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Is Elvis Presley Still Alive?

The King of Rock and Roll would be 75 years old if he were still alive today.  That's what fascinates me about the "Elvis faked his own death" legend: what happened afterward?  

I can believe that Elvis Presley faked his own death.  Although I think the possibility is unlikely.  Let's be honest, surely anyone who wanted to fake their own death would leave a better fake death behind than "died while pooping." 

Something like, "died while rescuing a kitten from a tree" or even "died quietly in his sleep."  Something with a little dignity, you know?  Something better than the existing story, which is that he was found approximately 10 hours after his likely death, face down in a puddle of vomit on his bathroom floor, with his pants around his ankles.  That's just sad.

In his final years, Elvis Presley's life had constricted to virtual self-imprisonment. We take it for granted that celebrities will be pursued by fans and the press, but no one wants to live that way.  At one point Elvis was denied the medical treatment that he needed, because the nearest hospital (in Las Vegas) was overwhelmed by fans.

That's no way to live, and I can totally understand someone opting out of it.  Particularly someone with the money and resources to do anything he wanted.

You probably already know the basics of the "Elvis faked his death" trope.  The mis-spelled headstone at his grave, because Elvis was supposedly too superstitious to lend his "real" name to his headstone.  (This overlooks the fact that Elvis legally changed his middle name to Aaron a few months before his death.  So the headstone was actually spelled correctly.)

Another is that his casket was too heavy, and too quickly deployed, and that it felt "cold," and therefore OBVIOUSLY it was a refrigerated unit containing a wax body inside.  (There's a third possibility: that Elvis, notoriously vain, was actually dead, but his body had been replaced by a better-looking wax replica.)

And of course, there are the sightings.  Elvis sightings have entered our cultural collective unconscious to such an extent that even the official Elvis Presley website uses the term "Elvis sightings" in a tongue-in-cheek fashion, for a page dedicated to listing Elvis references in contemporary media.  

Immediately after his death, there was some intriguing stuff about another singer named Orion.  Orion appeared out of nowhere, and looked and sang a lot like Elvis Presley in a mask.  Orion turned out to be rockabilly musician Jimmy Ellis, who deliberately took on the Orion persona in order to trick people into thinking he was actually Elvis in disguise.

Assuming that Elvis Presley is still alive, I sincerely doubt he would have any interest in performing publicly.  I like to imagine Elvis living in disguise in some tropical paradise, just another random old dude in polyester slacks, shuffling down the sidewalk in Honolulu with a cane in his hand and a happy smile on his face.  It's the least he deserves.

Photo credit: Flickr/hawaii