Elvis’ ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ Was the 1st Song a Pink Floyd Member Loved

A member of Pink Floyd is a huge fan of Elvis Presley’s “Blue Suede Shoes.” He has nothing to say about the artist who wrote and originally sang that tune.

It’s always interesting when classic rock stars admire early rock ‘n’ rollers who sound absolutely nothing like them. For example, a member of Pink Floyd is a huge fan of Elvis Presley’s “Blue Suede Shoes.” His admiration for the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll is fine, but he definitely gave the guy way too much credit.

1 Pink Floyd member said Elvis Presley’s ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ changed the sound of rock

During a 2020 interview with NME, Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason said Elvis’ “Blue Suede Shoes” was the first song he loved. He called Elvis’ song “the beginning of rock ‘n’ roll.” Mason promoted the myth Elvis invented rock ‘n’ roll when it was actually pioneered by Robert Johnson, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and other Black artists who sadly never became major pop stars.

“Elvis was moving things on slightly from Bill Haley,” Mason added. “Bill Haley was the first record I ever bought and I almost certainly bought it as a ’78 [inch LP record], not as a ’45, which shows my age!” For context, Haley was an early rock star who was part of the band Bill Haley & His Comets. That band is most known for the hit “Rock Around the Clock” and the novelty song “See You Later, Alligator.”

‘Blue Suede Shoes’ was on the 1st album that Pink Floyd’s Nick Mason purchased

Mason said Elvis Presley, the album that Elvis’ “Blue Suede Shoes” comes from, was the first album he bought. “It had ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ on it and ‘Hound Dog,’ ‘Ring My Telephone,’ it was absolutely stuffed with his early hits,” he said. Elvis Presley doesn’t include “Hound Dog” or a song called “Ring My Telephone.” It’s not clear what song he was trying to discuss when he mentioned “Ring My Telephone.”

In addition, Mason discussed Elvis’ era. “It was still a period when you bought records from an electrical shop, somewhere at the back of the shop after you’d gone past all the washing machines and fridges, there’d be a booth with records,” he said. “I would’ve bought it there rather than a record store with those weird hairdryer booths.”

The singer and writer of the original ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ has almost been forgotten

Mason never mentions that “Blue Suede Shoes” was originally by rockabilly artist Carl Perkins. According to the book Sun Records: An Oral History, Perkins’ “Blue Suede Shoes” was his one hit. Notably, The Beatles also covered some of his tunes, including “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby,” “Honey Don’t,” and “Matchbox.” Perkins might be more remembered for paving the way for other artists than he is for his own work.

Baz Luhrmann’s film Elvis brought attention to some of Elvis’ musical inspirations, such as Little Richard, Big Mama Thornton, Arthur “Big Boy” Crudup, and Fats Domino. Perkins wasn’t even mentioned in the film, even though “Blue Suede Shoes” appears on the film’s soundtrack.

It’s cool that Elvis’ “Blue Suede Shoes” connected with Mason and countless others but we shouldn’t let that detract from the accomplishments of Perkins and other rock pioneers.

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