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When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 7:16 pm

I added two pages today, Portland and LA (Civic Stadium and the Pan-Pacific), that I felt should go up together because they compliment one another. They're rather long but I thought their histories were worth telling.

Check them out at
http://scottymoore.net/portland57.html
and
http://scottymoore.net/panpacific.html

as usual any you missed at
http://scottymoore.net/venues.html

I had started the one on the Pan last year but shelved it for awhile to work on others. Davide beat me to press in a thread with a great collection of photos, a couple of which I borrowed (Thanks) so if you haven't seen it you should also check it out since there are more and bigger pix (see http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=42559 )

Thanks,
Jim

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:04 pm

JamesVRoy wrote:I added two pages today, Portland and LA (Civic Stadium and the Pan-Pacific), that I felt should go up together because they compliment one another. They're rather long but I thought their histories were worth telling.


Thanks, Jim !

This bit was new to me:

"Scotty and Bill were especially eager for this session. Elvis had been talking to them for months about doing an album of instrumentals on which Elvis would play piano. The project was his own idea. Financially, they were getting desperate. Every time Scotty or Bill put something together that would allow them to make extra money or receive items in exchange for endorsements, Colonel Parker shot it down. After they completed work on the singles and the Christmas album, they got ready to record the instrumentals. We had even picked the name out for the group: the Continentals, says Scotty. Elvis booked studio time for us. We even rehearsed some songs for the album. But before we got started, Parker found out about it and shut us down."

That was essentially the last straw for them and they finally came to the realization that "there was not going to be any sharing of the wealth as Elvis had promised. When they had started out they were Elvis and the Blue Moon Boys, the musical equivalent of the Three Musketeers: all for one, and one for all. Now Scotty and Bill were struggling to make a living wage." In an attempt to get more money they drafted a letter of resignation and sent it to Elvis but by the time they returned to Memphis the media had got the story, tempers flared and the result was that they had to make good on their resignation as they were prepared to. For the rest of September until the issue was resolved at the end of October, they set out on their own.


I didn't know about the Continentals group !

Elvis could have spoken up for them more than he did, I feel.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:10 pm

ColinB wrote:
Elvis could have spoken up for them more than he did, I feel.


Elvis didn't speak for himself and you expect doing in it for the the others.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:20 pm

Francesc wrote:
ColinB wrote:
Elvis could have spoken up for them more than he did, I feel.


Elvis didn't speak for himself and you expect doing in it for the the others.


Yes.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:32 pm

ColinB wrote:
Francesc wrote:
ColinB wrote:
Elvis could have spoken up for them more than he did, I feel.


Elvis didn't speak for himself and you expect doing in it for the the others.


Yes.


Well It never happened.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 8:37 pm

Francesc wrote:
ColinB wrote:
Francesc wrote:
ColinB wrote:Elvis could have spoken up for them more than he did, I feel.
Elvis didn't speak for himself and you expect doing in it for the the others.
Yes.
Well It never happened.


I know.

Perhaps the very first black mark against Elvis in his career.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 9:44 pm

ColinB,

Your responses are spot on.

It is refreshing to read a post from someone who can accept the reality that Elvis was not the angelic figure
some on this board think he is.

With regard to the trio. What an act of betrayal.

With regard to Parker. What a coward.

The Blue Moon Boys deserved far better treatment and compensation than they received.

They played a significant role in Elvis' success.

How did he repay them?

By treating them like something he had stepped in in the yard.

That was the 1950's. One would hope that with maturity and insight Elvis would play the role of a man with integrity.

To add insult to injury. Elvis never came around to realizing the fact that he had totally ripped them off, and done the right thing by compensating them, or even treating them with the courtesy and respect they deserved. Never.

His mistreatment of the trio is enough to dislike Elvis without all the additional evidence we have for his lackluster character.

It is a shame that the three men who had brought Elvis so much in his life, gave them so little.

Very sad.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:06 pm

With respect Forum- who thinks that?

