Friday, October 28, 2011

Death Elvis & His One Man Grave

Interview: Dead Elvis and His One Man Grave. By James G. Carlson, 2011. Source: The Roots Music Authority

When I first began my journalistic series on the world’s one-man bands I came across an artist who goes by the moniker Dead Elvis. In every photo I've seen of him, he has sported a white, Vegas-era Elvis Presley outfit, as well as a latex rockabilly zombie mask which looks for the world like the King himself after years in the ground. Hence the full name of his project: Dead Elvis and His One Man Grave. Suffice to say, his getup caught my attention immediately. But there was something to him beyond the novelty of his costume. And that sas the music.

Dead Elvis’s songs are short bursts of catchy, energetic rockabilly and primitive rock’n’roll, almost certainly like something the King would play if back from the grave, only with a punk rock edge. And where the King had a tremendous mainstream fan base, Dead Elvis has gained a fairly substantial underground following of his own in recent years. It wasn’t for lack of working for it, though, as Dead Elvis has been featured on a few different compilations and released several pieces of 7” vinyl on such labels as Squoodge, Luna Sounds, Hoarse, Kizmiaz, and Rock N Roll Purgatory. He has also toured extensively through Europe, China, Japan, and South America. And he just keeps on going, with no sign of slowing down whatsoever..."takin' care of business from the grave," as he says. Not too shabby for a dead man.

Dead Elvis has always stayed true to the one-man band formula, opting to go it alone rather than take on fellow musicians to create his signature sound. Truly, it is impressive what he does with only his guitar, a partial drum kit, and his voice. It's a sound comprised of high treble distortion with a slight crunch and a bit of echo, the boom of the kick drum, the snap of the snare, and a deep, smoldering hellfire vocal delivery.

Sometime in 2010, having strictly adhered to the vinyl-only format that he has always favored above all else, he chose to release an album on CD, at last, for the fans without record players. Dig ‘Em Up! is the title of the album, which is appropriate considering it is a collection of songs that previously appeared spread out on his numerous vinyl releases. With fourteen songs in all, “Monster Under Your Bed,” “50 Gallon Drum,” “Deadman,” “Long Gone Dead and Gone” and “Shake It” are just a few of the more notable songs on the album.

Now, for those diehard Elvis Presley fans who may consider Dead Elvis's endeavor a travesty or a mockery, it is neither of those things...according to Dead Elvis, at least. In fact, in March of 2010 a writer by the name of Morgan Short published an interview he did with Dead Elvis [click this to read it], during which he broached that exact topic. In reply, Dead Elvis said, "Actually, I've had two or three people mailing me, saying, Ahh, this is not normal what you're doing, this is a disgrace! You're taking the piss with Elvis! But, you know, if you don't get the joke then I don’t know -- don’t look at the MySpace. [Laughs.]

Recently I had the opportunity and pleasure of interviewing this rock’n’roll monster, Dead Elvis. And I have included the content from that interview for you here in its entirety.

As is often the case in my interviews, I would like to begin with an introduction, so to speak, an informative summary of Dead Elvis as not just a rock’n’roll monster from the grave but as an individual, a human being of this vast and crazy world in which we live?

Sometimes I think I am one of the few crazy ones in a world which is too damn normal!

Like a handful of other interesting one-man bands out there today, namely Bob Log III (with his cannonball stuntman jumpsuit and helmet with attached telephone as microphone rig), and Reverend Beat-Man (with his priestly garments), you seem to have developed a rather unusual way of presenting your sound to the people. Of all things, how did you come up with the Dead Elvis moniker and act?

Well, it just suddenly hit me! At first I thought about getting some friends together and calling it “Dead Elvis & the Undertakers” or “Dead Elvis & the Gravediggers” or something. But after some consideration I realized I could better do it alone. Sometimes I have a very obsessive way of working, and I am a bit too creative. Working with other band members would just slow me down. Alone I am free to do what I want. I make my own music, record covers, websites, posters, videos, and all other artworks. I like doing that stuff and it saves me a lot of time and cash. When I had the idea to make it a one-man band, the name "Dead Elvis & His One Man Grave” was the first thing I came up with. After that it all went pretty darn fast! Sometimes I'm still amazed about the impact the name has on people.

For the longest time you released your recordings strictly on vinyl format. Only now with your latest release “Dig ‘Em Up!” are you releasing your songs on CD as well. Why did you choose vinyl for your first several releases? And why are you adding CD’s into the mix now?

Yes, I have only released vinyl, as I totally dislike CD's. For me they are like throwaway lighters or something, so I never bought them and I never really wanted to release any. But nowadays many people don’t own them record players anymore and many people ask me for a CD. So I have decided to press the “Dig ‘Em Up!” album on CD soon. If a fan wants a CD, who am I to say he cannot? Everybody should be able to enjoy my music on whatever machine they want.

You are undoubtedly one of the most mysterious artists I’ve ever done an article on. That is, I can usually find an abundance of information scattered across the web about most bands and singer/songwriters, but with you…it’s like only your Dead Elvis character exists and no one is behind the mask. When a place of residence is mentioned is invariably states you reside in Disgraceland (as opposed to Presley’s Graceland). Nothing about you personally ever surfaces. Hell, nothing vague comes up, for that matter. Is the mystery surrounding you intentional, or did things just sort of happen that way?

Well, I never give out much information about myself, and I normally don’t let people make pictures of me without the mask. When people ask me where I'm from I just make up something like Disgraceland, Legoland, or I just name any country that comes to mind. Sometimes after shows, when people come up to me and ask me if I was the dead guy on stage, I usually tell them that Dead Elvis is in the hotel and I’m just the roadie or the merchandise dude. I don’t know, it is kinda fun to keep the people in the dark, and I think my personal stuff has got nothing to do with Dead Elvis. But unfortunately, sometimes I can’t keep hidden who I am. A dead guy also has his needs, and I wouldn’t want all them beautiful woman fans to pass me by because they think I’m the damn roadie.

More and more we are seeing a rise in the number of lads and lasses taking the one-man band path, some of them very talented, like Reverend Beat-Man, Bloodshot Bill, Phillip Roebuck, Urban Junior, Pete Yorko, Sheriff Perkins, and so on. Obviously the One-Man Band community is expanding, just as the craft itself is evolving. It’s a very exciting time in underground and independent music, and you are at the very center of it, it seems. What are your thoughts and feelings on the one-man band phenomenon going on in the world today?

Yes, it seems I’m in the very center of a rapidly expanding worldwide one-man band scene. It is amazing how many cool new OMB's have hit the surface! You have to check out The Fly and His One Man Garbage from Japan; he’s got some killer stuff going on down there! I know a lot of one-man bands all over the world and I have come to realize that most of them are very active/creative people, all of them working very hard to play shows and get stuff out there. Sometimes it really feels like a big worldwide family of the crazed! Like I said before, the good thing about being a one-man band is that you don’t have to wait for other band members, so you can get stuff done. I think this makes the one-man band scene a very different and more active scene altogether, and I can only say I’m very glad to be part of it!

You evidently tour quite a bit. What are some of your most memorable moments as a live perbormer on the road or at your shows?

Since I got out of my grave, everything went really fast. I released a lot of records and went all around the world to play shows. I have been able to do things I would have never dreamed to be possible. It has been like an unstoppable roller coaster ride with too many memorable moments to mention. A few Highlights for me are my two China tours, my Japan tour, Istanbul Turkey, and Oulu Finland (which is 120 miles from the polar circle where it was about -22F/-30C outside!).

What bands and/or singer/songwriters were most influential to you as a singer/songwriter and musician?

