Elvis - WHO CARES!
I don’t think anybody cares about Elvis anymore. Certainly nobody under 40 years of age. Elvis died 35 years ago today. He died lonely, depressed, fat, a drug addict with his legend tarnished by years of exploitation and abuse. It wasn’t supposed to end that way.
“King of Rock and Roll”.
Maybe - once.
I don’t want to spit on Elvis’ grave because he was once truly great. Music historians will debate the origins of rock and will point to other songs and performers, but Elvis’ debut represented a definitive beginning - a real starting point. He once inspired generations of kids to pick up the guitar and “rock”. There would be no Beatles & no Bob Dylan if there was no Elvis. Elvis scared people in the beginning. Young singers in the 50’s were the kind that your mom and dad would listen to and Elvis was not one of those. Strange it sounds today, he was a threat....
Until he signed on with manager Col. Tom Parker who's sole purpose was to bring Elvis to the mainstream & cash in on his fame, Elvis’ genius was slowly obliterated and compromised by a series of bad career moves that were set to cash in on his legacy rather than deepen it. The kid from Tennessee didn't know any better. Elvis wrote few of his songs, was a terrible actor, (was a “racist” if you believe rappers, Public Enemy”) and in the end was a sad parody of himself. In the wake of his passing his legend has been marred by legions of Elvis imitators and cheesy marketing. Certainly unbefitting of the one they called “The King of Rock and Roll”
To find the essence of Elvis you have to go back to very beginning when he first stepped into Sun Studios to do his first recording. He was truly doing something that nobody had tried on record, fusing country with R&B. It was genuine. It was natural. He was just a kid who wanted to record a song for his mom. He had dreams of doing bigger things but didn’t imagine the pomposity of events that would take place in the decade ahead. In the beginning, he had style and swagger like no other white singer.
Elvis set the table.
Does anybody care?
But they should.
For an added (humourous) "perspective":