4

Elvis Presley's Graceland: A Peek Inside With My Crappy Cell Phone Camera

^
Keep Houston Press Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

A few weeks back I went on a Mid-South trip through Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee, and sadly, Arkansas. Along the way I followed the Mississippi Blues Trail as much as I could, before hitting Memphis and Sun Studios and Graceland, and moving on to Nashville for a whole new set of museums and attractions.

What stuck out to me the most, besides standing inside the Sun live room where Johnny Cash and the rest recorded, was Elvis Presley's Graceland. Now it sounds corny, visiting this house full of gaudy decorations and vintage baubles, the final resting place of the King. Years of Generation X cynicism and revisionist history has worn down some folks down into hating the man. I don't hate Presley, I take him as a fallible human, who had an addiction problem.

This weekend, Presley would have turned 77 years old. In the past I have written about what might have been had he lived, where he would have taken his career. The Aging Troubadour, Reality TV Star and Plastic Surgery Joke, The Movie Star and Occasional Musician. Last year we asked the Rocks Off staff what he meant to the world in the 21st century, and their answers didn't deviate much from "Yes!"

Visiting Graceland though, now 35 years since the it's most famous resident had passed, brought home to me how long he's been gone, and not just in terms of decades, but in terms of the wash of pop-culture that has passed since. What he's missed. I was moved emotionally for the three hours or so I was there. Call me a Pollyanna.

The smallness of the house, compared to his global legacy, was also astonishing. True, Graceland was huge in it's day, and it's not as if he wouldn't have moved elsewhere in the meantime, maybe moving into something the size of a small baseball stadium. Did I mention he's buried right out back with his mother, father, and grandma? His whole physical footprint is entombed over a few plots of land in a dodgy part of Memphis. Houses, planes, cars, awards, clothes, guns, his horses (well, descendents of...), and his earthly remains are just well, there. It's his spiritual stamp makes the rounds now.

I took a few pictures as I took my tour of Graceland back in early December, and the items on display across the street are represented as well. If you ever want to visit Presley's pad, go during the holidays so you can see how he decorated for Christmas. They keep up the stuff until after his birthday, per his orders. Interestingly enough, the bathroom he died in is located right above the front door of the mansion. They don't tell you that on the tour.

Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.

 

Join the Press community and help support independent local journalism in Houston.