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My Whirlwind Visit to Graceland, Sun Studios and the Lynam/Sevendust Show

I like to travel, yo. I hate staying in Ohio for too long - I've got places to go and people to see! Nearly all my trips revolve around music. Yesterday morning, I was thinking back to the days when my husband and I actually took real (read: relaxing) vacations. Those days are long gone! Now, it's go, go, go - no sleep! The rock doesn't stop for anyone, so I'm always trying to cram in as much activities as possible per trip. With that, my whirlwind:

About 12 seconds after I got home from Shiprocked, I logged on to Lynam's Myspace to look at their tour routing. Now, when we were in the car at the airport parking lot, my husband said "I sure would like to see Lynam again."

Ok. So the wheels were in motion. I find the show with Sevendust, email Kari and that was it - she was in too! A few (ok, eight) hours by car for me and six for her didn't seem like too much...and suddenly it was New Year's Eve and I was off to Nashville to see the Opryland hotel and ring in 2010 with my husband. We only fought a few times on the car trip, too! [Dear readers, that was a joke for the people who know me and Eric personally].

I think it took five hours to get to Nashville, TN. It was bloody cold there on New Year's Eve, so I didn't even bother going to the guitar drop at the Hard Rock Cafe. It was on TV and that was good enough for me. My poor husband was transfixed by college football anyway...

Which leads me to New Year's Day. Up at the crack of dawn and off to Birmingham, Alabama we went. I've never been to Alabama. It's very...flat. We met Kari at the hotel and watched more college football, ate dinner and got ready for our Lynam show.

Now, I love me some Lynam. When I'm writing for more respectable publications, I keep my bias hidden but this is my site so I do whatever I want. I got to interview Lajon Witherspoon of Sevendust *way* before the show began, so we were all the venue early. By the way, Lajon is *very* cool and that interview will run soon on Noisecreep. Speaking of Noisecreep, read my more professional show review.

So the Lynam/Sevendust show is at Five Points Music Hall in Birmingham. Politically correct or not, I hate it when people bloody smoke at shows and I *love* that Ohio has a smoking ban now. Me being a liberal, I always want people to have their individual rights, but damn. There was so much smoke at Five Points my eyes were running and I developed a bad cough by the end of the night. For Sevendust, I had to keep going in and out of the main hall to breathe. Thankfully, the smoke wasn't heinous for Lynam. Now, I wasn't going to mention this, but I will: I drove eight hours for a 30 minute set. I think this makes me a super fan, no? Lynam played their heavier songs because it was better suited for the crowd. I was a little worried how Lynam would fit with Sevendust and the other heavier openers - but the crowd loved them! After all, they are local Birmingham boys and I'm pretty sure they are celebrities in Birmingham. So, the band is playing my fave songs (as I tend to favor the heavier tunes) and me, Kari and Eric are shoved all the way in the bloody back of the concert hall. Please. I'll be the first to admit I've become a concert snob. I *must* be able to see. I will pay top dollar for a close seat and if it's a club show, I'd rather be at the barrier or backstage. I'm sorry, that's just the way it is. I'm short and I figure I need to be able to see to review, right?

So, Kari's all cute and blond and she pushes us up and finally we could both see! By the time we could see, the show was nearly over. Still, we heard "Tanis" and "Porn Star" and even some of Twisted Sister's "I Wanna Rock." Longer Lynam shows get you power ballads and Jacob Lynam's sharp tongue. 

It's time to plan another Lynam concert road trip. Or maybe I should just hire the band for a private event in Ohio. And no, I'm not kidding.

Like I mentioned above, if you're a fan of Sevendust, definitely check out my Noisecreep review. They were amazingly tight and just brutal as hell. Reminded me of why I love metal - sans the smoking, of course.

So, after the show it was back to the hotel to sleep before getting up too damn early to drive to Memphis, TN.

Holy hell, it seemed to take forever to get to Graceland from Birmingham! Double holy hell, Graceland is tacky! It was so tacky I found myself laughing at the green shag carpet on the ceiling of the jungle room. I definitely enjoyed seeing Elvis' plane - very impressive - and all his awards. For me, seeing the awards was the most important part of Graceland. All those platinum and gold records hanging everywhere really confirm just how important Elvis was - and is - to the rock world. Oh, and I bought some really tacky Elvis earrings because I felt like I owed it to the King.

So Sun Records is where Elvis recorded his first song. He was on the label for a short time. So was Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. The Sun Studios tour was very cool. Short, but cool. After all, you do get to stand in the same room that created a lot of music magic.

By the time we arrived in Graceland, we'd added two more people to our little Glam entourage, meaning there was five of us to take in the music history. There was simply no choice but to have dinner on Beale Street. I could have enjoyed some of the clubs, too, if it wasn't 12 degrees.

Coming home Sunday sure sucked but I did get to take a detour back through Nashville to see all the record labels. My only regret is not getting out of the car to take a picture with the giant guitar in front of RCA/Victor on Music Row. All in all, I'd say it was a very productive Glam weekend. Sorry, kiddos - no crazy rockstar stories! Backstage isn't very exciting these days. To sum it up, Lajon Witherspoon said he was going to "lay down" before he took the stage with Sevendust.  See? Rock is work!


