Some 75,000 people congregated at Elvis’ grave at Graceland in Memphis for a candlelight vigil last week on the 35th anniversary of the death of “the king of rock & roll” (“Elvis Week Draws Faithful,” USA Today, Aug. 16, 2012). Some fans were teary-eyed as they laid flowers on the gravesite. Sergio Galleguillo of Argentina said, “I felt the spirit of Elvis there, as if he was alive; it really was a beautiful experience.” What is it about rock & roll that has produced such spiritual fervor? What is the mysticism in rock? It is a combination of the heavy sensual syncopation and the “me first” philosophy. The most mystical, most powerful element of rock, though, is not the lyrics; it is the music itself. Timothy Leary, the LSD guru, said, “Listen to the words; it’s the music that has its own message. ... I’ve been stoned on the music many times” (Politics of Ecstasy, 1968). Steven Tyler of Aerosmith said that rock music “is the strongest drug in the world” (Rock Beat, Spring 1987, p. 23). Neil Young said, “Rock ‘n’ roll is like a drug” (cited by Mickey Hart, Spirit into Sound). Janis Joplin likened rock music to “the best dope in the world” (“Janis Joplin Followed the Script,” Wichita Eagle, Oct. 6, 1980, p. 7A). It is impossible to sanctify something this sensual.
(Friday Church News Notes, August 24, 2012, www.wayoflife.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, 866-295-4143)
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