There are a lot of musical people who were/are big fans. These spring to mind...
- Bruce Springsteen: Climbed the gates of Graceland in Elvis' lifetime, made it to the front door - only to find that Elvis wasn't in.
- Bob Dylan: At least to the extent that he said Elvis' version of his song, "Tomorrow Is A Long Time", was the best cover anyone had ever done of his material.
- John Lennon: "Before Elvis, there was nothing". All The Beatles were fans in their own way, I believe. George Harrison admitted in recent times that "Trying To Get To You" - as performed by Elvis - was his all-time favourite song.
- Frank Sinatra: Originally opposed to Elvis and his rock n roll kind, Sinatra gained a newfound respect for Elvis when they performed together in 1960. When Elvis died, Sinatra remarked that the world had lost a great man and that he had lost a great friend.
- Liam Gallagher: The front man of Oasis (FANTASTIC BAND! ) has a TCB tattoo on his right arm.
Plenty of other celebrity fans, too...
Jimmy Carter was American president when Elvis died and had become friends with him in the years leading up to his death. He delivered a beautiful eulogy when Elvis passed away (one of my all-time favourite statements about EP).
Elvis got Bill Belew to design Muhammad Ali a special boxing cape in the style of his own. Unfortunately, when he gave it to Ali, he went on to lose the fight and never wore it again.
I read somewhere that American icon John Wayne attended one of Elvis' concerts at Vegas. Many celebrity figures watched Elvis perform live at some point or another (John Lennon famously attended one of Elvis' New York concerts).
British comedian Frank Skinner who comes from my home city has been a fan all his life. Several years ago, he did a one-off documentary for ITV in which he attempted to verify the authenticity of a shirt he'd purchased at auction; had it or had it not belonged to Elvis? He travelled to Memphis and other parts of America meeting people like Dave Hebler and Scotty Moore as he did so.
By all accounts, the Japanese Prime Minister is a massive Elvis fan. Truly, there is something global about his appeal.
All of this is somewhat surprising to me - considering how many people I know personally have no interest WHATSOEVER in him. Anyway you slice it, Elvis is still incredibly popular - but the day-to-day apathy I encounter f*cks me off sometimes. Then again, I occasionally meet someone who turn out to be a huge fan. So it all evens itself out in the end, I suppose.
This is definitely an interesting topic to see the length and breadth of Elvis' appeal. I may be writing an essay on the matter for my English degree (we have a module on American Culture) in the coming months. Threads like this are appreciated!