Elvis Religion: The Cult Of The King Postponed

The book by Gregory L. Reece, originally announced for release in the US late last month, has apparently been postponed until September 2006. The cover has been altered slightly. Original synopsis: The first portrait of Elvis as religious icon 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.Source: Elvis Club Berlin / Updated: Sep 16, 2005
Source: Various / Updated: Mar 19, 2006 
Elvis Presley on: eBay, Amazon


glreece (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 29, 2006report abuse
Thanks C-Rae. This book is really a personal quest to try and understand why Elvis means so much to so many people (myself included). As a southerner (born in Alabama, spent time in Memphis and north Mississippi) Elvis has always been a part of my sense of self. When I looked around at American culture in general it seemed that this was true, in many ways, for the nation as a whole. This book is the story of my journey through my own past and my own culture.
RezRoses (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 29, 2006report abuse
I'm thinking the Elvis I knew would have probably laughed at, denied, been embarrassed, and then clarified, the thought of this wild accusation. Although, the world has become such a place that Elvis might not even recognize it. Well, I guess that is going a bit too far. Don't you think he would have been somewhat concerned about his own fans if this were really the case?
I agree that Elvis loved and gave reverence to the King of kings and that Elvis knew the king of rock-n-roll was just the title his fans gave out of respect for him. After all, look at all of his achievements and contributions to the music world as we know it. Plus, he also entered into the motion picture industry with a bolt.
The man, Elvis Presley, definitely had extraordinary talent and would reiterate that this talent came from his creator and that he was blessed with it to further share it with the world. We cannot deny this, and Elvis does not deny this, nor his gospel roots. In fact, Elvis was a man who entertained for a living, and we loved it! We still love it!
C-Rae (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 28, 2006report abuse
To glreece, I think your book sounds fascinating, and I look forward to reading it. Others on this site seem to be taking your title literally, as if people really are falling to their knees and actually worshipping Elvis. I don't think that's what you're saying. Our deep love for and fascination with Elvis can be as passionate as any religion. Personally, I'm confused by my own recent fascination with Elvis---can't seem to get enough of his music, movies, info, etc.---so perhaps your book will shed some light on this!
Devon (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 28, 2006report abuse
I can not speak for Elvis but i dont think he would have liked this book. Im sure he wanted people to enjoy his music and have respect for what he belived in, but not to put him in a god like state. Elvis was the King...The king of rock and roll.
glreece (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 25, 2006report abuse
Hi guys, I'm the author of "Elvis Religion" and thought that it might be good to explain the thesis of my book to interested parties. First of all, I don't make any claims about the religious or spiritual nature of Elvis. I simply try to paint as accurate a picture as possible of the religious interpretations of Elvis that appear in our culture. Secondly, I don't make the claim that Elvis fans and impersonators are worshipping Elvis. Others have done this and my book is an attempt to set the record straight. (In my opinion Elvis fans are not religious fanatics, but just plain old "fans" of Elvis. )Third, my book explores the way Elvis has been interpreted as a religious figure in films, novels, songs, and in other areas of popular culture. Overall I try to be as fair to Elvis fans as possible and, despite the title, would not identify visitors to Graceland as members of a cult. I hope ya'll will give it a chance. It is fun and respectful look at the way contemproray cutlure has responded to Elvis since his death. It has been postponed until Elvis Week when I will be signing books at Davis-Kidd in Memphis.
CD King (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 24, 2006report abuse
As a youngster Elvis never misses Church with his parent. After "That's Alright Mama" and later on after "Heartbreak Hotel" Elvis could not attend Church. It was impossible for him to attend Church. He himself said that "it would have caused a riot" Instead he said he always have church in his home watching his favorite Rev Rex Humbard's TV Sermons. He will call the Imperials and later on The Stamps to have "Church" singing all night Praise and Worship up in his Suit at the Vegas Hilton (at that time the International Hotel). In 1976 December he even invited Rev.Rex Humbard and his wife to pray with him and he cried and shed tears of joy. ELVIS was a good man who love GOD.
byebye (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 23, 2006report abuse
Elvis was a spiritual seeking person but not a religious one... Larry Geller "shook the fundations" of the golden milk cow crew. They knew the image was crucial to all those christian fans. However Elvis did not attend in church, neither did he behave like it was important to live by christian values or morals. Ironically he made a schoolary example of the reverse in many cases. Elvis had a big heart but possessed an equaly ego. And like many others whith bad consciense, who has their cross to bear due to choosing vanity over family, -he read the bible periodically. Allthough he knew he was the king... -The king of Rock´n Roll!
