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Re: Elvis doing 2 shows a day on tour was crazy.

Sat Jan 26, 2013 3:35 am

likethebike wrote:I think this thread is kind of indicative of how this board has jumped the shark. I mean it's one thing to have a clear eyed assessment; it's another to have a vision so warped by negativity you don't even understand why said artist would be worthy of such discussion today. Really, when I come on here I wonder why Elvis didn't just cut his throat in 1960 given that his rest of his career would be nothing but a string of disappointments that insulted his fan base and anyone smart enough to buy a record from another artist.

I mean it's one thing to give it to a lackluster film like Harum Scarum or some of the more embarrassing performances from 1976-1977, but it's almost become routine to trash various career highlights while never admitting simultaneously that anything could be underrated, to side with anyone but Elvis on any issue, to compare Elvis unfavorably to all manner of artists, no matter how mediocre said artists might be, ever changing goal posts on what is good and bad, with almost always the change in distance designed to condemn the artists in question, to set up a myth of perfection, which no one believes to be torn down, only to be replaced by a simultaneous myth of perfection that would have existed had Elvis not every wrong decision in the world, to compare the worst work of Elvis with the best of others (this was even done a thread that specifically compared Elvis' 1956 to the Beatles 1964 yet we still got comparisons of "Help" to "Roustabout.") Even the sainted '50s work gets slight revisions and pokes downward. Well he wasn't that much popular than the other artists. His redefining chart hits, well they're not that important because Lil' Wayne is just as important and popular now than Elvis was in the 1950s.

It's as if the board suffers from a collective pop Stockholm Syndrome. Because some guy in Palmyra has a shrine to Elvis in his den and regards him with religious like awe and some hipsters think that's lame, we have to go out of our way that we don't think our guy is special in anyway, that not only do we see his flaws we downright fixate on them.

When I come to a board like this, it's to share an enthusiasm and to gain further insight to that enthusiasm. While some posts like George Smith's wonderful exegesis of the birth of "That's All Right Mama" still do that, most of the posts here seem these days to be designed to demonstrate the poster's superiority to the artist and to his/her fellow fans.


With all due respect, LTB, and while I enjoy many of your posts, I think you're mistaken here for a number of reasons. Firstly, your point of view has always been (at least while I've been around) an apologist. If you can make an argument which defends Elvis against criticisms from anyone on these boards, then you will do so. Just look at your description of "Harum Scarum". You call it "lacklustre", whereas anyone without an apologist viewpoint would simply call it "sh*t". Now that sound brutal, and coarse, but it's also a considerably more honest appreciation of the film than "lacklustre". It is a film which is an embarassment for all concerned and with virtually no redeeming features.

The problem (if it is a problem) with the boards is that we have a whole manner of different takes on Elvis at the same time, and many of them are at extreme ends of the spectrum. At one end you have someone such as myself who probably has a modest Elvis collection in comparison to most on here, listens to wide variety of music, has interests in a number of different artists and whose favourite genre is not even rock n roll at all, but jazz. So why am I on an Elvis board? Well, I used to be about as crazy about Elvis as many others on here, but have simply moved on and developed wider tastes over time. And yes, I still enjoy much of what Elvis has to offer, know the recordings well, am fascinated by Presley's legacy and his career. But perhaps because I'm not a die-hard fan these days, I look at the arguments on here from a distance, get involved in the threads where I have something to say, but most of all can perhaps see the wood for the trees. That doesn't mean the only bits I like are the artistically great bits, because that isn't true. I'll say quite openly that I enjoy many of the soundtracks, or many of the 70s concerts, but that doesn't mean I can't see their shortcomings. At the other end of the spectrum you have Elvis-is-great-reciting-the-phonebook fan who believes that if Elvis belched he would do it better than anybody else.

Neither of these viewpoints are wrong, and everyone has a right to their opinion, but if people are coming here for discussions then there are problems. Those wanting to look at Presley's career realistically - and it is a fascinating career and set of recordings - are always going to have issues with the people who want to see College Park re-released because they think his dialogue is hilarious (as an example). And vice versa. I, and others, aren't attempting to be negative, they are intending to be constructive and realistic and give some reasoning behind the comments that are made. I have argued in another thread that Elvis is not popular with kids, and I will continue to argue that unless someone can give me data to show that kids and teens are buying his records. That's not being negative, it's being realistic. And the same can be said for this thread. Elvis shows do not feature him in energetic dance routines, mostly he is walking around singing into a microphone for an hour. At most. For around 100 days a year. Is that too much work for a 35-40 year old man? My argument is no. And always will be no. When Elvis appeared on stage in 1976 and could barely get through a show did his photo get put on a magazine in America? Perhaps it did. But the show didn't get filmed on a phone and put on youtube and gain 1.5 million viewers in the way Amy Winehouse's last stage appearance did. So did he have it so hard as other artists today when it comes to such things? No, he didn't.

If you don't want constructive criticism, let's just censor everything that doesn't say "yes, it was great" and close the whole thing down. Because that is what you are arguing for here.

Re: Elvis doing 2 shows a day on tour was crazy.

Sat Jan 26, 2013 5:42 am

Peter, for me personally, when you're a fan of someone you take up for them. That doesn't mean you have to praise everything the artist does (I'm also a longtime fan of Dylan and believe me, he's had some rough patches). But in my view when you're a fan you don't approach the artist with a glass half empty attitude. Look, I get the My Boy and Love Song of the Year criticisms although I like those tunes. I myself don't particularly care for Heart of Rome and consider Come What May to be the worst non-movie 60's recording. But when you say Elvis sleepwalks through Aloha that's over the top just as my Sinatra post was. And it illustrates what I mean by a glass is half empty attitude. There are a number of fine performances in Aloha (mainly the ballads) and as I mentioned in another post the lack of moving around was deliberate. That's a balanced point of view.

In our previous exchange I posed a question about the length of other performers concerts of the 69-72 period in order to get a valid comparison and rather than answer that question (which no one has thus far) you come back with stuff about Jones and Cash and tv shows. While that is relevant to the thread topic itself it had nothing to do with my query. You just moved the goalposts in order to make Elvis seem inferior in order to prove the point that he wasn't the hardest working man in show business. But I had already acknowledged that point to Matt, so my question about concert length of major artists of the period stands. How long was a Jones show in 69-72? Or Cash since you mentioned him (and Cash was not exactly a really physical performer)? Or the Stones; CCR? I know that Diamond's shows of 69-70 rarely went over an hour. He started hitting the 90 minute mark around 1971.

On a personal note Peter, in the 3-5 year period after Elvis died it was hell being a fan here in the U.S. All you heard was drugs, fat, jumpsuits, jelly donuts along with a succession of tell-all books with each one seemingly hell-bent on one-upping the previous ones. So when some of us read posts on a fan site that basically characterizes Elvis as a lazy-ass it brings to mind that awful post-death period and pushes some hot-buttons. I'm certainly not suggesting that we praise everything Elvis ever did or avoid any criticism. All I ask is that the criticism be fair and balanced.

Re: Elvis doing 2 shows a day on tour was crazy.

Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:03 am

Pete Dube wrote:Peter, for me personally, when you're a fan of someone you take up for them. That doesn't mean you have to praise everything the artist does (I'm also a longtime fan of Dylan and believe me, he's had some rough patches). But in my view when you're a fan you don't approach the artist with a glass half empty attitude. Look, I get the My Boy and Love Song of the Year criticisms although I like those tunes. I myself don't particularly care for Heart of Rome and consider Come What May to be the worst non-movie 60's recording. But when you say Elvis sleepwalks through Aloha that's over the top just as my Sinatra post was. And it illustrates what I mean by a glass is half empty attitude. There are a number of fine performances in Aloha (mainly the ballads) and as I mentioned in another post the lack of moving around was deliberate. That's a balanced point of view.

In our previous exchange I posed a question about the length of other performers concerts of the 69-72 period in order to get a valid comparison and rather than answer that question (which no one has thus far) you come back with stuff about Jones and Cash and tv shows. While that is relevant to the thread topic itself it had nothing to do with my query. You just moved the goalposts in order to make Elvis seem inferior in order to prove the point that he wasn't the hardest working man in show business. But I had already acknowledged that point to Matt, so my question about concert length of major artists of the period stands. How long was a Jones show in 69-72? Or Cash since you mentioned him (and Cash was not exactly a really physical performer)? Or the Stones; CCR? I know that Diamond's shows of 69-70 rarely went over an hour. He started hitting the 90 minute mark around 1971.

On a personal note Peter, in the 3-5 year period after Elvis died it was hell being a fan here in the U.S. All you heard was drugs, fat, jumpsuits, jelly donuts along with a succession of tell-all books with each one seemingly hell-bent on one-upping the previous ones. So when some of us read posts on a fan site that basically characterizes Elvis as a lazy-ass it brings to mind that awful post-death period and pushes some hot-buttons. I'm certainly not suggesting that we praise everything Elvis ever did or avoid any criticism. All I ask is that the criticism be fair and balanced.


Great post @Peter Dube well said. I see it the way people like you Rob, Likethebike and others do aswell.
I come here to learn new things about Elvis' life and career that i didn't know before.
I love facts, opinions, they are different of course some i agree with more than others, but it doesn't change how this fan looks at there hero! I'll still get my kicks when i watch Aloha, or the 68 Special, or spin the cd's from A Boy From tupelo.
Elvis' following 35 years after his death speaks for itself, so that is enough to defend him if you ask him his legacy does it for him.

Re: Elvis doing 2 shows a day on tour was crazy.

Sat Jan 26, 2013 6:04 am

likethebike wrote:I think this thread is kind of indicative of how this board has jumped the shark. I mean it's one thing to have a clear eyed assessment; it's another to have a vision so warped by negativity you don't even understand why said artist would be worthy of such discussion today. Really, when I come on here I wonder why Elvis didn't just cut his throat in 1960 given that his rest of his career would be nothing but a string of disappointments that insulted his fan base and anyone smart enough to buy a record from another artist.

I mean it's one thing to give it to a lackluster film like Harum Scarum or some of the more embarrassing performances from 1976-1977, but it's almost become routine to trash various career highlights while never admitting simultaneously that anything could be underrated, to side with anyone but Elvis on any issue, to compare Elvis unfavorably to all manner of artists, no matter how mediocre said artists might be, ever changing goal posts on what is good and bad, with almost always the change in distance designed to condemn the artists in question, to set up a myth of perfection, which no one believes to be torn down, only to be replaced by a simultaneous myth of perfection that would have existed had Elvis not every wrong decision in the world, to compare the worst work of Elvis with the best of others (this was even done a thread that specifically compared Elvis' 1956 to the Beatles 1964 yet we still got comparisons of "Help" to "Roustabout.") Even the sainted '50s work gets slight revisions and pokes downward. Well he wasn't that much popular than the other artists. His redefining chart hits, well they're not that important because Lil' Wayne is just as important and popular now than Elvis was in the 1950s.

It's as if the board suffers from a collective pop Stockholm Syndrome. Because some guy in Palmyra has a shrine to Elvis in his den and regards him with religious like awe and some hipsters think that's lame, we have to go out of our way that we don't think our guy is special in anyway, that not only do we see his flaws we downright fixate on them.

When I come to a board like this, it's to share an enthusiasm and to gain further insight to that enthusiasm. While some posts like George Smith's wonderful exegesis of the birth of "That's All Right Mama" still do that, most of the posts here seem these days to be designed to demonstrate the poster's superiority to the artist and to his/her fellow fans.


Post of the decade 'likethebike' ! Someone needed to say this!

I think that most people on here are suffering from peer pressure. I mean, who want's to be ridiculed because they admit to liking the "Harum Scarum" album? It's just easier to look at what the "cool" people are doing on this board and agree with them so you can be part of the "in" group. Right? It's almost like people are afraid to think for themselves.

Oh, and it's ok to not like the music of the Beatles. You can still be cool without them ;)

Re: Elvis doing 2 shows a day on tour was crazy.

Sat Jan 26, 2013 4:37 pm

JoshMorgan wrote:
likethebike wrote:I think this thread is kind of indicative of how this board has jumped the shark. I mean it's one thing to have a clear eyed assessment; it's another to have a vision so warped by negativity you don't even understand why said artist would be worthy of such discussion today. Really, when I come on here I wonder why Elvis didn't just cut his throat in 1960 given that his rest of his career would be nothing but a string of disappointments that insulted his fan base and anyone smart enough to buy a record from another artist.

