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Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sat Feb 16, 2013 5:27 am

Does anyone know of any interaction between these two '50s idols? And both then and as their careers progressed, does anyone know what Elvis thought of Ricky Nelson?

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:05 am

I may have the quote a bit wrong, but I think Elvis said, "If James Dean could sing, he'd sound just like Ricky Nelson." I think that's pretty high praise.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sat Feb 16, 2013 6:16 am

As others will chime in with more details, I believe that Ricky Nelson and first met in 1957 at a party that was given following Elvis' performance at the Pan Pacific Theater in Los Angeles. They also played football in Beverly Hills in the 1960s.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:40 am

RonBaker2003 wrote:I may have the quote a bit wrong, but I think Elvis said, "If James Dean could sing, he'd sound just like Ricky Nelson." I think that's pretty high praise.


The source of that "quote" comes from the script to a play called "True Dylan" by a filmmaker. The whole "play" takes place on Dylan's porch in California. No one knows if these conversations ever took place or what was really said, if they did. The implication is that the words are "true." Sam (I forget his last name) is the filmmaker. He did work with, and did know Bob.

In the script, "Dylan" asks "Know what Elvis said?" And "quotes" Elvis "If James Dean had sang, he'd be Ricky Nelson."

Make up your own mind.

rjm


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Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sat Feb 16, 2013 7:46 am

rjm wrote:
RonBaker2003 wrote:I may have the quote a bit wrong, but I think Elvis said, "If James Dean could sing, he'd sound just like Ricky Nelson." I think that's pretty high praise.


The source of that "quote" comes from the script to a play called "True Dylan" by a filmmaker. The whole "play" takes place on Dylan's porch in California. No one knows if these conversations ever took place or what was really said, if they did.

In the script, "Dylan" asks "Know what Elvis said?" And "quotes" Elvis "If James Dean had sang, he'd be Ricky Nelson."

Make up your own mind.

rjm


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When was this play written? Because I heard this quote in the early 80's maybe even the 70's before Rick died.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:01 am

Errol Flynn wrote:Does anyone know of any interaction between these two '50s idols? And both then and as their careers progressed, does anyone know what Elvis thought of Ricky Nelson?

Not quite the answer you need, however EIN contributor Jeremy Roberts gave us a very interesting interview with James Burton where he remembers his late friend Ricky Nelson 25 years on.

While this interview is primarily about James Burton's earlier career with Ricky Nelson - however both Elvis' and Rick Nelson's paths crossed so many times that Elvis is also a key figure in this story.

Go here
http://www.elvisinfonet.com/interview_j ... elson.html

Cheers, Piers

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:03 am

If I remember correctly Ricky used to hang around the set when Elvis was filming Love Me Tender or Loving You and spent a lot of time talking with Scotty, Bill and DJ, not Elvis. He wanted to record with them but his father was against it feeling he had his own band. This I believe was before Rick had James and James Kirkland, then Joe Osborne.
The story about the party in 57 is told in Peter Guralnicks book but I forget when it was, around the time of the Pan Pacific or a week or two later the night before the went to Hawaii

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sat Feb 16, 2013 8:36 am

I always liked Ricky. I had a huge crush on him and played my 45 of Travelin' Man to death.

He was pretty as a picture with his doe eyes and my parents didn't see any problem -- I mean he was Ozzie and Harriet's kid, came from a good family. He was safe.

He was likely more gifted musically than I appreciate and his family "situation" was probably as much a curse as a blessing. I'd like to revisit his music.

I don't know where the quote about James Dean and Ricky originated, but James Dean, he wasn't.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sat Feb 16, 2013 9:01 am

I had the pleasure of seeing Rick Nelson in 1978 with the Sweet Inspirations as his opening act and his backup singers at Cal Expo in Sacramento. I've always liked "Ricky" Nelson, too.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sat Feb 16, 2013 10:52 am

Jokerlola wrote:
rjm wrote:
RonBaker2003 wrote:I may have the quote a bit wrong, but I think Elvis said, "If James Dean could sing, he'd sound just like Ricky Nelson." I think that's pretty high praise.


