I was in a restroom at a Palm Harbor pizza shop last weekend, with Elvis.
A collage of his photos was staring back at me. In the way that pizza restaurants like to decorate with glamorous dead celebrities of a certain era, there were also posters featuring James Dean and Marilyn Monroe. It was kind of a solemn restroom break, to be honest.
The Elvis poster went through all his phases. Young upstart King, movie star King, puffy '70s King. Elvis would be 82, had he not died 40, yes 40 years ago on Aug. 16. I couldn't help but wonder what a modern-day Elvis would be like. What would he make of our political climate? Would he still tour? What kind of music would he like? Would he have an opinion on Despacito?
The closest we'll get to him now is Elvis: Live in Concert, a show coming to Ruth Eckerd Hall on Friday. Pop music/culture critic Jay Cridlin spoke to Elvis' widow, Priscilla Presley, in advance of the show. She still manages much about her late husband's career, including posthumous projects such as this.
The show will have Elvis projected on a screen with a full orchestra playing his songs. It's not exactly a hologram show, but Priscilla said not to rule that out in the future. (See Jay's picks for other artists he'd like to see via hologram one day on Page 13.)
While it might be hard to wrap your head around Elvis being gone 40 years, consider this: Aug. 31 marks the 20th anniversary of the death of another monumental cultural idol — Diana, Princess of Wales.
Like Elvis, Diana's legend has long outlived her. Look for a collection of stories about the art and media created in Diana's name. There are tons of new TV specials that explore her life and legacy, plus books, magazines and more.
We talked to a Florida man who has thousands of pieces of Princess Diana memorabilia, including — wait for it — a slice of her original wedding cake. Read the story to find out if he tried it.
And, we have an essay from Jay about Elton John's Candle in the Wind, which holds up after 20 years. It wasn't even originally written for Diana, but for someone who left us years before her: Marilyn Monroe.