STUPID STUFF PEOPLE SAY ABOUT ELVIS (Quote the Fourth)

“Is it a sausage? It is certainly smooth and damp looking, but who ever heard of a 172-lb sausage 6 ft. tall? Is it a Walt Disney goldfish? It has the same sort of big, soft, beautiful eyes and long, curly lashes, but who ever heard of a goldfish with sideburns? Is it a corpse? The face just hangs there, limp and white with its little drop-seat mouth, rather like Lord Byron in the wax museum. But suddenly the figure comes to life. The lips part, the eyes half close, the clutched guitar begins to undulate back and forth in an uncomfortably suggestive manner. And wham! The mid-section of the body jolts forward to bump and grind and beat out a low-down rhythm that takes its pace from boogie and hillbilly, rock ’n’ roll and something known only to Elvis and his Pelvis. As the belly dance gets wilder, a peculiar sound emerges. A rusty foghorn? A voice? Or merely a noise produced, like the voice of a cricket, by the violent stridulation of the legs? Words occasionally can be made out, like raisins in cornmeal mush. ‘Goan…git…luhhv…’ And then all at once everything stops, and a big tender trembly half smile, half sneer smears slowly across the Cinemascope screen. The message that millions of U.S. teen-age girls love to receive has just been delivered.”

(Time magazine review of Love Me Tender, 1956. Reprinted in Elvis: The Biography, Jerry Hopkins, 1971 and Anti-Rock: The Opposition to Rock and Roll, Linda Martin and Kerry Segrave, 1988)

And there are those who, even now, think Pravda lacked subtlety.

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