by Martin Hodder

I've just been reading your latest postings.

I agree with every word you say about Elvis and Johnny Cash. First some further observations on EP:

Surely it's the case that a lot of the people - especially media types - who have been making comments such as those to which you refer regarding his later appearances do not really understand the whole Elvis thing. Mostly, this garbage is being uttered by typically arrogant and uninformed idiots in the media who were perhaps only toddlers at the time, if they had even entered this world at all.

These people have created an Elvis persona of their own making, and then go on to believe the tripe they produce. What makes this worse is that their audiences believe it all, and they can't be blamed for that because what other information do they have? In truth, as you know particularly well, there's a lot of honest, factual material out there, but with today's spoon-fed society most can't be bothered to try to find out the truth.

Sometimes I read stuff about Elvis in newspapers, or hear it on the radio or TV, and wonder who the hell it is they're on about. Certainly not the Elvis Presley I followed from start to finish, as did your mother, and it was because of her great passion for Presley that the sheer magic of the great man was soaked up so thoroughly by both you and Simon. In both cases you have gone on to become exceptionally knowledgeable on Elvis, and it is people like yourself and your brother, with your true understanding of his every facet, that the uninformed should be listening to.

And isn't it much the same with Johnny Cash? Some utter tripe has been produced about him just lately, yet the man was a truly great and talented artiste. I could listen to him all day - and some of his tracks on my many Country CDs are almost worn away.

One of my other great heroes (or in this case heroines) is Patsy Cline. Fortunately, however, so few people within the media have ever heard of her that it is very rare to ever read or hear anything about her, and when you do come across anything, it is invariably some comment about her early demise in a plane crash. Yet, at least for me, Patsy Cline is the all-time great of what I call REAL country music, and I suspect that I am not alone among those who know a good thing when they hear it. I first listened to her courtesy of a juke box in an Ipswich cafe in, probably 1957, and have been an avid fan ever since. Heaven forbid the day when some young upstart on the Daily Mail (to use the worst example of publishing that I can think of) discovers there was once someone called Patsy Cline.

The above comments come from an email and are reproduced with Martin's (or Dad's) permission.


Sharon Auberle said…
I see where you get your passion for music and writing, Bruce. Martin sounds like a very cool guy, and absolutely right on about Elvis and Johnny and Patsy. I was there, too..back in the old days...
Bruce Hodder said…
He IS a cool guy, though I wouldn't want him to hear me say it. He might think I appreciated everything he has done for me, and that would never do!

I wouldn't write at all if not for my dad. He was editor of national magazines like "Practical Photography" and "Amateur Photographer" when I was a boy, and he used to bring home the latest editions every month (I think it was every month), with full page editorials by his good self, featuring (always) a centrally placed black-and-white head shot of his esteemed phizzog. I used to be incredibly impressed by those editorial pages, and read them from first line to last. I very rarely understood what the hell he was talking about because the subject was photography, but I LOVED the fact that they were his work; it made me feel important to be the offspring of somebody who ran a magazine and wrote things that other people wanted to read.

It was then that I learned how much power the written word had as a tool for projecting your personality out into the world,for controlling your environment, for making people notice you.
Anonymous said…
I remember as a little girl hearing my father rave about how much he adored Patsy Cline. It rubbed off on me. I also love Hank Williams. Those were REAL country music singers. I think most of the popular c&w music of today is really just pop with a few slide guitars or yee-haws thrown in for good measure. And, of course, my father agrees with me (which means we finally agree on something), and his band will only play "real" country music.