Going down to Memphis, need recommendations on sights, shops and music!

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by MBolanlovechild, May 4, 2015.

  1. MBolanlovechild

    MBolanlovechild TDPRI Member

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    Hi there,

    this august, I have the incredible fortune of a cousin who's invited me (all the way from London) to come down to his wedding in Memphis; I plan to stay the week after, rent a car and see.. everything I can really! This will be my first trip to the states too.

    The rock and roll hall of fame is definitely on the list, the gibson factory (why the hell not), the saint blues guitar workshop, various graves: Holly Ridge cemetery (where Charlie Patton is buried). I know nothing of where to go music wise, but I've got lots of time to prepare an itinerary! (I hear the bar-b-q is good)

    Come august, I'll have enough money set aside for something; I'm mostly interested in vintage oddities that are either impossible to find in the UK or marked up to ridiculous prices. Harmony's, Kay's, Danelectro's. Needless to say, I'm a blues man! So this is quite exciting. I'm compiling lists of things, but any recommendations would be highly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Ed
     
  2. Big_Bend

    Big_Bend Poster Extraordinaire

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    Hope you have a great visit!!!

    Just be careful... Memphis can be a very dangerous city to visit IMO. I know someone that lives there and he told me you go one block off Beale street and you'll get killed.

    That being said, I did enjoy visiting Sun Studio when I was there, and yes the BBQ Ribs are outstanding too.

    Also, drive 3 hours East and visit Nashville for a few days too.. highly recommended!

    Have fun, be safe, trip report afterwords plz...
     
  3. IronSchef

    IronSchef Tele-Holic

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    Just an FYI - the R&R HOF is in Cleveland - quite the drive from Memphis (more than 11 hours)

    Beale St is the place to be in Memphis - live music, shops, BBQ, all in one place! Yes, do not go wandering, however :eek:
     
  4. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

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  5. The_Doctor [EV]

    The_Doctor [EV] Tele-Meister

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    Definitely hit Sun Studios, it's smaller than you'd expect but you can just feel the energy in the place.
     
  6. pcampbell

    pcampbell Tele-Meister

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    There's good information in the prior thread referred to above. The main thing I would add is that if you're coming here in August, you should expect it to be really hot here. To be more accurate, I should say HOT. Most places have plenty of air conditioning inside, but outside it's typically sweltering from June through mid-September around here. As far as barbecue places, corkys and the rendezvous, though both are great, tend to be a bit more touristy. A lot of locals will gravitate to central BBQ (two locations, midtown and east). As far as music stores go, I posted in the prior thread, and I would again recommend revolve guitar and music, and martin music. Geoff at revolve is a great guy to deal with, and because his business model involves the inflow and outflow of a lot of used guitars and amps, you never know what will be there from one day to the next. Some of it is "ordinary" and some of it isn't.

    I hope you have a good time, and I agree with a poster above who recommends also driving to Nashville.
     
  7. MBolanlovechild

    MBolanlovechild TDPRI Member

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    Thankyou all for the advice and the thread link, will give that a read. Will definitely have to go see Stax! I think I was mistaking the Memphis Rock and Roll Museum for the hall of fame, for some reason I assumed it was that that is opposite the gibson factory.

    I have been warned by others about the heat. I will stick out like a sore thumb with my british accent, definitely be careful where I go. But I hear our accent has other advantages in the states!
     
  8. jonzer

    jonzer Friend of Leo's

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    There is something about girls in Memphis. You'll find out with that accent.
     
  9. Mekhem

    Mekhem Tele-Holic Ad Free Member

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    I would add to the previous thread that I/we did a fair amount of wandering and walking around that downtown area and didn't have any issues. Just keep your big city eyes on.

    I definitely got the feeling that its a city that if you go looking for trouble - it'll find you.

    I had a great great time there though.
     
  10. dblues

    dblues Tele-Holic

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    If you have a whole week I would recommend a day trip south to Mississippi. Greenwood (Robert Johnson grave), Indianola (BB King Museum) and Clarksdale (Blues Museum and clubs) are all close enough to Memphis to go and return in a day. If you go down 61 the Blue and White restaurant in Tunica is good.

