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Being Elvis : a lonely life

Author: Ray Connolly
Publisher: New York : Liveright Publishing Corporation, 2017. ©2016
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : English : First American editionView all editions and formats
Summary:
Aking a fresh look at the twentieth-century icon who fundamentally transformed American culture, a veteran rock journalist explores the extravagance and irrationality inherent in the Elvis mythology, offering a thoughtful celebration of an immortal life.
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Details

Genre/Form: Biographies
Biography
Named Person: Elvis Presley; Elvis Presley
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ray Connolly
ISBN: 9781631492808 1631492802
OCLC Number: 964624800
Notes: "First published in Great Britain in 2016 by Weidenfeld & Nicolson, The Orion Publishing Group, Ltd., London"--Title page verso.
Description: xxi, 362 pages, 24 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations, portraits ; 25 cm
Contents: "Well, the bear shall be gentle" --
"Don't you worry none, Mama" --
"I would just sit there in class" --
"I don't sound like nobody" --
"What the hell y'all doin' in there?" --
"What happened, what happened?" --
"Doesn't everybody love their parents?" --
"That Colonel ... he's the Devil himself" --
"I'm like a Mississippi bullfrog" --
"Why should music contribute to juvenile delinquency?" --
"The colored folks have been singing and playing" --
"Imagine! A Memphis boy with Natalie Wood" --
"I hate to get started in these jam sessions" --
"I wish we was poor again" --
"Hang up your pretty stocking" --
"This rancid-smelling aphrodisiac, rock and roll" --
"I'm lucky to be in a position to give" --
"Wake up, Mama" --
"The world is more alive at night" --
"There was a little girl that I was seeing" --
"Whatever I become, will be what God has chosen for me" --
"I didn't have any say-so in it all" --
The schoolgirl who carried a derringer in her bra --
"If we can control sex . . ." --
"The only thing worse than watching a bad movie" --
"If you guys are just going to sit and stare" --
"I know that I'm a joke in this town" --
"Some of you maybe think that Elvis is Jesus Christ" --
"What am I going to do if they don't like me?" --
"And what was I thinking?" --
"I want musicians who can play every kind of music" --
"I don't want some sonofabitch crazy bastard" --
"Mr. President, you got your show to run" --
"I was a dreamer" --
"It's very hard to live up to an image" --
"Sorry that I didn't break his goddamned neck" --
"If you want me to leave" --
"I'd rather be unconscious than miserable" --
"I'm self-destructive, I know" --
"I get carried away very easily" --
"I don't know who to talk to anymore" --
"I'm just so tired of being Elvis Presley" --
"A lonely life ends."
Responsibility: Ray Connolly.

Abstract:

Aking a fresh look at the twentieth-century icon who fundamentally transformed American culture, a veteran rock journalist explores the extravagance and irrationality inherent in the Elvis mythology, offering a thoughtful celebration of an immortal life.

"Elvis Presley is a giant figure in American popular culture, a man whose talent and fame were matched only by his later excesses and tragic end. A godlike entity in the history of rock and roll, this twentieth-century icon with a dazzling voice blended gospel and traditionally black rhythm and blues with country to create a completely new kind of music and new way of expressing male sexuality, which simply blew the doors off a staid and repressed 1950s America. In Being Elvis veteran rock journalist Ray Connolly takes a fresh look at the career of the world's most loved singer, placing him, forty years after his death, not exhaustively in the garish neon lights of Las Vegas but back in his mid-twentieth-century, distinctly southern world. For new and seasoned fans alike, Connolly, who interviewed Elvis in 1969, re-creates a man who sprang from poverty in Tupelo, Mississippi, to unprecedented overnight fame, eclipsing Frank Sinatra and then inspiring the Beatles along the way. Juxtaposing the music, the songs, and the incendiary live concerts with a personal life that would later careen wildly out of control, Connolly demonstrates that Elvis's amphetamine use began as early as his touring days of hysteria in the late 1950s, and that the financial needs that drove him in the beginning would return to plague him at the very end. With a narrative informed by interviews over many years with John Lennon, Bob Dylan, B.B. King, Sam Phillips, and Roy Orbison, among many others, Connolly creates one of the most nuanced and mature portraits of this cultural phenomenon to date. What distinguishes Being Elvis beyond the narrative itself is Connolly's more subtle examinations of white poverty, class aspirations, and the prison that is extreme fame. As we reach the end of this poignant account, Elvis's death at forty-two takes on the hue of a profoundly American tragedy. The creator of an American sound that resonates today, Elvis remains frozen in time, an enduring American icon who could "seamlessly soar into a falsetto of pleading and yearning" and capture an inner emotion, perhaps of eternal yearning, to which all of us can still relate. Intimate and unsparing, Being Elvis explores the extravagance and irrationality inherent in the Elvis mythology, ultimately offering a thoughtful celebration of an immortal life."--Jacket.

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