January the 8th is a very special date. It was the day my granny was born, in 1907. Most of you know, she’s no longer here, thus I cannot celebrate her anniversary with her, but this date is one to remember happily.
You might find it stupid, but I’m proud that my granny’s birthday is on the same date as Elvis’ and David Bowie’s.
I really dig Bowie, not that I’m a huge fan, but respect him the most, and there are certain albums not to be ignored at all. His ambiguity, his irresistible gaze, a very personal voice, and compositions, make of him a quite unique character.
But today is Elvis’ day. Period.
If he was still alive, he’d be an adorable 77 yeard old gentleman. Have you ever thought how would he look like? I have an idea, close to Bruce Campbell’s portrait in Bubba Ho-Tep. In case you’ve never watched it, you should, the first 45 minutes are simply priceless.
Many things we’ve been told of The King. Many stories, rumors, and anecdotes… and a vast legacy of songs, albums, concerts, movies and pictures, keep the legend easily alive.
But there’s a hell lot beyond his artistic side. The 42 years of his life were really intense. From being a humble and poor boy, his worldwide success was absolutely overwhelming. Not only his mother, Gladys, marked his personality, but many people surrounding him, took part of his life and fate. What would had happened if Colonel Parker hadn’t been his manager? What if he hadn’t met Priscilla? Ahhh, we’ll never know.
From here, I approach this post to strongly recommend you Elvis Presley’s biography, to know him better, and most likely, to understand him too.
Peter Guralnick, an American music critic, started to focus on chronicling the history of blues, rock, and country by 1970’s.
The enterprise of compiling information of Presley’s, gave birth to a two-volume biography, released with 5 years of difference in 1990’s.
Elvis Presley, Las Train To Memphis (1994), basically covers his family backgrounds, birth and growing up, his acquaintance with Sam Phillips and the first recordings, his massive success, up to Glady’s death and his military service in Germany.
Elvis Presley, Careless Love (1999), deals with Elvis’ Hollywood period, too extent due to Colonel Parker, his weird relationship with Priscilla, his famous Comeback and what that meant to him, Vegas time, his personal physical and personal decline, and of course, his death.
There are some points you can a bit lost because of so much information on recordings, but the annex is very helpful. Testimonials, stories, and the most intimate Elvis, are simply delightful. I have to admit, I cried several times, especially towards the end. You know Elvis died, but really, this biography make you feel really close to him, he’s human, gets angry, is generous, but moody, he adores Priscilla, but constantly cheats her.
Elvis wasn’t just a good looking face, a great voice and an awesome performer… I’m not saying he was perfect, no no no, but he was definitely one in a million.
Once this said, my personal celebration starts. The menu will include his debut album, the 68’ Comeback Special and other delicatessen I’ll be improvising.
Dear friends, have a very special Elvis day!