Elvis Religion: Exploring the Cult of The King

Elvis Religion: Exploring the Cult of The King


By (author) Gregory L. Reece

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  • Publisher: I.B.Tauris
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 138mm x 212mm x 22mm | 299g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2006
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1845111648
  • ISBN 13: 9781845111649
  • Sales rank: 1,274,579

Product description

From Graceland to Las Vegas, from fans to impersonators, from novels, films and popular music to internet websites, outsider art and tabloid conspiracy theories, the cult of Elvis Presley has, since his death, become ever more imaginative. "Elvis Religion" explores the frequently bizarre and weird - yet sometimes moving - phenomena growing out of this world and investigates what it is that has turned the King of Rock 'n' Roll into a god-like figure. Elvis, we discover, is found everywhere. He is not just an icon for late night lonely hearts in Memphis, or Elvis impersonators on a Vegas stage, but is the inspiration behind the violent visions of movies like "Mystery Train" and "Wild at Heart", the kitsch sanctuary of Graceland Too, the music of Kirsty MacColl and Paul Simon, and the internet church for whom he is a supernatural being who dwells in the constellation of Orion. Gregory L. Reece makes a journey to discover the Jumpsuit Jesus for himself, which takes him into the heart of fan obsession. Along the way, he discovers that if Elvis saves it is because now, more than ever, the Memphis Messiah seems like a prophet for our times. A well-done and readable survey. - Simon Reynolds, author of "Rip it Up" and "Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84".

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Author information

Gregory L Reece is a lecturer in Philosophy in the University of Alabama at Birmingham. His research and publishing interests include philosophy of religion and the study of new religious movements. His first memory of a public event is of being told of Elvis' death - the beginning of a lifelong fascination.

Review quote

"This touching personal portrayal touches the blurred line between sincerity and irony that characterises Elvis fandom...Reece's journey takes him away from the loving hoards in Memphis towards an increasingly kooky range of texts that parody the Elvis phenomenon as a cruel joke about obsession, the South, working class humility and taste. - Mark Duffett, Senior Lecturer in Media, University College, Chester"