'Elvis- On Tour: Outtakes'
- DVD review
Recently there has been a mass of bootleg Elvis DVDs flooding the market both from TTWII as well as ‘Elvis On Tour’.
The quality of these DVDs vary greatly but non are professional quality so in the long run will have no impact of future official releases. However there can only be the hope that the interest in them might stimulate MGM in releasing the ‘missing disc’ of TTWII extras and even better the long awaited ‘Elvis On Tour’ DVD.
Way back in 2002 Ernst Jorgensen said,
"MGM are very nervous about putting out ‘On Tour’ and spending the same kind of money (as for TTWII). So they are trying to find a way to make ‘Elvis On Tour’ available in digital format but it’s not going to be a restoration from scratch like TTWII. The reason why we haven’t put out anything on either FTD or RCA at this time is that we would ideally like to do it with them. So we are giving them a little more time but eventually if they don’t come around, we will release the material that we have which is pretty substantial. Nothing that you can’t guess what it is.
There is a lack of confidence in ‘Elvis On Tour’s commercial potential but it’s a shame as, maybe Elvis doesn’t look as good as in TTWII material, but the stuff I have seen.. There is an hour’s worth of Elvis in a recording studio and a lot of people would like to see that."
‘Elvis On Tour: Outtakes’ is a single disc set from Taiwan Papa Bear Productions and is a nice taster for the official MGM release.
Being a bootleg the quality is variable, the brightness of the picture is way too high (you will have to adjust your set!) and the images are fairly soft. The pictures on the FTD ‘Elvis On Tour: The Rehearsals’ have been lifted off this release, as shown below. The audio is very variable but it is the content that counts which really makes one beg for an official release.
|DVD Section One - The IN-Studio rehearsals
Chapter 1 & 2 - ‘Burning Love’ (Takes 1,2,3,4)
- Elvis is wearing his blue shirt (as on the official EOT ‘gospel jam’) and his is great form. Elvis is also wearing that huge golden belt given to him by the International Hotel. The tempo is similar to the single and Elvis & the TCB band have fun working around how they are going to do the fade-out ending on-stage and where the hunka-hunkas are going to start. It’s great to see this footage of Elvis working with the band + the Stamps and we see some excellent close-ups. As Elvis is supposed to have not been that interested in recording ‘Burning Love’ in the first place, it is great to see him sweating on and really getting into the groove of it in the studio.
At the end Elvis has fun adding those falsettos which is cute to witness. Oh how this should have been in the original movie – It is FANTASTIC stuff and every minute should be in the new DVD. It’s great sound too, listen to it on the sensational ‘On Tour Rehearsals’ FTD and you know what we’re missing.
Chapter 3 & 4
‘A Big Hunk O’ Love’ (Takes 1,2,3,4) – Earlier session and Elvis has his blue jacket on. This is only a few snippets, 4 minutes in total, but again it’s intriguing to see Elvis work out on this 1950’s song that he had only just started to use live once again. All this material has interesting shots of the band and Ronnie Tutt is wearing a fabulous coloured C&W design shirt. Good sound on this one too.
‘Proud Mary’ – Elvis has his blue jacket on and here it is laced-up. The sound is much worse here but there are some great close-ups of Elvis –and it’s a funky version of the song. Good shots of Ronnie Tutt & J.D Sumner keeping an eye on Elvis adding the deep-bass "Rollin, Rollin" to the background.
‘Burning Love’ – Elvis is wearing that strange pale-blue jacket with dark criss-cross lines, from the Buffalo New York rehearsal. Not as good as the earlier rehearsals, since Elvis is running a little low-energy. This must have been at the start of the rehearsals as his hair is obviously very combed & gelled in-place. Elvis jokes, "I got your Melancholy Baby, you son-of-a-bitch. Built like a melon, face like a collie!" He actually starts the Burning Love intro by singing, "Don’t look so sad" .. (as in ‘Help me make it through the Night) teasing the band. Unfortunately the sound is very poor & distorted but there are some great close ups of his hands, puffy sleeves & his massive rings. You also get to see the interaction between The Sweet Inspirations and Elvis- and check out Myrna Smith’s marvellous grin.
