Like a river flows surely to the sea
Darling so it goes
some things are meant to be
take my hand, take my whole life too
for I can't help falling in love with you
- Elvis Presley
I will be the first to admit that I often fall in love with an artist’s music and three years later I still won’t be sure whether they are male or female, what part of the world they come from or whether they died twenty years ago. This ignorance I have always felt to be balanced out by the thousands of times I hit replay on an album, but Memphis baby, you changed my mind. While in Memphis we visited the home of the King of Rock n Roll, Elvis Presley. Wandering through the hallways and gardens of ‘Graceland’ (which is mostly still intact in its original condition) gave me a new appreciation of his music and the incredible influence it had back in the day.
Before we rode the little bus from the visitor centre about twenty metres across the highway and into Graceland I had very little idea of the man behind such swinging songs as Viva Las Vegas. Each room is coloured with his eccentricity and provides a context in which his creativity could have thrived. His music became more than just rollicking tunes and instead seem to me now as examples of a man who proved music could surpass cultural barriers and whose voice could master genres of all kinds.
But Graceland is just another puzzle piece to the musical significance of Memphis. Walking down Beale Street on a crowded Saturday night in search of a beer garden made my heart beat with both excitement and sense of intimidation. The sheer amount of people bustling made me clutch onto Georgia’s hand in an attempt not get lost as we weaved our way past neon signs, music flooding into bars and girls dancing.
Music can evoke such a strange energy, and I remember last noticing it when I was sitting on top a grassy hill at a festival this year, watching a tent full of people moving viciously with the beat. On this particular night in Memphis, the rhythm of the city seemed to reverberate throughout and you couldn’t help but be carried away.
Stay tuned for New Orleans & Miami - waiting in the wings!
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