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News createt: 22-08-2013

Roadtrip To Graceland Randers



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Road trip to Graceland Randers

 

The summer of 2011, I visited Graceland Randers for the first time, just three months after the opening. Now, two years later, it was finally time for another visit. Me and my wife on a Road trip to Randers, Denmark!

The moment you walk through the gates, which are exact copies of the famous gates of Graceland in Memphis, the mood is set. Elvis music flowing from speakers placed along the footpath to the main house and we could enjoy ourselves with "GI Blues" in the background while we walked onto the grounds. On the right side of the green lawns at the back of the house, we could glimpse flower beds with flowers planted in the shape of Elvis' signature. Another flower bed shows the initials EP.

New this year is a small wooden building that is an exact replica of Elvis' childhood home in Tupelo. This little white building, which Henrik during the tour later on reported that some may have thought was a toolshed, is not open to the public. Anyway, I find this to be a nice addition to the surroundings of Graceland Randers.

Further along the promenade we passed a bronze statue of Elvis, this is another addition since the last time we visited here in 2011. The statue is one of the nicest I've seen, both in real life and in photos. A small detail is that the stones under the statue are shaped like a vinyl record with a SUN-label in the middle. It’s all in the details, and there’s no doubt that the staff has that well covered.

Finally we round the corner and can go up to the main entrance. At Graceland Randers one enters the property from the rear of the house. Around the lion statues there are lovely flowers and the entrance through the majestic pillars is a true copy of the original in Memphis. I felt the butterflies in my stomach. Ok, this is not Memphis, I'm still in Randers, but the feeling that I am about to enter something special is abundantly present.

The interior of the house is not like Elvis' home in Memphis at all, but why should it be? There is only one Graceland ... Graceland Randers is made for us to experience Elvis in an environment that sets the mood ... and it sure does. Inside, there’s an Elvis shop to the left and to the right a restaurant (Highway 51 Diner). Straight ahead are the stairs up to the banquet facilities. The staircase is actually a replica of the one found in Graceland, Memphis. The stairs leading down takes you to the museum.

The shop can’t be described other than very well-stocked to put it mildly. It has leaded glass windows embellished with motifs of a peacock into the hall, a replica of those in Elvis' home. Here you will find an excess of CDs, vinyl, books, clothes and other products... everything with Elvis on it. I actually found the whole shop mouthwatering. Prices are not in the budget category, but they are completely acceptable. The range of products brings tears to the eyes of an Elvis fan. The nice lady behind the counter informed us that Henrik Knudsen himself would lecture and tour the museum only a quarter of an hour later, and we would of course participate in it.

When Henrik appeared, around 20 excited people had gathered in the museum, around the long white leather couch that is a replica of the one we find in Memphis. Henrik started out by telling a little about why and how he had realized the dream of a Graceland in Randers, Denmark! Then he took us on a tour through some of the museum's highlights: A bass guitar donated by one of Elvis’ musicians - a bass Elvis actually have used, the master tape to the Million Dollar Quartet, an acoustic guitar Elvis used on stage in 1975, one of the few "Jumpsuits" that exists outside Graceland in Memphis, and a host of other things. He even wore a TCB necklace that Elvis himself had used. This necklace was circulated among us participants so we got to touch and feel one of the King's jewels. Henrik is a great communicator and he engaged us with his enthusiastic and fun manner. I must say that I have much respect for what Henrik has achieved. This was a great experience! My wife, who is not a pronounced Elvis fan, was so excited about Henrik's speech that she almost converted on the spot.

After this wonderful tour it was time for a snack at the Highway 51 Diner. I chose a Peanut-Butter-Banana-Bacon Sandwich ... Elvis' favorite sandwich. I ate one, and that was enough for me. Henrik could tell that the guy who holds the record, ate 6 of these sandwiches ... incredible! It all washed down with a bottle of Mountain Dew ... Elvis' favorite soda, a sweet soda similar to 7 Up. The restaurant has set the bar high. It serves a top notch American Southern cuisine. "Junk Food" at this restaurant is highly recommended!

After yet another stop by the store and a few dollars poorer, it was time to leave the place ... an experience richer. I felt much richer! I rest my case when it comes to Graceland Randers, Henrik Knudsen, and all the great staff. Graceland Randers is a “MUST VISIT” for all Elvis fans!

 

Havard Einarsrud

ELVIS and his MUSIC

www.elvisandhismusic.com