Next Wednesday I am heading down to Memphis and Nashville to go on a week-long musical pilgrimage. Sun Studio, Stax Musuem, Beale Street, Graceland, Ryman Auditorium, blues and country bars. I'm really looking forward to it. If anyone has been in those two cities and has recommendations for food and bars, hit me up. I'm not looking for the touristy places, but places the locals like to go to. Definitely Memphis bbq and Nashville hot chicken will be on the list.
Have you ever gone on a musical pilgrimage? Doesn't have to be a week long sojourn. Perhaps you went to the Surf Ballroom when passing through Clear Lake. Or went to Paisley Park. Maybe you checked out the Let it Be house in SW Minneapolis or walked across the street on Abbey Road in London. What was it like?
Forty years ago today, Elvis left the building for good. Seems like the rampant conspiracy theories about his whereabouts have mostly fallen out of popular circulation. My Memphis friends tell me he's still larger than life downriver.
I've felt ambivalent about Elvis' music most of my life, though in recent years I've come to appreciate his gospel recordings. The early stuff is hit-and-miss; the closer to country, the more I like it, the closer to rock & roll, the more I'd rather listen to Chuck Berry or Buddy Holly. I can't abide the movie soundtrack stuff, but find the over-the-top Seventies productions with the TCB Band and J.D. Sumner & the Stamps to be pretty listenable in small-ish doses: