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:
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 . . .
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.”