i'd always thought of him as kind of a joke. when i was a kid, i actually thought elvis was italian, because everybody i knew who looked and acted like that was italian. i also thought he had something to do with my uncle frank, because they were in the army in germany around the same time. later we had a teenage babysitter who used to insist on watching his crappy movies when they came on tv. i was unimpressed.
when i moved to memphis in '81 to open a rekkid store on elvis presley boulevard, i carved "elvis sucks" on the wall outside graceland. i'm not proud of it, i'm just sayin'.
i only finally "got" el back in '97, when i spent a couple of days flat on my back with a bout of flu, a bottle of nyquil and a copy of the sun sessions my only companions. even now, when i'm _not_ fucked up, that music still sounds like hank williams or robert johnson to me, and i think the music he made on his '68 "comeback" tv special was boss.
i hope he's really living in identity-changed anonymity somewhere in louisiana, the way nik cohn imagined.