Today's the anniversary of Elvis Presley's death, if you believe the mainstream news narrative. Last night, I headed over to the nearby Empire City Casino in order to meet some friends to see a Bronx paisan' Elvis interpreter put on a show. It was funny to hear him switch back and forth between his "Elvis" voice and his "Noo Yawk" accent. Hey, Elvis could have passed for a paisan', and he did a creditable version of Santa Lucia:
Being a smartass, my favorite Elvis song is the song Hey, Hey, Hey, Hey from Clambake which, while probably being Elvis' worst movie, is my favorite Elvis movie. To confess, I didn't know the title of the song (a lackluster one, to be sure) until tonight, I always thought of it as "The Goop Song":
Chalk it up to seeing the cheesy movie on the T.V. machine as a kid- the scene in which Elvis instructs his sidekick to swing a hammer at a "goop" treated guitar, and the hammer bounces off had me rolling as a kid. Bronx Elvis had a decent between-song patter- he told the audience that, as a child, the only movies on after school were Elvis Movies, Planet of the Apes, and "Abbott and Costello" movies and, had things turned out differently, he would have ended up as a Dr Cornelius interpreter. I imagine that Cousin Declan arrived at his stage names after watching a similar diet of afterschool movies.
Now, regarding the whole "faked death" thing, and Elvis' body of work in the film industry, I have to say that, while my favorite Elvis movie is Clambake, my favorite "Elvis" movie is Bubba Ho-tep. One has to love any movie that starts out as a cheesy horror-comedy film featuring a scene in which Elvis fights a giant scarab beetle in a nursing home with a bedpan:
And ends up an elegiac portrayal of the plight of the aged in a youth-obsessed America.
Postscript: For a somber footnote, last night I learned that Yonkers' own Dr Nazar Sayegh, aka Dr Elvis, passed away in May of this year at the age of 53 after being struck by a brain embolism in 2010. By all accounts, he was a fine man and a good doctor, and I can attest that he put on a hell of a show. Here's a profile of the good doctor from a happier time.
NOTE: I forgot to explain the title of the post title, which is lifted from Spar Wid Me by The (English) Beat.