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Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:02 am

Live E ends for me after Elvis On Tour and Hawaii. After that, I agree completely with this Mike Stobbler guy, whoever he is.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:38 am

This is a great page to learn more about how important Mike Stoller is in 20th century popular music:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jerry_Leiber_and_Mike_Stoller
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:56 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:48 am

Whoa, Dr., it was a joke. I thought it would be too obvious to add one of those dumb emoticons. It was meant to goof on the "that's crazy, what does that guy know?" responses.

I have the lp of Elvis Sings Leiber & Stoller in a frame.

It's in my garage, but still.

I am going to click on that link just to make sure I know more than Wikipedia, though.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:54 am

CF2010 wrote:Whoa, Dr., it was a joke. I thought it would be too obvious to add one of those dumb emoticons. It was meant to goof on the "that's crazy, what does that guy know?" responses.

Fair enough -- thanks for clearing that up. I've edited my post.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:55 am

midnightx wrote:
KingOfTheJungle wrote:A searing rebuke from the man who wrote Three Corn Patches.

You act is if one errant track detracts from an impressive overall body of work, much which was essential to Elvis' greatness in the 50's. And as mediocre as Three Corn Patches is, it isn't like it is the nadir of the Raised On Rock album - that lovely distinction goes to Sweet Angeline and I Miss You.

Matthew wrote:Maybe, just maybe he thought the show he witnessed blew. Its not like Elvis in Vegas was top quality consistently between August 1969 and December 1976. Anyone know which gig he saw?

If you had worked one on one with Elvis in 1957 and 1958 and the next time you saw the man was a throw away show from say 1974 speeding through "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel" in trumped up tired medleys you might - as one of the songwriters of those classic songs - come to the conclusion that Elvis had become a parody of his former self.

KingOfTheJungle wrote:A searing rebuke from the man who wrote Three Corn Patches.

Yeah, imagine 50s Elvis without these in his catalogue:

Don't
Hound Dog
Jailhouse Rock
King Creole
Love Me
Loving You
Santa Claus is Back in Town
Treat Me Nice
Trouble
Baby I Don't Care

Hell, imagine that opening of the 68 Special without "If you're looking for trouble, you came to the right place".

The man has earned his place in history.


I don't deny Stoller's accomplishments, my point was that there was also a point in Stoller's career that he became a parody of his former self. No one can remain at their zenith forever.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:56 am

KingOfTheJungle wrote:I don't deny Stoller's accomplishments, my point was that there was also a point in Stoller's career that he became a parody of his former self. No one can remain at their zenith forever.

Not the same deal at all.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:58 am

Is it really possible to imitate yourself

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:48 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Ton Bruins wrote:The dutch Elvis fanclub "It's Elvis Time" translated an interview in their last magazine with Mike Stoller.

On the question if he had seen some shows of Elvis in Vegas and what he thought of those shows he answered:

"Disappointing. Elvis was a caricature of himself. He still had a fantastic voice, but he made himself ridiculous. It is good when someone (Elvis) has some self-mockery
but he seemed more like an Elvis imitator. It was sad."

A little context would go a long way to understanding what Mike meant by these comments.

1) When was the interview conducted?
2) What Presley show/s did Stoller attend?

If you are going to post a controversial view, at least make the effort to provide all the facts.
Mike Stoller worked nose-to-nose with Elvis in 1957-58, helping to create some of the greatest music of his career. He knows where the bar was set, he helped Presley get it there.


Is that really important to know those facts ? It's a statement, that's it. Maybe Stoller meant not a particular show in Vegas, but the "Vegas" Elvis in general. Maybe he didn't like that period of Elvis' career. For your information: Stoller didn't mention what shows he attend. The controversial view is not mine by the way..don't shoot the messenger..But when you ask me. Yes, in the latter years Elvis became a caricature, don't you agree Doc ?
But when you want to know more details you have to call (ask) Mike Stoller I guess.. :D By the way Doc, it's not for you to decide that I should make all the effort to provide the facts in posting in what you call a controversial view, you understand that now, don't you ? :D I know that for someone like you (the best Elvis fan in the world) it's hard to except that, but to remind you once again, this is an Elvis FORUM !! Not the Dr. Carpenter Forum, so please don't tell me how and what to post here, thanks. Just give your opinion like I do...I just posted here what Stoller said in an interview to have some discussion here,that's all...

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 3:27 pm

Mr. Stoller along with Mr. Leiber were guests in a Flemish tv show a few years ago ("De Laatste Show") and it was clear that they were more proud of some of the other interpretations of their songs by black r&b singers like Big Mama Thornton's version of "Hound Dog" than they were of Elvis' versions. But they said Elvis was a perfectionist and very professional and inspired, playing the piano to get himself and the musicians in the mood for recording. For the rest, they were most charming and had a lot of nice stories to tell. Some known and some lesser known. Still very sharp for their age.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:50 pm

Matthew wrote:
KingOfTheJungle wrote:I don't deny Stoller's accomplishments, my point was that there was also a point in Stoller's career that he became a parody of his former self. No one can remain at their zenith forever.

