of us who were young kids when Elvis died his legacy becomes more about tragic exploitation rather than the person’s musical legacy.

    So much of what remains of Elvis is the image of himself created by others.

    Comparatively, Brittany and Elvis share the same fate. At some point they lost themselves to the public image.

    What is it about our culture that requires such celebrity worship?

  3. There is the fabled porcelain monkey. Immortalized in the Warren Zevon song fittingly titled “Porcelain Monkey”

  4. Scroll through Bill Eggleston’s awesome Graceland portfolio . . . glad you got to go! Now you should go to Graceland Too!

    http://www.egglestontrust.com/portfolios.html#

  5. In the lounge if you were to replace those TV’s with a big modern LCD TV it holds up pretty well style wise in 2008.

  6. Hey gorj…thanks for the link. Those were nice. The picture of the piano was rather emotional for me because I know that Elvis spent many hours at that piano playing gospel and trying to catch some alone time to reflect or whatever he did in those moments.

  7. I have always wanted to visit Graceland, just couldn’t work up the nerve. After reading your post, I have to make the pilgrimage.

    When I was two years old, we took a trip to the International Hotel in Las Vegas to see The King. My dad was a huge Elvis fan. I don’t remember much of the show, I think I must have fallen asleep during the opening act, probably Sammy Shore. My sister still razzes me about it. She has since taken Dad’s place as the leading Elvis fan in the family.

  8. Great pictures, I’d love to make it out there sometimes, looks like a great piece of history.

  9. Elvis forever.

  10. August of 1977 a star was reborn a grace king destined to sing a black snake with a diamond of his back and a white snake with red beedy eyes the king of vainty, and the other king of self righteous lies, through hotel mirrors lust discust me, and in vain my blind eyes were the death of me but through the stars I travel beyong time and through my dreams I see, why do you think I talk in my sleep, have you heard the white lightning sing, and do you know the name of the king? private lee hides in me, and on the day of the sun the world will know me, but until then I am just a blind King. Marcus James is my ressurrection.

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