August 16, 1977

I can tell you what I was doing 42 years ago on August 16, 1977… I was ten years old and played some baseball with the neighborhood guys and went inside in the afternoon. I started to watch Gilligans Island and then the news interrupted the show. Elvis Presley had died.

It really didn’t affect me too much at the time until I saw my mom and stepdad react. My mom was somewhat upset and although I knew Elvis’s music, the impact just wasn’t there until the news items started to roll across. I called my dad and talked to him and it bothered him…he had just seen Elvis a few years before in Murfreesboro Tn.

I really wouldn’t know how they felt until December 8, 1980, when Lennon was killed. It’s a shame what happened to Elvis because he was trapped by his fame, manager, and by his own excesses.  After reading about him more it seemed like it was inevitable…I just wished it could have been different.

 

Author: badfinger20

Power Pop fan, Baseball fan, old movie and tv show fan... and a songwriter, bass and guitar player.

19 thoughts on “August 16, 1977”

      1. No he had no clue but he wanted Elvis to record I’m On Fire because he thought it was better than the stuff he was doing. Bruce idolized Elvis.

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  1. Two wonderful choices on tribute songs for Elvis, Max. I’m sure all of the singers have an insiders perspective on what fame can do to a person, especially when you’re surrounded by people who are either trying to exploit you or are afraid to tell you the truth.

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  2. I had a similar experience- I would have been 16- I knew about Elvis and all but to me at the time he may as well have been Glen Miller or Duke Ellington- a relic from the past. My parents had a friend who was a huge Elvis fan. I remember my mom telling me like a month later how devastated their friend still was over Elvis dying. I thought that seemed kind of silly- he never knew Elvis, Elvis was 42- he was old [it seemed } a couple years later I thought of that guy when John Lennon was assassinated. I now knew how he felt.

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  3. My mum was and is a huge Elvis fan, she was distraught when it came on the radio news. I was 19 and Elvis had always been there throughout my life, records and films galore, so it was kind of hard to believe he’d gone, but he’d been so distant and unavailable to the UK it wasn’t quite on the personal level. A month later T.Rex star Marc Bolan was killed in a car crash and that really hit me hard, he was on TV each week for his TV show and I’d been a huge fan since 13 years old. Let’s not even mention the loss of John Lennon, The Beatles were my idols. The world slipped into a bizarre alternate universe where everything seemed morally wrong.

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    1. You know you really said something that was true even of me…I lived in the same state as Elvis and still do but he was distant even here to me. He just didn’t seem as real as Lennon. I was really young and liked his music and movies at that time but there was a difference.
      With Bolan I will admit I only knew of some of his songs because he wasn’t as known here.

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  4. I’m about the same age Max, and like you I knew OF Elvis and that he was adored by millions but his death didn’t mean much to me back then. I can’t specifically remember when I heard he was dead but we usually had 6 o’clock news on in the evening at home so probably during that . I remember “Burnin’ Love” being a hit on radio when I was a little kid and knew some of his bigger songs of course, but I was way more a fan of Elton, ELO, the Eagles and many others than Elvis at that time, so … when Lennon was killed, it had more of an impact on me and now, when people like Tom Petty have died it’s effected me even though they were comparitively minor stars compared to Elvis, so I can understand what people in their 20s and 30s felt back on that day in ’77.

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    1. Yes…although Lennon was not of my generation he was closer I believe…more relevant to what was going on than Elvis. I guess it was a generation thing.
      Lennon being murdered also probably played a part.
      Yes I know what you mean about Petty…I was a fan but it wasn’t the same.

      Like

    1. I haven’t heard it in years…I wanted two songs about him and found those.
      Yes it was a reunion…a very cool one. Who would have thought…Jerry Lee would be the one that is still living!

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