    As far as Memphis the Stax Museum, Sun Studio and the museum at the bottom of Beale street (Rock 'n Roll& Rock-a-billy?) were highlights of my first trip there. Plan to have fun and yes, take care with your safety, as you should in any big city.
     
  11. tonytrout

    tonytrout Friend of Leo's

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    GRACELAND!!!!!!!

    Although, I will warn you that the house, itself, is much smaller inside than it looks on the outside. It was built in 1939 as an anti-bellum type home and had 23 rooms before Elvis bought it in March of 1957 for $101,500.

    Now, it brings in over 600,000 visitors each year. And, for those wondering, the planes (The Lisa Marie & The Hound Dog II) are permanently staying at Graceland. They are now in the full ownership of EPE/Graceland.

    They were going to move them about 400 yards down the highway but found out that, if they move them, it could cause damage to the planes since they've both been sitting in one place for over thirty years.

    And I agree with what everyone else says about being very careful while you're there - especially at nighttime. It can be a dangerous place in the Whitehaven section where Graceland is located.
     
  12. blowtorch

    blowtorch Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Memphis is part tourist trap and part dusty museum, those two parts actually overlap.
    But yeah it's also part crackhouse. So yep just watch yourself
     
  13. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Bear in mind, August in Memphis is the very hottest time of year. The humidity is what makes it tough - there is no relief at 6:00 A.M. I actually would do the most strenuous activity at the time of day when the relative humidity is lowest, centered around 2:00 P.M. Hopefully you'll find shade.

    If you run out of things to do there, do a side trip to Chicago. Not an accident so many of the greats worked their way up there.
     
  14. pcampbell

    pcampbell Tele-Meister

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    Yes, I should have added humidity to my prior post above. It's the double whammy of high heat and high humidity.
     
  15. smokedoctor

    smokedoctor TDPRI Member

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    Sun Studios, Gus' Fried Chicken, Rendezvous Ribs. The fried chicken is spicy, wonderfully seasoned, it is excellent accompanied by their fried green tomatoes and fried dill pickle spears. Rendezvous serves grilled loin back ribs, they serve them with a cheese/pickled pepper/sausage appetizer that comes dusted with their special Greek BBQ rub. Sun studios is essential. We visited the Gibson factory, it was interesting, I would probably do it again, but not near as interesting or historically significant as Sun.
     
  16. RCinMempho

    RCinMempho Friend of Leo's

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    There are few things like walking a shuttered Beale Street early on a Saturday or Sunday morning. You can smell the old cigarette smoke and new BBQ smoke mixing in the morning sunshine. If you are lucky, there might be an early street musician for a song and some talk. There's not much open or much to do, and that makes all the difference.
     
  17. vanr

    vanr Tele-Afflicted

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    After living there for 42 of my 56 years my advice is don't go.
     
  18. Joe Baggadonitz

    Joe Baggadonitz Friend of Leo's

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    I went there many years ago. Only stopped there for 24 hrs. on the way home from Houston. It was 'okay'. Graceland? I did it. Wouldn't do it again. Beale St. looked cool but early Sun. morning is not the time to do it. Only people around were cops and 'sketchy' people. Cops were a very strong presence to keep sketchy people in their holes. The 'Catfish Cabin' was a nice dining/cultural experience for my very Canadian wife and kids. We were about the only white folks in there and it was crowded and noisy. I grew up in the John Hay Homes in Springfield Ill. so I was used to it. Food was good so was the service. I would like to go back with other adults and do it right.
     
  19. Paul in Colorado

    Paul in Colorado Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Check out the Civil Rights Museum too for a bit of history.
     
  20. Berek Halfhand

    Berek Halfhand Tele-Meister

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    Up to Nashville and then down south east to Chattanooga/Lookout Mountain in upper north-west Georgia - you can't much more Americana than that.

    Yeah, Cleveland would be too far in you are only going to be here for a week, but driving up through the Smokey Mountains would be beautiful.

    And second the Civil Rights museum. Very moving.
     
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