"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)

















































































































































































































































































Elvis Week 2005

EIN's exclusive reports

Sanja Meegin, EIN's roving reporter, is back once again to give us all the inside scoops on Elvis Week 2005 - so watch out Memphis 'cos 'The Walls Have Ears'!

Check out Sanja's fantastic Elvis Week 2005 photos here.

August 17th - Final update from Memphis:

While it seemed likely that all the devoted fans would be drifting away and heading back to their jobs surprisingly the Graceland Crossing Tent was still buzzing with excitement last night. The Commercial Appeal stated that this year’s crowd was 10,000 strong. While this is lower than EPE’s quote this is still a large number of fans for a subdued year. ‘The Images of The King’ winner was the sensational Mario from England. He has come second before but Mario is quite spectacular and deserved his hard-earned win.Jim Curtin announced that he is selling his entire Elvis collection! This includes 25,000 photographs, three genuine Elvis stage costumes, 1000+ SUN & RCA original singles - some autographed, and an extremely rare one–off ‘I’ll Be Back’ white-labelled 45rpm single made specially for the 1966 Academy Award nomination. The auction will take place December 2-3rd, Crown Plaza, Beverley Hills.

Marlowe’s Restaurant co-owner Melissa Coleman sits on the EPE board and revealed to EIN more details about the re-building of Graceland Plaza. Initial plans are to develop the area in 2 stages and although The Tent will stay, the rest will eventually be rebuilt. EPE also owns the area at the back which they plan to turn into an Amusement Park, as well as building a large Convention Hotel behind ‘Heartbreak Hotel’. This may eventually be expanded to replace the older ‘Heartbreak Hotel’ itself. Coleman was very optimistic about new owner Robert Sillerman and what he will bring to the Elvis world. She says that he is positively involved, has so many good new ideas, as well as having the money to make them work! Obviously 2007 is a deadline year for most projects but there should be major changes by this time next year.

Signing off until next year
- ‘What now, What Next, Where to?’
Your intrepid EIN Roving Reporter


Click to comment on the Elvis Week 2005 EIN reports

Memphis - 3am Tuesday 16th August

It is 3am on this very special day and so it is really hard not to blur one’s feelings with emotion. It is also an incredible 90F at this time of night - the predicted, regular, downpour of cooling rain just didn’t happen this year.

The centrepiece of Monday was of course The Vigil, which I have just returned from – and I do hope that you all got a chance to see it via the Internet. Todd Morgan was very pleased that it was being broadcast on PBS & to local TV stations this year – and what a special evening it was.

The lead-in was a totally stunning performance by The Stamps in the Graceland Crossing Tent. Ed Enoch thrilled the absolutely packed audience with stories & harmonies as he raised the heavenly feelings amongst the faithful. I’m not sure how they managed in the scorching heat, but it certainly was a highlight of the whole week.

At 9pm the Ceremony began, with the 2005 theme song being the beautiful ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water.’

Todd Morgan welcomed the loving crowd and we held our candles high in the unbelievable humidity. The service featured ‘If I Can Dream’, ‘And I Love You So’, 'I Believe in The Man In The Sky' and ‘Can’t Help Falling In Love’ .

However the emotions of the entire crowd were totally encapsulated by the announced presence of The Presley family! And it was truly moving to see Priscilla’s family standing on the Graceland lawn, for all to see, taking part in this lovely ceremony. If only Lisa Marie & Priscilla had the strength to join them – maybe for 2007?

After the final song the front-row fans (who had been camping out for over 27 hours) started to file silently & reverentially up the driveway and past the grave. While I felt that the numbers were lower than last year, and around the 4000 mark, the end of the line had still not passed the entrance gate by 2.30am!

It was as moving and emotional as always as I walked slowly through the Meditation Garden and laid out my floral arrangement amongst all the wonderful tributes to this great & loving man.

For minority of fans who only attended the ceremony, the Hard Rock Café was playing the ‘68 Special’ on the big screen – and they now have Elvis’ 68 special original guitar framed for all to see. It looks very nice!

Outside the ceremony & cooling in the pool, other Elvis "family" I met over the last 2 days included Elvis’ cook Nancy Rook (who was there signing her new book), Elvis’ nurse Marion Cocke, and even Scotty Moore who dropped in to check out the Memorabilia display. And did I tell you that I talked to Patsy Presley who informed me that she is also writing a book of her experiences in the Elvis family? Now that will be a fascinating read.

While the thrill of seeing ‘The Memphis Boys’ in action (Elvis’ American Sound Studios band) was possibly the musical highlight of Elvis week, overall this year seems to have ended on a bit of a low vibe as there is no Special 'Elvis Event' tonight to celebrate this crucial day. Surely The Memphis Boys should have been playing tonight? And without the TCB band or a Pyramid concert to celebrate Elvis’ life & legacy there is a kinda’ emptiness around.

This was also reinforced for me when I walked by Vernon’s house and discovered it all boarded up.

But I am sure that you can tell that overall it has been an amazing week as always, with too many emotions & too many friends crammed into too short a time.

