No mention on the news. No acknowledgement that I’ve seen today. However, today is the 32nd anniversary of the death of Elvis. One place that never, ever forgets Elvis is his home town of Memphis. Death Week festivities culminate with the “vigil”, each August 15th. Having witnessed this firsthand during our six year stint in Memphis, I must say that seeing the thousands upon thousands standing silently with candles and moving through the gates of Graceland is quite touching.
My Elvis love has been well-documented in several posts, here, here, and here. As I reflect on the death of Les Paul and his dramatic impact on modern music and Rock & Roll, in particular, I can’t help but also think about Elvis’ significant influence. These people made HUGE changes to their worlds. Makes me wonder….just where are this generations change agents? Miley Cyrus? The Jonas Brothers? Where are the new “originals”?
In this age, where non-conformity is the norm, it is hard to appreciate just how odd and different Elvis was. Coming out in the Deep South, where good, upstanding citizens listened to clean cut white boys in the vein of Pat Boone, Elvis’ loud clothes, swiveling hips, provacative dance moves, and strong R&B leanings were not exactly embraced by the adults of the South (or otherwise). But, the kids got it and they LOVED it.
America loves an original, and Elvis was definitely original. In the thirty odd years since his death, I’ve often thought about what Elvis would have done, had he lived. Would he have joined the fitness revolution and slimmed down? Would he have realized that overuse of prescription drugs IS drug abuse and checked himself in to Betty Ford? Would he have made a big comeback? And, just WHAT would he look like at 74? Well, wonder no more…
Oh, to go back to when Elvis was Young & Beautiful….