August 17th, 1977, I was on my way to work, driving down La Brea Boulevard in Hollywood, listening to my favorite radio station, and as I crossed Santa Monica Boulevard, they announced Elvis Presley’s death. The news appeared out of nowhere. The air felt thin, and as I continued my drive, the world seemed unusually silent. As soon as I pushed open the studio door Gary Skardina, the studio owner, gave me the same news. There were no more words between us.
I had work to do, so I climbed into a loft to clean and sort through old tapes, but the news hung with me. I’d never thought about Elvis or one of the Beatles dying. It dipped below the noise threshold of everyday life, and I couldn’t grip it. Everyone talked about it. His death was on the news daily, and for some reason, the newspapers, comedians, just about everyone started goofing on it; fat Elvis, thin Elvis, Elvis sightings and impersonators were everywhere. It pissed me off. The king is dead.