Don’t Be Cruel is actually a lot harder than it sounds – the back up singing rhythm is pretty complicated.
Of course, when I was a little kid, I wanted to be a dancer because of Ann-Margret.
On Being Elvis, Flawed Human
My wonderful friend Patrick Bludworth wrote this about Elvis on his birthday (January 8th).
Yesterday was the birthday anniversary of Elvis Presley, as well as of David Bowie. I posted a memory of David Bowie, but ran out of time to post something about Elvis. I had posted something about Elvis a few days ago, however. Here’s some more about Elvis.
Despite his shortcomings, and the many problems in his life associated with drug abuse, and his ironically drug-fueled in-person request to Richard Nixon to appoint him as officer in charge of FBI operations against drug dealers and users (!!!), and despite his upbringing as a Christian fundamentalist, Elvis was in his own sincere if somewhat befuddled way, nevertheless deeply interested in spirituality, enlightenment, and Asian spiritual traditions.
He was something of an avid reader of traditional and contemporary works on Asian-rooted spiritual practices and enlightened consciousness, such as Lao Tzu’s Dao-de-Jing, the Bhagavad-Gita, Autobiography of a Yogi, and other texts. He visited and frequently sought council and advice from Paramahansa Yogananda’s American woman disciple and successor, Shri Daya Mata.
He had during his life a number of episodes of profound spiritual experiences which he cherished and sought to stabilize, while instead sadly succumbing to drug addiction and derangement. Elvis is a tragic case, as George Harrison observed and lamented, citing as part of the cause a lack of sufficiently available persons present in Elvis’ company and society who shared and supported his mystical experiences and thirst for enlightened and enlightening guidance. “Too few hippies were present, especially early in Elvis’s life,” George stated.
In any case, for those of us who loved Elvis, at least the gentle, innocent-minded, and joyous Elvis of the early years, and were inspired largely in part by him to explore and embrace at least the gentle, innocent-minded and benignly rebellious aspects of rock-n-roll, and all the real or potentially good things that flowed and followed from him and from benign rock – freedom, joyous goodwill, peace, love, and understanding! – for us, it is helpful and nourishing to be aware of some of the deeper, more spiritual aspects and interests of Elvis, a poor flawed and sadly overwhelmed pioneering spirit.
There is at least one good and quite enjoyably readable book on this spiritual side to the life and quest of Elvis, ‘”The Tao of Elvis.” I recommend it. And I have just learned of at least one other related book. There may be more.
Header Image of Elvis from Delish, “Long After Elvis Presley Has Left the Building, His Culinary Legacy Lives On” – Hulton Archive, Getty Images
January 11, 2021