Saturday, January 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Elvis!

The King would have turned 75 yesterday, an occasion I celebrated by going to a totally fantastic show at The Triple Door.

Vince Mira is probably best known for his tributes to Johnny Cash, but he belted out some Elvis tunes -- both well-known and obscure -- that had the sold-out crowd cheering for more.

I'm not exactly sure when I became an Elvis fan. Must have happened during the three years I lived in Memphis and took at least a half a dozens tours of Graceland with various visitors. E just kind of grew on me, his humble, country boy charm was no put on. And, boy, he was generous. There's one wall in Graceland covered in cancelled checks written to charities.

Even if you're not in the fan camp, it's interesting to see Graceland, a place that's frozen in time. A snapshot of 1970s decor complete with shag carpet and garish furniture. It's not The Jungle Room that fascinated me, though, but the kitchen. Very simple, very inviting.

It really rubbed me the wrong way earlier this week when I got a news release from a company hawking vodka. They had come up with some drinks that would be perfect to go with some of Elvis's favorite food, which according to the release, including "burned bacon." Hmm, I've never heard that one. Elvis was not a drinker either... except he was hooked on Pepsi.

I also heard Elvis loved meatloaf. So much that he would go for weeks eating the same dinner night after night. I learned that after interviewing Jerry Schilling, a member of the Memphis Mafia, his posse.

On the evening of his birthday, in that stylish club in Seattle, I ordered something I'm sure The King would never have experienced in his too-short life: Monk's Curry with veggies and tofu and chicken laab, a tangy salad that's tucked into cabbage leaves. The spicy fare was a fine accompaniment to the sweet sounds of an uber-talented singer-songwriter paying tribute to one of the biggest names in show business. Fever! What a lovely way to burn...

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