Eddie Murphy on Racism and Elvis
On a coffee table is the photo book The Beatles: 365 Days, a Life magazine with John Lennon on the cover and an Elvis Presley book or two ... Murphy picks up a Paul Reed Smith electric guitar - the kind Carlos Santana plays - plugs it into a tweed Fender amp, and sings in his elastic tenor: bits of Bob Marley; Michael Jackson and Elvis Presley songs, some of Michael's 'The Way You Make Me Feel' in Elvis' voice ...
Question to Eddie Murphy by Rolling Stone Magazine November 9, 2011
Have you had to defend your Elvis fandom to African-Americans who think he was racist?
Eddie : 'The big myth in the African-American community was that he said that the only thing black folks could do for him was shine his shoes and buy his records. People liked him when they were young, then said, 'I don't like him because he said that', and I said, 'He never even said that'.
'Truth be told, you go back far enough, you go back to your black-and-white footage, everybody's a racist, every star you're looking at, every star you loved was some kind of racist, straight-out racist, no black folks in their movies, all that shit, but you love them, look at their work. And you can't fault them - that's the times'.
[Eddie is wrong here about everybody being a racist. As he says, it was the times, and one person could not change the system, patrticually in the 1950s. That the establishment and part of society in general was racist, yes, but you can't paint a broard brush over everyone as he has done. This is just the same misconception and generalisation as racism itself. Rasicm is ignorance. Now Eddy is human [Just as I am if I make a mistake here] so we forgive. What Eddy says then 'that's the times' he is therefore correct. Looking directly at Elvis; our article Elvis Presley and Racism : The Ultimate, Definitive Guide shows this clearly that Elvis was color blind but not stupid. He had to a certain extent live within societies rules of the times, actually breaking them to quite an extraordinary extent at times, he did not need to be Martim Luther King, he was Elvis Presley!]
Eddie wsas also asked
You knew Michael Jackson pretty well. What did you make of the tragedy of his death?
It had a lot of similarities to Elvis Presley's, whom you always loved.
Michael sat in the same hot seat Elvis was in, the biggest star in the world ... how can I put it? It's like you're not a person, your human-beingness is compromised. The stuff that everybody has to deal with, take that and magnify it by 1,000 - that's where Michael and Elvis are sitting. It's madness swirling around them all the time. On the surface, you're coming off like you have it all the way together, and behind the scenes, you're completely unraveling. Michael was the first artist that jumped up into the canvas and became part of it, where every waking moment is part of the show. Who can live up to that shit?
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