Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Stax Music

“A certain administration which I won't call by name took the arts out of the schools, and that left the brothers out on the street with nothing, so they went to the turntables and started rhyming. Then they had a way to express themselves, and that's the birth of hip-hop.” — Isaac Hayes

I SUSPECT you may be getting a little tired of having me rail on about D. Trump day after day, so how 'bout we take a break from it for a moment.

Cast your mind back to the beginning of May when Paul and I were in Memphis

NOTE: We are not in Memphis now. We're talking about the past here. I say this because the last post I wrote about Memphis, which was also a bit after the fact, inspired several responses wishing us safe travels. I've just been too busy complaining about the Trumppus at hand to keep you current with my actual life.

Previously, I told you about tromping (as opposed to Trumping) around Shelby Farms Park, the biggest city park in the whole of the United States, that we had the world's best barbecue at One and Only BBQ, strolled Beale Street at night and watched the ducks march at The Peabody Hotel the following morning.

That was our first day and a half.

After laughing hysterically at the ducks — which I did — Paul and I spent the afternoon touring Stax Museum of American Soul Music. There are several other music museums in Memphis including Sun Studio, Rock N Soul Museum, Blues Hall of Fame, Memphis Music Hall of Fame and . . . Graceland. (You would have had to pay me many hundreds of dollars to tour Graceland. I wasn't an Elvis fan then, and I haven't become one since.)

After researching our choices, Paul recommended Stax. Our verdict is that it's definitely worth the price of admission; there's way more to see than we had time for! We'll have to go back and start in the middle. 

There's history of and memorabilia from many soul music greats including the Royal Spades, the Mad-Lads, Rufus and Carla Thomas, the Mar-Keys, William Bell, Booker T. and the MGs, Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes, Sam and Dave, the Astors and Wilson Pickett.

Isaac Hayes and his alter-ego, Shaft

Below is a video Paul took at Stax of Isaac Hayes' custom, gold-plated Cadillac Eldorado. It was purchased as part of Isaac's renegotiated deal with Stax in 1972 for $26,000 ($149,600 in 2016 dollars), and equipped with unique amenities such as a refrigerated mini-bar, a television, 24-carat gold exterior trim and white faux fur carpeting on the floorboards.

Paul used to enjoy eating at a catfish parlor in Austin, TX when he lived there, so for dinner on this second day, I picked out A & J's Catfish Station as a treat for him. I don't remember what fishy thing I had — Paul of course had catfish — but boy howdy do I remember the coleslaw!! Best coleslaw ever! So here's my advice: go to A & J's and get a pint of coleslaw, drive to One and Only and order the barbecued turkey, twice-baked-potato salad and baked beans and settle in for the meal of a lifetime.

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