Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Love Me Tender

I grew up loving Elvis Presley. In 1972, my Mom took a day off work to stand in line and purchase her Elvis-devoted 10-year-old daughter tickets to see The King in concert. (I have a great Mom!)

34 years ago and still I remember the lights flashing and the tympanies pounding as 2001: A Space Odyssey signaled he was about to come on stage. When I saw that white jumpsuit, I thought my pubescent heart would beat right through my chest! I actually cried.

I watched all the movies, knew the words to every song - including "Wooden Heart" which was a hit only in Germany. I was a fanatic. Five years later when word came he died, it was surreal. It was a Challenger-moment for many - remembering where they were and what they were doing. I did what I always do at times like that - I wrote. This time it was a poem, of which I only remember the first two lines: "With God-given talent and astonishing good looks, a song called That's Alright Momma was all that it took . . ." [Gimme a break! I was 15.]

There will never be another Elvis. That oft-spoken sentiment is more than a fan's adoration. I think it's an objective fact. That mystique can't be created in an age of 24/7 news/entertainment, Internet and paparazzi. We can't be shocked anymore by hips swiveling (puh-leeze! would that was all we had to deal with from music stars). He came, as one writer put it, "in a crack in time" - everything fell in place to create his myth.

His stepbrother, who found him that fateful morning, is now a Baptist minister. He once spoke at my home church. He said people often ask him, "Is Elvis in heaven?" He said he couldn't tell them for sure. There was a Bible by his bed and also other New Age/ Eastern religious material.

Love hopes all things. Elvis loved gospel music. When he jammed with friends, that was his song genre of choice. Once in concert, a fan called out that Elvis was king. He reportedly said, "I only know of one King. . ." I hope that's a true story. I hope the king of rock-n-roll did bow the knee to The King. I'd love to hear him sing again in heaven.

1 comment:

RosieBoo said...


In 2009, Cirq de Solei is going to debut a show about Elvis at the new MGM Hotel....just a heads your flights now! :)