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The Big Huerta on Elvis Presley’s Death Day



Two things first, due to the tremendous outpouring of support and love and praise and huzzahs and positive feedback on last week’s article about Elvis’ assassination, there will be a second week of remembering the King, and also this ARTicle will probably be coming out right around the anniversary of his demise from this here planet.

You see folks, Elvis was a once in a lifetime event. Most of you readers are truly blessed by having remembrances of his career and life or were even lucky enough to see him in person. I never saw Elvis perform live. The closest I came to Elvis was being onstage at the Hilton in Las Vegas and shaking hands with drummer DJ Fontana (the strand of Elvis hair that I own, certified by the man’s barber himself, will not count…though I am working with top scientist’s on ways to recover the DNA from said hair to create a legion of Elvii that will roam this planet in an amusement park not unlike your Jurassic Park.If anyone out there wants to write a script with me on this premise, remember you heard it here first, plus we have been begging Hollywood for years for a new dead Elvis movie! Can you imagine a slew of Elvii running crazed in various stages of his career wreaking terror amongst the kids and elderly…oh, now you peeps want in! Talk to El Mano!)

Yeah, Elvis was certainly the King, the Gifted One, the one that started all this teenage rebellion. We sometimes take him for granted. In future generations he will be treated like a superhero. There will be Elvis comic books, Elvis movies and probably serious Elvis religions. He will be like Beethoven without the froo froo frightwig.

To show how big of an impact he had on current society, I am sure you can all tell me exactly where you were when you heard that he passed away.  Me???, oh surely you aren’t interested in my recollection…really??  Do you mean that?? You want to hear my story??  Gosh all, I am truly touched…well DIG, it was a drizzly summer afternoon, if I can recall correctly, I was in Westminster, California at a Der Wienerschnitzel drive through on Magnolia and Westminster (don’t look for it folks, it is sadly long gone) waiting to place my order. I was killing a bit of time before I had to pick up my high school girlfriend at Creative Corners in Westminster Mall. She was a nice, born again, Christian girl (read, no stealing of home ala Jackie Robinson…I was lucky enough to leg one out into 3rd base every once in awhile, about as often as Yogi Berra hit triples, talk about pelotas de azul, but I digress) that was into bands like Chicago, Bread and other swell acts at the time…so anyways the news came on the radio and I was stunned, taken aback.

I did not believe it. Elvis was too young to die. Elvis never dies. They must be mistaken; hopefully another doctor will examine him and say they made a mistake. But it was not to be. The radio kept repeating over and over that the king of rock and roll was dead at the age of 42.

I wasn’t a huge E fan at the time. Sure, I dug him. It was about a year or so later that I truly explored every thing that he did. The Sun Sessions alone surely had a major impact on my musical formation. The purest form of rock and roll that begat The Rock and Roll Trio, Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran, Gene Vincent, Crazy Legs Hirsch ( just making sure y’all ain’t dozing off on me!). Though I was smart enough to buy an Elvis Jailhouse Rock original movie poster (a rare, huuuuge, 3 sheeter, I believe), not in the best of shape, for $125 off Broadway at a poster shop way out in scary Long Beach! That was big money in 1978. It took 3 months to pay that sucker off. I still have it, restored and proudly displayed. It is pure art. But back to the story, now I drove to the mall on automatic pilot…surely a tear or two might have crept into and blurred my vision. I was so distraught that I ate the mustard dog and fries that I was going to give my girlfriend.

Just as well, as you will see, I maneuver my ’66 Plymouth Satellite into a convenient parking spot (remember peeps, there were less people on this planet back then) and wandered in a cloudlike haze into her store, all the while wondering how I was going to break the news to her, about the passing of Elvis. We exchanged a traditional no tongue kiss and held hands as we walked out to the escalator. She could tell something was bothering me and asked what was wrong. I mumbled, “Elvis Presley is dead.” She looked at me with a mixture of consternation and pity and asked what I did today. Once again, I said, “Elvis died.” “Oh well, he was old wasn’t he?” she exclaimed. “Did you bring me lunch?” “What???, no, HE WASN”T!” and no…I think I ate your lunch.”

We lasted about 3 more months. She ended our relationship on my birthday. Such a swell girl. Looking back, she did me a huge favor. I couldn’t imagine having any type of a serious relationship with a girl/woman that didn’t respect The King. Many years and another lifetime later, I found the right one. We sent out wedding invites that she designed with Elvis from “Blue Hawaii” surfing on the cover. We were even married in front of an Elvis statue and had the reception in an Elvis themed restaurant. We listened to Elvis every weekend. She had the greatest sense of humor. She had a lot of patience too and put up with the King and I. SHakespeare once said that the world is a stage and each of us must play a part. Misty, if you see Elvis up there…tell him Ed said hello…RIP to the both of you. I am lonesome tonight.


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