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On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Thu Jan 12, 2012 3:30 pm

Inspired by a posting in another topic, below is Elvis' first cover story in Rolling Stone, Issue #37, July 12, 1969.

With an interview done on the set of "Change of Habit" between April 21-25, 1969 and photos from June and November 1968 (Burbank, MGM), some of the potential goodwill of being seen in the hippest rock magazine in the U.S. is eroded from the start by journalist William Otterburn-Hall, clearly uncomfortable with the manner in which Presley is kept under wraps. Molly-coddling comments from "The Publicity Man" (Tom Diskin?) don't help. With Elvis are "Charlie" (Charlie Hodge) and "Doc" (?).

Oh well. At least the photos are cool!

690712_Rolling Stone 37 Cover.JPG

690712_Rolling Stone 37 p1.JPG

690712_Rolling Stone 37 p6.JPG


Note: A earlier draft of this piece was published in the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday, June 8 by the author, Otterburn-Hall. At the time, the editorial offices of Rolling Stone were based in San Francisco, perhaps Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner was behind the appearance of both articles.
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Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Fri Jan 13, 2012 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Thu Jan 12, 2012 4:34 pm

Interesting article. Thanks for sharing this!

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Thu Jan 12, 2012 11:40 pm

Rtn 2 Sndr wrote:Interesting article. Thanks for sharing this!

Thanks. Frankly, the cover is one of my all-time favorites.

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:06 am

Fascinating if unsettling read, thank you, John.

I walk past a splendid vintage mag shop most evenings and there's currently a Rolling Stone issue in the window with a full page picture of the Madison Square Garden press conference.

I can't quite make out the words of the article but I'm tempted to go in and shell out.

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:46 am

George Smith wrote:Fascinating if unsettling read, thank you, John.

I walk past a splendid vintage mag shop most evenings and there's currently a Rolling Stone issue in the window with a full page picture of the Madison Square Garden press conference.

I can't quite make out the words of the article but I'm tempted to go in and shell out.

Thanks!

No need to shell out, look here -->

You CAN Always Get What You Want --> RS Rave of MSG '72!
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=66754

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Fri Jan 13, 2012 4:46 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Rtn 2 Sndr wrote:Interesting article. Thanks for sharing this!

Thanks. Frankly, the cover is one of my all-time favorites.



I agree Doc, love the cover!

Thanks for posting this article.

::rocks

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:38 am

Great article. Thanks for posting. Aside from the usual pack-Dave Marsh, Greil Marcus, Guralnick, Jerry Hopkins, etc.-I never read any of the other stuff from the lesser known writers of the classic Rolling Stone era. Refreshing to see that even through all of the ridiculousness surrounding Elvis at that time the writer brought up some positive points.

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Fri Jan 13, 2012 5:43 am

It's a superb cover and somewhat re-assuring to see Elvis getting top billing ahead of the 'new' Beatles album in 1969 for what essentially is a non existence interview. I'd suspect the editor expected a little more eh? and that essentially it was pretty much a 'closed shop' on set with Presley. "you had more than anyone had in years" a telling statement!

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Fri Jan 13, 2012 9:01 am

I re-did the scans and made them a bit bigger, for easier reading.

Enjoy!

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Fri Jan 13, 2012 10:48 am

One of the sad things for us as fans is that Elvis never sat down for one of Rolling Stone's famous in-depth interviews. It could have helped people see him as a creator and as a human being.

One of the most ironic facets of Parker's management is that, managing an artist who achieved fame by breaking a lot of industry rules and being an addicted gambler himself, his style of management was so conservative. He seems largely to have managed from a not to lose standpoint rather than to win. I'm sure Parker's ban on interviews was based on the idea that Elvis would say something embarrassing. Specifically, also he probably thought a magazine like Rolling Stone would be out to get something. However, I think it was ultimately a losing strategy. Elvis, himself, as we know from the various press conferences, was not someone who courted controversy. But if he had been interviewed by a Rolling Stone about the way he made records, he could have picked up some new fans. For 1971's Elvis Country if Elvis had been interviewed when the LP was out, it could have been a turning point. Maybe even Elvis and Felton. It was his first real attempt at a concept album and despite Guralnick's fine review it basically went out as just another Elvis LP selling to the usual suspects. If Elvis had told Rolling Stone that this was something he was proud of, that it really represented what he was about, then maybe a corner could have been turned. Maybe a percentage of the magazine's readers, seeing Elvis in a new light, would have been encouraged to pick it up. Perhaps such success would have inspired similar future experiments.

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:00 am

likethebike wrote:One of the most ironic facets of Parker's management is that, managing an artist who achieved fame by breaking a lot of industry rules and being an addicted gambler himself, his style of management was so conservative. He seems largely to have managed from a not to lose standpoint rather than to win. I'm sure Parker's ban on interviews was based on the idea that Elvis would say something embarrassing. Specifically, also he probably thought a magazine like Rolling Stone would be out to get something. However, I think it was ultimately a losing strategy. .


I think it had to due with his strategy of not wanting to do interviews because it would eventually make Elvis seem like every other celebrity.

