1: a usually pictorial representation
2: a conventional religious image
3: an object of uncritical devotion
I’ve been thinking a lot about icons lately. In the Art History class I took last semester we looked at the subject and most particulary at Marilyn Monroe. How do people become Icons; the darlings of the people? It isn’t just the media attention they get and it isn’t just talent or good looks — there are thousands of people who have all three but never make it to iconic levels — they have to have something special about them. Often it isn’t easy to label that something because it comes as a package deal. It is a phenomenon that effects people of all ages and all intellects and crosses all socioeconomic barriers. Elvis Aaron Presely has to be one of the all time most popular icons. Even people who claim no appreciation for his music have a fondness for the man himself, and he is known all across the world. He is even used as a test subject for how isolated people and regions might be; “They’ve never even heard of Elvis!”.
Today would have been his 74th Birthday. I’m not a raging fanatic of the man, but I do have fond memories of his songs and as a little girl and loved to watch the films with my mum. I used to have an old table top under my bed that I slid out and used as a little stage and I would play his songs (and many others) and sing along like a little pop star. It was the pipe-dreaming of a primary-schooler because, sadly, I don’t have a voice at all!
I was only 8 years old when he died, but I remember it vividly and I cried — with the rest of the world — as hard as I always would listening to Old Shep and In the Ghetto.
Anyway, I was thinking of Memphis for some reason. I have never been there but was thinking that I’d really like to visit and I ended up googling “Graceland” and came across the official Elvis website (you should visit; it’s pretty cool).
I noticed that it was almost his birthday and decided to do a quick tribute post to the “King of Rock and Roll”. I hope I get to Memphis and have a chance to see some of his great legacy one day.
Happy Birthday Elvis!