Poulson: Elvis, an eagle and my father's comb

Volbeat's Michael Poulson has revealed the remarkable story behind the band's hit single Dead But Rising – featuring Elvis Presley, an eagle and his late father's comb.

The singer says a visit to Graceland, to keep a promise made to his dad, led to an emotional encounter with the bird – which he’s sure was a message from beyond the grave.

Poulson tells Artisan News: “I promised my father that I would bring his comb to Elvis’ grave. When I picked up my father in his coffin I took his comb, fixed his beard and said, ‘I’m gonna take this comb, Daddy, and leave it to Elvis Presley on his grave.’

“Very shortly after, I took the trip to Memphis and I put it on Elvis’ grave. Later on I was driving to Tupelo, Mississippi to see the house where Elvis grew up. It was the first time I was in a car in the US and the navigation system just went off – it blacked out.

“I looked up in the air and there was this eagle that was following the car. I said I was just going to follow that eagle, and see where it brought me, because my father was really into birds, especially eagles. He had a big eagle tattooed on his chest.

“So I followed that eagle for a long time, then suddenly it just took off. I went right – and I was in Tupelo, Mississippi. I was really going through the emotions; was that my father trying to tell me something, showing me the way?

“So Dead But Rising is about me reaching out to that eagle, trying to communicate with it again. I’m asking the wind in Mississippi to bring that eagle back to me.”

The track is the fifth single taken from Volbeat’s 2013 album Outlaw Gentleman & Shady Ladies.

Watch Michael Poulson discuss the song in the video below.

Stef wrote close to 5,000 stories during his time as assistant online news editor and later as online news editor between 2014-2016. An accomplished reporter and journalist, Stef has written extensively for a number of UK newspapers and also played bass with UK rock favourites Logan. His favourite bands are Pixies and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah. Stef left the world of rock'n'roll news behind when he moved to his beloved Canada in 2016, but he started on his next 5000 stories in 2022.