Friday, January 09, 2009

Elvis and His Kissing Cousin

     Had he not perished on a toilet in his Memphis, Tennessee mansion surrounded by fried peanut-butter and banana sandwiches and empty pill bottles, yesterday would have been Elvis Presley's birthday.  Blessedly, there haven't been any of those Elvis sightings in all far flung corners of the globe in a long, long time, although I am sure that if you searched hard enough there is an overweight, sweaty guy eating a fried sandwich of some sort on a toilet somewhere in Memphis.  I don't know how old The King would have been yesterday and honestly, I don't really care.  Because it doesn't matter.  But what does matter is what I heard on the radio while I was doing my laundry back at the laundromat I hate.
     Thank goodness they had the radio turned to the oldies station, per my suggestion I must assume, and the DJ was understandably going heavy on the Elvis tunes.  This doesn't bother me because quite frankly The King has a very large and varied selection of hits.  He even sang Gospel at the beginning of his career.  Did you know that?  Yeah, that's how he got his start in music, was singing wholesome, inspirational Gospel music.  But he is still from Mississippi, and so of course he also sang a song called "Kissin' Cousins."
     Actually, he sang two songs called "Kissin' Cousins" and starred TWICE in a musical movie of the same name.  Yeah, twice, in that he played two parts.  Now I know that he is from the Deep South but still, I can't believe that he wanted to do this.  I guess that what really truly surprises me is that nowhere along the way did someone put a stop to this.  Because, let's be honest, it's a pretty long chain of people that have to connect to get an Elvis musical movie made.  Like, from The King through The Colonel to the guys at the studio to the guy who printed up the script to the guy who wrote the score...I can't believe that no one stepped up and said "Hey, I know Elvis is a cash cow and anything he is in will sell no matter how retarded and crappy it is but come on, this is terrible.  And it's just plain wrong."  But if someone thought about it they didn't say anything.  And that makes me sad.  I mean, I am sure that the guy holding the boom mike said something to the guy holding that little studio clicking thing that they write the take and the scene on with chalk, but nobody listens to those guys.
     You know, for all you hear about Elvis, you never hear about "Kissin' Cousins." I am sure that I don't have to tell you why.  And I don't think that there is a modern equivalent to it.  The more that I think about it the more I am inclined to think about the play "Springtime for Hitler" from the movie and Broadway show "The Producers."  In fact, I think about "Springtime for Hitler" immediately when I think about "Kissin' Cousins."  Because both are totally ridiculous and farcical and because a little part of me, okay, a large bulk of me, hopes that the two became reality the same way.  Like, I hope that somehow Elvis' handlers for some reason wanted their studio to go broke so they tried to make the worst movie ever and found that script somewhere in the back of a shack in a South Georgia swamp.  Because there is no other excuse for letting that get made.  
      So maybe sweating and dead on a toilet with a sequined white velour jumpsuit scrunched around his ankles was a fitting way to die for the guy who made "Kissin' Cousins."  Because both are equally tragic and disgusting and totally wrong.  And he passed where that film should have ended up.  The toilet.  In any event, happy belated birthday Elvis Presley.  I hope that you and your cousin had a wonderful day.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I loved this post. It's hilarious when you see interviews with Priscilla today...all she says when it comes to Elvis' shitty movie career was that it was the Colonel's fault. Sure it was...

-Adrianne