Today marks the 30th anniversary of Elvis’ death. If you’re not one of the masses discovering their “inner Elvis” at Graceland — or Lisa Marie — you can pay tribute to the King right here. I myself would like to thank him for the following:
• My first job. The spring semester of my senior year in college, I only had classes three days a week. Instead of using the other two weekdays wisely, I spent them watching VH1, which was airing repeats of the ELVIS: ’68 Comeback Special and the 1988 TV movie Elvis and Me (special shout-out to the mesmerizing Dale Midkiff). That summer, I applied for a job at a magazine called Total TV, and the editor who interviewed me had just written a fun piece — commemorating the 20th anniversary of Elvis’ death — in which he tried to contact Elvis through a séance. We had much to discuss, including my favorite ’68 performance, “One Night” (below), which I believe I said was the “hottest thing I’ve ever seen.” I am nothing if not professional.
• Teaching me that “old movies” can be sexy. Girl Happy is one of my mother’s favorites, so I had to sit through it a lot when we got a VCR. Remember the song “Chamber of Commerce”? (“Pretty girls 18 to 23/ If their technique ain’t what it should be/ Get love instruction for free from me/ Through the courtesy of the Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce”)? How about “Do Not Disturb”? (“Do not Disturb/ Hang a sign on the door/ Do not disturb/ It’s time to make love/ And I can’t wait anymore”)
• Inspiring Gary Susman’s “Elvis Oatmeal.” Gary says, “I adapted the recipe from a peanut butter-less banana oatmeal I discovered at a diner in Somerville, Mass., several years ago. The bananas, peanut butter, and sugar can be adjusted to taste.”
2/3 cup quick-cooking oats
1 1/3 cup water
2 to 4 Tbs. peanut butter
2 to 4 Tbs. dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. cinnamon
Dash of salt
Bring oats and water to a boil in a saucepan. Reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes or until cooked, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, peel bananas and mash with a fork. Add bananas, peanut butter, sugar, cinnamon, and salt to oatmeal and stir until cooked through.
What would you like to thank Elvis for?