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Happy Birthday!

Some notable ones this weekend.

Of course leading off the pack, Presley would have been 76. After watching Sinatra age, you wonder how Elvis would have: would he have still toured? At what age would the voice have begun to go? How would he have altered his style, show and set lists? Would he have kept stadium-selling status or would he have, as he got older, adopted the easier, more comfortable and convenient casino circuit?

I’ve often imagined him in his late fifties, and, like Clapton did years ago with “From The Cradle”, having some  killer, visionary producer (T-Bone Burnett? Mutt Lange? Rick Rubin?) have him record an album of stripped down, pure classics of blues and soul and gospel, the cores of his youth. Have it be a revisionist smash. Clean house at the Grammys.

I can envision the reviews: Presley’s voice isn’t what it once was, but it’s aged, more coarse and strained timbre fits this collection like a worn yet well preserved leather glove.

Or maybe he would have gone the Santana route and done a collection of duets with younger artists.

His life, if not all his works, always fascinated me. Was he over the top in the end? Obviously. Could he act? Maybe if he’d had the right guidance and direction.

But to this day, I still contend “The Sun Sessions” is an American masterpiece.

Young, untrained, real, raw, magical: 19 0r 20 at the time (“Still black”, as one reviewer once said). His voice hadn’t really matured yet.

But not since the recordings of Robert Johnson had an artist simply sliced open his skin and bled openly for the ear to savor.

He was ready to go. I’ve read, heard and watched enough material to understand that.

Only 44 though. Still a kid.

One whose acting I’m sure of, is that of The Thin White Duke. No, they don’t really come any cooler than David Bowie. He’ll be 64 this weekend. The music speaks for itself, but see him as Pontius Pilate in “The Last Temptation of Christ”. His showdown with Willem Defoe is scintillating.

So in other words, you’re just another Jewish politician.

Also great was his turn in the more recent The Prestige“. It stars Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman as rival magicians in 19th century London.

Bowie plays the real life Nikola Tesla. I didn’t even realize it was him until the credits.

Do it Robbie do it!!!

The Doors Robbie Krieger is 65 this weekend. I was thinking the other day, when you get right down to it, weren’t those boys really more of a jazz ensemble?

Finally, Jimmy Page (has he been knighted yet?). Zep’s guitarist is 67. I’m not a Zeppelin fan. No, never have been. And that’s okay because at the same time and I am beyond fully aware of their importance and standing in the rock genre. And as far as on-air mechanics go, they’re one of the more enjoyable groups to intro and/or backsell.

Others this weekend; J.K. Simmons, a voice-over artist and character actor (Schillinger in “OZ”, J. Jonah Jameson in “Spider Man). I love that guy. Nicolas Cage (If I were an actor, that’s who I’d be, and people would probably be asking the same thing; what went wrong there?). David Caruso (“NYPD Blue” was never as good without him). Founder of “Rolling Stone” magazine, Jann Wenner. Prince William’s girl, Kate Middleton (don’t think we’ll have the Diana head-case-drama bit this time: I have faith in this one).

She reminds me of Michelle Obama. In other words, made for the part.

Two of my heroes, Muhammad Ali’s and James Earl Jones’ are coming up.

And yes, so is mine.

I share a good month.

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