The King was taken from us 43 years ago this week so were he alive today he would have been 85. So what would he have looked like?
I prefer to imagine him hair dyed, squeezed into a jumpsuit and taking himself off.
As in his send-up version of Are You Lonesome Tonight?
Because for everything that’s been said about Elvis it is always worth remembering that he was a born entertainer.
And so had an enormous appetite for fun, life. Yes, and food.
It’s early in the morning and I’ve had something of the meat sweats on me.
From the good ol’ Southern food on Beale Street in Memphis the night before.
When my Southern host tempts me with a favourite from the menu at Elvis’s top diner, The Arcade.
When he was young
It is the legendary peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich.
I could bluff it here and say I had it but the grits had left me with a heavy tummy.
Instead I sat at his favourite table and imagined instead.
After all I’d channeled my inner Elvis already at Sun Studio where I stood at the very spot where he had sung That’s All Right Mamma.
Where The King sat… and Elvis!!!
And roared like a lion in the Jungle Room in Graceland.
Graceland is smaller than you imagine, probably because you expect everything to be larger than life in Elvisland.
Certainly the hangars that contain his motorbikes and cars and another with all his jumpsuits point to that.
Full of grace: Graceland
As does the aircraft outside dedicated to his daughter Lisa Marie, one of a few he owned.
But in truth Elvis’s world was small, his father Vernon, mother Gladys, wife Priscilla, Lisa Marie and family and friends he grew up with.
Elvis and his peers would divebomb the swimming pool, play racquetball (he had a game the day he died) and whizz downtown in their golf buggies.
Hear me roar
And the locals who had known him since he was a kid would just say: ‘Aw, Elvis how are you.’
While the folks at The Arcade would chat to him like they would any patron, easy-going Southern hospitality.., ‘how’s your family.’
Only Elvis was different… after all, nobody else had as sweet a tooth or ordered a peanut butter, banana and bacon sandwich.
Ah, yes, the Jungle Room
How to make it:
Spread the peanut butter on one side of one slice of bread.
Top with slices of fried banana and slices of cooked banana.
Cover with the other slice of bread.
Spread butter on the outside of the sandwich.