Sighting Elvis


The Dish


Today would have been the music legend’s 80th birthday, assuming you believe he’s dead. Adrienne LaFrance ponders our varied perceptions of the man and his demise:

The tricky thing about Elvis [is] that people can’t agree on the Elvis they think they know. There’s the Elvis who died in 1977, and the Elvis who’s still alive and eating cheeseburgers in western Michigan. There’s Elvis the hip-swiveling hunk who could break your heart, and Elvis the doughy 40-something who couldn’t get through a performance without stumbling over his words. This duality was strong enough that it prompted debate about which Elvis ought to be depicted on a postage stamp. From The New York Times in 1992:

“Postal authorities are not sure which Presley likeness to use: the young, svelte, hip-gyrating Elvis of the rock-and-roll ’50s, or the rotund, road-worn Elvis who died in 1977 near the end of the Age of Aquarius, reportedly after…

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