Elvis Presley died 45 years ago today. For most of my life, I didn't appreciate Elvis, even as kitsch. But I changed my tune a few years ago after watching this sublime performance of "Unchained Melody" from June 1977, just two months before he left the building… forever.
From Rolling Stone:
He was only 42, but years of prescription drug abuse and horrifying dietary habits had left him bloated, depressed and near death. He had an enlarged heart, an enlarged intestine, hypertension and incredibly painful bowel problems. He was barely sleeping and should have probably been in the hospital, but he was still a huge draw on the concert circuit and the money was too good to turn down.
It had been over a year since Elvis last released a studio album, and manager Colonel Tom Parker was determined to get more product into the stores. Despite Elvis' horrid shape, Parker arranged for a camera crew to film the June 19th show in Omaha for a planned TV special and live album.
While the story behind this video is sad, I'm glad it happened.