40 years ago today the world received the news that Elvis Aaron Presley was dead. Aged only 42 he was the undisputed artist of his generation and one of the best selling performers of all time. As is often the way he is richer now in death than he ever was alive, and by Odin’s beard he was rich enough then.
When he died I was old enough to have heard of him and his music but too young to appreciate just how massive a star he was, but to see grown ups crying over the death of someone they’d never met puzzled me deeply.
In my young teenage mind I could understand how you could weep over the loss of a family member (pets included) but not for someone who didnt even live in the same country as you, let alone someone you’d only seen on the television. It didn’t really add up.
Many years later, I couldn’t love his music more than I do, I am a huge fan and will belt out his music in the comfort of my own shower, I have even been known to throw out a few songs in the company of close friends, much to their chagrin.
Looking back now at performances over his life it’s painful to see his fairly rapid deterioration as the ravages of drink and mainly prescription drugs, as well as the general superstar lifestyle he led, took their toll and it’s no surprise that he took the well walked path of famous musicians before him, one that is still taken far too often today.
There have been global icons that have died since I’ve been old enough to understand stuff. Musicians, sports stars, world leaders and others but I’ve never felt anything akin to what those who cried must have felt when he died. Its still a phenomenon I can’t comprehend but he clearly must have had an influence far beyond his music.
I shall sit in my office today and listen to many of his songs, listening to a voice that transcended colour race and creed, knowing that millions of others will be doing the same the world over.
The King is dead, long live The King…………………..for more than just a day