Coming January it would be just 20 years to Elvis’s 100th Birthday. That thought came to me last night at Miss Saigon (a thousand true stories.) All I remembered from the first time were the helicopter and the faces of abandoned children. I felt my soul feel the hurt of them all, including my own. That first time it was closer and so was I, veteran of a different campaign in Southeast Asia: same same, but different. Now I feel full of history.
The Fifties were sixty years ago. Poison dwarfs wrecked the movie-house on Delamere at the first screening of Rock Around the Clock. Bob Mitchum got punched by a husband in the Long Bar. Elvis Presley became the best-known name in the world without the benefit of Twitter, Facebook, Fox or Sky. The Thirties seemed like a really distant past, too far back to picture. None of us had any idea of what the future, the Sixties, would be like. I had a picture, when I thought about it, which was rarely, of a continuation of the time that we knew. Elvis changed all that.
The King is dead. Long live the King.