Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

June 26, 2009

Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and the perils of success

Filed under: music — louisproyect @ 3:22 pm

It was probably 1956 when my classmate Joan Seleznow invited me to listen to the new 45’s her father had been stocking in his hardware store. Now these weren’t pistols, but 7-inch pop records that were played at 45 rpm, as opposed to the 12-inch 33-rpm mostly classical records.

I remember the records to this day. She first put on Little Richard’s “Good Golly, Miss Molly” and followed up with Fats Domino’s “Blueberry Hill”. I told her that I loved the sounds. They were nothing like the insipid songs that were featured on the weekly television show “Hit Parade” like “How Much is that Doggy in the Window”.

But she saved the best for last: Elvis Presley’s “Hound Dog”. I didn’t know it at the time but Big Momma Thorton, who recorded the song before Elvis, was an African-American like Fats Domino and Little Richard. That being said, the song was written by a couple of Jews, Mike Stoller and Jerry Leiber.

A few months later I joined the RCA record club and got Elvis Presley’s 33-rpm debut album, which had “Hound Dog” and his other greatest hits that still had the immediately recognizable influences of African-American rhythm-and-blues and white country-and-western.

26 years later. I was at a Christmas party thrown annually by ACI, the consulting company I worked for before going to Kansas City to get a factory job under the direct orders of the Socialist Workers Party. When that project failed, I came back to New York to live a life free of politics. A couple of hours after the party began a professional DJ began playing the latest hits, music that I was largely unfamiliar with since my tastes ran mostly to jazz and classical.

As I was sitting in a chair nibbling on an hors d’oeuvres and thinking about politics (I never succeeded in becoming apolitical), the strains of an irresistible pop tune came over the powerful sound system. It was Michael Jackson’s “Rock with You”. I was hooked on the spot and bought “Off the Wall”, the album that contained this song and which was considered his breakthrough record, as well as one that marked a departure from the more explicitly African-American sounds of his Motown work.

Elvis Presley was only 42 when he died in August 16, 1977, 8 years younger than Michael Jackson. But in some ways both were dead spiritually and artistically long before their physical death. It is not just a coincidence that both succumbed to heart failure, if you see the heart as a metaphor for the soul.

But for the two superstars, the heart was broken by essentially the same kinds of abuses to the body. In Elvis’s case, obesity and prescription pain killers. In Michael Jackson’s case, it is very likely that anorexia and prescription painkillers did him in. In some ways, anorexia is the obverse of obesity in the sense of reflecting an unhealthy relationship to food.

Elvis’s reliance on painkillers was well established. He kept a physician’s handbook next to his bed and thumbed through its pages looking for the latest medication that his doctor would prescribe without qualms. He took these drugs to help him to sleep and very likely to ward off the depression that accompanied his sense of failure. But in Elvis’s mind, the fact that he had a prescription differentiated him from the ordinary junky who had scrounge up his next fix on the street. So much so that after enlisting in Richard Nixon’s antidrug campaign, he showed up for a photo op stoned totally out of his mind on painkillers.

Michael Jackson had been addicted to painkillers going back at least to 1993, when he canceled a tour in order to go into rehab. Given his spaced out demeanor in interviews over the years, one must only conclude that he was whacked out on drugs much of the time—not to speak of his retreat from reality overall.

A couple of years ago I had a wisdom tooth pulled and got a prescription for Vicodin in case I had any lingering pain, which thankfully I had no use for. But later on after overdoing it with my barbells, I developed a backache that I thought the Vicodin might relieve. Boy, did it ever. An hour after taking a pill, not only did the pain go away, I felt a sense of bliss that I had never experienced with pot or cocaine. Who knows, if I were as rich and powerful as Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, I might have found some unscrupulous doctor to write me prescriptions at my pleasure.

That is the lesson of success, I suppose. The more you enjoy, the more temptations lie in your path. For the two superstars, it was not just drugs. They were able to construct Xanadus at Graceland and Neverland that shielded them from reality.

In Xanadu did Kubla Khan
A stately pleasure-dome decree:
Where Alph, the sacred river, ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.
So twice five miles of fertile ground
With walls and towers were girdled round:
And there were gardens bright with sinuous rills,
Where blossomed many an incense-bearing tree;
And here were forests ancient as the hills,
Enfolding sunny spots of greenery.

This was just the kind of poem that only Samuel Coleridge, a fellow junky, could do justice to.

