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The King in Cheektowaga? Micah Nathan's Elvis Fantasy...

If he'd lived, Elvis Presley would have been 76 on Saturday.

It's the American way in our time that we don't let such birthdays pass without special cultural carousing--especially when they involve that most merchandised of Americans, Elvis Presley.

In all the commercial and cultural carryings-on that are likely to happen in this, Elvis' 76th birthday season, one of the richest may be Micah Nathan's second novel "Losing Graceland."

Here is Nathan's description of his own new fiction: " 'Losing Graceland' begins in Buffalo with an old man who might be the still-living Elvis hiding in plain sight in--where else--Cheektowaga."

As an Elvis impersonator.

Lest anyone think fantasist Nathan is a Micah-come-lately in the world of pop music, you should know he's the grandson of the great Buffalo pop music mpresario Jerry Nathan, whose Festival East productions was the major '70's competition to the early days of Harvey and Corky.

Here is how Nathan now describes the town of Boston where he was raised: "a once-quaint farming community now slowly succumbing to the sprawl of duplexes and McMansions. Beer is still $1.50 at the local bar-- it goes perfectly with a kettle of deep-fried crayfish known as lobster dainties--but the farms are being sold off and the pioneering suburbanites chop down every tree on their property...It's changing and I don't like it."

Nathan will come home, read from his book and meet all comers at 7 p.m. Thursday Jan. 13 in the Talking Leaves Bookstore on Main Street.

The book is a paperback original published by Broadway Books (211 pages, $14).

Thank you. Thank you "vare much" as the King himself would say.

--Jeff Simon 

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