This was originally published here at FOTW back in 2013. It's still a good list and since so many Elvis-people are in town it seemed like a good thing to re-post. If you've never seen it before, enjoy. If you have, enjoy all over again!
#8: Alcenia's, 317 N. Main
Alcenia's is a funky little soul food joint at the Southwest edge of Memphis' Pinch District where meals are cooked to order and every new customer gets a hug. Although neither the restaurant, nor the building has a specific Elvis connection, sidewalk tables provide guests with the best view of the I-40 overpass in town.
Of course, when Elvis was a teenager living in the Lauderdale Courts housing project there was no scenic I-40 overpass. Instead, there was a cluster of African-American bars and in the evenings both the music and the crowds spilled out into the street.
Why Elvis fans won't visit: There's really not much to see, unless you count this sign marking the location of Memphis' first bar.
Why they should: The long demolished Green Owl, a working class African-American beer joint once located at 260 N. Main, just southeast of Alcenia's, was one of young Elvis' favorite neighborhood clubs. He was especially fond of a musician who played a homemade bass he'd fashioned from a bucket and a broomstick.
There's not much music along this somewhat lonely stretch separating the Pinch from the Convention Center, unless you count the song of all the cars and semis speeding by overhead. But these are the sidewalks where an impressionable teenaged Elvis mixed and mingled with blues players, and even though so much has been demolished, walking through Downtown's dilapidated but bouncing back north side, with its trolley line, horse stables and old shop fronts, is still like stepping back in time.
#7: The old Memphis Police Station, 128 Adams
These crumbling stairs...
Lead to this locked, boarded-up door...
That once served as an entrance to Memphis' Downtown Police Station.
Why Elvis fans won't go: Unless you're a fan of weeds and urban decay, why would you?
Why they should: Elvis was fascinated by law enforcement. The lengths he'd go to collect a new badge knew no bounds.
But it wasn't all about the bling. Elvis was also genuinely in awe of policemen, and would sometimes ride along after making late night/early morning visits to the station. He even visited the downtown station one Christmas claiming that he needed something to do and it was the only place in town that was open.
Besides, who doesn't love to picnic near classical ruins?
#6: The Blackwood Brothers Record Store, 209 N. Lauderdale
Why Elvis fans won't go: Because the building, located just off Poplar Ave. near the Jail, has been converted into a bail bondsman's office in what might best be described as Memphis' bail bond district.
Why they should: Elvis was a huge fan of gospel quartets, and the Blackwood Brothers, with their fancy customized touring bus...
and their own private plane...
were, to put it mildly, complete badasses. Also, you can see the site formerly known as Lauderdale Courts from the front door.
Today the only records being discussed at 209 Lauderdale are permanent ones, but when his soul needed a'rockin', this is where Elvis got his vinyl fix.
#5: Gulf Station, Second & Gayoso
I sometimes pretend that the above piece of public art is a monument built on the site where Elvis licked two gas station attendants then told the cops (jokingly) that his name was Carl Perkins.
Of course it's not and the the actual brawl went down across the street.
All three men involved in the altercation were charged with assault and battery, but Elvis had been struck first and the Judge ruled in his favor.
Why Elvis fans won't go: It's not an obvious landmark.
Why they should: Two reasons. This is where a scene plucked right out of an Elvis movie actually happened. Also, Elvis's life changed fast. This fight and the resulting day in court represent a dawning realization that life would never be normal again.
Okay, okay, it's technically a "forever" stamp. Same idea.
U.S. Postal Service will dedicate the new Elvis Presley forever stamp August 12. At Graceland. During Elvis Week. Can we get a "hell yeah," and an "American Trilogy," please?
Presley is only the sixth inductee in the USPS Music Icon Series, but the second Sun Studio recording artist. Johnny Cash became a forever stamp in 2013. Other icons in the series include Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, and Lydia Mendoza.
Postmaster General Megan Brennan says a preview of the stamp will be available at a later date.
Press release boilerplate from Brennan:
“Elvis is a natural addition to our Music Icon Series. His life and talents are an incredible story. Spanning from his humble beginnings in a Tupelo, Mississippi, two-room house to becoming one of the most legendary performance artists of the 20th Century, Elvis Presley’s works continues to resonate with millions the world over.”
All you Elvis collectors lookie here. I have a real pubic hair from Elvis Presley plucked by my ex-wife Billie Jean Flurt from Elvis crotch in 1965. I hate to part with it. But it can be yours for Christmas for $5000.00. Comes with letter of authenticity signed by Colonel Parker. I guarantee its real!
