15 August 2010

Back To Tupelo

Tomorrow is the anniversary of Elvis Presley's death. My favorite guitarist, Mark Knopfler, wrote a song about when the downturn started ... when Elvis chose the wrong fork in the road. The '68 Comback Special was about to happen on December 3, 1968, but the drug fueled Las Vegas concerts were in his future with his death less than nine years later. He could still be Marlon Brando and the King of Rock and Roll, but he didn't get there from here. So you get two possibilities: Comeback and Death too Early from wrong choices, but either way a legend.

Around the time of 'Clambake'
Movie number twenty-five
You and the lying dutchman
Are still in overdrive

You're as strong as when you started
Mississippi in your soul
You can still be Marlon Brando
And the king of rock and roll

It isn't just the records
No, you must have hollywood
The songs alone are not enough
That much is understood

You'll soon be back in Memphis
Maybe then you'll know what to do
The storylines they're giving you
Are just not ringing true
Oh, it's a ways to go
Back to Tupelo

When you're young and beautiful
Your dreams are all ideals
Later on it's not the same
Lord, everything is real

Sixteen hundred miles of highway
Roll back to the truth
And a song to give your mother
In your first recording booth
Around the time of 'clambake'
That old dream's still rolling on
Sometimes there'll be the feeling
Things are going wrong

The morning star is fading
Lord, the Mississippi's cold
You can still be Marlon Brando
And the king of rock and roll
But it's a ways to go
Back to Tupelo


Travis Cody said...

Somewhere there is an alternate universe where Elvis made a different choice and fulfilled all the potential in his immense talent. Wouldn't it be wonderful to visit such a place?

Keyboard Jockey said...

You and the lying dutchman

Was he referring to Col Parker?

Jamie said...

Yes Col. Tom Parker's real name was Andreas Cornelius van Kuijk

Jamie said...

Somebody slap me up the side of the head to tell the story of Col. Tom's chickens.

Mimi Lenox said...

I love the comment Travis made. Lovely thought.
Beautiful post, Jamie.
Listening to Lawdy....

Linda said...

I liked Travis' comment but it reminded me of Stephen King's short story "Rock & Roll Heaven" just a little too much! Not that Elvis or anyone else there lived up to their potential, though, what with it being a mega-scary Stephen King story and all!

It's just so sad when people who have such potential and talent like Elvis end up taking that wrong fork in the road and their lives and/or careers end too early. Just doesn't seem right somehow.

This Eclectic Life said...

I love the Mark Knopfler tribute (but then, he is a favorite of mine). Just recently I watched a special about Elvis. While I always liked Elvis, I didn't appreciate him enough back when he was alive. His was a very special talent.
Against my better judgment I went to Graceland ... where I realized that under the glitter, Elvis was a good-hearted, overgrown "teddy bear." As Linda said, it's a pity he took the wrong fork in the road ... but it happens far too often to those in the spotlight.