Mere weeks before his ascent to a better place a video camera recorded Elvis Presley The film is gut- wrenching lay painful to watch but I do over and over and over again. The camera’s focus is on the face: bloated yet beautiful, eyes heavy-lidded, moist, stinging, a sliver of sparkle still evident. There is a struggle being waged with demons both emotional and physical. The demons are winning. And the voice! When attempting to verbalize an introduction to the song it is tired, tentative, timid, but when moved to sing it is powerful…”oh my love, my darling I’ve hungered for your touch”…..passionate…”lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea, to the open arms of the sea” … pleading…”time goes by so slowly and time can do so much.. are you still mine?” It reaches up from some warm, safe place deep, deep in Elvis’ soul and grabs my attention in a strangle hold. It does not let go. I am breathless. The voice misleads Elvis into believing: “As long as I can do this I’ll be alright.” I embrace this misconception also. Elvis gives more than he should and it haunts me as he loses himself in the depths of his evaporating life. “Unchained Melody” as I see it. as he slowly walked toward a piano to sit and sing to a sold-out arena.