I see my one-man band as a bad B-movie in music, and I write songs about that. So as a singer/songwriter I am mainly influenced by this imaginary movie. Dead Elvis is not a normal band like any other, so I don’t treat it as such. As a musician, there are a lot of artists that definitely had influence on my music, like The Cramps, Hasil Adkins, Screamin' Jay Hawkins, Bo Diddley, Johnny Burnette, Charlie Feathers, and a lot of others. But I think that if I would have never heard Jack Starr's "Born Petrified" record, I would have never come out of my grave. That album is just great!

Is the Dead Elvis endeavor your primary gig? That is, it seems like you tour a lot, going to places like China, all over Europe, and so forth, and you put out a fair number of recordings on small, independent labels. It’s difficult to see how you would have time to do much else.

Yes, my one-man band is my primary gig at this moment, and I haven’t got much time to do anything else. But I think that If I would have time for other stuff, I wouldn’t know what to do.

Now that your Dig ‘Em Up! album is in the works and you have just visited China and Japan, what do you have in the works for the future, aside from more of the same…you know, any new material, side projects, switching labels, doing your own label, etc?

Yes 2011! First of all, the Dig ‘Em Up! CD will be released. After that I will record a new album for Luna Sounds Germany, which will be released somewhere in May. I assume I will also release a few new 7”s on Squoodge Records Germany. There will be a South America tour coming up in March/April, during which I will visit Brazil, Uruguay, Chile and Argentina. I will go back to China and Japan again, and I’m working on several European tours and shows in countries like UK, Finland, Germany and Croatia. I guess it will be a busy year…

Lastly, if there’s anything I failed to cover or anything you would like to express, etc, please feel free to do so now. The floor is yours, dead man.

Just wanna thankyaverymuch for this interview and for promoting the one-man band scene!!!

Fifty Gallon Drum
Cold Heart Of Mine
Monster Under The Bed
Get Outta My Grave
Long Gone Dead and Done
Shot My Woman
Hold My Cold Hand
Deadest Girl In Town
Tired of Hell
R.I.P. Baby

Get the real thing over here:

Friday, October 21, 2011

Elvis: Rock, Sex, and Roll (Yeah Elvis!!! playlist #1)

A new book from JAT publishing is coming soon. Elvis : Rock, Sex and Roll. Focusing on Elvis in 1956. Acording to the press release, it will be: a 'ground-breaking, history-making' book featuring never before seen photos along with extensive details about Elvis in '56, the year in which Elvis changed the world forever. The title of this book was chosen because we believe we will capture Elvis Presley in his coolest, sexiest way.

Here is the video add:

Well we haven't seen it yet, but this guy, Joseph A. Tunzi (JAT) really knows how to deliver, so we are really looking forward to it. In the mean time, Elvis: Rock, Sex and Roll its a good excuse to create and share with you a playlist that really lives up to the excitment of that title. So here it is! our own selection of hard rocking 50's and early 60's tracks, not a lot of talking reviewing the tracks this time, you know the songs, you know this got to be played fuckin' loud, so download it and Rip it Up!

'Hearing him (Elvis) for the first time was like busting out of jail,' stated Bob Dylan once, you will have to understand the moral climate in America during the mid 50's to realize what a shook Elvis Presley was. On issue #1 of Revolver Mag, Dave Marsh published an article called 8 Revolutionary events that rocked the world, on the number one spot he places: Elvis Presley on TV (1956): 'Elvis on the Radio was radical enough, but putting him on the small screen was another matter altogether. It unveiled the predatorial leer and swarthy features that coded "Negro" to every bigot in America. Broadcast into every living room, those hips wanted to fuck your daughter, your wife, and (maybe, even if you wouldn't admit it) you. MTV still hasn't come up with anything as creative, as sexy or, for that matter, as interesting.'

