Thursday 21 January 2021
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Cliff and Elvis

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Cliff and Elvis


What else besides Cliff Richard am I hanging on to?

Oh don’t ask!



Past their let go date-

Holding on to

Past parts

Fond fragments-

Now going around saying he’s looking amazingly fit for 75

His Anglo-Indian

Lucknow boy genes you know-

His British father died young

In 1958

just before sonny became famous


But his Anglo-Indian mother and all his sisters

carried on.

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


Of molestation

Young boys

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.


Who says

Nostalgia actually needs props-


It won’t stand up on its own.



There’s Elvis

Cliff’s hero-first and last

The King

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


In America.

He is however

A Britain & former Empire


India, Australia, South Africa

And in translation

France, Germany, Spain, Portugal-


Incredibly durable.



But Elvis did meet

The Beatles and Tom Jones

At Graceland

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

Of Lennon/McCartney

And making

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.


Later still-

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-


The Beatles,

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

Gift shop.

Singing I just can’t help believin’

at Las Vegas season after season.


But Beatlemania-

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.


Funny how

Elvis & Lennon

Both left the building

At 40-

The dying clock makes a pit stop at 40 for rock stars that don’t die at 27.



For me


Hard to measure overflows


The songs-

Singing in my head.


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Gautam Mukherjee
Gautam Mukherjee
Commentator on political and economic affairs


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