Elvis A-Aron Presley (January 8, 1935 – August 16, 1977... supposedly) was a hugely popular American musician, performer, and actor, and fan of all things fried and burgery. Regarded as one of the most significant cultural icons of the 20th century, he is often referred to as "The King of Rock and Roll", but you can just call him "The King", baby.
Elvis rocked. He rolled. He wore blue suede shoes, and wanted a little less conversation. He wondered if you were lonesome tonight, and he hated those God-damned Commies.
Presley was born on January 8, 1935 to Gladys and Vernon Presley. He lived in a poor neighborhood in east Tupelo, Mississippi. The family lived in poverty. Vernon was the wage-earner and would do different odd jobs to support the family, though they lived on welfare. Vernon went to prison for check forgery when he provided for his family. Gladys and Elvis shared a room together due to the conditions of the home. Young Elvis had been instilled with love for music by seeing gospel quartets.
Time for high school, the Presley family moved to Memphis, Tennessee. He went to predominantly African-American neighborhoods and got a sense of rock and roll, which upon entering the musical world, would be an art he would steal. Upon graduating high school, Elvis worked at Crown Electric as a truck driver.
Elvis went to local label Sun Studios to record a record for his mother. He did so and was seen by the manager, Sam Phillips. He was asked who he sounded like, which he replied "I don't sound like nobody". He sang some songs and would make a radio hit with "That's All Right", a bluesy rock and roll piece. Elvis owed his style mainly to African-American rock and roll artists, rockabilly, country, and gospel artists.
Elvis recorded many songs throughout his lifetime after being sold out to RCA. His manager, Colonel Tom Parker, got him a recording bonus of $5,000 as well as $35,000. He became a huge star, particularly among teenagers and this caused controversy among top officials at the time, earning him the name "Elvis the Pelvis". He went in the Army for a small time and was discharged. He starred in a bunch of low-budgeted musicals and fans enjoyed them, though they were not well received by critics.
In 1968, Elvis returned to live performing and became dependent on drugs (more next section). His concerts still sold well, but he soon became a bloated, drug-addled parody of himself.
The King died on his
toilet throne on August 16, 1977 at the age of forty-two (gasp!), down in Memphis, Tennessee. Already plagued by declining health, the cause of his death has been officially ascribed to morphine, demerol, chloropheniramine, placidyl, valium, codeine, ethinamate, and quaaludes brewed into a deadly cocktail of drugs.
The cause of death was at the time however marked as "cardiac arrhythmia", essentially an irregularity in the operation of the heart, and is now considered to have been a bit of cover-up. Elvis didn't do no drugs! His funeral was held at his home, "Graceland", on Thursday, August 18. Many thousands came to pay their respects/ogle, and during this time a couple of women were run over and killed which added greatly to the overall theme.
Perhaps given the initial suppression as to cause of death, there was in some quarters a skepticism which has continued to present times. Whilst a number of conspiracy theories have been propounded, pop culture references to the King are now so ingrained that is is often difficult to discern the
nutters serious from the piss-takers. Needless to say, middle-aged women all over America have met the King in any number of Wal-Mart outlets although these sightings of course in no way constitute proof of his continued existence.
The contention is that Elvis is alive and well — or at least was when he was purported to have died — and living under the name "John Burrows" (or some derivation), a pseudonym used several times. The strongest related evidence seems to be that, by account, somebody who "looked remarkably like Elvis purchased a ticket for Buenos Aeries, paid in cash, and used the name." There you go then. His death was fraudulent, obviously.
There are so many theories that it would not be practical to mention them all. Here are a few favorites:
- The dead man is not Elvis, but an impersonator who took over so that the King could float away from the horrible pressures of fame, adoration, money and nubile teenage girls begging for sex. This allowed him to do other things, such as those mentioned below.
- Elvis was under Mafia threat, so faked his own death in order to offer testimony.
- Elvis gave up his career to work undercover for the Drug Enforcement Agency.
- Elvis gave up his career to work for the CIA against the Communist "threat".
- Elvis has not only left the building, but the planet too, and is now doing his thing in a small bar called The Domain of the King on an unknown alien planet.
- Elvis actually lives in a retirement home with JFK, the famous black and disabled US president who was not shot, and fights Egyptian mummies who somehow appear in America from time-to-time. This is by far the most plausible theory.
- Actually, his body was found face-down in a bathroom, but he may have fallen off the throne.
- Even if he hadn't died in 1977, he'd be 85 today — and considering his addiction to fried peanut butter sandwiches, this would well beyond his life expectancy.
- Ignoring the fact that Elvis is known to have used several aliases throughout his lifetime, and that does not preclude others who might also be a bit chubby from having or using that name.
This page was originally sporked from RationalWiki.