"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)


"There were rock 'n' roll records before Heartbreak Hotel, but this was the one that didn't just open the door…it literally blasted the door off its rusted, rotten, anachronistic hinges…. producing....no propelling...an unstoppable, fundamental and primordial shift in not only musical... but social, political and cultural history"

(JNP, BBC website)


"Elvis, the musician, is largely a relic belonging to the baby boomer generation...Elvis, the icon, is arguably one of the most potent symbols of popular culture"

( Dr. John Walker)

















































































































































































































































































'Heartbreak Hotel'

Vvoted #2 icon that changed the world

UNCUT, the music magazine celebrating its 100 issue, is out now locally in Australia.

The collector's edition examines their "100 music & film icons that changed our world." As we previously reported Bob Dylan's 'Like A Rolling Stone' came in first place, with Elvis' 'Heartbreak Hotel' in second. Interestingly The Beatles came 3rd with 'She Loves You', yet it is Paul McCartney who actually justifies Elvis' placing above The Beatles!

Here you can read why McCartney selected 'Heartbreak Hotel' as such an iconic event.

Elvis Presley - `Heartbreak Hotel' 1956

(The Beatle now owns the double-bass played on the King's haunted gem.)

Before I actually heard an Elvis record, I was aware of him as an image because I'd seen him in an ad for "Heartbreak Hotel" on the back page of the NME. They weren't playing much of Elvis' stuff on the radio in those days. To hear "Heartbreak Hotel' I had to go into a record shop in Liverpool and listen to it through headphones in one of those booths. It was a magical moment, the beginning of an era. Listening to it that first time was the start of my Elvis experience.

Of course, it's an amazing song. Lyrically, for starters, it was a real shock. You have to remember that, in the mid-'50s, pop lyrics were mostly fodder. It was "St Therese Of The Roses" and "How Much Is That Doggie In The Window?" Then you had Elvis singing, "Where broken-hearted lovers do cry away their gloom". I remember thinking how odd it was to hear the word "dwell" in a song. It wasn't the kind of detail you'd expect. It was those little touches that made it different from anything I'd heard before.

Elvis is a truly great vocalist, and you can hear why on this song. His phrasing, his use of echo, it's all so beautiful. It's the way he sings it, too. As if he's singing it from the depths of Hell. It's a perfect example of a singer being in command of the song. Musically it's perfect, too. The double-bass and the walk-in piano create this incredibly haunting atmosphere. It's so full of mystery, and it's never lost that for me. The echo is just stunning. When The Beatles were recording, we'd often ask George Martin for "the Elvis echo". I think we got it down perfectly on "A Day In The Life."

Funnily enough, I ended up owning the double-bass that Bill Black played on "Heartbreak Hotel." I used it when we recorded "Free As A Bird". Linda bought the bass for me as a present. We knew this guy in Nashville who knew Bill Black's family. At that point, Bill had died and the bass was sitting in his barn. They didn't know what to do with it. So Linda got hold of it. When it arrived, I was astonished. It was all intact, right down to the white trim around the sides, except that the letters spelling "Bill" had fallen off. As it had been kept in a barn all those years, there was hay inside it. We tipped it upside-down to get rid of it, and this old guitar-string packet fell out. I started thinking "How the hell did that get in there?" I decided that Scotty Moore must've broken a string, changed it onstage but had nowhere to put the packet. So he hid it in Bill's bass.

I can't honestly say that "Heartbreak Hotel" is Elvis' best record. I love Elvis so much that for me to choose a favourite would be like singling out one of Picasso's paintings. What I will say is that it's Elvis' most alarming performance. When I hear it, I always get this image in my head... Elvis driving his Lincoln down the interstate on a clear night in Tennessee. The stars are twinkling. The air is balmy. They're on their way to a show, Bill Black and Scotty Moore in the back, with Bill's double-bass strapped to the car roof. And now that bass belongs to me. It's my link to "Heartbreak Hotel".


The UNCUT Top Ten 'Rock & Movie Icons that Changed Our World' were..

1. Bob Dylan - Like A Rolling Stone
2. Elvis Presley - Heartbreak Hotel
3. The Beatles - She Loves You
4. The Rolling Stones - Satisfaction
5. Stanley Kubrick - A Clockwork Orange
6. Francis Ford Coppola - The Godfather 1 & 2
7. David Bowie - Ziggy Stardust
8. Martin Scorcese - Taxi Driver
9. The Sex Pistols - Never Mind The Bollocks
10. 60's TV series - The Prisoner

If you are interested in Pop-Culture, movies and music, the UNCUT 100th issue is a fascinating read, so search it out at your local Australian newsagent now. It even comes with a free CD!

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Ronald King (Elvis On Stamps)
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)
Candlelight Vigil 2005
Elvis On Tour (Hampton Roads) footage
Elvis On Tour
Elvis photo gallery #1
Elvis Week 2005 Photo Archives
EPE's multimedia Elvis gallery
Graceland cam
Listen to the Elvis "strung out" in Vegas audio
The "Real" Elvis off-stage
Unreleased Elvis audio now online
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Elvis books 2005-07
Elvis film guide
Elvis Online Virtual Library
Elvis Presley Research Forum
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Elvis Week 2005
How & where do I sell my Elvis collection?
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)