Not the same deal at all.


You're right. In Stoller's case the trite, cornpone lyrics of Three Corn Patches are quite literally a pallid imitation of the southern vernacular he so accurately captured in his early R&B sides. Like it or not, Vegas Elvis wasn't trying to be 50's Elvis. It may have been a disappointment to some, but at that point in his career, he was something else entirely.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:59 pm

KingOfTheJungle wrote:
Matthew wrote:
KingOfTheJungle wrote:I don't deny Stoller's accomplishments, my point was that there was also a point in Stoller's career that he became a parody of his former self. No one can remain at their zenith forever.

Not the same deal at all.


You're right. In Stoller's case the trite, cornpone lyrics of Three Corn Patches are quite literally a pallid imitation of the southern vernacular he so accurately captured in his early R&B sides. Like it or not, Vegas Elvis wasn't trying to be 50's Elvis. It may have been a disappointment to some, but at that point in his career, he was something else entirely.

Not the same deal at all.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:30 pm

KiwiAlan wrote:
ale wrote:Stoller is a total ignorant of Elvis live performing....I doubt he saw an Elvis show. He is a composer of R&R and R&B hits that has been always interested in making his bank account bigger. We all know that some of the shows from the 70's weren't very good ( a minority IMO) but what the hell.....I'd like him to give two shows a day for four weeks!!
what about the Vegas shows from '69 to '72 ?? or august '73?
I think it would have been understandable if he have referred to the last two years as "ridiculous" as we can't denied his bad shape and being worst in those jumpsuits...but to tell that ALL the Vegas shows are ridiculous shows that this guy has no idea and never attended one for sure....I think he didn't even have the humility of watching TTWII or listening to the In Person record.


What a vile and nasty post.

Have some respect


as you said...it's your opinion....well...respect mine then too.
Stoller could have been a very good composer/writer of oldies hits...but for sure he never new about live performing....his life was inside a recording studio.
He said the Vegas Elvis was ridiclulous...well....why Vegas had such success while Elvis was playing there??...even other celebrities say that the city went crazy and other hotels capacity was sold out just beacuse E was playing there. Nowadays they still say that after Elvis death the city never had another attraction like him.
On the other hand it's known that Stoller had problems with Col. Parker....maybe he expected Elvis would intercede, but he didn't......could this have offended him?....who knows... :roll: ....what I know is that Stoller never talk very good about E ...he even critizises his version of hound dog....funny from a guy that came to be rich almost thanks to Elvis.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:39 pm

midnightx wrote:
KingOfTheJungle wrote:A searing rebuke from the man who wrote Three Corn Patches.

You act is if one errant track detracts from an impressive overall body of work, much which was essential to Elvis' greatness in the 50's. And as mediocre as Three Corn Patches is, it isn't like it is the nadir of the Raised On Rock album - that lovely distinction goes to Sweet Angeline and I Miss You.


"Three Corn Patches" is awful and is almost certainly the nadir of "Raised On Rock", either that or it is alongside "Girl of Mine". "I Miss You" is a beautiful track, I love listening to the outtakes of that one, with just Elvis and a few of the guys at his Palm Springs home. "Sweet Angeline" is certainly not a favourite of mine though.

It would also be interesting to see what Stoller has based his comments upon. It sounds like either he has witnessed some footage, possibly the "Elvis In Concert" CBS footage or attended one of his bad shows - OR - he's just made a statement based on what the stereotypical view of Elvis was in his Vegas era, and said something that has become too easy to say for many people.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 10:43 pm

Good Time Charlie wrote:"Three Corn Patches" is awful and is almost certainly the nadir of "Raised On Rock", either that or it is alongside "Girl of Mine".

I don't think anyone is claiming "Three Corn Patches" is any great achievement but it is at least more lyrically appropriate for an Elvis song than "Raised on Rock". Regardless, comparing an average song that Stoller co. wrote to Elvis being a let down on stage 'sometime in the 1970s' is hardly a relevant qualifier for debunking Stoller's opinion of a show no one seems to be able to offer up that he saw. This thread is essentially useless without the context of whatever concert he supposedly attended.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:00 pm

There is a Vegas AR where Elvis introduces Mike Stoller..but I can`t recall which one..hotdamned..

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:07 pm

Ton Bruins wrote:The dutch Elvis fanclub "It's Elvis Time" translated an interview in their last magazine with Mike Stoller.

