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The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:59 am

I know this has been discussed before, but I believe that additional information has become available since the last set of postings on this topic.

During the Beatles' infamous - or fascinating, depending on your point of view or the mood you're in - GET BACK/LET IT BE sessions in January 1969, the Beatles played a lot of (mostly half-remembered versions of) what seem to be some of their favourite songs. Reasonably unselfconsciously, despite the presence of recorders and cameras.

This glimpse into their collective unconscious is arguably one of the best ways of finding out what music the Beatles liked and (presumably, by omission) what music they didn't like or couldn't care less about.

Which brings us to Elvis. In the thirty or so days from January 2 - January 31 1969 (minus a week or so in which they almost broke up), the Beatles played loose versions (or extracts) of the following songs they would have known by Elvis:

That's all right
Good rockin' tonight
Milkcow blues boogie
Baby, let's play house
Blue suede shoes
Shake, rattle and roll
Lawdy, Miss Clawdy
My baby left me
Long Tall Sally
Rip it up
All shook up
Party
True love
(You're so square) Baby I don't care

Apart from a brief lead by John that sounds a bit like Crying In The Chapel (!), the Beatles played nothing from Elvis' post-Army period (or even from 1958). Either no-one wanted to admit to any of the others that they had a soft spot for It's Now Or Never and some of the other, later, material - or John said it for all of the Beatles when he said that Elvis had died when he went into the Army.

Paul McCartney seems to have been particularly fond of the Good Rockin' Tonight EP, released in the UK in September 1957, as he recorded three of its four tracks in the late 1980s and early 1990s:
Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Unplugged, 1990)
Good Rockin' Tonight (Unplugged, 1990)
Milkcow Blues Boogie (see above list)
Just Because (Choba B CCCP [the Russian Album],1988)

Finally, three of the Elvis songs listed above were recorded by the Beatles on the same day:
My Baby Left Me
That's Alright Mama
Good Rockin' Tonight
(They also recorded The Fool, which Elvis had recorded in Bad Nauheim, but not even the Beatles would have known that at the time!)

The Beatles recorded these songs on January 21, 1969.
Elvis recorded his version of Hey Jude the very same day...

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Mon Dec 17, 2012 6:24 am

On February 18, 1964, the Fab Four went to see FUN IN ACAPULCO at a Miami drive-in. The New York Times review of February 20 made a comparison between the King and the Beatles.

http://www.beatlesbible.com/1964/02/18/ ... sius-clay/

On that date, Elvis and his entourage were vacationing in Las Vegas just prior to the start of principal photography on ROUSTABOUT.

Despite their public statements, they still loved Elvis very, very much.
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Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:39 am

This subject has been discussed to death on various other topics.

The Beatles did cover several early 60s Elvis songs during their early days in Germany.
Paul McCartney sang lead on all of them If i recall correctly.

It is no secret that the Beatles liked the early Elvis material the most and that isn't a big deal.

If you were a rock star, your favorite type of music is rock and were inspired by Elvis to be a rock n' roll singer what would be your favorite era of his career.

The era where the majority of his material was rock n' roll and the era where you became a fan.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:53 am

McCartney later tackled "It's Now or Never."

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Mon Dec 17, 2012 8:58 am

I didn't know about the Drive-In excursion to "Fun In Acapulco"! There's a line in there, that is non-trivial, to the Beatles. Or to one of 'em!

Hold up . . .

Here:

(Words & music by Ben Weisman - Sid Wayne)
Acapulco, sleeping in the bay
Acapulco, wake up and greet the day
Time to tell the guitars and sleepy-eyed stars
To be on their way
It's such a beautiful morning, for a holiday

Hey now come on, you old sleepy head
See the sky turning red, and you're still in bed
It's fun in Acapulco

Acapulco, look here comes the sun
Acapulco, it's a day for fun
I can't wait till I meet your sweet senoritas
Kiss everyone
This is no time for siesta, this is time for fun

I can't wait till I meet your sweet senoritas
Kiss everyone
This is no time for siesta, this is time for fun
This is no time for siesta, this is time for fun

...this is no time for siesta...this is time for fun...


rjm

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Mon Dec 17, 2012 9:30 am

Without dates, they WERE paying attention to the movie!

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:20 pm

So the Beatles went to a drive-in (surely their first, as there were no drive-ins in England) and saw Fun In Acapulco. What we don't know is what they thought of it.

Some indication of what they thought can be inferred from their comments on the BBC TV programme Juke Box Jury a few months before.


Here's John reviewing Devil in Disguise on June 22, 1963:

Lennon: Well, you know, I used to go mad on Elvis, like all the group. But, you know, not now, I don’t like it. And I hate songs with “walk” and “talk” in it, you know, those lyrics. “She walks, she talks,” you know, don’t like that. And I don’t like the double beat, um-cha-um-cha, that bit, it’s awful. Poor old Elvis.

[audience laughs]

Lennon: I’ve got all his early records, and I keep playing them thinking, he must make another like this. But somebody said today he sounds like Bing Crosby now and he does.

[audience laughs]

Lennon: You’ll get these people writing in now I know and saying, “What do you mean?” But I don’t like him anymore.

Q: Thank you. Katie.

Katie Boyle: If he did sound like Bing Crosby, would it be bad?

Lennon: Well, for Elvis, yes.

[audience laughs]

Source: http://lifeofthebeatles.blogspot.com/20 ... 2.html?m=1


And here are all four Beatles reviewing Kiss Me Quick on December 7, 1963:


Paul: "What I don't like about Elvis are his songs. I like his voice. This song reminds me of Blackpool on a sunny day."

Ringo: "Last two years Elvis has been going down the nick."

George: "If he's going back to old tracks, why not release 'My Baby Left Me'? It'd be a number one. Elvis is great, his songs are rubbish."

John: "It'll be a hit. I like those hats with 'Kiss Me Quick' on."

Source: http://www.wingspan.ru/bookseng/diary/m07_1963.html


And then there are Paul McCartney's recorded comments on August 28, 1965:
"Yeah, well of course, since when I was 16, I've loved his records. We used to do a lot of his songs until we started doing our own … but I don't like the new stuff half as much – we told him that last night."

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 03838.html


While the idea of the Beatles liking Elvis' early to mid-sixties output is appealing, it's just wishful thinking, as all the evidence suggests the opposite. Even Elvis knew.

But it didn't have to be that way. If The Beatles had still seen Elvis as a force to be reckoned with, who knows what great music each would have inspired the other to make?

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Mon Dec 17, 2012 5:49 pm

[quote="NumberEight"]So the Beatles went to a drive-in (surely their first, as there were no drive-ins in England) and saw Fun In Acapulco. What we don't know is what they thought of it.

Some indication of what they thought can be inferred from their comments on the BBC TV programme Juke Box Jury a few months before.


Here's John reviewing Devil in Disguise on June 22, 1963:

Lennon: Well, you know, I used to go mad on Elvis, like all the group. But, you know, not now, I don’t like it. And I hate songs with “walk” and “talk” in it, you know, those lyrics. “She walks, she talks,” you know, don’t like that. And I don’t like the double beat, um-cha-um-cha, that bit, it’s awful. Poor old Elvis.

[audience laughs]

Lennon: I’ve got all his early records, and I keep playing them thinking, he must make another like this. But somebody said today he sounds like Bing Crosby now and he does.

[audience laughs]

Lennon: You’ll get these people writing in now I know and saying, “What do you mean?” But I don’t like him anymore.

Q: Thank you. Katie.

Katie Boyle: If he did sound like Bing Crosby, would it be bad?

Lennon: Well, for Elvis, yes.

[audience laughs]

Source: http://lifeofthebeatles.blogspot.com/20 ... 2.html?m=1


And here are all four Beatles reviewing Kiss Me Quick on December 7, 1963:


Paul: "What I don't like about Elvis are his songs. I like his voice. This song reminds me of Blackpool on a sunny day."

Ringo: "Last two years Elvis has been going down the nick."

George: "If he's going back to old tracks, why not release 'My Baby Left Me'? It'd be a number one. Elvis is great, his songs are rubbish."

John: "It'll be a hit. I like those hats with 'Kiss Me Quick' on."

Source: http://www.wingspan.ru/bookseng/diary/m07_1963.html


And then there are Paul McCartney's recorded comments on August 28, 1965:
"Yeah, well of course, since when I was 16, I've loved his records. We used to do a lot of his songs until we started doing our own … but I don't like the new stuff half as much – we told him that last night."

Source: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-enter ... 03838.html


While the idea of the Beatles liking Elvis' early to mid-sixties output is appealing, it's just wishful thinking, as all the evidence suggests the opposite. Even Elvis knew.

