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Elvis had everything -- Why did he self-destruct?

Fri Jul 04, 2003 5:36 pm

I broke down and sprang for the Close Up box. I'm listening to disc 4, live in Texas 1972.

I am struck by how in control Elvis still was at this time (April 72). Sure his voice is not quite as good as it was in 1970--and his sped up versions of Polk Salad Annie and Suspicious Minds are eclipsed by the previous live versions from 69 and 70.

But nevertheless, in early 72, he is still in great form, if perhaps a little bored with some of his older stage material. Some might argue that he was just starting to decline around this period...

But it's still a great show and hard to believe that in five years he would be gone. How could someone who seemingly had everything, fame, looks, money, adulation of millions self-destruct within five years after this show?!!

Perhaps that is the great tragedy of Elvis--he went supernova, as his fans watched and were helpless to stop it.

Fri Jul 04, 2003 7:35 pm

Perhaps some of it was boredom. And a lot of it due to the pressure of his fame. Although he had been taking medication for a few years, it was around 1972 that it started to become a major problem.

Rather like someone going out for a few beers on a weekend and then drinking mid-week. It only starts becoming a problem when you start having a drink before breakfast - or instead of!

Elvis thought he needed the medication, and by that time, he probably did. His body couldn't cope without it. You have to question his doctor, but Elvis could have gotten the stuff from a different supplier, and indeed did, on a few occassions.

Sadly he didn't seek help, or didn't want help.

There's a lot more help for people these days. You only have to look at much lesser stars who seem to be always in some clinic these days.

It was sad, but my surprise is Elvis didn't 'burn out' before he did.

Re: Elvis had everything -- Why did he self-destruct?

Sat Jul 05, 2003 4:29 am

monkboughtlunch wrote: How could someone who seemingly had everything, fame, looks, money, adulation of millions self-destruct within five years after this show?!!


Wise men say that h a v i n g e v e r y t h i n g is one of the most unfortunate things that can happen to you.
Decadence is always close by. What can one hope for, if one has all, but still is unsatisfied?

Re: Elvis had everything -- Why did he self-destruct?

Sat Jul 05, 2003 9:59 am

R.R.Police wrote:Wise men say that h a v i n g e v e r y t h i n g is one of the most unfortunate things that can happen to you.
Decadence is always close by. What can one hope for, if one has all, but still is unsatisfied?


R.R.P - those are indeed very wise words.

Ironically, the very same thing can apply to "collectors" as well.


N8
... just a fan ....

Re: Elvis had everything -- Why did he self-destruct?

Sat Jul 05, 2003 12:09 pm

N880EP wrote:Ironically, the very same thing can apply to "collectors" as well.


DonĀ“t we know it! Decadence is always close by! 8)

why did elvis self-destruct?

Sat Jul 05, 2003 1:27 pm

Hi,
I spoke with Wink Martindale one night, who was a long time friend of Elvis. He said that Elvis never got over the death of his mother, and despite having everything and being surounded by people all the time, Elvis was a very sad and lonly man.
I agree with getlo, it is surprising that he didnt self-destruct long before he did.

Angel
:D :D :D

Sat Jul 05, 2003 3:04 pm

Elvis actually had a self-destruct button located in the small of his back. This was fitted by the Colonel just before filming began on Clambake,as Elvis was beginning to disobey the Colonel's instructions over film scripts, the kind of friends he was keeping & marrying Priscilla. Meant as a method of keeping full control of Elvis, the button was accidently (and ironically) pressed by Priscilla the night in February '72 she told him she was leaving, as they struggled on the bed in his suite. The Colonel was initally horrifed at the effect the activation of this button had, and tried to have its removed (witness the big bust up between the 2 in Vegas in '74). However, he soon saw that Elvis would be worth just as much, if not more, dead or alive, and his concern passed. Linda Thompson knew too, but left when she was unable to convince Elvis what was happening-and Red & Sonny knew too, but the controversial chapter about the Colonel was removed from their book by the Colonel to protect his image.
Think-ever see Elvis with his shirt off in the '70's?

Sat Jul 05, 2003 3:23 pm

Andy C wrote:Elvis actually had a self-destruct button located in the small of his back...
...Think-ever see Elvis with his shirt off in the '70's?


And I thought he kept his shirt on to cover up the marks in his back, from all of those knives the people around him were throwing.

Sat Jul 05, 2003 3:25 pm

All of the usual excuses`are valid to a degree, fame and fortune, his mothers death, Parker etc. But the biggest factor in his downfall, was that plain and simply, Elvis was of a weak character. If he did`nt care enough to even get himself together for his daughter, what chance did his career have ?

Sat Jul 05, 2003 3:26 pm

Andy C wrote:Linda Thompson knew too, but left when she was unable to convince Elvis what was happening........


Elvis knew it; in fact, it was HE who admitted it (being self-destructive) to Linda (she claims it was one of the rare instances that Elvis was brutally honest with himself).

Elvis died the year after Linda left the scene. One, in a series of choices, that cost Elvis his life. Had Linda been around, I think August 16, 1977 would have had a very different outcome.

Don't get me wrong, .............. nobody is to blame for what happened, except Elvis himself.


N8
... just a fan ....

Sat Jul 05, 2003 6:09 pm

The “boredom” aspect is an interesting one. If Elvis was bored with the likes of “Hound Dog” and “Teddy Bear” by 1972 he had every right to be. He did however have many more songs that he could have added to his stage repertoire to keep things fresh and exciting, but he chose not to.

If we look at the MSG shows and the “Aloha” concert, in both cases a number of additional songs were either considered or rehearsed before the shows took place, but by the time of the actual performances, the set lists were much closer to the tried and tested Presley concert format. Of course this format worked, Elvis was very much aware of that, and this could be the main reason why he was reluctant to make large-scale changes to his stage act.

In 1972 he told the MGM cameras that “we never let it (the show) get old”, but unfortunately by 1977 that’s exactly what had happened.