On the question if he had seen some shows of Elvis in Vegas and what he thought of those shows he answered:

"Disappointing. Elvis was a caricature of himself. He still had a fantastic voice, but he made himself ridiculous. It is good when someone (Elvis) has some self-mockery
but he seemed more like an Elvis imitator. It was sad."


Hmmmm... maybe he said this because her was no longer contributing for Elvis in these years? In any case such statement is silly from him if we are speaking about Elvis in Vegasfrom 69 to 72.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:09 pm

Jovan wrote:Well, maybe Stoller went to see Elvis in Vegas in '76...


I have read somewhere that it was '70 and '72 if I remember.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Sun Nov 21, 2010 11:11 pm

KiwiAlan wrote:Here we go again panning one of the absolute best popular music composers of of the early rock and roll era.

Someone who worked closely with Elvis in his prime.

Face it........beyond February 1970 Elvis was indeed an imitator of himself


Sure. After 23.02.70 he was an awful self imitating creature.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Mon Nov 22, 2010 12:09 am

Ciscoking wrote:There is a Vegas AR where Elvis introduces Mike Stoller..but I can`t recall which one..hotdamned..


Think hard, Cisco, we might be able to judge Elvis' show for ourselves then.. :wink:

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:20 am

I'll bet watching Elvis impersonate himself was better than watching someone else do it!

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:51 am

KiwiAlan wrote:Here we go again panning one of the absolute best popular music composers of of the early rock and roll era.

Someone who worked closely with Elvis in his prime.

Face it........beyond February 1970 Elvis was indeed an imitator of himself


Damn, what have we been thinking. That's The Way It Is, Elvis On Tour, Madison Square Garden, Aloha from Hawaii. Might aswell have been watching Johnny Harra.

C'mon man, you know that is a ridiculous comment, you ought to be embarassed.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:09 am

deadringer wrote:
Jovan wrote:Well, maybe Stoller went to see Elvis in Vegas in '76...


I have read somewhere that it was '70 and '72 if I remember.


IF, and that's a big if, but if this is the case, then Stoller certainly is talking out his backside. Elvis in 1970 and 1972 in Las Vegas achieved some of his most legendary live cuts of all time. I can understand his comments in a sense if he was referring to the way he treated some of his classic 50's songs by 1972 like "(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel" and "All Shook Up". But overall, he still gave very respectable versions of most of his old songs and songs of special note by 1972 would be "Little Sister" with the "Get Back" medley, "A Big Hunk O' Love", "I Got a Woman" and a refreshing take on "Hound Dog" with the slower tempo then the higher tempo ending.

Elvis in 1972 was still a class act. He re-vamped his setlist early on in the year, and his stage show fully realised its peak - the culmination being the two fantastic Vegas gigs, scintillating live tours, and the legendary MSG shows. He still wasn't the Elvis of 2 years ago - but in other ways he'd got better. And one could argue some of his set-lists were among his all time best for variety. And Elvis in 1970 speaks for itself - I cannot for one second believe Stoller could base his views upon a 1970 Vegas show, even the more sloppier shows of later on in the August/September engagement.

So IF Stoller is basing these views upon witnessing Elvis in 1970 and 1972 then either Elvis had two absolutely shocking nights that nobody else has documented over the past 30 odd years, or Stoller quite simply is talking crap. But I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and take a stab the last time he saw Elvis would have been in say 1976 or 1977 - or he had footage of the CBS-TV special fresh in his mind when making the comments. And even if this is the case, I can never truly subscribe to a theory of somebody imitating themselves. Well, I'm 1 million percent certain Elvis never did it consciously anyway.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:27 am

It's my impression that Stoller (and Leiber) have always been more negative than positive about Elvis, and his opinion about Elvis' live era is very common amongst the enlightened, non Elvis crowd. Obviously, I think they're wrong. I don't think his opinion is based on a particular show he may have seen. He is talking about the era.

Three Corn Patches is a bad song that would have been better if Elvis sang well on it. He is very poor on it. I think Sweet Angeline and I Miss You are highlights of the ROR album, such as it is.

Steve Lecher

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Mon Nov 22, 2010 2:33 am

There is nothing wrong with Three Corn Patches. Have a listen to the original.

It's the singer not the song.

Re: Mike Stoller: The "Vegas" Elvis is ridiculous

Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:47 am

stevelecher wrote:It's my impression that Stoller (and Leiber) have always been more negative than positive about Elvis, and his opinion about Elvis' live era is very common amongst the enlightened, non Elvis crowd. Obviously, I think they're wrong. I don't think his opinion is based on a particular show he may have seen. He is talking about the era.

Three Corn Patches is a bad song that would have been better if Elvis sang well on it. He is very poor on it. I think Sweet Angeline and I Miss You are highlights of the ROR album, such as it is.

Steve Lecher


Well if he has a negative opinion about Elvis and he really can't help but express it, he should use a better choice of words. It's pretty small-town from such a legend!