Elvis' actions in this case are much more ambiguous than what you paint though. He should have stood up for his friends. However, Sholes and Parker (neither of whom understood the rock aesthetic) wanted Scotty and Bill gone from the start. Sholes thought that Elvis could easily obtain better players, not understanding that rock n' roll was not about technical perfection. Parker, in his paranoia, wanted no other consistent professional interests in Elvis' life. The amount of money Scotty and Bill wanted was easily within the reach of the Elvis organization without even a minimum of sacrifice. In that context, the event takes on a certain ambiguity precisely because Scotty and Bill were hanging in there because of Elvis' loyalty. When they quit, it must have seemed a blow in that context. This was not Scotty and Bill's fault because just as Elvis was hanging onto them out of loyalty, they were doing the same with him as the money they were making was not enough to justify the continuation of the relationship. What's more as Scotty himself has pointed out (with great charity), the $100 to $200 that he and Bill were making on retainer and on the road probably seemed like excellent money to Elvis and his father (despite the hundreds of thousands Elvis was raking in). Before entering into the music business neither one had probably ever made $200 in a week in their lives.

The problem here was in that false dichotomy that Elvis set up with Parker. Throughout his career, both Presley and Parker would state that one handled the music and the other handled the money. The problem is that in popular music there is a tremendous intersection of both interests and you can't keep them separate. This conflict would play itself out again and again in Elvis' career.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:35 pm

forum wrote:ColinB,

Your responses are spot on.

It is refreshing to read a post from someone who can accept the reality that Elvis was not the angelic figure
some on this board think he is.

With regard to the trio. What an act of betrayal.

With regard to Parker. What a coward.

The Blue Moon Boys deserved far better treatment and compensation than they received.

They played a significant role in Elvis' success.

How did he repay them?

By treating them like something he had stepped in in the yard.

That was the 1950's. One would hope that with maturity and insight Elvis would play the role of a man with integrity.

To add insult to injury. Elvis never came around to realizing the fact that he had totally ripped them off, and done the right thing by compensating them, or even treating them with the courtesy and respect they deserved. Never.

His mistreatment of the trio is enough to dislike Elvis without all the additional evidence we have for his lackluster character.

It is a shame that the three men who had brought Elvis so much in his life, gave them so little.

Very sad.


What's sad, is the tone of your posts, over and over. Elvis financially might have been naive, but never was he ever considered a crook, or would he rip people off. The money was handled by the Colonel, and the Colonel only, so blame him, not Elvis! Don't ever question Elvis' character either, if there was a more unselfish human being with his money then Elvis, I'd like to meet him!

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 10:43 pm

Sorry guys, I titled the thread that way because I thought it would get more reads. When I start with "another venue added" they drop to the bottom pretty quick. Thanks for reading them, a lot of folks (not everyone and no one necessarily here) just skip over for the pix.

I was going to expand on the quitting thing but it was beginning to detract from the focus of the page which is the venue. I added it because it sort of links the two together. I may add a section or a page about it later on.

I have to agree with a lot of the points brought up but to elaborate further, the guys themselves regret not voicing the issue enough earlier on. Scotty to this day will defend Elvis to the death with respect to his ignorance of finances and not wanting to concern himself with those details but I won't. It had to be pretty obvious as early as 56 the trouble these guys were having. Though they were earning $200 a week while working, which is more than digging a ditch in those days, it wasn't enough to keep Scotty from getting arrested before the show at Russwood for lack of child support. Or when he had to refinance his guitar to make ends meet. In 57 they weren't touring much and by September in Portland they had only done 14 shows so most of the year the pay dropped to $100 a week.

I've said it before, if there's one thing I can fault Elvis on its not taking better care of the guys.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:05 pm

Joe Car wrote:
forum wrote:Very sad.


What's sad, is the tone of your posts, over and over. Elvis financially might have been naive, but never was he ever considered a crook, or would he rip people off. The money was handled by the Colonel, and the Colonel only, so blame him, not Elvis! Don't ever question Elvis' character either, if there was a more unselfish human being with his money then Elvis, I'd like to meet him!


I felt that Elvis let Scotty & Bill down back then, & I stated as much.

