Sunday, April 05, 2009

Elvis ...

"My traveling companion is nine years old, he's the child of my first marriage."
- Paul Simon, "Graceland"

So there in the Memphis International Airport was the Elvis Store. Full of all kinds of "Elvis-iana". Young Elvis, Jumpsuit Elvis, Aloha Elvis.

As noted in my previous post, I went to Graceland. And having visited Graceland, I got to thinking about the time I saw Elvis.

It was 1971 and I was around 10 (not nine, and the child of, well, sorta my mother's second marriage). My mother worked at the Sahara Tahoe casino in Lake Tahoe as a blackjack dealer. Elvis was a regular performer there (I remember my mother having to wear a special hat with a big ELVIS logo on it).

We were big Elvis fans around the house; my mother had a bunch of albums (I can still picture Elvis in his gold lame suite on the cover of "50,000,000 Elvis Fans Can't be wrong"). Elvis had only been back to live performing for a couple of years (and this was before he became the "Fat Elvis" and got a little strange) and between shows he would often go down to the dealers' lounge and shoot the breeze with the staff. So basically, Elvis was an ok guy in my book.

So, in 1971, summer, my aunt from Pennsylvania was visiting and being a huge Elvis fan, wanted to see him. My mother got us tickets (me, her, my aunt and my aunt's friend), front row center.

I can't really remember all that much about the show. Elvis sang his hits, threw sweat soaked scarves to the crowd (my aunt kept wanting me to stand up to get one for her, but I didn't, sorry Aunt Rosie!). The show was over for that night.

Elvis came to Tahoe more times, but I never saw him again. And then I remember watching the news that summer of 1977 and seeing that Elvis died in Graceland. I'd moved on from Elvis by then (Dylan, Beatles, Stones), but eventually came back to appreciate his music in a new way.

1 comment:

oyen said...


Wow! I've never read about anyone who has met Elvis :P That was an interesting post and a good story.