From within these Xanadus, the two Kubla Khans of pop music could satisfy every whim, from drugs to feasting—or in Jackson’s case not eating at all. They could also satisfy their sexual fantasies by exploiting their celebrity to lure nubile girls or young boys into bed

In Albert Goldman’s gripping but hostile biography of Elvis, we learn that he would send out his crew to Las Vegas or Nashville hangouts in search of virginal-looking women. The older he got, the more obsessed he became with screwing virgins. He had a neurotic aversion to sexually experienced women, particularly those who had given birth. Not long after Priscilla Presley gave birth to Lisa Marie, Elvis stopped having sex with her.

In some ways, I can believe that Michael Jackson did not have sex with the 12 year olds who shared a bed with him. So obviously in full retreat into a Peter Pan fantasy world (even to the point of calling his mansion Neverland), Jackson might have gotten sufficient pleasure just from this kind of infantile “pajama party” wish fulfillment. But even if he did have sex with underage boys, one must question society’s willingness to condemn him and not Elvis Presley. If Elvis got a 16 year old girl drunk and then had sex with her, there is nothing particularly “normal” about that either.

The picture that emerges about Presley and Jackson is one of the tendency of power to corrupt. Lord Acton’s dictum was applied mostly to states, but it applies to individuals as well. They surrounded themselves with sycophants who never had the nerve to tell the Kings that they were jeopardizing their health. Telling the truth might have cost someone a job.

But isn’t that what bourgeois society is about ultimately? Both Jackson and Presley came from working class families. Joseph Jackson was a crane operator at US Steel in Gary, Indiana while Elvis’s father was a sharecropper before becoming a truck driver. The two pop stars not only climbed their way out of their class roots, but became as wealthy as many ruling class figures at their pinnacle.

Elvis was fortunate enough to have a shrewd manager in Colonel Tom Parker who invested the singer’s income wisely even as he squandered his natural talents as a singer.

But Michael Jackson was not so fortunate. Once his career took a nosedive, he continued to spend money as if he was still on top. They report that he might have had $500 million in personal debt the day he died, which puts him in good company considering the state of the American economy.

It would appear that cultural and economic decay go hand in hand.


  1. Great article! I think it’s quite common for working-class (or even middle-class) musicians to fall apart after they are catapulted to stardom. They lose all their friends, either literally or via their conversion into toadies. They have success but it seems meaningless: it doesn’t buy happiness. They’re always at the center of others’ attention and expected to regularly conquer new worlds. So they get into drugs. Or fundamentalist religion (like Dylan).

    Comment by Jim Devine — June 26, 2009 @ 3:41 pm

  2. Touching and insightful piece, Louis. Elvis, incidentally, was born into the Assemblies of God church (something rarely mentioned), as was I. Back then, the AofG still was able to separate church from state (or “render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s, and unto God what is God’s”), something it jettisoned long ago, as reflected in the likes of AG Ashcroft and Sarah Palin.
    As for Jackson’s having sex or not with the boys he showered with gifts and attention, who knows? If he did, I am sure it was utterly harmless and of a piece with his image of innocence and Peter Pan-ism. That said, when I was active in Nambla, everyone I knew, whether men or boys, especially the boys, was convinced that he was a pedophile and probably had some kind of sexual encounters with his friends. If he did, it was most likely utterly harmless and anodyne.

    Comment by David Thorstad — June 26, 2009 @ 3:43 pm

  3. Good essay, Louis. It seems that if you have real talent, like Jackson and Elvis, but buy into the success fantasy, you end up miserable. If you become political, like Paul Robeson, your life is ruined in other ways. Michael Jackson was used by family, friends, and business persons, from a very early age. How could he have been normal?

    Comment by michael yates — June 26, 2009 @ 4:30 pm

  4. Speaking of Bob Dylan, it took me a long time to understand what was in his mind while writing his latest single. Eventually I had to admit that this time he employed his poetic genius merely to shock the audience:

    “Oh well I love you pretty baby
    You’re the only love I’ve ever known”

    Comment by Mehmet Çagatay — June 26, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

  5. Just one point. I believe Elvis was also broke at the time of his death.

    There are eerie similarities between Elvis and Michael Jackson. Both died of heart attacks as trhe result of possible abuse of prescription drugs just days before a scheduled concert tour.

    The news of Jackson’s death reached Australia on June 26, the anniversary of Elvis’s last public appearance in 1977 and also the day Elvis’s father Vernon died in 1979.

