I blame Elvis

In 1957 a Philadelphia teenager in black top, black jeans and black boots howls like a wild animal at an Elvis Presley concert. Rock’n’roll had been unleashed. Elvis did a few quick tours that year and they were apparently frenzied affairs, Elvis and his band getting down, the audiences getting crazy. In one city the audience stormed the stage after the the last song and dismantled it, tore it apart. Ha. The problem with going to an Elvis concert is you can get killed, a reporter wrote. This chick had the right idea. And a few years later a twenty something me would have been drawn to the twenty something her like a moth to flame, of course. Must be the Irish in me.

I was born in Long Branch, New Jersey the day before this photo was snapped. I had newborn baby long black sideburns. My rock’n’roll crazed uncle—leather jacket, ducktail, the whole seventeen year old greaser look—brought all his similarly attired hoodlum buddies down to the maternity ward to see his nephew Elvis. They raised hell singing Elvis songs and making Elvis moves until the nurses scooted them out and they drove off in their fifties cars to raise hell along the Jersey Shore. I suppose it was an omen. When I was twenty I picked up a newly released copy of Elvis’s Sun Sessions, his first recordings and singles from 1954-55. It was so raw, basic, rocking and real. My life was changed, seriously. It led me straight to punk rock. The Sex Pistols album came out later that year. Two years later I’m playing drums in an incredibly crazy band, writing, partying like mad and screwing my brains out. Ha. Whatever life plans I’d had in 1977 were forgotten. I blame Elvis.


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