When my sister, Cheryl, was a teenager back in the 60s, Elvis Presley was the hottest thing around and she was quite enamoured by him, to say the least. Mum always said that if Elvis came to Australia, even to the eastern states (we lived in Perth, Western Australia), that she and Dad would fly Cheryl to anywhere she needed to go to see him in concert. (Sadly, that never happened.)
Of course being the young, impressionable sister that I was back in the 70s, Cheryl took full advantage of this fact and before I could say Blue Suede Shoes I was wearing tracksuits with Elvis transfers on them, listening to his music and watching Elvis movies every Saturday afternoon. One of which, was Blue Hawaii. Who could forget the wedding ceremony scene where Elvis croons The Hawaiian Wedding Song to his love as they ride their flower bedecked double hulled canoe through the lagoon? Sigh. Do you have any idea just how many people wanted to visit Hawaii after that? No? Ok, me neither. But Wikipedia knows everything, and it assures me it was a LOT.
I was so acutely aware of my sister’s admiration for The King, that when he died in 1977 (I was 7 years old) I can still remember walking to school thinking how sad Chery would be.
Thirty-three years later, my sister’s still a faithful Elvis fan, if the truth be told. If you were to walk in to her house today, you’d find an Elvis mirror hanging in her entry hall, a bust of Elvis in her formal lounge, a number of charcoal drawings of him hanging in the hallway, one of his gold records hanging in the family room – not an orginal though (unfortunately) - and an Elvis calendar, purchased by my Mum each year, which she displays proudly in her kitchen. She might even be playing one of his records. (But apart from that, she’s really quite normal. Pinky swear.)
Anyway, this got me thinking the other day.
I’ve been a fan of singers and actors in the past. When I was 7, it was ABBA. My friend, Kim Adams, and I would set up the carpet sweeper and broom in the lounge room, and we’d put out bicycle horns on the top (the ones with the big, black rubber bits on the end), and they would act as our microphones, and we’d lip-synch to all their hits. (I was Agnetha, she was Frida.)
Later, it was Shakin Stevens. No wonder. He looked not unlike Elvis, and I’m pretty sure Cheryl was behind that interest again (natch). In fact, his concert was the first I ever went to. (And I’m still convinced it was me he waved to during his performance of Green Door.)
In high school I, like many others, LOVED Michael Jackson. That was in his hey day (think, circa 1983). Then by the age of 14 it was Duran Duran. I had posters of them everywhere in my room, with John Taylor being my favourite. (My bestfriend, Tracy, at the time liked Simon LeBon, so we could admire them together harmoniously with no arguments over “who got who”.)
Tracy and I also followed a local Perth band called V Capri. I remember telling Cheryl that they would be like “the next Elvis”. She scoffed at the time, “Ha. There will never be another Elvis Presley, Jodie.” I confidently told her she was wrong. Aaaand now I’m eating my words. Sis - you were right. I apologise. :)
In the late 80s, I thought Tom Cruise was simply divine. I held a huge crush on him for years. Then he just went too serious for my liking. (As a side note, after seeing him in Tropic of Thunder and then reprising his role of Les Grossman at the latest MTV Movie Awards, I think he should definitely stick with comedy.)
Tom Cruise dances with JLo at the MTV Awards
Since then, I’ve admired actors and singers, but I’ve come to realise there have been none (not even Henry Cavill) that have really stuck with me over the years.
Maybe I’m not the faithful type, or maybe I just haven’t found my Elvis yet?
Anyway, this also got me wondering…what about you? Do you have ‘an Elvis’? Have you admired an artist for years? Anyone you think you might just love for the next 33 years? Any stories of person-worship you’d like to share?