"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)






Bud Glass talks to EIN (Part 2)

Bud Glass Interview Part 2. Bud Glass is one of the world's best known collectors of Elvis memorabilia who also happens to be friends with a great number of Elvis personal acquaintances like Sonny West, & Sandi Miller. His 'Behind The Image' DVDs & book are essential for any true Elvis fan. EIN's Piers Beagley recently talked to him at his home-base in Tallahassee, Florida

click for Part 1 of this interview

EIN - You said that you have seen bloopers & outtakes from Elvis' movies, including Jailhouse Rock. Can you give us a clue of what might be out there and what definitely exists?

Bud Glass - I have seen 3 hours of outtakes from Jailhouse Rock. Perfect quality, but with no sound. I have seen the complete karate footage that exists for what was to be "The New Gladiator". Again silent, but the sound reel does exist. I have also heard of the existence of 'Loving You' outtakes, although I have never seen them. I have been trying for several years to purchase home movie footage shot on the set of 'Follow That Dream'. I believe there is still a lot of other unreleased material out there. I only wish they would release it while the people who lived during Elvis' lifetime are still around to enjoy it. There will always be Elvis fans, but the next generation of fans will look at Elvis more like legendary folklore. Those of us who grew up in Elvis' lifetime are the ones who would most appreciate seeing this rare material.

EIN - Were you are referring to 'Plantation Rock' in 'Girls, Girls, Girls' was that really filmed? If it exists I am amazed that EPE haven't got hold of it for one of their documentaries.

BG - I was actually talking about the footage of Elvis singing 'Where Do You Come From' which definitely exists. But don't think that just because EPE haven't released the footage, that they might not have it. They have more than we think. Of course EPE are not as anxious to please die-hard collectors as they are to please the masses. Maybe this new EPE buy-out will actually benefit fans since they should push EPE to new horizons.

EIN - I have seen some pretty low-quality home footage of Madison Square Garden. Do you know if both concerts were filmed professionally & in full?

BG - Well, rather than the home-movie footage that we know, there was also a closed-circuit stationary camera that piped the feed into the Press box area. I know for a fact that this footage exists. What was filmed was the complete June 9th & 10th both performances, and at least 20 minutes of June 11th - that's quite a bit! The camera was positioned high above the stage and it was done for VIPs, so that they could see the show from their own booth. Most people don't even know that this footage is out there, but portions of this material were on the 'King Of Entertainment' DVD. The mystery to me is that there were also movie cameras on the stage with Elvis, what happened to that footage? Outtakes do exist for ELVIS ON TOUR as I am sure you know. I'm hopeful that FTD might release perhaps an hour or two of raw footage of 'On Tour' for the fans on a DVD, we know that it would sell (see following photo of Elvis at MSG).

EIN - What about the book of Behind The Image 2 - are you mainly using Sandi Miller's notes again?

BG - It will be like the first BTI book and I'll be using some of Sandi's and Russ Howe's material but this time I have also pooled from several other people's photos as well. The great thing about these productions is that people are now contacting me suggesting that I use their rare material. There are some amazing unknown stories behind photos that you have never seen before. I can't tell you how excited I am about this new volume, I think it even tops the first book! I'm hoping that it will come out mid-year, not too far off.

EIN - Do you have to get clearance for material you use on your DVDs or is your ownership actually enough?

BG - My video productions are documentaries and I only use my own personal footage, to which I own the copyright. I use photos owned by myself and friends who grant the permission for their use. However the footage I own is all silent. Even if it were recorded with sound, I could not use that. As you know I unfortunately cannot use Elvis' singing voice.

EIN - Does your personal collection contain any other celebrity memorabilia?

BG - I actually do have a large collection of non-Elvis related memorabilia. I have items from Marilyn Monroe, Frank Sinatra, John Wayne, Humphrey Bogart, Michael Jackson, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, Marlon Brando and many more. I also collect autographs, including historic figures. I own John Wayne's shirt from the Warner Brothers film "Operation Pacific" and even Humphrey Bogart's personal, Italian-made "Borsalino" hat.(see photo opposite)!

EIN - I hope that you make Elvis happy, wherever he is, by keeping both his and Marilyn Monroe's clothes suggestively wrapped up together each night! That might be the closest he'll ever get!

