Tuesday, August 12, 2003
Elvis died twenty-six years ago this week. Now, it's Death Week in Memphis.
I mean "Please don't call it 'Death Week' " in Memphis.
Okay, I mean Elvis Week.
Let's tempt the copyright gods. The following is from Lester Bangs's Psychotic Reactions and Carburator Dung:
...and when I read that book [Peter Guralnick's Lost Highway] it reminded me more than anyone else of Elvis even though it was recommended to me by Richard Hell who said it was the best book he had ever read and when I asked him why he said it was because he admired the protagonist so much for his individualism and originality and integrity and all that: BUILD YOUR OWN WORLD AND BE, nobody's happy but maybe at least NO LONGER ALIENATED cause how can you be when nobody else is around course you're probably no longer human either or soon will lose what little grit and blood and marrow lingered on like that waxen old Elvis we all saw on that ghastly TV concert special of I guess one of his typical last stage shows in the waning days but then Madame Tussaud's ain't such a bad place to hang your hat for eternity and being a mummy is one way to live forever just like the Colonel said when some reporter asked him what was gonna happen now that Elvis was dead: "Why, nothin', son, it's just like when he was in the army!") so that even at his most grotesque there was still something of the Infinite about Elvis, something again perhaps extraterrestrial, even down to all the post-death indignities they submitted his poor corpse to I guess to get revenge for all those years everybody in the world wondered what the hell Elvis did all the time and nobody knew so now he's been demystified to the max as we read in the daily swillsheet how he died trying to squeeze out one more little turdlet sitting stool (god, that beats Lenny Bruce even, naked by his toilet with a needle hanging outa his blue arm! damn!) and the other nite on TV I saw Geraldo Revera who is obviously a case of advanced ringworm it's just impossible to way whose body's and while hoping the unlucky host to said worm ain't all of us we get to watch the worm grill that poor ole Greek croaker who wrote all those scripts for Elvis and Jerry Lee and everybody else in town and is now a fall guy if ever I was one and there was even talk of having Elvis's corpse dug up and the stomach analyzed for traces of drugs these two years on which led me to fantasize: Can you imagine anything more thrilling than getting to stick you hand and forearm through the hole in Elvis's rotted gus slopping whatever's left of 'em all over each other getting the intestinal tracts mixed up with the stomach lining mixed up with the kidneys as you forage fishing for incriminating pillchips sufficient to slap this poor sweating doctor 20,000 years in Sing Sing and add one more hot clip to Geraldo's brochure of heroically humanitarian deeds done entirely in the the interests of bringing the public the TRUTH it has a constitutional right to know down to the last emetic detail which they in time get as you pull your arm out of dead Elvis's innards triumphantly clenching some crumbs off a few Percodans, Quaaludes, Desoxyns, etc. etc. etc and then once off camera now here's where the real kick to end 'em all comes as you pop those little bits of crumbled pills in your own mouth and swallow 'em and get high on drugs that not only has Elvis Presly himself also gotten high on the exact same not brand but the pills themselves they're been laying up there inside him perhaps even aging like fine wine plus of course they're all slimy with little bits of the disintegrating insides of Elvis's pelvisElvis Aron Presley. R.I.P.
Lester Bangs. R.I.P.