just how bloody famous is elvis presley?

Es­ti­mated reading time is 2 min­utes.

THE QUESTION ON QUORA was “How fa­mous was Elvis?” How does one ad­dress that ques­tion? As­sume the person who posed it is very young and only knows Elvis by name and doesn’t want to do any re­search, or as­sume the ques­tioner is having a lark to see what kind of re­sponse he could elicit?

Of course, I had to try my hand at sup­plying an an­swer, which you will find in­dented be­tween the im­ages below:


Elvis DoTheClam PS Italy 1 600

Elvis DoTheClam PS Italy 2 600

This is the pic­ture sleeve for Do The Clam / You’ll Be Gone that RCA Victor re­leased in Italy in 1965. It has the same de­sign (layout and colors) as the Amer­ican sleeve ex­cept for the photo, which is different—and for my taste, some­what more ap­pealing than the Amer­ican photo.

After doing the clam

Elvis was sooooo fa­mous that if you were to get lost in the deepest, darkest part of the Amazon, and were cap­tured by the last re­maining tribe of cannibals—all of them starving after a weekend ayahuasca bender—and as they pre­pared you for their bar­beque, all you would have to do is say “Elvis” and somehow, like in a bad movie, there’d be a bongo sound and a stinging elec­tric guitar riff, and everyone would grab the first one in their reach and form a circle.

And then they’d do the clam!

Of course, after doing the clam they’d be even hun­grier and you’d look even tastier, so you’d never be able to re­turn and tell this re­mark­able tale about Elvis’s fame and your fortune . . .


Cannibals painting Kessel 1500

FEATURED IMAGE: The painting at the top this page is a painting of al­leged can­ni­balism that took place in Brazil in 1644 by Jan van Kessel the Elder. Can­ni­balism is an ac­tivity looked down upon in vir­tu­ally every cul­ture that we know of, but it still has a reputation:

Human can­ni­balism is the act of hu­mans eating the flesh or in­ternal or­gans of other human be­ings. The Is­land Carib people of the Lesser An­tilles, from whom the word can­ni­balism is de­rived, ac­quired a long-standing rep­u­ta­tion as can­ni­bals fol­lowing the recording of their leg­ends in the 17th cen­tury. 

Can­ni­balism has oc­ca­sion­ally been prac­ticed as a last re­sort by people suf­fering from famine, even in modern times. Fa­mous ex­am­ples in­clude the ill-fated Donner Party in the winter of 1846-1847 and the crash of Uruguayan Air Force Flight crash in the Andes Moun­tains of 1972.” (Wikipedia)

Wikipedia cites sev­eral sources to back up claims of can­ni­balism in New Guinea, the Solomon Is­lands, Fiji, the Amazon Basin, the Congo, and New Ze­land. But they also in­clude, “Some con­tro­versy ex­ists over the ac­cu­racy of these leg­ends and the preva­lence of ac­tual can­ni­balism in the culture.”

To fur­ther con­found us, they also state, “Some scholars have ar­gued, how­ever, that no firm ev­i­dence ex­ists that can­ni­balism has ever been a so­cially ac­cept­able prac­tice any­where in the world, at any time in history.”




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I would say that Elvis was as bloody fa­mous as anyone ever born on this planet of ours. How much more bloody fa­mous could he have been?