January 8, 2002
6:29 AM   Subscribe

Happy Birthday to Elvis Presley! Dead (?) 25 years now and he's still everywhere you look . I used to have a theory that, if you paid close attention, you would see at least one pop culture reference to Elvis every day. Whether it's a tongue in cheek mockery of him or a serious tribute, Elvis is still around. Hell, we talk about him all the time...
posted by ColdChef (39 comments total)

I was in a restaurant about a week ago when my daughter, on the long side of four years old, pointed at a Presley picture and asked "Who's that?"

"That's the king, baby. He's the king."
posted by majick at 6:38 AM on January 8, 2002

Elvis is everywhere, man!
He's in everything.
He's in everybody...

Elvis is in your jeans.
He's in your cheesburgers
Elvis is in Nutty Buddies!
Elvis is in your mom!

He's in everybody.
He's in the young, the old,
the fat, the skinny,
the white, the black
the brown and the blue
people got Elvis in 'em too

Elvis is in everybody out there.
Everybody's got Elvis in them!
Everybody except one person that is...
Yeah, one person!
The evil opposite of Elvis.
The Anti-Elvis

Anti-Elvis got no Elvis in 'em,
lemme tell ya.

Michael J. Fox has no Elvis in him.

*Mojo Nixon doesn't know what the fuck he's on about, but I love him.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:39 AM on January 8, 2002

"Elvis was a hero to most
But he never meant shit to me you see
Straight up racist that sucker was
Simple and plain
Mother fuck him and John Wayne"

-Public Enemy "Fight the Power"
posted by ColdChef at 6:48 AM on January 8, 2002

What about Bowie? or Vic Tayback? It's their birthday also.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 6:51 AM on January 8, 2002

Ummmm. Vic Tayback's grave says "Jan. 6"
I mean, god bless him anyway...
posted by ColdChef at 6:56 AM on January 8, 2002

and hey, don't forget El Vez - The Mexican Elvis!
Seriously, go see this guy if you get a chance - he is the hardest working man in show bidnez, for reals.
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 6:56 AM on January 8, 2002

Ummmm. Vic Tayback's grave says "Jan. 6"

OK, my bad, let's try Stephen Hawking!
posted by hotdoughnutsnow at 7:00 AM on January 8, 2002

"Elvis...sang to win
Elvis...the battle hymn
Elvis...the battle to be slim
Elvis ate America before America ate him"

Elvis Ate America -Passengers (U2)
posted by ColdChef at 7:07 AM on January 8, 2002

When my stepson was 2, I subjected him to Elvis whenever we were in the car together. I taught him to pick Elvis' picture out of magazines. For years after, whenever he heard something that really moved on the radio--whether it was Nirvana or Melissa Etheridge or Prince--he'd ask if it was Elvis.

In a way, I'd tell him, it was.
posted by jpoulos at 7:19 AM on January 8, 2002

Elvis and Bowie have been mentioned, but what about Shirley Bassey?

And for that matter, what about me? I turn 32 today!
posted by O9scar at 7:36 AM on January 8, 2002

ColdChef: For a good refutation of the Public Enemy line (nothing based in absolute fact), see Peter Guralnick's excellent Last Train to Memphis. In any case, if you're looking for Elvis references, you are commanded to see this.

Meantime, my favorite Elvis reference of the day, from the web site of the Stax soul museum in Memphis, now under construction. See the second pic, at bottom, from Sun Studios.
posted by raysmj at 7:37 AM on January 8, 2002

ColdChef: For a good refutation of the Public Enemy line (nothing based in absolute fact), see Peter Guralnick's excellent Last Train to Memphis.

Fantastic book. I have around thirty or forty books about Elvis and El-phemera, and that's the best I've read. And, while I liked "Mystery Train", I still hold "Wild at Heart" as the greatest Elvis by-product movie.

How creepy is it that Lisa Marie Presley is now dating Nic Cage?

HIM: I built my career around acting like your dead father.
HER: Let's do it.

posted by ColdChef at 7:47 AM on January 8, 2002

Elvis is still The King! As Webb Wilder said: "If you don't think He's number one, you're full of number two."
Merry Elvismas, everyone!
posted by whuppy at 7:51 AM on January 8, 2002

"Hold it! Let's get one thing straight or I'm walking too. I don't work on January the eighth 'cause that's Elvis' birthday." -- DC Cab
posted by whuppy at 7:56 AM on January 8, 2002

And, while I liked "Mystery Train", I still hold "Wild at Heart" as the greatest Elvis by-product movie.