I don't really think there was anything huge to gain from doing those interviews.

Maybe it would've gained Elvis some respect but then again it could just be another interview.

Unless the interview would have had a guranteed positive payoff of some kind then what's the point.

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:13 am

Thanks a lot for the scans, Doc.

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:21 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:I re-did the scans and made them a bit bigger, for easier reading.

Enjoy!


I think I did a pretty readable scan in that inspirational thread. But it had no citation, because the photocopies had no citation. And I hacked off the pictures. They're from the wrong movie . . . I guess that's what Rolling Stone got from the Promotion Man.

Thanks for making this understandable and in context. I have properly marked it up, since.

rjm

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Fri Jan 13, 2012 11:58 am

likethebike wrote:One of the sad things for us as fans is that Elvis never sat down for one of Rolling Stone's famous in-depth interviews. It could have helped people see him as a creator and as a human being.

One of the most ironic facets of Parker's management is that, managing an artist who achieved fame by breaking a lot of industry rules and being an addicted gambler himself, his style of management was so conservative. He seems largely to have managed from a not to lose standpoint rather than to win. I'm sure Parker's ban on interviews was based on the idea that Elvis would say something embarrassing. Specifically, also he probably thought a magazine like Rolling Stone would be out to get something. However, I think it was ultimately a losing strategy. Elvis, himself, as we know from the various press conferences, was not someone who courted controversy. But if he had been interviewed by a Rolling Stone about the way he made records, he could have picked up some new fans. For 1971's Elvis Country if Elvis had been interviewed when the LP was out, it could have been a turning point. Maybe even Elvis and Felton. It was his first real attempt at a concept album and despite Guralnick's fine review it basically went out as just another Elvis LP selling to the usual suspects. If Elvis had told Rolling Stone that this was something he was proud of, that it really represented what he was about, then maybe a corner could have been turned. Maybe a percentage of the magazine's readers, seeing Elvis in a new light, would have been encouraged to pick it up. Perhaps such success would have inspired similar future experiments.


The '72 Elvis On Tour interviews should have been printed as a full transcript. Rolling Stone did do a story on that, but they had very little with which to work.

His comments about the movies would have gone over very well, and garnered a new respect for him as artist and person. Maybe not comprehension, but respect.

In this piece, it ends with him acting like a scared 5-year-old. Not good.

rjm

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:15 am

Elvis did not like to do indepth interviews either. It wasn't just the Colonel that did not want that. that's why in those press conferences Elvis really reveals nothing other than that he was charming as hell. anytime he is even asked anything remotely controversial he says he would rather not comment because he was just an entertainer. And i think some of his true feelings on things could have possibly alienated some of the audience and got him bad press. Elvis thought women should be at home cooking and cleaning and having kids. what if he revealed that at the MSG press conference.lol

and i think Elvis being elusive to talk shows and interviews and such added to his appeal. It helped make him more special than other famous people.

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Sat Jan 14, 2012 1:26 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Frankly, the cover is one of my all-time favorites.
But what´s with that hair? Whose hair is it? It looks awful.

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:22 am

DEH wrote:Elvis did not like to do indepth interviews either. It wasn't just the Colonel that did not want that. that's why in those press conferences Elvis really reveals nothing other than that he was charming as hell. anytime he is even asked anything remotely controversial he says he would rather not comment because he was just an entertainer. And i think some of his true feelings on things could have possibly alienated some of the audience and got him bad press. Elvis thought women should be at home cooking and cleaning and having kids. what if he revealed that at the MSG press conference.lol


Aw, they knew that. When that lady asked about his views on "women's liberation," one of the male reporters (probably a young, hip rock writer!) yell out "watch it, fella!" Elvis shot back: "you're right; watch it." Then he remembered the standard line.

In that press conference, the Col. was reportedly having a bit of trouble with a "cough." A guy near the front, near the end, told asked him "need some cough drops? I know what you're doing."

Elvis was concerned about a lot of things, but it was a really touchy time in the country. Rock music was being attacked, banned on the radio, and all of that, and Elvis was quite aware of this (just read up on S. Agnew's 1970 Las Vegas speech: you can still get it through Google New Archive, for a while) . . . he had plenty of reason to keep his mouth shut. He knew why he resisted the questions -- and he wasn't gonna budge.

The following article was in papers all over the country, and got much response, too. Then, radio stations started publishing lists of "bad" songs that shouldn't be played, depending on words in the lyrics.

Spiro Agnew On Rock Brainwashing and Drug Culture

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=vV ... ture&hl=en

Billboard Mar 26, 1994 wrote:
Vol. 106, No. 13 - 178 pages - Magazine - Full view
OCTOBER 1970 President Richard Nixon tells radio broadcasters that rock lyrics should be screened and any songs suggesting drug use should be banned. MARCH 1971 WNBC radio in New York bans "One Toke Over The Line" by Brewer & Shipley ...



You will find more on this page of Billboard, month-by-month.

In early 1970, in Houston, he was much more candid. And he did an interview around the time of the opening in '69, I think for NME, that was open and unfettered. It's recalled well in Sharpe's Elvis '69 book. Essential book.

