Visit the Elvis Presley Museum in Taranaki

When it comes to Elvis jokes, Kevin, David Wasley (KD) has heard them all. He’s often told it wouldn’t do to get all shook up with his paintbrush in his job as a contract painter and paperhanger. People look at his feet and ask where are his blue suede shoes? He’s known by some as The King. Not that KD minds. He’s as enamoured of the man as he ever was. KD owns the Elvis Presley Memorial Record Room at 51 Argyle Street, Hawera, and don’t let the fact that it’s in his garage put you off. Step inside and it’s a veritable shrine to the singer from Memphis who died 16th August 1977, though KD, self-styled curator will argue, “it’s a celebration of Elvis’ life” he says, “not his death”. And so, very definitively, it is. Elvis on the walls and the ceiling. Elvis on the glasses, mugs, ties, cufflinks, book sleeves, album covers, even the barstools. The television plays endless Elvis reruns.

How much is admission to the museum?

There is no entry charge for visitors, however a donation towards the upkeep of the museum would be greatly appreciated.

There’s an accumulation of Presley detritus on every flat surface, and on round, curved, and oval ones to boot. It’s probably fair comment that KD is, and will always be, intimately involved with The King. Everything in his own personally appointed museum comes with a known history. Simply straying too long in front of an old china cabinet can jumpstart a flowing dialogue. Rock around the record room “I’ve got hundreds of things” KD says, as he casually surveys the room. “These records over here might mean nothing to anyone else, but they came out of a juke box in Tennessee. The middle one, that’s an original recording. I paid phenomenal amount for those – 75c each – and they’re priceless, today, priceless. “See that bloke there?” He asks. “His name is Roy, he was my pen pal. Not an Elvis fan. He’s got more photos of Mt Egmont\Taranaki in his lounge than I have got of Elvis. When I was at High School, I wanted a pen pal in the States, and it had to be in Memphis, because that’s where my hero lived. Well, Roy happened to want a pen pal in New Zealand. I was like a rat up a drainpipe. I got my block and chisel out and wrote to him. He wrote back. A lot of things he got for me”

  • Private museum
  • Get in touch to organise your visit
  • Entry free of charge
  • Donations are appreciated

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