The source of that "quote" comes from the script to a play called "True Dylan" by a filmmaker. The whole "play" takes place on Dylan's porch in California. No one knows if these conversations ever took place or what was really said, if they did.

In the script, "Dylan" asks "Know what Elvis said?" And "quotes" Elvis "If James Dean had sang, he'd be Ricky Nelson."

Make up your own mind.

rjm


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2



When was this play written? Because I heard this quote in the early 80's maybe even the 70's before Rick died.


Esquire magazine, 1987.

Where did you hear it, and under what circumstances? That might help explain how it made its way into this strange script.

I know of no other written source.

Meanwhile, if it were real, I always thought it meant "dance with the one that brung ya." In other words: singers should sing; actors (like Dean) should act. Perhaps a commentary on his own film career. IF he ever did say it.

rjm


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Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:14 pm

The quote is listed on Rick's official site:

lhttp://rickynelson.com/quotes.html

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sat Feb 16, 2013 3:33 pm

According to Rick's ex-wife, Kris, he HATED having to go back to using "Ricky Nelson" as a stage name...but, guess who convinced him of it? None other than idiot manager, Greg McDonald (a person that most everybody associated with Rick - including his children - absolutely CANNOT stand!).

And you know what? As much as I dislike Kristin, she's right. "Rick Nelson" just sounds more professional than "Ricky Nelson" because the latter makes you think of "Irrepressible Ricky Nelson" from the "O&H" show (from which Rick was always trying to "escape" from.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 3:36 am

So....outside of a quote from a script and the fact that they played football together...Nothing on Elvis' feelings on his main musical rival in the '50s (despite any personal friendship)?

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 4:33 am

Errol Flynn wrote:So....outside of a quote from a script and the fact that they played football together...Nothing on Elvis' feelings on his main musical rival in the '50s (despite any personal friendship)?


Elvis liked Ricky Nelson from what i've heard and he enjoyed his early music.

As noted they socialized by playing football together.

I believe the quote about Ricky Nelson and James Dean that's attributed to Elvis is B.S.

What else is there to know.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:11 am

Errol Flynn wrote:So....outside of a quote from a script and the fact that they played football together...Nothing on Elvis' feelings on his main musical rival in the '50s (despite any personal friendship)?


That's about all I heard as well plus reading The Fifties By David Halberstam... Elvis being away from live performances for awhile, was planning his return to the stage but worried about how he would look and how he should handle his hair. At that point, Priscilla mentioned a billboard featuring Ricky Nelson, who looked particularly attractive. Perhaps, she suggested, Elvis could take a look at it. "Are you god damn crazy," he told her. "After all these years Ricky Nelson and Fabian and that whole group have more than less followed in my footsteps and now I'm supposed to copy them. You gotta be out of your mind, woman."

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:15 am

rjm wrote:
Jokerlola wrote:
rjm wrote:
RonBaker2003 wrote:I may have the quote a bit wrong, but I think Elvis said, "If James Dean could sing, he'd sound just like Ricky Nelson." I think that's pretty high praise.


The source of that "quote" comes from the script to a play called "True Dylan" by a filmmaker. The whole "play" takes place on Dylan's porch in California. No one knows if these conversations ever took place or what was really said, if they did.

In the script, "Dylan" asks "Know what Elvis said?" And "quotes" Elvis "If James Dean had sang, he'd be Ricky Nelson."

Make up your own mind.

rjm


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2



When was this play written? Because I heard this quote in the early 80's maybe even the 70's before Rick died.


Esquire magazine, 1987.

Where did you hear it, and under what circumstances? That might help explain how it made its way into this strange script.

I know of no other written source.

