Down at the end of Lonely Street

Today is 30 years since the death of Elvis Presley. I waxed eloquent last year, talking about where I was, what I thought, etc., etc. I posted the obligatory Elvis songs, like most everyone else.

This year, I’m hesitant to jump on that bandwagon. Of course I realize by writing that I’m not getting on the bandwagon, I’m as good as on it. But I’m in the back, in the cheap seats.

I mean no disrespect to the memory of the “’68 Comeback” Elvis, but I think I’m going to forego the Elvis tribute this year, other than to post a cover version of “Heartbreak Hotel.” I’ve also got a little trivia about the song that was Elvis’ first Number One hit.

Guitarist Thomas Durden was the actual author of “Heartbreak Hotel.” Elvis received co-songwriting credit for his contributions to the final recorded release. In an interview, Durden admitted he didn’t recognize the song after Elvis had made changes to it in the studio, including changes to the tempo, phrasing, lyrics, and overall sound. According to Wiki, Durden got the idea for the song from a story in the Miami Herald about a suicide: “A well-dressed man had removed all labels from his clothing, destroyed his identity papers and left a note saying, ‘I walk a lonely street.’”

Heartbreak Hotel (studio demo).mp3 Guns n’ Roses

(If you want real Elvis coverage, Rolling Stone has some excellent stuff.)

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