The only song i'll karaoke is "Love Me".
posted by jpoulos at 8:08 AM on January 8, 2002

As much as I love and respect Public Enemy, nothing about Elvis was simple or plain. Especially not his attitudes about race. That said, "Motherfuck him and John Wayne" is still one my favorite lines in any song ever.
posted by elvissinatra at 8:21 AM on January 8, 2002

It's my Birthday too!
posted by Mick at 8:21 AM on January 8, 2002

Tonight, I'll be celebrating E's birthday at Chuy's in Austin. If you go dressed as the King (as I always do) you get a free Elvis Presley Memorial Combo with a Twinkie (with a candle in it) and a plate of Krispy Kreme doughnuts.

BTW, if the name of the restaurant sounds familiar, it's where the Bush girls were busted for trying to get hootch with fake IDs.
posted by ColdChef at 8:46 AM on January 8, 2002

As the U.S. Post Office acknowledged, there is no Elvis. There are only Elvises. The Elvis who recorded from 1954 through 1964 was a brilliant artist whose works will live forever. That guy who went under the name of Elvis after 1964 is a total artistic zero, a huge waste of plastic, and unworthy of any serious consideration. The famous 1968 "comeback" TV special was, in fact, a major disappointment to his true fans. The leather suit he wore on that show looked ridiculous; the reunion with Scotty and the boys was lame and totally without energy; and his voice had lost all its vibrancy and soaring creativity. The whole thing was a contrived embarassment. Who's to blame? The Colonel, of course.
posted by Faze at 9:24 AM on January 8, 2002

....whenever he heard something that really moved on the radio...he'd ask if it was Elvis. In a way, I'd tell him, it was.

that's one of the greatest elvis stories i've ever heard, jpoulos.
posted by danOstuporStar at 9:30 AM on January 8, 2002

How creepy is it that Lisa Marie Presley is now dating Nic Cage?

Less creepy than her being married to MJ.

ColdChef, have you ever seen Rod Roddy's Elvis tribute show at The Continental Club ? Two shows, twice a year and not too far from Chuy's for your after dinner enjoyment. One of the most amazing things I have ever seen. He says he doesn't impersonate Elvis so much as interpret him. Really hot back-up singers, if you like that sort of thing. Last I heard, tickets were still available. The first show might be non-smoking.
posted by colt45 at 9:40 AM on January 8, 2002

Colt45: The show is great, I saw it last year (TED Roddy, BTW). Hmmm. Friday night is open. I may have to do that. He does capure E's vibe. Plus, that gives them a reason to light the Elvis sign on the roof of the Continental Club. Thanks for the reminder.

So, what made Elvis ELVIS? One theory is that as a twinless twin (his brother, Jesse Garon Presley was stillborn) his life was destined to be a study in human duality. Don't take it from me, there have been studies . Of course, some people think it's a bunch of crap, but there are plenty of resources out there about twinless twins. Decide for yourself.
posted by ColdChef at 9:51 AM on January 8, 2002

The day the Elvis died
Was like a mercy killing
America breathed
A sigh of relief
We knew all about the drugs
And the Vegas shows
And there wasn't much of anything
That looked like grief

And I guess he shoulda done
Like James Dean did
'Stead of putting on weight
And sinking down, down, down
Easier to take
If he had just skidded straight
To souvenir city
And T-shirt town

dan bern
posted by th3ph17 at 9:51 AM on January 8, 2002

I went to Graceland a couple of years ago, and frankly the house is much smaller than I thought it would be. That said, you have to see it. For either the straight out gaudiness of Elvis' "Jungle Room" (think of a Johnny Weismuller set come to life) or the sheer future-think involved in his custom three tv room, it's worth it.

Also, has anyone heard of the anecdote involving Elvis' "tv glasses"? They were supposedly glasses built with lenses like a periscope so "E" could lay on his back while eating but not miss watching tv. This was of course "Fat & Crazy Elvis", right before the end.
posted by owillis at 10:00 AM on January 8, 2002

"Terrorist threat or not, the president of Britain's North Hampton fan club just had to be here for Elvis's birthday week celebrations.

"If we stop coming, the terrorists have won," said Brown, 39, making her 21st visit to Memphis. "

posted by ColdChef at 10:15 AM on January 8, 2002

just this morning i was telling my wife that i've realized i talk with elvis hand gestures. Our ukranian neighbor stepped out and i did the elvis shoulder wiggle with index-finger-pointed-like-a-gun saying dobraye ootro for good morning. i need help.
posted by th3ph17 at 10:55 AM on January 8, 2002

ColdChef, Ted Roddy, you are right. I've heard him called "Rod" by someone, though...