Meanwhile, if it were real, I always thought it meant "dance with the one that brung ya." In other words: singers should sing; actors (like Dean) should act. Perhaps a commentary on his own film career. IF he ever did say it.

rjm


Sent from my SAMSUNG-SGH-I317 using Tapatalk 2


I can't remember exactly where I read it but it was in some magazine in an article about Colonel Parker possibly taking over as Rick's manager after Elvis died. Seems like it was in the late 70's or early 80's. I want to say Rolling Stone but I doubt that's right.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:21 am

RonBaker2003 wrote:The quote is listed on Rick's official site:

lhttp://rickynelson.com/quotes.html


That's too bad, because Elvis never said that.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 6:24 am

Errol Flynn wrote:So....outside of a quote from a script and the fact that they played football together...Nothing on Elvis' feelings on his main musical rival in the '50s (despite any personal friendship)?


Ricky Nelson was not Elvis Presley's "main musical rival in the '50s." In fact, it seems certain he never considered Nelson as anything other than a nice kid who was making some good singles. And had a pretty cool lead guitarist.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 2:24 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Errol Flynn wrote:So....outside of a quote from a script and the fact that they played football together...Nothing on Elvis' feelings on his main musical rival in the '50s (despite any personal friendship)?


Ricky Nelson was not Elvis Presley's "main musical rival in the '50s." In fact, it seems certain he never considered Nelson as anything other than a nice kid who was making some good singles. And had a pretty cool lead guitarist.


He and Rick supposedly did meet once, in the 1950s right after Ozzie had begun allowing Rick to sing on the show, and he told Rick that he watched the end of the show every week to hear the music. Would that be correct? Also, and I don't know if this is true or embellished by Priscilla in her book, but, she had mentioned to Elvis that he should grow his hair long (like Rick's was in 1969) and he basically blew up at her. He didn't want to be compared with someone like Rick. Which, truly is a shame because both were great singers and both admired each other's work.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:11 pm

Not trying to be unfair to Nelson, but he's no great singer. And every time I watch Rio Bravo (my favorite movie) I see a little guy desperately trying to be like Elvis.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:18 pm

Saw Ricky in 1984. He had this great rockabilly band, and he did all his hits and covered some Stones and Dylan songs. He did his new rockabilly tune. I must say musically it was more enjoyable than any Elvis concert I attended. Musically, not the aura, just musically. I much rather hear an artist do their own songs and cover a song like Honky Tonk Women, rather than If You Love Me Let Me Know.

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 5:31 pm

Elvis covered "Cindy Cindy" (Rick's song in Rio Bravo) and "Fools Rush In".

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:06 pm

brian wrote:
Errol Flynn wrote:So....outside of a quote from a script and the fact that they played football together...Nothing on Elvis' feelings on his main musical rival in the '50s (despite any personal friendship)?


Elvis liked Ricky Nelson from what i've heard and he enjoyed his early music.

As noted they socialized by playing football together.

I believe the quote about Ricky Nelson and James Dean that's attributed to Elvis is B.S.

What else is there to know.


I agree. But some here say it was from as long ago as the 1970's :?

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:07 pm

r&b wrote:Saw Ricky in 1984. He had this great rockabilly band, and he did all his hits and covered some Stones and Dylan songs. He did his new rockabilly tune. I must say musically it was more enjoyable than any Elvis concert I attended. Musically, not the aura, just musically. I much rather hear an artist do their own songs and cover a song like Honky Tonk Women, rather than If You Love Me Let Me Know.



Do you recall if he sang any Elvis songs in his act such as That's Alright Mama or Mystery Train ?

Re: Ricky Nelson & Elvis

Sun Feb 17, 2013 7:08 pm

frus75 wrote:Not trying to be unfair to Nelson, but he's no great singer. And every time I watch Rio Bravo (my favorite movie) I see a little guy desperately trying to be like Elvis.



And I see a guy trying to emulate Monty Clift's character in Red River :wtf: