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Two snarling stone lions stand guard over a fabulous white-column porch. Apparently, there is a mock Hawaiian waterfall in the basement. Oh, and a couple of jet planes out back.
Just who lives in a house like this?
Well, you might already know that Graceland, a 14-acre estate near Memphis, Tennessee, has been home to the Presley clan since 1957.
What you maybe don’t know is what lies inside.
Walking through the front door of this Colonial Revival mansion, beloved of the late, legendary rock ’n’ roller, is like stepping through a time-travelling portal.
Goodbye, 2019; hello, 1973 Elvisworld in full-beam Technicolor.
So, too, is the media room, flashly painted in black and gold, styled around – whoosh – Elvis’s lightning bolt logo.
Behind the main house lies the leisure complex where the singer often stayed until the small hours, playing racquetball or watching movies. It’s here, on the piano, where he
performed for the last time. More poignant still is the Meditation Garden. Near a circular pool and fountains lie Elvis’s grave, those of his family, and a memorial for his stillborn twin,
Here, it feels like a smart move to just switch off the cameraphone and pause in remembrance.
We have now covered every last inch of the estate but, this being Graceland, you don’t simply stroll out the gates and head home quietly.
Nearby is an expanded, 200,000-square-feet entertainment complex to be explored.
Themed exhibits celebrate Elvis’s US Army service and early years in Tupelo but pride of place goes to the Presley Motors complex, which rivals most transport museums in scale
The iconic 1955 Pink Cadillac is the undoubted highlight. You will crave taking it for a spin down Elvis Presley Boulevard.
Elsewhere, a stroll through the Elvis: The Entertainer exhibition reveals more white jumpsuits than you could shake a mic stick at.
Our next stop involves rewinding the clock even further, to the ’50s.
Like Graceland, Sun Studio, at 706 Union Avenue, Memphis, appears frozen in time.
Elvis, then 18, first came here in 1953, paying $4 at the door, enough to record a two-sided acetate disc.
With its neon signs and giant Gibson guitar hanging above the doorway, it feels like not much has changed in the intervening 66 years.
Anticipation builds as our guide, musician Crockett Hall, leads us downstairs to the hallowed recording space.
An X on the floor marks the precise spot where Elvis first laid down that extraordinary voice.
I find myself standing a cymbal’s width away from the drumkit used by Larry Mullen when U2 recorded Rattle And Hum here.
In another corner sits the piano around which the Million Dollar Quartet – Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins – jammed into the wee, small hours.
Cool. Very cool.
If such storied musical heritage rests easily on your shoulders, you get the chance to throw some rock ’n’ roll poses with the famous Shure Super 55 vocal mic.
How about Elvis’s other old haunts? He loved the Arcade Restaurant, a hip, throwback diner.
The sweet potato pancakes, with maple syrup and hash browns, makes for a nourishing, Elvis-endorsed breakfast.
Also worth a look is the Majestic Grille, a stylish steakhouse set in an old silent movie cinema.
The grilled pork tenderloin, with sugar-glazed carrots, garlic mashed potatoes and tobacco onions delivers a satisfying combination of flavours.
Back at the Hu Hotel, our Downtown base, Justin Timberlake’s crew has just checked in ahead of his home town gig at the FedEx Forum.
My third-floor suite, boasting two gigantic widescreen TVs, awaits but, first, a nightcap in the rooftop bar.
There is no sign of the former NSYNC singer or his retinue but gazing out over the Mississippi River, Old Fashioned in hand, as a nightly lights show unfolds on the Hernando de
Soto Bridge, is a fine way to round off a day we’ve already spent in the company of legends…
Originating Source: Elvis Express Radio / The Sunday Post
|A LITTLE MORE CONSERVATION
Elvisworld, where clocks stop for the King