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Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:00 am

TJ wrote:
Cryogenic wrote:You don't speak for me.

I, for one, find the picture absolutely hilarious.

Goldman's cheesy grin, framed by a star, in arty black and white -- PERFECT!

In my opinion, you should try being less aggressive and intolerant. Swearing at someone for having a relatively inoffensive screen name and avatar (i.e., neither is inciting ethnic or sexual hatred) is rather extreme.


Hey I just gave him the reaction he was looking for. You don't register on an Elvis board as Albert Goldman without being an attention seeker. You know there is really nothing funny about Goldman though Cryo. He was a scumbag and Elvis' reputation took a huge hit because of him. If someone calls themself that, they deserve to be sworn at. He might as well go to a John Lennon board and call himself Mark Chapman. Or maybe that would be funny provided he did some cute artwork to go with it?


Like most discussions -- if I can even dignify what's going on here with that word -- I'm seeing some very high emotions right now. And as I'm more and more inclined to do, I'm going to step away from this one. I will say a couple of things, though. Firstly, you have an interesting (and highly typical) line of defence: the ol' "I attacked this person because they deserved it" defence. I'd rather see someone brought down a peg or two when they express repugnant views or behave in a thoroughly destructive manner. Personally, I think cussing someone down purely for presumed intent based on their username and avatar -- or, hell, just for them having a particular username and avatar -- is low. Secondly, Albert Goldman = Mark Chapman? OKKAAAAYYY. For the record: Mark Chapman shot and killed a man. Goldman, whatever his pathology, only wrote some mean words. There's a, if you'll pardon the pun (my evil sense of humour, see), marked difference between the two. But believe what you want to believe. Clearly, nothing I could say is going to change the way you think or do.
Last edited by Cryogenic on Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:11 am

Cryogenic wrote:
TJ wrote:
Cryogenic wrote:You don't speak for me.

I, for one, find the picture absolutely hilarious.

Goldman's cheesy grin, framed by a star, in arty black and white -- PERFECT!

In my opinion, you should try being less aggressive and intolerant. Swearing at someone for having a relatively inoffensive screen name and avatar (i.e., neither is inciting ethnic or sexual hatred) is rather extreme.


Hey I just gave him the reaction he was looking for. You don't register on an Elvis board as Albert Goldman without being an attention seeker. You know there is really nothing funny about Goldman though Cryo. He was a scumbag and Elvis' reputation took a huge hit because of him. If someone calls themself that, they deserve to be sworn at. He might as well go to a John Lennon board and call himself Mark Chapman. Or maybe that would be funny provided he did some cute artwork to go with it?


Like most discussions -- if I can even dignify what's going on here with that word -- I'm seeing some very high emotions right now. And as I'm more and more inclined to do, I'm going to step away from this one. Albert Goldman = Mark Chapman. OKKAAAAYYY. For the record: Mark Chapman shot and killed a man. Goldman, whatever his pathology, only wrote some mean words. There's a -- pardon the pun (my evil sense of humour, see) -- marked difference between the two. But believe what you want to believe. Clearly, nothing I could say is going to change the way you think or do.



Yes I was exaggerating to make a point with the Chapman reference. The point is that when someone selects the most hated person in the Elvis world as their user name on an Elvis board, they really aren't deserving of someone rushing to their defence when called on it. You are well intentioned I'm sure Cryo, but I think it's more productive to defend people who haven't intentionally incited a reaction. Agreed though, put this to bed :)

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 4:21 am

TJ wrote:
Cryogenic wrote:
TJ wrote:
Cryogenic wrote:You don't speak for me.

I, for one, find the picture absolutely hilarious.

Goldman's cheesy grin, framed by a star, in arty black and white -- PERFECT!

In my opinion, you should try being less aggressive and intolerant. Swearing at someone for having a relatively inoffensive screen name and avatar (i.e., neither is inciting ethnic or sexual hatred) is rather extreme.


Hey I just gave him the reaction he was looking for. You don't register on an Elvis board as Albert Goldman without being an attention seeker. You know there is really nothing funny about Goldman though Cryo. He was a scumbag and Elvis' reputation took a huge hit because of him. If someone calls themself that, they deserve to be sworn at. He might as well go to a John Lennon board and call himself Mark Chapman. Or maybe that would be funny provided he did some cute artwork to go with it?


Like most discussions -- if I can even dignify what's going on here with that word -- I'm seeing some very high emotions right now. And as I'm more and more inclined to do, I'm going to step away from this one. Albert Goldman = Mark Chapman. OKKAAAAYYY. For the record: Mark Chapman shot and killed a man. Goldman, whatever his pathology, only wrote some mean words. There's a -- pardon the pun (my evil sense of humour, see) -- marked difference between the two. But believe what you want to believe. Clearly, nothing I could say is going to change the way you think or do.



