Elvis: Beyond Mortal Status

It’s not how much you have that makes people look up to you, it’s who you are.“ (Elvis Presley)

Has Elvis Presley really left the building as the saying goes? At least that thought seemed to be on my mind as I watched the much anticipated Elvis movie last week on the big screen. For in addition to the Elvis hype of the movie, I’ve seen my “fill’ of iconic Elvis moments at various Las Vegas casinos, his Mississippi birthplace and Memphis Graceland Estate on our road trip visits that convinces me of his “larger than life” status in rock n’ roll music around the world then and now.

Yet I must admit as a past band member myself and world traveler, there’s a deeper human side to explain the rise and fall of Elvis’ fanatical stardom that began when he recorded his first musical hit at Sun Records in Memphis, Tennessee on July 5, 1954. So I’ve compiled in the following paragraphs some personal reflections about Elvis the person beyond his extraordinary rock n’ roll legacy and how they might directly relate to future improvements in our future travels.

1. Elvis’ Color Blind Mentality

In the film, Elvis’ music arose from a wide diversity of musical styles played during deeply segregated 1950s times.For he consciously resisted prejudicial pressure against those who believed his act to be wrong for America by embracing such music legends as B.B. King, Mahalia Jackson, as well as the Beatles in his later times. So I could use such timely advice as a road tripper and world journeyer by acting more assertively to find common ground with “locals” who might confront my wife and me in “red” states like Alabama, West Virginia, and Idaho because of our politically different ways.

2. Elvis’ Team Evolution

In the mid 1950s, the film clearly illustrates that Elvis’ popularity as “The King of Rock n’ Roll” exploded during each nightly performance as a charismatic solo artist. In fact, however, he never actually wrote original music for any of his songs. Know as well that as Elvis grew older, his later performances in Las Vegas took place on a grander scale as more polished set lists in sync with an orchestral stage show setting. Thus he became increasingly interdependent with those comprising his team of musicians each night to sustain the high energy performance that the audience expected of him each night. Thus given Elvis’ need to become more than a solo act, might I also be more  receptive to the idea of delegating more responsibilities for planning our vacations to my wife and respected travel agencies now.

3. Elvis’ Worldly Outlook

It’s quite obvious from the movie that the Elvis’ rock n’ roll craze exploded with world wide appeal. Yet because of the questionable booking arrangements of Colonel Parker to profit from Elvis’ night to night concert “grind” back home in the U.S., Elvis never realized his long desired quest to travel and perform overseas. So as I ponder with apprehension my current dilemma about how to manage current family and medical challenges that require extended time spent in South Florida, I must overcome such fears and remain committed to venturing independently with my wife to new places outside my city, state, and. country,

4. Elvis‘ Addictive Ways

Life on the road playing the raucous rhythm and blues style music that Elvis loved grew more difficult for him over time. For the late 1960s and beyond presented him in the film with a new spirit of protest in each performance as the MLK and Bobby Kennedy’ assassinations, Civil Rights violence on the streets , and the escalation of the Vietnam War weighed heavily on his mind at the time. Compounding these stressful issues, mounting problems in Elvis’ relationship with Priscilla would lead to the end of their marriage in 1973. To mask such inner pain, Elvis’ body thus began to wear down on the road. His once slender figure now became bloated from poor eating habits while his drug- alcohol misuse would sometimes slur his speech or cause him to stumble around awkwardly on stage. Very simply, it would thus behoove me to consider Elvis’ decline in his physical condition as a “wake up” call. For while I might enjoy a “good night on the town” in day to day travel in sensory indulgence, it’s simple not worth it at this stage of my life to abuse such freedoms from a health perspective.

5. Elvis’ Financial Woes

Who would had ever thought that a famous musician like Elvis Presley would be depicted in the movie as hopelessly in debt due to outrageous expenditures at his Graceland Estate and unfair royalties contract with his booking agent, Colonel Parker during the course of his musical career? Thus, it would be wise for me to be more mindful about when to invest our time and money in this present era of information overload concerning desired places and modes of travel. I must particularly read the fine print more as to fees allotted to commercial entries that advertise travel extras such as time share gift bribes, untrusting booking arrangements, and credit card fraud activities.

In addition to these movie depictions I’ve reasoned about the popularized “King of Rock n’ Roll”, take a long look at the Elvis photo set below. How then does his legacy both in music and beyond measure up today? In what ways?

Elvis Birthplace 1 – Tupelo, Mississippi
Elvis Birthplace 2 – Tupelo, Mississippi
Elvis Birthplace 3 – Tupelo, Mississippi
Elvis’ Graceland Home 1 – Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis’ Graceland Home 2 – Memphis, Tennessee
Elvis Exhibit 1 In Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame – Cleveland, Ohio
Elvis Exhibit 2 In Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame – Cleveland, Ohio
Elvis Exhibit 3 In Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame – Cleveland, Ohio
Elvis Casino Memento 1 – Las Vegas, Nevada
Elvis Casino Memento 2 – Las Vegas, Nevada
Elvis Presley’s 2022 Movie Portrayal

8 thoughts on “Elvis: Beyond Mortal Status

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  1. Totally enjoyed the movie. It was spot on the way that Elvis played to the audiences. Viewed some of his live concerts on YouTube and the film portrayal was perfect. He is an Americano icon and passed away too soon. Hard to believe he would be 88 if he was still alive. You covered Elvis perfectly!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s hard for me to figure Elvis out. He was one of the greatest performers of all time. He influenced us on what to do…his warmth and grounded personality to fans…and what not to do. He was the first and only Elvis and took some wrong turns and there are no do-overs in life.
    The Colonel sure didn’t help him out in the end.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I framed his music in relationship to progressive rock and real jazz forms I loved. His girlie girl stuff I considered as bubble gum compositions as compared to the serious musicians I followed.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. What a fun post. You brought back memories that’s for sure!
    I haven’t seen the new film but it looks good. I can’t wait.

    I first saw Elvis on TV in 1956. (I was in kindergarten or first grade). My parents and my whole family were watching because everyone was curious to see who this new sensation was. I remember it like it was yesterday. And I admit, even as a little girl I was immediately captivated. My father looked at my mother and said, “ I don’t Get it! What’s all the jumping around about?”. And I spoke up right away…
    “ Daddy, I love him! He makes me wanna dance.” And I began dancing around the room, which my parents got a kick out of.

    That began my attraction to “The King of rock and roll!” I had already listened to Bill Haley and the comets and danced to his music but when Bill Haley was on Ed Sullivan I remember being disappointed because he was (to my young eyes) just another old guy. However, Elvis was young, handsome and had personality! I was hooked. I’d never seen anything like him and my 6 year old self had my first crush!

    In middle school the Beatles came out and Teenagers in 1964 then had to choose between “Rockers or Greasers.” My allegiance went to the Rockers but secretly I remained devoted to Elvis. There was something special about him. His movies became ridiculous and the Fab4 represented a changing world ahead. Yet Elvis was Elvis. Rather like a drug you couldn’t quit. My mom saved clippings of him and I’d come home from school and often catch her watching an Elvis movie on Tv. I remember asking her if she had a crush on him and she winked at me saying not to tell my father. It was kind of cute that she had a thing for Elvis. Lol

    Here is a video clip of the very first time I ever saw Elvis perform on TV! After this performance they only showed him from the waist up! Elvis the Pelvis Is what my father called him after this performance.

    Liked by 1 person

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