Monday, April 28, 2014

Welcome To Graceland

Graceland 2

Let's begin the tour.

People line up at this sign to take one another's pictures as they leave the parking lot to reach the ticket building. The home itself is across the street and you have to take a shuttle bus through the gates decorated with musical notes. The entrance to the house has a classical portico in front of what might otherwise be a biggish suburban home.

The first room on your right as you enter is the formal living room. This is an architectural feature common in larger American houses of the last few decades. No one ever uses the space unless, maybe, the vicar stops by for tea. Elvis' wife and mother probably didn't want him smoking cigars and sipping Jack Daniels on all that white. You can't see in in the picture I selected but the sofa on the right is 15 feet long. What could you use this room for?

An unusual feature is the pair of peacock windows at the end of the room, dividing it from a music alcove. I'm not sure if Elvis played the piano (a comment on the Web says he did). I find it interesting that there is a television next to the piano. There are TVs everywhere around Graceland.

There are also portraits, busts and icons of him around every turn. Note the little bust on the left in the music alcove shot. I wonder if the household cult of personality was as strong during his lifetime, before they started selling tickets to tourists.                                         

Graceland 3

Graceland 4

Graceland 5

Graceland 6

Graceland 7

9 comments:

Olivier said...

amusant ce cote assez kitsch pour le roi du Rock and Rolls. Superbe portrait du King

Memphis MOJO said...

I've been to Graceland twice which is about one time too many.

Norma Beishir said...

I've never been there, but I know a couple of dedicated Elvis fans who would love to go--and they'll love your photos of it, Bob!

Luis Gomez said...

Thanks for sharing these. Really interesting.

William Kendall said...

Garish, I think...

There's a film from the early nineties called the Commitments, about an Irish band playing soul music. One of the musicians played with Elvis and tells the story of how Vernon once threw up in his trumpet.

Jack said...

The stained glass peacock windows are by far the most interesting things in the rooms you showed. And, the ubiquitous pictures and busts of Elvis. I suspect that those went into the house after his death. I don't know about you, but I would not want to be confronted constantly with images of myself in my home.

José Mendonça said...

Definitely not to my taste but it surely is eye-catching. First time I see photos of his house.

Oakland Daily Photo said...

I had a similar reaction to Graceland. Yet, imagine what it must have been like for a dirt poor boy to reach the heights of fame and wealth and be able to live as opulently as he wanted. Tasteful? Mmmm, not so much, but definitely lavish by a country boy's (and typical 1960s) standard. The irony is that his estate has earned more money selling his memory than he would have ever been able to imagine.

Stefan Jansson said...

This must have been interesting.