    Comment by Michael — June 26, 2009 @ 5:19 pm

  6. How to buy prescription drugs? My doctor prescribed vicodin for a while back, my back hurts, I think it is a great help, but in my country it is difficult to find, it is paramount to have my information on it and found information about findrxonline the medicine, because it provided me.

    Comment by Loreta Lortab — June 26, 2009 @ 6:17 pm

  7. You know you’re begging for BUY VICODIN comments with this post?!

    Another great post. Not sure about David’s point about sex with young boys being ‘most likely harmless’. I mean, there are degrees of harm obviously, but that just comes off sounding a bit odd.

    Comment by Tom — June 26, 2009 @ 8:38 pm

  8. Nice article – but of course there’s another connection between the two. More immediate. Elvis’s daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, to whom Michael Jackson was briefly married. Heaven knows what she makes of it.

    Oh – and as for Vicodin, Terra Naomi has a song about its allure (as, of course, does Gregory House MD). A cure for pain and loneliness, and if rumours are true about MJ, then who knows.

    Comment by Steve Jones — June 26, 2009 @ 8:59 pm

  9. Apparently Presley tried to use his influence to keep the Beatles from getting visas for an American tour.  I remember seeing an interview with Ringo Starr in some documentary and Starr commented that the Fab Four had all felt sorry for Presley, who experienced the madness of sudden stardom alone, whereas the Beatles had each other to keep themselves sane (relatively). Nice post. Always a pleasure to read you.

    Comment by ef — June 26, 2009 @ 11:09 pm

  10. You make important points that are largely absent from the mainstream analysis of Michael Jackson’s demise. What fascinates is the manner in which almost all of the post mortems seek in one way or another to legitimize our society’s social structure and dominant mores. The conventional wisdom runs something along the lines of “he was a brilliant performer, a wonderful song writer, but also a bizarre, eccentric. self-loathing personality” (i.e., he was a tormented artist largely responsible for his own destruction). A variation on that theme comes from the likes of “friends” such as Deepak Chopra who blames Michael’s death on predatory Hollywood ‘feel good’ doctors. Interesting as well is the response of many Black celebrities and political leaders who rightly underscore the importance of Michael’s contributions to music and American/international popular culture, while choosing not to comment on his particularly painful attitudes toward his own racial identity. And then there are generations of Americans of all nationalities who simply identify with Michael’s music — some as a marker in their own lives; others as part of a still evolving tradition. Missing in all of these reactions is any attempt to come to grips with the meaning of celebrity and stardom (for both celebrities and their admiring followers) in a world economy based on gross inequality and the accompanying belief that fame and wealth are desirable goals that lead to greater happiness. It’s encouraging to see you bend the stick in another direction.

    Comment by burghardt — June 26, 2009 @ 11:34 pm

  11. Again Lou a beautiful post. So sympathetic to people who were in many ways difficult to admire – Elvis & Jackson That sounds a bit harsh and in the case of Jackson it probably is. His sexuality doomed him I think to an unbearable marginality.

    Your point about the sycophants who surrounded both Presley & Jackson is well taken. Always with the powerful there is a tendency for their feedback circuits to get choked up with bullshit. There is a Yiddish proverb I believe that says something like if you are rich then you will be told you can sing beautifully. Elvis and Michael were great entertainers, but as human beings they were truly diminished by the industry in which they were caught up.


    Comment by Gary MacLennan — June 26, 2009 @ 11:57 pm

  12. There is another interesting possible connection between the King of Rock n Roll and the King of Pop.
    Although I only speculate.

    Was Jackson’s marriage to Lisa Marie Presley a conscious and intentional effort to inter-marry with other so-called royalty? Just as did the royal and noble classes of antiquity?

    Comment by Sheldon — June 27, 2009 @ 12:53 am

  13. Interesting post, it seems nightmarish to consider a life in which your image is ubiquitous and you’re mostly either presenting yourself to screaming fans or trying to hide yourself away, grotesque magnifications of what the rest of us do in our lives. Seems like an unbearable weight to shape that much pop culture through your singing and dancing. I’d be high as a kite too probably. Incidentally, theres a strange movie by Harmony Korine called Mister Lonely about celebrity impersonators who create an isolated community for themselves. Silly movie overall but some thoughtfulness too about stardom, failure, being a too well known or entirely unknown outcast, adoration of an image to the point where you lose your identity, the power of an industry built on appearances to tap so deeply into our sense of self. Just rambling here.

    And really, a little “harmless” sex with young kids, David? Don’t even start with that lunacy.

