Personaje Americano: Elvis Presley (Part III)
army brat: persona joven que vive con sus padres militares, normalmente cambiando de ciudad cada 2 años.
joke: broma (n), bromear (v)
sell out: agotar las entradas (v)
fall apart: fracasar, venir abajo (una relacion) (v)
calm down: tranquilizarse (v)
Elvis Presley spent 2 years in the military, part of the time stationed in Germany. There he became an enthusiastic user of amphetamines (a common military practice during those days), and met Priscilla Beaulieu, a 14 year old army brat who would eventually become his wife. His record label was able to keep the Elvis myth alive by releasing compilations and previously recorded material.
When Elvis returned to America in 1960, he went immediately back to the recording studio. Much of the controversy over his dancing and sexual innuendo had died down, and reviews of his new songs were excellent. He recorded successful albums in a variety of styles: country, blues and gospel. Apart from a few charity concerts, he didn’t perform in public.
Elvis’ manager, a somewhat unscrupulous gentleman named Parker, soon convinced Elvis to dedicate himself full time to making films for the next several years. While the films were universally considered to be trash, they were always profitable for the studio. However, as they grew increasingly more formulaic, the quality of the films and songs was in decline and by 1967 he was considered to be a joke by all but his most loyal fans. It appeared as if his career was ruined, yet again.
It wasn’t. Now married to Priscilla Presley, he returned to TV and shocked everybody by returning to the studio to produce new hit records. He sold out concerts around the country, and enjoyed his new status as part of the American music establishment, who barely remembered how they had criticized him as pornographic just 10 years earlier. His records were more conservative pop songs, the kind preferred by white audiences like those in Las Vegas, where he was playing the majority of his concerts.
In 1970 he met President Richard Nixon, and expressed his patriotism and opposition to the hippie drug culture popularized by the Beatles. In those days Elvis barely drank, and became angry any time marijuana use was mentioned. However, as his marriage began to fall apart in 1971 and ‘72, he relied more and more on prescription drugs to calm him down. He felt like he was superior to the common junkie because he got his drugs at the pharmacy. Later, Paul McCartney recalled, “The great joke is that we were taking [illegal] drugs, and look what happened to him.”
La historia se acaba mañana…
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