In honor of Elvis Week the Fly on the Wall staff has assembled a list of 73 heavily researched trivia items that have never been printed anywhere else. Enjoy.
1. Elvis' favorite small appliance manufacturer was Sunbeam. It is rumored "Burning Love" was originally written as a jingle for the toaster manufacturer.
2. Elvis hated the comic strip Alley Oop, and would draw a fake mustache on the title character out of spite each week.
3. Elvis was considered for the lead role in The Godfather.
4. Elvis loved funny hats.
5. Elvis' favorite flavor of Laffy Taffy was banana.
6. The name Elvis contains five letters including two vowels.
7. Elvis's favorite band was Winger.
Elvis first encountered 80's band Winger in a meditative vision of the future.
8. Elvis' middle name is commonly misspelled. It is actually "Aronn"
9. Elvis wrote To Kill A Mockingbird under the pseudonym of Harper Lee.
10. Elvis was an honorary member of the National Sociey of Quail Enthusiasts.
11. Elvis' favorite Mexican food? Tacos.
12. Designers presented Elvis with more than 170 shades of white and off white before manufacturing the first iconic jumpsuit.
13. Elvis gave all of his close friends unusual nicknames. He affectionately referred to Col. Tom Parker as “Turd Blossom.”
14. Elvis often wore a disguise consisting of a top hat, monocle, and false mustache to go out in public as Lord Jiggleton. He would greet people by simply shouting "Blimey!" at them in a loud, fake British accent.
15. Elvis often engaged in jelly bean eating contests with Red West. Red always let him win.
16. Elvis' favorite sexual position was abstinence. His second favorite: missionary. His third favorite: The bearded bugler.
17. Elvis and George Klein would often do puppet shows for Dutch children, which delighted the youth to no end!
18. The hit song "Return to Sender" was inspired by the true story of a man who mailed a letter only to have it returned.
19. Elvis was the first person to have contact with New Zealanders.
20. Elvis preferred black shoelaces.
21. Elvis called Vegas "Las Nashville."
22. Elvis owned a hound dog named Butta. It was surprisingly quiet.
23. Elvis had a giraffe named Becky that he kept in his jungle room.
24. Elvis’ favorite female vocalist was Roy Orbison.
25. Elvis regarded the Jungle Room as a vast improvement over the original Tundra Room.
26. Elvis’ favorite Halloween costume: Julia Child.
27. After discovering he was too tall to be an astronaut Elvis started his own space program.
28. The most rare Elvis recording is of his live "The King's Klezemer Kavalcade" recorded in 1971 in the Catskills.
29. Elvis once used his karate skills to defeat an entire ax gang.
30. For Elvis, no day was complete without prank calling Robert Goulet. Elvis pretended to be a DJ calling from a local radio station. He told Goulet he was giving away a fabulous prize and the first lucky listener to drop by the station would collect. As a result, employees at KXPT Las Vegas thought Goulet was “nutty as a sack of pecans.”
31. Given a choice, Elvis preferred several tiny marshmallows to one large one in a mug of hot chocolate.
32. Elvis beat Chuck Norris so badly in a karate fight.
33. Elvis hated the word smudge. He would punch anybody who said it.
34. Elvis loved a good knock knock joke.
35. Elvis' favorite American inventor: George Washington Carver
36. When asked about Ann Margaret, Elvis would often smile and say "Yeah, she is pretty!"
37. Elvis invented the roomba.
38. When in Vegas, Elvis would often call Sammy Davis, Jr. and demand he bring him a Clark Bar. When Sammy refused, Elvis would yell "Well, you don't seem like much of a candy man to me!"
39. Elvis was pretty adamant in his position that Submariner was superior to Aquaman.
40. Whenever Elvis played Monopoly, he insisted on being the thimble, and he refused to utilize that house rule where you put fees in Free Parking and then whoever lands there gets them. "That's just too much, luck, Jack!"
41. If you play In the Ghetto Backwards you can hear somebody saying what sounds like, "Ottehg eht ni."
42. During Gandhi's hunger strike, Elvis would call daily to offer him a peanut butter banana and bacon sandwich. He genuinely wanted to be helpful.
