Remember Elvis Presley By Getting Close to His Junk

The anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death is Aug. 16, so expect a lot of Elvis-inspired activity during Elvis Week (held Aug. 10-17 at Graceland in Memphis). In Vegas, of course, every week is Elvis week.

It’s been 36 years since The King left the building, but Las Vegas has kept his memory alive through impersonators, “Elvis”-officiated weddings, shows (like “Million Dollar Quartet” at Harrah’s and the now-closed “Viva Elvis” at Aria), street performers and attractions like “The King’s Ransom” at Binion’s, downtown.

"Museum" might be a little generous here. Possibly "museum-like."
“Museum” might be a little generous here. Possibly “museum-like.”

We popped into the King’s Ransom to check out its latest location. Previously, it resided in the Imperial Palace (now The Quad). Coincidentally, The Quad has an Elvis “dealertainer.” Yes, Las Vegas is teeming with Elvi.

A library card signed by 12-year-old Elvis is his earliest known full signature, dated Nov. 18, 1947.
This library card signed by Elvis (age 12) is his earliest known full signature, dated Nov. 18, 1947. You know, back when people read books.

The King’s Ransom exhibit feels a little slapped together and temporary, but there’s still plenty to see, and it’s a fine way to spend a some time downtown, especially if that saxophone guy is playing on Fremont Street, because he tends to get on our last nerve.

Yes, there's some reading. Don't freak out.
Elvis is Norse for “all wise.” He recorded 15 songs with the word “blue” in the title. He had a pet chimp named Scatter. His final words, after being cautioned to not fall asleep in the bathroom, were, “Okay, I won’t.”

The exhibit has about 150 items, most of which were personally owned, worn or used by Elvis Presley onstage, onscreen or at home.

Even Elvis had a belt from time to time in Las Vegas.
Even Elvis enjoyed a good belt when he was in Las Vegas.

Much of the memorabilia in the exhibit comes from Presley’s inner circle, such as friends and body guards, and the material provides an intriguing peek into the life of this enduring talent so often identified with Las Vegas.

Elvis starred in the 1964 film “Viva Las Vegas,” of course, and performed at what was then The International Hotel (later called the Las Vegas Hilton, currently LVH) for 837 shows, from 1969 to 1976.

Well, at least that's not awkward.
Well, at least that’s not awkward.

The King’s Ransom exhibit goes to great lengths to provide information about all the items on display, giving them historical context. It’s no Mob Museum, but fairly entertaining and informative, nonetheless.

The King loved him some martial arts. And handcuffs. We're just saying.
The King loved him some martial arts. And handcuffs. And firearms. We don’t judge.

From what we can tell, The King’s Ransom exhibit is open 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m., except on days when it opens at noon. Admission is $10.

Yes, there's deodorant. We promise the rest of the exhibit isn't that creepy.
Yes, there’s even The King’s deodorant on display. We promise the rest of the exhibit isn’t that creepy.

Among the Elvis events around Las Vegas is the Elvis weekend planned at Sam’s Town, Aug. 16-18, 2013. Read more.

You’ll also want to stop in to hear the Strip’s most beloved Elvis tribute artist, Pete “Big Elvis” Vallee at Harrah’s Las Vegas. The show is free, and Vallee’s voice is as big as his stature.

We took care of business (see what we did there?) by taking a metric ass-ton of photos of the King’s Ransom at Binion’s, so enjoy. And long live The King.

King's Ransom