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Sayonara to Elvis in Tokyo - white sheet placed over his statue: For the past 24 years, the specialty memorabilia shop called Love Me Tender has been a Tokyo institution dedicated to Elvis Presley. Located in Tokyo's trendy youth hangout of Harajuku, this shop has been a mecca for Japanese Elvis fans as well as a popular attraction for foreign tourists. But on Sunday January 18, 2009 it all came to an end when Love Me Tender closed it doors for good. To mark the occasion a final Sunday concert was held which more resembled a wake. These Sunday rockabilly concerts had been taking place here for the past ten years. According to staff who worked here, Love Me Tender closed for a number of reasons citing the bad economy as well as the land being an attractive prize for real estate speculators. In addition to this shop, also housed here was a Rolling Stones shop called Gimme Shelter and a Beatles shop called Get Back. Collectively the building was called The Rock 'N' Roll Museum. In addition to these shops, just in front was larger than life sized bronze statue of Elvis which had been there since 1992. Sadly "Elvis Left the Building" the following day (1/19/09) and only a handful of people were on hand to witness the King being hauled away. For now, the Elvis statue will be kept in storage while the shop's owners can find a permanent home for him. Their ideal location would be in front of Harajuku Station which is sort of a landmark for rock and roll in Japan. After WW II the American military built a large housing project there for military families and during the 1950s and 1960s American teenage subculture flourished here.
- © Torin Boyd 2009 - All Rights Reserved
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- Contained in galleries