Elvis’ motto was “Taking take of business in a flash”. The above TCB symbol was created by Elvis. He adorned jewelry, a room in his house, his GI and his plane, the Lisa Marie, with this symbol. The lightening bolt was probably inspired by his favorite comic book character Captain Marvel Jr. who had a bolt on his chest.
“The initials T.C.B. stand for Taking Care of Business, which is what Elvis Presley called his band. He incorporated the letters into an emblem flanked by lightning bolts. This emblem was used in several pieces of Elvis’ custom jewelry including his famous T.C.B. ring and necklace.” (Teresa R. Simpson, About.com Guide)
Elvis gave each member of the Memphis Mafia, his gang, a TCB oath. He wrote it on a torn envelope while on an airplane with Priscilla. The following is that oath. And yes, the last line is correct. Elvis had a sense of humor.
“More self-respect, more respect for fellow man.
Respect for fellow students and instructors.
Respect for all styles and techniques.
Body conditioning, mental conditioning, meditation for calming and stilling of the mind and body.
Sharpen your skills, increase mental awareness, for all those that might choose a new outlook and personal philosophy.
Freedom from constipation.”
So a few weeks ago I got the above symbol tattooed on my forearm. (In Las Vegas of course! Very appropriate.) It has several meanings for me. Mostly I see it as a reminder to get on with it. No avoidance. Just do it!
Elvis not only inspires me but he is one of the reasons music is what it is today.
John Lennon: ‘Before Elvis, there was nothing’.
Bob Dylan: ‘When I first heard Elvis’ voice I just knew that I wasn’t going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be my boss. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail. I thank God for Elvis Presley’.
Elton John: ‘If it hadn’t been for Elvis, I don’t know where popular music would be. He was the one that started it all off’.
Mick Jagger: ‘Elvis was a unique artist — an original in an area of imitators’.
Keith Richards: ‘Before Elvis, everything was in black and white. Then came Elvis. Zoom, glorious Technicolor’.
Bruce Springsteen: ‘There have been a lot of tough guys. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one king. That Elvis, man, he is all there is. There ain’t no more. Everything starts and ends with him. He wrote the book’.
So here I am. In a very complicated time of my life. Between raising two young boys, maintaining a strong relationship with my husband, trying to reduce our debt, career uncertainty, plus all the other things life throws at me. I will use this symbol for strength. A reminder. That I can do it.
I can take care of business.
p.s. For the most part nobody knows what my tattoo means. The next time someone asks I will have to tell them it’s a gang symbol! Ha ha.
When I was a boy, I always saw myself as a hero in comic books and in movies. I grew up believing this dream.