"Elvis Presley is the greatest cultural force in the 20th century."

(Leonard Bernstein)


"If you're an Elvis fan, no explanation is necessary; If you're not an Elvis fan, no explanation is possible."

(George Klein)


"For a dead man, Elvis Presley is awfully noisy."

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


"History has him as this good old country boy, Elvis is about as country as Bono!"

(Jerry Schilling)


"Absolute id crashed into absolute superego...as the uptightset man in America shook hands with just about the loosest."

(Mark Feeney on the 'Elvis meets Nixon' meeting)


"Elvis is everywhere"

(Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper)


"...especially in the South, they talk about Elvis and Jesus in the same breath"

(Michael Ventura, LA Weekly)


"The image is one thing and the human being is another...it's very hard to live up to an image"


(Elvis Presley, Madison Square Garden press conference, 1972)


























'Elvis: Has left the building'

CD review

Reviewed by Piers Beagley for EIN- August 2003

'Elvis Has left the building' was released by Rock Legends in 2003.

Every year, when August comes around, all true Elvis fans needs to reflect on what might have been - and what a great loss we feel.

This CD perfectly captures the emotions of that surreal night in 1977, and is a very poignant & moving reminder of Elvis and his amazing effect worldwide.

Elvis Has left the building - (Rock Legends. 78 minutes)

Produced by Rock legends and presented in a gatefold digi-pack sleeve the first thing you notice about this CD is the beautiful packaging and great cover design. Containing gorgeous photos of Elvis as well as newspaper clippings, photos of the funeral procession, and even the official White House statement on the death of Elvis, you can tell that this CD has been put together extremely professionally. (FTD take note!)

The cover states "August 16th 1977 – The heart of rock ‘n’ roll stopped beating and the entire world reacted with shock and disbelief."

London, where I lived, was enveloped in storms & lightning that night and I can remember the moment extremely well.

This CD perfectly captures those emotions of that surreal night and is a very poignant & moving reminder that this extraordinary personality, that is all so important to all of us, was only human and really did leave this building of ours over 26 years ago.

Containing over 77 minutes of radio & television broadcasts it reveals all those moments of loss, grief, confusion and emotion that seemed to envelope anyone who you talked to.

Starting with some moving words from Elvis himself "Softly as I leave you. . " the speech is interrupted by the shocking news "Elvis Presley is dead"


(Photo Right: Cover inlay)

Featuring all kinds of news reports and interviews, it is fascinating to hear the differing comments made by the various Networks with the predominant feeling being of complete disbelief. (The same reaction that I remember feeling myself).

I found myself captivated by it all and felt extremely moved, especially by the interviews.
You can hear their shock & emotion and I felt so much sympathy as Charlie Hodge says, with a very shaky voice, "It’s not real. It’s our friend".

There is a great interview with Chuck Berry who reminisces about Elvis and also mentions the shock he felt when he found out that both Elvis and Sammy Davis Jr. were in the audience at one of his shows.
Sammy Davis Jr. himself says, "Elvis was The One, the only, the original. Everybody else is an imitator who came after him"

One highlight is a delightful and honest interview with Elvis’ friend & country singer T.G Sheppard who talks of sharing special times with Elvis. He also expresses everybody’s idea that Elvis became such an icon that one began to believe that "Nothing could happen to them". T.G’s thoughts are very touching. . .

"He’s the same now as many, many years ago when I first met him.
The ego never got to him.
He never forgot where he came from...
He had his every dream and every wish fulfilled because he kept his feet on the ground.
There was no other side to him; he was just a great Human Being.
He was very deep and he believed in God,
He was a God-fearing man, he quoted me Scriptures out of the Bible many times..
I’ve lost a great friend"

While sentiments like these capture what we all felt, the seedier side of "Elvis what happened" is not ignored and alternate news reports are also included as well as a short interview with Sonny West. And it just made me want to strangle smart-arse ‘Good Morning America" reporter Rona Barrett!

A real treat is hearing an interview with Vernon Presley just hours after Elvis’ death.
It is a shame that it is cut short but the CD’s producers inform me that there really was nothing more on their original tape.

I find it incredible that so many of the broadcasts were actually recorded since, although I was there listening at the time, I was in far too much shock to think of recording anything for posterity.

A final section of the CD features Tony Prince from Radio Luxembourg. His radio show was Live on that fateful night and Tony comments on many thing including his fear about the possibility of Elvis fans taking their own lives. He also interviews England’s Todd Slaughter and it is really fascinating, 26 years later, to hear them talk about what might happen in the future.
They discuss a lot of issues including whether Elvis’ level of popularity will even continue or the crazy possibility that it might even increase after his death! They also mention the weird concept of continuing his Fan Clubs and even the idea of future trips to Memphis to celebrate his life!

While we now know that Elvis’ flame will burn brightly forever, at the time no one could foresee that he would still be having Number 1’s hit singles or still be such an important influence in this new millennium

Being a true fan of Elvis’ music I was amazed just how enthralled I was by this CD which doesn’t even feature Elvis talking, but people talking about Elvis!

However there actually is a final unreleased ‘bonus track’ of Elvis briefly interacting with some fans backstage in 1973, which is kinda’ cute, along with a secret surprise which I won’t reveal!

The cover design is extremely well presented on a deluxe digi-pack and include photos from Arjan Deelen's book 'Caught In A Trap.'

Verdict: This excellent CD is an emotional reminder to us all that Elvis really did ‘leave the building’ in 1977 but it also reinforces our belief that the power of Elvis’ spirit is sure to continue and be discovered by future generations of new fans. If you are interested in the way that Elvis influenced not only our lives but also the media as a whole, then this is a fascinating historical CD that you should search out.

This CD was reviewed by Piers Beagley for EIN, August 2003. - Copyright EIN.

Click here for a review of Arjan Deelen's book 'Caught In A Trap'.

Go here for excellent Spotlight on 'Should Elvis In Concert' 1977 be released?'

Go here for Larry Geller's interview about Elvis' final years

Click here for a review of the FTD that presents Elvis in concert during his 1977 'Spring Tours'


Click to comment on this review.




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