For the post war teenagers, Elvis meant rebellion, that sexy, breathlessly and frantic sound of his was the bad seed of defiance and disobedience that will rise during the mid 60's. 'When I first heard [Elvis Presley's] voice I just knew that I wasn't going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be my boss.' summed up Dylan.' 'He taught white America to get down" said James Brown, as a racial integrator, Elvis took hold all over the South, Elvis -a working class Southerner- fusad sounds of white country music with black blues and R&B. In an uptight white America segregation happpened in their very bodies, where sexuality needed to be separated from the rest of the cultural being, Elvis Presley came as a sexual awakening, the generally described 'frenezy' Elvis caused in the Audience was more like a sexual expression, a liberation from the taboos of the older generation, and that was the real fear regarding Elvis.

Well we did some talkin' after all, but here it is, Elvis: Rock, Sex and Roll, enjoy our playlist, this is not a greatest hits collection, this is Elvis the rocker, malicious glee that 50 years latter still has that rebellious edge.

Mildred: Hey Johnny, what are you rebelling against?
Johnny: Whadda you got?
Elvis - Rock, Sex, And Roll (A BOOK FROM JAT publishing) Get It NOW!!!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Hollywood Hound Dog. By Chris Hutchins

By Halloween 1957, Elvis had achieved the impossible and he knew it. The shimmering iridescense that was the King of Rock 'n' Roll glowed in every corner of the globe. Even in silhouette, his image was unmissable. 

Earlier that year, the Colonel organized a concert tour starting in Chicago and working its way through St. Louis, Philadelfia and Buffalo, to Toronto, Montreal and Ottawa,. Squezeed in between the end of filming Loving You in March and the start of Jailhouse Rock in May, the tour proved so successful that Elvis was back on the road in late August, covering the Pacific North-west centres of Spokane, Tacoma, Seattle and Portland. In Vancouver, ha flapped his wings so freely that he was accused of inciting a full-scale rock 'n' roll riot among the fans. Elvis revelled in it. 

But there was serious trouble waiting in Los Angeles, where Elvis ached to give the best show of his life at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium in the heart of Hollywood. More by accident than design, the first performance ended in a bizarre climax, which even Elvis found hard to explain after the damage  had been done. 

Bathed in white light and clad in a tuxedo woven of golden thread, its lapels and cuffs sparkling with rhinestones ($10,000 from Nudie's Hollywood), Elvis was at the height of his powers. Even before he opened that first night, 28 October, with 'Heartbreak Hotel', a mounting crescendo of ear-splitting squeals told him he had died and gone to teenage heaven. The audience, decked out from top to toe in Elvis fashions and waving his publicity picture over their heads like sails in a high wind, they let him know that they were here for some action. He was only too happy to oblige. This was the Teddy Boys army. And Teddy Girls, its battle colours of Hound Dog Orange, Hearbreak Pink, Love Ya Fuchsia, and Cruel Red shining brightly on moist young lips. His own likeness smiled boldly back at him from a multitude of scarves, dresses, dungarees, blouses, sneakers, and charm bracelets. He knew he was among the faithful. 

Instantly, he was Presley the Performer, a master illusionist who created magical shapes with his flowing torso and liquid limbs. These combined with nerve-tingling sound bites from those curling, bee-stung lips to summon up the libido even in those too young to know they had one. The black pompadour slicked back into the classic ducktail, the kiss curl hanging over the high, noble forehead and the long sideburns now stamped him as arrogant, delinquent and dangerous. As he cast his spell, the dynamic that came into play made anything, anything at all, seem possible for a few  fleeting moments: the most improbable sexual fantasy might just become reality for the truly devout believer. 

As the vision Elvis created became momentarily real, yet more squeals, tearful cries and ecstatic screams ripped the night air, only to rise even higher the instant that pivotal, pump-action pelvis stopped moving. Once the radioactive particles ceased to vibrate, the illusion faded and the sudden withdrawal was unendurable. All too aware of what he had done, Elvis looked curiously contrite. Standing motionless beneath the spotlights, he was human again and noticeably vulnerable. But still they begged for more and, once again, he obliged. Maurice Kinn reported that night in the New Musical Express: 

Throughout the fifty minutes of Presley's shattering antics, the entire auditorium was a seething, contorting mass of wriggling humanity, reacting with shrill screams and convulsive jerks to every breath of the Presley voice, every twitch of the Presley hips. This was not just audience reaction, but sheer mass hypnotism. Fans fainted in dozens, falling like ninepins in the aisles and across the rows of seats.
He deliberately sets out with an almost sadistic intent to arouse the fans to fever pitch. They say that Elvis is the only singer who wears out his trousers from the inside -and now I know just what they mean.

