What else besides Cliff Richard am I hanging on to?
Oh don’t ask!
Past their let go date-
Holding on to
Now going around saying he’s looking amazingly fit for 75
Lucknow boy genes you know-
His British father died young
just before sonny became famous
But his Anglo-Indian mother and all his sisters
I know so much Cliff trivia-
His first hit in 1958!
Playing singles in tennis and life since then
Selling new wine in new bottles from his Barcelona vineyard
Houses, flats, London, pile in the country (now sold), New York, Portugal, The Bahamas with-
No extradition treaty with the UK…
It must be his Indian side
Makes him anchor his money into real estate
Filling the Albert Hall for a month every year-
And every small town community centre too
With old fans who won’t let go
Singing songs from years ago
For the Queen
The late Queen Mother loved him-
A Wimbledon buff
Fighting off enquiries into his sexuality
like Michael Jackson-
maybe 300 million pounds sterling,
Sold 250 million records over the decades
Even more than The Beatles-
Who had just a 11 year run to become immortal-
If there is such a thing-
A way, maybe a machine
To turn nostalgia into a product-
Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley
The Beatles and Walt Disney and The Rolling Stones
And many others
Know all about it.
Nostalgia actually needs props-
It won’t stand up on its own.
Cliff’s hero-first and last
Whom Cliff never met.
Elvis didn’t even know who Cliff was-
And Cliff had only two or three number one hits of low duration
He is however
A Britain & former Empire
India, Australia, South Africa
And in translation
France, Germany, Spain, Portugal-
But Elvis did meet
The Beatles and Tom Jones
Tom got on, jamming, cigar-smoking-
Took to Las Vegas later with similar flash
The Beatles and Elvis never did jive
Elvis couldn’t stomach that these foreigners came over and knocked him off his pedestal
Paul and John making snide remarks about it, their meeting, later
About being made to wait and wait
George petrified, Ringo untouched-
No chemistry in person
Just uncomfortable chit chat, jokes, a little marijuana, more beer & bourbon
Though George got on famously with Roy Orbison and Tom Petty and Bob Dylan
When he was on his own,
Out of the dominance
His own Sgt. Pepper’s theme album(s), calling it The Travelling Wilburys.
The Beatles and Elvis couldn’t hack it
Did not play music together-
Not even in the music room at Graceland
Decorated in a fairground blend of C&W and truck stop –
A grand piano
And an absolute dazzle of gold records.
Not in Memphis, but at the White House in Washington DC
Elvis warned Nixon against the Beatles
Cadging a narcotics inspector badge during the visit-
Useful to carry his OWN drugs from Cadillac to Mercedes
Said Elvis to Nixon in his jingle-jangle jewellery
and black Edwardian top coat-
In the Oval Office-
Were from over there-
He didn’t tell Milhous that he’d been shoved
Off to the LP charts and makingsugaryCol. Parker’s Elvis movies
Twice a year!
While rock n roll had turned him into a souvenir
Singing I just can’t help believin’
at Las Vegas season after season.
It wouldn’t go away
Ever since it began in 1963
No matter how much Elvis complained.
Elvis,making maybe one Single charts appearance a year by now
Lennon a dangerous radical anti-Vietnam war pacifist
Right there to Nixon’s face
So why was he sitting in the Dakota Building in New York with his Japanese wife?
Should be deported, said the King to Pilate.
Nixon agreed, being of a suspicious bent-
And started proceedings.
Elvis & Lennon
Both left the building
The dying clock makes a pit stop at 40 for rock stars that don’t die at 27.
Hard to measure overflows
Singing in my head.