Threatened with death or worse, I was drug kicking-and-streaming to visit the epicenter of white trash mystique, Graceland. For those of you who do not reside on this planet or are just visiting, Graceland was the home of Elvis Presley epic rock-and-roll singer. Once a residence, now it has been turned into a mecca for the faithful, crowded with acolytes seeking to be closer to their King. From my personal, heretical perspective, it is now a vehicle for "tourist mining", a method of separating tourists from their hard-earned dollars. Like any refined mining operation, each tour ended in a gift shop that was hawking Elvis shot glasses, spoon rests, tee shirts and replicas of his signature sunglasses.
prices were $32 to walk through the downstairs of his house, $36
to see the house plus automobiles and airplanes and for the truly
saintly $70 to get all of the aforementioned with a personal
priest to anoint you with the essence of Elvis.
The photos below are what we saw.
the visitor center, we were told to board a shuttle bus that drove
us across the street and up a low hill. The entire trip
could not have been more than 100 yards. But, given the
demographics of the normal customer base, I think the bus was a
requirement. The grounds were nicely kept, but the house was
much smaller than I anticipated.
visitor was equipped with an audio set to provide narrative on the
precious items within. While suffering the droning voice of
the announcer, I spotted this veteran with a high-tech prosthetic
items within the house were from their original time period: mid
sixties and seventies. Note the TV on the far wall.
style is best described as eclectic.
purple velvet bed spread totally makes this room unique in a
cheesy sort of way.
kitchen was modest and like the kitchen of any large home except
much less nice. The paneling is Home Depot quality and is in
the dark colors that were representative of the period. The
carpet was just plain odd.
to the bar was the TV room.
upstairs "Africa" room with bizarre carved chairs.
green shag is similar to something I had in my fraternity house in
the early seventies.
view of the rear of the house. Note the vandal bars on the
pool was very small and it looks as if the grout needs some work.
out building contained the exercise room. And for those of
you that know Elvis in his later years, this room was rarely used.
exercise room also had a sitting area with a piano.
rooms were dedicated to Elvis' awards.
fountain near the pool was interesting.
were kept in the pasture in the front of the home.
the house tour was over, I was led to the car museum. The
museum, like the house, was rather unremarkable.
nice specimen that was owned by several Hollywood and Nashville
luminaries including both Elvis and Charlie Rich.
car was a gift to Elvis' wife.
nice specimen, but without much information.
Jeep would look good in Pritchett Canyon in Moab.
no description required.
a real car. This was a custom 6-door Mercedes limo.
had several planes, this one is a Convair 990.
I will not return here again, even under duress. The owners of the concession did a remarkable job of glossing over Elvis's demise via a drug overdose. The most notable understatement was the claim that he died of "heart failure" and the current tours prevent tourists in the upper portions of the home where the death occurred "out of respect".
I am guessing that the owners are grossing about $150K/day minimum from gate receipts, gift shops and food. Not bad for exploiting a dead guy's life.
Next, we are
continuing west toward Arkansas and then the Rocky Mountains.
|Trip Home Page|
Photos and Text Copyright Bill Caid 2010, all rights
For your enjoyment only, not for commercial use.