BG - I have a dress of hers. I am really not interested in obtaining large collections of celebrity items other than Elvis. I try to get one piece from each celebrity that interests me, or who I consider to be legendary. My Marilyn Monroe item is a white dress that she owned and wore, but not THE white dress as in the famous photo. (Laughing) I must take a photo of Elvis' and Marilyn's clothes wrapped together - that's cute! I don't think that Elvis ever met Marilyn but I did recently learned that he did at least meet Jane Mansfield on a movie-set. I never knew that!

EIN - In your personal collections what is your most valuable Elvis footage & what is the rarest?

BG - My rarest footage has to be the home-movie footage shot in 1976 in the Jungle room, of the home recording session where Elvis sings 'Hurt' and 'Way Down'. The footage that will be on BTI 3 of Elvis walking out of his hotel wearing the Super Fly hat in 1973 also has to also be some of the rarest I own. The footage on BTI 1 of Elvis walking out to the gate and talking with the fans in 1969 is also rare. The footage on BTI 2 from Houston, Texas on November 11, 1971 has to be the best, closest, clearest amateur fan footage ever shot and it is my personal favorite. - By the way, I was obviously just joking about the Jungle Room footage… sorry, a man can dream can't he?

EIN - For a moment you got me wondering & I nearly believed you! That's a mean joke. So what is your favourite possession?

BG - Believe it or not, one of my favorite Elvis possessions is my enormous collection of unreleased concerts, recorded by fans in the audience. The reason that it means so much to me is because I have spent a lifetime building the collection; countless hours of research and tracking people down who attended the shows and so it represents a large portion of my life. As far as personal items Elvis once owned, my favorite is the large gold and black star sapphire ring Elvis owned and wore in 1970. I have several photos of Elvis wearing it, and he later gave it to my dear friend John Wilkinson. John can be seen wearing it on the Aloha From Hawaii special as well as on BTI 1.

Elvis & Bud's black star ring in 1970

EIN - As an Elvis Information website we get a lot of questions regarding the authenticity of Elvis' items - particularly Elvis signatures and other items on Ebay. How do you feel about this fraud especially when you can see innocent fans being badly ripped off?

BG - This is a sore spot with me. There are many people out there, including some well-known people in the Elvis world, who are faking everything from signatures to Elvis "personal worn items". This not only takes advantage of unsuspecting fans who think they are buying an authentic item, it also bastardizes the legitimate collections of people like me who spend a great deal of time, effort and money to build them to what they are today. When the market is flooded with fake items, it de-values Elvis items in general and casts doubt on the legitimacy of authentic items. The reason Marilyn Monroe items typically sell for more than Elvis' is a direct result of the market being flooded with Elvis items and most of them fake. There are less Marilyn items out there, so it is simple "supply vs. Demand". EIN - Have you seen the pillowcase from Elvis' coffin that has recently been on Ebay? Are these people for real? BG - Why someone would even want such an item, even if it were legitimate is beyond me!

EIN - Can you give potential Elvis memorabilia buyers any useful tips?

BG - For a start you must be very careful when purchasing any celebrity owned item. You need to do your homework and not blindly trust the seller. I never buy an item from someone whose "friend's, sister's half-brother's second cousin got the item from Elvis himself back in 63'!"

Always try to buy as close to the original source as possible. The problem still remains that many dishonest people will fake letters of authenticity from people who were known to have had contact with Elvis, but are dead and cannot be reached to prove the letter and item in question is real. The problem has grown larger through Ebay. While Ebay is obviously a great medium to buy and sell Elvis items, it has also made it even easier for the fakes and forgers to move their bogus items. It also sickens me to see idiots on ebay selling things like "the braces that were on his teeth at Elvis' concert that he attended on 2/21/77".

Another big problem I have is with celebrity memorabilia sellers who obtain a legitimate Elvis shirt, like the famous shirt worn in "Fun In Acapulco" and then DESTROY it, by cutting it into 1 inch square swatches to sell for $59.95 each! They do the same thing with Elvis scarves. The reason? The scarf alone is worth about $400, but cutting the same scarf into 200 swatches they can make $12,000. It all boils down to greed.

EIN - How did you get involved with Bob Klein and the new photo - book 'Born To Rock'?

BG - I have known Bob for many years and he has an incredible collection of Elvis photos, one of the largest out there. After covering the man "behind the image" in my DVD and book series, I wanted to also cover Elvis on-stage. I wanted to do it in a way it had not been done before. Most candid shots of Elvis were taken with inexpensive, instamatic cameras and some photos turn out great, but many more are less than perfect. They are extremely rare and I consider them all treasures, but they lack the sharpness and detail of photos taken by a 35mm camera.

