Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Its not like we could have expected her to become a doctor or a lawyer or a scientist, right?

It is a credit to Lisa Marie Presley's lack of imagination that she has chosen to spend her flush life pursuing the one thing she is unequivocably unsuited for: she wants to be a singer.

I'm sorry, I cant help but be suspicious of this whim of hers to try her hand at being a singer, I cant help feeling this is a calculated gambit in the continuing fleecing of that special contingent of Elvis fans who are simple rubes, who toss away their money while clinging to some blind devotion to their hero (and that means tossing money to their hero's daughter).

I mean, really - a duet with her dad? Her dead dad, as if you needed reminding. How much can you duet with a dead man, anyway? This is electronic engineering, nothing else. And this is the second (!) such duet with her dead dad - was the first one (a team up on "In The Ghetto") such a success that fans were screaming for another one? So, it is not just a shameless enterprise to go back to this particular well again, but then to do "I Love You Because" and make a music video comprised of clips of Lisa Marie's home movies featuring Elvis to tug on the heart strings and purse strings of Elvis fans is simply unconscionable.

Lisa Marie's albums (sorry, CDs) are full of songs that she herself wrote so I do give her props for that. It doesn't matter that these songs fail to rise above the level of girls-college-dormitory-angst, they are original and she is trying to express herself. But, I guess these albums (sorry, CDs) werent selling so Lisa Marie found she must resort to tapping this Elvis well again.

Is Lisa Marie a born singer, a burning talent that will, nay, MUST, out? I have read many Elvis books, and Lisa Marie was always a tangential presence at best (the young moppet both neglected and spoiled by her absentee daddy). Still, does anyone recall any mention of Lisa Marie ever expressing any desire to be a singer when she grew up? Were there stories somewhere of Lisa Marie sitting with her dad and the two of them harmonizing together? Maile, please let me know if any stories of this sort made its way into CARELESS LOVE.

It seems strange that Lisa Marie wants to pursue something that was the very reason her dad was an absentee dad much of the time while she was growing up, and when he was around, she was witness to the fact that her dad's chosen occupation was destroying him.  You can't claim that, oh, the poor dear, she was so young so she wouldn't know what was happening: my kids who are 4+ years old and 1+ years old notice and specifically point out things like when I get a haircut or when a new bag appears under my tired eyes; how can we think Lisa Marie did not notice that her dad was getting fatter and fatter and behaving more and more strangely.

But, ok, for the time being, lets not question her motives, lets just agree she wants to be a singer.

What exactly is it that she wants to sing? Pop music? Pop music is disposable so that seems fitting for her. Rock 'n Roll, like her daddy? I know rock 'n roll music and what comes out of her mouth is not rock 'n roll.  Blues? Please - she doesnt have the passion to be a blues singer and outside of being witness to her unconscious dad being worked on by paramedics who are trying to revive him, I don't think she has experienced any kind of heartbreak trauma to come out and sing the blues (busted relationships / marriages to certifiable freaks like Michael Jackson and Nicholas Cage (one or more of which was probably some kind of publicity stunt), hardly give you the right much less the material to sing the blues). Country? Well, country music and it's fans tend to embrace even the most untalented of individuals.

But, ok, for the time being, lets not question her motives, lets just agree she wants to be a singer and, yes, pop music is her thang. 

Does she have the instrument, a voice? Having listened to some tracks from her albums, I find her voice to be toneless, without any range of expression, it's too low, too husky, lacking in any musicality (Maile, being a singer herself, can help me out with using more technical jargon to describe the mechanics of Lisa Marie's voice). 

But, ok, for the time being, lets not question her motives, lets just agree she wants to be a singer and, yes, pop music is her thang but she has no voice - the history of pop music is filled with arena-filling no-talents with no voice who still manage to release hit singles (a good producer can hide anything with enough mixing and over-production). 

Does she have a "look" to fall back on? Remember Madonna in her early years? It can be argued that Madonna wasnt much of a singer in the beginning, and she specialized in pop confections like "Borderline" but, man, did she have a look. Well, Lisa Marie looks like Elvis, which would be great except she is a woman, and the result is that she looks like a drag queen (the aforesaid low voice adds to the illusion of a drag queen).  I like to think that I have learned to appreciate Woman (with a capital "W") in all sizes and shapes (I love Chagall's ugly women, Rubens' fat women, Botticelli's beautiful women and Degas' shapely women) but I have to say Lisa Marie just...doesn't do it for me. I myself do not find her attractive and an offer from her to come to her hotel room for bountiful sex would raise nary an eyebrow on me. We all know of Elvis' ability to dress with style (not only were those Vegas jumpsuits awesome looking, but check out what Elvis wore, say, to the JayCees Ten Outstanding Men 1970 ceremony and elsewhere in his private life). Lisa Marie, by contrast, has no discernible style in clothing or appearance. She has no presence or personality at all, she is just there although you would be forgiven for not noticing her.

But, ok, for the time being, lets not question her motives, lets just agree she wants to be a singer and, yes, pop music is her thang but she has no voice and she has no style and the issue of her looks, while not appealing to me, is a purely subjective assessment on my part.

Does she have talent of any kind? One need only look at this clip of Lisa Marie's recent appearance at the Grand Ole Opry to provide an answer to that:question:

What stage presence! Look how she works that stage! Look how she works the crowd! 

In the end, I know Lisa Marie will never amount to even a blip in the world of music (pop music, country music, whatever) but, perhaps because I am an Elvis fan, I find that her cash-in attempts (these duets in particular) promote values that deaden the sensibilities of a great democracy.  


1 comment:

Maile Duval said...

You forgot the duet she did with "Don't Cry Daddy."

In Elvis by the Presleys she does talk about singing as a child, using a comb as a "microphone." Apparently Elvis walked her on her doing this at some point and was quite amused.

In Oprah's 2005 interview with Priscilla and Lisa Marie on her show, Lisa said that she did know that there was something wrong with her father. They showed a note she had written him saying that she didn't want him to die.