Elvis Presley: Diamonds and Lard

Arnold Wertheimer/1956/

Elvis [Presley] was the ideal Val [in 'Orpheus Descending'], and we were optimistic up to a point that he might make his first appearance on the stage, and then we hoped he would appear in a film. That was a madly delirious episode, because time, for the most famous people, simply has no meaning. People and things arrive at the slightest expression of desire or interest, and they disappear just as quickly. All questions are answered; every need fulfilled. He was elaborately polite with me: I think he saw me as some elder Southern gentleman who might give his father a loan at the bank downtown, but we soon saw that the discipline of a stage performance was beyond him. It was--and it is--frightfully boring for most people to show up and replicate and expand within a refined role. Still, I met him. I was in the presence. Diamonds and lard. There's your title.


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