Tuesday, August 16, 2011

In Memory Of Elvis

Thirty-four years ago today I walked into the living room of my childhood home and found my mother crying. I remember asking: "Why are you crying mommy?" and she replied: "Elvis is dead".

I don't remember a time without Elvis. I grew up with his voice, his music, and his presence from the day that I was born. We had all of his records (even the movie soundtracks) and today when I hear Elvis, or think of him, it just seems......like home. I'm not alone in 'loving Elvis'. He was the worlds first musical superstar and when you look back on the footage of him in concert and see how people adored him you begin to understand. He was almost divine- not someone to be listened to, but someone to be worshiped. There is no one alive, or dead, (musically) who has been as influential as Elvis Presley.

My relationship with Elvis is a very emotional one as I have a lot of child-hood memories wrapped up in his music. Some of those memories are good, and some are not so good. Nowadays Sunday is generally Elvis day, and one of those many records (which I still have) gets played and the sound of our voices can be heard throughout the house. Thankfully the dogs like it and have decided that it isn't howl-worthy.

I was explaining to She Who Will Be Named Later last night that Elvis, for me, is more than a pop-icon, or an artist who I like. For me, it isn't about fandom. I went to Graceland and the end of the tour, when we filed past his grave, I didn't take any pictures. I remember thinking it was odd that there were so many tourists there. I felt like they were intruding on my moment with his memory. I doubt that I am alone in thinking of him in this way. For me, the word 'Elvis' represents so much. It's like the word 'Mom' or 'Dad'. We understand what it means, and who it refers to, but it is more than that: It is feeling, emotion, and memory all rolled in to one. So it is, for me, with Elvis.

I don't usually pay attention to anniversary's but my mom reminded me that this was the anniversary of his death so I've been thinking about it over the last few days. I wanted to post an Elvis song but it's just so hard choosing. I think, if I could have met any 'Elvis' I would have spent some time with 'Fat Elvis'. His voice was truly something at the end and I think that is when he could have used a friend the most. I don't think of him as a fat, out of shape, drug-addicted star at the end of his life. I think of him as a man who gave so much to the world and lived his life in a bubble. That was his sacrifice: he never had the opportunity to live a normal life, and though we moan and complain about our daily trivialities it truly is a blessing to live the way we choose. 

Anyway, back to choosing a song. There isn't any point trying to pick 'my favorite' because I like so many of them for many different reasons. I will simply leave you with one that I like because, in the end, words are all that I have, and they don't seem nearly enough to explain his influence in my life.

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