Yeah Elvis!!!

Monday, June 4, 2012

The Skateboard Mag Addresses Elvis' Role in the Skateboard World

Elvis' prominence in pop culture is evident in many of today's trends including skateboarding. Members of The Skateboard Mag stopped by Graceland to pay homage to the man who broke down barriers and made history with his own unique and resistant style. "Rock 'n' roll is the blood of skateboarding and the king's spirit runs deep within all of us," said Austin Mayer with The Skateboard Mag. "Thirty five years later and Elvis still lives on in the hearts and minds of the world." In the video above, you get a glimpse inside the recent travels of the crew and how Elvis plays a major role in the skateboard world. During their travels, a stop by the King of Rock 'n' Roll's home was at the top of their list. "Graceland preserves the inner workings of the man that started all of this - in a way that makes all the myth feel real. Taste and style bleed out of every room with each turn presenting a new idea impossible to disagree with," said Mayer. The Skateboard Mag recently celebrated their 100th issue and continues to influence a sub-culture filled with rock 'n' roll and alternative trends. When referring to Elvis' pool at Graceland, Mayer said, "Now if we could just get that swimming pool drained for an afternoon, things would really get interesting!" Learn more about Elvis' role in the skateboarding culture by visiting the

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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Elvis Lives.

So August 16th is near and we are working on a few  nice surprises for all of our readers to remember Elvis,  in the mean time, maybe a bit too much on the cheap TV entertainment side but still done in the right way and is always good to hear other artists paying tribute to our man, so here  it is, the 2002 full Elvis Lives TV special  for you to enjoy ten years after. 

Thanks to all the people in youtube for sharing this. 

Friday, March 16, 2012

1972 - Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden. Plus: An Afternoon in The Garden and other rarities.

Everybody gets enough of what they want to get what they need. By Bob Palmer, ROLLING STONE MAG, AUGUST 31 1972

This is a damn fine record, friend, and you're going to like it whether you like it or not. There's Wagnerian bombast, plenty of your favorite songs, some jukebox music and some Las Vegas lounge music. There's even some old fashioned rock 'n' roll. And most of all there's lots of Elvis, doing what he does best, strutting his stuff before adoring fans. There's even historical interest; this was Elvis' first New York stage appearance, and you can bet plenty of folks had been waiting since 1956 for a little of that Elvis magic. Well, they got it, and you can hear them getting it right here, the whole thing, from the opening whisper of "Also Sprach Zarathustra" to the MC announcing that "Elvis has left the building. Thank you and good night." When Elvis became a rock 'n' roll singer he was picking up on a good thing, namely black blues. White Southerners had been recording black blues since the Twenties, but Elvis was the first one to become a star. He had the looks, the dynamism, the appeal of violent, impulsively sexual white trash. He could sing and he had that rhythmic drive. Even when he was starring in some of the worst exploitation movies ever made you knew he was just one step away from stepping out of his jive role and rocking the joint. Since he's started performing in public again he's discovered that his fans range in age from pre-teen to menopausal, and he's done his best to satisfy them all. Madison Square Garden, though, is his rockingest record in a long time, so Elvis fans who like it when he gets down are really going to dic it. Every great rock and roll singer needs a great rock and roll band, and Elvis has got one. James Burton, the guitarist, can pick Sun era rockabilly, country twang, laid-back bluesy fills and sharp, ringing single string leads. Bassist Jerry Schiff and drummer Ronny Tutt are super tight; when they nail down the beat, it stays nailed down. Pianist Glen Hardman knows when to honk and when to tonk. The backup singers are the Sweet Inspirations and J.D. Summer and the Stamps, the one a black gospel group, the other white gospel. Church music of the sanctified, shouting kind has never been far removed from blues and rock & roll, so these two groups are perfect complements to Elvis' gospel-tinged voice. Kathy Westmoraland of the Inspirations sings graceful obbligatos way up high, and Mr. J.D. Sumner is the most authorative bass singer you could imagine, especially when he ends a song with one of his long, perfectly timed slides down from the dominant to the tonic. Of course there's also a flaccid orchestra sawing away in the background, but it's used like the krchestras on some of the classic Phil Spector records, to reverberate around the core of band and singers and occasionally come out with a sweet lead line. Elvis and the band were in excellent form for their Saturday night Madison Square Garden concert. The record spares you the lukewarm opening set by the Sweet Inspirations and the public crucifixion of a sacrificial comic, not to mention the cries of the vendors hawking Elvis souvenir booklets and balloons. As it begins, the orchestra strikes up Zarathustra, which somehow seems more appropriate for Elvis than for Grand Funk, and the King himself comes bounding out, straps on a  guitar, and roars into one of his early Sun hits, Big Boy Crudup's "That's All Right." Elvis doesn't even sound like he's tired of the song, and the band is giving him a lot of push. His voice has deepened and mellowed, but he can give it that old stridency when he wants to, and he matches the band with some pushing of his own, laying right into the beat and building up an overpowering momentum that is over all too soon. James Burton out-Creedences Fogerty on "Proud Mary" and then the band rocks on "Never Been to Spain," with a sinuous vocal from Elvis and soaring treble-string fills from Burton. Not even a string-heavy arrangement can make "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" into a complete anticlimax, and orchestra and band get together to make "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'" a memorable cut. "Polk Salad Annie" roars, and Jerry Scheff has a rumbling bass solo that consists of a few notes, perfectly placed, that build up some head of steam. The record keeps on mixing up old favorites like "Teddy Bear" and "Don't Be Cruel" with more recent things like "Suspicious Minds." The latter has a thrashing, Cecil B. DeMille finale highlighted by Tutt's thundering drums. "I Can't Stop Loving You" is a surprise. Here it's a medium rocker with weeping guitar, more kicks from Tutt, and a powerful vocal that manages to find things to do with the song that even Hank Williams and Ray Charles didn't get to. "Hound Dog" includes some humor, Elvis starts it several times and lets it drop. "Now you don't know what I'm going to do yet," he tells the audience. When the tune gets started, it's a funky semi-boogaloo with wah-wah guitar and a deftly rhythmic vocal from Elvis that tenses the releases like a tightly coiled spring. Then the whole band falls right into the rocking tempo of the original, without missing a lick. Even Mickey Newbury's pretentious "American Trilogy" -- which is really just "Dixie," "Battle Hymn of the Republic," and "All My Trials" strung together -- is fun, with Elvis laying some funky inflections on the grandiose orchestral and choral parts. "Can't Help Falling in Love," "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me," and "The Impossible Dream" are pretty Lake Tahoe, but still, you've got to admire Elvis' singing. He brings a touch of home-style raunch to even these saccharine evergreens. So all things considered, just like I said before, this is a damn fine record. Elvis may not generate the polymorphously perverse hysteria the Rolling Stones arouse, he may not move around and jump into the air and wiggle his hips as much as he used to, but he's come through superstardom without forgetting what it means to rock, that's the important thing. So everybody gets enough of what they want to get what they need. - Bob Palmer, Rolling Stone, 8/31/72.

