He had a great Fall and I think he’d appreciate this non-obit obit.
I tried to write an obit in the manner of his lyrics — “Now he’s dead. Can’t get him outta your head-uh.” — but even incorporating as many actual phrases from his songs as possible, I didn’t have the chops to pull it off. (Or it was a misguided project, period.) The key problem was that it could be read as a mockery of his mannerisms. You couldn’t stick in some dopey explanation that it was an homage, since that would ruin everything. But in this touchy age, it would certainly be read as a satiric attack on a guy who just died, you jerk.
I have one I got in Las Vegas many years ago:
Trot it into a window for Halloween. But the boneface-rocker is a remarkably durable image:
And finally, one of the most famous …
“Please Do Not Handle the Monster Pumpkin”
We lost control of it the first flight and it took off out of sight in this neighborhood …
(Thing is, it’s probably smacked onto somebody’s roof somewhere and the residents don’t even know it’s there.)
Sounds in the air today: Umphrey’s McGee, Zonkey
Initial brilliant stroke: the title.
Very clever again and again. First three tracks in particular. Those insanely in love with their record collections will be most appreciative. For ages I hoped there would be one more grand mashup album, and this is a performance, not studio sorcery.
Most pointed “joke”: Mutual strangulation of Ted Nugent and the Beastie Boys (at least someplace I can enjoy the guitar structures without guilt/fury).
Sad reminder: the weakest numbers by far are the originals.
Since I happen to be playing the LP tonight. I know I’ve written this before, but it needs repeating:
Elvis knows how rancid these tunes are. Imagining he has the power to refuse stuff he thinks is “below” him is the mistake some observers make. He was not operating from a position of traditional pop star command.
And, frankly, the on-the-cross live rendition of “Are You Lonesome Tonight?” belongs on evey best-of.
“Are you lonesome tonight? I’m lonesome in a way nobody will ever begin to understand. Because I became Elvis before anyone else.”
Some people call it the album for only the most devoted Presley fans.
I won’t go that far (these good-is-bad-is-outside-in propositions give me sorassisis), but I will agree with Marcus that it is “perversely listenable.”
And you’ll pry my copy (the only one I ever saw and way more than I could sanely afford at the time) from my cold, dead, peanut-butter stained hands.
[EDIT]: This turned up during vinyl filing this afternoon (Aug. 22) and … uh … don’t hate me … but I continue to believe “There’s No Room To Rhumba in a Sports Car” is quite a clever novelty, and seems mostest ridiculousest in this context. Now, the “Old MacDonald Had a Farm” indeed must have been written by the Martian authors of “How To Eat Humans.”