In honor of Elvis Week

Rob e-mails: “Seen inside a restaurant supply store on the Bowery.” 

My favorite Elvis Week piece so far is the Commercial Appeal’s “Memphis accordion virtuoso reveals close musical encounters with Elvis.” Yessir:

Barrasso was playing his accordion with his back to some winding stairs at that first Graceland party when he suddenly sensed Elvis was coming down the steps.

“I turned around. He was in a black Bolero tux, like a bullfighter tux. Black shiny boots. No shirt. A white silk ascot. A diamond stick pin that I promise would put your eyes out,” he said. “On his left shoulder was a chimpanzee dressed exactly like him.”

The chimpanzee was “Scatter,” who had recently been in a movie with Elvis.

The little things with Elvis

The 75th birthday was yesterday, and you saw experts and fans give favorite songs. I’ve done that enough here in the past, so I wanted to post something different. Andy Kaufman’s impersonations did the trick.

If you’ve ever loved the spoken interlude in the middle of That’s When Your Heartaches Begin (maybe you bundle it with the spoken interlude in your favorite Alicia Keys song) or the vocal gyrations of Treat Me Nice, the YouTube people have guaranteed you a good next dozen minutes.

Bonus: Friend Stevie finds 1993 Tom Hanks with a great Elvis moment.

I like it…

Elvis, 1956 or so, in a regular line of his from the time: “I like it. I enjoy rock ‘n’ roll. Lot of people like it, lots of people don’t. But as long as it lasts, as long as it sells, I’ll continue doin’ it, as long as that’s what the people want. And if they change, if it dies out, I’ll try to do something else, and if that doesn’t work, I’ll just say ‘Well I had my day.’ ”

And this feels related, as some days…
You’ve got to sing that song, save those dogs and fly that chopper.

Ain’t it funny

“In time you’re gonna pay” … no, sometimes nobody pays, except … tonight’s weather report may express my feelings best. The windows are open and I had a thought it would. “Scattered showers, focused mainly on the morning, once again visited the area today. Thanks to some pleasantly surprising sunshine this afternoon, we’ve seen temperatures rise to the mid-and-upper 70s in many spots. Breaks in the clouds may persist into evening, though additional scattered showers remain possible through the evening and into the night.”

‘Lisa Marie’s Ex Dead’

That’s how reports the Jackson death. Judging by the angle and the resulting reader comments, the Elvis community at large is no fan of the late King of Pop. Why? There are the Jackson abuse allegations, for sure, but with a massive dose of musical rivalry. If you want odder reactions to the death, Elvis fans are good place to start. (Sincerely, an Elvis fan but apparently not as big a one as I could be.)

15 albums

Jeremy gave the following preamble on Facebook, and I liked it: “I dutifully ignore most of these Facebook lists, in which you get tagged in someone else’s and are therefore obligated to make your own, but this one sounded kinda fun. So the challenge is to list 15 albums that changed your life, most impacted you or whatever …  I’m limiting mine to officially released material only because otherwise this would be a list of 15 Bruce Springsteen recordings unavailable in stores.” My list:

1. Born to Run, Bruce Springsteen
2. Darkness of the Edge of Town, Bruce Springsteen
3. Kids in Philly, Marah
4. A Legendary Performer Vol. 2, Elvis Presley
5. Gold, CCR
6. Tunnel of Love, Bruce Springsteen
7. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Wilco
8. Summerteeth, Wilco
9. Pneumonia, Whiskeytown
10. Get Lifted, John Legend
11. Greatest Hits, John Denver
12. Joshua Tree, U2
13. My Aim Is True, Elvis Costello
14. Pet Sounds, Beach Boys
15. West Side Story soundtrack

If you want to fight, each one is easily explainable, and I know karate.

Most difficult cuts: Demolition, The River (but you know The River is fine without you), James Brown 20 All-Time Greatest Hits, Chronicle, The ’59 Sound (I’m guessing it’ll stick), Songs for Swingin’ Lovers, Bill Withers Live at Carnegie Hall, Let’s Cut the Crap and Hook Up Later on Tonight.

A theory on Nic Cage

Jess pointed me to the trailer of his coming movie. The plot: His son’s school opens a 50-year time capsule and gives a letter to each person in attendance. Cage, of course, gets the letter with the date and body count of the deadliest tragedies of our time. And, of course, there are still more dates to come. And, of course, the movie looks awesome.

But every Nicolas Cage movie looks awesome in the trailer, a trend that may explain how Cage envisions his movies before signing on. I bet someone tells him the plot and he thinks hard for two and a half minutes before going, “Aw yeah, that’d be pretty good.” I’d probably do the same. Imagines map on back of Declaration of Independence.

Jess figured that was maybe how Cage lived all of life. I had to agree.

“Nic, you ever thought about marrying Lisa Marie?” And he drifts off…

Pictures Lisa Marie in a pretty white dress, himself in a black suit with a crazy belt buckle, wedding bells, crowds of admirers, a limo with red Coke cans hanging off the back, fruity drinks on golden beaches, a den with a bar, Viva Las Vegas on the stereo, funny questions from other couples having drinks about Leaving Las Vegas, a thrown glass shatters, a door closes, the house burns as he stands alone on the lawn, he’s drunk in a dive, a silent sneering man with mysterious sunglasses grabs him and beats him up, that man turns out to be Elvis, they chase each other with big rigs in the desert, the Vegas strip looms, where the big show opens tonight, a huge casino explodes as seen from the sky, cut to Cage in a red leather elevator with muzak playing a lounge cover of It’s Now or Never, as he says to the elevator operator without turning, “You have no idea.”

“Hey, I should marry her…”