Today my work took me to Stockholm, and on my way home I picked up the new issue of the British music magazine Q on the train station. The magazine celebrates 21 years, and in this particularly issue you can read about "the 21 people that changed music."
Among those listed are John Lennon & Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Kurt Cobain, David Bowie, Madonna and yes, Elvis Presley. But the article about Elvis, written by singer, songwriter and guitarist Richard Hawley was, at least to me, a great disappointment.
The reason for this is that it's written very much along the lines of "Elvis died when he went into the army." After describing his love for the early Elvis, "My favourite song is probably Blue Moon Of Kentucky" I know where this is leading, when Hawley one third into the text writes that Elvis "shot himself in the foot...and started believing his own myth around the time he was in the army."
Therefore, it's no surprise when, a little further into the article, I'm told that "the majority of his career he was either really fat and bloated or he was lost in those shitty films". What confirmation I need I get with the sentence: "You saw a brief flash of the old Elvis again in '68 and then it all went back to business as usual, the Las Vegas horseshit."
This is to be expected in an article about Elvis written in the '80s, but c'mon! Nowadays I thought we were well past that, and that Elvis, thanks to the '60s and '70s box sets and Peter Guralnicks books among others, had the recognition he rightly deserves, especially in the music press. Apparently I was wrong, and that makes me sad.
To make matters worse, the magazine also writes about "the 21 albums that changed the world." And yeah, you guessed right, among the 21 there is not a single one recorded by a certain Elvis Presley. Sigh!