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AP: Lisa Marie Presley talks about new exhibit
Question of the Day
MEMPHIS, TENN. (AP) - There’s a glass case in a room on Graceland’s first floor that holds a small white fur coat, a photo album of Elvis Presley’s family, and a blue record player used by his daughter, Lisa Marie.
Steps away, in its own display case, rests the well-worn key used to operate a golf cart she would ride in with her father on the grounds of his Memphis home. Pictures of Elvis and his baby daughter line adjacent walls.
These items are part of an exhibit opening Wednesday that honors the relationship Lisa Marie Presley had with her father, the late rock and roll icon Elvis Presley. Lisa Marie was in Memphis on Tuesday and Wednesday _ her 44th birthday _ in order to attend the exhibit’s opening to VIP fans.
There are about 200 items in the exhibit, which Lisa Marie Presley called subjective and personal.
“I’m proud to be my father’s daughter because that is something that changed the world,” she told The Associated Press. “I do feel honored about that.”
Presley discussed a variety of topics, including a new album and thoughts about making a proper film about her father, who died in Memphis on Aug. 16, 1977. This year marks the 35th anniversary of his death, which is observed with a weeklong gathering of Elvis fans in August of every year.
“It was just one of the moments that was captured … we were helping this child get a liver transplant,” she said.
When asked what comes to mind when she thinks of Jackson, she said: “I can only say that I have good memories.”
Presley said she has been working on her music and her third album and set to come out in May. It is produced by Grammy-winner T-Bone Burnett.
“It’s much more of a rootsy record, organic record, than my previous work,” she said.
Presley has spent much of the past few years taking care of her 3-year-old twin daughters she had with current husband Michael Lockwood. She has two children from her previous marriage to musician Danny Keough, which ended in 1994. She also was married to actor Nicholas Cage.
Presley does not grant many interviews but said she doesn’t mind them when they are for a good cause. She said she does not like the tabloids.
Still, she stays involved with the workings of Elvis Presley Enterprises, which licenses her father’s name and image in merchandising, music, television and film. Likenesses of Elvis have appeared in countless movies and TV shows, some without permission from the company.
Presley said she sometimes doesn’t enjoy how her father is portrayed.
“There can be a sort of cheesy take on him, which I don’t always love sometimes _ you know, the later years and that whole thing with his white jumpsuit,” she said. “Now I’m probably over it. But I mean it was kind of running wild for a while. It was a little bit cringe-worthy.”
“There’s not been anything done properly with him yet, you know, that has satisfied me in terms of capturing everything,” she said. “It will happen, though.”
Presley said she is happy that Elvis Presley Enterprises is back in the hands of a private company, Apollo Management Group. The private equity group purchased CKx Inc., which owns Elvis Presley Enterprises and the “American Idol” franchise, in May 2011.
She likes the idea of updating exhibits and the Heartbreak Hotel at the Graceland tourist attraction, which is across the street from the home. She also would like to see revitalization of the poverty-stricken neighborhoods near Elvis Presley Boulevard.
“It makes me sad to see that, it does, because I remember when it wasn’t there,” she said. “I don’t like to see that anywhere I am, to be honest.”
Memphis officials have for years talked about improving some of the areas around Graceland, but nothing has been done. Graceland is one of Tennessee’s most visited tourist attractions and lures thousands of fans each year for a candlelight vigil to remember Elvis‘ death.
Officials anticipate a crowd next August that could match or exceed the 75,000 people who showed up at Graceland in 2007 for the 30th anniversary.
As for the exhibit, “Elvis Through His Daughter’s Eyes,” Presley said one of her favorite items is the golf cart key because it helps her recall the times when she was alone with her father, riding around the neighborhood.
“That was my life,” she said. “I carried it everywhere. It was never far from me or not on my person when I was a child. I hadn’t seen it in 35 years.”
It seems clear that Presley is enjoying being back at Graceland. She smiles when she remembers waiting for her father to come down the stairs in the afternoon, in full regalia.
“He was always fully, fully geared up. You’d never see him in his pajamas coming down the steps, ever,” she said. “You’d never seen him anything but `ready to be seen’ attire.”
By Andrew P. Napolitano
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