Yes I was exaggerating to make a point with the Chapman reference. The point is that when someone selects the most hated person in the Elvis world as their user name on an Elvis board, they really aren't deserving of someone rushing to their defence when called on it. You are well intentioned I'm sure Cryo, but I think it's more productive to defend people who haven't intentionally incited a reaction. Agreed though, put this to bed :)


To be fair to you, I just added a bit more. The software didn't indicate you'd posted this response before I replied, but it normally does. Possibly an issue with my browser and OS (I'm on a different PC to normal). Yes, Albert Goldman -- FECC's Albert Goldman -- will probably be laughing over this, so we shouldn't over-extend ourselves. I have nothing against the fella, personally. I recognise he's likely to get some heat, though. I'm sure I have defended Elvis Presley more than I've defended Albert Goldman or anyone using his name, though, so I'm safe, right? Mind you, that Presley guy probably incited more reactions than anyone. Hence the reason we're here. Hence the reason, also, of course, that people like Albert Goldman occasionally react as they do. That fact, by the way, is partially the reason I don't lose it every time Goldman's name is brought up. To me, such reactions are funny. I prefer to laugh at insecure, jealous people and move on. It's a good tactic -- saves you wasting considerable time and energy! Ah, Albert Goldman! A toast to thee, in all thy forms!

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 5:01 am

Cryogenic wrote:Lovin' your style, Doc. Lovin' it.

If by "style" you mean how I completely and accurately called you out, right on.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:31 am

The ultimate Elvis narrative has yet to be written IMO. The standard narratives repeat the well worn myth-mama dies, commercial interests replace art, army etc. For what it's worth, I've concluded the seeds of greatness and the ultimate self destruction were sowed in the shotgun shack and reinforced in the shame of poverty in the early days in Memphis. The great unanswerable is what made him believe for one second that he could be the hero in the comic book. Delusional by any measure of the day. Yet he not only believed but acted on this belief and changed the world.

While the Goldman book is disturbing in its hateful telling of the story, it is the bio that return to in order to better understand how this cripplingly shy boy mustered the courage to enter a recording study and then how he was ultimately undone by the delusions. I'm still waiting for the bio that digs into why he believed when surely no one else did.His greatness when measured against the mountain he climbed magnifies both the triumph of the success and sadness of the fall.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:51 am

I like a lot of different books. I will list a few of the more obscure ones that aren't by any of the bigger names in the Elvis world.. Both Elvis A Bio-Bibliography by Patsy Guy Hammertree, and Dispelling The Myths by Todd Rhienhold. have a lot of common sense and aren't slanted. The best movie book is Celluloid Sell Out by Gerry McLafferty.The Power and Persecution is also a great book by Gerry.. Robert Matthew Walkers A Life In Music is probably the most detailed look at Elvis' released 1954-77 recordings.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 9:36 am

fn2drive wrote:While the Goldman book is disturbing in its hateful telling of the story, it is the bio that return to in order to better understand how this cripplingly shy boy mustered the courage to enter a recording study and then how he was ultimately undone by the delusions.

Elvis by Albert Goldman is the last biography I would return to for any kind of "understanding."

fn2drive wrote:I'm still waiting for the bio that digs into why he believed when surely no one else did.

It was published in 1985, and its on my list: Elaine Dundy's Elvis and Gladys.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:12 am

I am surprised that the Scotty Moore book has not been mentioned..

He was at least he was there!!!

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:35 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Yes, I don't "get it." Elvis is alive and well in 2010.


Why so sarcastically, Doc?

drjohncarpenter wrote:
It's not theory -- it's fact. Elvis came to prominence in the mid-fifties -- some might say "rise" -- and his steady decline -- some might call it an "unmaking" -- occurred in the mid-seventies. How any deep fan misses this is nothing short of astonishing.
As for your single, irrelevant reference, thanks for underscoring my view, that Goldman's influence has faded, and proving your previous statement false.


A single, irrelevant reference? I cannot see any irrrelevant reference.

patricia66 wrote:Although some authors pointed to the many factual errors and the highly questionable attitude of Albert Goldman in his so called biography, his perspective and some of his stories [color=#FF0000]still can be found in many articles about Elvis the world over.[/color]
[/quote]

And that is a true fact.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 10:55 am

drjohncarpenter wrote: Boy, that Peter Guralnick, he's a real idiot. It's like he just pulled words out of the air.
Oh, how we wish you had written a two-volume biography instead of him.


