Tuesday, November 25, 2008

75. Elvis - Aloha From Hawaii

Everyone owns at least one Elvis album, right?

I grew up on a steady diet of Elvis. In the homes of my friends, they worshiped Jesus or Mary or Moses. In my home, there was Elvis worship. I was schooled in all the songs. I was forced to watch all the movies. Elvis in Hawaii. Clambake. Some movie where Mary Tyler Moore is a nun and Elvis seduces her. I think. I think he has to battle Jesus for Mary's heart or something.

I figured out a very young age that all the movies were the same. Elvis meets girls. Elvis sings to girls. Elvis makes out with someone. What happens in between all that doesn't matter. It's like watching the old Star Trek shows. You just wait for the moment when Kirk bangs an alien chick. Then the episode is complete. When Elvis sings at some swooning girl, the movie has reached it's climax. The rest is just filler. Elvis. Kirk. Same thing. All you needed was an episode of Star Trek where Kirk swiveled his hips and crooned something like "hunka hunka burnin love" to some chick with blue skin and three arms, and you'd have Elvis in space.

Now that I think about, Elvis in Hawaii was via satellite. Look at the album cover - Elvis in Space!

My mother listened to this album a ridiculous amount of times one summer. She'd prop the stereo speakers up by the back windows and we'd be outside all day, in the pool, on the deck, sunbathing, eating, whatever we were doing there was this constant soundtrack of Hound Dog and Suspicious Minds and It's Over. Mom and her friend Noreen sitting at a picnic table playing Pinochle in the hot sun and talking about Elvis's hips and Elvis's love life and what they would do if they ever met The King. Sure, I felt the same way about Leif Garret, but I was a kid. They were adults. They weren't supposed to swoon.

I've grown to fully appreciate Elvis. Maybe it's something that comes with entering old age. Maybe it's because of the Velvet Elvis hanging in our computer room. Maybe it's because Elvis built the pyramids.

Favorite song: Suspicious Minds
Story about me, my mom, Elvis and death


Woody said...

Actually, I own zero Elvis albums and I'm totally cool with that.

Solonor Rasreth said...

I'm a huge pre-RCA Elvis fan, but everything after that...not so much. He did do a nice album on his return to Memphis after his '69(?) TV show, but the rest was wasted talent.

When I started collecting Beatle records, one of my brothers began an Elvis mania that lasts to this day.

Blue State Cowgirl said...

If you weren't a teen in the 50s, Elvis is an acquired taste. By the time I started listening to music, he was a fat, washed up, has-been joke. Then he died.

Two summers ago, I was dragged to Graceland by my 20 year old niece. Walking from room to room seeing the early concert footage of him performing was electrifying. Now I worship at the altar of Elvis.

michele said...

Anyone who only thinks of Elvis as fat and drugged out needs to see early concert footage. Like you, they will be converted, or at least see what all the fuss was about.

sokeri said...

it's called Change of Habit damn it!