04/03/2008 - 07/03/2008
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Whilst I am in the US I thought I should visit Memphis. Two main reasons:
- Graceland, home of Elvis. I'm a big Elvis fan so I needed to do this pilgrimage at least once in my life...
- Sun Studio, birthplace of rock 'n' roll. Again, big rock 'n' roll fan so I had to visit Sun...
I started on the first day with a trip to Graceland. I was half expecting a load of tacky stalls and exhibits pissing all over the life of The King, but happily that wasn't the case. The mansion itself has been kept pretty much as it was when He lived there. It is kind of sad walking around though; you get the feeling that the place is just missing so much without Elvis alive in it.
There are several exhibits over the road too, such as trips around Elvis' private jets and car collections.
You can also get a tour of the various suits he wore over the years and various other memoribilia, such as the hundreds of gold and platinum discs he won.
After Graceland my next stop was Beale Street, sort of the heart of downtown Memphis. I first stopped in Coyote Ugly for a few beers. Whilst a fun place it was pretty dead on a Wednesday... I think the weekend in Memphis would be a lot more fun! I then proceeded to B.B. King's Blues Bar for more beers and some live music. Memphis is very good for live bands; there seem to be loads playing every night you're there.
The next day was Sun Studio. There is a very good tour around the studio, despite there being very little to actually see there! The studio is still in use today; tours stop at 6PM and they let bands in to record there. I'll have to save up some cash and bring my guitar next time...
I then managed to get stuck in Memphis for an extra night; snow at Dallas had stopped all flights through there and American Airlines couldn't get me out until the next day. Which means I had to pay out for a hotel (admittedly at a reduced rate) for the night. I have come to the conclusion that American Airlines are pretty bad; they repeatedly messed up getting me a new flight and other airlines would have covered the full hotel cost. (e.g. British Airways who covered a hotel for me when the airport I was due to fly from went on strike...)