Friday, August 16, 2013

Because We All Know That Elvis Died Fat

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.


ifthethunderdontgetya™³²®© said...

"I think we got some major bug problems in this place, man!"


zencomix said...

Dread Zeppelin was my favorite Elvis tribute.

mikey said...

I have never been a fan of Elvis' music or movies, but my 2 favorite "Elvis" movies are "True Romance", where Clarence gets his plans and agenda from an apparition of Elvis (portrayed by Val Kilmer) that appears in the Bathroom mirror. Very fond of the concept of having a dead rock star in the bathroom mirror help me figure out what to do next.

The other is "Into the Night", a little known and tremendously quirky 80s classic about an insomniac engineer played by Jeff Goldblum. In the night's adventure, Michelle Pfeiffer's "Diana" character has a gay Elvis impersonator brother with whom she has a contentious relationship. If you haven't seen "Into the Night", I encourage you to do so - it is brilliant and unforgettable...

Glennis said...

I wasn't much of an Elvis fan, either. But here in LA we have Thai Elvis

Unknown said...

Thank You for the kind words about my Uncle Nazar i just saw this. Im sure he would have appreciated this as did i. Nice blog man