coming a parody of himself as eacli newnfilm went into the can. Yet he seems tonhave been so manipulated by circumstances,nby his manager “Colonel”nParker, that he was unable to do anythingnbut inexorably become a biggerthan-life,nflickering image on a screen.nMusical achievement was recorded onlynon eairly wax; the subsequent gold recordsnwere representative of nothing morenthan marketing. It’splausible that Elvis’snbehavior became increasingly abasednsimply because his life had no center: henwas a constmct designed to sell LP’s andnpopcorn.nAlbert Goldman has impressive credentials.nHe received an M.A. from thenUniversity of Chicago and was elected tonPhi Beta Kappa. He studied for hisnPh.D. at Columbia with Lionel Trillingnand Jacques Barzun. He has taught in annumber of schools in New York, and hasnbeen published in periodicals rangingnfrom Commentary to High Times. Henwears his erudition on the sleeve of hisntoga, making references to figures fromnSavonarola to Casanova, Louis XIV tonBaron Corvo. Throughout his 591 pages,nGoldman treats Elvis Presley the waynmost of us do a centipede during an unexpectednencounter: it is revolting, yetnthere is a grudging respect born of fascinationnwith the remarkable engineering.nStill, we try our best to squash the verminnwith the heel of a shoe. I once read somewhere—probablynin one of thosenPeople’s Book of Lists—that Presley’sngiven name was the single most recognizednname in the world at one time.nWhile that may not be tme, I dare saynthat there are few in the Englishspeakingnworld above age 15 that don’tnknow who Elvis was, and some probablynthink that Elvis still is,nI must confess to nearly total ignorancenof Albert Goldman before readingnElvis. My only other encounter was in thensix-for-$5 cutout book rack at K-mart,nwhere I found an earlier tome of Goldman’s,nDisco, 7oxg^AyIntroductiontonMathematics, Abnormal Psychology,nThis Is Nursing, and the like. While bio-nLiBERAL CULTURE nnBuddy Rogers’s AnguishnAs a star of the silent-film era. BuddynRogers had opportunities aplenty to expressnsorrow, grief and agony through thenagility of his face. The last husband ofnMary Pickford and one of the heroes ofnWilliam Wellman’s classic Wings,nBuddy Rogers’s face was engraved in thenmemory of the older generation of movie-goers as the quintessence of boyishnAmerican handsomeness. But we wonder what expression must have been on that facenas the 77-year-old Buddy recently told an interviewer the following:nThere’s a scene in ‘Wings’ where Dick Arlen is dying, and I cry and kiss him. Now,nrhey’rc trying to make something out of that scene that wasn’t there. One smart youngnreporter asked me once if rhere wasn’t something going on between Arlen and me in thenmovie, and I asked him, ‘What the hell are you talking about, man? That’s just the waynwc felt in those days; we didn’t think anything about it,’ I don’t know what gets inton[people these days, —ngraphical criticism is a tricky thing, Inmust raise this question: Does AlbertnGoldman, Ph.D., Phi Beta Kappa, treatnElvis Aron Presley, high-school graduate,nwith such abhorrence simplynbecause such a nobody became a Somebodynwhile such a should-have-been wasnrapidly becoming a might-have-been.^nThe green-eyed monster is a ghoulishncreature, and this biography is nothing ifnnot vampirish.nWhen Elvis left the stage, he was 22.nHe returned 12 years later. When Elvisnhit the boards once again, the King ofnrock ‘n’ roll did not go to the Fillmore orna similar psychedelic palace. Rather, henopened at the International Hotel in LasnVegas. Some, like Goldman, see that as anterrible mistake, a sellout; they assei;tnthat he should have made his return innsomething like the Fillmore or, at thenvery least, a Hollywood Bowl-type arena.nPerhaps the International Hotel datesnwere only for the convenience of Col.nParker’s gambling needs, but it was anperfect setup for Elvis.nExamine the travel section in a Sundaynnewspaper. Undoubtedly there will benpackage tours offered for the Caribbean,nAcapulco, Hawaii and Las Vegas—especiallynLas Vegas. A popular nickname fornthat town is “Lost Wages.” That saysnnnmuch about the type of people who picknup on those packages and go there: theynare paid not white-collar salaries butnwages; they are the ones who went to seenElvis or John Wayne flicks with the familynat a drive-in on Saturday nights in thenlate 60’s. Vegas is the place where theyncan be dazzled by flashing lights andnclicking chips that miraculously becomendollars, where they can indulge that urgenthat is ordinarily vented on bingo at thenchurch hall or penny-anre poker. Andnthe inexpensive meals and big-name entertainmentnof Las Vegas are legendary.nSo, by going to Vegas to relaunch hisncareer, Elvis went back to his people, notnto the rock affectionatos who had sprungnup in the 60’s clutching their bible. RollingnStone.nWhen Presley resumed touring, hendidn’t hit the rock ‘n’ roll-revival circuitntaken by Sha Na Na, Chuck Berry andnthe rest. Rather, he hit smaller towns:nMonroe, Louisiana; Auburn, Alabama;nHampton Roads, Virginia and the like.nThe day he died he was scheduled to appearnin Portland, Maine. He played tonthe people who had been buying hisnrecords through the years, the folk whonwere sure to see his movics,the ones whonlined up along Elvis Presley Boulevardnand outside the Music Gate in Augustn1977 to pay their respects to the fallenn^mmmm/mmV)nJuly^ugustl98Sn