Monday, January 7, 2008

Nashville.... better late than never.

OK, so it's not quite 'live' but here are some random pictures from our journey through Nashville last week. Better late than never, right?
Between Memphis and Nashville just off of I-40 is a whole bunch of odd Loretta Lynn stuff! Being a serious fan of the woman, I told Alison that we had to stop. Well, further down the road, if you want to pay for it, you can check out her house, a museum dedicated to her life, and enjoy some time at her official dude ranch but for cheapskates like us, the only freebie attraction is the 'Loretta Lynn Country Cookin' Restaurant and Gift Shop.'
We ventured in and looked at the tacky souvenirs (if you want fridge magnets with pictures of your favorite Republicans on them, Loretta's got you covered - she also sells ninja swords in her gift shop!) and opted to not eat the country cookin' but low and behold, towards the back of the store is this:

Sometimes a man has got to pose with a Loretta Lynn mannequin for reasons known only to himself. This was one of those moments.
Once we were done schmoozing with a phoney Loretta, we found ourselves in Nashville. After driving around, getting lost, then getting found again we were able to take in some sights, not necessarily in the order presented here.
Few people love The Dukes of Hazzard as much as Alison, so she was pretty excited to find out that not only does Nashville play home to 'Cooter's Place - The Dukes of Hazzard Museum' but that it's also free! And that there's a Sunkist machine on site! Everything in this place is orange and it's kinda hard on the eyes but if you are or were a Dukes fan, check it out. It's free and it's probably one of the few places on the planet you can see all six different kinds of Dukes of Hazzard Underoos in one place at the same time.

Right next to Cooter's Place is the 'Willie Nelson And Friends Museum and Smoke Shop.' For a measly $5 you can take yourself a self guided tour of the stuff that Willie probably had laying around his garage. This is less a museum than it is a collection of weird, semi-Willie related craziness. For instance.... ever wanted to know what Willie looked like in Muppet form? Now you know. Muppet Willie sits there to greet you with creepy soulless eyes upon entering. Who is he playing dominoes with? Is anyone going to challenge him to pool? What's in the beverage can to his left? Where are his shoes?
Oh so many questions and so few answers.

The Willie Museum is also home to a freakishly impressive collection of Willie themed and inspired 'fan art.' Some of these are fancy wood carvings, others are paintings. My personal favorite is this water color which depicts Willie in his natural state - cloud spirit train gaurdian.

On the way out of the museum you can purchase all manner of smoking paraphanalia (for tobacco use only!) as well as Willie's own special brand of BBQ sauce or his collection of homemade jams and jellies as seen in this fancy display.

The Willie Nelson And Friends Museum was, hands down, the strangest part of the trip. I took a bunch of pictures of the weirdness that lay within, and will possibly some day treat you all to more (I've even got a close up of Willie's own personal robotic chess machine and a few nice shots of various Willie Nelson clay busts).

Nashville is also home to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Don't look for any Jerry Read in here or you'll be as disappointed as Alison was. Sadly, the museum isn't as big or intense as you'd think and it's a little expensive (though the cafe inside is surprisingly good). That said, there are some one of a kind artifacts in here, such as....

Hank Williams' unusually long and skinny suit accompanied by his guitar (very little tribute is paid to Hank Sr. beyond this display piece which is, if you ask me, a load of crap).

....a pair of Buck Owens' trademark red, white and blue guitars placed next to one of the fanciest suits Merle Haggard has probably ever worn in his life.

As it is with Hank Sr., so it is with Johnny Cash. One of his suits is on display as is this guitar, the very one he used to use on his TV show in the 70s. Aside from that, however, there isn't much Johnny stuff to see (though his Hall of Fame plate is interesting in that it makes him look like his face is melting!).

George Jones and Ian agree - the Country Music Hall of Fame is simply 'okay' when it should be amazing.

1 comment:

The Hamzinger said...

Glad to hear you arrived safely. Next time you make a trip like that you gotta budget in the time for Branson. I saw Steamboat Willie there, right before he died. He had a huge train museum attached to the auditorium, too. Wacky 'cuz there wasn't nothin' about steamboats...