In a final burst of high spirits, Elvis concluded the show by rolling over and over on the stage with his arms and legs wrapped around a stuffed version of Nipper, the dog normaly seen cocking an attentive ear to a wind-up phonograph on the RCA Victor logo. Elvis had ended each performance on the tour by serenading the mascot with a fast and furious rendition of  'Hound Dog'. In Los Angeles, when he suddenly seized Nipper in this undignified and unscripted embrace, the foreplay had been so great that some outraged members of the press thought he was simulating sex with it. Exciting young girls to orgasm was bad enough, but having sexual intercourse with a dog was going to far. The final taboo had been broken. 

The LA deputy police chief ordered the Vice Squad to instruct Elvis to eliminate any 'sexy overtones' from his next performance. To underscore the caution, the Colonel was also warned that obscenity charges would be brought against his star if the Nipper act were repeated at the second concert. 

Three 16mm movie cameras were hastly despatched to the Pan-Pacific Auditorium to shoot Elvis from different angles. In the event of further infringement, the film would be produced in the court as evidence. Bunkered down in the Presidential suit of the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, Elvis stuck to his usual rejoinder: 'They all think I'm a sex maniac, but I come from a respectable family and I wouldn't do anything to embarras them. I just act natural.'

No Presley concert had ever been staged in front of such a dedicated turnout of his peers or in such a high-voltage atmosphere of official disdain. He came on with the eyes and ears of the world upon him, with the Vice Squad waiting in the wings and the créme de la créme of Hollywood's young talent watching in rapt anticipation from their ringside seats. It was a big moment. Elvis stood briefly speechless as he caught sight of the famous faces. Some he knew well, like Nick Adams, Dennis Hopper and Sammy Davis, but he had never met Ricky Nelson, Ricky shifted uncomfortably when he realized Elvis was looking at him. 

Addressing the crowd, Elvis said: 'I'm sorry this came up, but we're not gonna let it stop us from putting on the best show we can for you people. If they think I'm obscene, that's their problem, not mine.' 

Before going into his act, he winked at one of the spy cameras, inscribed a halo around his head with a circular motion of his hand and said: 'I'm going to be angel tonight'. Pandemonium. 

Fans fainted in dozens, falling like ninepins in the aisles and across the rows of seats... New Musical Express, Oct. 1957

Sunday, October 9, 2011

"6.000 Kids Cheer Elvis' Frantic Sex Show" by Dick Williams -L.A. Daily Mirror-News October 29, 1957

October 29, 1957
Pan Pacific Auditorium, Los Angeles California.

Sexhibitionist Elvis Presley has come at last in person to a visibly palpitating, adolescent female Los Angeles to give all the little girls' libidos the jolt of their lives. Six thousand kids, predominantly feminine by a ratio of 10 to 1, jammed Pan-Pacific Auditorium to the rafters last night. They screamed their lungs out without letup as Elvis shook, bumped and did the grinds from one end of the stage to the other until he was a quivering heap on the floor 35 minutes later.

With anyone else, the police would have closed the show 10 minutes after it started. But not Elvis, our new national teenage hero. If any further proof were needed that what Elvis offers is not basically music but a sex show, it was provided last night. Pandemonium took over from the time he swaggered triumphantly on stage like some ancient Caesar, resplendent in gold lame tux jacket with rhinestone lapels, until he weaved off at the end of his stint. It was almost impossible to hear the music despite a turned-up public address system. A cloud of thumping drums, whining guitars and Elvis' hoarse shouts rose like some lascivious steaming brew from the bare stage (except for a banner plugging his next picture, "Jailhouse Rock") and filled the auditorium.

