'In Elvis, you have the blueprint for rock & roll...'

16 Aug 2007
Thirty years to the day since the death of Elvis Presley, check this tribute Bono wrote for Rolling Stone a while back.

'Out of Tupelo, Mississippi, out of Memphis, Tennessee came this green, sharkskin-suited girl chaser, wearing eye shadow -- a trucker-dandy white boy who must have risked his hide to act so black and dress so gay. This wasn't New York or even New Orleans; this was Memphis in the Fifties. This was punk rock. This was revolt. Elvis changed everything -- musically, sexually, politically. In Elvis, you had the whole lot; it's all there in that elastic voice and body.
'As he changed shape, so did the world: He was a Fifties-style icon who was what the Sixties were capable of, and then suddenly not. In the Seventies, he turned celebrity into a blood sport, but interestingly, the more he fell to Earth, the more godlike he became to his fans. His last performances showcase a voice even bigger than his gut, where you cry real tears as the music messiah sings his tired heart out, turning casino into temple.
'In Elvis, you have the blueprint for rock & roll: The highness -- the gospel highs. The mud -- the Delta mud, the blues. Sexual liberation. Controversy. Changing the way people feel about the world. It's all there with Elvis....'

Read the rest of this April 2004 piece from Rolling Stone here

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