I am more than slightly bonkers at the moment. It is ten past ten on saturday night, a time when all God-fearing cryptozoologists should be doing anything rather than lying in bed, medicated to the gills, with a smelly dog, a bottle of brandy and The Beastie Boys 2004 album To the 5 Boroughs blaring out into the over-warm midsummer evening. I only listen to hip hop when I feel ill, but it somehow strikes a chord with the psychotic side of my personality that only comes out when I am ill.
However, apart from the fact that Biggles really doesn't like the sampled dog noises on one of the tracks, we are quite a peaceful sight. I don't really want to talk about my Mental Health issues - I have never made any secret of the fact that I am very severely bipolar with twinges of a schizoaffective disorder, but I mention it only to set the scene of why I am lying on the bed doing all this stuff at a time when normal people would be doing something else.
I have spent the last two hours scouring the internet to find this 1977 music paper front cover. Why? Is it because I am psycho this evening?
Not really. It is because I wanted to illustrate a weird coincidcence. As a fortean pundit, strange coincidences are my sock in trade.
I still remember where I was on the night of August 16th 1977. I remember mosly because I wrote one of my better songs - Elvis died for our sins - about that night. The opening lines are:
I was watching television
when the newsflash came across
Elvis died in Memphis,
but I didn't give a toss
because I wanna be adored by peasants
(cos adoration's where its at)
I wanna play Las Vegas twice a year,
get crazy, stoned and fat
Four days later I did what I always did every thursday between 1973 and about 1992 - I bought the music papers. And being a snotty young 17-year-old punk who bought wholesale into the Joe Strummer ethos of No Elvis, Beatles or Rolling Stones in 1977, I started ranting about "opportunistic capitalistic scum using dead rockstars to boost sales blah blah blah" but it was nothing of the sort. It was just a coincidence. The Elvis cover had purely been to illustrate a story about some rock and roll revival reissue rodeo (or something equally as alliterative).
And for thirty-two years I have cited this as a weird example of acausal synchronicity. Now something strikingly similar has happened.
Although in the years following his death I became somewhat of an Elvis fan (I have actually been reading one of the better biographies of the man, on and off, for the last few weeks), I never used the term 'The King of Rock and Roll'. Like calling Bernard Heuvelmans 'The Father of Cryptozoology', it is not true and merely vulgar hyperbole. However, for the first time since August 1977, someone in the entertainment industry, who had been given a 'royal' title by the music press has died suddenly. He was Elvis's son-in-law, and also - it is beginning to appear - died of polypharmacy at an early age.
And look at the cover of Q, published just before he died....
In 2009 I don't care about Michael Jackson's death much more than I did about that of Elvis back in 1977, but I do find acausal synchronicity enduringly fascinating!
PS: I only discovered this while sitting up in bed reading Q this morning, but this issue also includes an article on rockstar deaths. Prescient or what?