But it didn't have to be that way. If The Beatles had still seen Elvis as a force to be reckoned with, who knows what great music each would have inspired the other to make?[/quote]

Elvis must have known that the Beatles were a force to be reckoned with, but unfortunatly it didn't inspire him :cry:
Last edited by Chris Roberts on Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Mon Dec 17, 2012 7:25 pm

Chris Roberts wrote: While the idea of the Beatles liking Elvis' early to mid-sixties output is appealing, it's just wishful thinking, as all the evidence suggests the opposite. Even Elvis knew.

But it didn't have to be that way. If The Beatles had still seen Elvis as a force to be reckoned with, who knows what great music each would have inspired the other to make?

Elvis must have known that the Beatles were a force to be reckoned with, but unfortunatly it didn't inspire him :cry:


I'm agreeing with you on all three points.

Elvis was being smothered creatively and unfortunately, it didn't inspire Elvis to tell Parker to take a hike.

I wonder what comments John, Paul, George and Ringo would have had if they saw Kissin' Cousins?

Image

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Mon Dec 17, 2012 10:00 pm

NumberEight wrote:I know this has been discussed before, but I believe that additional information has become available since the last set of postings on this topic.

During the Beatles' infamous - or fascinating, depending on your point of view or the mood you're in - GET BACK/LET IT BE sessions in January 1969, the Beatles played a lot of (mostly half-remembered versions of) what seem to be some of their favourite songs. Reasonably unselfconsciously, despite the presence of recorders and cameras.

This glimpse into their collective unconscious is arguably one of the best ways of finding out what music the Beatles liked and (presumably, by omission) what music they didn't like or couldn't care less about.

Which brings us to Elvis. In the thirty or so days from January 2 - January 31 1969 (minus a week or so in which they almost broke up), the Beatles played loose versions (or extracts) of the following songs they would have known by Elvis:

That's all right
Good rockin' tonight
Milkcow blues boogie
Baby, let's play house
Blue suede shoes - Carl Perkins
Shake, rattle and roll - Big Joe Turner
Lawdy, Miss Clawdy - Lloyd Price
My baby left me
Long Tall Sally - Little Richard
Rip it up - Little Richard
All shook up
Party
True love
(You're so square) Baby I don't care

Apart from a brief lead by John that sounds a bit like Crying In The Chapel (!), the Beatles played nothing from Elvis' post-Army period (or even from 1958). Either no-one wanted to admit to any of the others that they had a soft spot for It's Now Or Never and some of the other, later, material - or John said it for all of the Beatles when he said that Elvis had died when he went into the Army.

Paul McCartney seems to have been particularly fond of the Good Rockin' Tonight EP, released in the UK in September 1957, as he recorded three of its four tracks in the late 1980s and early 1990s:
Blue Moon Of Kentucky (Unplugged, 1990)
Good Rockin' Tonight (Unplugged, 1990)
Milkcow Blues Boogie (see above list)
Just Because (Choba B CCCP [the Russian Album],1988)

Finally, three of the Elvis songs listed above were recorded by the Beatles on the same day:
My Baby Left Me
That's Alright Mama
Good Rockin' Tonight
(They also recorded The Fool, which Elvis had recorded in Bad Nauheim, but not even the Beatles would have known that at the time!)

The Beatles recorded these songs on January 21, 1969.
Elvis recorded his version of Hey Jude the very same day...


And that recording is not the only Beatles song he tackled that year; at least two others made the mark.

Fun topic!

Note the above highlighted performances are being pulled from original versions, not the Elvis covers.

Also, it is not "wishful thinking" that the Beatles liked Elvis' post-1950s recordings. In fact, they did indeed address some of them in pre-fame concert performances:


Beatles: Covering Elvis Presley

BBC: 1963-64
I Forgot To Remember To Forget (George)
I Got A Woman ( John)
That's All Right (Paul)

In Concert: 1957 to 1962
All Shook Up (1957-60 - Paul)
Are You Lonesome To-Night? (1961 - Paul)
Baby, I Don"t Care (1960-61 - John)
Baby, Let's Play House (1957-62 - John)
Blue Moon Of Kentucky (1957-61 - Paul)
Don't Be Cruel (1959-61 - Paul)
Good Rockin' Tonight (1958-61 - Paul)
Heartbreak Hotel (1957-61 - John)
His Latest Flame (1961-62 - Paul)
Hound Dog (1957-61 - John)
I Feel So Bad (1961-62 - Paul)
It's Now Or Never (1960-62 - Paul)
Jailhouse Rock (1958-60 - John)
Just Because (1960-61 - Paul)
Lawdy Miss Clawdy (1957-62 - Paul)
Love Me Tender (1960-61 - Stu)
Loving You (1959-60 - Stu)
Mystery Train (1957-58 - John)
Party (1957-60 - John)
That's When Your Heartaches Begin (1959-61 - Paul)
Tonight's All Right For Love (1960-62 - Paul)
Wild In The Country (1961-62 - Pete)
Wooden Heart (1961-62 - Paul)

Pretty cool list -- and somewhat reflective of the many German audiences they played for.

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=46098&p=635306&&#p635306


Their love of Elvis did not end when Presley was drafted.

But they, like millions of fans around the world, began around 1962 to wonder what was going on with their hero and his devotion to Hollywood over studio recordings and concert tours.
Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:00 am, edited 2 times in total.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:08 pm

Agree with what Doc says. But with regard to the highlighted original songs it is more likely that the Beatles, as with the rest of us in Britain, heard the following versions first as these were the biggest hits over here.

Shake, Rattle and Roll - Bill Haley
Blue Suede Shoes - Elvis Presley
Lawdy Miss Clawdy - Elvis Presley

Above were all released as singles over here. Carl Perkins original was released in Britain but was not such a big hit. I have yet to hear Little Richards version of Lawdy Miss Clawdy - but would like to!
Last edited by Chris Roberts on Wed Dec 19, 2012 10:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Mon Dec 17, 2012 11:55 pm

I honestly don't think "My Baby Left Me" would have burned up the charts in 1963. "Kiss Me Quick" was a much better choice for a single and more in step with musical tastes of the time.

The Beatles seem to have wanted Elvis perpetually stuck in 1956 mode.

I wonder if seven years down the line, the 1970 Beatles would have wanted to sound like 1963?

Maybe "I Me Mine" needed some "yeah, yeah, yeah" added.
Last edited by HoneyTalkNelson on Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:03 am

Comparing Elvis and the Beatles is like comparing apples to oranges.....two completely different styles.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:11 am

Not comparing, just making the point that artists grow, change and evolve.

Elvis in 1963 was a different man than 1956, in many ways, not just musically.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:19 am

Grow, change and evolve. Well, one out of three ain't bad.

As for Elvis's influence on the Beatles, I agree with the Good Doctor that 1962 really does seem to be seems to be the watershed. Only seven of the Elvis songs the Beatles played live are from the post-Army period (all but one being sung by Paul, and none by John or George), with none of Elvis' originals being any later than the end of 1961:

It's Now Or Never
Are You Lonesome To-Night?
Tonight Is So Right For Love
Wooden Heart
Wild In The Country
I Feel So Bad
His Latest Flame

The inclusion of Tonight Is So Right For Love in the list poses an interesting question. Due to copyright restrictions, the song wasn't released in Europe at the time, being replaced on both the album and movie by Tonight's All Right For Love. Neither the Beatles nor their European audiences would have heard (or probably even been aware of) the original Tonight Is So Right For Love. So it's extremely likely that the song they played wasn't Tonight Is So Right For Love, but its replacement, Tonight's All Right For Love.

This would also explain the Beatles' choice of these two particular songs from G.I. Blues: both Tonight's All Right For Love and and Wooden Heart are based on original melodies (Tales From The Vienna Woods and Muss I Denn, respectively) that would have been familiar crowd-pleasers to the Beatles' German audience in Hamburg, where the majority of their 1960-1962 performances took place.

The latest of the songs on the list to be released by Elvis, His Latest Flame, was a hit in England for four weeks from November 9, 1961. The timing of this is remarkably consistent with Ringo's comment on December 7, 1963: "Last two years Elvis has been going down the nick." What's surprising is that Lennon never bothered to cover its double A-side, Little Sister. Not as far as we know, anyway.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:54 am

Chris Roberts wrote:Agree with what Doc says. But with regard to the highlighted original songs it is more likely that the Beatles, as with the rest of us in Britain, heard the following versions first as these were the biggest hits over here.

Shake, Rattle and Roll - Bill Haley
Blue Suede Shoes - Elvis Presley
Lawdy Miss Clawdy - Elvis Presley

Above were all released as singles over here. Carl Perkins original was released in Britain but was not such a big hit. I have yet to hear Little Richards version of Lawdy Miss Clawdy - but would like to!


Thanks for the catch, I meant to type Lloyd Price.

I'm unsure of Beatles love for Haley, but many of the influential R&B artists like Turner were on their radar.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Tue Dec 18, 2012 12:58 am

NumberEight wrote:Grow, change and evolve. Well, one out of three ain't bad.

As for Elvis's influence on the Beatles, I agree with the Good Doctor that 1962 really does seem to be seems to be the watershed. Only seven of the Elvis songs the Beatles played live are from the post-Army period (all but one being sung by Paul, and none by John or George), with none of Elvis' originals being any later than the end of 1961:

It's Now Or Never
Are You Lonesome To-Night?
Tonight Is So Right For Love
Wooden Heart
Wild In The Country
I Feel So Bad
His Latest Flame

The inclusion of Tonight Is So Right For Love in the list poses an interesting question. Due to copyright restrictions, the song wasn't released in Europe at the time, being replaced on both the album and movie by Tonight's All Right For Love. Neither the Beatles nor their European audiences would have heard (or probably even been aware of) the original Tonight Is So Right For Love. So it's extremely likely that the song they played wasn't Tonight Is So Right For Love, but its replacement, Tonight's All Right For Love.

This would also explain the Beatles' choice of these two particular songs from G.I. Blues: both Tonight's All Right For Love and and Wooden Heart are based on original melodies (Tales From The Vienna Woods and Muss I Denn, respectively) that would have been familiar crowd-pleasers to the Beatles' German audience in Hamburg, where the majority of their 1960-1962 performances took place.

The latest of the songs on the list to be released by Elvis, His Latest Flame, was a hit in England for four weeks from November 9, 1961. The timing of this is remarkably consistent with Ringo's comment on December 7, 1963: "Last two years Elvis has been going down the nick." What's surprising is that Lennon never bothered to cover its double A-side, Little Sister. Not as far as we know, anyway.


Thanks for the kudos.

Yes, what Ringo and the others in the band were unhappy about was not how Elvis had evolved as an artist, but the fact that his Hollywood sojourn had caused him to devolve as an artist.

They didn't want him to remain in "1956 mode" other than showing a commitment to his art. This dedication was clearly gone, abandoned, and all four of them saw it. And, of course, so did millions of fans around the world, who wondered why Elvis wanted to abandon his crown.

You are likely correct about "Tonight's All Right For Love," and I have made the change in my post.

Fun topic!

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:53 am

HoneyTalkNelson wrote:I honestly don't think "My Baby Left Me" would have burned up the charts in 1963. "Kiss Me Quick" was a much better choice for a single and more in step with musical tastes of the time.


I think ''My Baby left me'' would have at least made the top 20 in the U.K. charts had it been released because almost everything Elvis released at the time was a hit in that country.

I think both songs sounded dated but ''My baby left me'' was the better song.

George Harrison's point was that RCA was releasing old songs anyway why not release something good.

Given Elvis' popularity in the U.K. in 1963 it very well could have been a hit.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Tue Dec 18, 2012 3:27 am

brian wrote:
HoneyTalkNelson wrote:I honestly don't think "My Baby Left Me" would have burned up the charts in 1963. "Kiss Me Quick" was a much better choice for a single and more in step with musical tastes of the time.


I think ''My Baby left me'' would have at least made the top 20 in the U.K. charts had it been released because almost everything Elvis released at the time was a hit in that country.

I think both songs sounded dated but ''My baby left me'' was the better song.

George Harrison's point was that RCA was releasing old songs anyway why not release something good.


Given Elvis' popularity in the U.K. in 1963 it very well could have been a hit.


Spot-on, brian.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Tue Dec 18, 2012 4:05 am

It IS a fun topic! And a lot of what applies to "the Beatles" could apply to at least a half-dozen major artists at the time, for whom Elvis was a primary inspiration when they were teens. And I'll bet they weren't the only ones in some drive-in theater, watching one of those movies! I have little doubt.

That particular film was actually not "so bad." But, when compared to King Creole or Jailhouse Rock, or Flaming Star, etc., seeing him sing "There's No Room To Rumba In A Sports Car" had to be both shocking and disturbing. Because these artists were not ordinary "fans." And remember, Elvis started out very young, and was not far in age from these folks: whatever was happening to him, could maybe happen to them. I mean, that would be on my mind, if I were one of 'em at the time - if I were teen fan who became a major artist after Elvis' return from the service. I would be hurt for him, but also scared for myself!

And that's a good reason to attend such movies. I'm sure they liked a lot of his newer music that was good, but seeing the "not-so-good" had to be rather chilling. "How does this happen to someone like Elvis? Could this happen to us/me?"

