I can’t make up material like this I have a rather substantial article on the committee that is making proposals to gut the current military retirement system but want to take more time before I go final with it. I have been been thinking about Elvis Presley’s death much of the day today. I remember how I found out that he died; it was on a car radio just outside of Stockton California. I was with a number of kids from my church youth group with one of the kid’s father driving us out to an end of the summer youth group activity.
When the news broke over the radio, I think that we were listening to either KFRC fromSan Francisco or KJOY in Stockton, both of which were AM Top 40 stations and my friend’s dad pulled over to the side of the road and started crying. It was strange to me as a 17 tear old to see an adult cry over the death of an entertainer but even though I knew Elvis was important I had no idea at the time just how important he was to those that grew up with him in the 1950s and early 1960s. When I got home I found that my mom was distraught at his death. In the years since then I have learned what they were feeling that day.
When you are young you often fail to understand the cultural impact of great musicians, especially the ones just before your generation. Music plays to our soul and spirit and Elvis with his unique sound and style changed how we listened to music and watched musicians from that time forward. He had a commanding stage presence that combined a boy next door innocence and hip shaking sexuality which drove his fans wild.
Elvis died at the beginning of a comeback. He had just released an album called Moody Blue and a couple of weeks before he died I won a copy pressed on blue vinyl at a different local radio station’s promotion of the album. I thought that it was amazing. Unfortunately it disappeared during one of our military moves.
I am amazed when I listen to Elvis at the richness of his voice and the great variety of music that he performed. When I see old videos of his performances I am equally amazed at his stage presence.
I was thinking about what to write when I read about Bachmann’s latest insertion of foot into mouth. She played the song Promised Land and then exclaimed “Before we get started, let’s all say happy birthday to Elvis Presley today!” Since Elvis is still dead, unless like in Men in Black he just “went home” to wish him a “happy birthday” is in bad taste, it would be like wishing any other dead person a “happy birthday.” It shows no class. However to make matters worse she ignored a person in the audience that shouted “He died today!” Instead she launched into her campaign talking point speech. After the speech she corrected herself when talking to reporters and said “As far as we’re concerned, he’s still alive in our hearts.”
But this is just the latest in a series of attacks of foot in the mouth for Bachmann. When she launched her campaign in June inWaterlooIowashe called it the home of “John Wayne” except it was not the film icon it was the serial killer, John Wayne Gacy. Earlier in the year she stated that the battles of Lexington and Concord were in New Hampshire, but they happened in Massachusetts. Instead of just admitting the mistake and going on she posted on Facebook “It was my mistake,Massachusetts is where they happened.New Hampshireis where they are still proud of it!” I guess that she doesn’t think that the people of Massachusetts are proud of it.
In January back in Iowa she discussed the issue of slavery and the founding documents of the nation, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution saying that “the very founders that wrote those documents worked tirelessly until slavery was no more in the United States.” Wrong, a whole bunch of them owned slaves and made sure that people had a right to own slaves in states that allowed them.
Bachmann must be gold for late night comics, personally in all of my years I cannot remember a front running candidate continue to do this and not pay for it in the polls. If she was a Democrat these gaffes would be played and parodied on talk radio 24 hours a day. Limbaugh would make a mint off of her if she was a Democrat.
This is really a Bizarro World where a leading Presidential candidate wishes Elvis a happy birthday on the anniversary of his death….well at least he’s still alive in our hearts, right?
Anyway, despite Bachmann’s latest goof we pause to remember the King of Rock and Roll who passed away 34 years ago. Elvis was great and he will be remembered as long as music is part of our lives. May he still rest in peace, but if he’s listening somewhere I hope that he is laughing his ass off because we can’t make this up.