Friday night, J-Mom and I went to the Memphis Gibson Guitar Store. They give factory tours. I was very psyched to go. To me, it's one of the absolute best things about living in Memphis.
We got there, walked into the retail store to buy tickets for the tour and ... they were sold out. Last tour of the day. All filled up. To say I was disappointed is an understatement. But, we hung out in the guitar store for a bit. It was cool to be surrounded by all those Gibson products. I plucked a few different Les Pauls, an ES-335 and a Lucille.
Of course I tinkered with the higher-end stuff, but, I tell ya', the Les Paul BFG is a really neat instrument. Try one out the next time you're at a store with a decent Gibson selection.
Since we didn't get to go on the tour, instead we crossed the street and went to the Memphis Rock and Soul Museum.
It was $10 a pop for the tour and that's a pretty fair deal. You watch a short film at the beginning that talks about the history of Delta music and the Memphis scene. Then you go on a self-guided tour through the museum. They have these earphones with a device that hangs around your neck. The device has a number pad on it and the displays are coded. When you get to a display, punch in the number and you get a little talk about it.
The idea is sound and pretty cool. My only complaint is that they spend a long time on the share-cropping era. The displays don't have too much going on, but they drone on a bit. Once past that and into the country-western and blues era, things get going.
Quite a worthwhile stop next time you find yourself in Memphis.