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

Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:38 pm

Joe Car wrote:I think to compare EP's job to manual labor is unfair to both him and the "bricklayer." Does an athlete who plays 15 minutes in a game compare to somebody digging ditches 8 hours a day? Same thing. Point is, Elvis doing two a days was not easy in his field of work, especially given how physical his shows were during 69-71. We all can agree that he could have been managed better as far as his scheduling went when it came to Vegas.


Good post, Joe!

Unfortunately, Elvis continued touring because of his financial situation not because he wanted to perform or at least not as much like he was doing. I believe Elvis lost interest in touring before Aloha Special. Elvis probably should have been taking another crack at movies sometime in '72. Parker was a outstanding promoter, but competent manager, he was not. He locked Elvis into long-term contracts that locked Elvis into ruts.

Image

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

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:14 pm

Let's not forget though that Elvis had it remarkably easy compared to most artists. Yes, he toured a lot. But he never rarely bothered to learn new material, he didn't rehearse, he didn't get in shape. Yes, an athlete might only play for 15 minutes in a game, but their fitness regime and their practice constitues a full working week of hours AT LEAST. Elvis didn't do that. He didn't sit down and try to rework his show. He didn't write songs, so no work there either. He didn't keep his voice in good order in the last two or three years, hence why the end of tours were invariably better than the beginning. In other words, when he wasn't on stage he was practically doing nothing.

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

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:30 pm

poormadpeter wrote:Let's not forget though that Elvis had it remarkably easy compared to most artists. Yes, he toured a lot. But he never rarely bothered to learn new material, he didn't rehearse, he didn't get in shape. Yes, an athlete might only play for 15 minutes in a game, but their fitness regime and their practice constitues a full working week of hours AT LEAST. Elvis didn't do that. He didn't sit down and try to rework his show. He didn't write songs, so no work there either. He didn't keep his voice in good order in the last two or three years, hence why the end of tours were invariably better than the beginning. In other words, when he wasn't on stage he was practically doing nothing.


From all accounts, he sang several hours a night, especially after shows. The last couple of years he had trouble getting motivated, due to his depression and other issues, but he wasn't always like that. There were underlying issues as to why he didn't participate in rehearsals.

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

Sat Jan 19, 2013 8:53 pm

Joe Car wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Let's not forget though that Elvis had it remarkably easy compared to most artists. Yes, he toured a lot. But he never rarely bothered to learn new material, he didn't rehearse, he didn't get in shape. Yes, an athlete might only play for 15 minutes in a game, but their fitness regime and their practice constitues a full working week of hours AT LEAST. Elvis didn't do that. He didn't sit down and try to rework his show. He didn't write songs, so no work there either. He didn't keep his voice in good order in the last two or three years, hence why the end of tours were invariably better than the beginning. In other words, when he wasn't on stage he was practically doing nothing.


From all accounts, he sang several hours a night, especially after shows. The last couple of years he had trouble getting motivated, due to his depression and other issues, but he wasn't always like that. There were underlying issues as to why he didn't participate in rehearsals.


Well, I can only he hope he sang better after shows than he did during them, or the experience would have been miserable for all concerned.

Even so, in 1976 Elvis performed approx 125 shows. Let's add in to that the time spent doing the jungle room sessions. That still means he got over 200 days off that year. In 1974 he was doing 2 shows a day for the most part - but was only on stage for less than a hundred days. That's 250 days off. He wasn't in the studio, he rarely rehearsed.

Of course acts today don't generally perform that much, but then their time in the studio is often much longer because of the way the recording process is done now, they certainly rehearse for their tours, they do TV chat shows, guest appearance, make videos, and they tour the world not just the USA. While they may only record one album every two years, they still have to do all the publicity events for that album in each country as it comes out.

While Justin Bieber is performing on about 65 dates between now and august, that involves travelling to 18 countries, and no doubt a number of television guest spots, chat shows, radio interviews, press interviews in each country, and maybe even tv specials. It's pretty certain his days off over the next eight months will be very few. It also goes without saying that each show will be rehearsed in each venue, and will be considerably longer and energetic than any show Presley did.

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

Sat Jan 19, 2013 9:24 pm

poormadpeter wrote:
Joe Car wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Let's not forget though that Elvis had it remarkably easy compared to most artists. Yes, he toured a lot. But he never rarely bothered to learn new material, he didn't rehearse, he didn't get in shape. Yes, an athlete might only play for 15 minutes in a game, but their fitness regime and their practice constitues a full working week of hours AT LEAST. Elvis didn't do that. He didn't sit down and try to rework his show. He didn't write songs, so no work there either. He didn't keep his voice in good order in the last two or three years, hence why the end of tours were invariably better than the beginning. In other words, when he wasn't on stage he was practically doing nothing.


