Thursday, August 16, 2007

R.I.P. Elvis

Thirty years ago today, Elvis Presley died at the age of 42. Mrs. Wanders (my All-New Really Hilarious Nickname for my Wife) and I commemorated his passing by watching “Elvis Lives” on PBS, a rock concert performed in Memphis by Elvis’s old band mates. During the concert, they projected footage on the big screen of Elvis performing in Hawaii and Las Vegas. But they had taken out all the music and back up vocals in the film so that all that was left were Elvis’s vocals. Then his former band members and back up singers accompanied the film live. It sounds kind of cheesy, but it was a really cool gimmick and it would have been amazing to have been there.

Hundreds of people began to gather in Memphis yesterday, where it was 105 degrees, to mourn Elvis Presley with a candlelight vigil last night. One person died in their trailer because of the heat. One guy who recently lost a lung showed up with his oxygen tank. I can only admire this level of devotion. We went to Graceland last year at my wife’s suggestion, and I was completely converted to the Church of Elvis, but more at the Buy-a-lot-of-Elvis-Hits Novice level, not the One-Lung Fanatic level. And Memphis in general was a great city to visit – very cool. Well, maybe not when it’s 105.


Amber said...

I watched "Clambake," "Kid Galahad," and "Frankie and Johnny" recently on THIS (movie channel). I was thoroughly charmed, and totally get the hype. RIP, Elvis.

"Red" Merriweather Coast said...

Memphis is indeed a cool place, but there's a lot more to it than Elvis! For instance, there's Memphis in May, the biggest barbecue contest in the world. Or one of the biggest, maybe.

I used to live there and I miss it. And it's not the heat, it's the insane humidity that really gets to you.