First there was Birmingham. Then there was this warm greeting we recieved at our Memphis hotel:
"Do not go outside. If you need something a security guard will escort you."
"You mean outside of the fence?" (the 15 foot locked, steel gate enclosing the entire property)
"No. I mean don't walk outside. Period. And park over there where the security cameras can get the best view. Do not walk outside. Lotta people don't pay attention to that fence, or anything else. Lotta windows get smashed, lotta people get hurt."
We knew that Memphis was recently named the most dangerous city in America. We didn't know we'd booked our hotel at headquarters.
Regardless, the people were great and we had no problems, but since we were all a little worn out from the day, we decided to have a quick dinner, swim and head to bed.
We try to incorporate a little history into our road trips, but this is also a vacation, we don't want to cry every day. Which is why Rico and I sidelined our planned trip to the National Civil Rights Museum today.
Located at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee, the museum is probably most famous for room 306, the location of Martin Luther King Junior's assassination. We did stop at the site, which means at least one of us cried anyway.
Instead, we took our crew to Sun Records, also known as the birthplace of a Rock-n-Roll. Elvis cut his very first records here. So did Jerry Lee Lewis. Johnny Cash recorded here, as have U2, B.B. King and Maroon 5.
Rico loved the tour. Kooka was also impressed. Punk and I thought there were too many people squished into too small of a space for too damn long while somebody talked too damn much. Yoda was firmly in our camp without the d-word.
As far as we were concerned, the 12 dollars paid off when we got to stand in Elvis' spot and rock out with his actual microphone. We didn't play Jerry Lee Lewis' piano or U2's drums, but we could have.
Lunch was, in a word, disgusting.
There are no pictures of the completely unsanitary, fly swarming McDonalds we were forced to contend with for lunch.
We've been doing this a looooooong time now, and regardless of what the travel brochures will tell you, there ain't nothin but nothin between St. Louis and Rochester. Quite frankly, there isn't much between Memphis and St. Louis either. Thank heaven for our mandatory frisbee breaks. Punk should qualify for some sort of frisbee scholarship by the time we've made it through Iowa.