From all accounts, he sang several hours a night, especially after shows. The last couple of years he had trouble getting motivated, due to his depression and other issues, but he wasn't always like that. There were underlying issues as to why he didn't participate in rehearsals.


Well, I can only he hope he sang better after shows than he did during them, or the experience would have been miserable for all concerned.

Even so, in 1976 Elvis performed approx 125 shows. Let's add in to that the time spent doing the jungle room sessions. That still means he got over 200 days off that year. In 1974 he was doing 2 shows a day for the most part - but was only on stage for less than a hundred days. That's 250 days off. He wasn't in the studio, he rarely rehearsed.

Of course acts today don't generally perform that much, but then their time in the studio is often much longer because of the way the recording process is done now, they certainly rehearse for their tours, they do TV chat shows, guest appearance, make videos, and they tour the world not just the USA. While they may only record one album every two years, they still have to do all the publicity events for that album in each country as it comes out.

While Justin Bieber is performing on about 65 dates between now and august, that involves travelling to 18 countries, and no doubt a number of television guest spots, chat shows, radio interviews, press interviews in each country, and maybe even tv specials. It's pretty certain his days off over the next eight months will be very few. It also goes without saying that each show will be rehearsed in each venue, and will be considerably longer and energetic than any show Presley did.


So now you want to compare Beiber to Elvis' show, energy wise. How about the 3 or four shows Elvis would do in a day in the fifties, not too mention driving all night. There is no frickin way the Justin Beiber puts more into a show then what Elvis did in 54-57, I don't care what you say. Maybe Elvis should have lip-synched too!

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

Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:24 pm

Doing nothing all day is actually harder on you than working. That's why a lot of people die very soon after retiring. Elvis could have easily filmed decent movies during the time he wasn't on tour or in Vegas. The problem is, the Colonel didn't find quality projects to do that he could get excited about. Just like he wasn't given quality music to record and he was locked into performing in the same cities over and over again. I know it's a tired old record but he needed challenges and the CBS special was too little too late. He was pretty much done by then.

Are far as how long Elvis was on stage. That is pretty much a mute point. Even if he would have been in fantastic shape, he probably would have performed the same length shows because that was the norm in the 70's. Also in Vegas, the casino didn't want him on too long (Don't keep the people from going out to gamble) and the Colonel always wanted him to leave the people wanting more.

I've been to several long shows like Springstein and amazingly at about the 90 minute to 2 hr mark a really lot of people start leaving. Same with Paul McCartney. At the 90 minute mark, so many people left, we were able to move down to the much better seats for his encores. And speaking of encores; Those burn up a lot of time for artists. They walk off stage, stay off for five or ten minutes, take another 5 minutes to get hooked up and then doing a second time. It's all counted as time on stage but it isn't.

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

Sat Jan 19, 2013 10:50 pm

Joe Car wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:
Joe Car wrote:
poormadpeter wrote:Let's not forget though that Elvis had it remarkably easy compared to most artists. Yes, he toured a lot. But he never rarely bothered to learn new material, he didn't rehearse, he didn't get in shape. Yes, an athlete might only play for 15 minutes in a game, but their fitness regime and their practice constitues a full working week of hours AT LEAST. Elvis didn't do that. He didn't sit down and try to rework his show. He didn't write songs, so no work there either. He didn't keep his voice in good order in the last two or three years, hence why the end of tours were invariably better than the beginning. In other words, when he wasn't on stage he was practically doing nothing.


From all accounts, he sang several hours a night, especially after shows. The last couple of years he had trouble getting motivated, due to his depression and other issues, but he wasn't always like that. There were underlying issues as to why he didn't participate in rehearsals.


Well, I can only he hope he sang better after shows than he did during them, or the experience would have been miserable for all concerned.

Even so, in 1976 Elvis performed approx 125 shows. Let's add in to that the time spent doing the jungle room sessions. That still means he got over 200 days off that year. In 1974 he was doing 2 shows a day for the most part - but was only on stage for less than a hundred days. That's 250 days off. He wasn't in the studio, he rarely rehearsed.

Of course acts today don't generally perform that much, but then their time in the studio is often much longer because of the way the recording process is done now, they certainly rehearse for their tours, they do TV chat shows, guest appearance, make videos, and they tour the world not just the USA. While they may only record one album every two years, they still have to do all the publicity events for that album in each country as it comes out.

While Justin Bieber is performing on about 65 dates between now and august, that involves travelling to 18 countries, and no doubt a number of television guest spots, chat shows, radio interviews, press interviews in each country, and maybe even tv specials. It's pretty certain his days off over the next eight months will be very few. It also goes without saying that each show will be rehearsed in each venue, and will be considerably longer and energetic than any show Presley did.


So now you want to compare Beiber to Elvis' show, energy wise. How about the 3 or four shows Elvis would do in a day in the fifties, not too mention driving all night. There is no frickin way the Justin Beiber puts more into a show then what Elvis did in 54-57, I don't care what you say. Maybe Elvis should have lip-synched too!


My comparison to Bieber was a simle comparison (and to my knowledge he doesn't lip-synch a great deal when on stage, (although tv is a different matter).

Either way, the comparison to Elvis in the 50s is ridiculous. He may have done 3 or 4 shows a day during 1954-55, but all evidence that we have suggests that Elvis's performances during that period were just three to six songs per show. Little Rock is what? About 20-25 minutes? Perhaps a 1957 show was over that but not by much. The Seattle setlist for September 2 1957 is just 13 songs, and considering most of those would be 2 to 2 1/2 minutes, he would have been out of there in about 35 minutes. By 1956 three or four shows a day were the exception rather than the rule. Even so, four performances of 20 minutes each still only mate 80 minutes on stage - considerably less than what we see in one show from the vast majority of performers today.

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:07 am

One brick really doesn't weigh that much, I used to carry at least 10 at the same time.

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:19 am

If Elvis could get paid with doing less work than what Justin Beiber is now doing then good for him.

I don't think Beiber or any of todays stars worked nearly as much as Elvis did when you factor everything in.

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:25 am

elvis-fan wrote:
Rob wrote:
Pete Dube wrote:I'd like to apologize for what I wrote above. It's too soon after Newton to be making jokes about guns. That was insensitive of me. If anyone took offence, I'm sorry.

There is nothing wrong with what you said. Elvis loved to shoot guns. He usually shot at real targets, televisions, or light bulbs in swimming pools. What happened at Sandy Hook Elementary had nothing to do with your comment.

Absolutely no need for an apology.

Right on Rob...
I got your meaning Pete... that didn't even come into my mind to tell you the truth... it was all about Elvis and btw... you STILL da man in my book!!!
:smt023


Thanks Brad. I raise a glass of Molson to you as I write this. Cheers!

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 1:32 am

Peter, while I tend to enjoy reading the vast majority of your posts (even those that I may disagree with) when you start bringing in Justin Beiber as a comparison to Elvis you're entering the realm of the absurd. I've got nothing against the kid, but in the Grand Scheme of popular music he doesn't amount to a pimple on Elvis' a$$!

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:04 am

Pete Dube wrote:Peter, while I tend to enjoy reading the vast majority of your posts (even those that I may disagree with) when you start bringing in Justin Beiber as a comparison to Elvis you're entering the realm of the absurd. I've got nothing against the kid, but in the Grand Scheme of popular music he doesn't amount to a pimple on Elvis' a$$!


I'm not bringing him in as a comparison to Elvis, I am bringing him as possibly the most famous young singer of today.

Brian wrote:

I don't think Beiber or any of todays stars worked nearly as much as Elvis did when you factor everything in.


What are we meant to factor in here?

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 2:39 am

poormadpeter wrote:Well, I can only he hope he sang better after shows than he did during them, or the experience would have been miserable for all concerned.

Even so, in 1976 Elvis performed approx 125 shows. Let's add in to that the time spent doing the jungle room sessions. That still means he got over 200 days off that year. In 1974 he was doing 2 shows a day for the most part - but was only on stage for less than a hundred days. That's 250 days off. He wasn't in the studio, he rarely rehearsed.

Of course acts today don't generally perform that much, but then their time in the studio is often much longer because of the way the recording process is done now, they certainly rehearse for their tours, they do TV chat shows, guest appearance, make videos, and they tour the world not just the USA. While they may only record one album every two years, they still have to do all the publicity events for that album in each country as it comes out.

While Justin Bieber is performing on about 65 dates between now and august, that involves travelling to 18 countries, and no doubt a number of television guest spots, chat shows, radio interviews, press interviews in each country, and maybe even tv specials. It's pretty certain his days off over the next eight months will be very few. It also goes without saying that each show will be rehearsed in each venue, and will be considerably longer and energetic than any show Presley did.


Great post succinctly put.

