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Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 12:11 am

Mister Moon wrote:Thanks Tony.., for posting the rest of the article. It's interesting, and surprising, to read that Good liked the "G.I. Blues" soundtrack album so much.

I can dig the album, too. There are some very good songs in it and, of course, Elvis' great singing, even in the poorest songs. It's of course a much better soundtrack than many of those which would follow in the next few years.

But it's also a much worse album than "Elvis Is Back !", which was cut only a few weeks before this soundtrack. I know it may be cheap and unfair to make this comparison, but I can't help but making it. I mean, the guy singing "Wooden Heart" is the same guy singing "Like A Baby". As Elvis fans, we are all used to this kind of apparent contradictions. But this one is so evident.

And now that we're on a Louella Parsons kick, here's a clipping I recently found which fits well within this thread :

600706.JPG


And thus, the die was cast!

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:57 am

Not being much of a film critic myself I won't express an opinion on G.I. Blues. But I do wonder if Jack Good was eating his words...

And to allow such bad miming to the sound-track is unforgivable.


four years later when his favorite protege, singer P.J. Proby, was so distracted (or drunk) during a TV performance he forgot to mouth the words in his voice track. Unforgivable?

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:08 am

G.I. Blues is a very well made movie with a very enjoyable soundtrack. I don't understand the negativity around it. It was the right movie at the right time. Blue Hawaii was also a very good movie. Both movies and soundtracks did really well. I listen to the Complete G.I. Blues set often.

Elvis movies overall introduced a lot of fans - past and present - to Elvis. And as noted above, the movies led to Elvis have a very diverse fan base in the 1970s when he started touring.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 4:45 am

sherrlon12 wrote:G.I. Blues is a very well made movie with a very enjoyable soundtrack. I don't understand the negativity around it. It was the right movie at the right time. Blue Hawaii was also a very good movie. Both movies and soundtracks did really well. I listen to the Complete G.I. Blues set often.

Elvis movies overall introduced a lot of fans - past and present - to Elvis. And as noted above, the movies led to Elvis have a very diverse fan base in the 1970s when he started touring.



Hardly any of the 60's soundtrack material made it to the set-list though.
Can't Help Falling In Love the obvious one but not much else.Hawaiian Wedding song got a few outings particularly in 1974 ,Return To Sender a handful of times,What'd I say brilliantly in '69.Aloha Eo once I think.Can't think of anything else bar the occasional one liner of Blue Hawaii.
I'm probably missing something obvious but it shows the regard Elvis had of his 60's soundtrack material.


norrie

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:31 am

norrie wrote:
sherrlon12 wrote:G.I. Blues is a very well made movie with a very enjoyable soundtrack. I don't understand the negativity around it. It was the right movie at the right time. Blue Hawaii was also a very good movie. Both movies and soundtracks did really well. I listen to the Complete G.I. Blues set often.

Elvis movies overall introduced a lot of fans - past and present - to Elvis. And as noted above, the movies led to Elvis have a very diverse fan base in the 1970s when he started touring.



Hardly any of the 60's soundtrack material made it to the set-list though.
Can't Help Falling In Love the obvious one but not much else.Hawaiian Wedding song got a few outings particularly in 1974 ,Return To Sender a handful of times,What'd I say brilliantly in '69.Aloha Eo once I think.Can't think of anything else bar the occasional one liner of Blue Hawaii.
I'm probably missing something obvious but it shows the regard Elvis had of his 60's soundtrack material.
norrie


Yes, kind of. But we can't say this just about the soundtracks - he barely included anything from early 60s at all in his set list, movie-related or otherwise.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:11 am

Tony.. wrote:I found the rest of Jack Good's piece PLUS a completely opposite review of the same film!!
601126_Jack Good_Disc magazine p4.JPG

601112_Disc magazine p9.JPG


Thanks for helping out with one of my requests. Did you enjoy all the information I posted up on Jack Good?

As for the remainder of his column, certainly the platter is far more enjoyable than the film, although, indeed, it is incredibly easy to fall "between two stools" when surveying the G.I. Blues soundtrack LP. ;-)

The other article reads like someone from Paramount wrote it.
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Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:13 am

jurasic1968 wrote:In this interview of July 1972 Elvis spoke about his deception regarding his Hollywood career. It's sad and speak volumes about how his state of mind was looking back to the missed 60's.


Agree completely.

His comments were a revelation to friend Jerry Schilling, who was there that day, because they had previously been considered not for public view.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:17 am

Mister Moon wrote:Thanks Tony.., for posting the rest of the article. It's interesting, and surprising, to read that Good liked the "G.I. Blues" soundtrack album so much.

I can dig the album, too. There are some very good songs in it and, of course, Elvis' great singing, even in the poorest songs. It's of course a much better soundtrack than many of those which would follow in the next few years.

