An Exile from the Real World

An exile from the real world, Elvis Presley built his own world, and within it—where the promise was that every fear, pain, doubt, and wish could be washed away with money, sex, drugs, and the bought approval of yes-men—Elvis Presley rotted. It was a fantasy of freedom with the reality of slavery, the ultimate validation of D.H. Lawrence’s dictum on what he took to be the American idea of freedom: “Men are not free when they are doing just what they like. The moment you can do just what you like, there is nothing you care about doing.”

-Greil Marcus, Dead Elvis