This Day In Music Books | The Comeback: Elvis and the Story Of The 68 Special

The Comeback: Elvis and the Story Of The 68 Special



“He wasn’t dead and gone to Heaven. He was alive and still in Graceland. Cursed to live another year on God’s earth as Elvis Presley. The man from yesterday trapped in a today of tomorrows…” As 1968 dawns, the once King of Rock ‘n’ Roll faces cultural oblivion. While elsewhere the Sixties are swinging, for Elvis they’re sinking – in terrible films, drug addiction, paranoia, religious mania and the mercenary wiles of his psychopathic manager. At 33 the legend who once had it all is lost, lonely and slowly going insane. Until thrown a last lifeline. His own one-hour TV special: a do-or-die final chance to remind the world who, and what, Elvis Presley really is.

The Comeback plots the incredible true story of Elvis’ fall and rise from Army discharge to iconic black leather resurrection. Simon Goddard takes the reader inside the life, music and mind of Elvis: a 24/7 delirium of women, pills, midnight movies and holy mumbo jumbo, isolated from an America unravelling in its own Sixties chaos of war, racism, riots and assassinations, until his world and theirs collide in the greatest performance of his life. A genre-busting modernist rock ‘n’ roll fable unlike any music biography you’ve ever read, The Comeback is the definitive account of how it took Elvis eight years on the big screen to lose his crown – but just one magical hour on a small one to win it back.

352 Pages

£18.99  $26.99

About the author:

Simon Goddard is a music journalist and the author of six books including Ziggyology. His latest, The Comeback, was listed among the 2018 Music Books Of The Year in both MOJO and Q magazines.

Additional information

Weight 0.649 kg
Dimensions 23.4 × 15.6 × 1.7 cm


Tracing the stars' career from his post-army floundering into drugs and dubious spiritual fixes to his '68 triumphant comeback show, Goddard brilliantly inhabits the psyches of the main players while capturing the convulsive social upheaval around them. While it's clear this is the product of meticulous research, it swerves rock-biog worthiness in favour of exhilarating novelistic daring. A hot and heavy dream of a book.
-Q Magazine
A fascinating exploration…Goddard certainly has form as a music biographer, but this audacious and pacey study of The King goes further. Timed to concicide with the 50th anniversary of the event in question, it broaches exciting new ground.
-The National
This fine book more than justifies its existence… Goddard not only knows his Elvis but deftly weaves in the cultural background of the era.
Well it's certainly not written like any other Elvis book I've ever read but...I loved it! Many die hard fans won't like the way he characterises Elvis in the 60s but that only underlines how much of a triumph, and how much of a "comeback" from the doldrums of the movies, the 68 special really was. It isnt cover-to-cover about the 68 special and neither should it be - the early parts of the book are setting the very important context, both in terms of Elvis career and the times: what it isnt is a sanitised re-hash of the "life story" as many Elvis books end up being. And whilst the language can be both creative and blunt at the same time, it certainly pulls no punches (even more so when it comes to the Colonel!). I laughed out loud at some turns of phrase, both at how forthright it is and how true. How about this about the Colonel: "A crooked-lipped humpty dumpty with a patty of pork mince for a head, asphalt for eyes, a medieval torture device for a brain, a stack of casino chips for a heart and blood of ice cold p**s he wouldn't spill to save a burning orphanage". I mean you gotta admit it kind of sums him up!! Next to the Guralnick two-volume Bible, I think this is probably the best (certainly the funniest and most enjoyable) Elvis book I've ever read - anyone remotely interested in Elvis should definitely read it.
-Amazon 5 stars