Happy E-Day: What If Elvis Had Lived?
This is our favorite scenario, where Elvis takes off the jumpsuit around 1980, starts slimming down for a 1984 tour celebrating the 30th anniversary of his first Sun studio session, gets the remaining Beatles to back him on the road, and has Stray Cats and The Clash opening for him.
He gets mixed up with the Highwaymen and the Traveling Wilburys, and by the time the '90s roll around, he's doing grim gospel songs with Cash and Rick Rubin in a studio. In an alternate universe, you can read Rocks Off's Aftermath blog on his most recent sold-out Toyota Center show. We sat fourth row while our date threw her panties at him during "In the Ghetto" and he winked at her.
Elvis, Movie Star and Occasional Musician
Elvis could have picked back up his acting career in the early '80s, and maybe played a benevolent bartender or bouncer for Peter Bogdanovich or done a Jim Jarmusch buddy picture. Can you imagine he and Strummer doing a movie together, with Elvis as Strummer's long-lost American GI father?
Today, maybe he would be doing Larry The Cable Guy movies, but Jesus Christ at least they would have Elvis Presley in them. We just heard that he is talking to the Coen Brothers about playing Jeff Lebowski's pothead father in The Bigger Lebowski.
Elvis, Reality Star and Plastic Surgery Joke
Elvis doesn't die, by the grace of God, in 1977 but he does stay on the pills a few more years before going to an extensive rehab. A disastrous crash diet and change in management sees him wearing neon jumpsuits in the mid-'80s, sponsored by Diet Pepsi. He leaves Graceland in 1983 and moves to the West Coast, but keeps his Memphis estate as a museum.
The plastic surgery starts. He guests as a drug kingpin on Miami Vice, and writes a song with Mick Jagger for the soundtrack. He puts out marginally successful albums until a 1998 heart attack puts him out of commission for a couple of years. His reality show with new wife Pamela Anderson Lee Presley is wildly popular and leads to him being a guest judge during Elvis week on American Idol. After six facelifts, his lip no longer curls.
Elvis, Vegas Rat
Elvis stays in Vegas, relentlessly gigging and making occasional stops around the country. He makes another concert film, directed by Martin Scorsese, detailing his "final" show in April 1983. A few weeks after the filming, he dies after having a heart attack on a plane going back to Memphis to record a country album.
The funeral is a star-studded event, with Bob Dylan doing a wheezy "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" and Paul McCartney turning in a version of "Love Me Tender" that tops the pop charts the whole summer.