Thursday, August 16, 2007

Life after 30

'Before Elvis there was nothing,’ as John Lennon famously put it. And today on the 30 year anniversary of his death those words couldn't feel more true. As I looked for a suitable clip to put on here today I came across this gem, the only live recording of what has to be one of the best live songs. It rips my heart out every time.



There is a reason he is called the King and that's because in a world where popness has become the measure of everything, we’re all Elvis impersonators now. Elvis was the first. Since him, consumerism and the media have swallowed everything, and Elvis has become the personification of the looking-glass world we inhabit now, a latter-day Narcissus who drowned in his own reflection (on his bathroom floor) - but granted immortality in a universe of surfaces and permanent (shallow) memory.

Elvis’ is Fame’s first name in an age when ‘fame’ is something we’re increasingly over-familiar with. Perhaps this is why in Elvis’ face we can see an angelic/demonic premonition of the faces of so many of those stars that have come after: Tom Cruise, Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, Jim Carrey, Madonna, Bill Clinton, Diana, Jeffrey Dahmer.

Since his death, the lost lurve-object has been introjected into our collective Unconscious so completely that we don’t have to be lonesome tonight or tomorrow or in fact ever again. His absence has become an overwhelming presence.

Elvis really is alive. It’s just the rest of us that I’m not so sure about.

14 Comments:

Blogger Glamourpuss said...

Fabulous post!

Puss

1:15 pm  
Anonymous Ella said...

Ace tribute here Slickie x

1:51 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

One of the most interesting displays at Graceland is Elvis' desk -- with a built-in radio and TV, it was a state-of-the-art gift from his label, RCA Victor. On it were several spiritually themed books, including a copy of Khalil Gibran's The Prophet and Erich von Daniken's Gods from Outer Space. I guess he still had not found what he was looking for. Or had he?

1:53 pm  
Anonymous hels15 said...

Many people -- many Christians, for that matter -- might scoff at the idea that Elvis, with all of his overindulgences, addictions and peccadilloes, also could have been a believer.

1:54 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

THE KING!!!!!!!

2:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Was Jeffrey Dahmer a star??

2:47 pm  
Anonymous steve said...

They don't come like the King anymore that is for sure!

3:11 pm  
Anonymous max said...

Before Elvis there was Little Richard, Chuck Berry and about 50 years' worth of the Blues. Without which, there would have been no Elvis ... I'm surprised John Lennon would say anything so foolish!

3:54 pm  
Anonymous Tommy said...

Perhaps the greatest tribute to the man lies in the fact that young men and women, people in their teens, twenties, thirties, are enormous fans of Elvis. We can thank men like Shawn Klush for that. Shawn is himself an extraordinary Elvis tribute performer. Thanks, Shawn.

The King may be dead.

But Elvis lives!

5:24 pm  
Blogger Steve On Broadway (SOB) said...

CS, I'm still old enough to vividly recall the afternoon I heard the news that the King was gone. It was absolutely shocking.

What's even more shocking is thirty years on, the more than 100,000 loyal fans who have lined up at Graceland to celebrate his contributions to world culture from his distinctly American vantage point.

The King is dead. Long live the King!

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