January 8, 2010

Celebrate Elvis.

If he had lived, he would be 75 today.

36 comments:

rick said...

He's dead????????When?????How???? I am devastated.

rhhardin said...

The local public radio station introduced a piece with "the late Johann Sebastian Bach," a case of an announcer free-wheeling cliches in a field new to him.

You have to learn the restricted list of cliches for the field you're in.

Oxbay said...

I'm not an Elvis aficionado. When I turn on the radio where I live most of the stations are in Memphis, TN. The other day a couple of sports guys were interviewing George Klein an old friend of Elvis. He has recently written a book called Elvis My Best Man. At Klein's wedding Elvis was his best man.

Klein told a story of getting picked up by some friends to meet Elvis somewhere. On the way they stopped at the local Cadillac dealer. It looked closed. They went in anyway. As they opened the doors the lights went on. There was only one car on display - a yellow convertible Cadillac.

Standing next to it was Elvis. Klein had been told that Elvis was buying a new Caddy and figured the one before him was the one Elvis chose. After all the usual greetings Elvis held up the keys and said Merry Christmas George. When George balked at accepting the gift Elvis said what's the use of getting fame and fortune if you can't share it with your friends.

That story made me want to read the book. We'll see if I get around to it.

Fred4Pres said...

Elvis is 75 today. Happy birthday to the King.

edutcher said...

He was 22 when "Heartbreak Hotel" became a hit.

I've always thought that one of the reasons he was so wildly popular is that his big fan base, essentially no-collar (Frank Sinatra, his only real competition as vocalist of the 20th Century, appealed to white and blue collar types), always saw him as one of their own who never forgot who he was, witness Oxbay's story.

He lacked the maturity to handle his success (how many people could, I wonder) and his mother, apparently, was his anchor. When she died, that's when the downward spiral started

Lynne said...

Well, I never much cared for his music or movies, but I'm sorry he came to such a bad end.

Booze, pills and loneliness are a bad way to go.

Hoosier Daddy said...

Booze, pills and loneliness are a bad way to go.

I don't know. Being found dead on the toilet in a shit filled diaper isn't exactly how I want to slip the mortal coil. We all come into the world naked, screaming and vulnerable. If I have any say in the matter by God and sonny Jesus I'm going out with a little dignity.

traditionalguy said...

Elvis enjoyed the wild life too much to quit the whoring around. Cherchez la femme. I blame Anne Margaret, but what a way to go.

El Pollo Real said...

All hail the King!

Rialby said...

I'm almost done with "Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley", the 650 page tome about the downfall of the King. It's gotta be one of the most depressing reads of all time. With too much time on his hands, unbelievable fame and with nobody who could control his baser instincts, he turned into a complete mess. Not only that, but as he was replaced by the 60s generation, his contemporary persona turned into a complete joke. Sure, young musicians still cited Elvis as an inspiration, but it was the Elvis of 1954 not the Elvis of "Clambake".

It reads much like I'm sure the biography of Michael Jackson will read.

RueMom said...

If he had lived, he'd be dead by now! :)

Marcia said...

I read the other day that he was 42 when he died. Really made me feel old, given that I'm older than that now.

EDH said...

Presumably he'd still be in a "shit-filled diaper."

You don't usually grow out of that a second time in life.

AllenS said...

Jesus Christ would be about 2010 years old by now.

bagoh20 said...

"Jesus Christ would be about 2010 years old by now."

And no cosmetic surgery needed.

bagoh20 said...

It's hard to imagine such fast burning stars living into old age. It's hard to visualize an old Hendricks, James Dean, etc. Maybe they just aren't cosmically capable of being old.

AllenS said...

He might have to get some corrective surgery work done on his forehead. Those thorns probably left a mark. He'd would also have to get a different wardrobe. Plus a haircut and shave so he didn't look like a dirty hippie.

The Crack Emcee said...

All Hail The King!

Hoosier Daddy,

My father dead, curled up in bed on his side, with his eyes closed and a slight smile on his face, is probably the coolest memory I have.

BT said...

The King died on the Throne!!!

traditionalguy said...

Buddy Holly would be 73 and still better than Elvis.

vbspurs said...

I hated Elvis when I was growing up. I also thought Judy Garland was a boring singer.

I am such a little fool. Elvis was the MERDE, and Judy not far behind.

REST IN PEACE KING!

El Pollo Real said...

Buddy Holly would be 73 and still better than Elvis.

But still, Holly was after Elvis. That's the whole point. I think John Lennon would have agreed. Hell, I think even Buddy Holly would have agreed.

traditionalguy said...

