Elvis at 19, amateur contestant at the Louisiana Hayride, Oct. 16, 1954
“I was training to be an electrician. I suppose I got wired the wrong way round somewhere along the line.”
“Some people tap their feet, some people snap their fingers, and some people sway back and forth. I just sorta do ‘em all together, I guess.”
-Elvis in 1956, talking about his way of moving on stage.
“Ambition is a dream with a V8 engine.”
— Elvis Presley
“I ain’t no saint, but I’ve tried never to do anything that would hurt my family or offend God…I figure all any kid needs is hope and the feeling he or she belongs. If I could do or say anything that would give some kid that feeling, I would believe I had contributed something to the world.”
-Elvis commenting to a reporter, 1950s.
“…the image is one thing and the human being is another…it’s very hard to live up to an image.”
-From the press conference prior to his record-breaking Madison Square Garden shows in New York City, 1972
“If life was fair, Elvis would be alive and all the impersonators would be dead.”
“When I first heard Elvis’ voice, I just knew that I wasn’t going to work for anybody, and nobody was going to be my boss. He is the deity supreme of rock and roll religion as it exists in today’s form. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail.”
“It was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody’s ear, and somehow we all dreamed it.”
“If any individual of our time can be said to have changed the world, Elvis Presley is the one. In his wake more than music is different. Nothing and no one looks or sounds the same. His music was the most liberating event of our era because it taught us new possibilities of feeling and perception, new modes of action and appearance, and because it reminded us not only of his greatness, but of our own potential.”.
Griel Marcus in “Mystery Train”