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“猫王”传奇:摇滚改变世界

时间:2019-04-15 栏目:明星 作者:猫王

“猫王之前,别无他人。”

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老桑说


“摇滚历史上的一代传奇”



  朋友,你好,我是老桑。 



我们都听说过“猫王”埃尔维斯·普雷斯利,他在中国以“猫王”而闻名。尽管他于1977年英年早逝,享年42岁,但他仍然被称为“摇滚之王”。


他通过融合不同流派的音乐旋律与充满活力的演唱风格、新的节奏形式和电吉他的演奏,使我们今天所熟知的摇滚乐得到了长久的发展。


1950年代和60年代是猫王的巅峰时期,他在美国内外拥有着数以百万计的粉丝。尽管早期普雷斯利在中国也有一些粉丝,但他的经典金曲专辑直到1977年才在中国发行,其中包括《Jailhouse Rock》、《All Shook Up》和《Heartbreak Hotel》等热门单曲。正是这张专辑在中国一炮而红。


埃尔维斯在我开始听音乐前就已经走红了,所以我并不在那场追星潮之中。虽然后来他的影响力无论在中国还是美国都逐渐在减弱,被迈克尔·杰克逊(Michael Jackson)、麦当娜(Madonna)甚至布兰妮·斯皮尔斯(Britney Spears)所取代。但是,埃尔维斯在摇滚乐上留下了不可磨灭的印记,许多现代艺术家公开承认,在他们职业生涯的某个阶段,他们的音乐都受到了埃尔维斯的影响。


最近在游览田纳西州的孟菲斯时,我去探寻了往昔“猫王”的足迹。1948年,十几岁的他搬到了田纳西州,接触到了与当时其他地方完全不同的音乐氛围。孟菲斯市中心的比尔街是蓝调音乐的中心,埃尔维斯的音乐逐渐也成为了其中的一部分。


正如新奥尔良的波旁街是爵士乐文化的中心,比尔街正是在孟菲斯的蓝调文化中心。这些遗产现如今仍保存完好,为游客和当地人所津津乐道。



猫王故居雅园


老桑在猫王故居雅文门口


 “猫王”成名以后,他买下了现如今他的故居雅园,这栋建筑位于孟菲斯南部。他和他的家人住在那里直到他去世。尽管他在美国各地演出,但总是盼望着回家。


今天,雅园成为了一个博物馆,那里保存着原来的房子、一个ranch(养马场),以及他的飞机、船和火车收藏品等等,陈列着他当时的生活和职业生涯的点滴。来自世界各地的粉丝蜂拥而至,使得雅园成为美国来访数目第二多的房屋,仅次于白宫。



家族坟墓


不只是为了游览他的故居,我的目的是更好地了解住在那里的人。当我在房子和庭院里散步时,我问导游、其他游客,甚至我自己——埃尔维斯做了什么从而改变了世界?


以下是我的发现:


1


“猫王”并没有发明摇滚乐。吉他、贝斯和鼓早在埃尔维斯出生之前就存在了。然而,由于他的音乐深受非裔美国人的蓝调、基督教福音和南方乡村音乐的影响,他将摇滚乐的风格融合到了一个不同的层次。


所以即使埃尔维斯的确做了一些新事物,他的工作也主要是基于过往的积淀。他借鉴不同的流派来创造自己的风格。通过对每种风格的了解,他能够更好地运用创造力来找到属于自己的风格。埃尔维斯创造了一种全新的音乐风格:它与黑人、白人、流行音乐以及乡村音乐都不太相同。其实创造力都不是空穴来风的


在我讲授的“美国法律体系”的课堂上,“综合”的概念是我一直强调的。在我们读不同的案例时,我们会分析其中的异同之处,并提取共同的原则以适用于未来案件发生时的情况。某种程度上来看,“猫王”的音乐糅合了三种音乐的流派。所以他正是通过“提炼”出自己的风格,创造了一种具有全新风格的音乐。


所以,如果你想要创新,无论是在工作上还是在个人生活中,可以审视一下你做过的事和别人以前完成的先例。有时候,你不必从头开始重新创造,而是可以通过混合不同的事物而从中创造新的作品



