The conventional image of Elvis,
the musical icon of America, may be of a glitzy, swashbuckling king of rock n'
roll. But behind all these lied a loving and generous soul, which, despite his name, fame and riches, was
desperately seeking for the spiritual truth... to know his fate and to
know what was lying beyond all this material abundance.
Elvis's health was
reported to have weakened by years of drug abuse and other excesses. Elvis Aaron Presley mirrors "...the landscape of America, the erotic spontaneity of Scots-Irish settlers and the facial lines of Indian warriors; the dignity and dissolution of the ante-bellum South, as well as the theme of
'love of family and its abandonment'...". And, this is what the genealogy of Elvis Presley reflects.
But what ailed Elvis?
Even though he got them all of what a worldly man can vie for. And what led him to feel abandoned and take recourse to
excesses, which in turn led him to oblivion?
The reason perhaps lies in his off-the-stage personal life - his family,
his upbringing and his celebrity lifestyle. Elvis was quite a mixture.
This can be attributed to his lineage. His was the perfect blend of French Norman blood with the Scots-Irish
blood. The aura of mystery draped around him was probably due to the embedded Indian strain.
Meanwhile, the Jewish strain
supplied him the spectacular showmanship. Finally add all these to his circumstances, social conditioning,
a couple of years stint in army, and religious upbringing--specifically his Southern poor white, First Assembly of God
And you're home! For, you have solved the enigma that was Elvis.
Every life has its peaks and troughs. Elvis's was no exception as well. Unfortunately, Elvis could not recover himself from the trough he had
fallen in. He just let himself drop till he kissed death. And this is where the tragedy of Elvis lies.
It all started with the divorce from his wife, Priscilla, in 1973. It was when the singer's career started to go downhill. He turned out to be
over-worrying lot - always fretting about his personal image and the fear of being crest-fallen. He started dieting and took to pills to lose weight. Bad habits that he had developed early in his career were difficult to change. Staying up all night and sleeping all day gave his life no real pattern or structure. Now, added worries and agonies worsened it further. He had even took the drugs that his health refused. The overdose of medications, and especially lethal combination of drugs he would take ruined his life.
Yet always a great soul...
However, despite all his inner torments, Elvis had never fallen short of his usual show in any of his public appearances. As a man Elvis was quite different.
A sensitive soul with a room to think about others.
Elvis was generous from deep inside. His keenness in making charity and getting involved in community works shows the greatness of the legendary entertainer as a great human.
Each year, Elvis used to give $1,000 or more to each of fifty Memphis-area charities. This apart he also continually made many other charitable donations in Memphis and around the country. Himself Elvis was a cheer leader in various philanthropic activities. He had taken part in many fund raising benefit concerts. And set it as a trend. Not just these, throughout his adult life, for friends, for family, and for total strangers, he quietly paid hospital bills, bought homes, supported families, paid off debts, and much more.
religious. He pursued religion not just as a set of rituals but as a philosophy of life. His interest in the
'riddle of post mortal life' took him to studying metaphysics and oriental religions.
Apart from his pure love for music Elvis was also a bibliophile. He had always been candid, warm and interactive with his friends and admirers. Those who had the opportunity to come closer to him was mesmerized by his humanist persona. He had always liked to treat everybody he met, whoever they
were. Elvis had a remarkable sense of humor. It stuck in everybody's mind. He liked to laugh and make others laugh, too. He never let people worry about his worries.
Naturally, people could hardly predict such a cheerful man had suffered so silently within.
There is no doubt that all these traits has made Elvis a legend that still
has it magnetic charm. May be this explains why Graceland, Elvis Presley’s home and refuge for twenty years, is
one of the most visited homes in America. Even these days it attracts over 600,000 visitors annually. It is also the most famous home in America after the White House. In 1991,
Grace land Mansion was placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Well, be there if you can to see it yourself. But despite being so popular
an image he had not lost his homely spirit off the stage. He was amicable
and congenial in his private life. Do you like to rediscover Elvis in one his off-the-stage homely mood? Here is an adoption from the columns of John Lennon
of the Beatles fame, depicting the historic rendezvous with Elvis Presley. This, indeed, gives a ringside glimpse of Elvis-the-man.