The latest on www.elvisinfonet.com:
The day Elvis met Mario Lanza: Following our examination last week on how Elvis was influenced by opera legend, Mario Lanza, we present Jeff Rense's article about a series of telephone calls between the two stars and their one face-to-face meeting. (Spotlight, Source: Jeff Rense)
"Rock Around The Clock" update: According to Andylon Lensen, Ernst Jorgensen has told her the owner of the tape with Elvis singing Rock Around The Clock has not asked for any money. Also, it is not an acetate as we reported on 26 October. The recording is also different to a second known recording of the song. Andylon reported that she has heard a medley of Rock Around The Clock/Good Rockin' Tonight from a Louisiana Hayride show where Elvis also sang Only You. (News, Source: Elvis Collector's Gold)
They can be heard singing backup on Martina McBride's version of "(I Never Promised You a) Rose Garden," which recently cracked the top 25 on the Billboard country singles charts. Earlier this year, they appeared on Willie Nelson's rendition of the country-pop standard "Make the World Go Away." They've lent their voices to recent albums by country stars like Kenny Chesney and Vince Gill and this year released a new CD set of bluegrass hymns, "Believe" (Madacy Entertainment).
Not that they can keep track of all this activity. "Don't ask any of us what hits we've been on lately, 'cause we don't watch the charts," said Gordon Stoker, 81, the group's first tenor and manager. "Hits come in and out so fast nowadays that you can't keep up."
If Mr. Stoker seems a little blasé about the charts, he can be excused: as Elvis Presley's longtime backup singers, the Jordanaires got used to being there.
They have been a constant in American music since 1948, backing up Patsy Cline, George Jones and Rick Nelson, among hundreds of others, in addition to Presley. They estimate that they've sung on some 30,000 records - from Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" to Jimmy Dean's "Big Bad John" to Nelson's "Lonesome Town"- that have collectively sold more than 2.5 billion copies. Mr. Stoker nearly counts as an original member, having joined the group in 1950. The other current members are Ray Walker, 71, the bass singer since 1958 and the band's co-leader; Louis Nunley, 73, the baritone, and Curtis Young, 62, the second tenor. So what has kept these senior citizens going while Elvis - and Hula Hoops, and the Beatles, and the Vietnam War, and Nixon, and disco, and Reagan, and boy bands, and AOL Time Warner - came and went? "Life for the four of us is great," Mr. Stoker said. "We are not pushed to do anything, like we were for years. If we want to work, we do." And if they don't? "We use our substitutes," he said. (News, Source: Sanja Meegin)
January 2006 FTD releases: Ernst Jorgensen has told Andylon Lensen that the next TWO FTD releases will be issued in early January 2006. They will be a soundboard and either the "Loving You" or "Something For Everybody" "special edition" album. (News, Source: Elvis Collectors Gold)
Australian chart update: "Hitstory" debuted at #33 on the ARIA Top 50 Album Chart this week. The next few weeks (and the Christmas period) will be an indicator of how well the 3CD release is performing. It is yet to be certified Gold or Platinum. (News, Source: ARIA)
"Pieces Of My Life" audience recording CD: The new '' Straight Arrow '' label will shortly release the CD '' Pieces Of My Life '' recorded from the audience at the closing show of the July 1975 tour in Asheville, NC. ON (July 24th). The CD will come with a color booklet. Apparently it is sourced from a first generation copy of the original master tape. The sound though limited by the analog off-line recording source has no noticeable distortion and the recording speed remains constant throughout the whole show.
Track listing: 01. Also Sprach Zarathustra (Theme from "2001 A Space Odyssey" movie); 02. Opening Vamp / That's All Right, Mama; 03. I Got A Woman (with false start) / Amen (medley); 04. Big Boss Man; 05. Love Me; 06. If You Love Me (Let Me Know); 07. All Shook Up; 08. (Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel (medley); 09. Hound Dog; 10. An American Trilogy (by request); 11. Heartbreak Hotel (by request); 12. Jailhouse Rock (by request); 13. Something (by request, last live version); 14. Return To Sender (by request); 15. Wooden Heart (by request); 16. Hawaiian Wedding Song (by request, with last part reprise); 17. Bridge Over Troubled Water; 18. Polk Salad Annie; 19. Band Introductions; 20. Johnny B. Goode; 21. Drums Solo (by Ronnie Tutt); 22. Bass Solo (Blues - by Jerry Scheff); 23. Piano Solo (by Glen D. Hardin); 24. School Day ("Hail Hail Rock'n'Roll" theme); 25. T.R.O.U.B.L.E.; 26. Shake A Hand; 27. Introduction of Vernon Presley and Dr. Nick; 28. Pieces Of My Life (the only live version); 29. How Great Thou Art (with last part reprise); 30. Can't Help Falling In Love; 31. Closing Vamp/ Announcements. Approx. running time: 79:11 (News, Source: FECC)
Colorised version of "Love Me Tender": An enterprising fan has produced a glorious technicolor edition (using state-of-the-art technology) of Elvis' first feature film, Love Me Tender. Copies can be found on eBay. EIN guesses King Creole will be next, although the locale and storyline of that film lend themselves to the original atmospheric black & white release. (News, Source: eBay/EIN)
EPE selling jumpsuits - is it acceptable or not?: Some fans are not impressed by the EPE's new line of Elvis clothing, white jumpsuits. Does it devalue The King's legacy? (News, Source: Various)
New Elvis licence plate not a certainty (see original story yesterday): Apparently the new Elvis license, with a percentage of sales going to The MED (of which the Elvis Presley Memorial Trauma Center is a part), will be available ONLY if 1,000 pre-order it. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk)
German translation of "Last Train To Memphis": The first installment of Peter Guralnick's biography "Last Train To Memphis" has been translated in German and has been released with the title "Elvis Presley-Sein Aufstieg" by Bosworth Musikverlag (ISBN: 3865430961). (News, Source: Collectors Service/Elvis News)
Heartbreak Hotel single postponed: The single re-release of Elvis first UK hit "Heartbreak Hotel" has been postponed from January to May to coincide with it's original release date. At this time no further details, other than to say that the re-release has not been shelved, are available. (News, Source: Todd Slaughter/Elvis News)
New JAT book - "Elvis The Documentaries" printed: The latest Joe Tunzi book has been printed andthe publisher will be posting all pre-orders shortly. (News, Source: FECC)
Baptist Memorial Hospital implosion to be aired live on TV in Memphis: Implosion of Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis is set for pre-dawn hours of Sunday, 6 November. It will be the largest implosion of a building in the USA during 2005. WKNO-TV will air the implosion live. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk)
Lisa set to shock with same sex kiss (with a twist): LISA-MARIE PRESLEY is set to shock fans with a same sex kiss in her new video IDIOT - but the other woman is actually herself. The two Presleys smooch in the back of a taxi cab. (Lisa Presley's World, Source: Contactmusic/Sanja Meegin)
The State of Tennessee will begin production on the License Plate as soon as The MED Foundation has received a minimum of 1,000 orders for it. The Foundation is accepting orders for the first 1,000 plates by calling the toll free numbers 877-545-EPLP or 877-545-3757, or by visiting the MED Foundation website at www.elvislp.com.
Elvis #1 again in latest Forbes Top Earning Dead Celebrities List: Once again Elvis Presley is No. 1 on Forbes.com's annual list of top earners from the crypt www.forbes.com/deadcelebs, earning an estimated $45 million between October 2004 - October 2005. He and the 12 other members of the list brought in a collective $186 million in the last year.
The fifth annual ranking of "Top-Earning Dead Celebrities," edited by Forbes.com Media Editor Peter Kafka, assesses the earning power of deceased celebrities, including musicians, actors, authors, songwriters and composers, among others. This year's list (earnings in $ millions):
1. $45 - Elvis Presley 2. $35 - Charles Schulz 3. $22 - John Lennon 4. $16 - Andy Warhol 5. $10 - Theodor "Dr. Seuss" Geisel 6. $ 9 - Marlon Brando 7. $ 8 - Marilyn Monroe 8. $ 8 - J.R.R. Tolkien 9. $ 7 - George Harrison 10. $ 7 - Johnny Cash 11. $ 7 - Irving Berlin 12. $ 6 - Bob Marley 13. $ 6 - Ray Charles
Vote for Elvis in "Icon of the Century" poll: Following the results of the recent 'Variety' Magazine' Poll for 'Icon Of The Century' (see 16 October), MSNBC are now conducting on online poll to find out who the public think is the Icon Of the Century. Earlier today, Elvis (36%) assumed the lead from The Beatles (27%) after more than 7,000 votes had been cast. Let's all TCB and show them why Elvis is #1. You can vote at MSNBC. (News, Source: FECC)
Ernst responds to SUN project stories (see 26 October): Ernst Jørgensen has responded on the FECC forum to discussions on his upcoming SUN project and possible newly found songs by Elvis including the live version by Elvis of "Rock Around The Clock". Ernst says:
Elvis closing in on The Beatles: As of last Sunday, 23rd October, 2005, the top 3 acts in the UK Weekly Album Points List are as follows:
For "All Things Elvis" you want The King by Jim Piazza: This is the ultimate tribute book, a gorgeously designed rhinestone-studded keepsake filled with little-known biographical and anecdotal information and crammed with hundreds of photos and illustrations, including movie stills and posters. "Romps through the decades, highlighting Elvis events with a chronological time line floating at the top of each page, while amusing anecdotes punctuate a striking selection of magazine covers, paintings, photos, posters and other entertaining ephemera, from cinema curiosities to Elvis imitators. Paging through, readers encounter an explosion of sidebars with revelations such as that a suicide note ('I walk the lonely street') inspired 'Heartbreak Hotel.'" (Book Review, Source: Publishers Weekly)
"Memories of Elvis" $1.00 customer appreciation sale: Carol's "Memories of Elvis" store, soon to close down, has a great customer appreciation sale. Click to visit her website and see the many bargains. (News, Source: Sanja Meegin)
It's curtains for 'Legends': Elvis was sick, for only the second time in five years. Luckily, Tina Turner could get time off from her day job in the lingerie department at Boscov's. Yes, these are the waning days for the longest-running musical revue in Atlantic City - the always-legendary Legends in Concert show, featuring not-famous singers impersonating famous singers, a rotating cast of faux legends with a huge, somewhat-obsessed following and a run that rivals Cats on Broadway (6,600 shows to Cats' 7,485). First Miss America, now Legends is getting the hook. It will be replaced by The Price Is Right Live Stage Show ("Come on down!") at the Palace Theater in the Claridge, which is part of Bally's, which is now owned by Harrah's Entertainment, which made the decision.
