Tuesday, November 10, 2009

"You don't dig world trade, college boy?"

Watching Roustabout the other day made me remember a letter I wrote to the daily Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter in the mid 90's. More precisely, the letter was published on July 14, 1996, and was of course Elvis related. This is the way it was:

Each Sunday, the paper had a page called Kosmopoliten devoted to useful hints and tips for things to do in different cities around the world, such as visit new exhibitions, galleries and shops, stuff like that. One such paragraph dealt with the biggest tourist attraction in York county, Pennsylvania, namely the Harley-Davidson factory.

The paragraph was illustrated with a picture of Elvis, taken from Roustabout, where he's standing beside his demolished bike after being run off the road. And next to the picture was a caption reading, "This is no Harley. Maybe someone among our readers knows what kind of motor cycle Elvis rode in his 1964 movie Roustabout?"

Now this was a challenge I had to meet. I started to leaf through my books about Elvis, and on page 267 in Elvis: His Life from A to Z I found what I was looking for. Happy with what I had found out, I wrote the following letter, hereby translated to English for the first time:

In Sunday's Kosmopoliten you enquired the brand of Elvis' bike in the movie Roustabout. The answer is that Elvis character Charlie Rodgers rides a Japanese motor cycle, a 1964 Honda 350 cc. A couple of college guys thoroughly disapproves of this, and pick a quarrel with Elvis: "What's the matter, aren't American cycles good enough for you?" After which Elvis answers: "You don't dig world trade, college boy, after all the economics they've tried to shuffle into you?"

I have to admit, watching the above described scene the other day, that Elvis says "shove" and not "shuffle". This of course, wasn't something that bothered the paper. On the contrary, the editor must have been happy getting an answer from one of the readers, and published my letter the following week.

Thinking about it, my answer must have been somewhat shortened, as I seem to recall that I also mentioned that Elvis' Honda had California license number 204843. Just to show off, I guess. No matter, I've kept the press clipping with my published letter, and it's one of those Elvis memories I treasure.

No comments: