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Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 3:59 am

Besides his stance on The Beatles, does anyone know if Elvis ever espoused feelings on the other big acts of the '60s and '70s like The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors, Led Zeppelin (whom I've read he met at Graceland in the mid 70s), Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, John Denver, Peter Frampton, The Bee Gees? Any knowledge on his feelings about Hard Rock in the '60s/70s or Prog Rock or Funk or Disco, or about the "guitar wizardy" of the '70s--the demand and popularity of virtuoso guitar in the '70s?

I find it interesting as an aside that John Denver "inherited" a good chunk of Elvis' backup band when he died: Glenn Hardin, James Burton, and Jerry Scheff (who did the bass work on The Doors' last record with Jim in 1971) all began working as a band with Denver not long after Elvis' death. Also, Denver and Elvis shared a tour promotion company, which also promoted Led Zeppelin.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 6:18 am

It's been said by Marty Lacker and others that Elvis didn't like hard rock.

If he didn't like hard rock which is very plausible given his age he wouldn't of liked Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix or Pink Floyd.

I've heard that he didn't like the music of the Rolling Stones and thought Mick Jagger danced like a chicken on acid.

I think Elvis must of liked some of the Bee Gees music given that he covered their song ''Words''.

No word as far as i know on how he felt about disco music or John Denver.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 1:58 pm

Errol Flynn wrote:Besides his stance on The Beatles ...

His "stance on the Beatles"? What "stance"?

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:26 pm

Elvis didn't listen to hard rock, proge, disco or other new music that was coming out in the 70's. He was aware of some of the new acts but they didn't appeal to him.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:28 pm

Marko wrote:Elvis didn't listen to hard rock, proge, disco or other new music that was coming out in the 70's. He was aware of some of the new acts but they didn't appeal to him.

Actually, Elvis loved disco. DJ Rick Dees was from Memphis, and he adored Dees' 1976 hit disco single.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 2:30 pm

he obviously liked Olivia Newton John (If You Love Me let Me Know)

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:50 pm

brian wrote: and thought Mick Jagger danced like a chicken on acid.

:smt005 I agree with him on that

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 9:54 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Marko wrote:Elvis didn't listen to hard rock, proge, disco or other new music that was coming out in the 70's. He was aware of some of the new acts but they didn't appeal to him.

Actually, Elvis loved disco. DJ Rick Dees was from Memphis, and he adored Dees' 1976 hit disco single.


Missed opportunity! Elvis should have covered "Disco Duck"! Or maybe he did when he recorded "Feelings"?

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:01 pm

Unfortunately, Elvis lived in a bubble and he wasn't really aware most current music. Marty and other said he usually had Country music on his radio in the car and in the house. Doesn't sound like he listened to or was interested in the top 40 in the 70's. I asked Marty about that on AEK and said that Elvis ddn't like hard Rock. But there was really little hard Rock on top 40 radio in the 70's.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:40 pm

eligain wrote:Unfortunately, Elvis lived in a bubble and he wasn't really aware most current music.


I don't consider not listening to hard rock living in a bubble.

Even if he did listen to it and he liked it i can't see what difference it would've made.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:47 pm

It's not so much living in a bubble as it is being from a different generation and having different tastes. he liked country and gospel music most of all. so he would have known. those acts and artists.

he knew of Led zeppelin and Alice Cooper through The Stanleys. because they were into that and would tell him about it. he met both acts as well. before he met Eric Clapton he didn't know who he was. He was not a fan of The Rolling Stones. Jagger in particular. and only liked some of The Beatles music. Who knows if he even knew who The Doors, Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin were. I am sure he had to have at least heard of them. Not likely ever listend to their music unless he heard the stanleys playing it. he may of heard Me and Bobby Mghee by Janis because it crossed over into country radio.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:19 pm

Elvis must of had to have listened to top 40 radio in the 70s.

Walk a mile in my shoes
Snowbird
Bridge over troubled water
The first time ever i saw his face
Put your hand in the hand
I Just can't help believing
American trilogy
Never been to Spain
Good time Charles got the blues
And i love you so
Let me be there
The last farewell.
Solitaire

Then there are stories of Elvis rehearsing various songs from the 70s like ''My Sweet lord'' and the various one liners of songs from the 70s that he did in concert.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:34 pm

DEH wrote:It's not so much living in a bubble as it is being from a different generation and having different tastes. he liked country and gospel music most of all. so he would have known. those acts and artists.

he knew of Led zeppelin and Alice Cooper through The Stanleys. because they were into that and would tell him about it. he met both acts as well. before he met Eric Clapton he didn't know who he was. He was not a fan of The Rolling Stones. Jagger in particular. and only liked some of The Beatles music. Who knows if he even knew who The Doors, Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin were. I am sure he had to have at least heard of them. Not likely ever listend to their music unless he heard the stanleys playing it. he may of heard Me and Bobby Mghee by Janis because it crossed over into country radio.


