Friday, January 8, 2010

Welcome to the Jungle...Room

Elvis would be 75 years old today, hard to believe. I love Elvis, I love the music, the movies and "taking care of business in a flash" -- without the flash part.

A few years back, during my music days, I made the pilgrimage to Graceland. I didn't spend any time weeping at the gate or leave a guitar-shaped bouquet of roses at the curb side, I simply went to see how the King lived. You hear a lot of terms describing Graceland: tacky, god-awful; I remember one person on the tour asking if Oscar the Grouch's family was slain to create the carpet in the Jungle Room. I personally think the King was very forward-thinking in his designs and room purposing ... he should be credited with the first modern "man cave," the TV Room. Three TVs, count 'em, three built-in TVs! This in a time when most homes had one console unit in the living room and the more wealthy might have one in the master bedroom. Rumor is, Elvis got the idea for such an extravagance from the White House where LBJ kept three TVs going so he could watch ABC, NBC and CBS -- Elvis preferred the NFL. Then there is the aforementioned Jungle Room with its wall-to-wall and ceiling shag carpet, stacked stone water feature and plethora of Teak furnishings ... okay, tacky, but in a cool way. It may also have been one of the first "home recording studios." By 1976 Elvis didn't like going to the studio, so RCA brought the studio to him.

I appreciate the fact that the King enjoyed his home, made it his and even thumbed his nose at conventional design.

If you had unlimited funds like the King, what quirky rooms would you have? (I would have an indoor ball pit!)