Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I hate Elvis Week
Here it is again, another Elvis Week.

I can't stand it.

I've got nothing against celebrating Elvis -- his music and his influence are well worth honoring, and not just for one week a year. What I have trouble with is the Elvis who seems to take over during Elvis Week, the one safe for tourist consumption: the spangled Elvis, the overly sideburned Elvis, the fat Elvis.

The caricature Elvis. The joke.

Somewhere along the way the standard image of Elvis ceased to be the vital, virile, dangerous singer who turned popular music on its ear back in the '50s. Instead, he became the lug who padded his career with all those crummy movies. (Colonel Tom Parker, that old con man, always wanted Elvis to be softer and usually got his way -- and Elvis deferred all too often.) Yeah, people remember the 1968 comeback and the tremendous live shows of the early '70s, but ask people today to describe Elvis Aron Presley and I'll bet the word "jumpsuit" is one of the first out of their mouths.

("It's a lot easier to do Vegas Elvis," a professor told me for an article five years ago.)

Anyway, I'd rather listen to "Hound Dog." And "Trying to Get to You." And "Little Sister." And "Guitar Man." And "Crying in the Chapel." Yes, the man could be a complete hammy showman -- you can't stay No. 1 through danger and charisma alone, which explains "Don't Cry Daddy" and "Way Down" -- but Elvis was much deeper than that.

So, if you're in Memphis, enjoy the Elvis gimcrackery and approved consumer tie-ins. But take in some struggling bluesman, too -- or a solid country band. Otherwise, joke Elvis wins.
Whoa! What about "A Little Less Conversation"? Overplayed a little, maybe, but the essence of "dangerous" Elvis.

One thing I learned during my many years living in Memphis -- these fans are passionate. Fervent, even. Never, EVER, down a few drinks and head down to the Candlelight Vigil to poke fun.
Elvis paid his dues to be remembered but it goes way too far. A vigil at Graceland, fine, playing a lot of his music all week, fine, lots of specials of his concerts, great, but spare me the impersonators in fat suits (or not)and the endless conspiracy theories. The operative word is remember, not dreg up.
There never was a talent like his and never will be.
To all the people that have a problem with Elvis Month. All you have to do is change the channel.
Some of us still love to watch Elvis movies and here things about him.My mother was a fan and I grew up listening to him so I love Elvis. My children listen to his music and watch his old movies so like I said just watch something else.
As a yearly patron of Elvis Week I have to say that the majority of Elvis tribute artists are around to do just that- pay tribute. It is a highly respectful thing in most cases, meant to be an act of reverence and nothing more. Of course, there is always that small group that is going to exploit the less glamorous aspects of his life and personality. Also, much of the current persona that Elvis has taken on is perpetuated by EPE. The over commercialization and marketing of this image- the fake sunglasses, wigs and jewelry- runs rampant at the heart of it all.
I saw Elvis the first time in 1976 when I was 9 years old. While I do love the old Elvis and agree that the danger element was long gone by the late 1960's, I cannot deny my love for his "Vegas Era" material. 'WAY DOWN' was always one of my favorites! Oh, well. I am going to listen to those great songs and remember the thrill of those two concerts I saw and that will be MY celebration for Elvis week. God bless you all!!!
Elvis Presley was the kindest and best person of the world I wait with hope that the joke of vigil at Graceland will be a failure. Mr. Elvis Presley now is with God
Elvis was talented, good singer, had an aura and image. But, people make this man into a demi-god, but his start was only singing black musicians songs. A 1950's version of Michael Bolton (only as far as singing black peoples music to make millions). And the white music world needed to put a white face on Rhythm & Blues. And Pat Boone wasn't doing it, so they loved how Elvis made the young girls screams, had controversy, and sex appeal which we all know sells records. Couldn't make Little Richard or Chuck Berry who actually wrote most of their own music and led the way, because of political, cultural, and racial reasons. People need to get over it, he was talented, I like some of his songs, but he was not all that. He's worthy of remembering and honoring, but not as the "King", that belongs to Chuck Berry or Louis Jordan in my words.
Elvis died 30 years ago. Ho hum.
I was over it about the time it happened. The fakes are just that, fakes. No one else will ever be Elvis. I enjoy my memories of how he was, not the charades of charlatans and their wrapping his myth around themselves for their own benefit.
oh, my god you rednecks & hillbillies are pathetic. Elvis was influenced by the blues BLACK man's blues. If it weren't for the juke joints that he snuck out of his house to listen to the music. All he did was bring that into the mainstream, and it was at a time during segregation. I realize that you guys were kids when he came out and the music that you heard was new. But Elvis was nothing more than poor white trash who got rich off of other people's music. And did he ever EVER acknowledge who influenced him? NOPE. AT least the BEATLES acknowledged who they were influenced by.
I love Elvis week because I love music and music it's new bands , no new artists, ...Music it'sliving from the past....

