By Doc Lawrence
ATLANTA-I saw him perform twice, both times just before he took off like a Rocket 88. On one fine day before his show in Atlanta’s Fabulous Fox Theatre, I actually met Elvis in the lobby of the regal Georgian Terrace Hotel as he was talking to the most beautiful girl I ever saw. Very approachable and friendly, Elvis asked me my name and introduced me to his friend, Carole Joyner, who I later learned was part of the duo that composed a mega-hit, “Young Love.”
When I heard his sing “Mystery Train,” and “Baby Let’s Play House,” I proudly admit that I lost my innocence. Paul McCartney, John Lennon and Bob Dylan pretty much said that Elvis had this same effect on them. I still believe that Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, Hank Williams and Merle Haggard came in on a spaceship, did their duty magnificently, and returned to their home in a faraway paradise.
My image of Elvis is frozen into those moments just before fame and fortune: A supremely gifted young man blessed with Hollywood good looks who, on stage, electrified an audience. It was totally unimportant that some thought he was too sexy. I wanted him to be wilder and more uncontrolled.
|Elvis at the Fabulous Fox|
Elvis was a music man. His early recordings on Sun Records have, in my opinion, no genuine counterpart. The songs are real, rugged and raw and oh, so Southern.
Along with millions of fans, I understood then and now the power of rock and roll. For those baby days of unbridled joy, I feel a debt to Elvis. He didn’t invent rock, but he sure brought in into my Atlanta home before I could drive a car, join the army or vote.