16 August 2006

Crying in the Chapel

We lost The King 29 years ago today. Do you remember where you were when you heard the news? I was in the car with my momwe were shopping for stuff for my dorm room items, to which I was moving in a couple of weeksand they announced it on the radio. People called in for hours, crying and keening, hearts breaking.

But there's a better memory attached to this date: my fateful August 1991 trip to Graceland with Simeon. Sim was in the midst of his U.S. tour, and I met his Amtrak in Memphis. It was pure luck that we landed in town during Elvis International Tribute Week. (Does anyone else find it strange that his legion of fans celebrate his death anniversary more than his January 4 birthday?) It was brilliant. Funny and campy. And rather moving. Everyone was friendly, happy to see other Elvis fans. One of the most entertaining weekends of my life. I wish I had remembered before hitting the road to dig up some of Simeon's photos from that weekend; you have to see it to believe it. Maybe one day soon ...

So toast The King tonight and sing your favorite Elvis tune. I'm currently sipping wine and listening to "Kentucky Rain" and "That's All Right, Mama" and "Blue Moon of Kentucky."

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9 Comments:

At 8/17/2006 12:23:00 AM, Anonymous DJ Cayenne said...

I went to see King Sized's annual Elvis Death Day celebration on Saturday Night (E's Death Day Observed). It was spectacular. It gets bigger and better every year.

 
At 8/17/2006 06:45:00 AM, Blogger Ben said...

Thanks for the reminder Beth. You know it's funny but as I get older I respect his music all the more.

I think I'll put his "Elvis In Memphis" album on tonight. Classic!

 
At 8/17/2006 11:16:00 AM, Blogger Old Lady said...

I was in Key West, Florida.

 
At 8/17/2006 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Peter said...

All Shook Up is my favorite.

My old college band used to cover Suspicious Minds. You can't miss with that kind of material.

 
At 8/17/2006 01:48:00 PM, Blogger haahnster said...

You guys don't believe Elvis is actually dead, do you? Next, you'll be telling me OJ really did it...

 
At 8/18/2006 03:11:00 AM, Blogger Coaster Punchman said...

I was in the car somewhere in South Dakota. He died on my sister's birthday, which is how I've remembered it all these years. Just sayin'.

 
At 8/18/2006 10:22:00 AM, Blogger Writeprocrastinator said...

I was skateboarding somewhere and I had no clue to just how cool Elvis was at the time because of that jumpsuited thing that the pills turned him into.

I wish that his career (and not himself) died right after the '68 comeback. Rather I should say, I just wish he went out while he was on top.

 
At 8/18/2006 05:16:00 PM, Blogger Grant Miller said...

I was in my grandmother's back yard and my mom came flying off the back porch crying.

You'd have thought a family member had died.

 
At 8/21/2006 06:16:00 PM, Blogger Beth said...

DJ CAYENNE: I would have loved to have gone this year ... but I was busy packing for the City by the Bay.

BEN: It doesn't get any better than his Sun Session recordings. Although I have to admit that I love a lot of his campier tunes.

OLD LADY: Nice place to be in the late 1970s.

PETER: Once heard Michael Stipe and Natalie Merchant since "Suspicious Minds." Brilliant tune.

HAAHNSTER: I don't believe he's gone; I'm still keeping an eye out. And isn't OJ spending the aughts looking for the real killer?

COASTER PUNCHMAN: I think the story of your driving through South Dakota might be the more interesting story here ...

WRITEPROCRASTINATOR: So do I ... but I do enjoy the kitsch of his later years.

GRANT MILLER: Elvis was a part of all of our families. He was The King.

 

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