Tag Archives: Graceland Soundstage

What Do Chubby Checker and George Thorogood Have in Common?

They’re coming to Graceland.

More precisely, they’re coming to the Graceland Soundstage in Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

SoundStage A ( Now Graceland Soundstage)

Since renamed Graceland Soundstage

Perhaps EPE’s plan in the beginning was to show Elvis movies at the Soundstage, and to have events there during Elvis Week and the Elvis Birthday Celebration.

But now they are going after more than just Elvis fans to fill the seats. After all, they do have a concert venue holding up to 1,500 people, and there are a lot of good touring acts out there who perfume in front of crowds like that.

 

I’m not sure about this, but I think the only Memphis concert venue of similar size is the New Daisy Theater on Beale Street.

New Daisy Theater

I went to a midnight concert at the New Daisy Theater during Elvis Week 2002. It featured two young tribute artists named Shawn Klush and Ryan Pelton. Klush went on to win the first Ultimate Elvis Tribute Artist Competition in 2007, but he still came back to the New Daisy years after that.

 

Shawn Klush at the New Daisy Theater

 

So, the Memphis roster of concert venues has improved with the addition of the Graceland Soundstage. It’s got state-of-the art sound and graphics, lots of parking, and a bonus perk that’s pretty cool. Concert ticket holders get free admission to Elvis Presley’s Memphis from 3pm on, so they can spend 4 or 5 hours in there before going into the concert.

A dozen artists are lined up so far to perform at the Soundstage this spring and summer. But Chubby Checker.is the one I want to write about.

Young Chubby Checker

I have always liked Chubby Checker. He is originally from Philadelphia, and so am I. I saw him once back in 1959 before he became a huge star with his hit, “The Twist.” He was one of several local singers that performed in an open pavilion at Willow Grove Park. At that time he had a minor novelty hit called “The Class.” In it, the students were supposedly Elvis, Fats Domino, the Coasters, and the Chipmunks, and Chubby sang a few lines in each of their voices.

He is 78 years old and still performing. Here he is in 2014.

Chubby Checker in 2014

 

While searching for a current photo of him, I found something that made me laugh.

Chubby Checker Penis Measuring App

Chubby Checker had sued the makers of an app that estimated the size of a man’s penis, called The Chubby Checker, for $500 million over “irreversible damage and harm”. He claimed that the app tarnished his name.

I wonder how much he got in the settlement. Not so much for him to finally hang up those twisting shoes for good. No, he’s coming to Graceland on June 22. The top tickets go for $99.50.

Chubby Checker’s act has always included lots of dancing with the fans, not just on the stage, but also down in the aisles sometimes. I’ll bet he puts on a great show at Graceland.

 

 

And I like the new option we fans now have. Elvis wasn’t the only music we liked. We had other favorite singers and bands over the years. If one of these gets booked at the Soundstage, it could spark a trip to Graceland for a connection with two of your favorites. A Chubby Checker/Elvis Presley weekend at Graceland sounds like a fine idea to this old fan.

 

Here’s the rest of the lineup coming to this concert series now named Graceland Live.

Graceland Live

These artists are listed without comment for now. Click here to see a wonderful website that tells you everything about them.

Bret Michaels – Saturday March 23 – All tickets are Standing $49.50

George Thorogood  – Saturday, April 13  – Top ticket is $101.50

Buckcherry –  Friday, April 19 – All tickets are Standing $25

Frank Turner – Saturday, April 27 – All tickets are Standing $27.50

Allman Betts Band – Friday, May 3                 ditto

Violent Femmes and X – Thursday May 16 – All tickets are Standing $39.50

Stryper  – Sunday, June 2 – All tickets are Standing $25

Boz Scaggs – Sunday, June 16 – Top ticket is $124.50

Chubby Checker – Saturday, June 22 – Top ticket is $99.50

Pat Benetar,  Saturday July 26 – Top ticket is $124.50

Brian Setzer,  Wednesday, Aug 21 – Top ticket is $99.50

Hot Tuna – Sunday, Sept 1                        ditto

 

That’s an interesting variety of performers. And there’s lots of room for more additions.

Here’s some stuff off that website I told you about

Graceland Soundstage State of the Art

Premium Bars

 

I also want to write about another performer that I’d love to combine with Elvis on a weekend at Graceland: George Thorogood and the Destroyers.

George Thorogood

 

George Thorogood’s current tour is named the “Good To Be Bad Tour – 45 Years of Rock”

He started his career in 1974, back when music was on records. I bought four of his albums, and I picked up a couple of his cassettes at garage sales. Now I’ve got 16 George Thorogood songs on my playlist.

Here’s what the Graceland Live website says about him.

George Thorogood Gut-busting Music

That’s quite a list of adjectives they used to describe George Thorogood’s music. To me, It’s just really good blues-rock. Nothing like Chubby Checker or Elvis music, but I like all three.

 

Here’s another connection I have with George Thorogood. One of his songs is the ringtone on my cel phone, and it’s not any of those listed above. It’s called “If You Don’t Start Drinkin’ (I’m Gonna Leave)”. I picked it because it starts with a very loud repetitive guitar lick. I need it loud if I’m going to hear the phone ring in my pocket with my crummy hearing.