But it's also a much worse album than "Elvis Is Back !", which was cut only a few weeks before this soundtrack. I know it may be cheap and unfair to make this comparison, but I can't help but making it. I mean, the guy singing "Wooden Heart" is the same guy singing "Like A Baby". As Elvis fans, we are all used to this kind of apparent contradictions. But this one is so evident.

And now that we're on a Louella Parsons kick, here's a clipping I recently found which fits well within this thread :

Image


Yes! "Hawaii Beach Boy" -- what a sophisticated concept for an artist as talented as Elvis Presley.

Down deep, one suspects Hal Wallis appreciated Elvis for just one thing: his profit-making ability. Within a few years Presley believed this, and told his inner circle how much he resented it.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 6:19 am

Since1956 wrote:Not being much of a film critic myself I won't express an opinion on G.I. Blues. But I do wonder if Jack Good was eating his words...

And to allow such bad miming to the sound-track is unforgivable.


four years later when his favorite protege, singer P.J. Proby, was so distracted (or drunk) during a TV performance he forgot to mouth the words in his voice track. Unforgivable?


Inconsequential. What happened for two minutes on a TV show is in no way analogous to Jack Good's spot-on review of "G.I. Blues."

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 1:01 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:Inconsequential. What happened for two minutes on a TV show is in no way analogous to Jack Good's spot-on review of "G.I. Blues."


Voice dubbing was standard practice in movies but was frowned on in TV. Especially in a production with musicians, singers and dancers on staff. On Shindig! lip-sinc was commonly used by certain singers such as Good-backed P.J. Proby. Proby also mimed someone else's harmonica solo.

I would take Good's review more seriously without his scathing comment about miming. But I don't expect anyone to agree with me.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:25 pm

Doc, this proposed title is the most stupid of Elvis movie career. Regarding Wallis, Elvis was furious and very disappointed in March 1964 during Roustabout filming about an article in the press where Wallis told that the money from Roustabout will help the Becket movie.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:33 pm

Around the time 'Roustabout' was filmed, Wallis patronisingly told a journalist that: 'To do the artistic pictures, it is necessary to do the commercially successful Presley pictures'.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:51 pm

Yes, I read that about "Becket" and if that is true, then that's a scandal that Elvis was 'used' in such a way.
Here's a couple more "GI Blues" reviews (opinions) from the time.
GI REVIEW.jpg

GI REVIEW 4.jpg
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Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 3:56 pm

Broken finger (also the name of a really crappy bootleg CD!!)
BROKEN FINGER.jpg
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Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:42 pm

Tony.. wrote:Yes, I read that about "Becket" and if that is true, then that's a scandal that Elvis was 'used' in such a way.
Here's a couple more "GI Blues" reviews (opinions) from the time.
GI REVIEW.jpg

GI REVIEW 4.jpg



The top review backs up my previous comments that the film, the TV appearance, the release of Are You Lonesome Tonight and It's Now or Never, and the gospel album were all part of a plan to win over middle America. And it worked. G I Blues is a "jolly jape" indeed.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 5:52 pm

Mister Moon wrote:But it's also a much worse album than "Elvis Is Back !", which was cut only a few weeks before this soundtrack. I know it may be cheap and unfair to make this comparison, but I can't help but making it. I mean, the guy singing "Wooden Heart" is the same guy singing "Like A Baby".

I also prefer ELVIS IS BACK! and -as far as I know- even the King himself made some remarks about the quality of the GI BLUES-material. But we have to consider, that GI BLUES sold more than twice as much as ELVIS IS BACK and it was GI BLUES that was nominated for a Grammy award, not ELVIS IS BACK. So I guess at the time the movie soundtrack was regarded the better album.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 7:47 pm

About he soundtracks: GI Blues, Blue Hawaii, Girls! Girls! Girls! and Roustabout sold more than Elvis is Back, Something for Everybody and Pot Luck. The others soundtrack LP's were below of that figures. So maybe in 3 years Elvis was an "all family entertainer" but quickly he lost not only in quality of the soundtrack albums but in the commercial criteria as well.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:06 pm

jurasic1968 wrote:Doc, this proposed title is the most stupid of Elvis movie career. Regarding Wallis, Elvis was furious and very disappointed in March 1964 during Roustabout filming about an article in the press where Wallis told that the money from Roustabout will help the Becket movie.


Of course, "Roustabout" was made by Paramount, a Hal Wallis production. As noted, by 1964 Elvis had come to the conclusion that Wallis only made Presley pictures to underwrite the prestige films the producer really cared about.

Case-in-point, the just-released "Becket," starring Richard Burton, Peter O'Toole and John Gielgud, which would earn 12 Academy Award nominations, winning just one, for Best Writing (Adapted Screenplay), at the April 5, 1965 ceremonies. Ironically, this Oscar went to Edward Anhalt, who co-wrote the screenplay for Elvis' 1962 Paramount travelogue, "Girls! Girls! Girls!"

