SHEENA BARNETT: Elvis fandom lives on

By Sheena Barnett/NEMS Daily Journal

If you listen closely, late at night, you can still hear Elvis Presley’s voice in the air in Tupelo.
Alright, so it helps if you’re anywhere near the Green and Crossover Streets intersection, but that famous voice carries.
At that intersection sits the huge Elvis guitar sculpture, created by Precision Machine, Transport Trailer and FastWrapz.com, and it plays a constant rotation of Elvis tunes.
Wailing ambulances and growling trucks drown out the guitar during the day, but at night you can hear it loud and clear.
It always seems I hear the guitar the loudest after a day of writing about him, his fans and his birthplace. You’d think after writing so many Elvis-related stories and interviewing a few too many Elvis tribute artists that I’d be tired of anything Elvis-related, but that guitar makes me smile anytime I hear it.
It’s the result of a fan’s love for the man and his music.
Sometimes, I admit, I think the Elvis fandom goes a little too far: I’m not sure why anyone wants to buy Elvis candle holders, Elvis mirrors, Elvis thermometers, Elvis teapots, Elvis toothbrush holders, Elvis tape measurers, Elvis salt and pepper shakers, Elvis napkin holders or Elvis Santa hats.
To the world he was – and still is – the biggest rock star of all time. But those who knew him say he was humble and kind. I can’t imagine he’d be OK with his face plastered all over this stuff.
And that’s what it is: stuff. A hundred of them have probably already been sold, and a hundred more just like them are probably being made now.
Seeing an Elvis mouse pad, Elvis puzzle or Elvis water globe doesn’t remind me of Elvis, or what all he accomplished, or of his beautiful voice.
I prefer something a little more from the heart, like the guitar at Green and Crossover.
It was hand-made, by folks in Elvis’ hometown, to be enjoyed by those in the town he left behind.
You can take a stroll where he took his first steps in East Tupelo, you can see his likeness in Fairpark, but it’s in the heart of Tupelo where you can hear the voice that made the rest of the world fall in love with him.
It’s a tribute fit for a king.
Sheena Barnett writes for the Daily Journal. Contact her at sheena.barnett@journalinc.com.