Elvis in Quotes
Jesus, Coca Cola and Elvis
The collection with quotes listed below clearly shows how strong the impact Elvis had and still has on us all. I have gathered quotes from influential leaders (Presidents), well-known cultural personalities, comedians, pop stars and opera singers. The majority of these are people known worldwide.
Some have stated that the three most famous words in the Western Hemisphere is; 1) Jesus 2) Coca Cola, and 3) Elvis. I am a little doubtful that there is any truth in this observation, but what I hold on to as a fact is that Elvis' position as a pioneering and intergenerational personality is unequaled in our popular culture.
Another aspect also evident in the quotes below are that Elvis still means a lot to the generation that was not even born when Elvis died in 1977.
In 2015 Elvis would have been 80 years ... and it is evident that this 80-year-old is "holding up very well"!
Author; Admin ELVIS the ICON / Source; Kinky Friedman – “Elvis, Jesus & Coca Cola”
“Elvis” by Famous People
“Elvis is the greatest cultural force in the twentieth century. He introduced the beat to everything, music, language, clothes, it's a whole new social revolution the 60's comes from it”. Leonard Bernstein.
“Elvis is iconic; a lot of performers today look to that for inspiration”. Beyonce.
“Elvis was a major hero of mine. I was actually stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something”. David Bowie.
“No one will ever touch Elvis”. Garth Brooks.
“When at last I made my journey to the land of the blues, I never dreamt for one minute that I'd actually become friends with the guys who were my mentors, heroes and my cultural icons. (Witherspoon's) voice held a great mysticism for me, like when I first heard the voice of Elvis Presley—you knew it was coming from the source”. Eric Burdon - The Animals (Gadfly, March 1998)
“Elvis Presley's death deprives our country of a part of itself. He was unique, irreplaceable. More than 20 years ago, he burst upon the scene with an impact that was unprecedented and will probably never be equaled. His music and his personality, fusing the styles of white country and black rhythm and blues, permanently changed the face of American popular culture. His following was immense. And he was a symbol to people the world over of the vitality, rebelliousness and good humor of this country”. President Jimmy Carter (August 17, 1977).
“You know, [George H.W.] Bush is always comparing me to Elvis in sort of unflattering ways. I don't think Bush would have liked Elvis very much, and that's just another thing that's wrong with him”. President Bill Clinton (Presidential campaign, 1992).
“You can't say enough good things about Elvis. He was one of a kind”. Johnny Cash.
“His was the one voice I wish to have had, of all those emanating from singers in the popular music field”. Placido Domingo (Hola Magazine, June 1994).
“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. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail”. Bob Dylan.
“The highlight of my career, that’s easy… Elvis recording one of my songs”. Bob Dylan.
“…the one recording I treasure the most”. Bob Dylan (About Elvis’ recording of “Tomorrow Is A Long Time” in May, 1966).
“It's always been my dream to come to Madison Square Garden and be the warm-up act for Elvis”. Al Gore (Vice- President nomination acceptance speech, 1992).
“Elvis loved gospel music, he was raised on it, and he really did know what he was talking about; we would jam with him for an hour, and he had a feel for it and was "tickled" to have four "church sisters" backing him up; he was singing Gospel all the time, (in fact), almost anything he did had that flavour. You can’t get away from what your roots are”. Cissy Houston - Whitney Houston’s mother (True Believer at classicwhitney.com, August 10, 1998)
“He was a unique artist an original in an area of imitators”. Mick Jagger.
“No-one, but no-one, is his equal, or ever will be. He was, and is supreme”. Mick Jagger.
“Ask anyone. If it hadn't been for Elvis, I don't know where popular music would be. He was the one that started it all off, and he was definitely the start of it for me”. Sir Elton John.
“There is something magical about watching a man who has lost himself find his way back home... He sang with the kind of power people no longer expect from rock 'n' roll singers”. John Landau (Review of the TV Special "Elvis", 1968).
“Before Elvis, there was nothing”. John Lennon.
“Every time I felt low, I just put on an Elvis record and I’d feel great”. Paul McCartney.
“When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted to be was Elvis Presley”. Paul McCartney.
“Elvis is the coolest”. Pink.
“Elvis, you're my idol. Thanks for letting us come”. Robert Plant - Led Zeppelin (When meeting Elvis backstage at the Inglewood Stadium in Los Angeles, on May 11, 1974).
“He epitomized America, and for that we shall be eternally grateful. There will never be anyone else like him. Let's all rejoice in his music”. Ronald Reagan.
“There have been many accolades uttered about Elvis' talent and performances through the years, all of which I agree with wholeheartedly. I shall miss him dearly as a friend. He was a warm, considerate and generous man”. Frank Sinatra (August 1977).