Click: Elvis: Like A Prince From Another Planet. By Collin Escot
"[Elvis] was a major hero of mine. And I was probably stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something. I came over for a long weekend. I remember coming straight from the airport and walking into Madison Square Garden very late. I was wearing all my clobber from the Ziggy period and had great seats near the front. The whole place just turned to look at me and I felt like a right idiot. I had brilliant red hair, some huge padded space suit and those red boots with big black soles. I wished I'd gone for something quiet, because I must have registered with him. He was well into his set."
David Bowie

"One day I walked into my office on 49th and Broadway. I went up to the 11th floor and my secretary says, "Hey Jer, you got a note that's probably worth a million dollars if you sell it at Sotheby's." I said, "What's that?" She said, "It's a note from E.P." I said, "You're kidding? What does it say?" It said, "Dear Jer, I'm leaving four tickets for tomorrow night's show at the (Madison Square) Garden and I want you to see my show." One of the reasons I never saw my acts in person over all those years was that I was claustrophobic and I couldn't take the crowds. But I went and took my family. "I'm gonna grit my teeth," I thought, "I'm gonna grin and bear it and go to the show. It's Elvis!" I loved the guy and hadn't seen him in a coon's age. We went to Madison Square Garden and we were in this select elegant box seat with a great view of the great E.P. We sat there and watched the show and he looked magnificent to me. He was great and I enjoyed every minute of it. One, it was Elvis Presley. Two, he sang a couple of our songs. Three, I'd NEVER been to a live concert of ANYONE I've ever produced or wrote for. It was incredible. It was like going to see Joe Louis knock out Max Schmeling."
Jerry Leiber 

"...he almost demanded that we kick him in the butt. The music was so intense. It was a kind of punk lounge music. I was playing very busy parts and to this day, I can't listen to any of the albums we did, because everything is so intense feeling. For an example, listen to Elvis Live At Madison Square Garden. My only excuse is, I don't think anyone else was playing bass that way at the time."
Jerry Scheff

