Reason # 709 – Elvis -vs- The beatles

I’d like to talk a little bit about EWS, or Elvis Worship Syndrome.

You must know the condition. Every family either has or knows somebody who suffers from this malady; yet its treated lightly, ignored, or laughed about behind closed doors. The signs are obvious, but once this fixation takes hold nothing can be done to stop it. Think about that crazy uncle with the big sideburns who proudly displays a giant airbrushed Elvis tapestry in his living room. He has Elvis busts on the porch, Elvis ashtrays, Elvis drinking glasses, Elvis playing cards, Elvis t-shirts, Elvis hats, Elvis pillow cases, Elvis oven mitts, Elvis plates from the Franklin Mint hanging in the dining room…

After your visit you always have a good chuckle thinking about your zany uncle and his kooky obsession. Its just crazy to be so obsessive about anything, let alone a performer who left the great stage 30 years ago. A singer who became so diluted through merchandising and marketing that he started to become a parody of himself while he was still alive. Yet for some reason when you get home and admire the framed, hand-drawn portraits on your wall of the beatles from the cover of the White Album, pop on the latest repackaged album, have drink from your lead paint based Yellow Submarine mug and put on your New York City t-shirt nothing seems odd. In fact, you don’t give it a second thought.

I hate to break it to you, but it appears your kooky old uncle isn’t as bad off as you. If you told him that Elvis was corny, he’d agree that Elvis might have succumbed to the cheese factory. He is aware of the kitsch factor, revels in the nostalgia, and welcomes the snickers of those who would mock him. Why? Because he understands who he is and what he likes, he is self-aware, and he understands that those people laughing just don’t get it, and probably never will. You, on the other hand, are completely oblivious to the fact that they quit seven years before Elvis, and you continue to argue the fact that the FF are not only still relevant, but were the greatest band that ever lived and changed rock and roll and saved the world and were geniuses and and and. If your uncle told you the beatles were cheesy, you’d disown him.

Lets pretend for a minute that the FF weren’t the blueprint for every pre-fab boy band or musical genius inspired by the beatles group of the week, and compare accomplishments. Elvis had 29 consecutive #1 hits; the beats…22. Elvis had another #1 hit twenty-five years after he died; The beats…no. Elvis made 33 films; the beats…5. Elvis’s first 24 albums reached the top 5; the beats…24 albums!?! Elvis rose to the top despite being surrounded by performers like Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis; the beats…rose to the top despite being surrounded by German brothels. Elvis recorded 78 albums; the beats…12. Elvis was a dynamic performer who dazzled crowds, driving them to hysterics; the beats crowds were hysterical and drove them off the stage. Elvis was seen as ‘the personification of evil,’ ‘the first rock symbol of teenage rebellion’ and ‘a definite danger to the security of the United States’ when he started out. He was threatened with jail for dancing and barred from appearing on several television shows; the beats…wore pretty suits and were widely accepted as the cute boys next door. Oh yeah, they smoked pot in the 60’s, those rebels. Elvis fought in the army, swung with Muhammad Ali and mastered Karate; the beats…? Lets just say if Elvis had been a gunslinger there’d be a whole lot of dead copycats.

Take a look at how these performers handled themselves in similar situations:


I know that it means nothing coming from us at SMB, lets hear what your master says for himself. John Lennon is quoted as saying, “Nothing really affected me until I heard Elvis. If there hadn’t been an Elvis, there wouldn’t have been a Beatles.”

So, the next time you leave your crazy uncles house pause outside the window. I guarantee you’ll hear him in there, laughing hysterically at your ridiculous obsession.

A little less conversation indeed.

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A rare photo of Elvis taking care of business at Abbey Road. Shortly after this was taken the beatles broke up.


Thanks to John Pazdan and Gary Hall for the inspiration.

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23 thoughts on “Reason # 709 – Elvis -vs- The beatles

  1. Daniel Kaproth

    This was a damn fine one. Problem is, I have an uncle that worships Elvis and the Beatles. He built an effing room on top of their garage to house his Elvis and Beatles crap. Instant disown on both parts.

