I'd never been to Graceland, or Memphis for that matter. But my Mom is/was a huge fan of Elvis and when I was in Memphis for research recently I decided to extend my stay and drop by. I remember when I was a young girl we went to visit a friend of hers- she had a hat or some sort of something that a friend of a friend had gotten from an Elvis concert- that Elvis himself had worn/owned/touched (I was reaeeealy young- hence the fuzzy memories).
This is the sort of passion that this man incites. I didn't appreciate his impact. The breadth of his work. How he has influenced and shaped modern day music and pop culture. For a man that never toured off of US soil- it's phenomenal he is one of the top selling artists- right behind the Beatles and ahead of Michael Jackson with hundreds of million albums sold. Keeping in mind a record goes gold when it has sold 1,000,000 copies. He has 100's of those. On top of this he did about 30 hit movies. A point of comparison? Leo DiCaprio has less than 30 under his belt.
Let's tour his home shall we?
The one thing that struck me about the main house is how small it was. We weren't allowed upstairs as that was Elvis' private area when he was alive. The main level was 5 main rooms, with the basement housing 3- with very low ceilings. He lived in the house for 22 years. I have to tell you- from the outside it was a stately southern colonial home, from the inside it was hideous. Like really seriously ugly. This was a house decorated by a man with a lot of money at the peak of the disastrous decade known as the 70s. Fascinating.
You're greeted at the entrance by what once was a grand lobby and staircase- I'm not lying when I say that I have a friend in Calgary, Alberta who has a house with a grander front entrance.
Next to the foyer is the main living room- in all of it's white and gaudy glory.
Beside his fancy dining room was the home's 'hotbed' - the kitchen.
"Down in the jungle room"- you had to go up a stairway that was wall/ceiling/floor green shag carpet to get to the jungle room.
The room where he used to play pool with his buddies was in the basement. It was literally covered floor/ceiling and wall with this pink/red paisley fabric. Where does the couch start and the ceiling/floor end?
He has a couple of gold and platinum records. TCB indeed.
I didn't really give Elvis much thought before seeing his home & estate. But now I count myself among the millions who call themselves fans. I'm going to have to ask my Mom again what sort of garment/thing we saw when I was younger.