It seems, your are not able to tolerate other opinions than yours. There is no reason to answer sarcastically of profound arguments. You should be open to conviction. Or you hasn't got a leg to stand on?

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 11:02 am

Neverending wrote:It seems, your are not able to tolerate other opinions than yours.

Really?

Whose opinions are in my list of recommendations?

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 12:49 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
patricia66 wrote:You really don't seem to get it. The structure of the whole biography, i.e. separation of the volumes, tells Guralnick's story. Volume 1: Last Train to Memphis, The Rise of Elvis Presley, volume 2: Careless Love, The Unmaking of Elvis Presley. Guralnick's theory in a nutshell.

Yes, I don't "get it." Elvis is alive and well in 2010.

It's not theory -- it's fact. Elvis came to prominence in the mid-fifties -- some might say "rise" -- and his steady decline -- some might call it an "unmaking" -- occurred in the mid-seventies. How any deep fan misses this is nothing short of astonishing.


:mrgreen: Fine, at least we are on one level with you not getting it. That Elvis' is dead is a fact, but by looking at what he did musically throughout his career there simply is no definitive proof (I gave a couple of prominent academic references that easily challenge Guralnick's view) that there is a rise-and-fall story. And this is not going to change because you "as a deep fan" and some old school guys see it otherwise just because Elvis died early and you like the 50s stuff most. Your whole perspective is backwards and dominated by mourning for a singer who died 33 years ago.

You tend to stay very much on the surface of things which is well documented by your point that Elvis "came to prominence in the mid-fifties" alluding that - after that great a success as a rock 'n' roll singer - there can be only a steady decline. This is Guralnick's theory, no surprise there. I would recommend to read some of Simon Frith articles about the changes in popular music and the understanding of artistic authenticity which show on a broader range how strictly old school this perspective is.

drjohncarpenter wrote: As for your single, irrelevant reference, thanks for underscoring my view, that Goldman's influence has faded, and proving your previous statement false.


Yes, it is a single reference which I chose to bring my point across. The single one from 2010 by an author you like to support on this board perfectly shows that there are still people who quote Goldman because they think he is a relevant source. I'm not going to waste my time to dig into the abundance of newspaper articles that tend to pop-up every time the late Elvis Presley has a "birthday" or around August 16. How much of them are about his music and how much of them deal almost exclusively with topics Goldman liked to delve in? Answer yourself.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 1:19 pm

Cryogenic wrote:I'm going to quote slightly out of order. So, first of all ...

patricia66 wrote:
Albert Goldman wrote:And speaking of fictional elements in the biographies, just check out how Goldman invites the reader to step into the imaginary world in the first chapter of his book. The narrator of the text asks the reader to imagine himself visiting Graceland where the narrator takes a role of a tour guide. Now that's a beginning of a novel!


:smt001 This may be even more unsettling for a lot of people - Guralnick and Goldman on one level. Provocative - but there is certainly something to it. Both start out with there own individual theory of the Elvis story even though Goldman is more straight forward in doing so.

But let's face it, Guralnick's perspective on Elvis in certain ways is as questionable as Goldman's, questionable for being so strictly "old school". Guralnick simply confirms the long ago established myth of especially rock critics that Elvis was a great artist at Sun and more or less lost it at RCA when he got very big commercially. Research that looks very close at Elvis music at different stages of his career - Pleasants, Middleton, Hamm, and Wolff have done that - is bluntly ignored in this kind of theory. Elvis Presley was cross genre in his musical approach from the very beginning up to the end, his singing reveals that he was a self-conscious artist who knew exactly what he was doing from beginning to end, and his vocal style, which Middleton characterized masterfully in his essay about innovation and continuity, didn't change much. His voice matured and he channeled his vocal style more later on, that's about it. You can hear that yourself. A biography about one of the greatest singers in popular music that ignores these points can't be called THE Elvis Presley biography. And it doesn't really matter that there are a lot of old school people on this board that feel supported by Guralnick's view simply because they have similar musical preferences ("young Elvis" vs "old Elvis"). Guralnick - although his writing is skillful - fails in rising above his preference for his version of the young, innocent, pure and natural young Elvis as opposed to the guy that got compromised by fame and went downhill later on. Although - or maybe because - his version of Elvis Presley is clearly along the line of the tragic American folk hero in American literature, it is very limited in it's approach. Thus, the essential Elvis biography still has to be written. And no, the "Revelations" are not at all a better solution (to claim that is really a joke!) although it is to some extent quite entertaining to read about Marty's and Lamar's undisguised dislike for the Colonel or Priscilla :smt002 .


Brilliant post. Well said, Patricia!