“You have no idea how great he is, really you don't. You have no comprehension — it's absolutely impossible. I can't tell you why he's so great, but he is”. Phil Spector.
“There have been a lot of tough guys. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one king”. Bruce Springsteen.
“He was as big as the whole country itself, as big as the whole dream. He just embodied the essence of it and he was in mortal combat with the thing. Nothing will ever take the place of that guy”. Bruce Springsteen.
“Elvis is my religion. If it were not for him I’d be selling Encyclopedias”. Bruce Springsteen.
“Elvis was the king. No doubt about it. People like myself, Mick Jagger and all the others only followed in his footsteps”. Rod Stewart.
“Everyone likes at least one Elvis song....Me, I love them all. He was, is and will remain the ultimate rock star”. Robbie Williams.
Sources; Wikiquote – “Elvis Presley” (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley), Leaves of Elvis’ Garden - “Elvis Presley’s music changed American culture” (http://elvispresleybiography.net/elvis-presley-music.htm), Houston Press – “Elvis: 30 Famous Quotes About The King” (http://blogs.houstonpress.com/rocks/2011/01/elvis_30_famous_quotes_about_t.php), Elvis Express – “Quotes About Elvis” (http://www.elvis-express.com/ology_quotes.html)
Quotes about Elvis in a New Millennium
“In Elvis, you had the whole lot; it's all there in that elastic voice and body. As he changed shape, so did the world. His last performances showcase a voice even bigger than his gut, where you cry real tears as the music messiah sings his tired heart out, turning casino into temple. I think the Vegas period is underrated. I find it the most emotional. By that point Elvis was clearly not in control of his own life, and there is this incredible pathos. The big opera voice of the later years -- that's the one that really hurts me”. Bono – U2 (Rolling Stone Magazine, April 15, 2004).
“You feel like an impostor, when someone says something you know you're not, like you're a prophet, or a savior. Elvis, yes, I could easily want to become him”. Bob Dylan (60 Minutes, December 5, 2004).
“Along with the rest of Deep Purple, I once had the chance to meet Elvis. For a young singer like me, he was an absolute inspiration. I soaked up what he did like blotting paper. It's the same as being in school — you learn by copying the maestro. His personality was also extremely endearing, his interviews were very self-effacing (and), he came over as gentle and was generous in his praise of others. He had a natural, technical ability, but there was something in the humanity of his voice, and his delivery. Those early records at the Sun Records label are still incredible and the reason is simple: he was the greatest singer that ever lived”. Ian Gillan – Deep Purple (Classic Rock Magazine, 2006).
When asked whose was the greatest voice she had ever heard; “The young Elvis Presley, without any doubt”. Kiri Te Kanawa (Blabbermouth.net, January 3, 2007).
“It's our responsibility as musicians to keep pushing each other, to keep competing with each other. It's a really great competition. I see here artists like Beyoncé and Alicia Keys and Rihanna and Chris Brown and Chris Martin, all in the same room, and we're going to push this music to the point where it was like in the 1960s and '70s, when the talk was about Led Zeppelin, and Jimi Hendrix, and the Beatles. We (all) will be the new Beatles. We (all) will be the new Hendrix; (in fact) in any other industry, they'll tell you that you're supposed to do better than those in the past, so when you say, 'I want to be Elvis,' they say, 'What's wrong with you?' Well, I wanna be Elvis”. Kanye West (American Music Awards, November 23, 2008).
“The biggest thing Elvis had was the command he had on stage, how he could control the crowd and the band. There’s a performance on the Ed Sullivan show where he does ‘Hound Dog and at the end he slows it down, and - to me - it looked like an improve moment, not like something they rehearsed. It was like Presley saw girls in the audience freaking out and said to himself: ‘Watch me slow it down - and then really go nuts.’ And he slows it down at the end and then starts his little dance, and he had them”. Bruno Mars (AP, 2008).
“After his show, Sammy Davis Jr said he would arrange for my wife Joyce and I to see the best entertainer in Las Vegas which, considering Sammy´s fame, was quite a compliment (Once at the show), the audience was enthralled as the singer sang songs of every genre. And that evening I became a fan of Elvis Presley. Even today, particularly on Sundays when we do not get to church, Joyce and I listen to Elvis singing gospel songs”. Donald Rumsfeld (Known and Unknown, 2011).
“I have plans to sing an Elvis song on stage soon. I was a huge fan of Elvis. In fact, I was in town until today and bought a compilation LP of the man. Soon you will hear me sing “Don’t” and “Are You Lonesome Tonight” – but not at the plate. My voice is too deep, with 20,000 cigarettes leading my tone of voice three to four notches down too far”. Leonard Cohen (Leonard Cohen Jukebox, March 26, 2012).
