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

(Leonard Bernstein)


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

(George Klein)


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

(Professor Gilbert B. Rodman)


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

(Jerry Schilling)


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

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


"Elvis is everywhere"

(Mojo Nixon & Skid Roper)


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

(Michael Ventura, LA Weekly)


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


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


"Elvis was a major hero of mine. I was actually stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something"

(David Bowie)


"No-one, but no-one, is his equal, or ever will be. He was, and is supreme"

(Mick Jagger)


"I wasn't just a fan, I was his brother...there'll never be another like that soul brother"

(Soul legend, James Brown)


"Before Elvis there was nothing!"

(John Lennon)

















































































































































































































































































New Graceland Operator Worries Elvis Fans

                , New Albany Tribune, 5 Aug 2005

MEMPHIS, Tenn. - The pilgrims will still weep at Elvis Presley's grave, and the souvenir shops will still swarm with credit-card waving fans, an occasional black pompadour hardly drawing a glance.

But change is in the air: Strangers are in Graceland.

Lisa Marie Presley has sold the business side of her father's estate and turned over his famous, white-columned house to CKX Inc., an entertainment company that also owns the "American Idol" TV show. Now, some of fans who flock to Memphis each year to commemorate Presley's death on Aug. 16, 1977, are worried their annual homecoming won't be quite so homey.

"They call themselves a company now," said Jean Donovan, a fan from Derry, N.H.Of course, Elvis Presley Enterprises was already a company. Forbes listed Presley as the world's top earning dead entertainer last year. Graceland managers say the Elvis business, which brings in $40 million a year, is poised to grow even more. CKX says it's looking into "Elvis-related attractions" in places like Las Vegas, Asia, the Middle East and Europe. No details have been announced.

"Elvis sells all over the world, and that's where the real opportunity for growth lies for us, to take more of Elvis and Graceland out to the world," said Jack Soden, chief executive of Elvis Presley Enterprises, now a subsidiary of New York-based CKX. Soden oversaw Graceland's opening in 1982, and he's staying on the job. But the Elvis faithful are ever-watchful for hints of change at Graceland, where Presley is buried in a small garden.

"I know a lot of the older fans are in an uproar," said Kathie Bryson, a fan from St. Louis.

"But then, anything that changes down there puts them in an uproar."Elvis won't be the only American idol in the stables of CKX, a company founded by Robert F.X. Sillerman, an investor who specializes in media and entertainment. A month after the Elvis deal, CKX acquired 19 Entertainment, the British company that produces the TV show "American Idol" and its British predecessor, "Pop Idol."

CKX also has an agreement to buy MBST, a Hollywood talent-management company, and expects to make other acquisitions.CKX says its strategy is to buy companies that control "established entertainment content" _ which could include music, TV, films and video games _ and then to enhance the value of those companies.Sillerman was also a leading founder of SFX Entertainment, a group of sports promotion and live concert properties that sold to Clear Channel Communications for more than $4 billion five years ago.

Bishop Cheen, an entertainment analyst for Wachovia Securities, said Sillerman will likely focus on his control of the rights to Presley's name and leave the day-to-day operations of Graceland alone.

"He's not known for sacking and burning and pillaging," Cheen said. "He is known for adding value and taking profits."

The company went public earlier this year by buying an inactive public company, Sports Entertainment Enterprises Inc. Sillerman changed the name to CKX _ for "Content is King," with a final "X" as a signature of his businesses _ and simultaneously bought the Presley business in February for about $100 million in cash and stock. The company raised $235 million in an $11-per-share stock offering in June.

All but about $50 million went to pay off debts, including the cost of the Elvis business. Shares have been trading recently between $13 and $14 per share. Lisa Marie Presley got $50 million at the sale, stock in CKX and kept a 15 percent interest in Elvis Presley Enterprises, along with title to Graceland and her father's personal possessions. Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie's mother and Presley's ex-wife, got $6.5 million and a 10-year consulting contract with CKX at $560,000 a year.

She is also on the company's board of directors.When Presley died at age 42 of prescription drug abuse and heart disease, his finances were in sad shape. But led by Priscilla Presley, the estate formed Elvis Presley Enterprises, opened Graceland to the public and began a campaign to solidify the legal rights to make money on Elvis' name and image.

Now it's CKX's job to keep that going. Soden (opposite) said he doesn't expect CKX to make major adjustments in how Graceland and its complex of souvenir shops and museums are run."

They said when we were getting to know them, 'You know, we're not out trying to buy problems. We don't want to buy companies that we have to fix,'" Soden said. For the fans, there's little concern that Elvis' light will dim. They worry instead about access to Graceland and whether an expanding marketplace will show Presley the reverence they believe he deserves.

"We're all just waiting to see what changes, if any, will be made," said Jeanne Kalweit of The Elvis Presley TCB Fan Club of Chicago. Cheen understands how seriously the Kingdom takes all of this.

"(Sillerman) is a New Yorker and an outsider, so he's got to be under suspicion," he said. "But he's a businessman, you know, not General Sherman."

Elvis Presley Enterprises, http://www.elvis.com/

CKX Inc., http://ir.ckx.com/


EIN comment: It is EINs view that the sale of EPE to CKX is an opportunity for the Elvis brand to be taken to a new level. While there will be some changes many fans don't like, change is inevitable, and the long term security and growth of the Elvis brand should be our paramount concern.

CD: Elvis by the Presleys
Book: Warman's Elvis Field Guide
DVD: Why Elvis?
Book: Dewey and Elvis
CD: Black & White Elvis
CD: All Shook Up
Book: Rough Guide to Elvis
DVD: Elvis by the Presleys
FTD: Rockin' Across Texas
FTD: Elvis Is Back
TV Special: "Elvis by the Presleys"
Book: Elvis by the Presleys
CD: Tom Green
Show: Sonny West
CD: A Legendary Performer Vol. 5
CD: Young & Beautiful (TV Guide)
DVD: Elvis by the Presleys "Target" bonus disc
Mini-series: Elvis
FTD: Big Boss Man
VCD: Joe Esposito's Home Videos of Elvis
Welcome to Gulag Graceland
The King and I
Elvis was a racist? (4)
Elvis was a racist? (3)
Schism between Elvis' stage & studio work
Tupelo, Miss....Elvis 2005
Elvis was a racist? (#2)
Elvis vs. Jerry Lee Lewis
Elvis was a racist? (#1)
Elvis making a killing
Elvis & the treasure chest of blood money
Priscilla - "no angel"
Elvis in the 1970s
More on Elvis on TV
"Orion" gunned down!
Elvis Is Back
Elvis - Hero with 1000 faces
Elvis Film Guide
Elvis rules on television! (updated May 2005)
Elvis & other major artists miss out on Grammy Awards
How did Elvis die?
Bernard Lansky
Albert Wertheimer
Priscilla Presley
Marshall Terrill
Lisa Presley on Larry King Show
Tony Joe White
Stanley Oberst
Bud Glass (part 2)
Red & Sonny West
Ed Bonja (Part 2)
Ernst Jorgensen
Phil Aitcheson (Presley Commission)
Elvis On Tour (Hampton Roads) footage
Elvis On Tour
Graceland cam
Listen to the Elvis "strung out" in Vegas audio
The "Real" Elvis off-stage
Unreleased Elvis audio now online
View EPE Graceland tourism ads
View video of "All Shook Up" opening night on Broadway
All about Elvis
All about Elvis tribute artists
All about Lisa Presley
All about Graceland
Elvis books 2005-07
Elvis film guide
Elvis Online Virtual Library
Elvis Presley Research Forum
Elvis was a racist? (archives)
Elvis Week 2005
Links to Elvis' family & friends
Online Elvis Symposium
Sale of EPE "Archives"
6th Elvis Website Survey
Spotlight on The King
"Wikipedia" Elvis bio


"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"

(Nick Tosches)


"He was the most popular man that ever walked on this planet since Christ himself was here"

(Carl Perkins)


"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"

(Bob Dylan)


"When we were kids growing up in Liverpool, all we ever wanted was to be Elvis Presley"

(Sir Paul McCartney)