Saturday, March 27, 2010


The hair! Her kittenish good looks! His million dollar smile! How I love to look up old candid pictures of Elvis and Priscilla on the internet. The combination of kitsch style and pop romanticism is just too much for this little heart to hold.

Can you imagine if you typed in your mom and dad's names and about four thousand results came up for a trip they took to Hawaii forty years ago?

Confession: I've read about every book they have on Elvis at the Nashville public library (a not-insignificant number), and I enjoyed almost all of them (my top picks: The Peter Guarlnick two volume (one, two) reads-like-a-well-written-movie bio, and Priscilla's memoir Elvis and Me, also, my beloved Jane and Michael Stern's book Elvis World ). Confession: I love the man as an absolute truth. I defend him the way I defend the Doors--while it might not all be the thing you love, the best music you've ever heard; while you can buy an image of Jim Morrison or Elvis plastered to just about any known knickknack and that understandably cuts down on their street cred as "real music"..... to flatly deny the strength of talent coming out of your speakers and into your home is to tell a baldfaced lie. And to have me call you out on it. And possibly stamp my feet while shouting my way through basic timeline facts and discography.

This post is about Elvis photos on the internet. Sit down and try to hunt some down. It's just a world of fun.

I love the sheer number of Elvis sites there ARE on the internet-- while I realize his fan base knows no age boundaries, you would think most of the diehard, middle aged Presley fanatics wouldn't know their way around a computer enough to spread the proselytizing word of the King through the world wide web. And yet! You would be quite mistaken. It's a little like looking at the internet circa 1997, as the majority of sites are hosted by angelfire and have goofy animations of eternal flames, but for sheer source material, let it be said that it is not difficult to find a picture of EP floating through cyberspace.

It's both disturbing and kind of exciting how public EP's life and afterlife have been. One thing I really love are all the candid(ish) photos you can see of Elvis and just about anyone. Like these.

That's Tom Jones (left) and that's Elvis (right). Wait, lemme run that by you again. THAT'S TOM JONES (L) AND THAT'S ELVIS (R). Count me in.

Then there are these.

"Oh, man! It's Elvis! It's Elvis and ME! TAKE A PICTURE OF ELVIS AND ME!" This is visual evidence of why having your picture taken with a celebrity is both a good and bad idea.

Good, in that you can tell your grandkids "Yes, that's THE Elvis Presley, you know, we were hanging out, me, Elvis, some other dudes, drinking 7 ups, you know, just like usual, whatever...".

Bad, in that you have to tell you grandkids "Yes, I really looked like that next to Elvis. So and so said something funny right before they-- NO I DON'T ALWAYS MAKE THAT FACE! No, it was not Halloween. It was the sixties! You try it!" I think contemporary possible Elvis photo subjects should have gone as far as saying "Here, take this picture of Elvis, but make sure I'm not in the shot, as I don't want goofy pictures of the King and me circulating the internet some forty years after I realized those catseye glasses were not doing me any favors."

And finally, the last word in Mid Century Modern decorating, Eames out your living room with a record player, print chintz curtains, and a shirtless, rumpled Elvis lookalike.

Go forth! Elvisify!

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