Ireland and the World of the 1950s
Edited By Gerald Dawe, Darryl Jones and Nora Pelizzari
Sam Slote Elvis Presley: The Sun King
As Mojo Nixon sang as long ago as the late 1980s, ‘Elvis is everywhere, Elvis is everything, Elvis is everybody, Elvis is still the king’. Elvis does seem to have reached a kind of omnipresence, a perpetual background noise in our media-saturated world, and even, perhaps, the very epitome of fame. When John Lennon met David Bowie in 1975 to record the song ‘Fame’, Elvis was there, at least in the form of an Elvis badge Lennon wore. Enthusing in a more serious manner, the ever-ubiquitous pop culture critic Greil Marcus writes of Elvis’s unique status, Elvis Presley is a supreme figure in American life, one whose presence, no matter how banal or predictable, brooks no real comparisons. He is honored equally by long-haired rock critics, middle-aged women, the City of Memphis […], and even a president. […] Elvis has emerged as a great artist, a great rocker, a great purveyor of shlock, a great heart throb, a great bore, a great symbol of potency, a great ham, a great nice person, and, yes, a great American.1 Like Walt Whitman, another great American, Elvis contains multitudes. And it is not just Elvis who is multifarious, the community of his fans is likewise diverse and ecumenical. Fans range from Edison Peña, one of the trapped Chilean miners to Junichiro Koizumi, prime minister of Japan from 2001 to 2006 to Deborah, the Dowager Duchess of Devonshire, known to some as Debo Mitford, who is probably the only Elvis fan to have both had...
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