    Comment by oleolo — June 27, 2009 @ 2:53 am

  14. >when I was active in Nambla […] utterly harmless […] anodyne

    Fuck’s sake.

    Comment by Antonis — June 27, 2009 @ 7:55 am

  15. “But in some ways both were dead spiritually and artistically long before their physical death.”

    Most artists’ careers have creative highs and lows. Very few reach their peak in their last stage. I wouldn’t talk about spiritual death in relation to Elvis or Michael. It makes Mr. Middlebrow, sitting at home with his feet up, feel good about himself.

    Comment by Peter Byrne — June 27, 2009 @ 10:41 am

  16. There was an English journalist (I forget his name) on the BBC earlier today (Saturday), and he had worked with Michael Jackson on publicity. He said that Jackson was manipulating his image consciously, for example he didn’t really speak in that falsetto voice, but his real speaking voice was much deeper. Also, the pictures of him sleeping in a hyperbaric chamber were a total publicity stunt. Anorexics are control freaks and so maybe the construction of a public persona of a nutjob was part of his psychological disorder, or maybe he was just playing the audience for laughs. As for the sex thing, to me he had the sexuality of a Barbie doll, ie none. I simply can’t imagine him doing it with anyone. Was his marraige to Lisa Marie consummated? Has she ever spoken out about it?

    Comment by Sue R — June 27, 2009 @ 8:55 pm

  17. It,s all true. MJ did go the way of Elvis.

    Comment by Jacob — June 28, 2009 @ 1:35 am

  18. Michael Jackson was one of the great dancers—see what Fred Astaire said about him. He was a remarkable composer—see what Miles Davis said about him. He was an unparalleled entertainer—watch the 1980s’ videos. He took black music—America’s only claim to uniqueness in the arts—out into a wider stream. So what do we do when he dies? We gossip about his tics and foibles as if he were the old pedophile living down our street. Celebrity culture can’t grasp content. It’s too busy looking to see if somebody’s zipper is open.

    Comment by Peter Byrne — June 28, 2009 @ 9:29 am

  19. This is a great post.

    Just one point though – Col. Parker didn’t invest Elvis’ money. Essentially he stole from him for years. Following Elvis’ death it was revealed that the Colonel’s contract sent half of Elvis earnings to his manager. A court recognized how excessive the percentage was and voided the deal. The reason Elvis continued touring and making all those bad movies was due to the Colonel’s demand for more $$$ and because Elvis was a profligate spender who was often nearly bankrupt.

    – peace

    Comment by Fred — June 28, 2009 @ 12:44 pm

  20. i liked them both more elvis i am 13

    Comment by daniel — June 28, 2009 @ 1:09 pm

  21. and i love to sing

    Comment by daniel — June 28, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

  22. America is sinking beneath its fatties. Chicken hawks fill the trees. Moralize over these people if you like. Obesity and pedophilia may be the main features of their lives. But Elvis and Michael were extraordinary for other reasons that should be given our primary attention. Leave their bad accounting and boring peccadillos to the tabloids.

    Comment by Peter Byrne — June 28, 2009 @ 1:58 pm

  23. […] Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and the perils of success It was probably 1956 when my classmate Joan Seleznow invited me to listen to the new 45’s her father had been […] […]

    Pingback by Top Posts « WordPress.com — June 29, 2009 @ 12:24 am

  24. NO ONE who is a member of Nambla is harmless. These people are perverted, cruel, and sneaky. When caught they act like sniveling little wimps as they try to make people feel sorry for THEM, not the ones
    they abused.

    Comment by Grethchen — June 29, 2009 @ 12:55 am

  25. At least Elvis died like a true King — on the throne.

    Comment by Karl Friedrich — June 29, 2009 @ 2:59 pm

  26. I’d like to add some more obvious similarities between these two performers – their careers so closely in parallel. Both Elvis and Michael were aggressive charismatic singers and dancers on stage – much different than their shy personalities off stage. They both had an image to live up to and danced with sexual and controversial styles. Another similarity is that they rose to superstardom by taking black music and crossing it over to popular rock music to appeal to the white audience. Both performers were not critically acclaimed when it came to movie acting – although Elvis made tons of movies that didn’t capitalize on his acting abilities. Another point is that both singers were experiencing downturns in their careers and were trying to figure out comebacks at the time of their deaths – although Michael was more serious about it and I believe would have been successful in his new tour. Both had personal physicians that played a role in their physical destruction and both deaths shocked the nation.

