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Paul McCartney Tours Graceland Archives and Tunes Elvis' 1956 Gibson Guitar

May 28, 2013

On Sunday, May 26, 2013, Sir Paul McCartney made the rock 'n' roll pilgrimage to Graceland where he left behind his personal guitar pick stating, "So Elvis could play his guitar in heaven." See photo spotlight!

During his tour, he was offered a rare glimpse inside the Graceland Archives. To maintain the integrity of Elvis' instruments, the archive staff has them tuned regularly. So who better to tune Elvis' guitar than the song-writing legend. McCartney briefly played Elvis’ 1956 Gibson J200 guitar while humming the famous Elvis tune "Loving You."

Also in true Elvis fashion, when other musicians and friends would visit the king at Graceland, the visit would almost always end in the Music Room around the piano. McCartney's visit was no different as he played Elvis' Story and Clark piano inside the Graceland mansion. Something both Elvis and Paul have in common is that neither of them read sheet music, they simply play by ear.

On August 27, 1965, the Beatles visited with Elvis for several hours at his home in California and had an informal jam session. Both McCartney and fellow Beatle John Lennon often cited Elvis as an influence, covering many of his songs. Elvis also frequently covered McCartney's songs including classics such as "Yesterday" and "Hey Jude."

This was McCartney's first time visiting Graceland and the second time to tour in Memphis in 20 years. McCartney was in Memphis to play a concert at the FedExForum as part of his "Out There" Tour.

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