2


“猫王”zany(滑稽的)表演风格与他的前辈们大不相同。他的舞蹈动作更加夸张,而其服装(被称为连体衣)也成为了一股潮流,而他的庞帕多发型更是成为了一种fad(时尚),“猫王”的台风显然不是循规蹈矩的。


猫王对空手道有着极大的热忱和敬意,甚至还专门找大师进行训练。据说,他经典的白色连衣裤的设计就是受到了他自己空手道长袍的影响。


在埃尔维斯之前,表演者可能一般在舞台上走动一会儿,打打响指,前后摇摆。然而,他的台风更具有爆发力,有着夸张的动作,在更广的空间内移动。虽然在今天看来这是常态,但埃尔维斯是第一个大量使用这些动作的人。


因此,不仅“猫王”的音乐“内容”是创新的,而且他呈现音乐的“形式”也是新的。倘若没有这种个人主义和overstated(夸张的)表现风格,他就不太可能脱颖而出。因为这在形式和内容上都与当时的潮流背道而驰。



3


在“猫王”的时代,音乐是面向成年人的。然而,埃尔维斯是第一个以青少年为目标的人,尤其是少女。通过挖掘这些新听众,埃尔维斯扩展了音乐产业,使其从以成人为中心转向以年轻人为中心。直到今天,许多流行音乐艺术家仍然在为这个在埃尔维斯之前被忽视的少女群体表演。


约翰·列侬说,猫王之前,别无他人。


当然,这种转变引起了相当大的争议。他的音乐和表演激起了公众和新闻界的强烈意见。评论家、政治家和其他音乐家批评他。他的一些电视表演受到审查。然而,埃尔维斯对批评充耳不闻,继续追寻着自己的路。


猫王连身衣


在雅园博物馆,我观看了一系列关于这个问题的电视采访。记者问他,这些批评是否让他感到困扰,这场争论是否让他气馁。一次又一次,他只是简单地说,“不”,他认为每个人都有权利发表自己的意见,可以对他说自己想说的话。换句话说,他只是忽视了他们。


在我那篇关于电影《当幸福来敲门》的文章中,我和你分享了一只乌龟跑完马拉松的故事,尽管场边有人说它永远也跑不完。但没想到乌龟是个聋子,所以他只是倾听自己内心的声音,并依靠自己的信念来获得成功。埃尔维斯就是这么做的,你也可以做到。


The King 纪录片(2017)


亚历克·鲍德温(Alec Baldwin)拍摄的纪录片《国王》(The King)揭露了埃尔维斯生活的阴暗面,展示了他如何过着总是追求最高报酬合同的生活。尽管埃尔维斯在美国历史上一个动荡的时期声名鹊起,影响深远,但他对民权运动贡献甚微。后来随着时间的推移,他对处方药上瘾了,一代传奇就此没落了。他的故事告诉我们,人们应该忠于自己的性格,专注社会公共利益,从而获得持续性的成功。


“猫王”的录音、舞步、神态和服装被视为摇滚乐的embodiment(化身)。他塑造了时尚和潮流,甚至在他死后的40多年里还仍然有追随者。他通过探索更广泛的音乐创造性表达为其他伟大的音乐家们奠定了基础。




我的朋友,埃尔维斯改变了音乐和音乐文化的进程。但他不是从零开始的,而是掌握并融合了各种音乐风格,从而创造了自己的流派。他注重形式和内容,并发现了一个新的市场。所以,如果你正试图改变你自己的生活或环境,遵循同样的步骤——也许就能够改变世界。



本文部分图片来源网络。



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英文版

English










How Elvis changed the world

…and so can you



 Hello, my friend!

I'm John Smagula. 



We have all heard of Elvis Presley, known in China as the Cat King. Despite his untimely death in 1977 at the age of 42, he is still known as the “king of rock and roll.” He developed the rock and roll we know today by blending different strains of music with an energetic vocal style, new rhythms, and electric guitars.


In the 1950s and ‘60s, Elvis Presley was at his peak, with millions of fans in the United States and beyond. Although he had some early fans in China, Presley's classic Golden Hits album was released in China in 1977, with hit songs like “Jailhouse Rock,” “All Shook Up,” and “Heartbreak Hotel.” The album was an instant success in China.