Elvis receives the Gold Record for As Recorded At Madison Square Garden album, Aug 1972 
Elvis: As Recorded at Madison Square Garden is a live album recorded by Elvis Presley and released in June 1972 by RCA Records peaking on the charts in July 1972. Recorded at the Madison Square Garden arena in New York City on a Saturday night, June 10, 1972, the concert, and the subsequent album, were promoted as being Presley's first live concerts in the Big Apple since the 1950s. The record was released only a week after the concert itself took place, and reached #11 in the U.S. and #3 in the U.K. early next month. By August 4, 1972 it was certified Gold, 3x Platinum to date. The  afternoon performance was also recorded, but except for a performance of "I Can't Stop Loving You" which appeared in the 1977 compilation: Welcome to My World, it remained unreleased until the 1990s when it was issued as An Afternoon in the Garden. Over the four shows performed by Elvis at the Garden, many celebrities attended ,including George Harrison -who meet Elvis backstage-, John Lennnon -who soon would be playing his own gigs at the Garden in August, paying tribute to Elvis by including Hound Dog in his set list-, also in the audience where Art Garfunkel, Paul Simon, David Bowie -who crossed the Atlantic just to attend Elvis' concerts in N.Y.-, the entire band Ten Years After, the great Jerry Leiber, and Bob Dylan -who have already seen Elvis in Vegas back in '70 and wrote a song about it-. Bruce Springsteen also attended one of the four shows, having signed his first record contract with Columbia Records earlier that week.

So here it is, our new entry in this blog, the long out of print classic Elvis L.P. "As Recorded At Madison Square Garden" southern rock by a funky 70's Elvis and a tight TCB Band behind the man, delivered to an electrified New York audience. As a bonus treat -you know we like it that way- also here it is the An Afternoon in the Garden concert, recorded earlier that day, some current singles of the era, original radio promos and broadcasts from the event, and a fantastic sounding rehearsal from earlier that year, just Elvis and the TCB Band, playing red hot nasty Rock and Roll that will hush anyone who dares to say he King couldn't rock in his latter days.  

Elvis: As Recorded At Madison Square Garden
Original 1972 L.P.

Also Sprach Zarathustra
That's All Right
Proud Mary
Never Been To Spain
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me
You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling
Polk Salad Annie
Love Me
All Shook Up
Heartbreak Hotel
(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
Love Me Tender
The Imposible Dream
Introductions by Elvis
Hound Dog
Suspicious Minds
For The Good Times
American Trilogy
Funny How Times Slips Away
I Can't Stop Loving You
Can't Help Falling In Love
Closing Vamp

Original Radio Concert Promo
We Can Make The Morning [Early '72 Single]
Original Radio Newscast: Elvis answers the N.Y. Press
Proud Mary [Rehearsal]
Never Been To Spain [Rehearsal]
Burning Love [Rehearsal]
Funny How Times Slips Away [Rehearsal]
For The Good Times [Rehearsal]

Elvis: An Afternoon In The Garden

Also Sparch Zarathustra
That's All Right
Proud Mary
Never Been To Spain
Until It's Time For You To Go
You've Lost That Loving Feelin'
Polk Salad Annie
Love Me
All Shook Up
Hearbreak Hotel
(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel
Love Me Tender
Blue Suede Shoes
Reconsider Baby
Hound Dog
I'll Remember You
Suspicious Minds
Introductions By Elvis
For The Good Times
An American Trilogy
Funny How Times Slips Away
I Can't Stop Loving You
Can't Help Falling In Love

Press Conference N.Y. 1972
Until Its Time For You To Go [Early '72 Single]
An Americna Trilogy [Single Version]
Burning Love [Mid '72 Single]
Reconsider Baby [Alternate Rare Mix from the Afternoon Show]

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Elvis: Like a Prince From Another Planet. By Colin Escot

Its hard to know why it took so long for Elvis to play New York. He had performed on sound stages there when he had guested on "The Ed Sullivan Show", "The Steve Allen Show" and "The Dorsey Brothers Stage Show". He had recorded there, and he had embarked for Germany from Brooklin, but the most popular star of all time had neve played a stage show in his country´s most populous city. That changed on June 9-11 1972, when Elvis played four shows at Madison Square Garden.

Elvis at a Press Conference, N.Y. 1972
The Colonel's first idea had been to stage the New York debut at Radio City Music Hall, then he switched to the much larger Madison Square Garden. The media scrutiny was intense. The Col. decided to use the advance publicity to his advantage. After he hadn't found any takers for an exclusive interview with Elvis for $120,000, he scheduled one of Elvis' exceedingly rare press conferences five hours before the first show at the Mercury Ballroom in the New York Hilton. Elvis was in a bouyant mood, sidestepping questions about draft dodgers and current entertainers, attributing his staying power to Vitamin E, and bantering lightheartedly with the press corps.

There was one glorious soundbite, which must have made it all worthwhile from the Colonel's standpoint. "Elvis", came the question, "we're told that deep down you´re really very shy and humble".

"What do you mean shy? replied Elvis, standing uo and pulling back a powder blue cape jacket to reveal a splendiferously gaudy belt buckle, a gift from the Las Vegas Hilton for setting an attendance record. It was on every newscast that night. The Colonel knew you couldn't buy that kind of publicity. 

Everything now hinged on the shows themselves. There were four shows spread over three days, one on Friday, June 9, two on Saturday, June10, and another on Sunday, June 11. Tickets were $5.00, $7.50 and $10.00 and every seat was sold. There where no freebies. George Harrison, John Lennon and Bob Dylan had to pay like everyone else. RCA, deciding to make the most of the publicity surrounding the even, planned an in-person album to be issued just days afterward.

Elvis brought along his own emcee, Al Dvorin. Dvorin reminded the fans that Elvis merchandise was available after the show, and introduced the supporting act, Vegas comic Jackie Khane. A Slow handclap ushered Kahane from the stage; his act didn't work in New York. Dvorin brought on the Sweet Inspirations before the break. The Anticipation was intense by the time everyone had settled back in their seats. The lights dimmed and the Joe Guercio Orchesta broke into the omnious opening bars of Richard Strauss' "Also Sprach Zarathustra". A cordon of red-jacketed security men appeared, and suddenly Elvis appeared in a blue body suit with gold appliqué. "He looked like a prince from another planet", said The New York Times reviewer.

The Horns slowly subsided, pairing down the intrumentation for "That's All Right". At double the original tempo, it was clear that this was going to be a high-energy show. "I'm sure Elvis never sang bettet than he did at the Madison Square Garden," said pianist Glen D. Hardin. "I supose he thought the fans in the BIg Apple might be more demanding, so he turned on the power, and powerful it was." The shows recapped everything that the New York Fans had been missing in the 18 years that Elvis had been a professional entertainer. He barely gave the fans let alone himself, a chance to catch their breath between songs. The crowd danced in their seats as Elvis tore through his '50s classics, "All Shook Up," "Teddy Bear," "Love Me," "Blue Suede Shoes" and "Hound Dog," punctuating them with his recent hits, "An American Trilogy" and "Until Its Time For You To Go"," and a selection of songs that moved him. "That afternoon he chose Three Dog Night's "Never Been To Spain," " Kristofferson's "For The Good Times,"  Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Proud Mary," and Tony Joe White's "Polk Salad Annie." He roved the Stage, giving those seated at awkward angles a chance to see him. Then, at the close of "Can´t Help Falling In Love", the red-jacketed guards reappeared, and he was gone, leaving Dvorin to tell the Crowd that Elvis had left the building. The Colonel was a firm believer in leaving the wanting more ...and Elvis did.

The press eedict was unanimous. "From Backwoods Phenom in 1956 To Polished Superstar," said Variety", "Presley Talents Richly Intact," said The New York Times, "Elvis Enjoying Reign As King In New York," added the Memphis Commercial Appeal, "Nostalgia was but a small part of the celebration," said Billboard. "Elvis' voice, always better than the critics admitted has become even richer and more resonant than before... Thousands of bursting lightbulbs created a psychedelic lightshow, and the stage seemed to shudder and jump in the tiny spaces between light and dark. That image only reinforced what one had suspected from the start. Elvis has transcended the exasperating constrictions of times and place."

Elvis, rockin' at Madison Square Garden, June 10, 1972

As Elvis sang on Saturday, the RCA tape machines were rolling. "We recorded two of the shows", said Joan Deary. "The second was what we put out". The album, ELVIS AS RECORDED AT MADISON SQUARE GARDEN, was released the week after the show. It reached No.11 on the LP Charts, and No.3 in the U.K, and was certified double-platinum.

 "Elvis Enjoying Reign As King In New York," said  the Memphis Commercial Appeal,
but as soon as the N.Y. tour was over, Elvis was back in Memphis, and rather than looking like "A prince from another planet," as the New York Times stated about his concert appearence, he in fact looked as the downhome southern rebel he always was. Here the Memphis Commercial Appeal captures a long haired Elvis riding his Harley with a long legged girl on his back,  August 1972.