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I've always been fascinated by the Elvis phenomenon, not because I am a "fan" per se, but because he epitomizes the mythical American dream.
A poor, relatively uneducated backwater goon with nothing more than good looks, a voice, and a talent for musical interpretation (as opposed to songwriting or musicianship) becomes one of the richest and most influential celebrities of modern times. (Sinatra would fall into this same category, of course.)
As reported by those who knew him personally, he was also more than a shade on the lunatic side. And although the prosecution of the "hippie drug culture" was one of his passions (he asked Nixon to make him a "Federal Agent at Large" with the intent of infiltrating "hippie groups" and busting them) he died of a drug overdose. Conversely, The Beatles, whom he derided for their drug use and anti-American sentiment (huh?) have not.
In spite of what some people (me) would consider to be a veritable treasury of unappealing traits and a relatively small window of actual talent (though his talent for singing was truly great, that's pretty much all the guy could do) he is perhaps the most widely impersonated person in the world. Hordes of people have even elevated him to deity status.
I'm a fan of some of his work, many of his early hits are amazing, but not a fan of the man. Still, I once had a small breakfast room in my house dedicated to Elvis, with statues, murals, photos, and various bright colors on the walls and ceiling. All for camp value, of course, but I eventually got tired of explaining to visitors that I was not "one of those Elvis nuts." Well, I was (and am) but for different reasons.
I'm still a little obsessed with the weirdness of Elvis, as evidenced by the photo at left. CHNW and I were married by an Elvis impersonator in Las Vegas and it was the most entertaining wedding I've ever been to, by far. And not at all because it was ours. Personally, I think marriage ceremonies are just about as campy as Elvis, so why not vamp it up? Thankfully, it was the 1950s Elvis, not the fat, BeDazzled Elvis of the 70s.
One thing I learned recently that is firmly in Elvis's favor is that he was a huge fan of Monty Python and watched "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" repeatedly. This surprises me, I always imagined Elvis would have had a George-Bush-style sense of humor: corny, simple, slapstick, crude. I guess I misunderestimated him.
So here is my cartoon parody of the famous "Elvis has left the building" story. Hope you got a chuckle.