43. Elvis gave away more El Caminos than Cadillacs
44. Elvis's unfinished last movie "King-Fu" was described as "Blue Hawaii" meets "Enter the Dragon".
45. Elvis had the bomb even before the British.
46. Richard Nixon made Elvis an honorary commissioner of the Federal Reserve, complete with voting rights.
47. Elvis made most of his money as a striker for Manchester United.
48. In addition to his love of gospel, Elvis also studied Qawwali,the devotional music of Sufis, which is credited with helping him maintain his voice.
49. Elvis’s Memphis Mafia accidentally invented Frisbee Golf while doing dishes one day.
50. While serving in the army Elvis met and befriended a young Andre the Giant. The 1959 single “Big Hunk of Love” was inspired by their friendship.
51. Elvis was allergic to his own hair color, which is why he dyed it black.
52. Elvis once got into a Scimitar duel with the Sultan of Brunei.
53. In order to save on maintenance costs, Elvis and Charlie Hodge became certified TV Repairmen.
54. Elvis had a private subway that ran from Graceland to the basement of Godfather's in Overton Square
55. Elvis had a beloved pet Vietnamese Potbelly Pig, he called Pig E
56. Elvis was once offered the role of the zeppelin pilot in a film called "HindenBoogie"
57. Elvis once threw an urn at Slim Whitman's head.
58. While in the army, Elvis was used as a subject in the MK-Ultra experiments.
59. Elvis would often rent out the Memphian theater to enjoy private showings of the films of Ingmar Bergman.
60. Elvis used to rent out Libertyland for parties, and would amuse guests by playing "Whack-A-George-Klein"
61. Vernon Presley's favorite meal was Cream of Spaghettios.
62. Gladys Presley's favorite meal was regular Spaghettios.
63. Elvis Presley bought Graceland because he thought it was cool that it was on a street that had his name on it.
64. Elvis sometimes felt that cucumbers were spying on him.
65. When he was not performing, Elvis would often wear a beard of bees for days at a time.
66. Elvis only discovered his musical powers after he watched a robber shoot his wealthy parents in an alleyway.
67. Elvis would often leave pies cooling on a window sill only to have them stolen by lovable neighborhood scamps.
68. Portrayed Avery Schreiber in three episodes of Chico and the Man.
69. Elvis once fought alongside the armies of man and dwarf to put down the Dark Lord Sauron and save Middle Earth.
70. Elvis created a chain of yogurt shops called "Taking Care of Business Yogurt". This was later shortened to YOLO.
71. Elvis' final thoughts were of Rosebud, a sled he had as a child which symbolized lost innocence, youth and the love of his mother. We think. It's up to interpretation.
72. Priscilla was replaced by a wax figure in 1972.
73. Elvis played bass for a few months in KISS in 1976. His face makeup theme was "The Catfish"
Fly on the Wall is compiled by Chris Davis with funniness provided by The Wiseguys.
With Death Week looming on the horizon more and more Elvis-related content is pouring into my news feeds. This post at The Gothamist includes one of the most soulless Elvis-related interviews ever and conversations with New Yorkers who seem less sad about Elvis' passing than disappointed by "the waste" of all the people who'd waited in line to buy Elvis concert tickets. My favorite part is just how much the older male anchor doesn't seem to care. Following the man-on-the-street interviews he says, "Well, I think we've done that."
You can check out the whole post here.
Graceland Too is a deeply weird place, and what appears to be the sad final chapter of this roadside attraction's story is no less strange. The museum's founder, Paul McLeod, shot a man at his door earlier this week. He initially claimed self defense, but the story is turning out to be somewhat more complex. Less than 36-hours after the shooting, McLeod was also found dead on his own porch in a rocking chair. Early reports suggest his death was the result of natural causes, but the investigation is ongoing.
Every square inch of Graceland II is covered in Elvis memorabilia. Piled with it, in many cases. And McLeod, the museum's live-in curator, was an intense host. His mile-a-minute talking tours of the 24-hour, seven-day-a-week shrine in Holly Springs Mississippi might include` off-color jokes, snippets of songs, some trivia about Presley, or a story from one of the 120 Presley concerts he claimed to have attended. Or he might rant about the price of a gallon of paint. On a good day, when his false teeth weren’t slipping too much, McLeod could cram all of that into his opening paragraph. For those unaccustomed to his stream of consciousness style, it could be a little unnerving.
“Okay, I hope I ain’t got to shoot nobody,” McLeod says in one of many YouTube clips documenting the weird Graceland Too experience. McLeod’s grumbling comment was a response to late night visitors who’d come banging on the door for “the tour.”
“I’ve got a hundred thousand dollars in guns here,”McLeod warned. Last week that line just seemed like more colorful banter from a quirky character. In light of current events it seems at least a little more ominous.
