Elvis' Impact On the Life of a Modern Day Teenager

by Jaide Alicia / 2432 days ago / Comments

I'm a metalhead. Well, a rock and metal fan- to broaden the spectrum a little bit. It's important, however, that when I'm listening to rock music to not forget where it came from. In the 50's there were a myriad of artists pioneering the rock and roll sound that has eventually evolved into what it is today. There was a profound amount of African-American artists who were ruling the underground music scene, however, one of the most familiar and identifiable faces is that of Elvis Presley who's work made headlines and billboards across the nation. American rock and roll, and I'd like to think American music as a whole, had never seen such a musical force before; one's who's music legitimately revolutionized an entire generation, made waves in other departments and implemented a 'teenage rebellion' ideology into the minds of 50's youth. 

Growing up in the 2000's/2010's, I don't remember seeing or hearing a lot about The King. I obviously knew who he was, and on occasion, my Grandma would bring him up for whatever reason and made sure I wouldn't forget just how dreamy he was. She recalled seeing him on her TV in black and white, having his lower half blocked off for reasons of obscenity and always dreamed about meeting him. Oddly enough, one of my best friends in Junior High School was genuinely a really big Elvis fan (due to influence via her mother) so it wasn't out of the ordinary for "Jailhouse Rock" and "Hound Dog" to come on our iPod music shuffle. What was even more extraordinary is that upon sitting down to write this article I remembered all the brief mentions of Elvis in film and TV, or just pop culture in general, that I would see growing up. Even as recent as two years ago, my high school put on a production of the Elvis themed musical 'All Shook Up', an American musical with Shakespeare's 'Twelfth Night' as the story line and an all Elvis Presley score. Sure, the music is a little before my generation's time but by watching the crowd at the performance it was made obvious that Presley's music was seriously universal. It didn't matter if you were a student at my high school or a parent or a grandparent- everyone seemed to genuinely enjoy the music and it has even led to a couple late night Elvis Presley jam sessions in the car with my friend who appeared in our school's production. 

I remember watching Degrassi like, four or five years ago, and just melting during the episode where Drew sings to Bianca just before proposing to her in Las Vegas. Be still, my 14-year-old beating heart. The song he's singing? "Can't Help Falling In Love" by, you guessed it, Elvis Presley- which was immediately purchased off of iTunes and listened to on repeat until I could learn all the words. Again, as a child of the 2000's I grew up predominately watching Nickelodeon and Disney Channel. I was an avid, avid fan of Hannah Montana on Disney Channel. I saw her in concert (fourth row, might I add), watched every episode of her show and knew the words to probably every song she put out. In the show, she's got a brother named Jackson who would regularly impersonate celebrities, one of which and probably one of the ones he would impersonate most often being Elvis Presley. Cue my Grandmother in the background lecturing me about how hot Elvis Presley was back in the day- I know, Grandma, you've said it a thousand times...but right now I'm trying to watch Miley Stewart switch between being herself and pop superstar Hannah Montana. Thinking about it now, Elvis is probably one of the most impersonated celebrities. Don't quote me on that, just think about it for a second.

Readdressing my childhood love for Disney Channel, I've got three words- 'Lilo and Stitch'. First off, what a badass show/movie. Secondly, and why they chose this is beyond me, Lilo's favorite dude ever is literally Elvis Presley. And they don't just briefly mention it, either. She's always talking about The King, listening to his records and they even incorporate a few Elvis musical numbers into it, one of which where her adopted dog/alien dresses up as the man himself. At one point in the 'Lilo and Stitch' movie, Lilo sits Stitch down (because he misbehaves, because you know, he's an alien) and lectures him on Elvis Presley, claiming that Elvis is a 'model citizen' and that Stitch needs to be more like him. Fun fact, 'Lilo and Stitch' features more Elvis songs than any one of Elvis' actual films. Boom. I just blew your mind, probably. 

In more recent times, you know, now that I'm all grown up and don't watch 'Lilo and Stitch' nearly as much as I used to (that's a lie) I've gotten really into this show 'Vinyl' which in my honest opinion was a kickass show and I'm still really pissed off that it got cancelled after one season. Anyways, Elvis appears again but this time it's a little more real. If you haven't seen the show, it follows Richie Finestra who is a record company executive in the 70's. There is a lot of cocaine. Throughout the entirety of the first season (and only season, ugh) there are numerous iconic musicians who 'appear' as part of the story line- Robert Plant, Lou Reed, Little Richard and Alice Cooper to name a few. Sure, it's not really the people themselves, but still, a cool concept to incorporate into the show. Elvis makes a guest appearance in an episode and is portrayed by known impersonator Shawn Klush, who does an amazing job at playing the character. Towards the end of the season, Richie attempts to bring The King over to his record label, American Century, since it's rumored Presley is dissatisfied with his current label, RCA. He is the main focus of the episode and makes multiple appearances depicted in whatever state Presley was in during the 70's.

My heart for rock and metal knows the importance of Elvis Presley. He once asked Alice Cooper to point a gun at him, because I guess that's what all the cool rock stars were doing back in the day. And even nearer and dearer to my heart than everything mentioned above is the legendary punk rock band the Misfits. Misfits singer and eventual solo artist Glenn Danzig is often referred to as 'Evil Elvis' for his King-esque vocal tones and is even working on a 'Danzig Does Elvis' album if I'm not mistaken. But seriously, the vocal resemblance is uncanny. Listen to "American Nightmare" by the Misfits and tell me that does not sound just like Elvis damn Presley singing about murdering some chick. Elvis' legacy is everywhere, you've just gotta look for it.


About Jaide Alicia

Jaide Alicia Journalist

For as long as I can remember music has been my entire life. Due to starting my own website about music, my life has turned into a total dream come true. I've been able to interview some of my life idols and make great friends within the industry- something I thought was a complete long shot. On top of music, I went to a great cosmetology school for one year, and although I never finished the curriculum (because I decided music was a better way to spend my time) I still learned a ton about the industry, which has given me the opportunity to write about hair and beauty on many other platforms. I do the best I can to make my family and myself proud, and the best part of my life is seeing what the future has in store.