Graceland: Take a live virtual tour of Elvis' Memphis home
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Elvis Presley lived and died at Graceland before the mansion opened to the public in 1982. A fan called Dennis Miller was lucky enough to meet The King at Graceland in 1976 after running over to him behind the gates of the mansion. Just 16-years-old at the time, Dennis asked his family to stop by Memphis during a family vacation so he could see the house where his idol lived.
Speaking with Billy Stallings Spa Guy in the video below, Dennis said how he ended up speaking to Elvis’ Uncle Vester Presley (Vernon’s brother) for about 15 minutes at the gates of Graceland.
Dennis’ parents wanted to go for lunch, but he didn’t want to because he wanted to stay there for as long as possible.
Lucky for him, Vester said it was okay for the mega fan to stay at the guard shack with him while his parents were at lunch.
Around 20 minutes later, Vester said how he had a load of fan cameras and he needed to go up to the mansion and take pictures.
Elvis’ uncle then offered Dennis the chance to jump in his jeep and go up to the front of Graceland, which the boy was more than happy to do.
The fan remembered: “As we were driving up the right side of the driveway, Elvis was coming down on the left side of the driveway and I jumped out of the jeep.
“I saw Elvis coming down on his golf cart and Vester said, ‘Where you going? Get back in here!”
Dennis replied: “Oh there’s Elvis! I’ve got to go meet him”
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Vester said: “Get back in the jeep and I’ll take you over there.
So they went over to The King and Vester said: “Elvis Presley, I’d like you to introduce you to my friend Dennis.”
The King of Rock and Roll himself addressed the boy saying: “How you doing son?”
Dennis remembered fondly: “Elvis called me son and I’ll never forget it and that was my meeting with Elvis.”
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Dennis then had the privilege of seeing Elvis in concert in October 1976, less than a year before he died.
The megafan then went on to work at Graceland in 2000 and 2001 for a year at the old Elvis Presley’s Memphis restaurant on Beale Street.
He worked on tour operations and special events and would tour through the Graceland mansion every day at 9am for a year, except for Sundays when the bus didn’t run.
Dennis did his first Graceland tour when the mansion opened to the public in 1982 and made his 400th this year.
Asked how much Graceland has chanced since 1982, Dennis said: “It has changed considerably. There’s more people that come now every year.”
He shared how the tickets, prices and entire complex has changed too, with the new exhibit centre across the road from the mansion.
Dennis also said how he gets the same feeling as he goes through Graceland each time.
He claimed: “Elvis’ spirit is in the house. That started in ’82 and to this day I still feel his spirit.”
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