Dead%20Elvis

Dead%20Elvis - 1986 1990 E manations, Sightings,...

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1986 1990 Emanations, Sightings, Disappearances, or a Seance of Eighteen Mediums Spring 1986. Margaret Atwood, The Handmaid's Tale. Not long into the future, when the U.S.A. has become the Republic of Gilead, a theocracy that has replaced the Constitution with the Bible, a slave sings forbidden music to herself: "1 feel so lonely, baby/I feel so lonely, baby/I feel so lonely, I could die." She doesn't know where it came from. 8 January 1987. Larry Speakes, White House Press Briefing. Noting he was born in Mississippi, he opened by playing a tape of "That's All Right (Mama)." He continued with the an- nouncement while he had no new information on the presi- dent, virtually in hiding since onset of the Iran-contra scandal, reporters could ask him "anything at all about the King." Summer Lucy de Barbin with Dary Matera, Are You Lone- some Tonight? The Untold Story of Elvis Presley's One TrueLove- and the Child He Never Knew. In a season dominated by dead rock stars, scheduled to peak on August 16 with the 10th Annual Graceland Wake 'n' Family Picnic, the true author of the moment may' be not Elvis Presley but Roger Peterson-the moonlighting pilot who on 3 February 1959 took his single-engine Bonanza off the ground ahnost immediately returned to it, along with Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, Ritchie Valens. If Elvis now seems buried beneath his own cliches, plane crash is still turn- ing up surprises. 147
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Advertisement for Srubbs "·atches. U.K . . 1989. l\ot. that the plane crash has failed to ~enerate its own cliches, most of them regarding the saintliness of those who died young and, unlike Elvis, left more or less good-looking corpses. or anyway unconflicted memories of same. Thus Luis Valdez·s hit film La Bamba is a straight Hollywood version of The Ritchie Valens Story, a heart-tugging exercise in melodramatic foreshadowing redeemed only by Danielle von Zernick's sunny performance as Valens·'s real-life girlfriend Donna Ludwig and \'1arshall Cren- shaw's sly portrayal of Holly as a hipster on his way to turning into a beatnik; thus Los Lobos's lifeless folkie soundtrack covers of Valens tunes are flooding the airwaves (their "La Bamba" is number one; Valens's only made the top twenty). That is why Jim Dodge's IVot Fade AwaJ- is a shock. Despite taking its title from a Holly song, this is The Big Bopper 5tory-a novel based in 148 gnomic moments no biography will ever reach.
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In San Frallcisco, in 1965. a young ex-trucker named Ceorge Castin is hanging on to what's left of the Beat scene, making his rent smashing up expensive cars so their owners can collect on inflated insurance policies. Then his life starts to fall apart, and he loses his nerve. or finds it: handed a cherry '59 Cadillac a client wants torched. Castin hesitates. In the glove compartment, I he discovers an unmailed letter from the original owner, a wealthy spinster three years dead. "1 am a 57-year-old virgin," it begins. "I've never had sex with a man because none has ever moved me." But the man to whom the letter is addressed moved her. One night. dialing for a classical station. the woman chanced upon "Chantilly Lace" and had her life changed.
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Dead%20Elvis - 1986 1990 E manations, Sightings,...

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