Marco Aurelio (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 23, 2006report abuse
Jesus Christ is the KING. Elvis Presley always hated when someone called him king. Like it or not Jesus is the salvation.
Dixieland Rock (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 23, 2006report abuse
Great quote efan4ever on the John 3:16 comment. Cathyreno, I remember hearing about Elvis making the quote you mentioned. I thought that was a great that Elvis himself set things straight on this issue of who is the real King. Elvis also made a great comment about Jesus Christ in a 1956 interview. Renan hit the nail on the head in his last comments. Books like this and junk like those silly Elvis rubber ducks are what's helping to make Elvis look like a laughing stock to the general public. I believe it's just a reason for some to cash in on Elvis' name. The best way to stop this is just not buy this junk.
CD King (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 22, 2006report abuse
Renan Augusto, I'm with you on this one. Elvis says "There is only one King and that JESUS CHRIST." Elvis would have definately hated this book.
byebye (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 22, 2006report abuse
Agree with Espen. -Religious people are allways selfrighteous. Above quotes like "bizarre" and "weird" describes perfectly ANY religion in my opinion. It´s Jurassic park..."Backporch preachers who keep skeletons in their own closet, naturaly dont want the one from T-Rex to be exposed...
chrisc (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 22, 2006report abuse
Over the past 49 years I have met hundreds of Elvis fans and can't say any of them gave the impression that they thought Elvis should be literally worshipped. I don't suppose there are many fans who would take an Elvis church seriously - it's just the media being stupid about him and the fans, as usual.
Renan Augusto (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 22, 2006report abuse
Nobody here is religious fanatic my friend. We are only saying that Jesus Christ saves and even Elvis believed in that. The book is something that denies that so I am exposing what I think of this based on this ELVIS book. Best Regards buddy.
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 21, 2006report abuse
Oh, you want quotes? Karl Marx 02.1844: "Religion is the opium of the people. The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness." But seriously folks, this is a site for Elvis fanatics, not religious fanatics.
efan4ever (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 21, 2006report abuse
John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.
Renan Augusto (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 21, 2006report abuse
Only Jesus Christ saves. Elvis himself would have hated to death this book.
JimmyCool (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 21, 2006report abuse
I totally agree with EspenK, that's what I always say! And I use to pray to Elvis whenever I'm in troubles and listening to his music it makes you day happier... Who could listen to "What A Wonderful Life" without feeling that the clouds would go and the Sun will shine the light up you day... :)
EspenK (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 20, 2006report abuse
In my opinion it just as much sense to pray to Elvis as it makes sense to pray to any other character. At least we know Elvis was for real.
cathyreno (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 20, 2006report abuse
I dont like this article referring him to a 'jumpsuit jesus'. Its not funny to me if that was its intention. I agree with Dixieland Rock no wonder we elvis fans are so ridculed so much. leave elvis out of religon period. as the man himself has said. "I'm not the king Jesus Christ is the king" T C B
hounddog1 (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 20, 2006report abuse
I think Elvis himself would not like being called the Memphis Messiah. Elvis being a God fearing man himself, would also tell you that there is only one God and it aint him. We all love Elvis, but in noway shape or form did Elvis ever see himself in that way and neither should we. I think Elvis would be pretty upset just hearing of this nonsense.
everett001 (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 20, 2006report abuse
I think Divieland Rock hit the nail on the head!!! ELVIS was MUSIC; nothing more. He was a GREAT SINGER; A GREAT PERFORMER, and a charming personality. People LOVED him; that's all. I dont beleive anyone prayed TO him; I imagine they prayed FOR him, because he was only human, with FLAWS just like the rest of us.
Dixieland Rock (profilecontact) wrote on Mar 20, 2006report abuse
Anyone that looks at Elvis as a "god-like" & a "religious figure" needs to come back to reality fast. It's ok to enjoy his music, movies & stage performances. But calling Elvis "god-like" or "Memphis Messiah" is ridiculas. Elvis doesn't save nor is he a prophet. Why can't people enjoy his musical talents and leave it at that? There is only ONE Savior & His name is Jesus Christ. If anyone worships Elvis has a major problem. This nonsense, doesn't help Elvis image. No wonder Elvis fans get ridiculed. Enjoy Elvis music but look to Jesus as your Savior.

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