Elvis lives... in Rathmore, Co Kerry
The latest fake news is that Elvis has been dead for 40 years.
Well, I just had to laugh, for I know the truth. Elvis is alive and well. He’s been living the good life back near Rathmore, Co Kerry, for donkeys’ years. I thought everyone knew.
I met him at the sheep sale in Macroom Mart last Tuesday, and for a man who has been dead since 1977, he looked remarkably well.
He still had the trademark black sideburns and white jumpsuit. However, the blue suede shoes were missing. But, considering that it was a sheep sale, that was probably a wise choice. Anyhow, I started by asking the King about the sheep trade. Alive or dead, it would have been bad manners not to talk sheep, and they making a most holy racket all around.
I asked the King how the day had gone gone for him. “Well, baby,” Elvis replied, “I’m all shook up, for this morning the head gasket blew sky high in my Cadillac as I rolled in here to Macroom.”
“Lord help us Elvis, what did you do?” I asked, for I hate to see anyone in trouble, be he a King or a pauper. Elvis explained that he had been hauling a trailer full of old ewes, and only fo r a neighbour coming to his rescue, he would have been ‘in the ghetto’ entirely. With business out of the way, I asked the King why the devil he gave up the singing. For he was mighty good. “Well, sir,” says he with a smile and a little twitch of the leg, “I inherited a bit of land from my uncle back near Rathmore in ‘73, and when I gave up on rock and roll, I found it to be the perfect spot for me to retire and become a sheep farmer.”
And then, Elvis told me the real reason he retired from singing.
“I was forgetting my songs Denny! It was a fright,” says he, “for when I’d be out there on stage in Vegas, or someplace, I’d forget my own name, never mind ‘ Hound Dog’. I couldn’t put a foot wrong with regards to the hits, but I couldn’t get a note right with regards to remembering them.
“If I had sung the Bold Thady Quill, it would have been a world- wide smash. But the devil blast me, I’d be lost if I had to sing it at Caeser’s Palace. “Anyhow,” said the king of rock and roll. “One day, when I was eating a juicy burger, and sitting on my throne in Memphis, I came up with the masterplan of returning here to the CorkKerry border, to live a far better life, on the land.
“I l e f t t h e wo m e n , t h e music and the drugs behind, for sheep farming. “Although I could have done with the drugs when the days were cold and the sheep went against me.” “But why the devil did you t e l l t h e wo rl d y ou we r e dead?” I asked.
“I never told anyone I was dead!” Elvis replied adamantly.
“It was just that we didn’t have the phone back there at the time, and I neglected to contact Colonel Parker. “And sure what harm?” says he, “for the sheep were job enough, without hosting a going-away party.”
Life has been good to the King down here in the south since he left the stage in ‘77, and any talk of a comeback is quickly brushed aside.
“I’ll concentrate on the sheep for now,” says Elvis, “For, after 40 years, I’m only just getting a handle on them.”
Elvis was also spotted at Puck Fair, Killorglin, Co Kerry, with fans from the USA.
Denis Lehane with Rathmore Elvis.