The wailing guitar gymnastics and over-the-top showmanship of classic Van Halen still awakens my inner teen, and I worked as the band’s publicity writer for five years. Here’s a shot of me and original frontman David Lee Roth. And don’t tell Eddie, but I sing in Van Heineken, a classic VH tribute band.
Then there’s Elvis himselvis. The king proved to be one of my early gateways into pop culture obsession. From the moment I spun my first Presley 45, he had me hook, line and hip swivel. Yes, I sang “Can’t Help Falling In Love” to my wife at our wedding reception and an Elvis jumpsuit hangs in my closet.
So, the fact I recently wrapped my fourth stint as the official Elvis Week blogger for Elvis Presley Enterprises and Graceland means a hunka, hunka heap to me.
For the uninitiated, Elvis Week serves as an annual gathering of Elvis fans from around the world in Memphis, Tenn., the king’s home turf. Thousands of devotees converge upon Graceland, Presley’s former home, for eight days of Elvis-themed events. This runs the gamut from concerts and dance parties to Q&As with Elvis’ musical and movie collaborators.
Elvis Presley Enterprises and Graceland hires me to attend the events and write about them. It’s truly one of my all-time favorite writing jobs and just about as fun as it gets.
You can check out my Elvis Week blog here.
Going to Graceland
If you’ve never made the pilgrimage to the king’s castle, or even if you’re a repeat guest, visiting throughout the next couple of years will be prime time to be walking in Memphis. In fact, Graceland will be seeing its biggest expansion of all time.
The Guest House at Graceland
This 450-room resort hotel and conference center officially opens its doors on October 27, but I scored a sneak peek. What they’ve done so far looks breathtakingly cool. Taking architecture and design cues from Graceland itself, the finished portions shine with the plushness of a discerning getaway with a thoughtful amount of razzle dazzle. A theater that seats nearly 500, several restaurants and a poolside oasis make up just a portion of what the Guest House has to offer. Check out my pics.
Elvis: Past, Present & Future
Elvis Week fans got one of the first glimpses of plans for phase two of the Graceland growth spurt. When spring 2017 hits, this 200,000-square-foot, $45 million expansion, located across the street from Graceland, shakes, rattles and rolls to life. Expect state-of-the-art flash with museums, a performance soundstage, eateries and retail. A permanent exhibition honoring the late Sun Records honcho, Sam Phillips, salutes the king’s first label boss. When the “Elvis: The Entertainer” museum swings open its doors, it will be the largest and most exhaustive hall of its kind.
Wanna go? Find out more here!