There's an audio recording available on import records and dvd's with Elvis talking with the directors of the Elvis On Tour movie. One of directors tells him that Janis Joplin had said Elvis is my man. So he definitely knew of her. According to Billy Stanley he and Elvis once talked about Jim Morrison. Elvis mentioned that Morrison was a genius who died too young which surprised Billy because he was under the impression that Elvis hated the Doors. Elvis replied that he hated their message.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:46 pm

brian wrote:Elvis must of had to have listened to top 40 radio in the 70s.

:? What does that mean?

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:46 pm

I have read that Billy Stanley story and i don't buy it for a second. Raise your hand everyone if you think Elvis thought Jim Morison was a genius....Billy Stanley just made that up. Billy is probably a doors fan and just had that come out of Elvis' mouth in the book.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:49 am

Blue River wrote:
brian wrote:Elvis must of had to have listened to top 40 radio in the 70s.

:? What does that mean?


You annoy the hell out of me.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:50 am

DEH wrote:I have read that Billy Stanley story and i don't buy it for a second. Raise your hand everyone if you think Elvis thought Jim Morison was a genius....Billy Stanley just made that up. Billy is probably a doors fan and just had that come out of Elvis' mouth in the book.


Yeah probably.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:28 am

brian wrote:
Blue River wrote:
brian wrote:Elvis must of had to have listened to top 40 radio in the 70s.

:? What does that mean?

You annoy the hell out of me.

Sorry... I was just wondering what that meant. smt179

I thought you would be flattered that others were paying close attention to the details of your posts.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:42 am

When somebody in Elvis' inner circle says he didn't like hard rock I've taken it to mean he didn't care for acid rock/psychodelic/heavy metal. As far as Jim Morrison goes The Doors did have am radio top 40 hits so Elvis would've likely been familiar with those tunes. And Morrison had a strong baritone voice which I don't find it unlikely that Elvis would've appreciated. If memory serves, his comment to the Stanley boys was that Morrison was talented but that he (Elvis)didn't care for the "political bullsh*t."

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Mon Dec 03, 2012 3:30 am

Blue River wrote:
brian wrote:
Blue River wrote:
brian wrote:Elvis must of had to have listened to top 40 radio in the 70s.

:? What does that mean?

You annoy the hell out of me.

Sorry... I was just wondering what that meant


You know what it means.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:17 am

brian wrote:
eligain wrote:Unfortunately, Elvis lived in a bubble and he wasn't really aware most current music.


I don't consider not listening to hard rock living in a bubble.

Even if he did listen to it and he liked it i can't see what difference it would've made.


The bubble I meant was Elvis really not being up on and aware of the most popular songs of the time (the top 40). His not listening to "hard rock" has nothing to do with that especially since there really wasn't much hard rock in the top 40. You would think that being in the business, he would want to keep tabs on what the popular music was but maybe it just made him too depressed to hear songs he should but couldn't get. Marty Lacker has said that Elvis rarely listened to pop music anymore by the mid 70's and only listened to country music on the radio. Pity he didn't keep an interest in R&B.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:00 am

eligain wrote:
brian wrote:
eligain wrote:Unfortunately, Elvis lived in a bubble and he wasn't really aware most current music.


I don't consider not listening to hard rock living in a bubble.

Even if he did listen to it and he liked it i can't see what difference it would've made.


The bubble I meant was Elvis really not being up on and aware of the most popular songs of the time (the top 40). His not listening to "hard rock" has nothing to do with that especially since there really wasn't much hard rock in the top 40. You would think that being in the business, he would want to keep tabs on what the popular music was but maybe it just made him too depressed to hear songs he should but couldn't get. Marty Lacker has said that Elvis rarely listened to pop music anymore by the mid 70's and only listened to country music on the radio. Pity he didn't keep an interest in R&B.


I believe my list of songs proves he still listened to top 40 radio in the 70s.

I think this whole thing about Elvis being out of touch with the then comtemporary music scene is overblown.

