August 18, 2016

It’s Elvis Week 2016 – hard to believe next year’s week will mark the 40th year since “The King” died. Makes you kind of wonder what he’s be doing these days if he had lived and straightened both himself and his career out, doesn’t it.

Steamroller Blues

There have been a lot of book on Elvis, of course, but to my mind the very best was the two-volume set by Peter Guralnick: “Last Train To Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley” and “Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley” are really not just great reads, but interesting reads even if you’re not a huge fan of The King. Guralnick’s a great writer and paints as true a picture of Presley as an incredibly talented, yet tortured and conflicted soul better than anyone has. Two must-reads.

Way Down

It would be just like the Black Lives Matter crowd to try and spoil something that would bring folks of all kinds together. But that’s what they do – word is that the Milwaukee violence following the shooting death of that young punk criminal last weekend was the work of Chicago outsiders.

My Mom loved this video and version of “How Great Thou Art”. Whenever I used to see it, it made me think of my days singing in the St. Anne’s Episcopal Church choir with the likes of Don McKeown and Charlie Corkum. They’re all gone now, Don and Charlie long so. There are only a few of us who sang in the choir around that time in the early and mid-’70s still hanging around. Whenever I see this video I think of them all, but most of all Mom.

25 fun facts about Elvis.

One Night

A few weeks ago I wasted an entirely precious hour watching TruthTV or something like that doing a special on whether Elvis was still alive. It was stupid – they brought in authors to make these outrageous claims that Elvis was seen at the Memphis airport the night he supposedly died, that there was a look-alike who stood in (actually lay in) the coffin during Elvis’s funeral – all kinds of crazy things. It was akin to hanging around to watch the aftermath of a car accident in that it made you feel sleazy. And then, five minutes remaining in the show they bring all the writers back to debunk all the rumors they had talked about earlier. I felt a huge let-down, not just of being taken in to waste all that time, but that I even hung around to watch it. Oh well.

He’ll Have To Go

Of all the songs Elvis has done, “He’ll Have To Go” has to be my favorite. Not only was it the last song Elvis ever recorded, but I love how moody and passionate his version is, the atmosphere lightened only by the strings in the background and James Burton’s way-cool grungy / bluesy guitar fills and break. You can almost feel the humidity of a Memphis afternoon seeping out of the recording. And word is this wasn’t even the final vocal planned – it was just a “guide vocal” for the musicians to play along to. Unbelievable.

Looks like Tracey and I will be hitting Vegas for our upcoming 30th wedding anniversary celebration, and as we did for our tenth – or was it our fifteenth? – we’re planning on renewing our vows at the Graceland Wedding Chapel. When we were there the last time our Elvis was what I’d say was a circa-1974 Elvis but from the website it looks like the Elvis they have now is more circa 1968, he almost looks like a cross between Elvis and Michael Jackson. But no matter, it will all be good!

Promised Land

Elvis’s movies ranked best to worst. The cool things about an Elvis movie festival on cable is you can take a day off from reality, make yourself popcorn and order pizza for delivery and just turn your brain off for a while. Kinda like James Bond movies in that regard.

Memphis, Tennessee

Filed in: Uncategorized by The Great White Shank at 01:49 | Comments Off on Elvis Week
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