Elvis Religion: The Cult of the King

Elvis Religion: The Cult of the King

by Gregory L. Reece
     
 

The cult of Elvis Presley has, since his death, become ever more pervasive in American culture. From Graceland to Las Vegas, from fans to impersonators, from novels, films and popular music to websites, outsider art and tabloid conspiracy theories, Elvis Religion explores this frequently bizarre phenomenon and investigates how the King of Rock 'n' Roll

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Overview

The cult of Elvis Presley has, since his death, become ever more pervasive in American culture. From Graceland to Las Vegas, from fans to impersonators, from novels, films and popular music to websites, outsider art and tabloid conspiracy theories, Elvis Religion explores this frequently bizarre phenomenon and investigates how the King of Rock 'n' Roll became a god-like figure. Elvis, we discover, is found everywhere. Not just an icon for late night lonely hearts in Memphis, or Elvis impersonators on a Vegas stage, he is the inspiration behind the violence of movies like Mystery Train and Wild at Heart, the kitsch sanctuary of Graceland Too, the music of Kirsty MacColl and Paul Simon, and the Internet church for whom he is a supernatural being dwelling in the constellation of Orion.
Gregory L. Reece makes a journey to discover the Jumpsuit Jesus for himself, taking him into the heart of fan obsession. Along the way, he discovers that if Elvis Saves, it is because the Memphis Messiah seems like a prophet for our times.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781845112561
Publisher:
I. B.Tauris & Company, Limited
Publication date:
08/08/2006
Pages:
200
Product dimensions:
5.63(w) x 8.73(h) x 0.95(d)

Table of Contents

1Elvis in Memphis : happy hour at the Heartbreak Hotel7
2Elvis incarnate : impersonators, tribute artists, and priests23
3Elvis in film : violent visions, ambiguous angels47
4Elvis in fiction : Memphis messiah, jumpsuit Jesus71
5Elvis in song : Graceland gospel, Elvis elegies, and ironic invitationals95
6Elvis in art : outsider Elvis and Graceland too113
7Elvis on the Internet : Presleyterians, eighth day transfigurists, and the Dizgraceland Chapel135
8Elvis in the tabloids : alive and coming back!155
9Ironic kingdom : Elvis and religion in popular (and not so popular) culture179
Postscript : pass the Elvis-themed lunchbox and thermos salt-and-pepper shaker set, please193

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