Time lapse: The King is dead
Saturday 14 August 1999
died on 16 August 1977 at his Graceland mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. The official cause of death was a heart attack, but it was brought on by chronic barbiturate use and years of food bingeing. Presley had already collapsed a number of times during his final shambling stage appearances. By then his bloated body (far right) was held in by bizarre multicoloured jumpsuits and huge jewelled belts. It was a long way, and a lot of burgers, from the day in 1954 when a skinny 19-year-old Elvis was pictured (right) with the first pressing of his debut for Sun Records, "That's All Right (Mama)". Within a couple of years this wailing, swivel- hipped king of the new rock'n'roll had scored a string of extraordinary hits. In the weeks after his death, Presley's sales soared once more after a long period of decline, "Way Down" providing a fitting final UK number one.
The rose is the oldest cultivated flower. It has been grown in Persia for 5,000 years, and rose motifs appear on Minoan artefacts dating back to 2800BC. Romans used the rose for garlands and as confetti, while Cleopatra once ordered a fragrant carpet of rose petals for the arrival of Mark Antony. Benedictine monks were crucial in the spread of rose-growing. As a result the flower became a symbol of Christianity. It has also been revered in the Islamic world as a symbol of perfection. Most of today's popular varieties originated in China and Asia.
The Kawayu hot springs are in the prefecture of Wakayama, a rural region of western Japan. The scenic beauty of the area is famously celebrated in the ancient poetry anthology Man'yoshu ("Collection of Ten Thousand Leaves"). Wakayama is also an important site of religious pilgrimage, the mountainous Kumano Trail dotted with shinto shrines. n
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