Memphis: Music & Bar-B-Que!!

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Who knew that all of this goodness would be coming once the old Jersey guy got to Georgia? I mean, the pretty lady and beautiful home, sure, that I knew … but all the rest of this great stuff? Next up on the list of “certainly very cool” is Memphis! That’s BB Kings stage above, cool blues and some really great BBQ!

Sheila had an audit to conduct in Memphis and asked me to go with her … duhhh … that took about 1/2 second to say “yes”. Sheila’s sister Gina was gracious enough to watch Bella and Madison, again (she had just watched them while we were in Miramar Beach the previous week +) (we owe Gina, like, 20 dinners and a car wash) (if its a car wash, I’m taking it to the place I took Sheila’s car … see the blog dated October 18, 2016), so off to Memphis we went!

Now, we both had work to do; Sheila with her audit and me with AWT projects, but we made time to enjoy the town. It was kinda chilly/nippy, so walking too far was a bit of a drag. I had a bit more flexibility during the day so I took the time to visit some memorable music locations unique to Memphis:

The Gibson Guitar factory tour was really great. I was never a huge Gibson fan and always thought the guitars were somewhat overpriced, but having been through the actual factory and seeing the actual production process I can better understand why they cost what they do … very little is done by CNC maching, with a large part of the work still hand-made.

The Gibson reception desk
Next up, dinner @ BB King’s BBQ.  It was a quiet Monday night (somewhat) at BB King’s restaurant on Beale Street. Sheila and I both had a great pulled pork plate that was really big and really delicious. The music was very good (that’s Memphis Jones playing guitar in the pic up top, a pretty good historian as well as a blues guy).  We had a fun evening!
Tuesday was a work day for both Sheila and me, but I had an earlier end to my day and took the time to tour the Stax Recording Studio:
     
top: The great Duck Dunn’s P-bass that was used on so many of those recordings. left,  the Stax studio with a 13′ high ceiling; right, a sampling of some of the many Stax 45’s and LP’s on display.
After work we went to The Rendezvous Restaurant, a classic Memphis Rib house. Complete truth here, these are stock photos since we were too busy eating to take any pictures!
 
 Hard to find the entrance to The Rendezvous, the interior of the restaurant, and THOSE RIBS!
Another work day Wednesday, but I again ended earlier and had a chance to visit Sun Records, the other great Memphis institution where Elvis, Jerry Lee, Johnny Cash, Roy Orbison and so many others recorded all of the great stuff.

The studio was tiny, particularly when compared to the cavern @ Stax. I loved the Pepsi machine …

And then, before we knew it, we were on our way home to Georgia. Short trip but well worth the time to go. And if you ever get the chance, the tours @ Gibson, Stax and Sun were all worth the cost (about $15 +/- at each location). I bought Sheila a cool jacket at Sun:

Word of caution: The food in Memphis is all outstanding, I don’t know how those people aren’t all 300+ pounds each. Not only is the BBQ just excellent everywhere, but there are these donut shops all over the place that make fattening, gooey, delicious donuts of all kinds and types. On a recommendation we went to a shop called Gibson’s (no relation to the guitars) and bought 1/2 dozen of these amazing treats! And we found a cookie shop , The Whimsy Cookie (yup, just cookies) (Sheila was dying for a cookie on the way to Memphis) (their “gooey” cookies are great!) and bought a dozen.  Good thing Sheila is thin and I’ve lost a ton of weight because we’d be in big trouble if we were on a strict diet!

BTW, I love everything about Memphis … but they are THE WORST drivers, ever. It’s like an evil combination of Massachussetts, NYC and Florida drivers, but multiplied by a factor of bad x 10. Sweet people, but they cannot drive worth a damn ….

I have to say, my life doesn’t suck at all ….

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