    Comment by Mike — July 1, 2009 @ 1:40 am

  27. Elvis wasn’t on the comeback trail when he died, he never went away to begin with. If anything, he was overworked due to Colonel Parker’s gambling problems and the Colonel’s insistance on taking more than half of Elvis’ earnings as commission. In addition, all expenses to band members, hangers on, etc. came out of Elvis’ half. If you do the math, with his usual band that involved four guitarists, a drummer, a piano player, a three member female backup group, a ‘high voiced’ singer, a five man gospel group also singing backup, an orchestra, and all the friends employed in certain positions…Elvis barely had any money for himself once a tour or stay at Las Vegas or Lake Tahoe was wrapped up. Yes, he was known for his largesse when it came to spending money and he did like to spend money…but the fact is, from 1969 to June of 1977 he rarely ever had more than a month or two off at a time. Yes, things got a little predictible on stage and yes Elvis’ weight fluctuated (this was something that was inherited from his mother…not a sign of gluttony), but this was a factor all throughout his stage career and there are a couple of movies he did where he was clearly a little overweight as well and this was the 1960s. Between the summer of ’69 and June of 1977 he did well over 1,000 shows and never had the chance to relax and recuperate and mush less the opportunity to try new material on stage. There was a concert in the summer of 1974 when he started with a new opening song and included a number of songs he hadn’t done on stage before. He didn’t feel the show was well received and in disappointment, went back to the tried and true, opening with 2001/C.C. Rider, into I Got A Woman, doing his ‘medly’ which consisted of Teddy Bear & Don’t Be Cruel and all the way to the end with the predictable Can’t Help Falling In Love finisher. Was Elvis in a rut? You bet. He had lost interest in recording, something he was so obsessive with at times that he would do more than 40 takes of songs before he was satisfied. At the end, they set up a recording studio at Graceland in the Jungle Room, which is where his final two albums were recorded. One of the factors that ultimately may have been a factor in his death was that three of his fired body guards decided to get back at him by writing a tell-all book which came out on August 1, 1977. Elvis was scared to death at touring because of the perceived reaction he’d receive when he came on stage in Portland on August 17, 1977. How would the fans react? Would they boo him, insult him, hurl stuff at him? More than anything else, this book “Elvis, What Happened?” may have pushed him over the edge. The one thing Elvis valued above all else was his fans and the thought that his fans might not see him the same way may have been too much for him.

    Comment by Dan — July 2, 2009 @ 4:09 am

  28. Not as quick off the mark as some of you, but I’ve added my own views here: http://marxist-theory-of-art.blogspot.com/2009/07/michael-jackson-and-cult-of-celebrity.html

    Comment by Eugene Hirschfeld — July 3, 2009 @ 7:25 pm

  29. Szerintem Jackhon nagyon vonzó!!!!Ha fiatalab lenne le is fekud nék vele!!!!!

    Comment by Kovács Orsolya — July 4, 2009 @ 2:12 pm

  30. his death was so unfair………..

    Comment by efi — July 4, 2009 @ 6:57 pm

  31. Hey, that Bob Dylan song above is the Willie Dixon/Otis Rush number recorded famously by John Mayall’s Bluesbreakers with Eric Clapton in 1966.

    Comment by D_D — July 5, 2009 @ 1:31 am

  32. ‘All Your Love’

    Comment by D_D — July 5, 2009 @ 1:36 am

  33. You can say what you want about Micheal’s personal life but their is no denying that when it come to music he was the best that ever did it.

    Elvis was good but Micheal is a lot better. Micheal was like Elvis, James Brown and The Beattles rolled into one person. Micheal Jackson did it all ( He created the moonwalk, all dancers rate him as the best), sing ( biggest selling album ever) and created groundbreaking videos(thriller the video the made mtv and set the standard for music videos to follow) . Elvis was good but he never did the things micheal did and elvis did not have the worldwide appeal Micheal did.

    Elvis only sold more albums than micheal and had more singles than micheal because he made way more albums than micheal did.

    If you were to look at the ratio of albums sold overall per album micheal sold way more than elvis and had more singles than elvis. Micheal wrote His own music Elvis had wirters. Those who wanna say Elvis was better what do you base this on provide evidence. Im am white and i feel that the majority of those who wanna say elvis is better says that only because he was white thats just wrong talent should be all that matters.

    Micheal is the worlds greatest entertainer.Hands down.