In the actual situation a new elvis phenomenon it's impossible to discover for the world.

What? You are comparing Elvis to a 1950's version of Michael Bolton? That's like saying Paris hilton is poor and talented... complete and utter nonsense!

As far as being a demi-god that is rubbish people appreciate his talent and the fact that he was one of a kind they certainly don't worship him!

I am not saying i do not like modern day music i do and i am a fan of many of todays artists music. But will i be upset at the end of there career or in the future the death of them probably not.

My mum and dad are fans of Elvis and so am i. I grew up listening to him and enjoying his music.I believe him to be the most Handsome and one of the most talented and loved singers the world has ever known and probably will ever know.

I hate Elvis impersonators who reinforce the jumpsuit image of Elvis as the only way he ever looked. When of course it was not he was so much more than that.

The people that immertate his voice and movements with there over the top lip curling. Wearing those ridiculous wigs really annoys me it is basicaly just saying that he was nothing more than an joke image.

I would like the next generation to remember him in his hayday as well in the 50's not just the 70's and not the image that these impersonators portray that they make all there money from.

To all the Impersonators out there you say that you are fans of his then show him some respect and stop with just wearing the jumpsuits he wore other things!!

Also stop the pathetic over the top lip curling and stupied wigs! Stop turning his memory into a joke you are doing more harm than good!

Let's protect his image and remember him as i believe he would have wanted to be remembered by his MUSIC.

He was such a thoughtful generous man who gave to many charities (which was hardly known by the public as he did not do it for publicity compared to todays media craving artists) He also gave us fantastic music that still lives on strong and will for many years to come.

As for the movies i wish someone could have given him a heads up on the so called colonel parker.On what a type of man he was before it was too late. Elvis was a man of his word and stuck by Colonel Parker when today's artists would have ran a mile long before it got bad. He obviously just saw Elvis as a walking money pot fulfilling his money fuelled so called career needs not Elvis's.

Maybe then he could have come over here to England and other countries that loved him just as much as America. He could have also made the films he wanted to do and not the constant stream of "Musicals" like he did.

All i know is this to all you who criticize Elvis "can you name another artist that after 30 years after there death people around the world are still remembering and loving them?"

No?.. i did not think so..Long live his memory..God Bless Elvis Presley.
I loved Elvis no matter what his age or size. I saw him once, and I still miss him.

The best voted Elvis tribute in Las Vegas last year went not to jumpsuits or fake sideburns but to Steve Connolly who looks, acts and sings like Elvis but is a talented artist in his own right. I don't know if we can put Web site addresses here, so I'll just say, do a search on "Spirit of the King" and be sure to enter his Web site in Flash. You'll be amazed. Steve's show just closed at Fitzgeralds. He was doing the tribute on Fremont Street in Las Vegas when everybody else was celebrating in Memphis.

Until about five years ago I couldn't listen to or see Elvis stuff because my heart never mended after he died. Then I had to do an article on Steve Connolly, which forced me to reckon with my feelings, and now I'm OK.

I'll always miss Elvis, but I can listen to his music once again. "It's Easy for You" on the Moody Blues album (his last one) has to be the saddest song in the world.

Well, I've never posted to this forum before, but I wanted to talk about Elvis and say how long it took me to come to terms with his death and what forced me into it. Thank you.
How can American Love a man that said all Black can do for him is SHINE HIS SHOE AND BUY HIS ALBUMS.
Patricia, Elvis never said that -- it's a vicious urban legend. See this column, but Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick, for more detail:
It seems to me that everyone has forgotten that Elvis mainstreamed the phase " Sex, drugs, & rock n roll". Married he selpt with every fluzzie who spread her legs. Died by the hand of drugs. Well rock n roll that's pushing it alittle far. People should see him for what he really was and not what they think he was. No wonder why his daughter is so mixed up.
I'm with to Todd. I love Elvis. I'm not a big fan of his movies, but I watch the documentaries, etc. I love watching the man in action in the DVD's of his concerts.

What I hate is that Elvis week happens the week of Elvis' death and not the week of his birth. Why do we celebrate when we lost him and not when he came into the world?

If were up to me, I'd celebrate in the month of January. I can promise that I'll never be at Graceland during Elvis Week.

PS. Elvis could've been even better than he was if he had never met "Colonel" Tom Parker.
In this day and age of celebrities being the new gods, is anyone surprised that Elvis is the top of the pile? I have no axe to grind about the Elvis vigils and commemorations, more power to those who attend - at least they're not hurting anyone - but I do wonder at the dedication to and idolization of one man.

