I have posted a number of new photos of my recent visit to Graceland in my photo album. But I want to offer a few observations to go along with the obvious voyeurism of these pix.
To this day, Lisa Marie still own Graceland. She long ago sold off everything else from her father’s estate to support the lifestyle to which she has become accustomed. But she has held on to Graceland. I presume that it serves three functions: 1) As a source of continuing income to support the aforementioned lifestyle and 2) to honor her dear old pops and 3) to fend off public criticism for selling off Graceland.
If I were Lisa Marie (which I clearly am not) I would do several things regarding Graceland and the memory of my dear, departed father.
1) If I were Lisa Marie, I would raise the overall level of the current Graceland tour from a National Enquirer-like spectacle of a dead, drug-obsessed superstar to the level of a National Historic Monument to a legend.
We might forgive Lisa Marie (just a little bit) for her inability to see the fine distinction between these two. After all, she grew up as a girl and lived her adult life as a subject of the National Enquirer. She had a birthday party with her little girl friends on an AIRPLANE named after her during a time when NO ONE but the elite flew anywhere. Her daddy flew her to Colorado to play in the snow FOR A FEW MINUTES when he realized that she had never seen the stuff. She has been married to some exceedingly questionable characters.
Given this type of history, she might not understand that there is a better, more refined way of doing things.
For example, she could re-orient the whole tour from a voyeuristic glimpse into Elvis’s private life into the story of his contribution to rock and roll. Oh, I understand that she needs to make a buck to pay for her own extravagant lifestyle and that the voyeuristic tour SELLS. But I think there is a continuum and she has slid so far to the end that she could afford to slip back a bit toward the middle.
She could actually PLAY SOME OF HIS MUSIC throughout the tour. Aha! What a concept!!!!
She could talk about some of the major MUSICAL events that occurred while he was living at Graceland. Or the host of MUSICAL SUPERSTARS who joined him in the various and sundry rooms in his home. She could overall put his life into context of his contribution to music. Not just tell the story of a man who lived in a house.
2) Along the same vein, she could spruce the place up a bit. If I were Lisa Marie, the first thing I would do would be to hire a proper lawn service. The grass looks unkempt and the poor excuses for flowers in the beds look like something even the local high school key club would not claim credit for. Even if Elvis didn’t splurge on the flora during his lifetime, Lisa Marie could at least do that now in his memory.
I would also upgrade the signs. The local 7-11 has better quality signs than Graceland. The ones they have are digitally produced on foamcore. It reeks of cheap, cheap, cheap. It’s like she went to the Wal-Mart Sign Shoppe.
3) If I were Lisa Marie, I would not ignore or disregard the hard lessons of my father’s death. I would acknowledge that he was sensitive, troubled and needed help he did not get. I would implore the Graceland visitors to not let the drug problems and mental deterioration that happened to my dear old dad happen to the people they love. I believe this can be done in an exceedingly sensitive manner.
At the end of the tour I would have people donate to an Elvis Presley Musician’s Drug Rehab/Rescue program. (We need a catchy name.)
4) Finally, if I were Lisa Marie, I would stop dating, and especially marrying, creeps and losers. I mean, really. Who marries both Michael Jackson AND Nicholas Cage? Lisa Marie needs her own personal intervention program.
For what it’s worth. That’s what I would do if I were Lisa Marie.