The Other Side of Fame

“I’m gonna live forever, baby, remember my name” – (from “Fame”)

The death at age 54 of Lisa Marie Presley, daughter of Elvis, got me thinking again about the two-edged sword that is fame.

Poems, books, even movies have addressed fame, how some people even lust after it and how it seems to ruin more lives than it helps. Once you have attained fame you can never live as normal people do. Strangers want to approach you, some with good motives, some bad. The famous need security, locked gates, unlisted telephone numbers and people around to protect them and feed their egos. Such was the fate of country boy Elvis, as depicted in the current biopic about him. And now it has become the fate of his only child.

Lisa Marie never asked to be famous. It was thrust on her. True, she had a short career as a singer, but was always known first as Elvis’ daughter. As with Frank Sinatra Jr., lineage can be a curse.

Neither Lisa Marie nor her father handled fame well. She was married four times, including to singer Michael Jackson. Her son committed suicide. She struggled with drugs, as did Elvis, who died of an overdose.

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