Monday, September 17, 2007

Snaps to Diane!

Diane, we owe you big! Our trip to Memphis was a huge success, enjoyment wise, and it's tone was set when we took your advice and went to STAX the minute we hit town on Saturday. We spent the rest of the weekend driving around singing along with our new "Best of STAX" CD and talking about it. Later, at the Lorraine Motel and walking on Beale, there was more texture because of STAX. Even after we'd left Graceland we were talking about STAX.

Standing in the studio where Aretha stood, listening to the session tapes of Booker T and the MG's, I closed my eyes and felt a little of what it must have been like there. The intimacy of the place and those people, the passion for the music and the miraculous alignment of events that created that phenomenon in that small neighborhood in that uneasy time ... we left there with a sense of all of that, and it change the way I'll hear that music from now on.

I'm sad that they won't let you take pictures inside the museum. We've got 70 pictures of Graceland and Elvis's jumpsuits, and not one single shot of Tina Turner's hot-damn beaded yellow mini-dress and spike heels or Isaac Hayes' gold and faux fur Cadillac -- and both of those will stay with me a lot longer than all of Elvis's stage costumes and gold records put together.

Ev will write more, I know, but I just wanted to send a huge thank you to Diane, because we'd never have known to do this if you hadn't told us about it, and it certainly doesn't leap out at you and pull you in like that megalopolis of shops and mini-museums and paid parking lots that overshadows and serves as the life-support system for Graceland. We'd have missed the real Memphis.



Anonymous said...

I've never been to Graceland which was weird since I impersonated Elvis all the time as a child. . I got all caught up in the music that had achieved racial harmony within those ranks and, how that progression to bring it to general society was shattered at the Loranne. I believe Isaac Hayes was at Stax's that night. He was musically blocked a good year and, beyond King's death. I am a fan of the Staples and, the Memphis horn sound. Heck all of it ! Soulville is a very good place to start when taking in Civil Right landmarks(did you make it to the civil rights museum ?). I'll be happy to plan your next outing but, I may have to include myself. lol :Diane

Kwach said...

We realized we'd tried to plan too many things to do (as usual) so we didn't get to go in the Civil Rights Museum, but we did go to the Lorraine and take some pictures. We loved Memphis, and we plan to make it a regular destination because there are still so many things we want to do and see there.

We barely slept all weekend ... it was a great trip!

Next time, the Civil Rights Museum and W.C. Handy's home, I think. Eventually we'll probably make it to Sun Records, but now we know better than to short ourselves on time at any one place. We'd have been at STAX all day, but we got there just about two hours before they closed.

Luckily, we love road trips!

Suzanne said...

Bah, this is one thing that I missed while I was in Memphis earlier this summer, and now I am bummed to find out it was as good as I thought it might be. Oh well.

Suzanne said...

And the Civil Rights Museum really takes almost a whole day, so budget accordingly. (We didn't and had to rush through it.)