Forum has taken it to an extreme which I cannot support.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:12 pm

ColinB wrote:I didn't know about the Continentals group !

IIRC, it was mentioned in this book:

Peter Guralnick, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley (New York: Little Brown & Company, 1995)

You should pick up a copy.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:16 pm

I agree on that last James especially because the amount of money that Scotty and Bill wanted was really not a lot, not even then. I disagree though on Elvis' ignorance. I really think to him that $200 was a lot of money. I don't think he thought you would have much trouble getting by on that amount because he never lived it. He went right from struggling to millionaire. However, I do think this was an excuse he made to himself.

He was making a king's ransom in 1956. And he knew, even if Parker and Sholes didn't, that Scotty and Bill were a legitimate part of his success. When you're making half a million or in 1957 more than a million, you have to know that one tenth a percent is not much of a reward for the people who helped you get there. Still, even here I grant Elvis that one benefit of a doubt because he trusted Parker and Parker wanted them out. It's easy to kid yourself in a situation like that.

It's also important to remember that for Parker this particular issue was not about money. One of the things that really stung in Scotty's book was the huge salary Elvis paid James Burton to lead his comeback band. It was about power and the power to influence Elvis. I wonder if Elvis would have paid the increase, if it would have eventually come down to firing the Colonel to keep Scotty and Bill in tow full time. Because even if Elvis paid the raise, I can imagine the endless nag of "fire the band" would not have ceased.

I don't mean to be wishy washy, but I can see both sides. However, in the end Scotty and Bill deserved pay and respect. Scotty played on some of the greatest records ever made and helped conceive a revolutionary sound, it is not right that he was never treated to the prosperity accorded far lesser musicians.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:18 pm

Elvis was young, naive and inexperienced with regards to the financial reality of being entertainment star and how to distribute earnings to his important band mates. It happened quickly. Neither he or his family had the sophistication and education to fully understand the circumstances they suddenly found themselves in. They relied on Tom Parker for guidance. Elvis was human and it is understandable that he might have had trouble making sense of the situation, particularly while being manipulated by his representatives. This is a common tale in the entertainment business. Sadly it happened way too often and continues to happen to this day.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:26 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
ColinB wrote:I didn't know about the Continentals group !

IIRC, it was mentioned in this book:

Peter Guralnick, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley (New York: Little Brown & Company, 1995)

You should pick up a copy.


Instead of "I didn't know" I guess I should have said "I'd forgotten".

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Thu Jun 18, 2009 11:31 pm

Trust the doc to help with those senior moments.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:02 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Trust the doc to help with those senior moments.


Indubitably.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:19 am

ColinB wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
ColinB wrote:I didn't know about the Continentals group !

IIRC, it was mentioned in this book:

Peter Guralnick, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley (New York: Little Brown & Company, 1995)

You should pick up a copy.


Instead of "I didn't know" I guess I should have said "I'd forgotten".


To be honest I didn't recall "the continentals" from Peter's book either. The bit I used was from Scotty's. I just did a quick check and couldn't find it mentioned in Peter's. He covers the session and the intent to do the instrumentals but I couldn't find a reference to the name.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:22 am

JamesVRoy wrote:
ColinB wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
ColinB wrote:I didn't know about the Continentals group !

IIRC, it was mentioned in this book:
Peter Guralnick, Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley (New York: Little Brown & Company, 1995)
You should pick up a copy.
Instead of "I didn't know" I guess I should have said "I'd forgotten".
To be honest I didn't recall "the continentals" from Peter's book either.
The bit I used was from Scotty's.
I just did a quick check and couldn't find it mentioned in Peter's.
He covers the session and the intent to do the instrumentals but I couldn't find a reference to the name.


Err...................................what's up, Doc ?........................... a 'senior moment' ?

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Fri Jun 19, 2009 12:36 am

ColinB wrote:
JamesVRoy wrote:I added two pages today, Portland and LA (Civic Stadium and the Pan-Pacific), that I felt should go up together because they compliment one another. They're rather long but I thought their histories were worth telling.


