Saturday, May 14, 2005

Reflections From The King

It’s almos' twenty-eight years since ah left your earth realm, so ah've had plenty time to think 'bout what a fool ah was to have lived the way ah did. All them drugs, all that eatin’. Man, ah was crazy. Truth is, ah screwed up, there’s no gettin’ round this. Ah had ever’thing – Graceland, worldwide fame, all the money ah ever wanted, an’ women were throwin’ themselves at me. An’ ah was still young – only forty-two. Ah had a whole lotta livin’ still to do.

But ah jus’ wanna say to all of you - who are mah still loyal fans down there, who still buy mah records, an’ make pilgrimages to Graceland to visit mah grave - that ah was lonesome when ah still lived on earth, ‘cause nearly all them folks who said they were mah friends were jus’ exploitin’ me. The only real friends ah had when ah left your earth plane were mah girlfriend, Ginger, an’ mah former wife Priscilla. But the person ah adored above all was mah li’l daughter Lisa Marie.

Ah’m so proud of Lisa Marie, the way she’s been writin’ an’ singin’ her own songs, an' administerin’ Graceland. She’s become a woman that makes her daddy proud. The only thing she’s done that made me mad, was when she married that sonofabitch Michael Jackson, but there was nuthin’ ah could do ‘cause ah was no longer on the earthly plane. Ah don’ know what got into the girl when she did that fool thing. Maybe she was tryin’ to make me mad or somethin’, but anyway she got ridda him real quick.

By writin’ her own songs, Lisa Marie’s done more’n ah ever did, ‘cause ah jus’ sang stuff that other folks wrote, but ah was good at selectin’ the right songs. Ah mean, can you imagine anyone else singin' “That’s All Right Mama”, an’ “Hound Dog”, an’ “Heartbreak Hotel”, an’ “Don’t be Cruel”, an’ “Love Me Tender”, an’ “All Shook Up”, an’ “Teddy Bear”, an’ “Jailhouse Rock”, an’ “Are You Lonesome Tonight”?

These are special songs for me ‘cause ah sang ‘em before ah was drafted into the army by Uncle Sam, an’ before mah b'loved Mama died. When she died, ah wanted to die too ‘cause she was ever’thing to me. Ah was never the same after, an’ this was when ah started takin’ drugs to make me forget the pain insida me, an’ ah started sleepin' with all those women who had to be a whole lot younger'n me, else they'd remind me of mah mama, an’ there was no way ah was gonna sleep with women old enough to remind me of mah mama.

Ah also didn’t have a strong sense of who ah was ‘cause mah daddy wasn’t a strong male role model for me when ah grew up. Ah was always kinda ambiv'lent 'bout mah daddy. Why, when ah was still a li’l bitty boy, mah daddy was thrown in jail for forgery, an’ ah felt so abandoned, an’ ah never forgot that. An’ when ah began to get famous he quit his job and so ah had to provide for him. So ah became a kind of a daddy to mah daddy.

So ah guess ah was missin’ a strong daddy figure, which mah manager, Colonel Tom Parker filled. Ah was so depressed that ah let the Colonel lead me by the nose into actin’ in all them garbage movies, an’ singin’ them cute fluffy songs during the ‘sixties, like "Viva Las Vegas" an' "Bossa Nova Baby", when ah shoulda been singin’ meanin’ful protest songs like ever’one else was doin’. But ah didn’t, an’ ah paid the price, and so all the young folks saw me as a has-been, sorta like a lounge singer like ol' Frank Sinatra.

That woulda been the end of mah singin’ career, but one day when ah was in the Arizona desert, ah was lookin’ up at a cloud that had a face in it like Stalin, then it turned into Jesus. Then ah felt the spirit of Jesus enterin’ mah body, an’ ah said to mahself that ah gotta do somethin’ real with mah life. So ah decided ah would only sing songs that ah believed in, an’ that’s when ah began singin’ more gospel songs, like "Crying in the Chapel" an' "How Great Thou Art", to reflect how spiritual ah was feelin’ insida me, an’ singin’ songs that spoke to me personally an' had social relevance, like “In the Ghetto”, an’ “Kentucky Rain”, an’ “Don’t Cry Daddy”, an’ “Always on my Mind”, an’ “Suspicious Minds”.

So then, with me feelin’ like ah was Jesus, why did ah screw mah life up? Well, ah was human, that’s all, a mixture of good an’ bad. What else can ah say?

Even though ah’ve been gone jus' about twenty-eight years, you shouldn’t think ah don’t take an interest in what goes on down on your earth plane. So ah know that CDs have replaced the old records, an' that CDs of mah songs are sellin’ well, an’ that churches have sprung up in mah name, an’ that thousands of mah impersonators spread mah word an’ image around the world, an’ that folks still have “sightings” of me, an’ that in the last coupla years two of mah old songs, “Rubberneckin’” an’ “A Little Less Conversation”, re-mixed usin’ all that new-fangled technology, became top sellin' singles.

An’ ah've been listenin’ up here on the nightshift to the top recordin' artists who have become big since ah left. Some ah like, an’ some ah don’t. But there's one guy ah really like, ‘cause he sounds so soulful, an’ that's Mark Knopfler. Man, ah really dig his stuff, especially his latest album "Shangri-La" which has a song, “Back to Tupelo” - the town in Mississippi where ah was born, an’ made me who ah was, an’ still am.

Ah gotta go now, ‘cause ah have a jammin’ session scheduled with some of the guys – Otis Redding, Jimi Hendrix, John Lennon, Rick Nelson, Jerry Garcia, Jon Denver, Buddy Holly, Maurice Gibb, Roy Orbison, Marvin Gaye, Jim Morrison, Dennis Wilson, George Harrison………….

OK guys, are ya ready?