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By Mahnuel Muñoz

On June 26, 1977, Elvis Presley gave his last concert at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis. It was a great show, within the level that at that point in his career he could maintain. That electric and wild Elvis of the early seventies was very far away. Many had been saying for some time that he should have retired. Maybe they were right. But inside a sick and exhausted body his voice continued to shine like the sun, because it came directly from a heart that refused to stop as long as there was a single musical note inside it.

Since he was just a child, Elvis remained attentive to his heart. He wanted, he knew he, he could hear the grinding of the gears of his soul despite all the noise. Under the clear sky of Tupelo, in the melody-laden air of Memphis, in the New York pollution, in the technicolor chaos of Hollywood and under the false star sky of Las Vegas, he always clearly heard the music inside him, reverberating in his clean soul In the lubricious innocence of her adolescence and in the murky fog of his maturity; In the refuge of piano and gospel and in the Roman circus of pop, behind the wheel of a truck or under his crown of thorns, Elvis always kept in mind the words of Khalil Gibran: “When you are born, you already carry your work in your heart.” .

And he continued singing when his body asked him to stop. Even when her hand wrote a desperate note on a sheet of paper with the letterhead of the Vegas Hilton asking God for help to overcome or end the torment of spending her life on stage singing the same songs, making the same jokes, wearing glitter makeup. his sadness, he put on his shiny jumpsuit again to bleed out in “Hurt” or “How Great Thou Art.”

He did it because, despite the noise of the pain, the contracts, the inhuman greed of Colonel Parker, the delirious adoration of his fans, Elvis always knew what his job was, his purpose. He lived it the way his heart urged him to, even if it meant agonizingly surrendering himself to the rusty scythe of death.

Of course he wanted his pain to stop. But perhaps what he felt deep inside was much more important. His last performances alternate moments of man’s overwhelming struggle against suffering and glorious demonstrations of divine, indestructible talent; We can see in his face and perceive in his voice that for a few seconds the pain has given way to music, the language of divinity in its purest form. Elvis Presley, the most famous singer in the world, is in one minute, the most scared and alone human being of all. But suddenly, by the grace of a song, by the power of a lyric written with the blood of truth, Elvis is moved again, falls in love again, becomes ecstatic again, feels the forces of the universe in each of his fibers again. that came together in him in the moments of his greatest artistic and personal glory.

It is truly amazing to witness the transformation of a flat, exhausted Elvis who unleashes “Hound Dog” for the umpteenth time into a heartbreakingly human and honest performer, capable of making the Grim Reaper’s empty eye sockets cross his eyes with “Unchained Melody.”

When Elvis, the living legend, extends his show by handing out tissues, as a metaphor for his desire to throw in the towel once and for all, the young truck driver who, with as much shyness as determination, sold his dream to Marion Keisker in the small Sun Records office, claiming to sing everything like no one else. The spirit of that 19-year-old Elvis is also the clarion of the imminent death of the physical body of the King of Rock. He is urging the exhausted artist to fulfill the mission entrusted to him at birth, because his
days are numbered and in the next phase of the journey he will have to leave that body behind. And he will have to leave it without a single musical note inside.

For this reason, and not because of the money, nor because of Colonel Parker, Elvis continued singing with all his soul when his body was breaking down, when the infamous book written by his former bodyguards fired a point-blank shot into his very vital core.
At that moment, the music sounded even louder. Elvis dissolved into the highest notes of his record. All the strength necessary to speak,
moving, breathing… he used them to offer his audience a few final moments of perfection.

The decline of Elvis outraged trashy rockers and moth-eaten right-thinkers alike. But what value can there be in the criticism of those people who look at the earth and see nothing but earth? Elvis never betrayed rock by singing Italian songs and shaving his sideburns, nor did he disrespect the establishment by not being the healthiest guy on the block. These concepts are the sole responsibility of the tiny minds that create them. His heart entrusted him to share his music with the world and make the gray days of millions of people in the world happier. And his followers are happier and therefore more useful to society for the mere fact of having his voice, his image, the incalculable value of his dedication.

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