The show - one of the only steady gigs for musicians, singers and dancers in a town that used to employ hundreds - will impersonate its last legend, fittingly, on Halloween night. It has been at Bally's for 11 years, with runs at other casinos for several years before that." Crowd numbers are still strong and they still get standing ovations.
Fans are distraught, like Rich Brelicki, who last week arrived direct from Vegas with a message for James Lowrey, the Elvis with the sore throat. ("We regret to inform you that Elvis will not be performing," deadpanned the only-in-Atlantic-City sign outside the Palace. "Instead, we are pleased to offer you the musical stylings of Tina Turner.")
Brelicki has seen 66 Legends in Concert shows and never tires of telling the story of how he once shouted up to James Lowrey/Elvis Presley, "Give my wife some sweat!" Like many, he has waited in line for hours so he could get a seat up front. He's on a first-name basis with the four maitre d's, who also are getting canned.
But wait, there was Gloria Estefan sticking her head out of her dressing room. Behind her, Ritchie Valens was blowing out his pompadour. Walking backstage at a Legends show is like going into a casino-act wax museum (a phrase that, before this town got its headlining-musical act together not too long ago, might have been considered redundant) come to life. And then Tina Turner arrived. Lori Mitchell-Gay, the most legendary of all the Legends, has played every black diva around: Whitney, Tina, Aretha, Janet, Donna, Natalie and Diana.
The appeal of the Legends show is part novelty (Wow, that singer looks and sounds like the real thing!), part fantasy (Wow, it's Madonna looking down at me!), and part pure entertainment (the dancers make about 16 costume changes during the 75-minute show). There's no lip-synching. The cast members see their role as more tribute than parody; blues guitarist Billy Cade agreed to do his impeccable B.B. King act only after personally asking the singer for permission. In Vegas once, the real Kenny Rogers performed in a Legends show and nobody caught on.
For Mitchell-Gay, originally from Philadelphia, Legends was the gig that kept on giving, enough so that she settled near Atlantic City and raised a family. She described Atlantic City as "fickle" in the way it relates to its live performers. On the one hand, casinos such as the Borgata have had great success bringing in a better caliber of musical entertainment (a House of Blues opened this year at Showboat). On the other hand, casinos seem less inclined to support long-running shows such as Legends or to use musicians in lounges and restaurants.
Bill Borenstein, Harrah's director of entertainment, said the decision to close Legends came after Bally's customers said in surveys they wanted a chance to see The Price Is Right show, which had been farther up the Boardwalk at Showboat. Borenstein said he was a Legends fan, but wanted to bring in something new. (News/Almost Elvis, Source: The Inquirer/Sanja Meegin)
USA edition of "Hitstory" rewrites gaffes from Elvis 30 #1s: "To clarify previous reviews...this is not "Nothing New." The first one disc comp 30 #1s presented alternate versions of A Big Hunk o' Love, A Fool Such As I, and The Wonder of You. On top of that all stereo songs were remixed. Suspicious Minds has been subjected to flanging.
EIN Note: Brian O'Marra's review relates to the US edition of Hitstory not the EC/Australia edition. (CD Review, Source: Brian O'Marra)
Acetate of Elvis singing "Rock Around The Clock" found: According to Ger Rijff on the FECC messageboard, an acetate copy recorded from the Louisiana Hayride exists of Elvis singing Rock Around The Clock. It has been offered to Ernst Jorgensen for his future book/CD project on Elvis' Sun years, although apparently the current owner of the acetate is asking for a lot of money. Ger Rijff says: "It might take another year before the book is finished, and Ernst is still looking for more audio... Yes, Rock Around The Clock was offered to him, recently. Its on acetate [ krrg krrg ] and extremely expensive! Its up to Ernst to come out with the details one of these days..." (News, Source: Ger Rijff/FECC)
Vote for Elvis in "Icon of the Century" poll: Following the results of the recent 'Variety' Magazine' Poll for 'Icon Of The Century' (see 16 October), MSNBC are now conducting on online poll to find out who the public think is the Icon Of the Century. Earlier today, Elvis (36%) assumed the lead from The Beatles (27%) after more than 7,000 votes had been cast. Let's all TCB and show them why Elvis is #1. You can vote at MSNBC. (News, Source: FECC)
Australian promotion for "Hitstory": SonyBMG Australia is promoting the 3CD boxset, Hitstory, through an extensive media marketing campaign. The campaign will include three week's of television advertising in major capital cities and regional areas commencing thisweek. Ads on Pay TV will run from this week for a fortnight and there will be a two week campaign on metropolitan radio stations. BMG is considering other promotional activities including press advertising and spots on programs such as Sunrise and Mornings with Kerri-Anne. (News, Source: SonyBMG Australia)
"Hitstory" debuts at #11 on Sanity store chart in Australia: The 3CD boxset, Hitstory, has debuted at #11 on the store chart of Australia's largest record chain, Sanity. Two other albums debuted higher than Hitstory, the new Robbie Williams album, Intensive Care, at #1 and Destiny's Child #1's at #6. Traditionally Elvis has done better on the Sanity chart than the official Australian chart from ARIA, and if this holds true it could be a case of "history for Hitstory". The ARIA chart will be issued late on Sunday night. (News, Source: EIN)
"Double treat" for Australian Elvis fans on November 6: The 10 Network has a double treat for Elvis fans on 6 November. That night's episode of Australian Idol (6.30pm) will be an Elvis special, and following at 7.30pm is the Elvis "mini-series" telecast earlier this year in the US. Disappointingly, the 10 Network has elected to edit the originally two-part mini-series by excising around 30 minutes of footage so it can screen on the one night. (News, Source: SonyBMG Australia)
No market for 1950's Elvis photobooks!: We found these very interesting comments from the legendary Ger Rijff on the FECC board:
"Most important: There's NO market anymore for the books Ive done in the past. For years and years I've tried publishing houses worldwide. Elvis photojournals! No way! Elvis only sells to the general public if it is the juicy gossip "tell all" type of book. When I mentioned the 60,000 sales, that happened some 20 years ago... Sad, but without a lot of promotion [same goes for cd & dvds] Elvis is pretty much dead. No publishers will promote my stuff. Its too small a market out there...
EIN comment: Ger Rijff's 1950s photobooks are simply sensational and among the best there is. With great book design, strong text and fascinating archival material they are a must for any serious fan. With no disrespect to Joseph Tunzi's very good 1970s jumpsuit photobooks, the Ger Rijff photobook releases are in a league of their own, matched only by books such as Stein Erik Skar's superb Elvis The Concert Years 1969-1977 and last year's best release, A Date With Elvis. Check out EIN's reviews of the Ger Rijff books: Inside Loving You and The Rock 'n' Roll Years Volume One. (News, Source: FECC/EIN)
"Hitstory" & "Elvis #1 Singles" boxset released in Australia this week: Australian fans should check their local record stores as both Hitstory and the #1 Singles boxset (RRP $129.95) have been released. The 3CD Hitstory comes complete with a special fold-out Elvis poster booklet. The RRP is A$39.99. Australia is receiving the European edition of Hitstory with 12 additional tracks. Christmas Wishes is scheduled for release by BMG Australia on Monday 14 November. (News, Source: BMG Australia)
Spain's best cartoonist: Click to visit web pages of Joan Vizcarra, perhaps Spain best cartoonist, with some books published, and a big Elvis fan himself. (News, Source: Juan Antonio Hidalgo)
"Sam Phillips Week" in Florence, Alabama: Florence, Alabama will be celebrating the birth of the Father of Rock N Roll at the 2nd Annual Sam Phillips Week. It will be held January 3-7, 2006. It is being sponsored by Big River Broadcasting, Alabama Fans TCB For Elvis Fan Club and the city of Florence. Several activities have been planned. Sam Phillips, who discovered Elvis, Johnny Cash and others, and opened up the legendary Sun Studio, was born January 5, 1923 in Florence, AL. Here is a list of the events:
"From Union Ave to Thompson St, 1954-1969" CD release: This CD will be released soon and is limited to 500 copies. It includes out-takes from Elvis' first studio sessions and six out-takes never before officially released on CD and two previously unreleased tracks. Track listing: That's All Right (Introduction) - I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine (Take 1) - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Take 1) - That's All Right (Takes 1, 2 + 3) - I Love You Because (Takes 1 + 2) - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Takes 4 + 5) - Tomorrow Night (edited / undubbed) - Blue Moon (Take 1) - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Take 2) - I' ll Never Let You Go (Little Darlin') (Alternate Take) - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Take 3) - Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Alternate Take) - I Love You Because (Take 3) - Harbor Lights (Take 3) - Blue Moon (Take 2) - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Take 7) - I Don't Care If The Sun Don't Shine (Takes 2 + 3) - I'm Left, You're Right, She's Gone (Take 6) - I Love You Because (Takes 4 + 5) - How Do You Think I Feel (instrumental) - Studio excerpts 1969 - Poor Man's Gold (#1) - Poor Man's Gold (#2) - Answering message by Elvis. Bonus tracks: 25. Radio Interview 1955 #1 26. Radio Commercial 1955 27. Radio Interview 1955 #2 *previously unreleased. (News, Source: For CD Collectors Only)
Elvis gets the G.I. Blues: Elvis' induction into the Army was a sucker punch for the first generation of rock & roll fans. The King was twenty-four years old and at the peak of his success when he was drafted in December 1957 (he would get a deferment until March 1958 so he could complete the filming of King Creole), and he was justifiably concerned that his stint in the military would ruin his career, as the public saw him transform from a pompadoured rocker to a crew-cut G.I. But what Presley and his fans viewed as a potential tragedy, his manager Colonel Tom Parker saw as a PR opportunity. He reasoned Elvis' service as a proud, patriotic young man would be a boon to his public image. With plenty of recorded material in the can, releases were paced to keep Presley in the public eye for the duration of his Army stint. Parker's ploy worked: with his popularity as strong as ever, Presley was discharged two years later to resume his reign as the King of Rock & Roll. (News, Source: Michael Ansaldo)
Playboy: the Byron Raphael claims - Bill E. Burk responds: Dry humping "Nipper" on stage, the size of Elvis' genitals, and The King's "relationship" with 'gay' actor, Nick Adams, are several of the issues Elvis World's Bill Burk tackles in his review of the controversial article in Playboy, In Bed With Elvis. (See earlier reports 13, 14 & 15 October) (Review, Source: Bill E. Burk)
The Playboy article - Lamar Fike responds: Memphis Mafia member Lamar Fike also contacted EIN this week about the Playboy story. Lamar said: "This story is not true. There is no way that any of this ever happened. I was there." (News, Source: Lamar Fike)
Enduring economic power of The King: A look at how EPE's marketing arm kept Elvis' memory alive to the tune of $40 million in 2004. (Spotlight Article, Source: Sanja Meegin)
"Pied Piper of Cleveland" recreation: We meant to publish this news last week. Today, Saturday October 22, Brooklyn High School in Ohio, is recreating the famous Pied Piper of Cleveland event, on the original stage where Elvis performed. On the card for the show are Pat Boone, The Four Lads, and others that performed during the orignal show back in 1955. There will also be a special exhibit of Elvis memorabilia. Exhibit opens at 6pm tonight with main event at 7.30pm. (News, Source: Sanja Meegin)
Elvis obsession leads to crime and 'jailhouse rock': A town hall cashier who stole more than £500,000 in car-parking fees to fund her obsession with Elvis Presley has been jailed for three years. Julie Wall, 46, took up to £10,000 a month for nearly a decade at North Kesteven District Council to spend on records, Lincoln Crown Court heard.
