The conference I attended included, as part of the registration cost, a group tour of Graceland on the first evening we were there.Â I’ve never been an Elvis fan, but I was curious about the place, and it was no additional cost, so I went.
Graceland seems to consist of 2 parts.Â There is the mansion itself, with its grounds and other buildings, and across the road, where all the parking is, there are a couple of restaurants, Elvis’ car museum (he owned a number of vehicles), and at least 6 different gift shops (each selling a different theme of memorabilia, e.g. music-related stuff, movie-related, etc.).Â When we actually went to tour the mansion, we rode across the street in shuttle buses (even though it would have been a 3-minute walk).Â Each person was issued an audio player with the tour guide recording on it.
Here are the gates to the estate, seen from near the gift shops across the road:
The front of the mansion, with attendant lion statues:
No flash was allowed for photography inside the place, so some of my pictures are dark and/or blurry.
Here is the front parlor/music room:
The stairway (the public isn’t allowed up to the second floor):
The dining room:
The kitchen, which looks like a lot of 70’s-era kitchens, really:
From there, the tour went into the basement, where things got a bit weirder.Â Here is Elvis’ TV room:
Note the mirrored ceiling:
The room is all done in yellow and navy blue, and it has 3 TVs because Elvis wanted to be like Lyndon Johnson, who purportedly watched all 3 networks at the same time when he was president.
Just after that, we saw the pool room, in which the walls and ceiling were decorated with many, many yards of fabric:
We then ascended to the “jungle room”, at the back of the house:
This wall has water trickling down through the stones:
We then went outside to visit some other buildings.Â Here’s the back of the mansion:
The bulk of exhibits of Elvis’ stuff is in the Trophy Building.Â This includes a gold lame suit (I don’t remember when or where he wore it):
All of his gold and platinum records hang here:
Here are items of clothing from some of his concerts:
Just before I left the building, there was this interesting painting:
We then proceeded to the former racquetball court, which held more memorabilia:
especially more jumpsuits:
After that was the shrine where he and his family are buried.
Here’s the King’s grave itself, followed by his mother, father, and grandmother:
The King is watched over by the King of Kings:
And thus conlcuded my visit to Graceland.Â Parts of it were more garish than I’d expected, but parts looked like almost any other American home from the period.Â It was certainly an eclectic mix.
Next post: a different King.