For some, "Last Train" and "Careless Love" are nothing less than holy writ.

Others take a more measured view.


Thanks. It would be great, if there was someone out there not afraid to give it a new try to write an Elvis biography, a biography that deals with the music in the first place and deals with 50s, 60s and 70s on a less preconceived level. I'm not very optimistic that this will happen soon. Too much junk is published which leads to serious authors avoiding the subject.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 2:21 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Neverending wrote:It seems, your are not able to tolerate other opinions than yours.

Really?

Whose opinions are in my list of recommendations?


Doc, I'm not refering to your book-list but to your answers of posts from Patricia 66 or Cryocenic. Both posts have profound arguments. But your sarcastically answers to their postings convey this impression. It should be possible to discuss in a factual and unemotional way - never mind how far opinions are divided.

Elvis was a man who had touched the hearts and enriched the lives of so many people around the world. But still today Elvis lifestory focuses more on how he died than how he lived and how much from himself is in his musical legacy. And this is the real tragedy of Elvis' life.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 6:42 pm

patricia66 wrote: by looking at what he did musically throughout his career there simply is no definitive proof...that there is a rise-and-fall story.


Image

Image

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Tue Jun 15, 2010 7:56 pm

Neverending wrote:Doc, I'm not refering to your book-list but to your answers of posts from Patricia 66 or Cryocenic. Both posts have profound arguments.

Oh, I think not.

And my replies are written in direct response to their contemptuous postings of my thoughts. You don't see it, perhaps because you find their thoughts "profound." Your loss.


Frankie Teardrop wrote:
patricia66 wrote: by looking at what he did musically throughout his career there simply is no definitive proof...that there is a rise-and-fall story.


Image

Image


Hey, maybe Guralnick's not so stupid after all.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Wed Jun 16, 2010 5:38 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Neverending wrote:Doc, I'm not refering to your book-list but to your answers of posts from Patricia 66 or Cryocenic. Both posts have profound arguments.

Oh, I think not.

And my replies are written in direct response to their contemptuous postings of my thoughts. You don't see it, perhaps because you find their thoughts "profound." Your loss.


Contemptuous? I'll let Patricia speak for herself, but all I did was call you out for a blatant distortion.

Let's see that ... in an instant replay -- Ace Ventura

(Yes, I'm getting pretty bored, so out comes Jim Carrey to see me through)

Cryogenic wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
patricia66 wrote:You really don't seem to get it. The structure of the whole biography, i.e. separation of the volumes, tells Guralnick's story. Volume 1: Last Train to Memphis, The Rise of Elvis Presley, volume 2: Careless Love, The Unmaking of Elvis Presley. Guralnick's theory in a nutshell.

Yes, I don't "get it." Elvis is alive and well in 2010.

It's not theory -- it's fact. Elvis came to prominence in the mid-fifties -- some might say "rise" -- and his steady decline -- some might call it an "unmaking" -- occurred in the mid-seventies. How any deep fan misses this is nothing short of astonishing.


That's some stunning sophistry.

As you well know, Guralnick posits that the decline began no later than 1959 -- one and a half decades earlier than your remark places it --implicating the simultaneous induction into the US Army and loss of the artist's mother as a double blow (to his rebellious image, and to his personal well-being, respectively) that the artist was unable, ultimately, to overcome.

For what it's worth, it's a credible way to tell the Elvis Presley story (and a handy way to bisect an epic biography), but it's hardly the only way, nor, necessarily, the most objective way. Guralnick, broadly speaking, seems to view the "Last Train" Elvis through one lens and the "Careless Love" Elvis -- that is, for the latter, the 1960-1977 Elvis -- through quite another, including the music he made in those respective periods. Some find that troubling and identify a negative bias in the second (and larger) volume.


And your immediate retort:

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Cryogenic wrote:As you well know, Guralnick posits that the decline began no later than 1959 -- one and a half decades earlier than your remark places it --implicating the simultaneous induction into the US Army and loss of the artist's mother as a double blow (to his rebellious image, and to his personal well-being, respectively) that the artist was unable, ultimately, to overcome.

Boy, that Peter Guralnick, he's a real idiot. It's like he just pulled words out of the air.

Oh, how we wish you had written a two-volume biography instead of him.


I know which response looks more contemptuous to me.

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Frankie Teardrop wrote:
patricia66 wrote: by looking at what he did musically throughout his career there simply is no definitive proof...that there is a rise-and-fall story.


Image

Image


Hey, maybe Guralnick's not so stupid after all.


Whosoever, in this thread, has either said or implied that Guralnick is stupid?

