Quotes About Elvis
"He taught white America to get down." -- James Brown
"Elvis was a symbol of the country's vitality, rebelliousness, and good humor." -- Jimmy Carter
"He can't last. I tell you flatly, he can't last." -- Jackie Gleason
"I wouldn't have Elvis Presley on my show at any time." -- Ed Sullivan
"Before Elvis, there was nothing." -- John Lennon
"Elvis was the whole rhythm section on a whole bunch of his first records, the first four at least. Wasn't no drums on there, just him and a bass, with Scotty playing lead guitar. Elvis could have been a hell of a musician, I think. But, he just never bothered to learn more chords. He didn't need to, really. He was having a ball--really enjoying it." -- "Cowboy" Jack Clement, Memphis musician
"It was Scotty Moore's guitar riff [in "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You"] when he was doing The Steve Allen Show that got me into rock music." -- Elton John
"His performance was the most disgusting exhibition I have ever seen...He is the male counterpart of a hoochie-coochie dancer in a burlesque show." -- Male newspaper reporter
"He burst on the scene when the world needed a hero, when everybody needed a sunrise. We'd come through a depression. We'd come through a war. Everybody was ready to give vent to their emotions." -- Janelle McComb, family friend
"Sam was always telling people he wished he could find a white boy who could sing like a black boy, so I kept trying to get Sam to listen to the tape I had made with the Presley kid, but it took months and months." -- Marion Keisker
"I think that if he'd ever done a serious role and been directed properly, he could have been quite marvelous." -- Dennis Hopper
"His kind of music is deplorable, a rancid-smelling aphrodisiac." -- Frank Sinatra, 1957
"He was a tremendous asset to the music business." -- Frank Sinatra, upon Elvis' death in 1977
"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved." -- Nick Tosches
"You never heard anybody ask 'Elvis who?'" -- Charles Kuralt
"Elvis was the firstest with the mostest." -- Roy Orbison
"I can guarantee you one thing, we will never agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis." -- Lester Bangs, critic in his obituary on Elvis
"Elvis felt an almost mystical identification with his fans." -- Peter Guralnick, Elvis Biographer
"He was bigger than anything in terms of the emotions he cause. Kids didn't run around him as much as he got into us. I think every kid my age thought of Elvis Presley as a major part of their life." -- Chris Matthews, host of CNBC's Hardball
"The fans claimed Elvis, and he was theirs." -- Priscilla Beaulieu Presley, in Memphis magazine, July/August 1998
"Every time I felt low, I just put on an Elvis record and I'd feel great, beautiful." -- Paul McCartney
"That's my idol, Elvis Presley. If you went into my house, you'd see pictures all over of Elvis. He's just the greatest entertainer who ever lived. I think it's because he has so much presence. When Elvis Presley walked into a room, Elvis Presley was in the f--king room. I don't give a f--k who was in the room with him, Bogart, Marilyn Monroe." -- Eddie Murphy
"[Elvis'] impact on popular culture was like a kick in the head from a blue sued shoe." -- Lynn Van Matre, Chicago Tribune rock critic
"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew that I wasn't going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be my boss. He is the deity supreme of rock and roll religion as it exists in today's form. Hearing him was like busting out of jail...I thank God for Elvis Presley." -- Bob Dylan
"10-inch shellac, the 45, the EP, the 8-track, the cassette tape, the LP , the CD, the DAT, the VHS, and the laser. Elvis has lasted through all these." -- Don Wardell, RCA executive
"I thank God for Elvis Presley. I thank the Lord for sending Elvis to open the door so I could walk down the road...." Little Richard
"Pat Boone covered Black music while Elvis delivered Black music." -- Steve Braun
"How can anyone go through life without God and Elvis?" -- from an episode of Touched by an Angel
"There's only been a handful of people in our lifetime that had that magnetism, that just through word of mouth could sell fifteen, twenty, thirty thousand tickets without any advertising. He often wondered how that happened..Maybe he was a Minister of music." -- T.G. Shepherd
"Elvis! You're not a *$A7N star. You're a *$A7N GALAXY!' -- Chuck Conners, to Elvis after seeing him perform.
"We were the only band in history that was directed by an ass." -- Scotty Moore
"First I found [Elvis] to be a gentleman and then a gentle man. I found he could be sensitive to small issues. For someone of his stature there is very little for him to notice, ya know? He's so insulated by the people who surround him and by his own popularity. And yet Elvis will still find little things. He'll take the time to be gentle with people." -- Bill Bixby
"The fact that Elvis is so popular dead, and so widely imitated after death, suggest to me that the presence of Elvis is very comforting to people and, in fact, that deep down many people love him in the true sense of the word." -- Mark Gottdiener, from In Search of Elvis
"Elvis has always been there. I always expected him to be a part of American culture that I would share with my children." -- Dave Marsh from his book Elvis.
"He never changed over the years. Elvis was the real thing." -- Larry Geller, Elvis' friend
"The only possibility in the United States for a humane society would be a revolution with Elvis Presley as leader." -- Phil Ochs, singer and composer
"When he started he couldn't even spell Tennessee. Now he owns it." -- Bob Hope
"Two thousand years from now they'll still be hearing about Elvis Presley." -- Wolfman Jack
"The world seems more alive at night...it's like God ain't watchin."
"I know practically every religious song that's ever been written."
"God is a living concept in all of us." -- to the Jaycees Committee
"...I never danced vulgar in my life. I've just been jigglin'."
I know this -- all good things come from God. You don't have to go to church to know right from wrong. Sure, church helps, but you can be a Christian so long as you have a Christian heart."
"If you really want to please me, search for God and the truth." -- to his friends in the Memphis Mafia
"I can find eight people to jump up and get me a coke, but I have very few friends."
"I had too much praise, too much flattery and fawning over and I needed to remember me; who I was, where I cam from. One time I called a relative in Tupelo. It was Christmas and they were havin' dinner. I asked, 'What?' and she was kind of quiet, then said, 'Meat loaf.' I was...shocked as we'd had the best, you know, turkey, ham, steak, everything. She said that it was near the first and they'd run out of money so they just had meat loaf. It hurt me. and so, I ate meat loaf for about eight months, every night, so I'd remember where I cam from and to remind me of how many people were unable to have what I did. It was kind of a penance..."
"Animals don't hate and we're supposed to be better than them."
The Complete Idiot's Guide to Elvis -- Frank Coffey
Elvis and You - Your guide to the pleasures of being an Elvis fan -- Laura Victoria Levin and John O'Hara