Elvis Presley died 42 years ago today

Elvis Presley is now dead as many years as he was alive.

Today marks the 42 years since the King of Rock and Roll died at his Graceland mansion in Memphis -- at the age of 42.

Richard Zoglin, the author of the recently published book Elvis in Vegas, points to the 1970s, when Presley played two shows a night, seven nights a week in the resort town, as the start of his decline.

Zoglin talked about the decline of Elvis Presley as the 1970s moved on:

"The first couple of years, still energized, turning out fresh hits. And then, it just became the same thing. Four weeks a year, twice a year, two shows a night, seven nights a week, it just started to grind him down and the boredom hit him. He was also touring around the country and that schedule was grueling. He became a little bit of a parody of himself, you know. We know what the image of him in those later years is. It was a matter of boredom, I think. And then, the drug use."

Attitudes about people with substance issues were vastly different in the 1970s. There was no Betty Ford Center, no place where a prominent figure could seek help and have it spun in a positive way. Instead, surrounded by too many enablers, Presley's life sank.

Richard Zoglin says attitudes and awareness of substance abuse were different in the 1970s:

"People weren't alert to those kind of dangers back then. Later, maybe people would have [gone], 'Whoa! We don't want this to happen as it happened to Elvis, you know, whatever.' They would be alert to the kind of dangers and maybe would have saved him from himself."

 
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