Memphis! Awesome! It was definitely one of our favourite places in the U.S, after a bunch of stupid people told us it was seedy and we would hate it, so our time there was cut short. We got a lot done though. Mostly Elvis related, but you get that.
First stop was Sun Studios, where Elvis, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and the like recorded. The little tour they did was really good, and we got to stand in the studio and get our photos taken with the original microphone that Elvis used. Very cool. It annoyed Jess that Sam Phillips, or anyone in his family, don't own it anymore, so some random family were reaping all the profits from his hard work. But it was still really interesting. Then we went to check out Beale Street, which was really cool - lots of funky clubs and souvenir shops. They sell beer out of windows at the side of clubs to people on the street. We also saw a funk band playing 'Play that funky music' - very cool.
The next day we went out to see the Stax Soul Museum and Graceland. Stax was SO awesome - they had loads of old instruments and things - best thing for me was the ACTUAL wah wah pedal they used when they recorded Shaft (wacka wacka wah waaah). Heaps of Booker T & the MGs, Otis Redding (they had his actual death certificate and loads of other things), Ike & Tina, Isaac Hayes, Al Green, the Barkays, Rufas and Carla Thomas, the Platters and so on and so forth. We spent ages there. Then on to Graceland.... after meeting someone at the bus stop who explained the difference between b****es and ladies - we were ladies, apparently.
Graceland was awesome. We did the whole kit and kaboodle - saw the house, the planes, the cars, the jumpsuits, all his army stuff, and of course his final resting place (which brought a tear to Jess's eye). I was also amazed at how much merchandise they manage to put Elvis's face on - there were like 5 gift shops in the complex, and more outside. The house was very cool, and Elvis had very tacky taste, which is close to our hearts. OK, so in the 70s it may have been very fashionable, but there was no excuse for the jungle room. I (Jess) object, it was awesome and some of it wasn't THAT tacky thank you very much. The blue and yellow TV room was very cool, Jess liked the sitting room with the peacocks. Look at the photos anyway. Then we go to go inside his planes (yes, planeS), which were also decked out. They were tacky.
While we were in Memphis we were trying to figure out a way we could have stayed a little longer so we could get to see one of Al Green's gospel services (no service on Good Friday, pffft!), but couldn't manage it timewise, so missed out on that.
Overall Memphis was awesome - two very enthusiastic thumbs up. Fine holiday fun! Up there with New York for Jess, not far below for me.