Thirty five years ago yesterday, on August 16, 1977, Mr. Presley made his final exit from the building we call life. Shame too because he was such a talented singer, humanitarian who gave back and wonderful father to his daughter. He seemed genuinely interested in making music and making others happy with his moves and singing. Such an upbringing for that Mississippi boy, small house and meager means but I think that just made Elvis more determined to be successful.
From what I understand he didn’t enjoy the movies as much as he did the stage, the audience, and the fact that he could swing the hips and groove to the band behind him. Of course in the movies we always heard him sing and have an effect on those around him, good, bad and otherwise. Mr. Presley never came across as artificial to me, he was what you saw, just a man who happened to internationally famous. True had the lavish trappings of cars, the big house in Memphis, which is still there and where family members still live, and a the name for the house is quite fitting.. Graceland.
I don’t know that Elvis chose to self destruct as he did in the end, I think he was miserable for the lack of privacy and constant scrutiny of his every move. Let’s face it, no celebrity has that precious gift of blending in anymore. Whatever they do, we know about: the mundane, the stupid, the heroic, the whatever… it’s all open for all to see. Elvis most likely was in pain inside, maybe upset over jokes about his weight, as I remember DJ’s remarking about the number of donuts he supposedly would eat.
The pain probably ran deeper than comments about his weight, though. He may have been tired from performing and needed a break and needed an escape route. That’s the problem with image. What is seen on the outside is not the full story, the whole person. We can look at less than perfectly dressed individual and think they must be so special, but what if we take the time to know them? What would we find out?
Touring Elvis’ home there were plaques recognizing him for his charitable donations to various organizations. According the official website, Most of Elvis’ philanthropic endeavors received no publicity at all”. (http://www.elvis.com/about-the-king/achievements.aspx) He gave to both local charities in Memphis where I grew up and in cities across the nation. Kinda cool that he didn’t necessarily have want for a camera crew at all times to broadcast the good deeds.
Maybe that’s why he was King of Rock n Roll, not so much that he just defined a genre of music and forced a path for musicians and singers to blast through, maybe it was really his big old heart. The heart of a man who honestly cared for the people who supported his career and to this day still do, even in his death. The night sky in Memphis was heavily dotted with candles last night. Lisa Marie and her mother, Priscilla were there too.
Yeah, heaven is probably lively with his music and everyone is dancing in their blue suede shoes, but I don’t know think there’s any crying all the time. The hound dog’s happy because he is at peace. Thank you, Elvis, thank you very much.