I arrived at the majestic Peabody Hotel in Memphis last night. It is a massive beautiful old building in the centre of town. It has hosted the good and the great and now me and has a whacking great Xmas tree (32 feet) in its beautiful lobby but it is particularly famous for its ducks. Every day at 11am 5 ducks leave their palace on the roof, travel down to the lobby by lift and walk along a red carpet to the central fountain where they splash about all day until at 5pm they make the reverse journey to their palatial home. Apparently about 200,000 people come to see this every year and they have been doing this for well over 75 years and I can confirm there will be pictures of the ducks before I leave. Also they have a commitment to never serve duck at any of the hotel restaurants – even the French one – although they were a bit vague about what happens to them after each group gets “changed over” every 12 weeks? I am trying not to think too much about that.
Last night the big thrill was to head straight out to the street which symbolizes the soul and blues that this area is famous for – Beale Street. There is one live bar after another and basically you just walk by and choose one playing music you like. I found one called Rum Boogie Cafe which was like being catapulted into the movie the Commitments – Mustang Sally, Soul Man etc – had a great time – even on my own – singing along to some great sounds while devouring some rather good spicy chicken wings.
Today I visited Sun Studios – the place where Elvis recorded his first single “That’s alright Mama” and the rest,as they say, is history. It is a tiny place but you can see below that given my recent live musical “performance” in front of the HR team, I thought I would mime (phew) into a 1959 mic of the kind that the King would have used. And that will be the end of my musical career – you have my word…..
The dry rubbed ribs here are famous so I had to try some at Charlie’s Rendezvous – and reader, I ate them all up.