I mean it's one thing to give it to a lackluster film like Harum Scarum or some of the more embarrassing performances from 1976-1977, but it's almost become routine to trash various career highlights while never admitting simultaneously that anything could be underrated, to side with anyone but Elvis on any issue, to compare Elvis unfavorably to all manner of artists, no matter how mediocre said artists might be, ever changing goal posts on what is good and bad, with almost always the change in distance designed to condemn the artists in question, to set up a myth of perfection, which no one believes to be torn down, only to be replaced by a simultaneous myth of perfection that would have existed had Elvis not every wrong decision in the world, to compare the worst work of Elvis with the best of others (this was even done a thread that specifically compared Elvis' 1956 to the Beatles 1964 yet we still got comparisons of "Help" to "Roustabout.") Even the sainted '50s work gets slight revisions and pokes downward. Well he wasn't that much popular than the other artists. His redefining chart hits, well they're not that important because Lil' Wayne is just as important and popular now than Elvis was in the 1950s.

It's as if the board suffers from a collective pop Stockholm Syndrome. Because some guy in Palmyra has a shrine to Elvis in his den and regards him with religious like awe and some hipsters think that's lame, we have to go out of our way that we don't think our guy is special in anyway, that not only do we see his flaws we downright fixate on them.

When I come to a board like this, it's to share an enthusiasm and to gain further insight to that enthusiasm. While some posts like George Smith's wonderful exegesis of the birth of "That's All Right Mama" still do that, most of the posts here seem these days to be designed to demonstrate the poster's superiority to the artist and to his/her fellow fans.


Post of the decade 'likethebike' ! Someone needed to say this!

I think that most people on here are suffering from peer pressure. I mean, who want's to be ridiculed because they admit to liking the "Harum Scarum" album? It's just easier to look at what the "cool" people are doing on this board and agree with them so you can be part of the "in" group. Right? It's almost like people are afraid to think for themselves.

Oh, and it's ok to not like the music of the Beatles. You can still be cool without them ;)


There is nothing wrong with "liking" anything, but what is being objected to is when people are shouting from the rooftops that Harum Scarum is "good" or defendable. It simply isn't defendable in the real world. And which would fans get any form of pleasure from Elvis at his worst moments on stage? That is equivalent to me saying I really like the few concerts when they got Sinatra's meds wrong when he was an old man and he kept losing his way during songs, or that i really like Ella Fitzgerald's live TV appearance at the age of 75 where she sang an entire song out of time. There is so much to enjoy within Elvis's legacy that is just seems somewhat perverse than fans who seemingly love the man are wanting to wallow and somehow celebrate his biggest c*ck-ups.

Re: Elvis doing 2 shows a day on tour was crazy.

Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:08 pm

Pete Dube wrote:Peter, for me personally, when you're a fan of someone you take up for them. That doesn't mean you have to praise everything the artist does (I'm also a longtime fan of Dylan and believe me, he's had some rough patches). But in my view when you're a fan you don't approach the artist with a glass half empty attitude. Look, I get the My Boy and Love Song of the Year criticisms although I like those tunes. I myself don't particularly care for Heart of Rome and consider Come What May to be the worst non-movie 60's recording. But when you say Elvis sleepwalks through Aloha that's over the top just as my Sinatra post was. And it illustrates what I mean by a glass is half empty attitude. There are a number of fine performances in Aloha (mainly the ballads) and as I mentioned in another post the lack of moving around was deliberate. That's a balanced point of view.

In our previous exchange I posed a question about the length of other performers concerts of the 69-72 period in order to get a valid comparison and rather than answer that question (which no one has thus far) you come back with stuff about Jones and Cash and tv shows. While that is relevant to the thread topic itself it had nothing to do with my query. You just moved the goalposts in order to make Elvis seem inferior in order to prove the point that he wasn't the hardest working man in show business. But I had already acknowledged that point to Matt, so my question about concert length of major artists of the period stands. How long was a Jones show in 69-72? Or Cash since you mentioned him (and Cash was not exactly a really physical performer)? Or the Stones; CCR? I know that Diamond's shows of 69-70 rarely went over an hour. He started hitting the 90 minute mark around 1971.