Jailhouse Rock


Elvis came before my day, so I wasn’t part of this Elvis craze. In China as in the United States, his influence diminished, being taking over by Michael Jackson, Madonna, and even Britney Spears. However, Elvis made an indelible imprint on rock and roll, and many modern artists openly admit that their music, at some point in their careers, was influenced by Elvis.


On my recent visit to Memphis, Tennessee, I walked some of the steps that Elvis took. When he moved to Tennessee as a teenager in 1948, he became exposed to a music scene unlike any other at the time. Beale Street in downtown Memphis was a center of blues music, and Elvis became a part of that. 


As Bourbon Street in New Orleans is a center for jazz culture, so is Beale Street in Memphis a center for blues culture. These legacies still live today, delighting tourists and locals alike.



Graceland



Historical Marker


After Elvis became world famous, he bought Graceland, a stately Southern mansion in Memphis. He lived there with his family until his death. He performed all over the United States, but said he always looked forward to returning home.


Today, Graceland is a museum complex, including the original house, a working horse ranch, exhibits detailing his life and career, and his plane, boat, and train collections. Fans from around the world flock to see it, making Graceland the second most visited house in the United States after the White House.



Graceland Jungle Room


Graceland Billiard Room


To see the house is one thing, but my purpose was to better understand the man who lived there. As I walked around the house and grounds, I asked the guides, other tourists, and even myself—what did Elvis do to change the world? Here’s what I found:



01


Innovation need not be new


Elvis did not invent rock and roll. The guitar, bass, and drums existed long before Elvis. However, he brought rock and roll to a different level by blending styles, as his music was heavily influenced by African-American blues, Christian gospel, and Southern country.


So even though Elvis did something new, his work is rooted in what was older. He borrowed from different genres to create his own style. By knowing each style well, he was better able to use his creativity to meld his own style. Elvis created a whole new style of music: it wasn't black, white, pop, or country—it was different. Creativity doesn’t exist in a vacuum


In my American Legal System course, I teach the concept of synthesis, where we read different cases, analyze their similarities and differences, and extract common principles to apply in future cases. To some extent, Elvis’s music is a synthesis of three kinds of music. He “extracted” his own style, creating a whole new style of music.


So if you are trying to innovate, either for your job or in your personal life, take stock of what you already have and what people have done before. You often don’t need to reinvent the wheel, but rather, blend different things and create something new from that



02


Form and substance are both important


Elvis’s zany performance style was very different from that of his predecessors. His dance moves were more exaggerated, his outfits (known as jumpsuits) became a style of their own, his pompadour hairstyle became a fad, and his attitude was decidedly non-conformist.


Elvis had a great love and respect for karate, and he even trained with some masters. The design of his classic white jumpsuit is said to be influenced by his karate robe.


Before Elvis, performers may have moved around a little on the stage, snapping their fingers and swaying back and forth. Elvis, however, took on a more explosive style, making bold moves and taking up a lot more space. Although this is the norm today, Elvis was the first to do this on such a large scale.


So even though the “substance” of Elvis’s music was innovative, his “form” of presenting the music was also new. If he did not have such an individualistic and overstated presentation style, he may not have distinguished himself the way he did. He went against the flow in form and substance.



03


Choose a new audience


In Elvis’s day, music was geared toward adults. Elvis, however, was the first to target teenagers. Teenage girls, in particular. By exploiting this new audience, Elvis expanded the music industry, moving it from adult-centered to youth-centered. To this day, many popular music artists perform to this very same teenage girl demographic that had been neglected before Elvis.


In the words of John Lennon, ”Before Elvis, there was nothing.“


This shift, of course, generated considerable controversy. His music and performances provoked strong opinions among the public and in the press. Pundits, politicians, and other musicians criticized him. Some of his television performances were censored. Yet Elvis turned a deaf ear to his critics, pursuing his own path.


At the Graceland museum, I watched a series of televised interviews with Elvis on this very question. Journalists asked him if the critics bothered him and whether the controversy discouraged him. Time after time he simply said, “no,” saying that everyone has a right to their opinion and can say about him what they want. In other words, he simply ignored them.


