Thursday, April 23, 2009

A Musical Interlude

Anyone concerned about the plight of independent bookstores will either be amused or appalled by the opening lines of Al Stewart's song "Elvis at the Wheel" from his 2008 CD Sparks of Ancient Light. Goes like this:
There's an independent bookstore
The last one that remains
All the others you might look for
Have been eaten by the chains
They soldier on
No one cleans the window panes

Here the song's narrator comes across a book that recounts a bizarre episode in which Elvis Presley sees the face of Joseph Stalin forming in the clouds. I have no idea what book this might be. Anyone know?

Incidentally, another song on the CD, "Shah of Shahs," was inspired by Ryszard Kapuscinski's book of the same name. The book's got a good pace, but I can't dance to it.


  1. It's a common story: Elvis seeing Stalin in the clouds.

    A relatively recent book that covers the story is CARELESS LOVE: THE UNMAKING OF ELVIS PRESLEY. You can check out "inside the book" on Amazon with a search for "Stalin" and find the passage.

  2. Thanks Sal! I wasn't familiar with that story.