Thursday, 16 August 2012

All Hail the King


Remember the terrible shock 35 years ago today when Elvis died so unexpectedly at the young age of 42?

What has always most fascinated me are the conspiracy theories which started to circulate shortly afterwards: Elvis is not really dead. He faked his own death so he could live a simpler life out of the limelight. Elvis lives! Even now, all these years later, there's still reported sightings of Elvis every once in awhile, somewhere or another in rural America.


The other fascinating aspect of the Elvis legacy is the thriving tribe of Elvis impersonators: amateur, professional, dead serious, tongue-in-cheek. These "Elvi" tour with tribute shows, parachute out of planes, perform weddings in Las Vegas, enter contests, go to international conventions, you name it. There are even female Elvis impersonators.


I have often thought that the powerful reaction of Elvis fans to his death has much to teach us about the origins of Christianity, if we are open enough to consider it. Were the adoring fans of Jesus equally unwilling or incapable of accepting his death? As with Elvis, some of those fans reported post-mortem sightings of Jesus. Others soon began to imitate Jesus in clothes, words and lifestyle. His "brand" grew immensely after death too. Raked in billions eventually. Jerusalem and the Vatican -- which do you think is Graceland?


28 comments:

Barfly said...

I was 11 years old (shit, just gave away my age), on they way to pee wee football practice when I heard of his death. I lived near Nashville, TN, and his manager, Col. Tom Parker lived .5 mile from my house.

I think Elvis moved in with him and drove my school bus.

jadedj said...

Jesus H. Presley...what a post!

Green Monkey said...

oh my lord, you're going to hell for that for sure!
Jesus vs Elvis, hysterical! I'm going to be thinking about it all day.

Malachy McCourt spoke about being an atheist last weekend. He said organized religion is worse than organized crime. If you fuck up in the organized crime bosses, they kill you. If you fuck up with god or jesus, they damn you for the rest of eternity.

I'm probably damned because I didn't capitalize "god" or "jesus"

laughingwolf said...

death of jfk was/is still full of equally wild conspiracy theories....

Jeanne said...

You hit the nail on the head this time! Someone actually wrote a book about "Elvis Religion".

In the words of a well watched movie..."No, Elvis is not dead, he just went home"....

A Beer for the Shower said...

"Remember the terrible shock 35 years ago today when Elvis died so unexpectedly at the young age of 42?"

No. Mostly because I'm 28. :)

But I do love Elvis and his music, and I do think that people just WISH he wasn't dead, more than they believe he's not really dead. Kinda like Tupac. Except I don't miss Tupac. Yeah, I said it.

Anne said...

I'm old so I remember exactly where I was when I got the news. I was camping and it was a horrible shock. The Hubbies gran saw Elvis at his last concert and she passed about 15 years ago. God I'm old, old, old.

Snap said...

Love, love, love this post .... from your not so local pagan/buddhist. !!!!!

jaz@octoberfarm said...

makes sense!!!

SUZY8-TRACK said...

I remember this! I was 13 and my family was returning from a lovely vacation in Cape May, NJ and we heard it on the radio! Then we were subjected all Elvis radio all the time on most of the radio stations for the next week.

In Philly, El Vez, the Mexican Elvis is very popular here...there is even a restaurant named after him!

Plowing Through Life (Martha) said...

Anything is possible, and I'm open to ideas. I'm surprised some people don't believe that Elvis was Jesus. Or maybe there are people that do believe just that.

Joyful Things said...

Hmmm. comparing Elvis with Jesus I think I would pick Jesus because he turned water into wine and Elvis just turned fried peanut butter sandwiches into a heart attack.

Sarah Flight said...

Wow, I've never thought of it like that before - that's got me thinking!! Great post.

Rose - The Center of My Self said...

Never was into Elvis; the whole good ol' boy Southern thing never resonated with me. (Cannot understand a word Paula Deen says.) Interesting thinking about resurrection and cult followings. I believe we should question our religious beliefs, wrestle with them, not accepting only on blind faith but looking for the answers that speak to each of us individually.

Sulky Kitten said...

I remember the day, what a shock. If only he was still alive. My brother was a huge fan and my youth was full of Elvis songs

Introverted Art said...

I was just a little baby, but I watched his movies in Hawaii with his great tan and to this day sing his songs. I remember being shocked when I found out the dyed his hair black and being so enchanted with the story of how him and Priscilla met.

YELLOWDOG GRANNY said...

I remember when he died..the kids and I played a memorial baseball game in his honor.
I still have dreams where I sit up in bed and say 'Is Elvis still dead?'..and then lay back down and go back to sleep..

Suzanne said...

having an aaaahhhhhh haaaaaaa moment

Magaly Guerrero said...

I remember how my 4-month old heart ached when, um... okay, so I didn't weep when Elvis died, but I didn't want to feel left out.

I think your supposition has a lot of merit. I was just discussing the way I see the gods with a group of people. I said that the gods are the names we (and by we, I mean me) give to different aspects of nature, energy, emotions... and so on. I thought the person was going to have a stroke. Which was only made worse by the fact that I suggested that I'm pretty sure we've made up most of the gods, but that doesn't make them less powerful.

Human mind and will are powerful things. We can create and immortalize all kinds of things: Elvis, gods...

Magic Love Crow said...

Very interesting post! You got me thinking!

Riot Kitty said...

What conspiracy theories? You know that Paul McCartney's dead, too, right?

Susan said...

VERY thought provoking!!
You are a profound thinker!!
Susan

-E- said...

Wouldn't have guessed you were an Elvis fan...

quietmind279 said...

I was only about 6 when Elvis died, but I loved him.....your post got me reading some interesting articles about his death was faked etc....very interesting indeed.

G. B. Miller said...

Has Elvis left the building?

Some people may say "yes", others, like Mojo Nixon, say not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4VTo064bXms

Sunshineshelle said...

Thank goodness no ones sighted Michael Jackson yet!

Opinionated Redhead said...

Wait a minute.......Elvis is dead? Who the fuck was that dude at 7-11 last night?

The Frog Queen said...

Great post. My mom was a huge Elvis fan do I have always had a soft spot in my heart for him. Her ringtone on my phone is Suspicious Minds :)

Missed you my dear!

Cheers!