Officials only realised the theft when an audit was carried out. Wall, of Rippon Drive, Sleaford, whose job was counting coins from cashboxes at car parks, admitted theft. Council bosses had regarded her as a "mild and modest" employee, the court was told. But she used the cash to buy hundreds of CDs, DVDs, videos and signed mementoes during visits to record fairs, auctions and internet sites.
The court was told she got away with her "extraordinary" crimes because the council never carried out any checks, until an audit was carried out earlier this year. Wall, a council employee for 30 years, repeatedly held back hundreds of pounds from each box and then exchanged the coins for notes used in other council transactions. Sam Robinson, prosecuting, said that between January 1996 and July this year she was estimated to have stolen more than £557,000. Luke Blackburn, mitigating, told the court Wall had been in the grip of "an exceptional habit" and was now ashamed of herself. Det Con Graeme Baker, of the Lincolnshire Police Financial Investigation Unit, said that when Wall was arrested officers seized thousands of Elvis related items from her home.
A spokesman for North Kesteven District Council said Miss Wall had been dismissed and that "steps were being taken" to recover money she had pocketed. A confiscation and compensation hearing has been scheduled for next year when the collection is expected to be auctioned off to raise the cash taken from the council. Det Con Baker said: "The collection could potentially raise in excess of half a million if it was sold off." (News, Source: BBC)
"Elvis Meets Nixon" DVD release: The quite hilarious mockumentary, Elvis Meets Nixon, is finally being released on DVD. Contender Entertainment Group has announced its release for Boxing Day 2005 in the UK. (News, Source: Amber Smith)
"Elvis" CBS mini-series DVD delayed a month: The DVD release of the much maligned CBS "Elvis" mini-series from earlier this year has been put back until November. The 2 part mini-series was originally to be released in Germany this month. (News, Source: Amber Smith)
Presley Commission investigation formally ends - FBI and other files put on display: The Presley Commission and The Elvis is Alive Museum in Missouri are happy to announce that assorted files and 2915 pages of FBI documents on Elvis Presley are now on display at the museum in Wright City, Missouri. This past Saturday, Phil Aitcheson, the former director of the Presley Commission delivered the files and the FBI pages to the museum to formally end the commission's investigation of the "Elvis Alive" case, and turning over any other collection of documentation to the Elvis is Alive Museum.
Aitcheson and Beeny state that now Elvis fans from all over the world can venture to Wright City, enter the museum, free of charge (no admission), and see the files on display. It is a fantastic opportunity for the fans to see files that have never before been released to the public, and it took the commission 5 years to obtain the 2915 pages, now available under The Freedom of Information/Privacy Act guidelines.
The action to donate the files comes in the wake of the announcement that the book "The Presley Alternative" written by Aitcheson/Wines will be released sometime by mid year 2006.
The book will detail the process that was executed or Elvis to depart public view and outline the events and evidence that support it. Many other items will appear in the book again never published before, particularly a focus on Elvis' other professional involvments. To contact Mr. Aitcheson, email to: email@example.com. (News, Source: Phil Aitcheson)
"King" Robbie turns Blackpool into Vegas for Elvis video: Leather-clad Robbie Williams brought traffic to a stop by strolling down Blackpool's Golden Mile dressed as Elvis. Thousands of fans turned out to see the superstar singer become the King as he filmed his new video. And while Elvis had the lights of Las Vegas, Robbie had to make the most of Blackpool's Illuminations. The screaming crowds also laid siege to venues where the 31-year-old was filming.
A delighted Robbie said: "It's amazing the amount of people who have come down to say hello. It's made my night. I haven't seen anything like this since my days with Take That. I feel loved."
Robbie filmed scenes on the prom, outside the Lucky Star arcade, on a red London bus and inside the Belle Vue pub. At the height of the Robbie-mania, police had to divert traffic to allow filming to go on.Although the shoot was supposed to be top secret, rumours quickly spread that he was in town.Robbie, who was filming the promo for his new single Advertising Space, rewarded crowds outside the pub by appearing at a window and waving to them. Fan Melanie Crookall, 24, said: "He was lovely and very down to earth. He signed my Robbie book and then took my pen to sign autographs for other people. (News, Source: Sanja Meegin)
All 3 Elvis sites in top #100 "People's Choice Awards" list: Well the votes are in and all three Elvis sites entered in this year's People's Choice Award category in the BT Digital Music Awards polled very well. Congratulations to Elvis News and Elvis Express which ranked at #69 and #82 respectively, while EIN came in at #91. Three Elvis sites all in the top 100 list is a great achievement. EIN thanks everyone who voted for us. We certainly appreciate it. This year's People's Choice Award was won by depechemode.tv with coldplay.com taking honors as the favorite official site. (News, Source: BT)
Elvis wines help Signature Wines into list of fastest growing companies: Corks popped today at Signature Wines on news that the firm has been named to Inc. Magazine's 2005 Inc. 500 list of America's fastest growing private companies. The Hayward, California-based wine seller vaulted on to the coveted list through an innovative mix of internet-based custom private label solutions, wine club services and the Graceland Cellars(R) brand of Elvis Presley(R) wines.
"Elvis That's The Way It Is" Outtakes - what to buy?: We found this interesting posting by Rob on the FECC messageboard:
"I know that everyone is eager to see these. However, let me just give you a little warning if you are thinking about spending a lot of money on them. I don't have to do this, but hey, I'm a nice guy. Some people are offering 11 DVD's of this stuff. Don't go there. What you are getting is much of the same footage over and over except for different camera angles. Much of this footage is also silent. I have been collecting Elvis concert footage for years and am now to the point that silent footage (unless it is a very rare show and in excellent quality) does nothing for me. Been there, done that.
The Imperials to perform during Elvis Birthday celebrations: The Imperials (Sherman Andrus, Terry Blackwood, Gus Gaches, Joe Moscheo) have been confirmed as special guest vocalists for The Elvis Presley Birthday Pops, which will be performed on January 7, 2006 at the Cannon Center for the Performing Arts, 255 North Main Street in downtown Memphis. (News, Source: EPE)
Elvis has left the building...but only temporarily: Elvis has left the Las Vegas Hilton, at least for a short time. When the Las Vegas Hilton began the initial phase of a planned five-year redevelopment and expansion of the aging off-Strip resort, the statue Elvis Presley, who used to grace the Hilton showroom, was moved from its place at the property's front entrance into storage.
The night Elvis was given an Elvis bootleg!: This allegedly true story recently appeared on the FECC messageboard:
"I the late sixties the acetate of My Babys Gone was discovered in the back of Tom Philips record shop in Memphis. Tom was Sams brother. After some years in their posession, these guys had the brilliant idea to let the Acetate out on a 45rpm, and also as part of an album. Can't remember which one came first? It came in a white sleeve featuring a pen and ink illustration of Elvis on stage in Houston 1970 with the text: please release me. No other clues given. It took me ages to understand the sleeve text had nuthin to do with Hump-a-dick!
Anyway, in 1971 the guys went back to the States, and this time hoping for a meeting with Elvis, backstage at the Vegas Hilton... After all they had met with all their other heroes on previous trips : Jerry Lee, Cash, Perkins, Scotty& DJ and a host of other Legends! So why not with Elvis?! First they went to see Lewis who also played Vegas the same time as E , got invited to sit front row, and after the show went to his dressing room with him, met up with Linda Gail, Jerrys sister, fellin love with her, and they all got drunk, the Lewis way! Next day Linda asked if she could do anything to make their Vegas stay pleasant as possible...?