Some would have you believe that Elvis worked harder, faster & better than the good lord himself! No matter what evidence or reasonable theory you put forward these guys will simply not agree smt136

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:11 am

Matt, the point I've been trying to make isn't that Elvis worked harder than anyone else. It's that, in the years 69-72 the standard was different! When you talk about the Elvis of 76-77 nobody would argue that isn't the man at his worse. But you can't compare the Elvis of 69-72 (let alone the Elvis of 76-77) to Bruce or Macca of today. You've got to compare him to the major artists of that period: The Stones; CCR; Neil Diamond; Tom Jones (arguably the most valid comparison). How long were the shows of these artists in these years? Heck, toss in Lennon at the Garden in '72. Those are the reasonable comparisons. Look, I witnessed Springsteen on the 1978 Darkness On The Edge Of Town tour, arguably the greatest live shows by a rock & roll artist ever. I say unequivacally that on that tour Bruce Springsteen was the king of rock & roll. But it would be invalid to compare Bruce on that tour to Elvis in 69-72 because by 1978 the standard had changed! (And Springsteen was largely responsible for changing it.)

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:34 am

If Elvis didn't rehearse then where the hell did all these rehearsal tapes come from?

As for the show, it never gets through the bubble because facts can't interrupt a good story, but about a third of the show did change from year to year. The structure of the show remained the same not all the songs. That's a big point.

As far as Elvis having 200- 250 days off, you don't just materialize in the place where you perform. You have to travel to get there and you're living away from home in hotels, often right after the job you're moving out. That takes a toll.

And to compare it to today which is ridiculously artist friendly is nonsense. Artists record once every two to five years depending on how well the record does. They only tour when that new record is out. And while they may do publicity, stopping by say hello to Jon Stewart before the tour starts is not exactly back breaking work. What's more the publicity component on an LP today is much more important for second tier acts than first tier acts.

Again we're seeking these spiritual or moral answers to a very simple problem to solve. Elvis developed a drug addiction and that drug addiction impacted his ability, in any circumstance to give the live performances he desired (whether he knew it or not) and that he was once capable of delivering.

Listen to New Haven '76 a very revealing show. There is effort in that show. There is thought in that show. There is arguably even passion in that show. What is lacking is Elvis' ability to deliver.

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:49 am

likethebike wrote:If Elvis didn't rehearse then where the hell did all these rehearsal tapes come from?

As for the show, it never gets through the bubble because facts can't interrupt a good story, but about a third of the show did change from year to year. The structure of the show remained the same not all the songs. That's a big point.

As far as Elvis having 200- 250 days off, you don't just materialize in the place where you perform. You have to travel to get there and you're living away from home in hotels, often right after the job you're moving out. That takes a toll.

And to compare it to today which is ridiculously artist friendly is nonsense. Artists record once every two to five years depending on how well the record does. They only tour when that new record is out. And while they may do publicity, stopping by say hello to Jon Stewart before the tour starts is not exactly back breaking work. What's more the publicity component on an LP today is much more important for second tier acts than first tier acts.

Again we're seeking these spiritual or moral answers to a very simple problem to solve. Elvis developed a drug addiction and that drug addiction impacted his ability, in any circumstance to give the live performances he desired (whether he knew it or not) and that he was once capable of delivering.

Listen to New Haven '76 a very revealing show. There is effort in that show. There is thought in that show. There is arguably even passion in that show. What is lacking is Elvis' ability to deliver.


LTB, many many people travel for work, live away from home, whatever. But they would give their eye teeth to have half the year at home with no work to do - which is essentially where Elvis was in his last years. And to say that an artist only tours when a record comes out once every two years is ridiculous - the record comes out at different times around the world, and so they go there to promote it and tour with it when the time is right.

As for Pete wanting to compare Elvis's work with those of his contemporaries. Fine. Let's look at Tom Jones, who was star of a weekly TV series during the period, and guest on many other TV shows during the period. Or Johnny Cash - again, star of his own TV show, touring the world (not just America), guesting on other TV shows.

And as for the comment about "all these" rehearsal tapes. So far we have three. The two recent ones from FTD and the one from August 74. They prove Elvis rehearsed for about 2 hours. What a devoted man he must have been to do that. Did he attend the soundchecks in each venue? no. Did he rehearse in each venue? no. Did he include most of the new songs he "rehearsed" in his shows? no.

Don't get me wrong, I prefer 70s Elvis to the other periods, particularly when he is on form on stage, or the studio recordings which are considerably more consistent that many lead us to believe. But to argue that Elvis worked hard either on stage or off in his final half decade is just lunacy.