Reader Comments (7)


Such fun!

I plan on following in your footsteps to Graceland and Sun Studios as soon as it warms up a little bit (Crimey! It's 35 degrees in Southwest Florida tonight! What th...?!).

And I'm diggin' on the Lynam, too (Do you Metal Kidz even use the word "dig" anymore?, hahaha!!!)...

You and all your Cool Kids (Kix reference) on here have really enlightened me on the newer Cool Bands since I got on here randomly searching for Bulletboys info on the web just over a year ago realy just cuz Torrian lives in the same town as I do, and has been known to jam in some nearby local watering holes on occasion.

Well, I never did find out where Torrian might be playin' but I did find you and the Metal Kidz on here, and that has been and is just so awesome!

I hope you do the Bring Back Glam Chat Room, too, as I, like everyone else so far has expressed what fun it could be!

Again, great reporting on your trip. And remember, though you may not have had an Elvis sighting, The King may have seen you guys in Graceland!

Cheerz and Keep On Glammin'!
January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
True story:
Myself and my former bass player sold a huge bag of cocaine to the Sevendust guys in Cincinnati a few years back. They were eternally grateful and bought us booze the rest of the night at a dive bar until I passed out on a bar stool....
Ah the perils of rock n roll decadence!!!!
January 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
Soundz like you shoulda kept the bag and also let them drink most of the booze (note, I said "most of the booze", not all of it!), Kenny O!

That way you would have been the one awake and not passed out on the barstool, hahaha, though soundz like y'all still had quite a ball with them, hahaha!!! Or shall I say "balls", hahaha!!!

Ah, Kenny, those were the days when I used to be around just ozeez and ozeez of the stuff and had no idea (well, everyone had a little bit of an inkling) just how bad the sh*t is for ya.

Thank God I'm hear to tell ya, it's way overrated, as you have also probably realized, too. Great story, tho, nevertheless.

Hey, while I got ya, on the subject of Cheeze, do you have "Fire Fire" by EZO or Wildside, "Under The Influence"? I'm really diggin' the latter and wondered what your opinion is. Also, how about any of Fate's stuff or how about "Realized Fantasies" by TNT?

Also on the Southern Fried Cheeze side, have you ever heard Soul Kitchen? Just curious of what you thought about any of this stuff.

Happy New Year and Decade, bro...

p.s. I guess there may be another connotation to the name, "Sevendust", that, until now, just hasn't really been dissected too much.
January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
Fun weekend indeed! Ally, I'll never forget looking at the map and the Lynam tour schedule after getting home from Shiprocked and calling you, low and behold you were thinking the SAME thing I had been thinking (ha ha).
I'm determined to get to a full Lynam show sometime this late winter/early spring. We'll see what the future holds...SEVENDUST rocks! I love the fact that they have kept going after all these years and they have some very loyal and dedicated fans - great energy and damn, they are a tight band! I really liked that venue, smokey yes, but I'm used to it. Luckily it was easy to go on the other side of the bar or take a step outside for a quick breather.
I'm spoiled too as far as where I stand and I just go where I want and find a way to do it (respectfully ofcourse), you find a whole in a crowd and just go with it! (We'll leave out details from alcohol consumption and the fact that I was a little overly spontaneous that night as well-EEK!). No regrets I guess!

As for Graceland, my 5th trip, and tears were shed, yet once again. I just get very emotional sometimes as Elvis' music just shakes my core! Nothing like the trophy room, Aloha!From Hawaii and the American Trilogy! And to think we JUST missed Elvis week by a few days!
Here's to many more rock n' roll road trips (you only live once right)...
Much thanks to Allyson and Eric for letting me start the New Year with them. Love y'all!
January 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari
ok, next time preview b/f hitting "create post" whole really should read "hole" (i'm a dumba**)!
January 6, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterkari

The Wildside record you mentioned is AMAZING! I was lucky enough to see those guys open for TUFF once. Pure magic!
January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKenny Ozz
Lucky boy, indeed, my boy! Not only duz that singer have MaxB*llz but the guitarin' and songwritin' are killer beyond compare. Go on Amazon or maybe it's eBay to read this guys review of that record, "Under the Influence".

He's got an amazing history of the band including how even Clive Davis loved 'em and personally thought they were going to topple Ratt and all the rest (He's right, they were better, no question, xcept for "Round and Round", which no metal band will ever top, end of story, and then grunge hit right when Wildside got out there, the real end of story!).

And dang, Kenny O, You caught Tuff, also? I am not worthy!

p.s. How about EZO, "Fire Fire", my new Cheeze Metal faves along with Fate? Both are actually so hilariously bad but to the point where I really think they're quite good and also, what are your thoughts on Life Sex & Death, if you don't mind me askin'? Saw 'em at CBGB's! Unreal! Check out the great vidz and 3 part interview with 'em on YouTube. Stanley! Stanley!

p.s.s.t. Hey, Kari, if you're readin' this, have you ever heard "Patch It Up", by Elvis? One of my faves. Also, don't sweat the little typos... have you ever read any of my thingies? Typo Tragedies!
January 6, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!

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