A few minutes of backstage at Jacksonville. Elvis sucks on some ventolin to clear his throat while Vernon helpfully smokes in the background. Red West & all of the gang are here. Elvis playfully fools around ‘baptising’ Lamar by playfully throwing water over him saying, "As the cup turns", and then helping to dry him off. Lamar says, "Seriously, don’t do it" but it’s all in the spirit of fun. Elvis laughing says, "Lamar, I can make you a star"
A fascinating insight eavesdropping on Elvis trying to put on an oversized tie. He laughs saying, "I used to be pretty good at this in the service" and pops a button. There is a cute moment where Elvis looking at himself in the mirror off-handidly sings, "A hunka’ hunka’ burning love" to himself. We also see Elvis being presented with two gold records by RCA’s George Parkhill for ‘The Wonder Of You’ and the LP ‘Madison Square Garden’, even after all those years Elvis still shrugs his head in disbelief.
Chapter 9 & 10
A short glimpse of Elvis in the white pyramid suit followed by some touching footage of Elvis in his small trailer/dressing room in Albuquerque where he meets 8-year old Denise Sanchez who has leukemia. Elvis signs some tour posters for her and promises to sing her a song in the concert but says, "All right, but I’m not gonna tell you which one I’m going to do. It’ll be a surprise." In fact Elvis dedicated ‘You Gave Me A Mountain’ to her during the concert. It is these touching moments that capture so much more of Elvis the compassionate man and would make for excellent inclusion in the DVD.
A short glimpse of Elvis in his Lion Suit showing the nervous anticipation before the concert and laughing about the failed ending on ‘Burning Love’ the previous night. "They had forgotten the ending", Elvis says, "Tutt went crazy & The Inspirations."
|DVD Section Two - Elvis in concert, Hampton Roads
Elvis in concert April 9th at Hampton Roads, Virginia and wearing the 'Blue Nail' jumpsuit (as pictured below).
||Left photo copyright by Dagmar. And do check out his other great pictures at www.dagmarfoto.com
Chapters 12 & 13
The unreleased version of ‘Love Me’. A fan throws a black bra on stage, which Elvis looks at in disbelief shaking his head. Elvis, Kathy Westmoreland & everyone is laughing as he puts the bra on top of his head mid-song & keeps on singing. There are some great close-ups which again capture the charming, relaxed side of Elvis.
‘For The Good Times’ unreleased, is a wonderful clip. There are some fabulous close-ups with Elvis singing, "Hold your warm & sweaty/tender body close to mine" adding a sincere, "Lord, for my sake." Elvis looks great & there are also some great close ups of Myrna Smith’s eyes.
The other featured songs, ‘All Shook Up’, ‘Are You Lonesome Tonight’, ‘American Trilogy’, ‘How Great Thou Art’ are the ‘Lost Performances’ versions.
Verdict – Being an unofficial release this is not DVD quality, which you have to forgive. The revelation here is what fabulous material MGM has hidden in their vaults. There must be a DVD’s worth of quality and exciting in-studio material and possibly 2 DVDs of Elvis in concert. ‘Lost Performances’ gave us the first glimpse of some fabulous missing footage but that was 13 years ago. Surely it is time right now to follow through with ‘Elvis On Tour’ the DVD set which at the same time will kill–off the spreading bootleg market. As Ernst said back in 2002 "There is a lot of footage here that people would want to see." With the 7 hours of ‘Comeback Special’ now officially released that had been bootlegged for year, how much longer do we have to wait for Elvis On Tour?
Let's get the 'Elvis- On Tour' DVD released! Help the cause by signing the ‘Elvis On Tour Petition’ and we can show MGM/EPE that they are ignoring a massive market. Having missed its 30th anniversary the new ‘Elvis On Tour’ DVD release is long overdue.
Please click on this link and sign the petition. The Petition to Elvis Worldwide Fans was created by and written by Gregory Nolan Jr. and Renan Augusto. Let’s get the petition to over 5000 signatures by Christmas.
NOTE – EIN does not promote Bootleggers as they do deprive the musicians & songwriters of their well-deserved earnings. EIN also cannot tell you where to buy this DVD since it came via a fan in Memphis.
Review by Piers Beagley, EIN. November 2005.
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