They came up with a few suggestions,but Linda nodded no... Could she maybe help in gettin to the right people to talk about them gettin to meet Elvis?! Again no. She wasnt in the position to get into the Elvis camp. But should they wanna see another JLL show, just ring...! That night the Dutchmen got seated close to the stage at the Hilton showroom. Yes, that had cost them a small fortune and after the Lewis experience it didnt make them all too happy to be treated so cold by the Hilton creeps... Ah, those were naive times...
Somewhere halfway through the show, Hans Langbroek opened his shoulder bag, and pulled out a copy of the My Babys Gone bootleg and threw it on stage, near where Elvis was singing!... Elvis looked down at the record, picked it up and looked at the sleeve and muttered "Please Release Me???" He turned the record over and eyed a blank sleeve... "Its an unreleased Sun song, Hans yelled out loud!"....."No, its not," Elvis replied, and threw it back in to the crowd and continued his show! True story, but no photos to go with it. (News, Source: Tallhair aka Ger Rijff/FECC)
Graceland - The ultimate bachelor pad: Matt Katz finally made his pilgrimage to Graceland and discovered why Elvis was the King of Cool. (Spotlight Article; Source: Sanja Meegin)
New DVD boxset releases in Australia: Three new Elvis DVD boxsets will be released 'downunder' in November and December. On 2 November, Elvis Collection Vol. 1 and Elvis Collection Vol. 2 will be issued. Both are 5 disc sets. Then on 1 December, an 8 disc set, the Elvis Jukebox Collection will hit stores. Australia's Sanity record store chain is running a competition around the Jukebox set where if you buy a copy you are entered in the draw for a trip for 2 to Graceland. More details on all three sets shortly. (News, Source: Sanja Meegin/OzDvdWhs)
Elvis book reissues: Several well known Elvis books are due for reissue shortly. They are:
Elvis 'alternate take' on Elizabethtown soundtrack: The soundtrack of the movie "Elizabethtown" contains an alternate track of "Kentucky Rain". The details of the tracklisting were not known when we first mentioned the CD in Spetember. Apparently the take of the Elvis track is #9, available on the "Memphis Sessions" CD. Track listing: Same In Any Lingo (Nancy Wilson) - Kentucky Rain (Elvis Presley - Alternate Take 9) - I Will Be There When You Die (My Morning Jacket - live) Long Ride Home (Patty Griffin - Demo) - Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Bill Monroe) - Kentucky Woman (Sun Kil Moon) (News, Source: For CD Collectors Only /Elvis News)
He was the King: Neil Young's tribute to Elvis is now available on his new Prairie Wind album. 'He Was The King' is a great track driven by acoustic guitar, engaging harmonica, a hint of big band backing and an addictive country flavored lyric. 2005 has certainly been a good year for Elvis tributes with Neil Young's recording following three other very notable songs, King of the Mountain (Kate Bush), Singing With Angels (Suzi Quatro) and Rock and Roll Heaven (Bap Kennedy). In the video clip for King of the Mountain, Kate Bush is seen dancing with a white Elvis jumpsuit. (News, Source: EIN)
New take on how Elvis and Priscilla met: Priscilla Presley, keynote speaker at the ninth annual In the Interest of Women: A Forum for the Women of Kentucky, had said she was going to talk about her life as a wife, mother and working woman. But she spent at least the first 20 minutes of her speech last week talking about her life with Elvis. I cringed as she told about meeting Elvis. She was 14 years old and living in Germany -- her father was in the Air Force. Elvis, 24, was in the Army and stationed in Germany.
Her parents were approached by a man and a woman in a restaurant where the family was having dinner. The couple asked if they could take Priscilla to meet Elvis. Her parents said yes. Priscilla knew who Elvis was. She was excited to meet this superstar. Doesn't that sound like feeding a lamb to the wolf? Priscilla said she tried to appear mature for the meeting, and wore a white sailor suit. Elvis asked whether she was a junior or senior in high school. "I said I'm in the ninth grade," Priscilla said. "He said, 'You're just a baby.'" (News, Source: Sanja Meegin)
Elvis well beaten in Variety's show business top icon list: Entertainment magazine Variety quizzed key industry figures and polled readers for the list to mark its 100th birthday. Elvis is listed at #10, the Beatles came in first.
EIN comment: Looking at the selection criteria it's hard to believe Elvis is so far down the list. Elvis' enduring appeal, t-shirt sales, number of imitators and creative impact speak for themselves! The inclusion, above Elvis, of stars like Marlon Brando, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe and James Dean is thought provoking and deserves criticism. Leaving aside their undoubted creative influence, how many imitators do these identities have, and how many t-shirts (not to mention calendars) with their image are sold each year? Unfortunately, due to its nature, this survey will have influential impact and the view of Elvis as less important than other 20th century entertainment figures will be reinforced. (News, Source: Mirror/EIN)
Tupac Shakur will be greater than Elvis: Nick Cannon believes slain rapper Tupac Shakur will one day become more iconic than rock 'n' roll star Elvis Presley. The rapper/actor was devastated when he heard Shakur was murdered in 1996, and he continues to listen to the hip-hop star's music to this day. He tells Blender magazine, "Tupac's the greatest MC ever. He could talk about his love for his mom and at the same time, he'd talk about the strip club and how much he hates the police."He was more than a rapper - he was a cultural icon, a poet, an activist in the community, a modern-day philosopher. I think his legacy will be greater than Elvis...all Eyez On ME was my anthem. I wanted everybody to be watching me at all times." (News, Source: AP)
New Circle G owner legit: As we reported on 13 October, the buyer for the Circle G ranch, once owned by Elvis, is High Point Investments. It turns out High Pointe is a wealthy real estate firm. It will pay the current owners, the McLemore family some $7 million for the ranch, plus another $2.26 million for the northwest corner of the tract. The new developer's plans call for commercial usage along Goodman Road, and Highway 301 -- both of which border the Circle G. Behind the commercial would be professional landscaping, and to the interior of the ranch, a planned community of upscale homes would be built. To our knowledge, NO Elvis-theme is planned for the new development. And we checked on the new company and it is extremely legit. Backed by a group of millionaires in North Carolina. This company has been successfully buying up land in the immediate Circle G area for months. (News, Source: Bill E. Burk)
Elvis shunned sex with Natalie Wood: Late movie icon NATALIE WOOD once pleasured herself with one of ELVIS PRESLEY's entourage after the King refused to have sex with her. The stunning actress courted Presley on and off while he shot LOVE ME TENDER in 1956, and one night attempted to bed the superstar. But 20 minutes into the romp, Wood came storming out of Presley's bedroom, accusing the singer of being gay because he wouldn't have sex with her.
Presley's pal BYRON RAPHAEL was forced to make love to the frustrated actress instead, outside the singer's room. He recalls, "'What's the matter with your boss?' she demanded, glaring at me. 'Doesn't he know how to screw? He's all hands and no action.'"
But Raphael insists Presley felt that full sex before marriage was a sin and feared he'd tear his foreskin if he indulged in anything but fellatio and masturbation. He felt he couldn't explain that to angry Wood. He adds, "She kept on raving, 'I thought he was supposed to be the king of the sack... What's Elvis going to do, tell his buddies I'm not sexy enough for him?'" Wood then called Elvis and the members of his entourage "homos" before demanding Raphael prove he didn't fit that category in Presley's living room. He remembers, "All of a sudden it hit me that I was actually f**king Natalie Wood." (News, Source: Contact Music)
Tribute artist to be captured on new instant DVD product: He looks like Elvis. He moves like Elvis. And he sings like Elvis. And DiscLive, Immediatek's (OTCBB: ITEK) live recording unit, will capture Elvis tribute artist Kraig Parker's performances on its new instant DVD product. This new technology will deliver the keepsake of a lifetime to the fans who watch Parker perform with the legendary Stamps Quartet at the State Fair of Texas on Oct. 16, 2005, and then for over 80 November and December performances in Branson, Mo.
Tracks 1,2 an 7: Old Times They Are Not Forgotten
Tracks 3,4, 10, 15 and 26: Holding Back The Years
Tracks 5, 8 and 14: Here I Go Again
Tracks 6, 11 and 25: Let Me Take You Home Again
Tracks 9 and 27: All Things Are Possible
Tracks 16-24: From Sunset Boulevard To Paradise Road
Tracks 12 an 13: previously unreleased (News, Source: Elvis Is Still Active In Norway/ElvisNews)
Jerry Leiber cancels Belgian visit: Jerry Leiber, one half of the hit-writers duo "Leiber & Stoller", has unexpectedly cancelled his visit to the Belgian Movie Festival in Gent. Leiber quotes "medical reasons" for his cancellation. Apparently, one factor was the long flight which would be hard on him. Meanwhile, Mike Stoller has confirmed his presence next weekend. Members of ElvisMatters and their friends are invited to attend a talk session with Mike Stoller, for no charge at all. And on Sunday evening, 8.30 pm, Mike will be interviewed on stage by the BBC.
If you'd like to attend, please contact www.filmfestival.be or www.vooruit.be first. (News, Source: Elvis Matters)
Concert Anthology 1954-1956 for Japan release: Set for release in Japan on October 19, 2005 by the Vivid-Japan label is the 2 CD set ''Concert Anthology 1954-1956''. This digipack, previously released on the Master Classics label in the US in August 2005, contains the usual Hayride material, but comes with generally good sound and is nicely presented. The Master Classics release is a quality digipack with 'leather like' cover and one gold and one black disc. The track listing is:
Return To Sender - 'stolen' shirt owned by Elvis: A blue silk shirt worn by late great entertainer Elvis Presley has been swiped from a State Fair of Texas exhibit. Collector Bud Glass of Tallahassee, Florida, today made a public appeal for whoever stole the ruffled shirt on Wednesday -- to return it. Glass says he owns that particular shirt, which is part of an Elvis exhibit at the Hall of State on the fairgrounds in Dallas. Glass told The Associated Press that the theft was caught on videotape and Dallas police have dusted for fingerprints. He declined to release further details.
