By Beth Bird, Staff Writer
Paul McLeod, owner of Graceland Too, grabs you by the arm and mutters, “Hey you,” as he leads you to one of hundreds of pictures in the second room of the tour.
“Isn’t that a good-looking kid?” he asks, pointing toward a faded black-and-white picture of a man. Initially, you notice the man favors a young Elvis, sporting thick sideburns and a retro suit. But then you realize the man in the picture is McLeod himself.
It is sometime during this point of the tour that you understand McLeod is not a typical Elvis fan. Every facet of his life since the moment he heard Elvis crooning, has been influenced by his obsession of Elvis.
McLeod recalls Elvis facts and statistics by memory.
He knows things like how much Elvis made on his first album: “22 million overnight,” McLeod said.
He knows facts like how much Elvis weighed at his death — 260 pounds, according to McLeod.
McLeod collected items that once belonged to Elvis.
He has pieces of a rug from Graceland in Memphis. He has snippets of Elvis’ hair, dried flowers from the original arrangements at Elvis’ grave and a pair of Elvis’ shoes.
McLeod said he was no stranger at Graceland in Memphis. He even said he was at Graceland when Elvis died. But McLeod had a unique way of describing the events following Elvis’ death.
“Two minutes after he died, electricity was jumping out of his light fixtures,” McLeod said.
McLeod also described ghostly apparitions swarming around the ceiling of Graceland for some time after Elvis’ death.
McLeod proudly displays the old picture of himself dressed like Elvis, taped to a piece of wood paneling.
But McLeod’s love of impersonating his idol has not waned through the decades. A recent portrait of McLeod is displayed in the first room of his tour; dressed in a brightly-colored costume and giving his best Elvis-like pose.