“Elvis has left the building!”

Elvis has been gone for 33 years now but it would’ve been interesting to think of all the things he could have accomplished, had he not succumbed to the pressures of his life. I’m sure it was hell because the poor man couldn’t go anywhere without being mobbed or somebody always wanting something from him. From what I’ve read about him, he was generous to a fault, not that that’s a bad thing but it is if it goes far beyond just a little assist for someone who really needed it.

Normally, I wouldn’t bother foisting my views on such a beloved figure as Elvis but the fact that he couldn’t step out in public without loads of attention from media and such kinda relates to the celebrities of today as well. We put them on pedestals and make them heroes and at times, it’s hard for them to live up to. See, I think he got the high hard one from Col. Parker and his career suffered as a result. If you watch some of his earliest films (Love Me Tender, Loving You, Jailhouse Rock, King Creole ), you can tell he had the potential to become a really good actor if he had just believed in what he was doing and told the Colonel to go f**k himself.

Don’t get me wrong, Col. Tom got him lots of work and visibility but at what cost? I’ve read that not only was Elvis a generous man, he was also a true Southern gentleman and most likely that’s the reason he did what the Colonel told him to do but raged about the repetetive nature of his films (all of them after 1960, in my opinion) and feeling “stuck in the mud”, so to speak. In other words, he didn’t want to be rude; he wasn’t raised that way, so it’s my belief that he dealt with things the only way he felt he could: drugs. Doesn’t make me like him any more or any less. Everyone finds their own way to cope with the slings and arrows of life. Escaping through prescription drugs was his. You can kinda tell where his head was by this poem he wrote. Not sure if it’s authentic but it sure looks like it. I found this while I was surfing the web for pics of Elvis.

I wish I could have met the man, though I was only 12 when he died. Supposedly, my aunt’s first husband (who died a long time ago) was stationed in Germany in the same barracks as Elvis, back in the day. My mom had an 8×10 autographed glossy that my Uncle Joe had requested on her behalf, when he shared barracks with Elvis. She was upset that she couldn’t find it after the news that Elvis was dead. She loved Elvis and not just because she liked his voice. She felt love for him as a human being, rather than some famous guy she admired.

I’ve only met two famous individuals so far: Scottie Pippin and Jeff Carlisi.  I met and briefly spoke to Scottie when he came in to the gentleman’s club I waitressed at during one of my ex’s “stints” away from home. Seemed as if everybody and their dog wanted to come up and shake his hand or some such thing. I asked him if he ever got tired of that and with a bit of a relieved sigh he said yes. I bet. (side note: Scottie Pippin has some long-ass fingers!) I met Jeff through my ex, R. A musician friend of R invited him to come help with a guitar clinic Jeff would be appearing at. Of course he said yes and brought me along as well. For those who don’t recognize the name, Jeff Carlisi was the original lead guitarist for the band .38 Special. We were fortunate enough to spend several hours with him on that day, as well as the next. I even got a kiss on the lips from Jeff when we bid our goodbye on that day! His hands were full so I couldn’t get a hug. I developed a cold sore the next day but who cares? Here was another Southern gentleman. But then we didn’t fawn all over him and act crazy either. And that’s kinda my whole point.

Yes, these people entertain us and we pay good, hard earned money to see them. But that doesn’t mean we own every aspect of their life and shouldn’t allow them space to live it without our interference. If you see a celebrity, just wave or smile and nod but keep your distance unless they give you an indication you can approach them. If they’re eating, leave them be! Who the hell wants to be interrupted at dinner, especially if they’re with their family??  I don’t. These are people like you and me…they just have better paying jobs that are more high profile. Well, that and too many flunkies kissing their ass all the time but still. Just be nice and be respectful. They had a regular life once  like we do and in the end, it doesn’t really matter what you’ve amassed or who you know…what matters is how well you treated others, how many lives you’ve impacted in a positive way and how you’ve grown inside as a human being. That, to me, makes you rich regardless of your bank balance. Just sayin’…


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