Ongoing History Daily: Depeche Mode and Elvis

True or false: There is a link between the Depeche Mode song “Personal Jesus” and Elvis Presley.  True.  Martin Gore based the song on something he read by Priscilla Presley.  In her autobiography, she described the King as being “her own personal Jesus.”  Martin liked the idea of using other people as personal saviors and wrote a song around the concept. 

By the way:  before the song came out, a special classified ad was placed in papers across the United States.  All the ad said was “Your Own Personal Jesus” followed by a phone number.  Anyone who called that number didn’t get some sort of a sermon. Instead, they got a sample of the new Depeche Mode single. Back in the days before the internet, a stunt like that was considered to be cutting edge cool.

The last post dealt with helpful dads. And don’t forget to check out my podcast The Ongoing History of New Music where you listen on SpotifyApple PodcastsGoogleStitcher, or wherever you get your on-demand audio.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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