Whenever strains of Blue Moon come on the old internal turntable, I 'hear' Billie Holiday or Sinatra. Apparently Elvis Presley recorded a version too. //shudder// What pops into my head when I think Elvis Presley? His shitty, embarrassing, white leather onesie Vegas days.
I get that, musically, he was a big fucking deal in the ‘50s. He brought rock to repressed white people—something Chuck Berry and Little Richard couldn’t manage as fully in the age of open, legal segregation.
Still, to my tiny mind, Elvis was no more than a relic, a has been, a desperate Vegas act, trying to relive his glory years. His prime years were in the mid-late '50s, just 20 years before I became addicted to music. 20 years is a much smaller amount of time to me at 63 than it was when I was 15 or 25.
20 years ago is a little bit past my big, new music listening years. Yes, I still had hearing then but I was more about getting my ears on and around singers and bands I wanted to remember once my ears went south. I knew time was running out. So I studyied the sounds of NiN The Downward Spiral which came out in ‘94, Pearl Jam’s Ten (30 years ago), David Byrne’s The Forest (also 30 years), Rhythm of the Saints (31 years past) Who’s Next and Abbey Road both of which came out 52 years ago.
Who was big 20 years ago, back in 2001? No Doubt, Chili Peppers and Jane's Addiction were hot. Are they Vegas acts now? Dunno. Are they still selling out the amphitheaters? //shrugs// Mostly, it seems, Gwen Stefani’s a tabloid fashion queen.
Elvis, in my less than humble opinion, could never compete with Robert Plant or Eddie Vedder. Who would I be listening to if I still had hearing? A whole wide-ass range—bands and musical genres spanning my decades on the planet but the older dudes and dudettes would always have my heart. Why? I grew up with them.
All this is by way of saying, now that I’m old, I understand why some folks continue to be wild about Mr Presley—my neurologist’s 70 to 80 year old secretary for one. Her cubby is plastered, unironically, with pics of him. Seems kind of odd but what do I know?
Now, when someone says Elvis, Elvis Costello is the first musician who pops into my head.
Watching the Detectives, Oliver’s Army, Pump it Up and so many other great songs