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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Well written essay, 30 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The King and I - How Elvis Shaped My Life (Kindle Single) (Kindle Edition)
I found this essay interesting because I have occasionally wondered what Elvis means to those fans born after his initial impact and those born after his death. It was easy for me – I was 9 years old in 1956 and got to witness the entire phenomenon first hand.
It’s well written – the author is articulate and well educated but he keeps things straightforward, without resorting to any flowery prose.

Harry doesn’t seem to really want to be a fan and I can appreciate that. It’s not something you switch on, it just happens. I’m by no means obsessive (never been to Graceland for a start) but I’ve been a fan and I am a fan and if you are talking to someone who is not and never would be a fan of someone then they are going to think you are odd. He spends a lot of time trying to convince us that he’s normal. Of course, if you are a fan then you won't need it pointing out and if you are not a fan type person then you will never be convinced.

An illuminating thing happened to me once. I was in a car with three friends going down to an Elvis convention in the good old days when Elvis was still with us. We stopped at traffic lights and a coach pulled up beside us. Elvis stickers were all over the windows, they were clearly going to the same destination. I pointed out the bus to my friends and we were all delighted. However, the faces on the bus immediately closed down and got that defensive look. We were mocking them, they were used to it. I put an Elvis book up against the car window and the faces all started smiling. We then spent the next 30 seconds or so before the lights changed waving at one another. It was ok - we were all in the same gang!

The psychology of the phenomenon of "fandom" is highlighted well here, complete with all its joys, embarrassments and the ultimate sadness of looking at the grave of a hugely talented man who died at only 42 years old.

Is Elvis relevant today? Elvis as an image is hugely famous but the focus has shifted from him as a singer or even as a human being. It’s difficult for him to be relevant – he has now been gone for over 36 years. However, I may be wrong but I’m of the opinion that there are people not yet born who will one day pick up a CD, hear a song on the radio or maybe catch a documentary and start to be enchanted by that beautiful voice.

Of course, they may not react like I did when I was 11 and I first heard “I Want You, I Need You, I Love You”. Rolling around the bed, squealing with sheer delight when I heard what was coming out of my old record player might have been a bit over the top, but then I had been “got” by Elvis too!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Mar 2014 08:58:15 GMT
A beautiful, well-written review, Trudy !

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Mar 2014 16:28:21 GMT
Stephen, you've quite made my day! Very many thanks.
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Location: Halifax, West Yorkshire

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