 

Graceland Live Alt Logo

This is a nice image, but unfortunately, Elvis won’t be performing at Graceland Live.

 

Remember when Dorothy said to Toto, “We’re not in Kansas anymore.”

Well, “Graceland isn’t just Elvis anymore.”

 

Two Giant Screens at Graceland Soundstage

 

 

© 2019 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

How To Be a VIP at Elvis Week 2018

Elvis Week 2018 Logo

I’ve been to Elvis Week four times, but the last was in 2007. I would like to get back one more time because there have been so many changes and additions to the Graceland complex. But I’m retired and on a fixed income, so some of the Elvis Week options now offered by EPE are beyond my reach. Here is an extreme example.

“Elvis Week Elite” Ticket Package:

This one costs $1500 per person and allows you to feel like a VIP for the whole week. Information on the Elite Package is not found on Graceland.com. There are references to it, but when you click on them, it just takes you to the lesser packages.

Hollywood News Daily

I found out about Elite Ticket Package on hollywoodnewsdaily.com, and the article says these tickets can only be ordered over the phone. Maybe Graceland has a special contact list of deep-pocketed fans and sends them email invitations urging them to snap up some of these exclusive tickets.

Elvis Presley's Memphis SoundStage

If you buy the Elvis Week Elite Package you will get to see eleven concerts and events over eight days at the Graceland Soundstage at Elvis Presley’s Memphis.

Special Event with Lisa Marie Presley (8/11)
Elvis Presley Fan Club Presidents’ Event (8/12)
Darlene Love in Concert (8/13)
Conversations on Elvis: Co-stars (8/14)
The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley Concert (8/14)
Conversations on Elvis: Gospel (8/15)
A Musical Salute to Elvis (8/15)
Conversations on Elvis: ’68 Special (8/16)
’68 Special 50th Anniversary Celebration (8/16)
Conversations on Elvis: Elvis Connections (8/17)
Elvis Live in Concert (8/18)

As a bonus you get reserved, assigned front-of-the house seating to all these events, and you get early access to the Soundstage ten minutes before the general public.

 

Lisa Marie Presley at table

After the Lisa Marie special event, package ticket holders have admission to an “Exclusive Photo and Autograph Opportunity” with her.

On Monday August 13 you get to attend two events at the Grand Ballroom at the Graceland Guesthouse.

Guesthouse at Graceland Grand Ballroom

Elvis Fan Reunion – 1pm
Elvis Week Dance Party – 9pm

These are general admission events. The Elite Package ticket holders can really have a big day on the 13th, because they also have the Darlene Love concert that night at 7pm. However, they might be a little late getting to the dance party if they stay after the concert to get a selfie with Darlene or to buy an autographed photo of her.

 

Elvis Presley's Memphis

On Friday, August 17, the package includes admission to the Party at Elvis Presley’s Memphis. There’s going to be live music, complimentary hors d’oeuvres, and cash bars. The Graceland calendar of events does not state the party is in any building, so I guess it’s outside.

There is one additional event for the Elite ticket holders at Grand Ballroom at the Guesthouse. At 5pm on August 16, they get to attend a “Private VIP Reception.” Although no details are given on the website, it sounds like it is tied in with the ’68 Special event at 7pm across the street. But they will not have to walk there. They can take the dedicated shuttle service.

Guesthouse Shuttle Bus

Actually, the Elite Package includes unlimited use of this shuttle service between Guesthouse and Graceland from 8am to 11pm all week. It says nothing about Elvis’ Presley’s Memphis being on the route, but you have to think that it is.

 

Elvis Presley's Graceland

Of course, the Elvis Week Elite Ticket Package includes a tour of the Graceland mansion, and, as you would expect, it is the top-of-the-line Ultimate VIP Tour. Regular prices on these tickets are $169 per person.

Ultimate VIP Tour of Graceland

 

Are you starting to get tired just thinking about doing all this stuff?

 

Here are a few extra perks the Elite Ticket Package offers.

$150 in food vouchers for Elvis Presley’s Memphis Entertainment Complex
Elvis Week Parking Pass good for Graceland parking on August 10-18
Elvis Week Collectibles Pack (with exclusive merchandise valued at $50)
Commemorative Elvis Week Elite laminate (your badge to show you’re a VIP)
Reserved line placement for Candlelight Vigil
Elvis Week Property Pass

 

I must admit, if I had $3,000, I might consider buying two Elite Package tickets for one final Elvis Week blast. However, there would be lots of other expenses to cover. Air fare to Memphis, food costs above the $150 voucher, and six nights at the Graceland Guesthouse (I would skip the Lisa Marie event on the 11th and the fan club presidents’ event on the 12th and pick-up the schedule on the 13th).

Guesthouse at Graceland

Of course, lodging for six nights at the Guesthouse is much higher during Elvis Week than at other times. Let’s see what the cheapest room for two people with a king bed would be for six nights from August 13 through August 19:

 

Guesthouse Room Rate

 

Wow! Let’s see, there’s $3,000 for the Elite Package Tickets, about $600 for air fare, $2,540 for lodging, about $500 for meals, and probably another $250 for incidentals. That totals $6,900.

 

If I ever win the lottery, I’ll definitely go for it. Otherwise, I’m gonna stay home.

 

 

©  2018    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of  Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.