The pilgrimage by thousands of Elvis Presley fans to Memphis, Tennessee, in the United States, has been complicated this year of the first anniversary of his death.
Exterior GV night striking policemen marching through streets Memphis Tennessee.
MV PAN Striking policemen changing at Union Leader. (3 shots).
MV Strike leader Chris Cochrane addresses policemen (4 shots)
MV Mayor Wyeth Chandler makes television broadcast.
GV's Elvis Presley fans lining up outside Presley home (2 shots).
CU People interviewed in street (2 shots)
MV's News?Souvenir and ice cream vendor (4 shots).
GV AND MV's Souvenir shops with signs (4 shots).
GV's People queuing at Presley graveside (3 shots).
CU Women interviewed (2 shots)
CU Elvis T-Shirt Pull back to MV girls walk away from ticket desk Gatwick Airport Lounge.
CU Flight board announcing flight to Memphis.
MV Boy and girl wearing Elvis T-shirts.
MV's Trip organiser being interviewed. (3 shots).
CU Picture of Elvis on back of jacket.
CU Luggage pull back to girls waiting.
GV Aircraft on tarmack.
Interior MV Presley fans taking seats on aircraft.
JIMINEZ: "Last night about five hundred officers and supporters gathered at a downtown plaza to denounce the city's attempt to end the strike. The men, angry over their failure to get a seven and a half percent pay rise shouted down the Union President's attempt to get them back to work. Instead they chose organizer Chris Cochrane who told them they must stay united and continue the walk-out."
COCHRANE: "If we're gonna be arrested, we're gonna be arrested by Memphis policemen. And I'm telling you right now, that if the National Guard wants another war they're (INDISTINCT, CHEERS)."
JIMINEZ: "About the same time, Mayor, Wyeth Chandler, went on Memphis Television and gave the officers 24 hours to change their minds. Otherwise he would fire them."
CHANDLER: "The issue before us is simple. Shall those who are charge with the solemn obligation to enforce the law, do less than obey the law? The answer must be no."
RUFFIN: "Elvis Presley fans are coming from every State in the United States. And from dozens of foreign countries.".
MAN: "I'm from Brush Springs, Oklahoma."
MAN: "From West Deutchland".
VENDOR: "The only paper that's got his lie story."
RUFFIN: "They're welcomed by dozens of vendors. (NATURAL SOUND). At the gates of the Presley mansion you can buy enough Elvis souvenirs to open your won shop. The vendors have spread all across memphis. Dozens of souvenir ships greet visitors and the pilgrimage to Memphis has increased local sales of old Elvis records. Normally about four thousand Elvis fans a day visit the mansion. Now the family is preparing for as many as 20 thousand daily. What is it that draws these hundreds of thousands of Elvis worshippers to the graveside?"
FAN: "Because we love Elvis."
REPORTERS: "Why did you come all this distance? Why so far?"
FAN: "Why not. He's worth it. I wouldn't do it for anybody else."
A British group of Presley fans gathered at London's Gatwick Airport to board a flight to Memphis for the first anniversary of the death of the King of Rock and Roll.
TRIP ORGANISER: "Well, we're intending not to have any tears on this trip, although I'm sure that we will do. We plan to be in Memphis on the actual anniversary date of Elvis Presley's death. And people in this party are all Elvis Presley fans and obviously very much like the man and were saddened by the loss. But we've got an awful lot of entertainment lined up for them on the tour. It's a fifteen day tour and there's plenty for them to do and see."
DARBY: "Will he become a legend because he died early?"
TRIP ORGANISER: "No he was a legend before he died anyway and I think there's a good chance that unlike some stars who died in their infancy of stardom Elvis's stardom will stay the same as it is now."
As these fans prepare to leave for Memphis, the civil crisis in that city mounted. On Sunday, Memphis firemen were to vote on whether to walk out in sympathy with the striking policemen. The streets of Memphis were being patrolled by National Guardsmen. Despite the influx of thousand of Presley fans, waiting to tour the various Presley shrines, the city is reported to be relatively quiet.
NBC REPORTERS: BOB JIMINEZ AND RUSSELL RUFFIN
VISNEWS REPORTER: JOHN DARBY
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The pilgrimage by thousands of Elvis Presley fans to Memphis, Tennessee, in the United States, has been complicated this year of the first anniversary of his death. The city's policemen have been on strike for a week over a pay dispute and there were reports of vandalism at half a dozen police stations on Saturday night. (12 August). The city is preparing for the arrival of about 50,00 Presley fans, some from as far way as Britain. The National Broadcasting Company's Bob Jiminez purports on the police strike and Russell Ruffin reports on the Presley Pilgrimage.