Glass says he won't prosecute -- he just wants the shirt back. Glass says the item can be mailed to: Bud Glass, C/O Dallas Historical Society, P.O. Box 150038, Dallas, TX 75315-0038. (News, Source: AP)
Update - shirt returned!: The blue China silk shirt, once owned by Elvis, is back in the Bud Glass collection. "We're grateful to all involved for the swift return of this item", said a spokesperson, "The staff at The State Fair, and the Dallas Police, did a wonderful job here, and it just goes to show you that you can't put a price on state-of-the-art security." (News, Source: Elvis News)
Byron Raphael claims (update): Due to the controversial nature of some of Byron Raphael's claims we contacted Alanna Nash, who co-authored the article in Playboy with him. Alanna is well known and respected for her several books about Elvis, including Elvis and the Memphis Mafia (see 10 October) and The Colonel: The Extraordinary Story of Colonel Tom Parker and Elvis Presley. This is what Alanna had to say about Byron:
"In working with him closely during the writing of THE COLONEL, I found that everything he told me checked out. I have no reason to believe he is wrong or lying with the Playboy story, and neither did my editors".
By way of background, Byron Raphael was employed by the Colonel and not Elvis. However, by the very nature of his employment he had close contact with Elvis. There are numerous references to Byron in Alanna's excellent book, The Colonel. (News, Source: Alanna Nash)
But, he tells men's magazine Playboy, the encounter never hit the headlines because Presley was keen to play down the fact the actress had turned down his advances. However, Raphael insists Monroe was initially interested - until she spotted Elvis' entourage and quickly learned how dumb they were.
Raphael recalls the actress was particularly put off by Elvis' "dim-witted cousin" GENE SMITH and his pal CLIFF GLEAVES, "a hooligan". Of the brief meeting, he says, "Monroe smiled in a way that said she liked how Elvis filled out his Oxford trousers, but then her face fell as she took in his companions.
"Monroe, forever insecure, had been searching for class in her choices of husband and lover and the sight of Elvis' barely civilised friends launched an unmistakable look of fear and disgust."
Smitten Presley continued to woo Monroe until she became one of the only women ever to turn down a date with the King - when she cried off with a headache excuse. Raphael says, "It was one of the rare times Elvis was refused." (see also related story on 12 October)
EIN Note: Despite Byron Raphael's claims, his name appears in few Elvis publications, although he features extensively in Alanna Nash's excellent book, The Colonel. Bill Burk informs us that both Lamar Fike and Marty Lacker have come forward to paint Raphael's claims as ridiculous, though Lacker admits he was away in the Army at the time. (News, Source: AP/Sanja Meegin/Bill E. Burk)
"Circle G" sale update: Further to our story yesterday (and also 29 Aug and 10 Aug 2005), this is the latest on the sale of the Circle G ranch once owned by Elvis. Dale morrow, manager for the new buyer, High Pointe Investments, has said the property likely would be developed as an upscale village-type residential development, possibly with an equestrian theme, but he was noncommittal Tuesday about future plans.
Horn Lake Mayor Nat Baker said Morrow has asked for a meeting with city officials to discuss possible changes in the planned unit development zoning Stacy had obtained for the property. Baker said he has been impressed by development plans Morrow has produced for several large pieces of property across DeSoto County.
"He's always promised high quality development and I've had no reason to doubt his assurances," he said.
Under the contract approved by Lundy, High Pointe will pay $7 million for the ranch. In addition, Lundy approved the sale of an 8-acre tract on the northwest corner of Goodman Road and Mississippi 301 at a price of about $6.50 a square foot. Shan McLemore, one of the four McLemore sons, said, "This is best for the family. We couldn't keep on going back and forth on the property waiting to see if it would be sold." Dennis McLemore, another son, said he was happy to see the issue decided.
"We had another contract (Stacy's) but that's dead. It expired. It's time to move on and this (ruling) allows us to do that. All that was really involved here was a family dispute. Now, hopefully, that's over," he said.
Gerald McLemore, who objected to the sale, said an offer from CPR Enterprises - a partnership identified with Stacy - "is ready to close by Nov. 15." He said the family would have received $7.5 million under the CPR offer - $500,000 more than High Pointe was offering - and that the CPR group was willing to pay a nonrefundable $200,000 in earnest money to seal the deal. Dennis McLemore said the CPR offer was just another play for time.
"I think the hour's past," he said.
One-time Elvis ranch sold...but not to J.D. Stacy: A judge in Hernando, Mississippi, has approved the sale of a ranch where Elvis and Priscilla Presley spent their honeymoon in 1967. The former Circle-G Ranch will be bought by High Pointe Investments for seven million dollars and is scheduled to close before April 15th.The court decision ends a plan by developer J.D. Stacy that called for 35-story condominium towers, two championship golf courses, a performing arts center and a posh golf and entertainment resort on the property and adjacent tracts. Stacy had touted his plan for a high-end resort development for more than two years, but he'd never been able to arrange the financing to purchase the 155-acre ranch or other land. The ruling yesterday by Chancellor Mitchell Lundy came over the objection of one member of the family that owns the ranch property and allows him and other family members to accept High Pointe's offer. For our earlier reports on the Circle G sale see 29 August and 10 August 2005 (News, Source: AP)
Pimp says "Elvis bad in bed": Elvis Presley was reportedly a flop in bed. Byron Raphael, who was "Elvis's pimp" from 1956 to 1960, claims a string of famous beauties told him the hip-swivelling lothario was a disaster between the sheets. Raphael also alleges the rock legend rarely "went all the way" with fans because his mother had told him pre-marital sex was a sin.
Elvis's right hand man goes on to tell the November issue of America's Playboy magazine how screen icon Marilyn Monroe scorned the singer's advances, while actress Natalie Wood moaned The King "didn't know how to screw". Raphael boasts he himself ended up bedding sexy Wood instead.
The lady procurer's bizarre claims also include Presley's fondness for "slumber parties" - in which he would relish inventing hairstyles and applying make-up to female fans - and how the star was frightened of gays and lesbians.
When asked if he is worried about the backlash from Elvis's loyal fans, Raphael told America's MSNBC website: "The things that I had to say are true and I don't think they tear him down.
"I think it shows just how innocent he was compared to this image that he had "He was not some wild rock-and-roller He was a very sweet and shy young guy". (News, Source: MSNBC/Sanja Meegin)
No "Live A Little, Love A Little" on DVD?: The movie "Live A Little, Love A Little" was featured on the CD Universe site for pre-order with a release date of November 1, 2005. Now the movie has been removed from the site suggesting it won't be released at this time. (News, Source: Elvis Australia/Elvis News)
Memories of Elvis 'end of lease' sale: Carol from "Memories of Elvis" has announced her "forced out - end of lease sale" with the following ad:
Demolition of Baptist Memorial Hospital: Controlled Demolition Inc. once collapsed the hotel where Elvis Presley was married as well as several places where he performed. Now, the Baltimore County company is preparing to implode the building where Presley was pronounced dead. The Phoenix, Md.-based company will be the ones igniting the explosives on Nov. 6 when a 20-story tower in Memphis -- once the main hospital of Baptist Memorial Health Care -- is slated to come down.
"Yes, we've got quite a history with the King," said Controlled Demolition Project Manager Stacey Loizeaux. "Of course, he got around quite a bit and so do we."
Loizeaux is third-generation with the family-run business, which counts among its projects the collapse of such high-profile buildings as the St. Louis Arena and the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building. The tower in Memphis is being cleared for construction of the UT-Baptist Research Park, a state-of-the-art campus designed for the highly specialized needs of Memphis' growing bioscience community.
That's according to Memphis Bioworks Foundation, a not-for-profit organization formed in 2001 to establish the Memphis region as an internationally recognized center for biomedical technology. The foundation said in a statement Tuesday that this will be the biggest implosion in the United States this year. It will take only seconds for the 20-story, 924,000-square-foot tower to fall during the controlled collapse, but preparations have been underway since May when workers began removing salvageable and hazardous materials such as asbestos from the building.
Controlled Demolition will put explosives at key structural points on six floors, the foundation said. Once the charges are ignited, gravity will take over and cause the building to fall. And the whole Controlled Demolition 15-person crew plus additional contractors will be there, said Loizeaux. Even her younger sisters who aren't directly involved in the business will be in Memphis to lend support. "This one is a biggy," she said. (News, Source: Baltimore Business Jornal/Sanja Meegin)
"Along the way, I developed a rapport with the artists and a sympathetic understanding of this unique subculture's obsessive, almost religious, attachment to the King. Each has each with his or her own story and unique take on Elvis," she says.
In his entertaining foreword to Living the Life!, Andrei Codrescu, of NPR fame, recalls first meeting Patty Carroll at an Elvis conference and her part in his immersion into the world of Elvis impersonator high priests. For a surprising number of the ETAs, it's their full-time job. For others, living the life means a balancing act between a day job writing novels or working as a state trooper.
In his comments, novelist and Elvis impersonator Bill Henderson, says it best, "So, thank you, Patty. I and several hundred other Elvis impersonators owe you a great debt. In this crazy world where everyone chases the image, you made us real." Patty Carroll's photographs are displayed in major U.S. museums, many private collections and books. She teaches photography at the School of the Art Institute and Columbia College in Chicago. Her photos of popular culture subjects can be found at http://www.pattycarroll.com .
