Thomas over at the Elvis Today blog has a real talent for summing up the experience of being an Elvis fan. In today’s post, “The Truth About Me,” he reflects on when he first became a fan, including a reprint of an article he wrote 21 years ago for a Swedish Elvis fan club.
“During the years me and my other brother have built a record collection that we’re proud [of],” he wrote in 1990. “Not because it includes a lot of valuable editions, but because we think we own most of the stuff released officially by Elvis, and to us it’s the music and not the value of the collection that counts.”
In the end, the music is all that really matters. Whether you are listening on vinyl records, MP3s, cassette tapes, CDs, or even 8-tracks, Elvis is still there. His music is what brings us all together. His music is our shared experience. And no matter what classless jokes or baseless claims people want to lob at him, Elvis always wins in the end because his music pounds through all of that noise and demands to be heard.
“The image is one thing, and a human being is another,” Elvis said in 1972. “It’s very hard to live up to an image.” While the image of Elvis has morphed over the years, the underlying truth of his statement remains. Like Thomas says, you don’t need an expensive collection to explore the music and go beyond the image.
After all, a scratched-up record of seemingly no value can in fact be priceless.