As part of the new blog, I’m going to start putting up some old posts that have disappeared from the Internet … you’ll be able to find these in the new “Joe Vault” section. This was written on June 25, 2009, the day after Michael Jackson died.
The thing I understood about Elvis when I was young was that he was famous. Crazy famous. The kind of famous that only a handful of people have ever been — Elvis, Muhammad Ali, Jack Kennedy, Will Rogers, Babe Ruth, the Beatles, that kind of iconic famous. I knew, of course, what Elvis did — King of Rock and Roll and all that — but by the time I knew him he was a cartoon character, a fat sweat-hog who wore capes and sequins and collars you could parasail with, an overgrown leftover from the 1950s who was so buzzed on drugs or jelly doughnuts that he hardly seemed real.