Sunday, June 17, 2012

I Can't Believe I Forgot Elvis

Gillian Welch has a song about Elvis called The Elvis Presley Blues. Before they sang the song, Dave Rawlings (I think it was he.) said, "Elvis is everywhere here." I thought he was just talking about  some nebulous Memphis presence because Elvis really is everywhere here. But it turns out that they meant here, the Germantown Performing Arts Centre. They said that the halls in the back were full of life-size cutouts of Elvis, that you would walk around a corner and he would be there staring at you. "In fact," Dave Rawlings said, "I can see him right now looking at me from the wings," and he went over and brought the cutout on stage and there the three of them were, Dave, Elvis and Gillian, and, of course, my camera was in some sort of rest mode and I missed the picture. Oh well, it would have been small and out of focus anyway. It seemed to me that they put a little extra punch into the song, being in Memphis and all, and that GW even deviated from the authorized version a bit.

Here's a video in a much more formal setting for anyone who isn't familiar with the song.

I searched around a bit and found out that in April, GPAC had "A salute to Elvis on the 35th Anniversary of his Life and Legacy," so that must be the reason for the cutouts.I'm having a bit of trouble wrapping my mind around the fact that Elvis has been dead for 35 years. My goodness.



  1. For those interested in Elvis Stories....In 1970 Elvis received the "Ten Outstanding Young Men" award. I was one of the cameramen at the televised program. Just like at the Gillian Welch concert, Elvis was there but didn't sing.

  2. Did anybody get to say "Elvis has left the building"? Maybe that was before that phrase got to be so widely known.

    That's such a great song.

  3. Later I thought I should have tried to tie that phrase with "Elvis is in the house."

    "Elvis has left the building." was only to be used at the end of the his concerts. (Just kidding, I don't know.)

    We were too busy dragging hundreds of feet of TV cable and equipment back to the truck.