Direct from Graceland: Elvis review – a great tribute to the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, the wildest of them all – Yahoo News UK

It might seem strange to write the phrase “a nobody” in the same sentence as Elvis Presley. But really, in rock ’n’ roll icon terms these days you’re nobody until you have had a major multimedia museum exhibition in London. Like most good ideas, David Bowie had it first: that stunning V&A retrospective from 2013 reinventing what could be done. The Rolling Stones followed him (though don’t say that to Mick Jagger) with the excellent Exhibitionism at the Saatchi in 2016.

And now, into 11,000 square feet in London Bridge – a space that used to be the Southwark Playhouse – comes the man without whom the above two acts and so many others would never have existed.

The Presley estate’s 1.5 million artefacts have been curated down into about 450 pieces on display here, with jumpsuits, cars, contracts, an immersive concert film room and all kinds of other King-related delights. You can see, for example, the Western Union Telegram that Elvis sent to Colonel Tom Parker in response to the impressively lucrative deal he had secured for the ’68 Comeback Special. “Dear Colonel,” it reads. “Is that the best you could do? Yours, Elvis…”

For the Elvis obsessive, a ‘white glove’ experience allows you to actually lay hands on items like the diamond, ruby and sapphire-adorned World Championship belt Presley was awarded having played 57 Vegas shows in 28 days, which he wore to meet Richard Nixon at the White House (careful with it though: it’s valued at $500,000).

Disappointingly there are no live white doves to wipe your bum with in the toilets – my personal favourite Elvis myth – but it is the items that bring the maddest Elvis Presley tales to life that make Direct from Graceland sparkle so brightly. The Stones and Bowie and whoever else certainly had their moments, but no musical artist – or probably any human being ever – is surrounded by as many out-there stories. And as much as the music or the clothes, it is the myths that make Elvis Elvis.

There’s the police light he used to place on top of his car so he could pull people over and give out his autograph instead of tickets. The cheque for $3,000 he carried around with him until he found the perfect golden palomino horse to buy (he finally handed it over to someone, folds and all, in January 1967). A secure Mark 900 briefcase phone with handwritten instructions, the pad with the notes for his proposed kung-fu film and the tiny white faux fur coat he had made for Lisa-Marie when she was a toddler.

And on and on it goes, serving as a reminder that however weird and wild The Beatles or Bowie or Michael Jackson or Prince or Madonna or Kanye or anyone else may have got, Elvis Presley was weirder and wilder before them all. He invented the idea of the megastar eccentric and looked and sounded fabulous while doing it. This great exhibition is fitting testament to that indisputable fact.

Direct from Graceland runs to February 25, 2024; elvislondonbridge.co.uk

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Marc Valldeperez

Soy el administrador de marcahora.xyz y también un redactor deportivo. Apasionado por el deporte y su historia. Fanático de todas las disciplinas, especialmente el fútbol, el boxeo y las MMA. Encargado de escribir previas de muchos deportes, como boxeo, fútbol, NBA, deportes de motor y otros.

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