From New Orleans to Memphis we rolled. Memphis, where freaking Elvis and Johnny Cash both got their starts. The place must be a bustling metropolis with streets of gold where everyone’s got a chance to make it BIG.
Describe it in a 10 word sentence: You can’t polish a turd. But Elvis lived there once
Recommend something to see please: So the town itself is a bit out of luck. If Memphis were a racehorse, the curtain would have been around it a while ago. Thankfully something that they have managed to keep a hold of is a professional sports team. And you are now reading the words of a fully-fledged Memphis Grizzlies Superfan. I got my first taste of American sports and I was not short-changed. Apart from the fact that this mob of basketballers kept on interrupting the sideline entertainment. Rude. Anyways we won and left with free Grizz hand towels that presumably were compensation for the fact we were dropping $14AU per beer.
Tell us one thing that happened there: We stayed at a Holiday Inn in the CBD of Memphis, and just across the road was a lovely gilded building that had a constant stream of retirees flowing in and out of it. We wandered over and learnt it was the Peabody Hotel, the most famous hotel in Memphis don’t you know. And ‘OH BOY’ they said, ‘You come over here at 11am tomorrow and you’re in for a TREAT’. Well that sounded exciting, so next morning we did just that. We walked into the foyer to see a crowd of a few hundred people listening to a fella in a suit giving a bit of a town-crier style talk. He explained he was the DUCK MASTER, and he was about to drop some shit on us that would blow our fuckin’ faces off. He jumped in the foyer lift and went up. About 2 minutes later, to the sound of angels singing and an 80 piece orchestra, the lift doors open and 5 ducks come walking out, down a red carpet, and jump in the fountain in the middle of the lobby. Then just sat there. WOOOO.
Star Rating: 2 ½. It could have been worse but we found out that the tallest building in town – a 30-odd storey old art deco hotel – was on the market for $1.2 mil, so I’m now seeing the whole joint as an investment opportunity.
Describe it in a 10 word sentence: There’s nothing good about country music, can you please stop
Recommend something to see please: Thankfully, there’s a bit more to Nashville than people singing about their pickup trucks. Being the cool cat that you’re all very aware I am, you won’t be surprised to know I was on the lookout for the hip part of town. We found it out East at a place called 5 points – an intersection of 5 roads that had a whole heap of cool little bars and shops. The beers were many and varied, and the waitstaff all said ‘y’all’ about every third word, which is scientifically proven to be the most welcoming word in the English language. But only in a Southern accent.
Tell us one thing that happened there: In Nashville there’s a theatre called the Ryman. Up until the mid-70s it hosted The Grand Ole Oprey, which is a country music concert held once a week since forever that is simulcast on radio. Apparently it’s a fair old institution in the US so we joined a group and got a backstage tour. So the fella guiding the tour was in his 20s and pretty jolly, and every name that he shot at us went straight over my head (bar Johnny Cash). But it became fairly apparent fairly quickly that the young man was about 8 jackets deep in the closet. Nashville being what I’d term Southern-progressive, I’m sure he wouldn’t have been run out of town for enjoying the lads, but he was certainly trying his best to dial down his femininity. With hilarious results. Every now and then he’d just come out (not literally) with the gayest arrangement of words possible, and we just had to glance at each other and try not to laugh. It was a lot like trying to hold in the giggles at church. Cathoes REPRESENT.
Star Rating: 3. I do realise that a fair few people DO like country tunes, so obviously their score would be higher. Add ½ a point for every Lee Kernaghan album you own.