“I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother. He said I was good and I said he was good; we never argued about that. Elvis was a hard worker, dedicated, and God loved him. Last time I saw him was at Graceland, We sang 'Old Blind Barnabus' together, a gospel song. I love him and hope to see him in heaven. There'll never be another like that soul brother”. James Brown (Elvis Has Left the Building: The Day the King Died by Dylan Jones, 2014).
“I never understood his records at first, and then many years later, I thought, "God this guy is good". He had that wonderful sexuality about him, and energy, he was a star, you know, he was bigger than life. Anyways, because I'd met him a couple of times, singing with him was kind of easy; it felt like our spirits were kind of touching...” Barbra Streisand (On singing "Love me tender" with Elvis for her album "Partners", Official Facebook, September 6, 2014).
“The greatest voice of all time”. Q-Magazine (March 4, 2007).
“Perhaps the only other voice to touch me (Luciano Pavarotti's voice being the first), was the voice of Elvis Presley; to watch him perform as I did along with Carl (Palmer), and Keith (Emerson), both in 1971 and again later in 1976 was an absolutely awesome and breathtaking experience; like Pavarotti, Presley had the power to reduce most people to tears very quickly and indeed to move them to think very carefully about their inner spiritual beliefs; as far as singing is concerned, the human voice is a matter of the expression of passion in the understanding of the human condition and, upon seeing both of them perform, I very quickly came to realize that they were each capable of expressing more feeling, with their voices, than I had ever thought possible”. Greg Lake - Emerson, Lake and Palmer (www.greglake.com, September 7, 2007).
“Presley was very classically orientated with his voice, and diction, and very sincere and wanting to get everything perfect”. Bryn Terfel (New York Times, November 10, 2007).
“Once upon a time, all we knew about Elvis was that he sang like a motherfucker; and that was all that mattered; you know, when you gas up and you go to pay inside the gas station and you hear Elvis singing Surrender, (1961), you know that the mystery of that guy, was everything; the voice, and the mystery, and the not knowing; and I think the great thing about anything that you hear over the waves is, you don't want to know too much, you know?” Robert Plant - Led Zeppelin (Village Voice, June 3, 2008).
“I discovered the blues in a funny kind of a way, from the age of seven when I was listening to my father’s war-time collection of big band jazz. It had that thing about it – I didn’t really know what it was –, that set the pulse racing a bit; and then I heard echoes of it again, with early Elvis Presley”. Ian Anderson - Jethro Tull (Denver Music Examiner – Online Edition, August 11, 2008).
“I think that soul has little to do with the color of your skin or where were you born. It's the same with acting, if the actor believes in the story, so does the public, so I thank Elvis, who is one of my favorites singers in both the R&R and R&B fields, for doing the music I love the most”. Michael Buble (Diario La Razon, September 10, 2014).
“We got to meet Elvis in May of 1974. He'd been the one who'd done so much for so many, setting everyone alight and flighting right under the radar with all of this black music, doing numbers by country blues artists like Arthur Crudup and Sleepy John Estes. It was unbelievable. He was one of us”. Jimmy Page - Led Zeppelin (Rolling Stone Magazine, October 28, 2014).
“I remember that all my music listening had to be from the single family wireless receiver, which was built like a piece of furniture and took up an entire corner of the front room. It was from this Ekco set that I first heard Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel". It was a musical epiphany for me. His moody syncopated delivery was astonishing, daring, disrespectful. My father came in while I was listening and he asked, "Something wrong with the set?" He was going to check the valves at the back but I told him that it was Elvis Presley and that he was meant to sound like that LOL”. Michael Palin (Sidney Morning Herald, November 13, 2014).
“I don’t know of anybody that doesn’t like Elvis or heard anybody say, ‘Oh, I don’t like his singing.’ Everybody loved Elvis, and I just think that’s incredible. He was so different in every way — his voice, his style, the way he moved, the way he looked. He just had this charm and charisma and a lot of sex appeal”. Dolly Parton (CMT Online Edition, November 21, 2014).
“I played piano at a very early age, it got me attention and I liked it, but music wasn’t my dream until I discovered Elvis Presley in 1957. I was sitting in the little barbershop in our village, waiting to have my hair cut, and I saw this picture of Elvis. He looked like an alien — really weird but amazing. And by coincidence, my mom brought home a copy of “Heartbreak Hotel” that week. How weird is that? And after I saw Elvis and heard his music, there was no going back”. Elton John (New York Times, November 28, 2014).
Source; Wikiquote – “Elvis Presley” (http://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Elvis_Presley)