So, if you were Elvis, after all the water under the bridge, and with the complexities of what was going with him personally then, what would you do in this atmosphere?

rjm

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Sat Jan 14, 2012 3:39 am

The fool wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Frankly, the cover is one of my all-time favorites.
But what´s with that hair? Whose hair is it? It looks awful.


Inelegant darkroom work.

rjm

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Sat Jan 14, 2012 7:56 pm

Always liked the cover. RS did a good job with it.

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Sat Jan 14, 2012 10:46 pm

rjm wrote:
DEH wrote:Elvis did not like to do indepth interviews either. It wasn't just the Colonel that did not want that. that's why in those press conferences Elvis really reveals nothing other than that he was charming as hell. anytime he is even asked anything remotely controversial he says he would rather not comment because he was just an entertainer. And i think some of his true feelings on things could have possibly alienated some of the audience and got him bad press. Elvis thought women should be at home cooking and cleaning and having kids. what if he revealed that at the MSG press conference.lol


Aw, they knew that. When that lady asked about his views on "women's liberation," one of the male reporters (probably a young, hip rock writer!) yell out "watch it, fella!" Elvis shot back: "you're right; watch it." Then he remembered the standard line.

In that press conference, the Col. was reportedly having a bit of trouble with a "cough." A guy near the front, near the end, told asked him "need some cough drops? I know what you're doing."

Elvis was concerned about a lot of things, but it was a really touchy time in the country. Rock music was being attacked, banned on the radio, and all of that, and Elvis was quite aware of this (just read up on S. Agnew's 1970 Las Vegas speech: you can still get it through Google New Archive, for a while) . . . he had plenty of reason to keep his mouth shut. He knew why he resisted the questions -- and he wasn't gonna budge.

The following article was in papers all over the country, and got much response, too. Then, radio stations started publishing lists of "bad" songs that shouldn't be played, depending on words in the lyrics.

Spiro Agnew On Rock Brainwashing and Drug Culture

http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=vV ... ture&hl=en

Billboard Mar 26, 1994 wrote:
Vol. 106, No. 13 - 178 pages - Magazine - Full view
OCTOBER 1970 President Richard Nixon tells radio broadcasters that rock lyrics should be screened and any songs suggesting drug use should be banned. MARCH 1971 WNBC radio in New York bans "One Toke Over The Line" by Brewer & Shipley ...



You will find more on this page of Billboard, month-by-month.

In early 1970, in Houston, he was much more candid. And he did an interview around the time of the opening in '69, I think for NME, that was open and unfettered. It's recalled well in Sharpe's Elvis '69 book. Essential book.

So, if you were Elvis, after all the water under the bridge, and with the complexities of what was going with him personally then, what would you do in this atmosphere?

rjm



they didn't know that. There was no cnn to broadcast the press conference too back then. most would never see the hint of anything. If they asked him his opinion on women's liberation and he gave his honest opinion. people would have taken notice and it would have appeared in newspapers. and it would be frowned upon.

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:07 pm

Portions of that press conference were on the evening news, then. Only snippets, but it was a big deal.

Later, when I heard "watch it, fella," you could tell the guys were on the same page regarding that - not everyone but . . .

As for Elvis, before the separation, he would tell various females some surprising things about marriage. That times had changed and marriage was very open "now." Implying that it worked both ways. Which it didn't. All quite self-serving, but definitely not his "image." It was "very hard to live up to an image." That was a bit of stunning candor, I think. And well quoted. I think she only asked that question cause of rumors about his marriage. They were separated. Lotta movie mags then. The rumors would have been that Priscilla "liberated" herself. Another question was "is your wife with you?"

rjm

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Sat Jan 14, 2012 11:57 pm

Anyone have any idea who "Doc" is in that interview?

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Sun Jan 15, 2012 12:44 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Anyone have any idea who "Doc" is in that interview?



Excellent question, Doc!

Since we know of no one (Nick was "Nick"), perhaps Stephen Hawking is ALL WRONG about time travel!
:wink:

rjm
::rocks

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:16 am

My previous comment got erased.

It was a great comment too.

Re: On the Cover of the Rolling Stone --> Elvis' debut!

Sun Jan 15, 2012 2:18 am

brian wrote:My previous comment got erased.

It was a great comment too.


When I do a longer one, I often use "Notepad" in which to write it, and hit save frequently, as I always do when I write.

Also, this window here in which I'm writing kinda "cuts off" on a mobile device, when I'm using my Galaxy Tab, unless it's a real short post. So I copy and paste into "Extensive Notes," a writing app I downloaded from the Adroid Market. The IPad, IPhone must have something similar, I'm sure.

Sorry you lost your post. Hope this helps.

rjm
P.S. -- If you're on a laptop, turn off the touchpad!!! Your thumb hits it, and causes all kinds of mischief. Get a USB mouse. I have a "mini-mouse," and it's great! Years ago, on an older laptop, I didn't know you could turn it off, so I taped a sticky note over it. :)