Elvis Presley died.
Calm down, it happened 36 years ago. You didn’t know? I have a hard time believing that. It was on the front page of all the newspapers, and I’m pretty sure it made the six o’clock news that day. You really need to pay more attention to current events. You should know about stuff.
When I was a child, Elvis was my idol. His rhythmic hip shaking and guttural noise making intrigued me. He wore flashy jumpsuits emblazoned with rhinestones and gummy bears. He drove a big Cadillac and took massive amounts of amphetamines. All of the things a young boy aspires to do.
I used to listen to Elvis records all the time. I would work on my lip sneer and pelvic thrusts while standing in front of my bedroom mirror. I would thank people very much all the time. I even tried to grow a pompadour and mutton chops at one point before my mother vetoed my choice of hairstyle in favor of a boy’s regular. I was almost like a mini Elvis.
When my parents would throw a party, chances were good that at some point during the festivities I would wind up getting up on the coffee table to impersonate Elvis for everybody. They would clap and dance and laugh. Eventually one of the drunken ladies would try to get me to “king them”. Yeah, you know what I’m saying. The seventies were a sexy, sexy time.
I was also a big fan of Elvis’ movies. Yeah, I know, right? Every Sunday, channel 68 would play three of his movies back to back to back. That sounds like too many backs. I might mean back to front to back. That sounds better. There must be a front in there somewhere. I would watch as the King played various characters that could all sing and dance and woo the dames.
When he died, I took it really hard. I was sad that I would never get the chance to see him in concert, or have him adopt me and change my name to Billvis Presley and hand feed me fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches from a golden plate right before he took me cape shopping
See the thing about it was that Elvis was my first taste of rock and roll. My parents both loved country music, or country and western as they used to call it. So I didn’t get to hear much rock music as a child. They liked Elvis Presley though.
Sure he had a lot of gospel songs and what not, and he might not even be considered “rock” today. But the first time I heard Heartbreak Hotel, I felt something stir in my loins. But I was only five, so I didn’t know I had loins yet. Or I knew I had loins, but I thought that It was just something to wet the bed with.
I knew it felt different from the music I normally heard, though.
And I knew that I loved it.