El Pollo Real ...You say Elvis was better, you know it's a lie, that will be the day a a that Buddy Holly's music dies. Actually they were both great.

Steve Rosenbach said...

I was not a fan of Elvis growing up, but as I learned more about him after his death, I grew to appreciate his character much more.

Some years ago on NPR, I heard a lengthy interview with Mrs. Jeanette Fruchter, the widow of Rabbi Elvis Fruchter. Rabbi & Mrs. Fruchter lived upstairs from Elvis and his mother for a number of years, starting around when he was 15. She had wonderful stories of the relationship between the Fruchters and Gladys Presley and her son. There's a little you can read about it at http://www.somethingjewish.co.uk/articles/77_searching_for_elvis_.htm

El Pollo Real said...

You say Elvis was better, you know it's a lie, that will be the day a a that Buddy Holly's music dies. Actually they were both great.

Trad Guy: I didn't mean better, just that Elvis inspired him. According Elvis's wiki bio, 19-year old Roy Orbison said: 'His energy was incredible, his instinct was just amazing...I just didn’t know what to make of it. There was just no reference point in the culture to compare it.'

Plus Elvis, like Hendrix, also found to time to do a military stint. These became very "uncool" things to do later on for a rock and roller, and you've gotta respect that.

Tony said...

I remember reading Greil Marcus' fantastic history of rock'n'roll "Mystery Train" that gloriously recounted Elvis' comeback. Just as I finished reading it, a friend came over and told me Elvis had died.

Of course, we all know, that's bullshit - Elvis will never die.

Elvis' Vegas version of "Unchained Melody" is the greatest recorded song of all time. And, it goes without saying, "Suspicious Minds" is an allegory on a Buddhist understanding of the world.

vbspurs said...

HEY! Whaddayaknow. I just got off the phone with Starbucks, and whilst I was on hold, they had on Elvis songs. Someone at 4bux is aware today is his birthday -- and that has earned them a brief respite of my ire about my missing Gold Card, so bully for them.

Cheers,
Victoria

El Pollo Real said...

Victoria, when did you become such a *$ fan?
I thought you homebrewed. :)

wv: "putiv" adj. meaning thoughtful in a compelling way.

p.t. fogger said...

Anybody who doesn't get what Elvis was about, and why he he made such a stink and so hugely influenced the early rockers to be rockers (see the references to Holly & Orbison, above), ought to listen to his earliest tracks recorded in 1954/55, when he was still a teenager. It's mostly just him singing (sometimes on acoustic guitar), a stand-up bass player, an electric guitarist with a heavy country / western swing style influence, and minimal or no percussion. That's the stuff the early rockers heard first, a year or two before before "Hounddog", "Heartbreak Hotel" & the giant national hits.

It's primal, raw stuff, and most people today have never heard it:

http://www.amazon.com/Sun-Sessions-CD-Presley-Commemorative/dp/B000002W9S

Scott M said...

I've moved on from celebrating Elvis. I now build my life around Nick Cage's "Tiny E".

El Pollo Real said...

I've moved on from celebrating Elvis. I now build my life around Nick Cage's "Tiny E".

That's a bit like preferring Tina Fey to Sarah Palin, but if it floats your boat, I say run with it!

wv: "viale" A region in Italy known for spumante. Forza Viale!

vbspurs said...

Victoria, when did you become such a *$ fan?
I thought you homebrewed. :)


I know, EPR. :(

What can I say -- I got lazy. Although in my favour, I can tell you that I use $$xxx$$ mostly on the go. Also, I'll never forget a few years back when I went to Palm Beach. I had to go to the loo, so went to a Turnpike rest stop. Previously, the most I could expect was really bad Maxwell House coffee at Nathan's. But when I entered the first thing I saw was STARBUCKS. You'd think I'd seen my oldest friend.

Cheers,
Victoria

vbspurs said...

wv: dehug! The latest Facebook gesture used for those who irritate you.

El Pollo Real said...

Rialby:
It's also possible to consider and appreciate Elvis before his demons got the better of him, much like one can appreciate say the Beach Boy's "Pet Sounds" without calling to mind Brian Wilson's own subsequent decline.
To generalize, one can say that it's possible to appreciate Roman Polanski's artist work without thinking of the man now in jail or even Thomas Jefferson's civic contributions without thinking about Sally Hemings.

But some people need to put everything on the scales and weigh things according to their own measure. That's fine as long as they don't force their opinions as fact.

wv: "dares" did I?

Brian said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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