Linda Pope - Going to Graceland

Waay too Early remote at Graceland and the 3 major No-Nos:

1) We were told by Graceland's marketing director, under no condition, NOT to sit on any furniture in Graceland. Pierre Kimsey some how did not get this information, or shall I say did not absorbed it. He was found before the show started, kicked back on a VERY white and formal couch in the "Blue" room with his script spread out in front of him on the King's coffee table. We were coming and going setting up lights and cameras and whispering to Pierre to get up. He was very much in deep thought over his script and was not realizing his error. I think Gary Dobbs had to finally poke him on his shoulder and ask him to follow him out into the foyer and re-relay the direct order of staying off the furniture.

2) Towards the end of this show Toni Lowery was outside by Elvis's grave, I believe, thanking all the sponsors, including the Memphis Holiday Inn and Luby's Cafeteria for lodging and feeding us during our time in Memphis. The marketing director, who had been conducting a tour on camera for our audience in the Tennessee Valley was inside the house with Gary off-camera and could hear Toni's plugs. This man, who is already uptight about us being in Graceland since midnight, became visibly upset at hearing this. It turns out that Graceland has never in it's history given permission to any one or any corporation to use Graceland as part of a sales pitch. They were turning down Japanese Corporations that were calling on a daily basis with multi-million dollar offers for permission to use Graceland in their advertising (he is telling Gary this with clenched fists as Toni is plugging away outside.) After cutting away from Lowery to the indoor shot, Gary strays from the script (this was his time to plug sponsors) and talked to the marketing director about the house, again, but rightfully so. Toni is hearing this outside and is upset that Gary isn't doing his planned sponsor plug. She was quickly informed about the faux pas.

3) To add insult to injury: After the show is over, the equipment is packed away and apologies are made. Shawn Jarrett, Toni Harper and I were packing up the production van when the 31 Live truck rolls out of the circular driveway and leaves us standing (with the marketing director in close proximity) by a very LARGE patch of BLACK grass by the front entrance...the area where the exhaust pipe from the 31 Live truck had burned the grass during the show.

What a hunk of burning love we left.

© 2003 Smith Broadcasting, Inc. [update 7-17-2003]