|Man is mortal. And for every life there has to be an end. This is the rule of Nature. So the death of Elvis was imminent from that point of view. Then what makes people react so much about Elvis's death? Why has his death been called intrigue?
The closest possible explanation is perhaps the time and the weird nature of his death. It all happened so suddenly that people were could hardly believe it. The way he lied unnoticed for hours together, the strange phrases with which the medicos attributed his death, all fueled the shock and disbelief. This is what made Elvis's
death so intriguing.
Read on the story.
Baptist Hospital, Memphis. It was 3-30 P.M. on August 16, 1977.
Elvis Aaron Presley was pronounced dead by his personal physician, Dr.
The pronouncement was final. Yet, for the thousands of yarning souls thronged outside the hospital it brought
in shock and disbelief. The disbelief that is still being nurtured by
many across the world. Not yet ready to believe that the death has brought
such an abrupt end to their so beloved idol.
It was disclosed at a press conference later that evening. The medical
examiner Dr. Jerry Francisco indicated that the cause of death to be
"cardiac arrhythmia," noting that, "There was severe
cardiovascular disease present."
Elvis had suffered irregular heartbeat which the medicos called "cardiac arrhythmia".
Surprisingly the reason for such irregularity of heartbeat remained unknown. For it was reported to be brought in by "undetermined causes."
Elvis was found lying unconscious on his bathroom floor of Grace Land, his Memphis mansion, by his girlfriend, Ginger Alden. Help was summoned, he was rushed in to hospital. But all attempts to revive him were futile.
It was later disclosed he had been lying there for about three hours before Alden discovered him. No evidence of any illegal drugs was found at his home. There were, however, many drugs prescribed by his doctor.
True Elvis was wrecked with torments; true Elvis was haunted by a feeling of
insecurity and abandonment; true he had spent many sleepless nights; true he took to heavy doses of pills. But they don't mean he would embrace death so early and so lonely. Away from his child and in the
absence of his so endearing mom Gladys. Had Elvis really lost the love for
"The King is dead", that's what the newspapers flashed in their
Tens of thousands of people gathered outside his Memphis mansion to bid farewell to the King of Rock 'n' Roll.
There were flowers and bouquets aplenty, as there were thousands of
bidding eyes with vision blurred from tears. They would see no more their Elvis performing
live . The black hands of Death has snatched their idol far beyond their reach. Had Elvis come alive! The thought
of the distant possibility... That's the only way they could find solace.
What if Elvis would come alive again? May be in a different guise, may be
in a different set up. But with his earlier look and with the voice? Reports of Elvis sighting started to pour in from various parts of the country after his death. They
still go on hogging the headlines and making deep impression in the hearts of his admirers.
May be many of these are for sheer fun and most of them lack
rationality, but they are enough to gauge the depth of love for Elvis
nurtured by his admirers even so many years after death. Elvis look-alike contests and Elvis-cloning still attracts people of all ages.
All this points to one single thing - death, though sad, couldn't part Elvis
from the hearts of millions.
Elvis is and will be alive through all these bids to recreate and
A number of books and articles have been written on Elvis. Many of them
were fictions based on facts. They provide a good source for exploring
the death scene of the legend. Among them 'Clothed in Light' by Paul
Jaffe is a popular one. Following are some poignant quotes from the book
written in first person.
"...The bottles on the counter, the combs and tubes and brushes, the tiles of the shower; it all shined with a rosy light. The whole bathroom was so beautiful, like a masterpiece painting. Everything glowed. All the stuff of the world was made of the same rosy light just cut up in different-sized packages. The soaps and colognes, the towels and toothbrushes, even the lights and mirrors, had a personality. That's the
effect the rosy light shining from everything had--it gave things a life...".
"..All the tension and uptightness I normally felt was gone. Obliterated. There was nothing to fear or resist, because everything was made of the same rosy light. Fear's always based on two. This overpowering that. When things are one, all fear disappears. A verse from the Sermon on the Mount came to me: "If thine eye be single, Thy whole body shall be filled with Light." I closed my eyes and felt the light inside me. It was like I'd swallowed a star. It was love. All I'd ever wanted was love, and there it was streaming out of every single thing all along.
Soon Ginger, my girlfriend, knocked at the bathroom door and called for me. I wanted to holler that I was dying and everything was OK, but nothing came out. The bathroom door was far away like I was seeing it through the wrong end of a pair of binoculars. This was a painful moment. I was passing away. Ginger opened the door and saw me. I could read her mind. She didn't want to believe it but knew right away I was dead. She screamed and called downstairs. One of my men, Al Strada, ran in and I read his mind too. He thought I'd finally OD'd, which wasn't far off...".
"...Wasn't anybody's fault. I don't wanna sound conceited, but it's almost impossible to describe what it was like being Elvis. I needed to relax and catch my breath, that, and I couldn't stand the pain of my family breaking up. That's where the drugs came in.
Then I became the slave rather than the master of these prescriptions. There I go, calling the drugs prescriptions; I used to delude myself that I didn't have a drug problem because it was all coming from doctors. It was just an excuse. Prescription drugs, street drugs, same thing if you use 'em like I did.
It's not like it was a deep dark secret I was falling apart, it showed. My friends tried to help. Linda Thompson was a real trooper, and so was my cousin Billy. We were close and could talk about it some. I just didn't care enough. I was tired of being Elvis Presley. I'd think about stopping the medications all the time, get in shape, feel really good, then I'd get bombed cause something bad would happen. Remote control Elvis would come out, start pressing buttons, search for a channel where there was something good on. Like I said, after awhile all the channels were the same white noise. I didn't care anymore. I pretended like I did, but deep down I didn't..."
"...Nothing's more boring than drugs, even though some people think they're
glamorous... I became something I wasn't. Once that happens, who cares?
What happened was a bad combination of drugs, the ones I usually took combined with the codeine my dentist gave me the night before. I'd had allergic reactions to codeine before but for some reason I forgot. When you don't care bad things happen. You forget what you need to remember. That's what happened to me 16 August 1977. But if it hadn't happened that day it would've some other..."
"...My momma was the one place I felt understood. When she died I lost that. That part of me died too. Didn't have to be that way, but that's how it was. Take the path of heart and courage every time, and you'll never look back..."