Thanks, Jim !

This bit was new to me:

"Scotty and Bill were especially eager for this session. Elvis had been talking to them for months about doing an album of instrumentals on which Elvis would play piano. The project was his own idea. Financially, they were getting desperate. Every time Scotty or Bill put something together that would allow them to make extra money or receive items in exchange for endorsements, Colonel Parker shot it down. After they completed work on the singles and the Christmas album, they got ready to record the instrumentals. We had even picked the name out for the group: the Continentals, says Scotty. Elvis booked studio time for us. We even rehearsed some songs for the album. But before we got started, Parker found out about it and shut us down."

That was essentially the last straw for them and they finally came to the realization that "there was not going to be any sharing of the wealth as Elvis had promised. When they had started out they were Elvis and the Blue Moon Boys, the musical equivalent of the Three Musketeers: all for one, and one for all. Now Scotty and Bill were struggling to make a living wage." In an attempt to get more money they drafted a letter of resignation and sent it to Elvis but by the time they returned to Memphis the media had got the story, tempers flared and the result was that they had to make good on their resignation as they were prepared to. For the rest of September until the issue was resolved at the end of October, they set out on their own.


I didn't know about the Continentals group !

Elvis could have spoken up for them more than he did, I feel.


I've heard about the planned instrumental album Scotty and Bill were going to do but didn't know Elvis was gonna play piano on it that could've been cool.

What I don't understand is why the Colonel would care
I mean so what if Scotty, Bill and D.J. were going to do this project on the side to make some extra money

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:12 am

Joe Car wrote:What's sad, is the tone of your posts, over and over. Elvis financially might have been naive, but never was he ever considered a crook, or would he rip people off. The money was handled by the Colonel, and the Colonel only, so blame him, not Elvis! Don't ever question Elvis' character either, if there was a more unselfish human being with his money then Elvis, I'd like to meet him!


Now you're just splitting hairs.

All 'forum' has done this time is call Elvis a treacherous coward whose lackluster character and complete lack of integrity allowed him to quite happily rip off his bandmates, the type of person any reasonable observer might readily dislike. Add this to this poster previously characterizing Elvis as a physical non-event who never recorded anything worth a damn and it all sounds pretty dire, I admit, but I'm confident that -- any day now -- he'll (and I'm guessing it's a he) balance it all by posting a glowing tribute to the King in which he reveals his fawning fanboy essentials. Any day now. I can almost count on it. You just wait and see. Aaannny day now.

And at least he didn't mention "My Boy" by name. Not yet, anyway.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:36 am

Elvis does deserve credit for allowing Scotty and Bill back into the fold from the 1960 sessions.

This must have been very difficult following the the very succesful June 58 session.

Somehow Elvis prevailed over Parker/Sholes.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:41 am

KiwiAlan wrote:Elvis does deserve credit for allowing Scotty and Bill back into the fold from the 1960 sessions.

Not that much credit.

Bill Black did not record with Elvis after Tuesday, February 11, 1958.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Fri Jun 19, 2009 1:51 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
KiwiAlan wrote:Elvis does deserve credit for allowing Scotty and Bill back into the fold from the 1960 sessions.

Not that much credit.

Bill Black did not record with Elvis after Tuesday, February 11, 1958.



Of course he didn't, in 1959 he was in another band (which became known as the Bill Black's Combo) having top 20 hits on a rival to RCA label!

Imagine if Bill Black said to HI Records in March 1960 "hey guys I just did a session with Elvis, we did these songs , here are my lead sheets"

He coudn't come back to the Elvis set up.


Even though he was the best bass guitarist in the world Not.

Re: When Scotty and Bill quit, and then returned

Fri Jun 19, 2009 2:14 am

KiwiAlan wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
KiwiAlan wrote:Elvis does deserve credit for allowing Scotty and Bill back into the fold from the 1960 sessions.

Not that much credit.

Bill Black did not record with Elvis after Tuesday, February 11, 1958.



Of course he didn't ...

?

Did someone "borrow" your login and post that "1960" KiwiAlan comment?