Thoughts On The Dead

Musings on the Most Ridiculous Band I Can't Stop Listening To

Room Of State

“AH HAD NOT FINISHED INNERDUCIN’ THE MEMPHIS MAFIA.”

“Oh. I, uh, thought you had completed the introductions.”

“YOU AIN’ PAID T’ THINK, NIX. YOU PAID T’ LEAD.”

“True, true. Elvis, you’re a wiser man than people know.”

“YEAH, AH KNOW LOTSA SHIT. MISTER PRESIDENT, THIS HERE IS MISS MARY. SHE IS MAH COOK AT GRACELAND.”

“How do you do, Miss Mary.”

“SHE MAKES ME MAH SAN’WICHES AN’ MAH BREAKFASTS  AN’ ALSO MAH BREAKFAST SAN’WICHES.”

“Breakfast sandwich, Elvis?”

“MAN, YOU THROW COUPLE EGGS AN’ A POUND O’ BACON ON A REG’LAR SAN’WICH. BAM: BREAKFAST SAN’WICH.”

“I see.”

“ONNA WEEKEND, MAYBE YOU TOSS A SHORT STACK O’ PANCAKES ON THERE. THASS A MEAL FIT F’R THE KING. WHATCHOO USUALLY EAT, NIX?”

“Nixon is a light eater, very light. Poached egg in the morning. Coffee, black. Sandwich for lunch. Ham is fine, but the mustard shouldn’t have too much personality to it. Dinner is generally roast beef, maybe lamb. I enjoy cottage cheese. There are other cheeses, but the cottaged variety is the one I’m most familiar with. Perhaps some strawberry ice cream late at night. Little treat.”

“THASS TH’ MOST DEPRESSIN’ GODDAM THING AH’VE EVER HEARD, NIX. AH’M GONNA HAVE MISS MARY COOK YOU UP SOME DEEP-FRIED WHIPPED CREAM AN’ PORK.”

“That doesn’t sound appetizing, Elvis. No, thank you.”

“CATFISH AN’ BANANA SAN’WICH?”

“No.”

“CHICKEN-FRIED STEAK?”

“No.”

“STEAK-FRIED CHICKEN?”

“Elvis, I’m not hungry.”

“THEN ALLOW ME T’ CONTINUE T’ KEEP INNERDUCING MY LOYAL ENTOURAGE. THASS A FRENCH WORD, NIX: ENTOURAGE. MEANS ‘A BUNCHA GUYS WHO THINK YER AWESOME.'”

“Yes, fine.”

“THIS IS FUJI. HE ADVISES ME ON KARATE.”

“Hello, Fuji.”

“THAT AIN’ HIS NAME, BUT NONE OF US C’N PRONOUNCE HIS REAL ONE. THIS MAN HERE, NIX? HE IS A DANG LIVIN’ WEAPON. GOT THE EYES OF A PREDATOR, BUT SQUINTY. YOU DROP THIS HERE BOY IN VIETNAM? WAR’S OVER IN A WEEK.”

“A week?”

“IF THAT.”

“I will take that under advisement, Elvis.”

“YOU HEARD O’ BLACK BELTS, NIX? THIS MAN GOT BLACK SUSPENDERS. FUJI! CHOP THAT COUCH IN HALF!”

KARATE!

“HOW ‘BOUT THAT?”

“Elvis, please stop destroying the Oval Office.”

“AH DID NOT DESTROY ANYTHIN’, MERELY FACILITATED TH’ COUCH’S DEMISE.”

“Don’t argue semantics with me, mister. This isn’t some Las Vegas showroom: it’s the White House. Have some respect.”

“AH WILL REIMBURSE BOTH YOU AND AMERICA HERSELF F’R THE COUCH.”

“Fine, fine.”

“AN’ THIS HERE’S MAH BAND.”

“What?”

BAAAAAH!

BAAAAAH!

BAAAAAH!

BUM-BAAAAH!

BUM-BUM

BUM-BUM

BUM-BUM

“Where did they even come from?”

“DON’ WORRY ‘BOUT THAT, NIX. YOU LIKE THAT INTRO MUSIC? AH STOLE IT FROM THAT BORING SPACE MOVIE WHERE TH’ GAY SPACESHIP KILLS THEM TWO GUYS.”

“Just knock it off. No music in here.”

“TAKE FIVE, BOYS. SWEET INSPIRATIONS, YOU TOO.”

“Elvis, how many people have you brought with you.”

“THASS A GOOD QUESTION. LET’S FIND OUT T’GETHER. THIS HERE IS MAH PERSONAL CROUPIER, HARRY EYEBALLS.”

“Personal croupier?”

“NEVER KNOW WHEN A DICE GAME GONNA BREAK OUT, NIX.”

“True, true.”

“THIS TH’ KHALEESI. SHE TH’ MOTHER OF DRAGONS.”

“Khaleesi.”

“THIS HERE’S A MAN AH CALL TH’ HUMAN PYRAMID.”

“Why is that?”

“REASON’S O’ MY OWN.”

“Sure, playing it close to the chest. Good thinking, Elvis.”

“AN’ THIS HERE’S A GIRL FROM NEW YORK CITY. SHE CALLS HERSELF TH’ HUMAN TRAMPOLINE.”

“Ah. And she, uh, tumbled into Graceland?”

“GRACELAND.”

“Graceland.”

“MEMPHIS, TENNESSEE. YESSIR.”

“God bless America, Elvis.”

“THASS RIGHT, NIX.”

1 Comment

  1. I can’t find the video on YouTube but here’s some stuff Jerry said about Elvis in an interview in 87.

    4237 Elvis’s death had a special kind of significance for me. At the time, I was playing in a solo band of my own, and I was using Ronnie Tutt, who was Elvis’s drummer. Elvis was about to go on tour, and I was having to cancel all my recording plans because Ronnie was gonna be on tour. All of a sudden, Elvis died and I got the drummer. So, in a way, it affected me very specifically.

    4320 more Elvis liked the rawness of Mystery Train and Sun catalog … Elvis’s power as a performer was incredible. Great about Elvis’s dream of having his show be orchestra, white gospel, black gospel, roc and roll, etc. Garcia admired that.

    4503 Elvis was a victim of the Judy Garland syndrome. What do you do when you’ve risen to absolute success. Where is there for you to go? Las Vegas? Wow, some reward. Gee, that’s great: work as hard as you can, and you get to go from Mississippi to Las Vegas. It’s wrong. He deserved something better. But the music world doesn’t have the imagination to invent it for him, and he wasn’t lucky enough to have come up with his own guidance system. He was under the influence of other people who felt they knew what he could do and what he couldn’t do and what the business could open for him. He had no alternative. In some senses that’s the music business’s thing. It’s reductive and unless you invent your own alternative for where you want to go, and how you want to improve, and how you want to contain your own improvement, it doesn’t happen for you. The music business says to you ‘Repeat your success, do your formula thing, and live on that, or die from boredom, or get pathetic like Elvis’. To me that’s unacceptable. In that sense, Elvis is a martyr to the thoughtlessness, the mindlessness, of the music business. That’s how little it cares for the performers, and how little it really cares about the music.

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