Friday, April 18, 2008

Walking in Memphis

Well here I am in Memphis at last. After a long flight to Atlanta and then on to Memphis my girlfriend and were pretty knackered when we got here. But we were also hungry so we headed off to Isaac Hayes's restaurant, which I remembered from my last trip, but it's gone bust. We wandered down Beale Street and ended up eating at the Hardrock Cafe, where the food was mediocre, the drinks - certainly the cocktails were disgusting - but the ambience was good, with an interesting Elvis shrine area and a selection of guitars donated by the great and the good, including Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash among others. Moving up the street we caught the James Govan band at the Rum Boogie Cafe (pictured) - one of the best music places on Beale which houses the original Stax sign. His version of I've Got Dreams to Remember brought a lump to my throat. Afterwards we went to check out the Hughes Uptown bar which was supposed to be a good live music venue, but it looked dead so we didn't go in and went back to the hotel to catch up on some sleep.
This morning I grabbed some breakfast at the Arcade cafe - Memphis's oldest - and then went looking for River Records. I eventuallyfound it and it's a record collectors' dream. 300,000 records, according to the owner who's run it since 1951, many of them genuine rock and roll, soul and blues collectables. I parted with some of my hard earned dollars on some rare stuff, but I could easily have spent thousands . The weather is cool and damp but that's fine as we're off to Graceland this afternoon. I've been there before but my girldfriend hasn't and we really ought to see it while we're here.


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