Sunday, December 9, 2007

If Rock and Roll Is a Religion...

...Elvis is Jesus.

This can't be an original thought - surely someone as shallow and bored as I am has come up with this before - but Elvis Presley is the Jesus of Rock and Roll.

Jazz and the Blues are the Old Testamant - there's a dark, foreboding quality to them. The major themes are suffering and punishment. There's a surprising amount of sex, but little joy. An oppressed people is yearning to be free. And they reach a deeply devoted but relatively small audience.

Robert Johnson at the Crossroads is Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. Muddy Waters and Miles Davis are Abraham and Solomon. Chuck Berry is Moses.

Then along comes Elvis. Elvis takes the contours of jazz and blues, builds on them, but changes them. Freshens them up with a message of love, puts more of a happy face on them. And reaches a MUCH larger audience.

At the expense of pushing this metaphor too far (too late, huh?), Alan Freed is John the Baptist. John, Paul, George and Ringo are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Bob Dylan is Saint Paul, and his Road to Damascus moment was the Newport Jazz Festival . The Mississippi Delta is the Holy Land. There are martyrs. Hell, there's even a Reformation.

I have to say, though, that if American Idol is Vatican II, I may convert.

Alright, I've milked this about as much as I can. Can anyone else help stretch this metaphor a bit?

P.S. Not quite the same take, but interesting imagery here...Also, Jesus-Elvis comparisons here


Tom K. said...

I guess the British Invasion would be the schism by the Church of England, with Paul McCartney as the Archbishop of Canterbury

Stephen said...

Then would Steven Tyler be Judas? (Walk this Way with Run DMC?)