Earlier today, it was announced that the custom designed planes that have been an infamous staple of the late Elvis Presley’s Graceland residence were going to remain there. This decision comes the day after said transport vehicles were supposed to be moved to an alternate location, as per an agreement made back in April of last year. Given the history of the matter and taking into account the legacy which the rock and roll legend left behind, it only makes sense that these planes deserve to stay at Graceland, as it is undoubtedly where they truly belong.
The two private planes, named the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II (the first is a Convair 880 and the second is a Lockheed JetStar) reportedly changed ownership back in 1977 following the singer’s death and ended up being n the hands of OKC Partnership, who agreed to keep the them at the aforementioned location on the premise that they would receive a cut of ticket sales to the infamous site.
However, in April of 2014 OKC received a notice from Elvis Presley Enterprises requesting that the planes be removed and the location on which they once stood be restored. They were given approval to be moved to a nearby lot and portrayed as a tourist museum. Why the company did not fight to keep the aircrafts where they were is a mystery, as fans have become used to seeing them at the memorial site and were none too impressed to hear that they would be moved to a lot instead. It would make sense that the reaction of the fans, as well as Presley’s daughter Lisa Marie, are the reason behind the change in plans but this has not been confirmed. Indeed, OKC Partnership has since declined comment on the matter. Presley’s daughter, however, took to Twitter tonight to confirm the news and express her excitement regarding the decision to leave her late father’s custom planes where they belonged: at Graceland.
Given that Graceland is a celebration of Presley’s life itself and everything that came along with it during his unstoppable reign in the music business, moving the aircrafts away from this place made absolutely no sense in the first place and would have diminished the legacy that the place holds in general. Presley put an inordinate amount of time in custom designing these planes, not to mention a substantial amount of income (the Lisa Marie cost $250,000 and Presley ended up spending over $600,000 in refurbishing costs, while the Hound Dog II was purchased for $900,000). The Lisa Marie features gold-plated bathroom fixtures, as well as a bed and conference room. The Hound Dog II received slightly less renovation, as Presley died two years after purchasing it and had spent most of this time dealing with and waiting on renovations on the Lisa Marie.
Given all the aforementioned effort that was put into obtaining and re-designing the aforementioned two airplanes, it is clear that Elvis Presley’s planes deserve to stay at Graceland. As well as this, his influence on the music world and the fact that Graceland is a place for celebrating this achievement make it even more reasonable that these aircrafts remain where they belong permanently.
Opinion by Rebecca Grace