Seems you're constructing strawmans by the dozen.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Wed Jun 16, 2010 10:21 am

drjohncarpenter wrote: Oh, I think not. .


Your opinion...

drjohncarpenter wrote:And my replies are written in direct response to their contemptuous postings of my thoughts. You don't see it, perhaps because you find their thoughts "profound." Your loss.


You see their responses as "contemptuous" to your thoughts?? Interesting - but also a exposing answer.
Your thoughts? I see only sarcastically comments. And yes, both had profound thoughts about different books which are mentioned in this thread. But their thoughts are more profound as so many scatchy appreciations of circumstances or books.

Each author of this books has his own sight of view but that not means, everything is correct. And yes I agree with Cryogenic that for most of the fans Guralnick's book are the ultimate "Elvis-Bible".
I own a bunch of books about Elvis, but I read them with an open mind - not as a narrow-minded fan.
Nevertheless, reading a book, reading different opinions or divided sight of views never is a "loss" for me but a chance to reconsider my own thoughts.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Wed Jun 16, 2010 1:07 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Cryogenic wrote:Lovin' your style, Doc. Lovin' it.

If by "style" you mean how I completely and accurately called you out, right on.


You did? Maybe you should take a break from this board from time to time, it seems to affect your perception :oops: .

I'm out of this discussion now. I never intended to put Guralnick down and never said something about him being stupid. The point is that his biography can't be called THE DEFINITIVE one for the points mentioned. And these points are valuable and should be taken into consideration, not because I brought them up on this board, but because people like for instance Frith and Middleton, who are both well known for their academic work on popular music, discussed them. Their discussion is not at all directed against Guralnick , he isn't even mentioned by them because some of their stuff was published before Guralnick's biography. Their take on things just shows a broader approach that enabled them to see beyond preestablished myth and genre boundaries and to discuss where the similarities in Elvis work are from the beginning to end.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Wed Jun 16, 2010 8:36 pm

"On Tour WIth Elvis" by Christopher Brown followed closely by "Elvis In Concert" by Christopher Brown, but it has one error.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:17 pm

Christopher Brown wrote:"On Tour WIth Elvis" by Christopher Brown followed closely by "Elvis In Concert" by Christopher Brown, but it has one error.

Where can I get the On Tour With Elvis book ?
I'm still looking for this one.
What is the error in Elvis in Concert ?

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Wed Jun 16, 2010 11:43 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Sergio Luiz wrote:Yes, Doc. It´s one of the books Im interested in buying.

It's one of the essential books to read about Elvis.

Not all the stories are pretty, and of course all three men honestly recount how very unhappy Elvis was in the last few years of his life. It's a fact, and time cannot erase those memories.

However, not once does one ever have the impression they do not love the man. And Alanna Nash keeps the story on track from start-to-finish, adding insights along the way. A lot of the book is fun, and a reader gets a real feeling for being part of the "inner circle" -- which is super-cool.

The last chapter is mostly from Billy Smith, and it is so filled with love it will bring tears to your eyes. Smith was by far Elvis' closest male companion at the end, and obviously cared deeply for his cousin.

I bought it on a whim in 1995, and it remains a keeper today.

Agreed. I also picked up the paperback edition on a whim and have found it to be one of the most insightful, introspective reads on the subject. I actually recently spend an evening revisiting certain chapters. An essential book without question.

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Thu Jun 17, 2010 5:39 pm

To my shame I've read well over 100 books on Elvis ( not counting the picture books) its okay though I gave up the horrible habit years ago. The people who knew Elvis best offer good insight into the human and fallable side of the man and if you like celebrity exposes you'll find them more entertaining the than duller but more credible works. The best writers sort the wheat from he chaff and are able too give a more rounded and detached portrait of the man - of Elvis associates only Larry Geller offers insight into what made Elvis tick IMO ( and he's written 2 books too many). ALL books are shaped to fit the writers view so no one book or writer is definitive.The Gospels weren't written by the Disciples but they gave us some good storys.

If someone new wanted to know The Elvis story I'd recommend these...

Elvis and Gladys - Elaine Dundy ( formative years)
Last Train To Memphis - Peter Guralnick ( the glory days)
The Final Years - Jerry Hopkins ( the end)
If I Can Dream - Larry Geller ( Elvis spiritual quest and final days)
The Death of Elvis - Thompson & Cole ( the post mortem)

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Thu Jun 17, 2010 10:12 pm

Great list, Paul.

Do you dig mine?

Re: Which Elvis book, in your opinion, is the most credible?

Fri Jun 18, 2010 10:43 am

I tend to believe that Elvis, We Love You Tender by the Stanleys was probably the most believeable account of life with Elvis.