On the 2nd July U.S. News reported that Elvis Presley Enterprises had informed the owners of the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II Jet Planes of the late Elvis Presley to make preparations for their removal from Graceland by April 2015. Within minutes of the report Social Media went into overdrive with fans showing their dismay and frustration at the news. On one of the many Facebook groups ‘The Elvis Presley Information Network’ hundreds of fans posted comments demanding that the aircraft remain as part of the exhibit at the famous site.
I have had the pleasure of walking aboard the aircraft when I visited Graceland in 2010. It is a fantastic part of the exhibition as you get to see how Elvis traveled to concerts during his final years. As you would expect it was a show stopper with every element designed and overseen by the King himself. There is nothing like being able to say ‘I have been on the Lisa Marie’ when you watch archive news footage of the king disembarking the airline. It is for this reason and the enjoyment you receive from looking around the two aircraft that I truly hope this does not go ahead. I am looking forward to returning to Memphis in 202o for Elvis week and I would like to think they would still be there.
Unfortunately some fans have took this as an opportunity to take a swipe at Priscilla Presley, although this does surprise me. If it wasn’t for her there may not be a Graceland or exhibit today. Certainly the brand of Elvis would have not been so well preserved. Whilst the Lisa Marie holds a special place in the hearts of all Elvis fans, for Priscilla it surely must bring mixed emotions. Of course it was named after their daughter which would have made her extremely happy. However we should not forget that it was on this plane that she flew to Memphis the day Elvis slipped to the next room.
That said we should not be too concerned as Priscilla released a statement on social media asking the fans to remain calm. It would appear that no official decision has been made on the fate of the Lisa Marie and Hound Dog II. The press appear to have jumped the gun and I feel confident that they will find a home at Graceland for many more years to come. Perhaps they are being removed to another part of the facility so that the new hotel can be built to accommodate more of us fans next his home. TCB