The only way I knew what Elvis was singing was by asking the youths sitting next to me. They somehow recognized every number. It started with "Heartbreak Hotel" and wound its way through all his popular record hits from "Hound Dog" to "Don't Be Cruel." There is but scant difference in any of them. Only the wild abandon varies. Hundreds of little girls brought their flash cameras although what they expected to get sitting far back in this vast barn of a place I don't know. Constantly, amidst the high, sustained screaming, the thumping, clapping and wild shouts, innumerable flashes kept going off so that the darkness was intermittently lit as if by lightning. The whole panorama, from the frenzy on stage to the far reaches of the jammed bleachers which seemed a mile back at the rear, looked like one of those screeching, uninhibited party rallies which the Nazis used to hold for Hitler. Scores of police circled the auditorium and at the slightest hint of trouble plunged in ominous pairs up the aisles toward the offenders. There have been too many Elvis "concerts" which ended in riots in the past to risk any trouble.

Elvis worked with two guitarists, a drummer and a pianist plus the Jordinaires, a quartet of young harmonists who were lost in the hubbub. He attempted almost no talking after his initial muttered, "Friends, I want to introduce yuh to the members of muh gang." Most of the time he was weaving over the stage like a horse with the blind staggers. He wiggled, bounced, shook and ground in the style which stripteasers of the opposite sex have been using at stag shows since grandpa was a boy. He used frequent contrived sensual gestures such as constantly hitching up his pants, fooling with his belt buckle and yanking down his coat to elicit further wild screams from his audience. He played up to the mike stand like it was a girl in a gesture which is expressly forbidden by the police department in every burlesque show in Los Angeles County. The wilder Elvis got in his pelvic gyrations, the more frenzied his audience became. Inevitably, he announced midway, sweat pouring down his face, that he was "all shook up."

The madness reached its peak at the finish with "Hound Dog." Elvis writhed in complete abandon, hair hanging down over his face. He got down on the floor with a huge replica of the RCA singing dog and made love to it as if it were a girl. Slowly, he rolled over and over on the floor. The little brunette of maybe 15 sitting in front of me bent her head and covered her eyes, whether with embarrassment, fright, sickness or excitement, I know not. I do know this is corruption of the innocent on a scale such as I have never witnessed before. For these are children to whom Elvis appeals, preconditioned, curious adolescents, who are artificially and unhealthfully stimulated. Their reactions would shock many a parent if he or she could see this display. They are not adults who can take his crudities and laugh or shrug them off.The boy next to me, bent forward on his seat taking it all in, turned briefly to me between numbers. "He's great," he enthused. "He's simply great, isn't he?"

The same lesson in pornography will be repeated tonight, barring an interruption by the Police Department, which is unlikely, in view of the fact that they might have a riot on their hands.

L.A. Police Order Presley "Clean Up" His Pan-Pac Show" -October 29, 1957. 

 "Clean it Up and tone it down". That was the crisp order issued by L.A. police last night prior to the second and last Elvis Presley performance at the Pan-Pacific Auditorium. Came on the heels of the opening night performance which provided a chilling picture of Presley's impact on adolescent minds. Many sources flatly labeled the show "lewd," police reported. Others described it as the "most disgusting and most frightening" show they had seen. 

However, city officials said that while the show was in "questionable taste" it did not violate any obscenity laws and no action was planned. But Deputy Chief Richard Simmons ordered his vice squad to give Presley strict orders that the alleged sexy stuff be cut. 

" At one point during the second night show, he formed a halo over his head and offered his wrist for handcuffs to the police cameras. -You should have been here last night, he added with mockery."

