DO I WANT TO OPEN THIS ARTICLE by making a statement (“Elvis pops up in the most unexpected places”) or by asking a question (“Just how good can one record be?”)? Last night we slipped the Coen Brothers’ Intolerable Cruelty into the DVD player and sat back to enjoy George Clooney as Miles Massey (handsome, charming, amoral) match wits with Catherine Zeta-Jones as Marilyn Rexroth (beautiful, inscrutable, equally amoral).
While the musical foundation of the movie would prove to be the early songs of Paul Simon, the opening credits featured “Suspicious Minds” in the background. Elvis in a Coen brothers’ movie? Well, why not! After all, Billy Bob Thornton is in it! *
And, despite “April, Come She Will” (the song the priest sings at the wedding ceremony) and “The Boxer,” it’s “Suspicious Minds” that sets the tone for the story that follows.
After Elvis finished singing, I put the movie on pause, turned to Berni, and said, “You know, if Elvis had been an unknown singer who recorded just one single, Suspicious Minds, and then died before he could record a follow-up, I still think I might consider him my favorite singer.”
That’s how good Suspicious Minds is.If someone does an American remake of LOVE ACTUALLY, I want Billy Bob Thornton to play the Bill Nighy role but as an over-the-hill, formerly slightly sleazy Elvis-type rocker-cum-crooner Click To Tweet
FEATURED IMAGE: Elvis on stage at the International Hotel in Las Vegas in August 1969. Prior to adopting the white jumpsuits, his stage outfit was a modified karate gi in plain black. A portion of his live performance of Suspicious Minds was recorded and tagged onto the end of the studio recording from earlier in the year and released as a single. (Uh oh! That last statement is incorrect; refer to Anthony Britch’s comment below.)
* If someone decides to do an American take on Love Actually, I want Billy Bob Thornton to play the Bill Nighy role but as an over-the-hill, formerly slightly sleazy Elvis-type rocker-cum-crooner.
Mystically liberal Virgo enjoys long walks alone in the city at night in the rain with an umbrella and a flask of 10-year-old Laphroaig who strives to live by the maxim, “It ain’t what you know that gets you into trouble; it’s what you know that just ain’t so.
I’ve been a puppet, a pauper, a pirate, a poet, a pawn, and a college dropout (twice!). Occupationally, I have been a bartender, jewelry engraver, bouncer, landscape artist, and FEMA crew chief following the Great Flood of ’72 (and that was a job that I should never, ever have left).
I am also the final author of the original O’Sullivan Woodside price guides for record collectors and the original author of the Goldmine price guides for record collectors. As such, I was often referred to as the Price Guide Guru, and—as everyone should know—it behooves one to heed the words of a guru. (Unless, of course, you’re the Beatles.)