    Comment by Brian — July 6, 2009 @ 8:24 pm

  34. i miss you micheale

    Comment by kristina — July 7, 2009 @ 2:34 am

  35. I just want to thank you for being there all of my childhood, I enjoyed your music so much, and still do..! Hope you have finally found a place where no one can hurt you anymore… R.I.P.

    Comment by Mama Mayo — July 7, 2009 @ 8:37 am

  36. michael quado vc esteve no Brasil nao pudi lhe conheser pq eu era muito pequeneninha mais agora que eu cresiii e tarde de mais vc esta no meu coracao michael te amo fica com Deus..

    Comment by layse — July 8, 2009 @ 9:56 am

  37. M.Jackson was the strategic man.

    Comment by Mahamba — July 8, 2009 @ 11:22 am

  38. Yes…it’s a question that has been haunting me all the time since Michael died. The death of Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson seems to have remarkable similarities. Both of them could not handle their fame any more. But the world wanted them and even forced them to “just show up” and be THE KING of Rock and Roll and THE KING of pop. I was never really a Michael Jackson fan. But I have had a great respect towards him as a musician and a brilliant entertainer. With Elvis of course I went mad as a youngster and even now at age 65 I still go for his music. My concern is now that the world has up till now, since his death, never been able to leave Elvis Presley alone, even in death. Marlon Jackson said at the memorial of his brother “Maybe, now, Michael, they will leave you alone”. But will the world now, leave Michael Jackson alone? I do not think so. Unfortunately, like with Elvis Presley, Michael Jackson will become a subject of controversy for many more years to come. And that’s real sad. The world will never learn!

    Comment by WENDELL — July 8, 2009 @ 11:15 pm

  39. aşkım bnm michael jackson sni seviorum kşke ölmeseydin snde ölsnde biz sni kalbimizde yaşatıoruz

    Comment by buse aydın — July 11, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

  40. Just what I said last. Michael Jackson’s brother Marlon said at his memorial service…”Maybe now Michael, they will leave you alone”. Just to remind you…this was my comment as above. I said that, like Elvis Presley, for Michael it will never happen.
    Elvis Presley died in 1977 but the world is still tearing him apart today. And so it will be for Michael Jackson. 30 years from now, the world will still be tearing him apart! I JUST WISH WE COULD LET GO AND LET GOD. CAN WE NOT LET THEM REST IN PEACE? PLEASE!!

    Comment by WENDELL — July 11, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

  41. […] AND: Pal Louis Proyect offers his fine thoughts. […]

    Pingback by My Blog » Pain Is Thunder — July 13, 2009 @ 2:00 pm

  42. i michael jackson

    Comment by beau — September 12, 2009 @ 9:10 am

  43. Elvis is the King of USA, Michael jackson is the King of world, other country not like Elvis. Evis didn’t write songs by himself i don’t like this.

    Comment by dukduk — October 2, 2009 @ 3:46 pm

  44. Oh…this is beginning to get to me! Tell you guys what…if one day I am blessed enough to get up there I will make a point of asking Elvis and Michael how they feel now. And I can almost guarantee that each of them will give a sigh of relieve and say: “Ah…..peace at last. We have been trying to run away for years and we finally made it. Now for Pete’s sake will you please tell them to leave us alone. We want to sleep”.

    Comment by WENDELL — October 3, 2009 @ 9:52 pm

  45. mj is the world most famous celeb in the world he has sold most number of album n millions of charity to children n africa he is the thriller of thee world he is also record making celeb

    Comment by shawn — October 18, 2009 @ 7:13 am

  46. The quote of John Lennon: “Before Elvis, there was nothing.” says it all about that great artist of all times.

    Here I’ve tried to collect all notable tributes and quotes on Elvis Presley from peers: http://www.tributespaid.com/quotes-on/elvis-presley

    Comment by Dawood — November 3, 2009 @ 8:40 pm

  47. […] tastes” at the center of his narrative, Wald’s version jibes with my own experience as this would […]

    Pingback by How the Beatles Destroyed Rock ‘n’ Roll « Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — November 4, 2009 @ 6:59 pm

  48. we miss u always Micheal Jackson”
    u r a real live, living KING OF POP”………

    Comment by UD (frm kashmir) — November 19, 2011 @ 5:50 pm

  49. […] most page views for any post cumulatively was 62,991 for one on Michael Jackson, Elvis Presley and the perils of success  while the runner-up was 27,292 for Walter Rodney’s How Europe Underdeveloped […]

    Pingback by 5 millionth hit for the Unrepentant Marxist blog | Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist — August 2, 2017 @ 7:33 pm

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