Hoping to help these guys...

Hoping to help these guys...

Sunday, 2 October 2016

Memphis, Tennessee. Days twenty and twenty-one, Walnut Ridge to Memphis. And then a day-off!

Okay then, this was always looking like a tricky stage as there is no recognised/legal way across The Mississippi into Memphis...until three weeks tomorrow, when a bicycle lane will officially open on the southern bridge. Timing is every- oh, shut up, hah-hah!

Regrettably we miss Alicia: more on Bono in a bit...no, don't go yet!
It was a job getting through Jonesboro at mile 25 too..
Some tit in a helo, crazy low at times...
Chocloate? Okay then.
So *that's* where I parked him last night.
Cotton. Loads.
Conflicting advice from online sources led me to try this route...
Went alongside here for a mile before discovering...
...that it urned to this. Thanks AR!
No real damage, other than realising that your idea of getting a beer down by 4pm is indeed a pipe-dream!
Sign Of The Day, no contest. Terrapins...Grisham? That's a full house.

I asked the Steve Cropper look-a-like of this fine MOPAR specimen if he minded a photo: of course not, go right ahead. You certainly notice the change in accent in AR!
1973 with a 340. Owner was a ringer for Crop. Verrrrrrry laid-back, hah-hah!
Anyway, he passed me about 10 miles later, arm stuck out in a salute. Cheers Sir!
Cotton wool.

I had to improvise the route on more than one occasion: let's leave that there, lest I incriminate myself, hah-hah!
Al & Gail...defo!
Genuinely, I would have been struggling to find a safe, never mind legal way across The Big River if it hadn't been for some guy who had faced the same dilemma as me. Cheers SH!
On the way to try to find the crossing...
...the only access is up here,,,,
...but it works!
Big River. Yes!
So pretty much ecstatic at getting through all the traffic and finding the bridge path and then getting dumped in a residential area on the other side about three miles to my hotel, when a passing motorist shouts something to me...he backs-up and he is asking what it's like out there today etc...
With passing cyclist, Marvin.
Anyway, Marvin has a very high-end Cannondale on the back of his motor and will be doing a ton tomorrow in a sportive event. He invites me but I tell him that there's more chance of me winning the lottery than getting on my bike tomorrow, hah-hah! Good to meet you, all the same.

Ace hotel found, admin done- this means it's beer and food time. Allez a Beale Street, pronto. Well, via Street Trolley...

Friday's night dinner accompaniment!
Really great to see you again, Beale Street!
Very good J. Cash trib, but that is the original STAX Studios sign. Apparently...
These guys were dynamite: a sort of Killah-style thing. Blimey!
Talk of the (old) devil.
The nature of the place is to bar-hop and take in a load of live music: it runs from midday until 5 am, certainly on a weekend. Sure, it ain't what it was etc., but it still is great fun and pretty much anyone you speak to is enjoying themselves. My third time and it still is a blast!
Keeps on going until 5 am. Unlike some.
These guys were from Nashville but kicked-up a storm!
So we move onto my rest day...hurrah! That means a little bit of t&c for the bike though- it was a job trying to get the hotel staff to understand what I wanted to do. They did their best, although I did question shower gel, hah-hah!
Improvisation in bike cleaning. Note use of shower gel.
And after!
As soon as that was done and (sort of) dusted, it was a case of wagons roll to Graceland, which is also still a thrill!
Third time...not thirteen. Good grief!
Non-King fans oughta go away or scroll down, as there will follow an inordinate number of photos...

I think we're on safe ground.
Disgraceland, more like.
Sheer class!
LM with PP.

Even I might take issue with the green carpet. 
Much more like it!
Yep, Mario Lanza.
Dr. Strangelove, I guess. Great choice!
£1 for 2 plays. The King stays on!
Mind you, indoor waterfall...
TCB in the office.
Used this when all TVs were being watched. 

The Memphis Flash was all that, then.
The one that matters. Go Norway!

Novel. Beats 'Look In' awards, I suppose.

It is just mind-boggling.

RCA (the generous souls) gave him a telly for his troubles.
Still not sure that I've ever watched an Elvis movie all the way through... 
Great posters of less-than great movies.
Generous man. Good on you!

Re-takes and all, that was a show!
Quality won out.
By anyone's standards, that's a bold look.

 Which inevitably leads us to...
Moving but with respect it brought to mind...

"Too much perspective!"
On the wall outside. Elvis for everyone!
Bye then, Mr. Guitar Man...
 From Graceland it was a transit to the Stax Museum: again, I had been there before but it's worth a repeat viewing! The surprising thing was just how quiet it was especially on a Saturday afternoon.
Great to be here!
Did think about getting these for the bike.

Sheer class.

Where the fairy dust was sprinkled.
Digital-what now?
Recreated from the original studio via photos.
Gissa go!
Yeah, you know these are/were...
This was played on 'Green Onions'? Wow!
They did produce an awful lot of music. Some of it truly great.

Black Moses himself.
Albert King corner!
Mr. Hayes's Caddy. Wow!

Come on M&S, get this in your Autumn/Winter set!
Class! Bake Off needs this.
Quite the show.
The smoother side of things. But still wonderful!
Well played, Bob. Now, about those credits...

Top address, number one...
Again another transit to get to Sun Studios, which (again) I had visited before but it is a joy, regardless!
More on Carl tomorrow, I hope...
 Plus, our tour guide was genuinely one of the very best that I've ever heard- worth a tip. Praise don't come no higher than that, hah-hah!

Maestro, visionary...whatever you want, we owe you, Sam. 

Elv's first guitar. Pretty beaten-up.

The studio were the magic occasionally happened. Ceiling!
Sam Phillips left a few mics on the proviso that they would not be under lock-and-key. Top man!
 As you will know, U2 recorded some songs for their 'Rattle and Hum' album here: the drum-kit is still in use.
Knew he might feature again...

Great tour leader demonstrating how Johnny Cash got around Nashville's 'no drums' rule.
The 'Million Dollar Quartet'. Must be worth at least $1.25M in today's money?
Choose your weapon then.
At the end of the tour, you have about two minutes to try and grab a photo-op on the Shure 55 microphone that Sam Phillips left to  the studio, but only on the proviso that it wouldn't be locked away. Good man, Samuel!
The Bangor Flash doesn't *quite* have the same appeal... 
Still class. Great tour...thanks!
From Sun it's a 15 minute saunter back to Beale Street: my plan was to take in the National Civil Rights Museum but I had been on the go from early on and needed three things: rest, food and a beer!

BB King's is just the place to assist in matters such as these: even more so when one of the players is the gent who featured on bass for Al Green. Just a a joy!
Well it beats Acacia Avenue, right? Top address number 2.
Word! Wish you were all here.
Humbled to meet Mr. Leroy Hodges: played bass on Al Green's songs amongst others. 
Legs are walked-off, but a very enjoyable 'rest day'. Cheers!
So I'm back on the chain-gang tomorrow: I hope that my knees and other bits haven't quit just yet...this last third will be the hardest yet. Keep your fingers crossed for me and if you can share this blog around then it might generate another donation. Thanks...

Stick with this- sheer brilliance. The only song for today!

For Andy B.: glad it ain't Cher's stab!

Timeless riff. Did I ever tell you about the times I met Crop?

This is still immense from Riley.

MOR blah? Don't care- it's a great song.

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  1. Guv, you surpassed yourself on the photo count today, great one with Leroy. Now you've crossed the river, you're virtually there...

    1. Nice one- I could've stayed on in Memphis for a day or two, easy! Dunno about 'virtually there'...will these flamin' rollers ever quit? Nah, didn't think so...cheers!