On a personal note Peter, in the 3-5 year period after Elvis died it was hell being a fan here in the U.S. All you heard was drugs, fat, jumpsuits, jelly donuts along with a succession of tell-all books with each one seemingly hell-bent on one-upping the previous ones. So when some of us read posts on a fan site that basically characterizes Elvis as a lazy-ass it brings to mind that awful post-death period and pushes some hot-buttons. I'm certainly not suggesting that we praise everything Elvis ever did or avoid any criticism. All I ask is that the criticism be fair and balanced.


Well said Pete! There are some people who in this particular thread, who have worked to damn hard to tear down Elvis, to the point where they have lost objectivity. I get frustrated with that kind of effort when it comes to that level of negativity, first the Aloha thread and now this.

Re: Elvis doing 2 shows a day on tour was crazy.

Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:33 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
likethebike wrote:I think this thread is kind of indicative of how this board has jumped the shark. I mean it's one thing to have a clear eyed assessment; it's another to have a vision so warped by negativity you don't even understand why said artist would be worthy of such discussion today. Really, when I come on here I wonder why Elvis didn't just cut his throat in 1960 given that his rest of his career would be nothing but a string of disappointments that insulted his fan base and anyone smart enough to buy a record from another artist.

I mean it's one thing to give it to a lackluster film like Harum Scarum or some of the more embarrassing performances from 1976-1977, but it's almost become routine to trash various career highlights while never admitting simultaneously that anything could be underrated, to side with anyone but Elvis on any issue, to compare Elvis unfavorably to all manner of artists, no matter how mediocre said artists might be, ever changing goal posts on what is good and bad, with almost always the change in distance designed to condemn the artists in question, to set up a myth of perfection, which no one believes to be torn down, only to be replaced by a simultaneous myth of perfection that would have existed had Elvis not every wrong decision in the world, to compare the worst work of Elvis with the best of others (this was even done a thread that specifically compared Elvis' 1956 to the Beatles 1964 yet we still got comparisons of "Help" to "Roustabout.") Even the sainted '50s work gets slight revisions and pokes downward. Well he wasn't that much popular than the other artists. His redefining chart hits, well they're not that important because Lil' Wayne is just as important and popular now than Elvis was in the 1950s.

It's as if the board suffers from a collective pop Stockholm Syndrome. Because some guy in Palmyra has a shrine to Elvis in his den and regards him with religious like awe and some hipsters think that's lame, we have to go out of our way that we don't think our guy is special in anyway, that not only do we see his flaws we downright fixate on them.

When I come to a board like this, it's to share an enthusiasm and to gain further insight to that enthusiasm. While some posts like George Smith's wonderful exegesis of the birth of "That's All Right Mama" still do that, most of the posts here seem these days to be designed to demonstrate the poster's superiority to the artist and to his/her fellow fans.


With all due respect, LTB, and while I enjoy many of your posts, I think you're mistaken here for a number of reasons. Firstly, your point of view has always been (at least while I've been around) an apologist. If you can make an argument which defends Elvis against criticisms from anyone on these boards, then you will do so. Just look at your description of "Harum Scarum". You call it "lacklustre", whereas anyone without an apologist viewpoint would simply call it "sh*t". Now that sound brutal, and coarse, but it's also a considerably more honest appreciation of the film than "lacklustre". It is a film which is an embarassment for all concerned and with virtually no redeeming features.

The problem (if it is a problem) with the boards is that we have a whole manner of different takes on Elvis at the same time, and many of them are at extreme ends of the spectrum. At one end you have someone such as myself who probably has a modest Elvis collection in comparison to most on here, listens to wide variety of music, has interests in a number of different artists and whose favourite genre is not even rock n roll at all, but jazz. So why am I on an Elvis board? Well, I used to be about as crazy about Elvis as many others on here, but have simply moved on and developed wider tastes over time. And yes, I still enjoy much of what Elvis has to offer, know the recordings well, am fascinated by Presley's legacy and his career. But perhaps because I'm not a die-hard fan these days, I look at the arguments on here from a distance, get involved in the threads where I have something to say, but most of al