    The Pan Pacific Auditorium

The Pan Pacific Auditorium, Mid 80's

Thursday, October 6, 2011

"Elvis Presley Will Have to Clean Up His Show -Or Go To Jail." Excerpt from "Last Train to Memphis" By Peter Guralnick.

Here. Read This!" said a reporter, shoving a magazine article into Elvis' hands. "Rock 'n' Roll smells phony and false", declared Frank Sinatra in the story's text. "Its sung, played and written for the most part by cretinous goons and by means of its almost imbecilic reiteration, and sly, lewd, in plain fact dirty lytics... it manages to be the martial music of every sideburned delinquent on the face of the earth... it is the most brutal, ugly, desperate, vicious form of expresion it has been my misfortune to hear".

And what was Elvis Presley's response to that? he was asked, standing in front of a roomful of reporters. It was an hour before his October 28 [1957] performance at the Pan Pacific Auditorioum, which would mark his Hollywood debut. "I admire the man", said Elvis. "He has a right to say what he wants to say. He is a great success and a fine actor, but I think he shouldn't have said it. He's mistaken about this. This is a trend, just the same as he faced when he started years ago. I consider it the greatest in music," Elvis added mischievously, throwing the reporters a little off balance. "It is very noteworthy -and namely because it is the only thing I can do..."

"Is that all you have to say?"
"You can't knock success," declared Elvisand went on to answer questions about his income, his sideburns, his draft status, and any plans he might have for marriage, before taking the stage in gold jacket and dress pants at 8:15. 

He was determined to impress his celebrity-studded audience, and he did. In front of a sold-out, paid attendance of more than nine thousand, he flung himself about, "wiggled, bumped, twisted" and at the conclusion of the fifty-minute performance rolled around on the floor with Nipper in a manner longtime Jack O' Brian of the New York Journal-American declared "Far too indecent to mention in every detail". The Los Angeles Mirror-News did wrote the next day "Elvis writhed in complete abandon, hair hanging over his face. He got down on the floor with a huge replica of the RCA singing dog and made love to it as if it were a girl."

The audience went wild, but the newspapers took a somewhat dimer view. "Elvis Presley Will Have to Clean Up His Show -Or Go To Jail," declared one headline, while O´Brian characterized the music as "a terrible popular twist  on darkest Africa's fertility tom-tom displays" and Los Angeles Mirror-News entertainment editor Dick Williams noted: "If any further proof were needed that what Elvis offers is not basically music but a sex show, it was proved last night".  His performance, wrote Williams, resembled "one of those screeching, uninhibited party rallies which the Nazis used to hold for Hitler," and many parents who had attended with their children, including actors Alan Ladd and Walter Slezak, expressed equal outrage to authorities and the newpapers. The result was that the Los Angeles Vice Squad contacted the Colonel [Elvis Manager], who told Elvis that he would have to cut out some of the dancing and in general tone down his act. What was Elvis reaction? the Colonel was asked, "This isn't the first time," said the Colonel, "You know, they done it a couple of times before." Did Elvis complain about not being able to dance? "Naw, he didn't complain... He just said, "Well, if I don't dance tonight, maybe I don't have to take a shower tonight." "Coloner Parker said that?" declared Elvis incredulously. "He couldn't have! You see," Elvis explained, genuinely upset, "I take a shower every night, whether I dance or just sing."

When the police showed up with movie cameras on the second night, the show was considerably tone down, and the only person to object was Yul Brynner, "whose bleeding heart", wrote Jack O'Brian, "led him to protest [the censorship] as if it were an invasion of someone's privacy." Brynner, declared O'Brian olympianly, was "ridiculous." Elvis, for his part, kept his own counsel. At one point during the second night show, he formed a halo over his head and offered his wrist for handcuffs to the cameras. "You should have been here last night," he added with mockery.

"When I originally saw the act, I was horrified... Elvis was rolling around the floor of the
Pan Pacific Auditorium in Hollywood with his arms and legs wrapped
around the microphone as though they where bride and groom." Hedda Hopper.