Elvis DID grow; he grew in 1960, and a bit thereafter, and then he did quite the opposite. There was no way of knowing if he'd ever "come back." And certainly not in the glorious way that he did, in 1968. Greil Marcus said, in his blurb to Binder's book on the anniversary of the Special, that it was not even a fantasy. That the '68 performances could happen.

rjm

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:19 am

We always make a big deal around here about the Beatles not liking most of Elvis' 60's output, but does anybody care if they like Little Richard's comeback records? Chuck Berry's Mercury output? It's not like Elvis was the only 50's icon who kind of lost it in the 60's.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:44 am

As Guralnick pointed out from 60 to 62 Elvis' growth as an artist was consistent and impressive. Then he had a few regressive years as artists as artists are known to have.

Lonely summer- Don't you know that Elvis has a one of a kind standard applied to him? Apparently, he made great records at will, unlike every artist in the universe. There's no excuse ever letting down, for a moment let alone a few years. See Elvis dared to have hits after the early '60s when most of his peers were relegated to memory. This meant some boomer fans had to actually think about what he was doing and not relegate him to the haze of beloved nostalgia as they did Chuck Berry, Richard and the others. Thinking about Elvis should have had the good courtesy to die in his early 20s like Saint Buddy Holly and not remind us that even the legacy of great artists can actually be quite messy.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Tue Dec 18, 2012 1:21 pm

Well, he was held to different standard. He was not like other fifties rockers. He was younger than many of them (with notable exceptions), still in a most vital time of artistic life, and seemed to be in a very strange situation. Those films were increasingly embarrassing. I would guess everything they heard was through the filter of the movies.

They didn't want to lose him; in this group (60s artists who were war-babies - a few even a tad older). Their fans were boomers; they were not. So, Elvis was both a hero, and also an active artist. I think such artists wanted him at his best, cause you want the best "competition." It's like challenging someone to a contest of some sort, but he won't play. Takes much of the pleasure out of "the game."

I don't think other "50s" artists mattered in that way, to artists in that co-hort. They just didn't. I hear bitterness, and I've heard it from others. This admixture of love and anger.

Maybe it wasn't fair, but there was only one Elvis.

Any other "50s" artists mentioned in Lennon's "God"?

Aside from historical/poltical/religious figures, there's just Elvis, "Zimmerman," and "Beatles" (his own former group). And that's the way it was. Fair or not. He was special.

With regard to the point of the song and the constant demands made of Elvis, well it wasn't equally applied. The dream would never be over. Because it was the biggest and most astonishing dream. I think boomer Bruce said "he whisprred a dream" in everyone's ear, and they all dreamed it. Easier for a younger man to have more perspective. And not be so demanding, and not have those emotions they had.

rjm

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Tue Dec 18, 2012 10:29 pm

likethebike wrote:As Guralnick pointed out from 60 to 62 Elvis' growth as an artist was consistent and impressive. Then he had a few regressive years as artists as artists are known to have.


"A few regressive years"?

Elvis did not strive to cut good records which failed to catch fire, as artists are known to have. Elvis did not go out on tour and fail to draw crowds because of these disc failures, as artists are known to have.

No, Presley abandoned his artistry, and sold out to cookie-cutter, cheap Hollywood films and soundtracks for the better part of the decade.

This was the concern of the Beatles, who loved Elvis very, very much. Sadly, it only got worse for their hero after the group exploded in 1964.

Re: The Beatles and Fifties Elvis

Wed Dec 19, 2012 12:13 am

likethebike wrote:As Guralnick pointed out from 60 to 62 Elvis' growth as an artist was consistent and impressive. Then he had a few regressive years as artists as artists are known to have.

Lonely summer- Don't you know that Elvis has a one of a kind standard applied to him? Apparently, he made great records at will, unlike every artist in the universe. There's no excuse ever letting down, for a moment let alone a few years. See Elvis dared to have hits after the early '60s when most of his peers were relegated to memory. This meant some boomer fans had to actually think about what he was doing and not relegate him to the haze of beloved nostalgia as they did Chuck Berry, Richard and the others. Thinking about Elvis should have had the good courtesy to die in his early 20s like Saint Buddy Holly and not remind us that even the legacy of great artists can actually be quite messy.

The Beatles were very open about their admiration for Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Carl Perkins, and other 50's rockers, so naturally I am curious about what they thought of these artists later records. It's always Elvis getting slammed....yet people insist he was the greatest. How could he be considered so great if he spent the majority of his career making mediocre records?