“The silence of a falling star”

Any of you that have made your way to The Mystery Train Elvis Blog via my old pop culture blog, The Film Frontier, know that school (night classes) always takes up a lot of my time during this part of the year. On top of that, I’ve had a couple of challenging projects going on at work as well.

Though I may not be posting here as often as I’d like at the moment, Elvis is never far from my thoughts. I’m usually able to listen to my iPod a bit at work, especially when I’m handling a writing-related assignment. It helps to block out the distractions of whatever else is going on around me and allow me to focus.

Just for fun, I made up a couple of standard playlists to use at work yesterday.

Elvis 1972: The Unreachable Star

  • Burning Love [Burning Love And Hits From His Movies, Volume 2]
  • For The Good Times[Walk A Mile In My Shoes]
  • Always On My Mind [Separate Ways]
  • Fool [Elvis (Fool)]
  • Where Do I Go From Here [Elvis (Fool)]
  • Separate Ways [Separate Ways]
  • Also Sprach Zarathustra/Opening Riff/That’s All Right (Live) [An Afternoon In The Garden]
  • Proud Mary (Live) [Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden]
  • Never Been To Spain (Live) [Walk A Mile In My Shoes]
  • You Gave Me A Mountain (Live) [Walk A Mile In My Shoes]
  • Polk Salad Annie (Live) [Close Up]
  • A Big Hunk O’ Love (Live) [Walk A Mile In My Shoes]
  • The Impossible Dream (Live) [He Walks Beside Me]
  • Burning Love (Live) [Close Up]
  • Until It’s Time For You To Go (Live) [An Afternoon In The Garden]
  • Suspicious Minds (Live) [An Afternoon In The Garden]
  • It’s Impossible (Live) [Elvis (Fool)]
  • I Can’t Stop Loving You (Live) [Welcome To My World]
  • An American Trilogy (Live) [This Is Elvis]
  • Can’t Help Falling In Love/Closing Riff (Live) [Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden]
  • Elvis Talks About His Father (“Make up your mind…”) [Eye Of The Hurricane]
  • Johnny B. Goode (Rehearsal) [Elvis On Tour: The Rehearsals]
  • The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face (Rehearsal) [Elvis On Tour: The Rehearsals]
  • Young And Beautiful (Rehearsal) [Elvis On Tour: The Rehearsals]
  • Lawdy, Miss Clawdy (Rehearsal) [Elvis On Tour: The Rehearsals]
  • Funny How Time Slips Aways (Rehearsal) [Elvis On Tour: The Rehearsals]
  • Always On My Mind (Rehearsal)[This Is Elvis]

Elvis 1973: Part I – The Midnight Train

  • Also Sprach Zarathustra/Opening Riff/See See Rider (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • Burning Love (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • You Gave Me A Mountain (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • Steamroller Blues (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • Love Me (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • Johnny B. Goode (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • It’s Over (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • What Now My Love (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • Fever (Live)[The Alternate Aloha]
  • Welcome To My World (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • Suspicious Minds (Live)[The Alternate Aloha]
  • I’ll Remember You (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • An American Trilogy (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • A Big Hunk O’ Love (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • Can’t Help Falling In Love/Closing Riff (Live) [Aloha From Hawaii Via Satellite]
  • Blue Hawaii (Remake) [A Legendary Performer, Volume 2]
  • Hawaiian Wedding Song (Remake) [Mahalo From Elvis]
  • No More (Remake) [Mahalo From Elvis]
  • Early Morning Rain (Remake) [Mahalo From Elvis]
  • Baby, What You Want Me To Do (Informal) [Elvis By The Presleys]
  • Just A Little Bit [Raised On Rock]
  • For Ol’ Times Sake [Raised On Rock]
  • Sweet Angeline [Raised On Rock]
  • If You Don’t Come Back [Raised On Rock]
  • I Miss You [Raised On Rock]
  • Are You Sincere [Raised On Rock]
  • It’s Different Now (Rehearsal) [Walk A Mile In My Shoes]
  • I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry (Informal) [Elvis By The Presleys]

I made it through the 1972 playlist, which was fantastic – a real testament to the power of Elvis during that year. For 1973, I only made it as far as “See See Rider” before it was time to go. Aloha sounded like so much fun, though, that I decided to watch the 2004 edition when I got home last night.

One of the things I love about Aloha, as well as a number of other Elvis events, actually, is watching his eyes. Particularly evident on the 2004 cut, you can see a “We’re all in on the same joke/Isn’t it crazy that this is going on?” expression of bemusement. Even in this concert, where he is sometimes criticized as being too serious, Elvis never really takes himself too seriously.

After a quick run-through of the obligatory “Hound Dog,” he says, “I was just a baby when I did that song. I was about 12-years-old, had sideburns. I’m lying like a rug, too.” Too bad this line was cut from the 1973 album and subsequent NBC broadcast.

The ability to laugh at himself was one of Elvis’ most endearing qualities, and that’s no lie.