Living the Life! The World of Elvis Tribute Artists will be available shortly at Barnes & Noble, Books-a-Million and through http://www.elimpersonators.com for $10.00 plus shipping. Publisher is Verve Editions, Burlington, Vermont. An online press kit with more photos and book highlights is at http://www.elimpersonators.com. (News, Source: PR Newswire/Sanja Meegin)
Germans to get back famed U.S. air base that farewelled Elvis: The runways that once helped feed a blockaded Berlin, bade Elvis Presley farewell after his Army service and provided the first glimpse of freedom for hostages returning from Iran now stand empty.
A hub of U.S. military activity for decades, Rhein-Main Air Base, is being given back to Germany, its logistical functions taken over by bases at Ramstein and Spangdahlem. Ceremonies set for Monday will mark the hand-over, which will take until the end of the year.
"The mission has moved," said U.S. Air Force Col. Tom Schnee, who is overseeing the shutdown.
Since 1945, the base has had a role in nearly every major conflict for the United States, from ferrying troops to Europe to providing support for the 1990 gulf war, and again in the 2003 invasion of Iraq. The pilots who flew non-stop during the Berlin Airlift took off from the runways of Rhein-Main. For Marines injured in the 1982 bombing of their barracks in Lebanon that killed 242, the base was the first glimpse of home. In January 1981, the 52 Americans held hostage for 444 days in Iran flew to Rhein-Main aboard C-9 Nightingales.
"It was a key base, the gateway to Europe for about 60 years," said Earl Moore, a Dallas physician who was a U.S. Navy aviator during the Berlin Airlift from 1947-48 and flew from Rhein-Main to West Berlin most days and nights. The Soviet Union had cut off ground traffic in an attempt to starve the Allies out of Berlin in the first standoff of the Cold War.
Moore recalled having to sleep in cold, wooden barracks with no running water except for the first floor, which used to house Nazi SS troopers.
"It was the diamond in the rough out of which we flew 24 hours a day for about a year and a half to save those 2 million people in Berlin," he said. "We were on the far side of the field and we had to gun the engines just to get the planes out of the mud and onto the taxiway."
As time passed, the field was improved and the runways, taxiways and buildings were modernized and heated. The closing also marks a passing for Frankfurt, the financial center of Germany and Europe. U.S. soldiers and airmen brought jazz, cheap cigarettes, hot dogs and other Americana to the city after World War II, and were a part of the bar scene in the Sachsenhausen district.
"I can close my eyes today and hear all those engines waiting to take off," said Moore, the Berlin Airlift veteran. "There goes the gateway to Europe." (News, Source: AP/Sanja Meegin)
02- Musical Roots ( March 31, 1972 Los Angeles, CA ) 10:46
03- Wild Early Years 6:39
04- Entertaining Fans 2:24
05- Assembling Singers And Musicians 3:35
06- Live Performances 0:40
07- Jaycee Awards Speech 2:21
08- First Talent Contest 1:40
09- His Famous Sideburns 1:01
10- Humes High '' Annual Minstrel '' Show, 1953 1:58
11- Driving A Truck And SUN Records 1:43
12- From The Waist Up 1:19
13- Drafted 1:37
14- Jealousy And Acceptance 4:03
15- Trapped In Hollywood 8:44
16- His Entourage 2:09
17- Tour Preparation 4:25
18- Backstage Discussion ( April 15, 1972 Macon,GA ) 0:59
19- With Denise Sanchez ( Albuquerque, NM April 19, 1972 ) 1:05
20- Funny How Time Slips Away ( March 31, 1972 Los Angeles, CA ) 2:50
21- It's Over ( April 10, 1972 Richmond, VA ) 2:19 . Total time = 62:27
Tracks 3-19 previously unreleased
All tracks recorded in late July 1972 at MGM Studios in Los Angeles, CA except where noted. (News, Source: FECC)
Lisa Presley "new" tour dates: Click here for details of the second leg of Lisa's "Now What" tour. (News, Source: Official LMP site)
Priscilla may sue over "affair" claim: Elvis Presley' ex-wife, Priscilla is reported to be considering taking legal action over claims that she had an affair with acclaimed photographer Terry O'Neill. New audio book 'When The Beatles Met Elvis', by British journalist Chris Hutchins, alleges Presley enjoyed a secret romance with the celebrity snapper after she split from the rock 'n' roll legend in the early 1970s.
Hutchins, who set up the famous first meeting between Presley and The Beatles in 1965, is baffled by the 60-year-old actress' denial. He says, "I was told, by the same source that told me and informed me that Elvis was dead an hour before the news was officially released in 1977, that Priscilla is talking to her lawyers about my audio book.
"I can't think why. Terry O'Neill was very frank with me and very explicit when he told me about the affair which happened after he met her in a shop she was running in Los Angeles."
And O'Neill, who was once married to actress Faye Dunaway, insists the claims are true. He says, "I was in a store and there was this cute girl with a beautiful face. It turned out to be Priscilla. She had a great body but I didn't like the way she dressed. Dressing badly once is all right but not all the time." (News, Source: Contact Music)
Elvis would still be alive today if he had lived in England: When commenting on the Kate Moss drug story, Sir Elton John made the following interesting observation:
"The great thing about England is that the media will give you a very hard time. They won't let you get away with it. I wish Elvis Presley had lived in England because if he had, he would probably still be alive today." (News, Source: BackPage)
England cricket "all-rounder" an Elvis fan, but won't be singing Elvis: Andrew Flintoff, one of the heroes of England's recent win over Australia in the Ashes series is an avid Elvis fan and known for his singing in the dressing rooms. While his cricket prowess is well known, he is now on the verge of indulging a lesser-known passion - singing. Known for booming out songs in England's dressing room, Flintoff has acquired a singing coach in Jon Christos, a rising opera star who was approached by Flintoff after a charity ball in Manchester three weeks ago. Christos has given Flintoff lessons and is impressed. Now there is even talk of a Flintoff single in the music stores before Christmas.
"He's going to come over as soon as he gets back and by that time I will have prepared him a couple of tracks and we'll get to work," Christos told UK newspaper The Sunday Telegraph.
Christos will not reveal what Flintoff will record. The all-rounder is an Elvis Presley fan, but started the Ashes celebrations last month with some Elton John classics. "I promised Fred I would not give away what we're doing," Christos said. "It's not Elvis." (News, Source: smh.com.au)
Elvis needs your beds!: With accommodation in Parkes, Australia already booked out for the 2006 Elvis Festival weekend, the Parkes Visitor Information Centre are now calling on local residents to offer accommodation in their own homes.
The Visitor Information Centre is coordinating a new Home Hosting Program, which will see festival visitors staying in temporary bed and breakfast style accommodation in the homes of local Parkes residents. There are financial incentives to get involved. Local residents who offer accommodation through the Home Hosting Program receive a payment for each guest staying in their home. "It's very easy to be a home host," Parkes Shire Tourism Manager, Monique Kronk said on Friday.
"Residents renting their home are not eligible, but aside from this requirement, there is a fairly simple check-list and inspection to find out if you are eligible to participate. "The festival is three months away and we've already got Elvis fans on waiting lists for accommodation," Monique said.
"Our priority is to fill commercial accommodation, so we're tracking vacancies and referring visitors to also stay in Peak Hill, Bogan Gate and Forbes accommodation. "But the reality is that some visitors simply won't come to the Festival unless they can find accommodation in the town itself and that's why the Home Hosting program is an important step in the growth of the Festival." Monique said the Home Hosting program was a first for Parkes. "We're pilot testing the program for the Elvis Festival next year, but if it's successful it may prove to be a useful tool during other peak event times. "We will however only use Home Hosting for events when there is a certainty that commercial accommodation will be booked out in Parkes."
The ClubsNSW Parkes Elvis Festival will be held on 6th - 8th January 2006. Residents interested in offering Home Hosting accommodation are encouraged to register their interest and find out more by contacting the Parkes Visitor Information Centre during weekdays. Phone: 02-6862 4365. (News, Source: Parkes Champion Post)
Elvis Rockin' up north: The Dutch Fanclub "It's Elvis Time" is organizing a meeting on November 12th in the northern part of Holland. Entry is free. The address is: Dorpshuis, Tolbert, Meester Boonstraplantsoon 2. The meeting will start at 12:00. (News, Source: Peter Haan/FECC)
Memphis telephone book sells for US$165.00: On 8 October we mentioned that a copy of the 1955 Memphis area telephone book had been listed on ebay. It included listings for Elvis Presley Enterprises, Vernon Presley, Sam Phillips and the Memphis Recording Service (Sun Studio). The telephone book was the subject of strong bidding, eventually selling for more than $165.00. (News, Source: ebay)
"Playboy" magazine November 2005 - "In Bed with Elvis": The November issue of Playboy carries the following article - Fledgling William Morris agent Byron Raphael began working for Elvis Presley in 1956. Among his responsibilities: making sure the King was visited by a steady stream of beautiful women, including stars such as Marilyn Monroe and Natalie Wood. What went on behind closed doors wasn't as steamy -- or as normal -- as his fans would think. By Byron Raphael with Alanna Nash. (News, Source: ME4EP, FECC)
Elvis by the Presleys "has left the Australian DVD chart": After falling to #40 last week, Elvis by the Presleys has dropped out of the ARIA Music DVD Top 40 chart this week. It was on the chart for 15 weeks, peaking at #3 and (to date) certified Platinum, with sales exceeding 15,000 copies. (News, Source: ARIA)
"Don't Be Cruel" & "Rubberneckin'" (2003) music videos online: The AllMusic Group site has a video of "Don't Be Cruel" (apparently from 1992) posted on at the bottom of it's biography page on Elvis, along with the 2003 "Rubberneckin'" remix video. (News, Source: Gregory Nolan Jr, FECC)
EPE's "rumor buster" blasts Elvis fan sites!: On numerous Elvis fan sites and messageboards recently (see 6 October) , information, much of it incorrect, was posted regarding the status of Elvis Presley Enterprises’ (EPE’s) efforts to find a new tenant for the building that formerly housed its Elvis Presley’s Memphis restaurant on Beale Street. Here is the straight story with some background for those who might not be aware of the history:
Nowadays, the Florida-based preacher is a recovered addict and globe-trotting spiritual leader who doesn't rely on his kin's electric guitar or velvet jumpsuit to spread the word of God. "I got into drugs when I was traveling with Elvis," Stanley told the St. Charles (La.) Herald Guide. "I didn't anticipate my conversion to Christ, nor was I looking for it. It's something God did. He gripped my heart two months after Elvis passed away. I was sick of myself, the sin and my estrangement from God, so my girlfriend, Robyn, asked me to go to church, and I went. When I prayed and asked God to heal me, it happened." Several months after Elvis' death, Stanley accepted Christ. ... (News, Source: Dayton Daily News)
Elvis' generosity: Priscilla tells a story that she heard from an old woman in a Memphis flower shop: Elvis' limousine was broken down on the side of the road one day when a motorist stopped to help. The driver was under the hood working when the man offered his assistance. Without knowing that it was Elvis' car, the man got the vehicle running again and went on his way. A few days later, the man went to the bank to make his monthly mortgage payment. To his surprise, the teller said he didn't have a mortgage. The man insisted that he did, and showed his payment book as proof. "Your mortgage has been paid off by Elvis Presley," the teller replied. "Elvis always said that money is meaningless until you share it with your friends," Priscilla says. (News, Source: Amber Smith)
"The Headhunter" enters pre-production: David Stanley's film "The Headhunter" entered its pre-production phase earlier this month. Click here to visit The Headhunter website including video of its impressive awareness campaign. (News, Source: Impello Films)
Johnson's collection also contains famous contracts and important signed documents and also items relating to Presley’s life, rare exclusive photographs, posters, handbills, press cuttings and magazines. Some of which are available for you to buy exclusively through the Cooper Owen website. Daniel is the Managing Director and owner of the Elvis Presley Museum, which is planning a big launch in the near future.