Bob Klein approached me with a new series of photos he had just obtained directly from the man who professionally photographed them in 1975 and 76. Elvis' performances at the Nassau Coliseum are popular shows and well known among fans because of the "America's Own" import album that came out in the 1980's, and more recently on CD. I thought these would be great shows to cover in my first concert book.

EIN - While Elvis produced some very fine concerts in mid 1975, the Gipsy suits really didn't make him look the best, so was "Elvis: Born To Rock" really the right title to use on your new book?

BG - C'mon you must not have read my overview of 1975 in the beginning of my book! In 1975 Elvis was still "kicking ass and taking names". He even beat the Beatles attendance record for a single one-night appearance. I'm sorry but it sounds as if you may have the same "tunnel vision" that a lot of reporters had that covered Elvis' concerts over the later years. Many of them were not necessarily Elvis fans and when they arrived at the concert, they were then shocked to see that the Elvis on stage before them was not the same hip-shaking tornado from the Ed Sullivan shows.

He was immediately compared to what he was in the 50's and slammed because he had the nerve to age and change his style somewhat over the years! And put on a few pounds, like we all do! Do these changes mean he was not "BORN TO ROCK"? Rock and Roll is not necessarily what Elvis does, it is who he is. Have you ever talked to someone who attended those shows? I have. They all say he rocked the house and left the fans screaming for more.

Did he move like he did in the 50's? No. Did he look as trim and youthful as he did in the 50's? No. Did he ROCK? NO QUESTION ABOUT IT!

EIN - That's actually a great answer and in fact I do agree about Elvis rockin' in 75. I just wished he hadn't worn those dreadful gipsy outfits!

BG - Ok, I'm not here to sugar-coat anything, but I actually admire Elvis for making the extra effort to change-up his costumes and try to make them pleasing for the fans to look at during his performance. (although I don't personally care for the choker her wore). I will agree that some of his outfits were more flattering than others, but the outfit obviously has no bearing on Elvis' performance, as evidenced by the reactions of the fans who were there and witnessed the performances first hand. The title is perfect in my opinion, but you are certainly entitled to your own opinion.

EIN - What other projects do you have planned?

BG - I am also co-producing the Adrenaline 2 dvd that will be coming soon from Praytome Publishing. We are also working on the third dvd in the BEHIND THE IMAGE series. I am also currently working on a new special project that you will soon see advertised in the BTI 2 book. I can't give any details yet, but it will be the most incredible release of its kind.

Bud's wife Cindy with J.D. June 1995

EIN - What is your take on the final years, did you ever discuss them with J.D. Sumner?

BG - Years ago, when J.D. was alive, the CBS TV tapes started circulating and so I showed him, Ed Hill and Ed Enoch those outtakes from the TV special. They hadn't seen this material since it aired in 1977, and it was so upsetting that Ed Enoch got up & walked away. In the meantime J.D. just looked on in disbelief saying, "My God". He commented that it was like watching a child grow up. If you are close to them, and living with them, you just can't see the gradual changes. And spending so much time with Elvis, the gradual change wasn't as noticeable.

J.D. knew that Elvis wasn't in the best of health but he said to me, "I just had no idea he looked like that." Ed Enoch later told me he was so upset because Elvis was such a close friend and he so wished that he could have done something to help him. Those guys really loved Elvis.

EIN - Does Elvis occupy your whole time or do you have a secret job outside the Elvis world?

BG - Elvis takes up a great deal of my time, but Bud Glass Productions was around before the Elvis productions started. I have several other non-Elvis projects I work on, including my other celebrity memorabilia. I have also created and copyrighted a game that sold in the 90's at several Walmart stores. I am currently devoting a lot of time to THE KING'S RANSOM exhibit, and will be on the road quite a bit this year during our 2005 Tour.

EIN - Have you toured your 'King's Ransom' exhibition outside the USA - and what about rumours of bringing to Australia?

BG - We will be in Canada this year, so we will have officially left the United States. We have had interest in Japan, Australia and parts of Europe, so there is no telling where we may end up going.

EIN - Thanks for talking to EIN, it's been fun! Well we hope that we do see you here in Sydney one day.

BG - The pleasure is all mine and keep up the great work with your website. The Elvis world is in need of more good unbiased news and information sources like yours.


Bud Glass was interviewed by Piers Beagley

Click for part 1 of this interview

Spotlight by Piers Beagley.
-Copyright EIN 2005 - Do NOT copy

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