Happy Elvis Day 2012

Elvis rehearsing in 1970

Today is the 77th anniversary of the birth of Elvis Presley. Celebrate it well!

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Time sure does fly. It was back to work last week, and now it will be back to school this week. If all goes well, this should be my last semester. Though I have enjoyed the experience, it will be nice to have the time back to do other things – such as write.

I did manage to find some time to read during my winter break, including one book about Elvis that I hope to review soon.

I have also started the process of cleaning out a spare bedroom, and I found something fun in there yesterday – an archive of newsletters that I created for an official Elvis fan club that I ran from 1992-1997. I was 16-years-old when I started that fan club on January 8, 1992.

As I’ve said before, the “club” was really just an excuse to create a newsletter about Elvis. That means I’ve now been writing about him for twenty years, unbelievable.

I released the first issue of that newsletter in March 1992, so I’m planning to share some of that content with you beginning in March of this year. It is funny to see how my writing and opinions have changed (or not) since that time.

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Have a fantastic Elvis Day, everyone!

Elvis – thanks for the music.

“It’s the music and not the value of the collection that counts”

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.

The Elvis Adventure Is Just Beginning

Elvis Presley in 1968

Elvis Presley in 1968

Have you ever noticed that the first post on a new blog is almost always boring? Let’s get the mundane one out of the way.

Welcome to The Mystery Train, an Elvis Presley blog. I’ve been toying with the idea of starting an Elvis blog for about two years now. In the meantime, I’ve been using sporadic posts on my mostly sci-fi blog as an outlet for writing about Elvis. In addition, I’ve guest blogged over at Elvis Today and ElvisBlog.

In fact, it was a recent post by Elvis Today’s Thomas that encouraged me to finally take the plunge and start an all Elvis blog of my own. Though I will no doubt decrease the number of posts about Elvis on my sci-fi blog, I will continue being available for guest stints on other Elvis blogs.

I actually started writing about Elvis nearly twenty years ago. From 1992 to 1997, I was the president of an official Elvis Presley fan club. I’m not sure how many there are now, but there were about 450 official clubs back then. Mine was only a “club” in the loosest sense of the term, though.

At its peak, my Elvis fan club had maybe fifty concurrent members. During all of those years, we never held a single meeting! In reality, the club existed solely as an excuse for me to create and write a quarterly newsletter about Elvis (kids, we had to use an archaic delivery system back then – consisting of items called “paper,” “envelopes,” and “postage stamps”).

I was 16 when I started that club, certainly one of the younger fan club presidents at that particular time. It was not exactly popular for 16-year-olds to like Elvis back then. While I may have been young, I had grown up listening to Elvis and had a lot to say about him.

These days, I am rapidly (and I do mean rapidly) approaching 35. All those years have gone by, yet Elvis is still there providing the soundtrack to my life – and I still have a lot to say about him. That’s why I’m here.

As for you, hold on tight, this train’s leaving the station! Enjoy your ride.