EIN note: As usual it is a case of "buyer beware". Many of the online items can be bought elsewhere (eg. ebay.com) for considerably less than what Cooper Owen is charging. For example, original Elvis concert tickets (circa 1970s) regularly sell on ebay for less than US$50.00 (Cooper Owen has them at £95.00); an original copy of the August 17, 1977 Memphis Press-Scimitar has a list price of US$40.00 (Cooper Owen price is £50.00), and the Butterfield & Butterfield catalogs (see photo above) have appeared on ebay numerous times in the past year with a start price around US$25.00 (Cooper Owen wants between £45.00 and £55.00). As we always say "it pays to shop around". (News, Source: Elvis Express/EIN)
Lee Nichols dies: Former Wichita broadcast personality Lee Nichols died last Saturday in Spearman, Texas, he was 99. Nichols was a Texas native who spent more than 20 years in radio at Wichita, from 1951 to 1974. He was a rock 'n' roll disc jockey at K-W-B-B and manager at K-S-I-R and K-F-R-M. In 1956, he introduced Elvis Presley to more than four-thousand screaming fans at a Wichita concert.
Almost Elvis "News" updated: World's best Elvis impersonator to perform in Cyprus; "Aloha From Hawaii" at luau. (Almost Elvis, Source: AFP; Lamar Daily News)
Johnstown "jailhouse rockin" for a cause: To celebrate the 70th birthday of Elvis Presley, the Johnstown Historical Society cordially invites you to attend "Jailvis," the first annual Elvis-Fest. The proceeds of this celebration are to fund the renovation of the historic Johnstown Jail and expansion of the museum rooms. The Jailvis Shoppe will make available numerous items of Elvis and of Johnstown. You can have your photo taken with Elvis for $2.
On Oct. 15 at 10 a.m., the Township Hall on the Square will be where you get your tickets for the tour of the Opera House, the museum rooms, and of the jail. The $3 ticket charge includesn having your picture taken behind bars. Tours will commence on the half hour until noon. At 8 p.m. the Opera House will feature nearly twenty vocalists expressing Elvis' musical legacy in the Jailhouse Rock Concert. Admission is $5. The door will open at seven for those wanting to visit the Jailvis Shop, have their photo taken with Elvis, or visit the museum room prior to the concert. No taping will be permitted.
On Oct. 16 at 3 p.m. the Elvis-Fest continues with a Look-Alike Competition and Auction. Donations of products and services from the businessmen, and Elvis sights and sounds will be available for bid. The $5 admission charge will give you five one dollar tickets to spend in the Jailvis Shoppe or for the auction action. Doors will open one hour prior to the event. (News, Source: The Advocate, Ohio/Sanja Meegin)
Anniversary of passing of Australia's equivalent to Elvis: On this day in 1978, the man known both as the "wild one" and Australia's "King of Rock & Roll", Johnny O'Keefe, died. The volatile hip shaker was often a troubled soul but his showmanship and music making ability was amazing. Some of his big hits included She's My Baby, I'm Counting On You and The Wild One. Like Elvis, JO'K was born in 1935. (News. Source: Chris Bamford/EIN)
Judge who married Elvis & Priscilla dies: Funeral services were scheduled Thursday in San Diego for former Nevada Supreme Court Justice David Zenoff, who died Monday at age 89. Zenoff, who performed Elvis Presley's marriage ceremony and founded a Las Vegas-area youth camp, died of a respiratory ailment at Scripps Memorial Hospital in Encinitas, Calif., near his home in La Costa. "He was a good leveling influence on the court," former Justice Cliff Young said. "He was a credit to the judiciary." Zenoff was a district court judge in Las Vegas from 1958 to 1965 before serving more than a decade as a Supreme Court justice. After retiring in 1976, he became the state's first senior justice and occasionally participated in high court cases. As a Supreme Court justice, Zenoff performed the May 1, 1967, marriage of 32-year-old Elvis Presley and 21-year-old Priscilla Anne Beaulieu at the Aladdin hotel in Las Vegas.
Zenoff drew criticism in the mid-1970s for participating in a case involving the Heavenly Valley Ski Resort. Zenoff lived at nearby Lake Tahoe, and accepted free ski passes at Heavenly Valley. (News, Source: AP/Sanja Meegin)
Trip to Graceland for man on dole who wins lotto: Skint Graham Everall quit the dole this week after collecting £4.2million in lotto winnings. And one of the items high on the agenda is to visit his idol's mansion in Memphis, Tennessee. (News, Source: The Sun Online)
Questions raised about "private" tour of Graceland offered by Joe Esposito: EIN has received a number of comments regarding the "Ultimate Elvis Tour" sweepstakes competition being run by Joe Esposito on his new website, tcbjoe.com. There were suggestions EPE had not agreed to Joe conducting a 'private' tour of the mansion, which is one part of the prize. EIN contacted EPE for clarification and their response confirmed what we had been told: "Graceland and Elvis Presley Enterprises, in no way, supports or is cooperating with Joe on this contest. Thanks!"
Apparently to enter the sweepstakes fans need to "buy" a ticket or tickets. (News, Source: Emails/EPE)
Groups fighting over relics from Apacheland (Charro) movie set: It may be high noon for Apacheland Movie Ranch's legacy of Hollywood cowboy and Elvis Presley memorabilia.
Nudie Cohn's 'wild west' bling: The New York Times is running a great article profiling Nudie Cohn, a Russian immigrant who, among other things, was a tailor to the stars and pimper of rides. Cohn famously made a $100,000 gold lamé suit for Elvis Presley, but the NYT article focuses on “Nudiemobiles,” the cars he customized for celebrities. The bling he added to the cars was of a decidedly Western flavor, frequently including silver-plated pistols for door handles or gear shifters, silver dollars stuck here and there, and hood-mounted animal horns. More info and pictures can be found at the official Nudie’s Rodeo Tailors web site. (News, Source: Sanja Meegin)
NASA to blast "Elvis" into space: Analex will continue to help NASA develop a new space ship, with the first of two possible extensions to a contract related to the Expendable Launch Vehicle Integrated Support (Elvis).
The three-year contract, which runs through Sept. 2008, is worth $63 million. Under terms of the contract, Analex will continue to provide ground services and technical support for engineering, launch operations and business services. It is doing the work at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida and at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Alexandria-based Analex (AMEX: NLX) has been a NASA contractor for over 20 years. Its "Elvis" contracting partners include SAIC and AI Solutions. (News, Source: Sanja Meegin)
13th Annual Elvis Fest: There will be tribute artists, fun activities, artwork, plenty of blue suede shoes and stacks of Elvis merchandise for sale when the 13th Annual Elvis Fest fires up this weekend at Woodland Park in Portage, USA. (Almost Elvis, Source: Sanja Meegin)
Don't throw money at false idols: Couple an American icon and an American Idol and what do you get? You get an interesting company that has as much potential for danger as success, just enough trouble to make CKX Inc. the Stupid Investment of the Week.
CKX has risen from a shell corporation in the last year to buy two of the most famous properties in entertainment, purchasing control of 85 percent of Elvis Presley Enterprises, plus 19 Entertainment, the firm responsible for the popular ``American Idol'' and ``So You Think You Can Dance'' television shows.
It's a story stock, the kind of young issue that attracts people hoping to get in on the ground floor of something big, and which uses a tinge of celebrity to possibly color the judgment of those potential investors. CKX is the latest business of billionaire entertainment mogul Robert F. X. Sillerman.
The company went public by purchasing a defunct Nevada shell company, Sports Entertainment Enterprises, in a reverse merger last December. Sillerman was one of the founders of SFX Entertainment, a sports-promotion and live-concert business that was sold five years ago to Clear Channel Communications for more than $4 billion.