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 3:52 am

Fine.

Elvis was such a lazy bastard.

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:11 am

brian wrote:Fine.

Elvis was such a lazy bastard.

:lol:

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 4:15 am

brian wrote:Fine.

Elvis was such a lazy bastard.


Well, perhaps you can prove otherwise. By in the final five years, what I have written is absolutely true.

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:10 am

First of all Peter, Jones was at the hottest point of his career when he did that T.V. show - which, when he started with the show, was only 4 years into him being an international star. In fact, after the show ended, his record sales nosedived. In '69 Elvis had been an international star for 13 years. Jones was also younger than Elvis, closer in age to the Beatles generation artists.

Secondly, Elvis was still giving good to great shows through - 72, so the 5 year bit is overstating things a bit.

Thirdly, where is the rule that says an artist has to work themselves to the bone onstage? Elvis was from a different generation - he lived through the depression. Whether talking about Elvis or the Rat Pack artists from that period had experienced tough times in their early lives, so when they became successful they kicked back a bit. That was the American dream for artists from that period. They knew hard times in their youth, they worked their way to success in the entertainment field, then the money and success enabled them to enjoy life and not have to work so hard. And there's not a damn thing wrong with that!

It seems that Elvis can't win. On the one hand people say he let Parker run him into the ground. On the other hand people say he didn't work hard enough. Personally, I think it's way past time to stop this glass is half empty attitude sh*t towards the man. I'm hardly a rose-colored glasses fan, his career can certainly be criticized, but it often seems as if the jury here views him as guilty until proven innocent.

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 5:33 am

On the contrary, while we might say that Parker worked him too hard, this was quite clearly during the years when he was clearly not well enough to be doing what he was meant to be doing. But he certainly was not ill or depressed through hard work. Parker might well have bored him to death with the endless Vegas contract and the never-ending touring, but to say he was overworked is simply ridiculous when you realise he wasn't recording regularly, wasn't changing his show, wasn't making films etc. To suggest that a man who works for less than half of the year is over-worked is just plain bizarre.

People talk of Elvis as if he was old (Tom Jones was not as old as Elvis etc). For goodness sake, Elvis was 40, not 70. What he clearly needed was something to stimulate him in some way, and working less was certainly not the answer for Elvis. He was faced with no challenges after Aloha (and in that he hardly exerted himself) and instead of revitalising his show, he just meandered along. Yes, he changed the show once in 1974, and then supposedly changed it back again because of the lukewarm reception - although the lukewarm reception (if indeed it was lukewarm) was probably more to do with the appearance on stage of an Elvis who was much changed from that on TV just a year earlier

You say he was still giving great shows in 1972. Indeed he was. But his time on stage was even less in that year than in the ones that followed. The point of this conversation was not to do with quality of shows, but quantity and whether or not 2 shows a night was too much. The comparison of his workload compared with artists today, and other artists of the time is therefore perfectly apt. Cash was older than Elvis, not younger, and yet managed to tour extensively, write music, do a TV series and record music as if there was no tomorrow. The fact that Elvis only did the stage shows and little else would suggest that he was having it relatively easy. The difference is that Cash and others chose where they performed and when, but Elvis seemingly didn't make those decisions - but whose fault is that?

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 7:04 am

poormadpeter wrote:
brian wrote:Fine.

Elvis was such a lazy bastard.


Well, perhaps you can prove otherwise. By in the final five years, what I have written is absolutely true.


I don't think there is any doubt that you've aptly proven that Elvis could have learned something about work ethic from the likes of Justin Beiber.

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 9:18 am

It's funny, no comments on the Beatles doing 20-30 minute concerts. Anyway, Elvis' last five years of his life are being used as the measuring stick for his work ethic when he suffered from bouts of depression and a major addiction to prescription meds as well as a painful divorce, during this period. That's not fair to him. When healthy, he worked extremely hard, whether it'd be concerts, movies, rehearsals, recording albums, whatever. He never shirked his responsibilities and honored every contract and obligation prior to getting ill. Fact is, he needed time off during these years to somehow get healthy and there were moments when he shouldn't have been working at all. Yet some people are criticizing his work ethic his last five years and say he should have been working more!

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:46 am

Must have been a drag working 3 hours a day

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

Sun Jan 20, 2013 10:50 am

Elvis never complained, did he? Maybe it would have been better to spread the work out over the year and not have these crazy weeks. Elvis was perfectly able to do them, but if something happened, like getting laryngitis or the flu, he'd get into trouble and there was very little room to recuperate properly, that's when it becomes hard work, as the show must go on.