For me today will be a peaceful visit to the Graveside and a special time , without the crowds, reminiscing on what happiness, friendship and meaning Elvis has brought to my life.
Hey, if I see him I’ll say "Hi & thanks" from all of you.

Signing off - ‘What now, my love?’
Your intrepid EIN Roving Reporter


Memphis - Sunday 14th August

So much is happening at Elvis Week, and there’s only so much time a reporter can stop roving for long enough to hit the keyboard.

Friday night found the Elvis faithful E-chat group at our 7th annual reunion and Saturday was another late night cruisin’ a very packed Beale Street. Interestingly the majority of the crowd seemed to be locals soaking up the Blues – and there ain’t nothing wrong with those fabulous vibes since we all know how Elvis started out. I also met up with Sonny West down at the Hard Rock & a chance to share a ‘Marguerita’.

However the Event of the week had to be the packed Insider’s Conference. I have lost count of the number of key Elvis people I talked to, everyone from EPE’s Jack Soden, FTD’s Roger Semon, to Priscilla’s father Paul Beaulieu.

(Right - Sanja Meegin & Jack Soden)

While you really should have been there for the all day experience there were plenty of highlights I just might tell you

  • Bill Black’s children spoke first. A lovely story was finding out that Elvis hated ketchup - and so to stop his bad habit of stealing food off friend’s plates, Bill Black used to cover his food with ketchup so that Elvis wouldn’t touch it! Seems like Scotty lost out on that one. I had plenty of questions to ask but time was way too limited.
    Roger Semon (photo right) talked about the new October FTDs and played new tracks as I confirmed yesterday. We got to see three clips from the extra, unreleased, DVD of ‘TTWII’. These included ‘I Just Can’t Help Believing’ and ‘Bridge Over Troubled Water’ all with different camera angles. A real dream that needs to be released by EPE/BMG asap.
  • As well as the unheard outtakes of ‘Blue Moon’, Roger also played us the fascinating footage of him & Ernst searching for Elvis material in the underground vaults. Seeing so many hundreds of boxes labelled ELVIS was too mouth-watering.
  • here were plenty of snippets from unheard outtakes from Elvis' movie soundtracks that Roger also let us hear. Maybe the most exciting statement of the day was him saying, "There is so much more new Elvis stuff to come!"
  • We also signed a get-well card to Ernst who was not well enough to make the trip and is seeing a specialist in Copenhagen. As we all said, "Ernst, GET WELL SOON"
  • Other people present who related delightful Elvis stories were Jerry Schilling, Patsy Presley, Priscilla’s sister Michelle & husband Gary Hovey, as well as her parents Paul & Ann Beaulieu.
  • When Patsy Presley was asked about how all these Elvis associates related to each other over the years, she let out the gossip that, "Well, once I had a brief fling with Jerry Schilling!"
    This was quite a shock to all at the table and definitely a little too much unexpected honesty for Jerry’s ears!
  • Stanley Oberst author of ‘Rockin’ Across Texas’ was there and The Imperials too! Suzanna Leigh & Celeste Yarnall & others were on hand to sign autographs, although at $20 for a signed photo!
  • Michelle Beaulieu talked about rummaging through cupboards of unopened Elvis memorabilia and discovering all the exciting material that they used in ‘Elvis By The Presleys’. We were also given the chance to see more unseen Elvis photos that weren’t used in the book or DVD.
  • While everyone at the table praised Elvis and related how their times spent with him had been so special, the most honest & touching moment came from Elvis’ father-in-law.
    At the end of the afternoon Paul Beaulieu explained how he still wore the bracelet that Elvis had given him and emotionally said, "I loved Elvis, we all loved Elvis – just like all of you do. He was a very special, kind & generous man."
    At this point he broke down & cried with the emotion of it all. Then cousin Patsy started to cry as well - which caused everyone in the ballroom to join in with tears & the heartfelt emotion for what everyone has sadly lost.

Before leaving I talked with Paul Beaulieu about his lovely bracelet and whether he knew when Priscilla & Lisa Marie would want to participate in these emotional gatherings. He said that he really didn’t know but was asking himself the very same question.

Surfacing from of the poignant emotion of talking with Elvis’ family, I rediscover that the life-affirming spirit of Elvis is still alive & well and within all his fans. The Graceland crossing Tent is absolutely full, across the border the Tunica Casino shows are packed out and on Sunday night at 6pm fans are already lining up, reserving their front spots for The Vigil which is still 27 hours away.

‘Seeing Is Believing'
Signing off - ‘Tomorrow is A Long Time’,
Your intrepid EIN Roving Reporter


Memphis - Saturday 13th August

EIN EXCLUSIVE - October FTDS confirmed

EIN roving reporter Sanja Meegin spoke to Roger Semon who confirmed that the FTD October 2005 releases will be the 'Loving You' extended Soundtrack, 'Something for Everybody' in the classic album series, as well as the already confirmed 'Summer Festival' live concert.

