By Mark Kemp
Just prior to Elvis Presley’s death 39 years ago today, the King of Rock & Roll was a mess. Overweight, over-medicated, and depressed, he would slur halfhearted jokes, strum a few chords on his Gibson J-200 that often just hung unplayed, maybe do some old martial arts moves. He was a shell of the Elvis who, just nine years earlier, had returned to the stage for one of the greatest comebacks in pop-music history. On that night, in 1968, Elvis ripped out what may be the finest, most raw and passionate guitar work he ever put on tape.
For “One Night with You,” during what’s known as Elvis’ “’68 Comeback Special,” the King swapped his J-200 acoustic for lead guitarist Scotty Moore‘s hollow-body Gibson Super 400 CES. It was a magical moment, and in tribute to Elvis on the anniversary of his death, AG presents that great moment instead of those late-’70s Elvis performances that showed an unhealthy man trapped in his own celebrity.
Long live the King.