Monday, 2 December 2013

I'm back . . . 

I've been with the King. I've been working on him, not with or for him but on him. Many, many years ago, back in the last century, I wrote a book on Elvis. It was a short and fast one. Fifty Elvis songs and their stories, making a mini-biography but focussed on the music. It came out, as Essential Elvis, to celebrate the twentieth anniversary of his death.

Earlier this year, I was asked if I was okay with it being republished, as an e-book. Of course, I said. Just let me have a quick look through it and make the necessary corrections. I already knew, for example, that, to my shame, I'd mis-spelled Ann Margaret's name. See, I did it again. It's actually Ann-Margret. (She's Chicago-raised but Swedish-born.)

So I started making the corrections and adding new bits and then more bits and even talked to some people — including the niece of the man who wrote Long Black Limousine, the song which Elvis recorded in his 1969 and which almost prefigured his own end. 

I found more and more and more and put it all in. All kinds of details. Corrections of dates. Stories about the songwriters. I found a lot of demos of the songs – which weren't around first time but have since emerged.

All in all, it became a bigger book. Almost twice the size.

It's out this Friday, from Rocket 88. Here is the cover. Buy one. Buy more. (Oh, and buy yourself a copy of my last book, Filthy English while you're about it.)

The original Essential Elvis also contained an A-Z of Elvis. It wasn't exactly padding in the original. More somewhere to put other thoughts and ideas which didn't fit into the song stories I told. It was more fun, more light-hearted, less reverent. And, so we took the decision to leave it out of the new edition.

So . . . I'm posting it here, on this blog, as an Elvis advent calendar. There will be one a day till Christmas. (Actually, given that there are 26 letters in the alphabet, it will, of course, run through to Boxing Day. At least. As Elvis' birthday is January 8, I might stretch it through till then.) And I begin with . . .

A is for Aaron

Elvis’ middle name, which his mother spelled as Aron on his birth certificate, and which was — rightly or wrongly — changed to Aaron on his gravestone.

More tomorrow Actually, more later today, as I started my A-Z Elvis calendar one day late so it coincided with the working week.

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