Dazed and confused? Not me. I’m just Lost in the Cheese Aisle.

Monday, August 16, 2010


...is still dead.

His soul Left the Building (to coin a phrase) this day in 1977.

I remember hearing the news in a certain haze of disbelief. Elvis? Dead? Why, he was only forty-two... an age that still seemed remote to my then twenty-four-year-old self. And, ohhh, the ignominy - to be found stone dead, perched upon the Porcelain Throne, pants around ankles, caught in mid-squeeze. In flagrante defecato.

Declan Patrick MacManus had just released his first album, using a stage name that combined his grandmother’s maiden name and that of the soon-to-be late King. More than three decades down the road, Elvis Costello is still a big name in the music business... but when people use the name “Elvis” without further qualification, they’re invariably referring to the boy from Tupelo, Mississippi.

Elvis Aaron Presley, 1935-77.

Like all human gods, musical and otherwise, Elvis Presley was amply equipped with feet of clay. Food? He loved it to excess, gradually transforming himself from the young, whip-thin Elvis of “Hound Dog” and “Jailhouse Rock” to the bloated latter-day Elvis of Las Vegas. Sex and drugs go hand-in-hand with rock ’n’ roll, and Elvis partook of them in the sort of Mass Quantities we have come to expect from our Musical Legends. But, as Mostly Cajun points out, at least Elvis kept his hands off young boys.

The Tupelo lad who became one of the great cultural icons of twentieth century America has been gone 33 years now, and Graceland is once again thronged with heartbroken fans who keep vigil on the anniversary of his passing.

Requiescat in pace, Elvis. We hardly knew ye.


Houston Steve said...

Speaking of "Hound Dog" check out this appearance by Lieber and Stoller on "What's My Line." I love John Daly's encouraging them to keep up their work and perhaps do something serious in the future. BTW, I don't remember Vincent Price, Arlene Francis, Bennett Cerf or Dorothy Kilgallen looking young, do you?


SnoopyTheGoon said...

Still dead?

Must be a typo there. Come on, Elisson, you must know better than that.

He is just out to lunch.