Living Room



In my article on The Pursuit of Happyness, I shared with you a story about a turtle that completed a marathon, despite the naysayers on the sidelines who said he’d never make it. It turns out the turtle was deaf, so he just listened to his own inner voice and drew upon his personal conviction to succeed. Elvis did the same. And so can you. 


The documentary The King (2017) with Alec Baldwin exposes the darker side of Elvis’s life, showing how he lived a life always pursuing the highest-paying contracts. Despite his fame and influence during a turbulent time in American history, Elvis did little for the civil rights movement. Over time, he became addicted to prescription drugs. The message, I think, is to stay true to your character and focus on the common good to achieve lasting success.


Elvis’s recordings, dance moves, attitude, and clothing came to be seen as embodiments of rock and roll. He shaped fads and fashions, retaining adherents even over 40 years after his death. He laid the foundation for other great musicians by opening the door to an ever larger range of creative expression.




My friend, Elvis changed the course of music and music culture. But he didn’t start from scratch, but rather mastered and blended styles, creating his own. He focused on form and substance, and also discovered a new market. So if you are trying to change something in your own life or environment, follow these same steps—and maybe change the world as well!



{  今日英文速记卡  }



1.Ranch \ ˈranch \

a)含义:n. 大农场

b)例句:

i.Today, Graceland is a museum complex, including the original house, a working horse ranch, exhibits detailing his life and career, and his plane, boat, and train collections. 

今天,雅园成为了一个博物馆,那里保存着原来的房子、一个养马场,以及他的飞机、船和火车收藏品等等,陈列着他当时生活和职业的点滴。

ii.Peer pressure was nonexistent, since the only "gang" I ran around with was the gang of animals on the ranch.

同龄人的压力是不存在的,因为和我玩耍的伙伴是农场上的一群动物。

c)近义词: estate, farm, grange

2.Zany \ ˈzā-nē \

a)含义:adj. 滑稽的; 古怪的

b)例句:

i.Elvis’s zany performance style was very different from that of his predecessors. 

“猫王”滑稽的表演风格与他的前辈们大不相同。

ii.Organizers collected a range of bold, sometimes zany, approaches to the threat of an increasingly inhospitable world.

组织者收集了一系列大胆甚至古怪的设计,渲染来自越来越不宜居住世界的威胁。

c)近义词: funny, kooky, nutty

3. Fad \ ˈfad \

a) 含义:n. 时尚

b) 例句:

i. His dance moves were more exaggerated, his outfits (known as jumpsuits) became a style of their own, his pompadour hairstyle became a fad, and his attitude was decidedly non-conformist.

他的舞蹈动作更加夸张,而其服装(被称为连体衣)也成为了一股潮流,而他的庞帕多发型更是成为了一种时尚,“猫王”的台风显然不是循规蹈矩的。

ii. My work is influenced by my family, the culture I live in, the machine age, the urban environment, the media, and fad and fashion.

我的家庭,我居住地的文化,机器的年代,城市环境,媒体以及时尚的东西都对我的作品有影响。

c) 近义词: craze, fashion, trend

4.Overstated 

\ ˌō-vər-ˈstā-təd \

a)含义:adj. 夸张的

b)例句:

i.If he did not have such an individualistic and overstated presentation style, he may not have distinguished himself the way he did.

倘若没有这种个人主义和夸张的表现风格,他就不太可能脱颖而出。

ii.The good news is that most of the bad effects of eating chocolate are either overstated or entirely false.

好消息是,大多数吃巧克力的不良影响要么是夸大了,要么本身就是错误的。

c)近义词: exaggerated, overdone, put on

5.Embodiment 

\ im-ˈbä-di-mənt \

a)含义:n. 体现;化身

b)例句:

i.Elvis’s recordings, dance moves, attitude, and clothing came to be seen as embodiments of rock and roll.

“猫王”的录音、舞步、神态和服装被视为摇滚乐的化身。

ii.As the war progressed, he would symbolize their frustrations, the embodiment of all evils.

随着战争的进行,他将成为他们受挫的象征,是一切不幸的化身。

c)近义词: epitome, incarnation, manifestation




Thank you for watching me to inspire, encourage, and accompany you. 

See you next time.


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John Smagula

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