At the Insiders Conference they played fantastic new samples, never heard those takes before. Everyone was screaming.  Roger Semon played all this footage of him and Ernst in the recording studio, finding all these reels of stuff - 4 versions of Blue Moon never heard by anybody in the world before. It was sensational.

Memphis - Friday 12th August

Hi from Memphis and it’s as hot as hell! I’m talking 95F every day, ‘All I Needed Was The Rain’ - so thank God for that cooling pool.

At last the Elvis faithful have arrived and town is pretty crowded now. It was like a ghost town the first couple of days so I’m relieved to see it fill up and with plenty of old friends to party with.

I paid my first visit of the week to Graceland. There is a new VIP Tour you can join, and a girl like me does need her very own shuttle bus over to the mansion! The extras included are a small tour of behind the mansion to see the houses where Joe Esposito and Charlie Hodge lived, but not much more.

At $55 USD it would be nice to have a sneak peak upstairs instead!

Soaking up that special Elvis vibe in the house I noticed a new window/door open that has always been covered by curtains previously. This showed you the back of the kitchen, with another big fridge that he had right back there.

Also noticed that one of his 3 Grammy awards is missing from the hall of gold, don’t know if that’s on loan to someone maybe?

This year it’s nice to see the jumpsuits preserved in glass cabinets, however some of that very special ambience of the racquet-ball court has been lost in the process.

Some new suits were on display including the Aqua one with the embroidered neck, very nice. I have some wicked photos for EIN readers very soon.

Bumped into some more old friends. Sonny West is here doing his show at the Clarion while Terry Mike Jeffrey sang at the tent at Graceland Crossing last night and he was awesome! Just him plus guitar and he sang heaps of obscure movie songs – a wicked job. He also did a spectacular rendition of Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain. The tent was at absolute capacity.

As reported in EIN news previously, the huge buzz around town is about the hours of TTWII outtake footage that is floating around. This is material that EPE should release as soon as possible. For instance, when Elvis is driving in the big black car onto the MGM lot - on the released stuff you see him from the outside - this has the camera on the inside of the car and you see things from that angle. Also Elvis in rehearsal, eating his lunch, rehearsing Polk Salad Annie in the pink-coloured shirt, all unbelievable to watch.

The Elvis Convention at the Clarion is very good this year with lots of concert photos on display for sale, including from Keith Alverson, Harold Newton (who are both there in person selling them) and Derek Phillips who has a very impressive display of the George Hill collection of photos.

Tonight I’m heading to our big E-Chat reunion dinner at Marlowes, followed by a quick trip to see the 2002 ‘Images of the King Winner’ Brandon Bennett at the Tunica casino. Ahhh the ‘City By Night’ - I can’t wait.

There is just too much for a girl to do with the Insiders Conference tomorrow including James Burton as a late added guest.

‘I Think I’m Gonna’ Like It Here’
Signing off until tomorrow,
Your intrepid EIN Roving Reporter

Report #1 Memphis - Tuesday 9th August

The weather is hot, steamy & overcast and Memphis seems relatively quiet so far. This year Elvis Week is starting one day later than normal, with the main features planned over the weekend.

The big news is that, while Ernst Jorgensen may still not be well enough to attend the Insider’s Conference, my best friend James Burton will be there after all! The TCB Band was previously booked to be in Germany and surprisingly are not here for Elvis Week this year. Roger Semon will also be there to represent FTD and their great work .

More announced attractions are a chance to meet the daughters of Elvis’ double-bassist Bill Black (they should have some great stories to tell) and also The Stamps will be performing at the Graceland Crossing before The Vigil, celebrating Elvis’ Sweet Sweet Spirit. Now that will be a highlight.

Down at the Plaza, Sirius Radio is booming out all-day Elvis setting an excellent atmousphere for shopping & Elvis cruising. The Graceland Tent is already rockin’ with Elvis Tribute Artists, previous finalist Mario, from England, leading the way so far.

Paradise Hawaiian Style’s Suzanna Leigh is back again signing books & photos but there is a definite buzz around the appearance this year of actor Jeremy Slate – "Wesley" from Girls, Girls, Girls.

As you may have heard the independent ‘Memories of Elvis’ is being closed down and there are some fabulous bargains to be had – get shopping girls!

Actress Celeste Yarnall (left with Elvis, and still looking as gorgorus as ever) is also back in town and I hoped that we could meet up for ‘A Little Less Conversation’ in Beale Street. (Read EIN's interview with Celeste Yarnall here)

However after a few cocktails we decided it was still too quiet for two such exciting & excited girls and we headed back to our hotels. The Elvis Week crowds still haven’t arrived yet.

Arriving late back at the Hotel it was still Tennessee hot & steamy so I suggested a dip in the pool. Coming over all innocent and ‘Laurel Goodwin-like' & expecting Ross carpenter to join us at any minute, I jumped into the cooling pool. With plenty of fun causing ripples in the water I exclaimed, "I Don’t Wanna Be Tied" - well, after all there is the whole week to go!

Great to be back in Memphis, signing off until tomorrow
Your intrepid EIN Roving Reporter
- Sanja.

Click to comment on the Elvis Week 2005 EIN reports

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"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)