With Steve Barile



I replace the word sex with the word greed in this title simply because at the present moment, I am not in the mood.  However, if you are of the female gender and agree with the following diatribe, you will receive my full attention.  If you are of the male persuasion and agree with the ensuing viewpoints, I compliment your intellect.  Those of you who may find yourselves in total disagreement are simply shallow and uninteresting.  

But seriously folks, one of the most disconcerting aspects of being a veteran Elvis fan has been the recent level of deception and greed that I’ve encountered in the Elvis world which is reminiscent of the concert 70’s when deception and greed were almost necessary and understandable considering the rewards might mean a front row seat or any seat for that matter.  We fans were always ruthlessly competing with each other for better seats to a show or any chance of a glimpse of Elvis in the flesh.  I miss those days.  I miss Elvis.  The cold truth is none of us will ever again lay our eyes on Elvis in the flesh.  Ever!  Any thought to the contrary is merely a delusion.  Remaining mindful of the fact that there is absolutely no substitute for Elvis in the flesh, let us examine the short list of tangibles that come only remotely close to the live experience, with which we can still draw pleasure. 

1.      Celluloid images

2.      Recorded voice 

Period…that’s it!  With that said, I’d like to address the current state of buying, selling, trading and the hoarding of this material as I see it.  Approximately one year ago, when I was “ secretly ” approached to purchase 20 hours of outtakes from the beloved documentary “ Elvis That’s The Way It is ”, the footage carried a substantial price tag and I was reassured that the material was only being offered to a “ select few. ”  I immediately took advantage of the opportunity, and the goods were delivered.  I was a happy man.  It wasn’t very long though before anyone could make the same purchase for a much more affordable investment. A lesson learned. Then there are the pretentious cretins who lie about having any knowledge of the existence of this footage. Why  all the lies? This is not about the profundity of a cure for cancer. Now make no mistake, it is not my intention to whine or complain over the above scenario. On the contrary, I encourage the buying and selling of material such as this which ultimately I consider priceless.  To be perfectly clear, I am an advocate of monetary profit ( within reason of course ) and am fully aware that nothing is free. I am grateful to those making audio and video gems available for purchase.  In recent years it’s been fun and exciting for me to make available for purchase wonderfully rare photos to those like myself who are fascinated by the image of Elvis.  Serious Elvis photo collectors though are fast becoming a dying breed which brings me to the hoarders of said material.  It is my contention that “saving” an entire collection of rare photos in a closet or “ for me only ” is not only greedy, childish and insignificant but an abhorrent waste.  Think about it. In a relatively short time, we passionate collectors of this sort will either cease to exist or possibly shift priorities in older age.  We are the last of the die-hards who can truly understand and appreciate the value of Elvis in print.

The next generation of “ fans ” won’t care or even recognize an unpublished photo. It won’t matter what he’s wearing in a photo or when and where a photo was taken, thereby greatly diminishing the value of your precious photos and transparencies.  The hoarders know who they are. This is the behavior I find most irritating and problematic. If not for the likes of me ( and a few others who remain ) to offer the level of appreciation these transparencies deserve, they will be rendered worthless.  Surely any of you reading this who love Elvis, his image and recorded voice as I do, would agree that we are all in this together. Life is short. Why not help put a smile on each others faces and finally consider sharing in the true spirit of Elvis?  Our collections would grow tenfold.  I will be first in line at a buyers, sellers, traders and hoarders convention.  Remember, no one ever gets out of this world alive. What will it all mean in the end? Help restore meaning and bring back the fun and delight of our obsession.  I anxiously wait to hear from my fellow fans and friends who I may have reached with these words.  Again, accolades to those who continue to make the real Elvis available. 

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