According to McLeod his museum has been visited by three American presidents, representatives from Fidel Castro’s Cuban government, and Mr. T on a night when the A-Team star had imbibed a few too many drinks. Around 11 p.m. on Tuesday, July 15 McLeod was visited by 28-year-old guitar player and handyman Dwight David Taylor who may have been attempting to secure work or to collect money owed to him for a previous painting job. Taylor was shot in the chest with a single .45-caliber bullet.
Taylor has been described as being indigent.
McLeod told police that Taylor had come asking for money and had forced his way into the house. No charges had been filed.
Graceland II is currently closed to the public and the future of the roadside attraction is uncertain.
From the UK Mail:
A party of friends have admitted they were all shook up when the King's face appeared in the ashes of a garden fire.
Elvis' face can clearly be seen charred onto a paving stone after a group of friends swept up and is still a week later.
In related news, this video is pure genius.
There are few things your Pesky Fly likes more than news stories about Elvis-themed menus overusing quotes from Elvis songs. Here's one from New Delhi that gets better and better.
"Lonesome tonight" or not, if you are in for "a little less conversation" and appetising American cuisine, head to the capital-based multi-cuisine restaurant, Life Caffe of Hotel Corus, that will take you back in time to when Elvis Presley, the undisputed king of rock and roll, ruled supreme.
Titled Presley on Platter, the fest will be on all this month and it will take you back to the 1960s and 1970s when the legendary American singer ruled the music charts and hearts of many youngsters...
"We wanted to connect with the youth of today and those of yesteryears, so we needed to introduce certain elements and an Elvis Presley festival is one way to do it. He was a youth icon, so people can feel connected through his music," Deepak Khera, hospitality consultant, Life Caffe, told IANS.
The relevant information:
A two-year-old beagle’s nose is about as accurate as an over-the-counter pregnancy test. Scientists at the Cincinnati Zoo’s Center for Conservation & Research of Endangered Wildlife (CREW) tested to see if a dog named Elvis could distinguish a pregnant polar bear from a non-pregnant bear by smelling fecal samples last year. Elvis was 97 per cent accurate. He was trained to pause and sit when he detects a pregnancy and to not show interest in samples from non-pregnant bears. After his training, Elvis was put to the test in October 2013. He was given 34 samples of feces to sniff from the 17 potentially pregnant polar bears that mated in the spring. The zoos that participated in this study were then told whether or not Elvis suspected their polar bears were pregnant.
This study is meant to help zoos determine whether or not they should mimic wild conditions for pregnant polar bears in the winter. In the wild, pregnant polar bears enter dens and don’t eat or drink for months. Non-pregnant bears spend the winter outside of dens. Zoos want to isolate the pregnant bears with little disruption and film them to know when babies are born and let non-pregnant females enjoy winter by swimming and socializing while out on exhibit with the other bears.
This sniffer-dog project is still in the testing phase.
As anyone who’s toured Graceland’s trophy room knows, Elvis Presley collected guns, including an ornate gold Beretta with a mother of pearl handle. But Beretta may have gone too far when they used the King’s image in an advertising campaign for a new line of shotguns. Billboard reports that Elvis Presley’s Estate is suing the company, which introduced the new sporting weapon at a Las Vegas trade show and hired tribute artists to perform and pose with the guns. As far as we know, no televisions were harmed in the process.
In other Elvis- related news, this May dentists across the UK will promote mouth cancer awareness with an event called 'Elvis Day.' Participating dentists will display life models of the King’s teeth. Also on display: Authentic Elvis dental crowns.
Bavaria Radler is attempting to crack the coveted celebrity conspiracy theorist demographic with a commercial depicting everybody's favorite dead/not dead celebs hanging out on a tropical island drinking fruity beer-based drinks.
Elvis isn't dead. Again. Check this item from the FOTW mailroom:
Elvis Presley is still alive today, ... he is trying and wants to make his comeback!! Elvis needs our help now! Elvis needs help of all his fans! A few months ago I started a petition for Elvis Presley!! I promote my petition every day on Facebook and Twitter. I have more than 700 signers now! But I want 10.000 signers on my petition or more!
So I would like to have media attention! Can you please help me? And "my petition" "bringing" "in the news"? It would be nice for Elvis Presley when so many fans stand behind him!! This is absolutely no joke! I speak the truth! This is the truth! Please believe me and help Elvis Presley! And help me with my petition!!!