Friday, August 23, 2002

ElvisOne week after the 25th anniversary of his death, my Elvis story runs today in the Tribune. Funny how a few minor copy editing moves altered the tone and it doesn’t quite sit well with me. The original is here.

Elvis is one of the few American icons whose death is more meaningfully commemorated than his life, and there’s just an eery—if often tacky—tone surrounding his “posthumous vitality,” as I called it in the article. But before you get too weepy over Elvis’ demise, these little-known-facts fromTrib reporter Rob Elder are a reality check about some of the Elvis mythology.,1419,M-Metromix-Home-X!ArticleDetail-17902,00.html

Other links:
People magazine has a nice little pictorial gallery:,10492,105211,00.html

Rolling Stone on the 21st Century marketing of Elvis:

NY Times editorial on the 25th anniversary and his cultural legacy:

The Atlantic has archived a review of “When Elvis Died” (I think the sub-hed is a misprint here):

And finally, in the Tongue-in-Cheek department, did you know Elvis shot JFK? When you think about it, it just makes so much sense.

Footnote to my story: One of the things I was struck by Tuesday night was how Elvis was projected as quintessentially American. In the show, “he” sang, as the original did while alive, “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and wore red, white and blue. He was, of course, spoken of as a hero, an American legend. The show was billed as something of a family fun night, and children gathered around the stage. Ironically, in the 50’s Elvis was an unspeakable rebel, challenging America’s placid mood and ironclad norms. Now he’s seen as a throwback to an innocent time.

story link: ...2002_08_18_nbiermafile_archive.html#80615131

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