Like other icons cut down somewhere close to their prime, early death has lent Elvis Presley a gauzy otherworldly allure. Had he lived, Elvis would have turned 80 this year. Yet it is impossible to imagine him reminiscing about his raucous early days at Sun Records with chat show hosts Jimmy Fallon and Conan O’Brien, doing a crooner’s take on the Great American Songbook, or even pottering around the garden at Graceland for some dour reality TV catastrophe. Truth is there was never anything particularly earthly about Elvis. From his birth in a Mississippi shotgun shack and his thrilling rise to fame to his drawn-out demise and shockingly wasteful death at the age of 42, his short life played out like a Grecian tragedy with sky-scraping highs anchored by soul-crushing lows.