I distinctly remember where I was on the day Elvis died. (This bothers me immensely because I can’t tell you where I was for most important world events, but I CAN tell you where I was when Elvis died!)
I was going into my sophomore year at Frostburg State and it was the week before we were to return to school. I received a phone call from my roommate, Sue, who was wailing hysterically into the phone. Her words were unrecognizable but I could tell that something horrible had happened. I feared that she was about to tell me that she took it upon herself to purchase a different bedspread than we discussed, throwing my plans for a color coordinated dorm room totally out of sync. (Even back then, I was neurotic about decorating!) But I digress….
Between sobs, Sue informed me that……the King had died. Keep in mind, it was the 70’s, and we were now groovin’ to the tunes of Aerosmith, Queen, The Eagles, and the ever-so-popular KC & The Sunshine Band!
During moments of retrospection, I try to analyze why I was not moved by such history shaping news but the truth is….. he had been “dying” a long time. The King (in my humble opinion) was “The King” only in his early days. Drugs, alcohol, narcissism, sloth, and infidelity had robbed him of that crown and title many years prior.
So when people continue, 34 years later, to make their annual pilgrimage to Graceland and sob over his grave…..I just don’t get it. He was a singer. He had talent. He abused it. He was human, like the rest of us. Move on!
I embarrassed my family horribly many years ago when my husband and two sons vacationed in Nashville. We enjoyed visiting the Grand ‘Ole Opry and all the typical tourist attractions. During a side trip, we drove to Memphis where we visited Sun Studios. My musician son, Craig knelt down the kissed the floor at Sun Studios where many of our country’s great musicians got their start.
Our next stop was Graceland. The only comment I can make about Graceland is that just because you have money, doesn’t mean you have good taste. Let’s leave it at that! I mean, who in their right mind carpets walls? I’d just like to know! Elvis needed Extreme Makeover Home Edition but no one had the nerve to tell him.
At any rate, I remember when we got to the grave site, many people were crying. A few were wailing. By now you know me well enough to know that I don’t hold things in so I went off with my diatribe to my family. “Oh for crying out loud!! He was a SINGER!! He didn’t cure cancer! He cheated continually on his wife! He was a drug addict! He was JUST a SINGER!!!” As you can imagine my family QUICKLY ushered me out of Graceland, where I didn’t even have time to buy the token souvenier! 🙂
Ohhhhhhhhh…… but when he was young…….