WHY THE KING STILL WEARS THE CROWN
I was watching the Elvis '68 Comeback Special triple DVD the other day.
Man, a coupla things struck me.
1. The obvious – Elvis was a fucking really good singer.
Oh you knew that? Well, I know it too, but watching this, the guy was gifted, way beyond a lot of other singers.
Occasionally, my daughter makes me watch Australian Idol. Hey, the top 10 kids in those shows don’t equal 1/10th of Elvis. That’s how good he STILL is.
The benchmark is set.
He was a singer, not a singer-songwriter or guitar player (although his rhythm playing was rock solid). He focused on his singing, and telling the story, performing.
I love that guy's singing voice. He really is The King. OK, I hear you. I know what he stole. But he truly regurgitated his influences into his own thing, something that, say, a band like Jet will never do.
Elvis was really at his peak here in '68. He’s aware, experience, charming. Rich, still in control. Happy. Elvis is living the dream in a way only a handful do.
Let's face it: top job in the world is being a rock star, man. E is at the top. He’s had a gutfull of makin' those fuckin movies, he aint sung rock n roll or performed in a while, a long while. He’s regaining something here, and I must say magnificently.
The other thing that struck me:
2. What everyone else was doing.
Picture this: John Lennon, self-confessed BIG Elvis fan, like all the Beatles. John’s in London, at Abbey Rd recording. Those guys and a LOT of as well known and wonderfully more obscure bands are trying as hard as hell to PROGRESS music, to move it forward, to see what’s out there.
They have long hair, LSD, pot, technology (24 track recoding is being implemented), producers up the ass. They are in space.
Oh, they are successful. It’s good, but imagine John tuning in that night (like a billion others) to see The King of Rock 'n' Roll, holding a diamond chalice to his roots, running through his '50s classics, dressed splendidly in leather, with his original 50’s band (including the totally wonderful Scotty Moore, complete with hilarious hairdo).
Elvis is "stripped back" (30 years before MTV would copy the format), on speed, and pretty much a proto-punk.
Man, he made those stuffy arty English fags look fuckin ‘as stoopid as’!
Elvis was a Sid Vicious to their Pink Floyd. He won that round, gloriously.
Sure we got the funny classic '60s TV-kinda dance routines, but when you watch Elvis do "If I Can Dream", resplendent in white suit and with his pre-Vegas name in lights as a background, it’s pure Nick Cave. Elvis represented the human condition to us, reflected from within living the dream.
Like humans do, he "lived the nightmare" as well, but nothing, not a million cheesy imitators or thousands of jokes, or jaded
apprentices will EVER take away from what he did here.
The '68 Comeback Special remains a testament to reclamation in all forms, and people's peaks stand the test of time way beyond the valleys.
One for the MONEY!!!
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