I’ll never forget that day 35 years ago today when my buddy Kevin rolled into my parents’ driveway, jumped out of his car, raised his black-banded arm into the air, and yelled, “The King is dead! Long live the King!”
The King had been great in the mid to late 50s, had become a tool for Colonel Tom Parker’s money-making Hollywood garbage machine during the mid 60s, had rejuvenated and become great again in ’68, and started to become a bad parody of himself toward the mid 70s. But he was still great and he always will be. He wasn’t the be all and end all of rock and roll or rockabilly, but none of it–not then, not later, not now–would have been the same without him.
35 years gone and we still love him. For all his greatness, for all his talent, for all his weaknesses, for all his faults. We still love him.
The King is dead. Long live the King.