During our travels, which took us through Kentucky, we stopped in Hindman, a small town near the Eastern side of the state in the Appalachian Mountains. It was after 6, but a sign said Appalachian Artisan Center and maybe we could find some unique trinket to bring home.
As we pulled into town, it was deserted with a spattering of traffic here and there. It was dinner time and all the shops were closed as everyone had gone to their home in the hills.
We drove about a half a mile and saw a shop with dulcimers in the window and the lights were on. After finding a place to turn around we went back and parked across the street.
The sign on the door said, “Appalachian Artisan Center Wood Shop, Open to the Public“. So we went in.
As long as I lived in Tennessee I never made it to Graceland but always wanted to go. This was on the top of our “to see ” list while in Memphis.
I will say that I was a little disappointed in Graceland as I was expecting something much more bizarre after hearing about his home for decades. I always recall people talking about the Jungle Room, which I will get to later. When I got past what I thought I was going to see and concentrated on what was there, I thoroughly enjoyed his home and grounds.
We had pre-booked our tickets and arrived at the museum/ticket center/gift shop facility directly across Elvis Presley Boulevard from Graceland about 8:45. They give every one with I-pads and headphones that have John Stamos providing commentary throughout the tour along with videos and music. I found this annoying personally, but Jennifer seemed to enjoy it. I took my headphone off as they were awkward with my camera. It was hysterical when we went through the area where they had all Elvis’s Gold Records and several people were singing along very loudly and…well I could hardly breathe I was laughing so hard.
They put you on mini-buses and take you to the home where you wait in line to go through the front doors. As we waited I watched how fast they got people in. Now, the tickets are about $50 minimum and go up to almost $100 depending on what you want to see. As each person stepped through I could picture little dollar signs popping from there heads and floating away. This place is a money-maker… Continue reading Graceland – Home of Elvis Presely→
I had almost forgotten that I actually went to the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville in the middle 80’s. This was after they moved out of the old Ryman Auditorium and into the new Opry House. It was an awesome place to see concerts also and had tremendous acoustics. As you can see, I was never shy walking to stages and taking photos…..
Anybody who knew me growing up knew I loved The Beach Boys. I still love their music, but I really got into their great harmonies of the late sixties and into the seventies. Many of my friends through my teenage years suffered through the music and going to their concerts with me. I would guess I have seen the Beach Boys live no less than 20 times. I had all their albums and along with the great harmonies there was some very bizarre stuff mixed in.
In the summer of 1988, I was preparing to go to Australia and had to pick my dad up at the airport. I was there early and took a seat and spotted a very cute redheaded woman who looked vaguely familiar. I kept looking and realized it was Reba McEntire. Reba was real big in the late eighties and having lived in Nashville for a while I learned not to be intrusive however, this was Reba. The other thing that was very noticeable with the country stars in the eighties was that there never were any big entourage or bodyguards. In fact Reba was sitting by herself just like all the other passengers.
I decided to say hi and ask for an autograph. I introduced myself and apologized for bothering her. She smiled, informed me she was bored and invited me to sit and chat for a bit. I suddenly became star struck and shy which is not like me as I have been backstage at many concerts and gatherings.
The only part of the conversation I remember was telling her about moving to Australia and how excited she was for me. She told me she had toured all over the world and had not yet been to OZ. She was pushing to be part of an Australian tour that included Kenny Rogers and others.
This lady was so down to earth and friendly that I felt I was talking to a long lost friend. It really was a special moment and she is as much of a hoot in real life as she is on TV….
I worked for The Metro, a small music scene publication in Nashville, for a few years photographing bands, musicians and comedians. (Mid eighties) This is the only surviving memento from that period that I can find….
In the mid eighties, I worked for a small paper in Nashville called, The Metro, taking photographs of concerts and musicians. The Metro consisted of mostly college students hoping to get a career in the writing and newspaper business. Me, I just wanted free tickets to awesome concerts. I really never have wanted to do photography professionally. I was on staff for a few years and was exposed to a bunch of music I never would have gone to see on my own. One band was Afrikan Dreamland.
Aashid Himons was the leader and founder of Afrikan Dreamland. He was from West Virginia and had been involved in music all his life. Afrikan Dreamland combined reggae, blues, rock and electronic music and I remember really enjoying their music. After the show I got to chat with Aashid for a bit and he told me a little about the Rastafarian culture and his music. I recall a very warm and polite person that I really enjoyed talking too. I was bummed to hear of his passing in 2011.