THURSDAY evening, returning from work, we were delighted to catch a late night AIR tribute to Elvis Presley who died exactly 35 years ago on August 16.
There were five or six radio jockeys in the studio, including our Fali and Aleric, and the drill was that each of them got a chit that referred to some aspect of his life, had to talk about Elvis in connection with the subject, and then go on to play some of his tracks that supported their statements.
We came in at a time when one of them had opened up a chit that said “spiritual” and at that point, everything became unintentionally hilarious and we were treated to a little sermon on how spiritually evolved he was, how he constantly looked for the God in himself and encouraged everyone else to do the same, and how he never really considered himself the King because Christ was. Then he proceeded to play Elvis’s rendition of the great hymn “How Great thou Art” and it really was splendid.
Another radio jockey came on with a chit that said movies and we were told how he was the consummate star etc etc, all true. And spoiled it a bit by declaring that Delores Hart, his co-star in two movies including King Creole, was so madly in love with him that when they broke up, she became a nun.
The truth is, Delores Hart was remarkably level headed about Elvis the Pelvis and was in fact engaged to a Los Angeles architect before she broke up with him (not Elvis) to become a Roman Catholic nun at the Abbey of Regina Laudis in Bethlehem, Connecticut. Today she is the Prioress.
Elvis, on the other hand, was an infantile personality deeply conflicted at the loss of his mother, incredibly successful but unable to relate to success in mature terms. Which is why he was the perfect target for manipulative managers and unscrupulous friends to whom he was wildly generous.
Earlier this year, Mother Delores came out of the Abbey to walk the red carpet at the Oscars in order to raise money for her beloved institution. She seemed almost as beautiful as she was in her heyday and laughed her head off when asked what it was like to kiss Elvis Preley. It was a 15 second thing that seems to have lasted till the present, considering everyone’s interest, she chuckled.
Elvis was only 42 when he died. He wasn’t wearing a halo. He was in the bathroom when he was found, pumped full of a cocktail of ten drugs. It was not a pretty sight for “the King” was also unhealthily obese at the time, struggling to cope with stage appearances. The verdict on his death was vague and polite. ‘Cardiac arrhythmia’, said the certificate. So we know Elvis Presley died of a “stopped heart”! His music? Still marvelous, still magical. No need to put a halo on him!