Monday, January 11, 2010


I've been trumpeting the greatness of The Drive-By Truckers on No Expiration a lot lately, I've become a big fan of the band thanks to the fact that I am a listener to Outlaw Country. Last week, in honor of the 75th anniversary of Elvis Presley's birth, he did a post on his myspace blog about Elvis, and also wrote about Gillian Welch's classic song "Elvis Presley Blues," which he rates, as, bar none, the best song ever about Elvis Presley.

I used to really not care much about Elvis Presley - I'm still not a big fan, and don't like much of his post-Sun Records era. It's true that he may have been the original rock star, but he was also the original sell-out. I was probably influenced by Public Enemy's song "Fight The Power" where they say "Elvis was a hero to most/But he never meant shit to me/Racist, simple and plain/Motherfuck him and John Wayne!" I'm not sure he was racist, either. But anyway, I realized that however ambivalent I was about him, the guy changed the world. He influenced everything that came after, which is pretty much all rock and roll music. His bad movies, fat outfits, embarrassing Vegas era, lame albums, etc. would never change his influence. He influenced The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Clash, U2, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Tom Petty, and so many other great artists. Nothing can change the impact he had on those artists, and thousands (or millions) more.

And by the way, check out Gillian Welch.  I remember hearing her Hell Among The Yearlings album when it came out, it seemed so "out of time," not in a gimmicky way at all. And she was scary, she sounded truly haunted. Writing this (and having watched O Brother, Where Art Thou? for the millionth time this weekend - she's on the soundtrack and makes a cameo) reminds me, I have to listen to her music more often! Her partner David Rawlings just released a new album, but that's for another post.

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