Did you know that Willie Nelson says that Elvis' last words were "Mmmm...corn."?
posted by colt45 at 11:42 AM on January 8, 2002

FWIW, Rod Roddy is the announcer on the Price Is Right.
posted by jpoulos at 12:16 PM on January 8, 2002

Did you know that Willie Nelson says that Elvis' last words were "Mmmm...corn."?

As in: Elvis on the throne, looking down between his legs and seeing corn nugget turds? Thanks. That's the most disturbing image I've had in my head all day.

"Corn? I don't remember eating corn!"
posted by ColdChef at 12:38 PM on January 8, 2002

Austin also has the largest Elvis fan club in the US. A radio station in Austin is doing this promotion:
"Steve Christopher, officially endorsed by Graceland, has the world's foremost Elvis Presley music collection. Steve offers a challenge to anyone in our listening area...if a listener can request an Elvis song that he doesn't have in his collection, Steve will buy that listener a new Cadillac from Covert Cadillac."
posted by timothompson at 1:44 PM on January 8, 2002

Holy shit! I never heard that. Wait, let me tune in...cool. They're playing his Gospel stuff.

Biggest in the US, huh? That explains a lot. Thanks.
posted by ColdChef at 1:51 PM on January 8, 2002

Every caller is getting passes to Graceland. No one has stumped him yet. They're playing a song now that was only on one album and it was a private recording that E made in his own home studio.
posted by ColdChef at 2:01 PM on January 8, 2002

Damn. They just played the live version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight" when Elvis started laughing at a bald man in the audience and couldn't stop. That's the one I thought would win me a Cadillac.
posted by ColdChef at 2:18 PM on January 8, 2002

Vernon won. I can't tell if he won a Caddy.
posted by timothompson at 2:21 PM on January 8, 2002

No, he didn't win the Caddy. There's still a chance.
posted by timothompson at 2:50 PM on January 8, 2002

It's Elvis Presley's birthday, and I'm pissed off.
As a last-minute not-actually-on-the-schedule "bonus" the dining hall closest to my dorm decided to have an "Elvis day." They decided to have the fast food line serve hot dogs, hamburgers, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
Yeah, cute. But, then in addition to that, they closed the line that normally serves pasta. And to top that off, they took the normal food out of the normal dinner line, and replaced it with more hot dogs, hamburgers, and peanut butter and banana sandwiches.
This wouldn't be so bad, if it weren't for the fact that the university's burgers range in quality from mediocre to inedible. At least they had special jalepeno cheese today in addition to the american, white american, and lite american that they usually have. (Nothing says "King of Rock and Roll" like spicy processed cheese food.)
Let's see, what else did they do ...
Oh yes, they had a modern-style jukebox playing modern-style music. They scrimped on the usual dessert line, but did have a line with yummy root beer floats made with yummy bland Mug sugar water. They placed a pointless dividing curtain between the two food lines (presumably to make it less apparent that they were both serving the same thing). They put Elvis-head shaped signs saying things like "7% of Americans think Elvis is alive" and cutesy labels like "Blue Hawaii punch" next to the drinks, and "Hound Dog" by the hot dogs.
And I went there expecting to have my choice between turkey and stuffed shells, which is what the dinner menu said when I checked it a mere six hours earlier.
posted by CrunchyFrog at 4:06 PM on January 8, 2002

Sorry to hear about your dinner. Here's what I had tonight at Chuys:

After several Margaritas, (straight up, not frozen) I enjoyed the Elvis Presley Green Chile Fried Chicken, which is this:
A huge chicken breast that is dipped in egg batter, rolled around in crushed Lays potato chips and then deep fried and covered with a spicy green chile sauce. Yeah, it's the Heart-Healthy choice.
posted by ColdChef at 7:27 PM on January 8, 2002

Did I mention that Elvis' dad was named Vernon?

Here's Elvis' genealogy.
posted by timothompson at 8:09 PM on January 8, 2002

I was playing pool in the garage, the stereo was at full tilt with Goats Head Soup when my niece ran in and told me Elvis had died. It had been a long time since he was really the King of rock and roll, but I remembered those days very well, and the news hurt,because I did remember those days, and what he gave us back then.
posted by Mack Twain at 11:24 PM on January 8, 2002

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