It has been almost two weeks since my latest visit to Graceland and less than a week since I posted the essay for this year’s trip. Earlier this week, I was going through the channel guide on my television and saw that the movie “This is Elvis” was on. This documentary was released in 1981. I remember going to see it in the theater. I remember seeing people crying in the parking lot after the movie. I also remember it being one of the first movies I ever saw on HBO. Back in 1981, I didn’t have any Elvis records and I felt like I needed some. I purchased the soundtrack album to this film because it had most of the songs I really cared to have.
A few days before my yearly trip to Graceland for the Candlelight Vigil, I ran into a friend who had read some of my posts about visiting Graceland. He told me that he was one of the few people ever kicked out of Graceland. Earlier in his life, he was involved in a comedy club in Memphis and went with one of the performers to visit Graceland. During their visit, the performer left a wreath of bacon at the gravesite. This was not appreciated. They were taken to one of the buses and seated at the back to be taken off of the property. He said before they left, the bus filled with a Brownie scout troop. He said it was embarrassing. He said that he took other performers after that without incident and developed a good relationship with the people at Graceland. They were the ones that told him he was one of the few people that had been kicked out.
It appears that in one way my friend had come to know some of the insiders at Graceland. There are other types of insiders at Graceland. The Elvis Insiders Club is a group you can join to get discounts on tours and Elvis swag both at Graceland and on-line. Last year, my friend Tina went for her first Candlelight Vigil. She returned this year. Since last year, she has joined the Elvis Insiders Club. This would be a great year to get treated like a real Insider. To get the VIP treatment for the first time since I started coming to Elvis Week in 2002. To finally complete the process of blending in with the Elvis faithful. Would this be as much fun as in years past? Would I be able to experience Elvis Week with the same vision I had 12 years ago? How far away am I from growing sideburns and dyeing my hair black every August?
Singer, Songwriter, Entertainer, Storyteller