August 3, 2021

Elvis Presley’s Last Song

    On June 26, 1977, about to finish what would be his last concert, about to perform what would be his last song in front of an audience, Elvis Presley was a 42-year-old man unable to articulate a single coherent word, engulfed in intermittent depression and half groggy from the prescription drug cocktail for a combination of hypertension and a long list of heart disease. Disjointed phrases came out of his mouth, and like a baby he entertained himself playing with his fingers, surprised by their touch, by their thickness, by their smell. The audience, 18,000 souls, sitting on the other side of the mock, understood and waited patiently for the miracle to take place. Elvis began to sing and, once again, he transformed again. His voice was flawless, perfect, mythical. The King was singing again, scaring away the minstrel who moments before had perched on his personality like a spontaneous person in a soccer game.

    There was Elvis, like a Norman Mailer anti-hero, about to explode in clothes that didn’t fit, like a New York kosher deli salami, but at the same time regal, dignified, wonderful like a modern drag queen, willing to fly away at any moment. Just like millions of chronicles before and like millions of chronicles later they sketched, sketch and will sketch the artist for ever and ever, amen. In that moment, in that magical moment, Elvis was transformed for the last time.

    This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

    The concert began at 8:30 p.m. at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. The doors were opened religiously – in this case perhaps in a less metaphorical sense than usual – at 7:00 p.m. Elvis did not appear on stage until 10 p.m. From eight thirty, a comedian, several soul groups and a blue grass group entertained a patient audience who knew perfectly well that they had to wait and that the wait was worth it. Tickets were $ 15 (about $ 60 at today’s rate, but considering that $ 60 in 1977 was infinitely more than $ 60 now). The next 80 minutes were glorious … as he sang. Even when he played Bridge over troubled waters reading the lyrics of the song on a sheet of paper, he made magic with his voice, as if it were a perfect playback, the madman with the voice of the sane. The rest of the show seemed like a farce, a grotesque, with Elvis rambling every two by three. Meanwhile the souvenir vendors who accompanied the show were desperately trying to get people to buy a piece of their hero in cheap polyester or plastic. And that’s where I wanted to go.

    Images Press

    The question that arises among all this nonsense is: why? Why did Elvis need to get on stage like this? Let people remember him as a caricature of what he had been and not as one of the great American myths of the 20th century. After the autopsy, we discovered that in those last days he had an enlarged heart and a disproportionately large intestine -which caused him terrible pain that explained why he started crying at concerts-, he suffered from hypertension and hardly slept, moving through life like him Al Pacino’s character in ‘Insomnia’, slipping in and out of intermittent depression. The public only saw, from the outside, how the artist grew fat and fat, and they attributed it to a life of excess and success. Ex … cesses. Success. But despite everything he had an unmistakable appeal. And his manager, Tom Parker knew it. And, above all, it was clear to him that he had to continue milking the golden milk cow. Tom Parker had created Elvis and, damn it, he was going to squeeze every last drop out of him.

    This content is imported from {embed-name}. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

    Parker had the idea of ​​turning that Elvis tour into a commercial product for television. He was filming the concerts as a Netflix special, with the idea of ​​taking advantage of the artist’s extensions who knew perfectly well that he was going downhill. We are talking about the same man who prevented Elvis from performing outside the United States throughout his life (he only let him do three concerts in Canada in 1957, but being North America, that doesn’t count). We are talking about the Tom Parker who was discovered years later to be a diagnosed psychopath capable of gaining 130 kilos to avoid being drafted to fight in World War II (we will leave his story for another day).

    The footage from that last tour is terrible. It was broadcast on television after Presley died, on CBS, but only once and from there it went on to fill the shelves of the artist’s memorabilia. There is only a little moment of glory in that special, when he performs Unchained melody. It’s amazing how he savors the lyrics of the song, how he takes his time, as if he were the King:

    This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

    Maybe this was Elvis’s last great song. The legend tells that hours before she died, she sat at the piano in her mansion at 3754 Elvis Presley Boulevard and played Blue eyes crying in the rain:

    This content is imported from YouTube. You may be able to find the same content in another format, or you may be able to find more information, at their web site.

    This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You may be able to find more information about this and similar content at piano.io