Yes, it could be attributed to his dying before becoming an old man (although he wasn't a healthy one either at the time of his death). And yes, he was a fantastic entertainer, with great talent who changed the face of rock'n roll, but so did the Beatles - and we don't have a "John Lennon" week, do we?

Being Australian I'm probably a little more irreverent than the average Elvis fan, but I must say that it is fascinating and a little disturbing to see how widespread the adoration is. We've had Elvis stories appearing on our news services over here for the past week too - all with the angle of Australian fans making the pilgrimage to Graceland - and being Australian, I have to say that I was a little distressed to see a fellow countrywoman begin to cry when asked how much she loved Elvis. Now, THAT'S dedication.

But, in a way, he's their God. We really only have to worry when they set up an official Church of Elvis - I think that's when it may have gone too far.
Elvis is like will always be around generation after gerneration.......
To the Australian gentlement: If you are ever on the west coast of the USA, drop by Portland, OR. We have had a Church of Elvis for many, many years. Right now, the owner doesn't have a store front but she is looking for a place to rent.
Elvis was overrated.
I'm glad the fat guy is dead, because he would have only lead to more cheesy covers of his cheesy songs.
WOW!!!! What an absolute mess...I cannot believe that supicious minds was not mentioned once in the previous emails. I have been singing that song since I was 4 years old and still listen to it in my car. My friends think I'm insane. I can't go into the whole black and white thing this whole country and lots of others are a mess because of the color of ones skin or the accent in which we speak. Good is good and I like it. Yes there have however been better singers and songwriters...ever heard of a guy named Sinatra? or how about Sammy?
Occasional musings and gab about the world of entertainment.
• 10/22/2006 - 10/29/2006
• 10/29/2006 - 11/05/2006
• 11/05/2006 - 11/12/2006
• 11/12/2006 - 11/19/2006
• 11/26/2006 - 12/03/2006
• 12/03/2006 - 12/10/2006
• 12/10/2006 - 12/17/2006
• 12/17/2006 - 12/24/2006
• 12/24/2006 - 12/31/2006
• 12/31/2006 - 01/07/2007
• 01/07/2007 - 01/14/2007
• 01/14/2007 - 01/21/2007
• 01/21/2007 - 01/28/2007
• 01/28/2007 - 02/04/2007
• 02/04/2007 - 02/11/2007
• 02/11/2007 - 02/18/2007
• 02/18/2007 - 02/25/2007
• 02/25/2007 - 03/04/2007
• 03/04/2007 - 03/11/2007
• 03/11/2007 - 03/18/2007
• 03/18/2007 - 03/25/2007
• 03/25/2007 - 04/01/2007
• 04/01/2007 - 04/08/2007
• 04/08/2007 - 04/15/2007
• 04/15/2007 - 04/22/2007
• 04/22/2007 - 04/29/2007
• 04/29/2007 - 05/06/2007
• 05/06/2007 - 05/13/2007
• 05/13/2007 - 05/20/2007
• 05/20/2007 - 05/27/2007
• 05/27/2007 - 06/03/2007
• 06/03/2007 - 06/10/2007
• 06/10/2007 - 06/17/2007
• 06/24/2007 - 07/01/2007
• 07/01/2007 - 07/08/2007
• 07/08/2007 - 07/15/2007
• 07/15/2007 - 07/22/2007
• 07/22/2007 - 07/29/2007
• 07/29/2007 - 08/05/2007
• 08/05/2007 - 08/12/2007
• 08/12/2007 - 08/19/2007
• 08/19/2007 - 08/26/2007
• 08/26/2007 - 09/02/2007
• 09/02/2007 - 09/09/2007
• 09/09/2007 - 09/16/2007
• 09/16/2007 - 09/23/2007
• 09/23/2007 - 09/30/2007
• 09/30/2007 - 10/07/2007
• 10/07/2007 - 10/14/2007
• 10/14/2007 - 10/21/2007
• 10/21/2007 - 10/28/2007
• 10/28/2007 - 11/04/2007
• 11/04/2007 - 11/11/2007
• 11/11/2007 - 11/18/2007
• 11/25/2007 - 12/02/2007
• 12/02/2007 - 12/09/2007
• 12/09/2007 - 12/16/2007
• 12/16/2007 - 12/23/2007
• 12/30/2007 - 01/06/2008
• 01/06/2008 - 01/13/2008
• 01/13/2008 - 01/20/2008
CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. Please note that CNN makes reasonable efforts to review all comments prior to posting and CNN may edit comments for clarity or to keep out questionable or off-topic material. All comments should be relevant to the post and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying information via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.