January 8

Today Belongs
to Elvis & Bowie

Perhaps it’s a good thing that it’s been a while since we last heard about Elvis Presley filling up at some Midwest gas station. But if visitation to his grave at Graceland, in Memphis, hasn’t noticeably increased, he’s still one of the best selling artists of all time, even 33 years after his death.
Elvis would be 76 today and many New York City restaurants will be serving some of the junk food staples associated with his unhealthy appetite. But apart from the now classic Fried Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich, we’re not sure even him would dare to touch some of the fancy offerings. But you’re no Elvis, so you can go ahead and try them.
On the other hand, David Bowie, whose New York apartment sits atop a branch of the Public Library, hasn’t been seen in the city for a long while. Accordingly, his official Web site lists some of the celebrations of his 64th birthday around the world but none in the city.
He once visited the branch with his son, we’re told, but the library has no event scheduled to mark the date. Word has it that he and wife Iman went to Bermuda, to escape the snow and the still uncollected garbage laying on the city streets. After all, he’s David Bowie and you are not.
Neither will you read here an overarching analysis connecting their artistic legacies. Apart their day of birthday, they hardly share any common denominators, and their oeuvres remain as diverse as Tupelo, Mississippi, is from Brixton, South London, in England.
But their music remains powerful and vital and, if for nothing else, today’s a good excuse to play some of it. Actually, back to back, it’ll be enough to fill way more than a single day of uninterrupted playing. May we suggest starting with “That’s All Right, Mama” and “Changes?”

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