  2. jp

    NO NO Daniel! you must embrace your uncle! Humor (polite way of saying suck up) Him! (“that’s a GREAT Jim Beam decanter of Elvis driving a Honda in Viva la Vegas, unc! looks jest lak im!)because even if , excuse me, when peak oil really hits and his collection o’ crap is worth its true value (as a grouping of useless trinkets) there might be a drop or 2 left in the bottle, and you are going to NEED it, yes suh senator!

  3. David

    Go read Elvis correspondence with Nixon, you’ll realise how rebel and dangerous your idol really was, alerting the president from those four drug addicted naughty boys, so clashing with american values… And the most surprising thing is that he was doing drugs too!
    Anyway, the music is amazing.

  4. Mr. Postman

    You’re ridiculous. Today we only have fucking hip hop and rap culture thats its TRASH classical rock is what ramains, and remains weak. You’re just a nerd looking for fans putting the beatles in such state. You’re the avarage ex-class-clown that don’t have any more fans and go anyware doing shit to get atention. Please, before doing crap, research the importance of the beatles on the music, the beutyness of their songs and the REAL music that them had played. And I’m sure too that you exclude the posts like these of you blog and creates another accounts to post here. Because only a RIDICULOUS BASTARD yould do what you’re doing and other RIDICULOUS BASTARDS would aprove. Before you ask, I’m 12.

  5. Sebastian Haff


    I’m pretty much the Elvis-Obssessed Crazy Uncle that you describe. The difference, albeit slight, is that my homage to the King was erected in full public view at my place of business. While some argue it may have been a contributing factor to my subsequent loss of employment, I would point out that ‘The Shrine'(as it became known)was a popular destination for many fellow employees for 7 of my 15 years with my former company.

    Many smiling employees were photographed in front of my homage to the puffy, middle-aged rocker that included a Zombie Elvis, Skeleton Elvis, Bubba-hotep Elvis, Tiki-god Elvis, and my favorite, a Mexican Day of the Dead Elvis. We even established an annual “Elvis Aluminum Tree Lighting” at my cube complete with rotating color wheel and free donuts. Sure, I endured a few muttered indignities from aging, pony-tailed Beatles fans with their faux Lennon spectacles blathering on about how Elvis wasn’t a ‘real’ guitarist, like Harrison or didn’t his own write songs like Lennon and McCartney (thank god). But, screw ’em, even in death, Elvis is ‘suck-free’

  6. zuke

    Whoever created this comment must have no life. All he probably does is sit down on his computer and write about how the beatles suck. What a loser. Get a life.

  7. Dogshit

    Having no life is better than having to live with the beatles. Or is your idea of getting a life smoking a blunt every 2 hours, getting dreads, going Green (what a scam) and listening to the beatles while your girlfriends armpit hair drips sweat in the hot humid campground!

    Far out man, love the earth, and the beatles.

  8. Simon

    Both Elvis and the Beatles are crap.


    Yes, both Elvis AND the Beatles are crap.

    Go top the top and read again.

  9. DogShit

    “Elvis didn’t write songs. The Beatles did”

    You may be right, but that only proves that 4 wankers destroyed themselves and music, and one man relied on lot’s of people to create something great, even though he died on the toilet.

    Think about how OS systems, motherboards, laser tecnology to build them, CRT’s, newer flat screen LCD’s,and the internet would be if only 20 people wrote it and created it. You wouldn’t be here, or remotely here right now. (Just to let you in on a little secret in case your holistic pot ridden mind is boggled by my point, it took, and still takes, MILLIONS and perhaps BILLIONS of people to create it from different genres, and to keep it going and getting better!)

  10. Stelth

    Has anyone mentioned the fact that, unlike the beatles, Elvis could actually SING? I defy any FF fan to try and dispute that fact…oh wait; they’re delusional, facts don’t matter to them. Nevermind.

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