He bought Sports Enterprises and renamed it CKX – for Content is King with the "X'' as his signature mark – and simultaneously bought the Presley business for about $100 million in cash and stock. Elvis has been the top-earning dead celebrity for years, according to Forbes magazine, and the plan is to build a Las Vegas museum/theater property, plus to use much of the available Elvis memorabilia to develop income streams from overseas, where the King lives large in the minds of music fans.
Yet the deal can't work unless Elvis generates a lot more money than he has been, just to cover the new layer of pricey corporate management that now gets a cut of the proceeds. And while the King remains hugely popular, Presley Enterprises saw its revenues decline by 6 percent in 2004; Elvis won't be making new albums or movies to regenerate his popularity, so CKX must turn that trend on its own, which could get increasingly tough as the King's core fans head toward retirement. (News/Sale of EPE, Source: Chuck Jaffe/Sanja Meegin)
Rare "Elvis & Beethoven" CD for sale: If you collect rare and alternate releases then Elvis Unlimited has just the CD for you: "This CD was supposed to contain Ludwig Van Beethoven's Symphonie Nr. 5 in C MOL but it dosen't. Instead is the first thing that you hear when you put the CD in your CD-player Elvis singing Stranger In My Own Home Town. So what happened is that the factory pressed the Elvis album The Memphis Record on a Beethoven disc."
"We have never seen another copy of this nice miss-press. It's probably one of a kind. If you would like to have an Elvis CD in your collection that you know that you're the only one who has then do you have the chance now. (News, Source: Elvis Unlimited)
Man claims he taught Elvis to dance: Tom Van Bibber of south Fort Myers says he taught Elvis Presley to dance, yet he can't figure out how to silence an irritating sound in his house. What do Elvis and the mysterious noise have in common? Nothing, except I know Tom's sinister sound exists, but Elvis — except for occasional sightings — isn't around to ask if Tom straightened out his two left feet in a Memphis VFW.
"Elvis was 13, the same age as my brother, and I was 16,'' says Tom, 73. "Elvis couldn't dance much so I taught him a few steps.''
Justin bids for Elvis's kingdom: The capital city of soul and rock'n'roll, which launched the careers of stars including Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and Jerry Lee Lewis, has hit hard times. In its heyday Elvis was its king in his Graceland mansion. Yet today the stardust of Memphis is gone, replaced by high unemployment, crime and grinding poverty.
Now an unlikely figure, the former boy band member Justin Timberlake, has emerged as its would-be saviour. He is negotiating to build a huge recording studio complex and to buy up two of the city's world-renowned record labels, Sun, which gave the planet Elvis and rock'n'roll, and Otis Redding's Stax. The audacious plan would revive Memphis as a creative centre in a way not seen since BB King and Booker T and the MGs played Beale Street in the Sixties.
Timberlake's move is not without controversy. Smaller studios and labels that have struggled in the city for years fear they could be ruined by such a powerful player signing up local talent. Senior figures behind the project said Timberlake, 24, could launch a new record label to go alongside the revival of Sun and Stax, or dramatically expand the company he started up this summer, JayTee Records, which signed hip hop's Joshua B as its first act. 'Right now it is something that is in the works, but it's not something that can really be spoken about. It would be great, wonderful for Memphis,' said Jon Hornyak, senior executive director of the Memphis chapter of the Recording Academy, the body behind the Grammys music awards.
'[Justin] is the biggest pop star in the world right now. It's like when Elvis was here 50 years ago, it shook a lot of things up and people paid attention,' said Hornyak. Timberlake started out as a teen pop vocalist, but as a solo artist has swung towards R&B and rap. His studio would probably record a variety of styles.
It's very exciting to have someone of his significance participate in the music scene here,' said Ray Fleming, president of the Memphis Music Foundation. Sun Studio is now primarily a tourist attraction, especially the room where in 1954 a young Elvis sang 'That's All Right (Mama)' and rock 'n'roll was born. It also hosted Jerry Lee Lewis, Roy Orbison and Johnny Cash; Carl Perkins recorded 'Blue Suede Shoes' there. Country music producer Shelby Singleton bought Sun in 1969, and ever since his family has owned a major stake in the valuable back catalogue of more than 7,000 songs.
'We have been talking to Ray Fleming about a group he is working with who might be interested in buying Sun. It depends if the price is right. I have also heard that they [the group of investors and Timberlake] may be trying to buy Stax too,' said company president John Singleton. Fleming said Stax was now worth more than $1 billion.
'Even Puff Daddy or Jay-Z's labels do not make that kind of money,' he said. Not everyone is thrilled at the prospect of Timberlake's homecoming. The city has about 20 independent recording studios and about 50 tiny record labels. 'The business leaders say Timberlake will bring wealth to the town for everyone but there are too many vested interests at the top of the industry, and we are worried that all the power and investment will be kept there,' said one small-label owner.
'All the new talent would probably want to sign with him, not us.' (News, Source: Guardian Unlimited)
Aussie chart update: After 15 weeks on the ARIA Music DVD Top 40 chart, Elvis by the Presleys fell seven places to #40 today. (News, Source: ARIA)
From the Archives #2: From time to time EIN dips into the vast Elvis archives to bring you items of historical interest.
Elvis gun banned from auction!: A gold plated gun that was owned by Elvis has been banned by media regulators from appearing in a TV auction.
The lot was to appear amongst other Elvis memorabilia for sale on TV station Auction World TV and was expected to receive bids of up to £60,000. The gold plated Walther PPK was banned from the auction because it is against the law to advertise the sale of guns on TV. A spokeswoman for media regulator Ofcom said: "Auction-world TV approached us for clarification of our code relating to guns. It is clearly set out that the advertisement of guns or gun clubs is prohibited."
Elvis, a gun fanatic, was the proud owner of several guns which he used to shoot TV screens when he was bored. Other Elvis memorabilia in the sale include jewellery and one of Elvis’s guitar. Monday 16th August is the 27th anniversary of Elvis's death. (Archives, Source: gigwise.com, Aug 2004)
"Live A Little, Love A Little" US DVD release: Announced on the CD Universe site is the SONY DVD "Live a Little, Love a Little" from 1968. The release date is November 1, 2005.
Sonny West still "taking care of business": Sonny West still knows how to take care of business. The throng of fans that constantly surrounded him on opening day at the State Fair of Texas proved it. Mr. West, Elvis Presley's longtime bodyguard and friend, began drawing crowds to the Hall of State even before the fair officially opened at 10 a.m. Friday.
He's in Dallas as part of "The American Music Scene," an exhibit highlighting the highs and lows of rock 'n' roll, and he'll be signing autographs and telling stories throughout the fair's run. The exhibit features many Elvis artifacts – including his pants from the movie Viva Las Vegas, karate and football equipment, hair dryer, Mobil credit card and his custom-made red velvet bedspread. But Mr. West, 67, and his tantalizing tales seemed to be the biggest hit Friday morning. "We had some crazy, wild times," Mr. West told his ever-growing group of gawkers. "When I went to work for him in 1960, I was 21. When I left in 1976, I was still 21. We refused to grow up."
Mr. West first met the King in 1958 at a roller rink in Memphis, where the two grew up. They were on opposite sides of a game called "War" – a version of roller derby in which the goal was to knock down your opponents by almost any means necessary. Elvis was impressed by Mr. West's fortitude during the game, even after splitting open his lip, hitting his head and getting knocked down several times by a girl. "He asked me if I had fun," Mr. West said. "I said, 'Sometimes.' "
The next night, Mr. West played on Elvis' team. The crooner later asked Mr. West to join his entourage, and the two became good friends. Elvis was best man at Mr. West's wedding. Mr. West was fired by Elvis in 1976, and he and others wrote a book about the King's problems with prescription drugs.
Mr. West said he had hoped the book would be a wake-up call for his friend, but Elvis died just weeks after it was published. Many of Elvis' fans were upset by the book at the time, though Mr. West said most have forgiven him. There are some, however, who will never understand, he said.
"To them, he is an icon, an image," said Mr. West, who now lives outside Nashville. "They forget he was a human being with human frailties. His frailty was his addiction."
Fort Worth resident and Elvis fan Jodon Hicks, one of the first in line to talk to Mr. West on Friday, said he felt the book was fair. He peppered Mr. West with questions about Elvis, listened to his answers and told some stories of his own. Mr. Jodon was 12 when he first saw Elvis. The young singer was playing at a high school dance in 1955.
"Three months later, I couldn't remember his name," Mr. Hicks, a former disc jockey, told Mr. West.
Many of the people who gathered around Mr. West – clad in black with dark-tinted glasses and a gold lightning-bolt necklace – wanted to hear stories of Elvis' life. A few were more interested in his death. One wanted to know what Mr. West thought of the people who believe the King will return someday.
"If you think he'd stay in hiding when Michael Jackson wanted to marry his daughter, there's no way," Mr. West said, laughing. "He never would have let that happen." (News, Source: Dallas Morning News)
“Of course, EPE did not give permission for this silly thing. We'll pass it on to Licensing/Legal to check into in case they are not already aware. Unfortunately, trademark protections for deceased celebrities are very weak in Europe. This sort of thing is very easy to stop in the USA, but it's sometimes very difficult or even impossible to do something about in Europe. But, we'll see.”
"I wonder whom they "paid a lot of money." Definitely not EPE. Not a penny." (News, Source: Elvis News)
"Elvis Presley is the supreme socio-cultural icon in the history of pop culture"
(Dr. Gary Enders)
" Elvis is the 'glue' which holds our society together....which subconciously gives our world meaning"
"Eventually everybody has to die, except Elvis"
(humorist Dave Barry)
"He is the "Big Bang", and the universe he detonated is still expanding, the pieces are still flying"
(Greil Marcus, "Dead Elvis")
"I think Elvis Presley will never be solved"
"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"
"When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew I wasn't going to work for anybody...hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail"
"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"
(Sir Paul McCartney)
"You can't say enough good things about Elvis. He was one of a kind"