Tuesday, September 11, 2007
Day 7 - the vacation begins....
Don't ask me what this picture's all about. It was the coolest one on the first page of images when I googled "Denton, TX" - which is where I find myself tonight.
This morning I was awakened by the sound of sirens outside my thousand-year-old Memphis hotel room. Then about two hours later I was awakened again by the alarm on my cell phone way across the room. Man, I need a vacation.
So it's day 7. Day 1 of the vacation portion of my vacation. This morning Abby and I got up, checked out of our hotel, and decided we'd head out to Graceland before leaving town. Like you do when you're just stopping overnight in Memphis. I mean, what kind of vacationer goes through Memphis (twice, mind you) and doesn't stop at Graceland - am I right? Well, since we were already on Union Ave. (where Mark Cohn allegedly saw the ghost of Elvis), we decided to stop here on the way out:
That's right - Sun Studios.
The hallowed ground where Johnny Cash, Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, and B.B. King did most of their early recording work.
We were looking for a place to eat breakfast, until we saw that they had a little cafe there at the Studios - so we stopped in for a moment. It turns out that the best we could get for breakfast was a cup of the worlds strongest coffee (no kidding) and a Moon Pie (also, no kidding). So we did. Screw you Weight Watchers!
Our arrival coincided with the start of the next tour, so we ponied up $10 each and joined the queue. The tour featured a small museum with memorabilia from the earliest days of the Studio, including a single-track recording console, and a machine that actually cut the grooves into the master copy of a record. Our tour guide was a pretty cool guy....
(Sidebar: he said to me, "Whoa - for a second there I thought you were my friend Craig Brewer. He made this movie called Hustle and Flow - he used to come in here a lot before he got famous. Anyway, you totally look like him. You could be his stunt double." Although - I'm not sure why a director would need a stunt double - maybe I don't quite understand moviemaking as much as I thought I did. Hustle and Flow, huh? That was a great flick. Oh, here's Craig Brewer doing an impression of me being a complete tool:
Pretty good huh?
...he even played some clips of early Sun Records recordings on the tour.
Downstairs we stood in the actual recording studio where all those guys made their first recordings. It's also the studio where U2 recorded three tracks for Rattle and Hum, namely When Love Comes To Town, Angel Of Harlem, and Love Rescue Me. Green Day was scheduled to come in and record later today - but really, who gives a chunk about Green Day?
After the tour we had our coffee and Moon Pies (6 points), and spend a wad of dough on merchandise. Coolest merch ever. Then we decided to head over to Graceland.
Graceland sucks. It's $25/person for a self-guided tour. I don't love the King that much. I'm more of a Johnny Cash kind of guy. Unfortunately, his house burned to the ground earlier this year, so one takes what one can get - which for me, turned out to be a couple of pictures from across the street, and a souvenir magnet for the wife. Mission accomplished. I've seen all I need to see of Graceland. Moving on.
That's it, really. We ate some car sandwiches (5 points), got some gas and pointed our noses toward Denton, TX via West Memphis, Little Rock, and Texarkana. We're staying with Jenny and Dylan (thanks guys!) until Sunday and visiting some friends locally while we relax.
We're meeting Shane and Tara at their place tomorrow, where Shane has promised to cook for us from the Weight Watchers cookbook (thought I forgot, didn't ya?). Cory will also be there. Should be a great time!
Thursday we're finally getting our Billy-fix. He's taking us to his movie theater to see 3:10 To Yuma, with perhaps some caffeinated beverages to follow. Bones may be thrown.
Friday, the Bagboy is house-sitting for some lucky schmo with an 80-inch projection screen tv, so it looks like we will wind up there for - well, anything you can think up to do with one of those. Bones may be thrown here, as well.
Saturday is the David Bazan show at Dan's Silverleaf, where Jenny works. That's entertainment!
Sunday finds us having a late lunch with Shane and Tara on our way out of town.
Those are the plans, and they are, of course, subject to change without notice.