Here we are going to present to you interviews of interesting people of "the Elvis world".
In light of recent events, we start out with Henrik Knudsen, the president of the Danish Fanclub and initiator of Graceland Randers:
some members of the ETB had the chance to visit Graceland Randers in Denmark last weekend. This was not just an unforgettable weekend with a lot of great experiences, we also had the opportunity to do an interview with Henrik Knudsen before we left on Sunday. We want to share his words with all of you. So here is the complete interview:
Question: Henrik when did the idea to build Graceland Randers come to your mind before you actually started?
H.K.: Well, in 2006 I was on a journey in Nashville/Tennessee. I went to the Music Hall of Fame with a friend of
mine. Right in front of the Music Hall was a replica of the legendary Sun Studios. I was deeply impressed. What a brilliant idea. In that moment I was thinking why not to do something like that
in Denmark. I told my friend about this idea and he replied, why don't you think of something bigger? Why not Graceland? Yes, why not. The idea of Graceland Randers was born in that moment but as
all of you know it took some more years before we actually started. Four years age we opened our Graceland Randers From the outside it looks absolutely the same like the original but inside the
building it is totally different. I knew it wouldn't be possible to have the complete same interior like the original but that was really not necessary. And Elvis fans are very critical...they
realize any difference.
Our building offers a shop with lots of items. We sell books, CD's, clothes, bags and so much more. At the basement there is a cinema and a museum with really incredible memorabilia, and upstairs we have a big hall that you can use for conventions and exhibitions.Downstairs next to our shop there is a typical american diner, that is very well visited.
Graceland Randers is a very good promotion for the King. It was our plan to introduce Elvis to people who normally would not think about Elvis. If these people come to our house for lunch or dinner they will get in touch with Elvis for the very first time. They start to ask questions and often it is the begin of an excitement that let them come back...this means new Elvis fans are born.
And people love our Burgers. Last year we sold 65.000 burgers.
Graceland Randers is the most photographed house in Denmark and people from all over the world come to this place because they know that Elvis is worth to travel long and far.
Question: Would you welcome it if there would be more projects like this in Germany and other countries?
H.K.: Yes, that would be great for the fans. They love to have a place where they can come together and where they can keep the memory of Elvis alive. Most of the fans know each other for years and they feel like a big family.
Question: Is there any trouble with the EPE because you use the name Graceland?
H.K.: Sure. I just can not understand why. I wished people from the EPE would come and visit this place and see
the happy faces of the fans. Maybe this would change their opinion and maybe they would say, what an awesome place. Our visit here was great!
For me Graceland Randers is a lighthouse that keeps the memory of Elvis alive. If there are no companions of Elvis anymore one day we still will have a place for the fans where they can come together and remember Elvis. Because this will never stop!
Question: What is the next big event?
H.K.: Well, on the 8th of January 2016 we are having a birthday party with the TCB Band and Dennis Jale and The Imperials. Everybody who wants to come should hurry up and book tickets and a hotel because there is a convention in Randers at the same time and most of the hotels are already sold out.
Question: Before I finish I have a personal question: 25 years ago I spent a holliday at the Northsea at a place called Sondervig. I was so happy when I came there and realized that there was a Elvis museum. Is there a connection to you?
H.K.: Yes, this was mine before we changed to Randers.
Finally I want to say thank you to Henrik that we all could enjoy a wonderful great weekend. We met Red West who told beautiful
stories of his time with Elvis, we met our friend Ed Bonja with his lovely images of Elvis and who will be in Randers till the 9th of August and we met a lot of friends of the Elvis world we know
for many years. Guys, if you have the chance to visit Graceland Randers do not hesitate...do it...it is worth it. Not only because of the brilliant food and softice ;O). And it is not so far away
Thank you Henrik for this interview and for the wonderful time in Graceland Randers... we will come back !!!!