Washington. -- Michael Jackson may be a thriller to Lisa Marie Presley. But to some of her daddy's fans, he ain't nothin' but a hound dog.
As soon as they heard that Elvis Presley's daughter was, indeed, married to Michael Jackson, some of Elvis' die-hard fans reacted like they finally had received convincing evidence that the King was really dead.
Terry Marcos, president of Elvis' California Fans, was quoted as saying, "Elvis . . . must be rolling in his grave." As for Michael? He's "not even a man."
Now, now. Don't be cruel.
Another male member of the Elvis cult, middle-aged with ears draped in sideburns, told a Chicago television reporter, "It'll never work out."
Why not? The man hesitated, then wagged his hand at the wrist in the universal derogatory sign for effeminacy. "You know, Michael is, like, y'know . . . that way! While she's, well, I mean, she's the daughter of the King!"
Translation: Don't tell me the Big E's only child is going to dilute the sacred Presley gene pool with that little dweeb.
I share everyone's surprise. Having made the great pilgrimage to Graceland, Elvis' stately Memphis home, I have seen how little the two worlds of hard-core Michael Jackson fans and hard-core Elvis fans have in common. Few of my fellow pilgrims looked like members of, shall we say, the Motown family. Most appeared less likely to listen to Michael Jackson than to Merle Haggard.
But a lot of Jackson fans are in deep denial, too. Many look for reasons why it can't be or why it won't last. They insist that Mr. Jackson is pulling a stunt to dispel rumors that he is homosexual. Or to promote his new album. Or to blow away the cloud left by his settling a lawsuit filed on behalf of a 13-year-old boy who says Mr. Jackson molested him.
All of which presumes Elvis' 26-year-old daughter, a previously married mother of two, is too silly to think for herself. That's a lot to presume, especially since she is one of the few people on the planet who may be nearly as wealthy as he is and doesn't need anything Michael has to offer except, as she says, his love.
Why, then, can't we believe the obvious, that he said, "Love Me Tender" and she did? Daddy's little girl ain't so little anymore.
Besides, in a lot of ways, this marriage of mighty rock dynasties makes perfect sense. After all, Elvis and Michael have so much in common. Think about it: Elvis was billed as the "King of Rock 'n' Roll." Michael is billed as the "Prince of Pop."
Elvis "the Pelvis" shocked the repressed sensibilities of the Joe McCarthy era. Michael the "Smooth Criminal" shocks the resurgent conservatism of the Rush Limbaugh era.
Elvis visited President Nixon in the White House. Michael visited President Reagan in the White House. Both were awarded for their anti-drug efforts. Only one, as far as we know, deserved it.
Elvis wiggled his hips and sneered. Michael grabs his crotch.
TV's "Ed Sullivan Show" showed Elvis from the waist up. Today's Pepsi commercials no longer show Michael at all.
Parents then were wary of Elvis' records. Parents today are wary of Michael's recreation room.
Elvis was of the Caucasian persuasion. Michael looks like he is trying to be.
Clarence Page is a syndicated columnist.