It probably is true that Elvis listened to country radio more but i don't see anything wrong with that.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Mon Dec 03, 2012 8:33 am

Brian is right about Elvis listening to Top 40. I don't know how much deep into the 1970s he went (although MJ mentioned his praising the arrangement on "Dancing Machine"). But in 1969-1970 given the amount of songs incorporated into the act that were hits at that time and the number of references to songs of that time "Rainy Night in Georgia," "Don't it Make You Wanna Go Home," etc. he was clearly aware of what was on the radio at least at that point in the game. The remark that he makes in That's the Way it is indicates not only that he knew of the Supremes but that a change in leadership had taken place in the group. Judging by his record collection, occasionally, he would even seek something out in this period as one of Dion's folk Lps, which made only the bottom of the charts was in there. Judging his record collection, his song selection, and his references his field of knowledge was always fairly wide.

For what it's worth, Elvis had three 45s by the Animals in his collection, not that surprising being they were really effective purveyors of the R&B based music that Elvis loved. On the other side, he was really, by accounts of his intimates into Peter, Paul and Mary. Again, that's not surprising as PP&M along with the Kingston Trio introduced much of mainstream America to folk music.

What Elvis didn't listen to was the then up and coming format of FM radio. It's hard to understand now when FM is what AM used to be but with better sound, but in the late 1960s it was an alternative format that allowed for longer song lengths, sometimes harsher sounds, sometimes more idiosynchratic sounds, sparer sounds. In other words, the stuff that really couldn't get on FM radio. This is the place, despite their AM success with "Whole Lotta Love" that Elvis would have heard a Led Zeppelin etc. It's not clear that he ever listened to it. In some ways it was what that hip kid in the 50s might have listened to, but by 1970 Elvis was 35 and Top 40 was always where the hits were. I don't know if he would have liked it a whole lot anyway, as it was fairly far away from the sinewy R&B that he loved with more emphasis on the beat and physicality than rhythm and melody.

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:24 am

I hope he didn't hear Black Sabbaths cover of blue suede shoes cause that ones just awful

Re: Elvis' opinion on the music artists of the '60s and 70s?

Mon Dec 03, 2012 11:41 am

Marko wrote:
DEH wrote:It's not so much living in a bubble as it is being from a different generation and having different tastes. he liked country and gospel music most of all. so he would have known. those acts and artists.

he knew of Led zeppelin and Alice Cooper through The Stanleys. because they were into that and would tell him about it. he met both acts as well. before he met Eric Clapton he didn't know who he was. He was not a fan of The Rolling Stones. Jagger in particular. and only liked some of The Beatles music. Who knows if he even knew who The Doors, Jimi Hendrix or Janis Joplin were. I am sure he had to have at least heard of them. Not likely ever listend to their music unless he heard the stanleys playing it. he may of heard Me and Bobby Mghee by Janis because it crossed over into country radio.


There's an audio recording available on import records and dvd's with Elvis talking with the directors of the Elvis On Tour movie. One of directors tells him that Janis Joplin had said Elvis is my man. So he definitely knew of her. According to Billy Stanley he and Elvis once talked about Jim Morrison. Elvis mentioned that Morrison was a genius who died too young which surprised Billy because he was under the impression that Elvis hated the Doors. Elvis replied that he hated their message.


Gotta be careful about the Stanleys -- their recall is . . . fluid. Put it that way.

Anyway, Jim liked him. (What was their "message" exactly? Not sure about that. But if it refers to "The End," well, yeah. I think a lot of people didn't take that seriously, or I hope they didn't. I mean, the denouement.)

I'd have to check, but I think I remember Guralnick saying that Elvis liked Hendrix. He had Tennessee connections, early in his career, and Tom Hullet was also a connection. No one ever asked him specifically, during that time, which is a shame. But until things started going very badly for him, it's clear he was aware of everything that was going on.

I've always listened to country in the car a lot, if I'm driving, because it settles the nerves. If somebody was there, they might take it to mean more than it does. It's really the best car music - for driving. And in other situations, country is relaxing. It doesn't necessarily encompass your whole musical taste, though. People listen to music, and they also "use" music.

He had a record collection, as ltb points out, and it has been catalogued. Anyone have a link to it? I saw "Ellington" in one picture, etc. Anyone have a link to the listing? And to pics of his collection?


rjm
Last edited by rjm on Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:27 pm, edited 2 times in total.