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Anhalt
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Becket_(1964_film)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_Anhalthttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/37th_Academy_Awards_nominees_and_winners#Awards


In many ways, 1964 would be a rough year for Elvis.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:12 pm

A. C. van Kuijk wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:But it's also a much worse album than "Elvis Is Back !", which was cut only a few weeks before this soundtrack. I know it may be cheap and unfair to make this comparison, but I can't help but making it. I mean, the guy singing "Wooden Heart" is the same guy singing "Like A Baby".

I also prefer ELVIS IS BACK! and -as far as I know- even the King himself made some remarks about the quality of the GI BLUES-material. But we have to consider, that GI BLUES sold more than twice as much as ELVIS IS BACK and it was GI BLUES that was nominated for a Grammy award, not ELVIS IS BACK. So I guess at the time the movie soundtrack was regarded the better album.


Did you see page 2?

drjohncarpenter wrote:Peter Guralnick's Careless Love offers in clear prose about Elvis' disenchantment with Leiber and Stoller's submissions being excluded for "business" reasons and how, in a phone conversation with Priscilla, the singer says he told Parker that half the songs in the film should be cut. When she asked what management said, Presley replied it was implicit that nothing could be done. "I'm locked in this thing," was his sad lament.

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&p=1226455#p1226455

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:06 pm

Doc, thanks a lot about this information. But when I read your post I was shocked at first and I read it again and again in disbelief. So Edward Anhalt was the same person who contributed to Elvis' 1962 Paramount travelogue, "Girls! Girls! Girls!" ???? From "Becket" to "GGG"???. How sad for Elvis must had been to became a laughingstock in Hollywood, thanks to Wallis and Parker.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Wed Nov 06, 2013 10:11 pm

jurasic1968 wrote:Doc, thanks a lot about this information. But when I read your post I was shocked at first and I read it again and again in disbelief. So Edward Anhalt was the same person who contributed to Elvis' 1962 Paramount travelogue, "Girls! Girls! Girls!" ???? From "Becket" to "GGG"???. How sad for Elvis must had been to became a laughingstock in Hollywood, thanks to Wallis and Parker.


Elvis' career is filled with such ironies.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:08 am

A. C. van Kuijk wrote:I also prefer ELVIS IS BACK! and -as far as I know- even the King himself made some remarks about the quality of the GI BLUES-material. But we have to consider, that GI BLUES sold more than twice as much as ELVIS IS BACK and it was GI BLUES that was nominated for a Grammy award, not ELVIS IS BACK. So I guess at the time the movie soundtrack was regarded the better album.


So this may mean they nominated albums on the basis of their sales only, not necessarily their artistic merits, I guess.

Well, a look at the winners of the 1961 Grammys tells us all we need to know about the tastes of whoever decided about the winners. Mainstream with a capital M :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3rd_Annual_Grammy_Awards

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:29 am

Mister Moon wrote:
A. C. van Kuijk wrote:I also prefer ELVIS IS BACK! and -as far as I know- even the King himself made some remarks about the quality of the GI BLUES-material. But we have to consider, that GI BLUES sold more than twice as much as ELVIS IS BACK and it was GI BLUES that was nominated for a Grammy award, not ELVIS IS BACK. So I guess at the time the movie soundtrack was regarded the better album.


So this may mean they nominated albums on the basis of their sales only, not necessarily their artistic merits, I guess.

Well, a look at the winners of the 1961 Grammys tells us all we need to know about the tastes of whoever decided about the winners. Mainstream with a capital M :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3rd_Annual_Grammy_Awards


No, it has nothing to do with sales.

G I Blues was nominated in the soundtrack category, not in album of the year etc, it lost out to can-Can, which also starred Prowse, of course. It's hardly surprising G I Blues lost - Can-Can contains a cavalcade of Cole Porter classics, and Sinatra was at the height of his popularity and, many would argue, his artistry.

It was also nominated Best Male Vocal Performance - but it didn't get nominated over Elvis is back because of sales but because it was more palatable to the rather conservative Grammys: so conservative that Ella Fitzgerald won for best pop vocal performance and not best jazz performance. Ella was as close to pop as the still-in-their-infancy Grammy's were going in 1960! Bearing that in mind, Elvis never stood a hope in the main categories.

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Thu Nov 07, 2013 2:42 am

poormadpeter wrote:
Mister Moon wrote:
A. C. van Kuijk wrote:I also prefer ELVIS IS BACK! and -as far as I know- even the King himself made some remarks about the quality of the GI BLUES-material. But we have to consider, that GI BLUES sold more than twice as much as ELVIS IS BACK and it was GI BLUES that was nominated for a Grammy award, not ELVIS IS BACK. So I guess at the time the movie soundtrack was regarded the better album.


So this may mean they nominated albums on the basis of their sales only, not necessarily their artistic merits, I guess.

Well, a look at the winners of the 1961 Grammys tells us all we need to know about the tastes of whoever decided about the winners. Mainstream with a capital M :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/3rd_Annual_Grammy_Awards


(...) It was also nominated Best Male Vocal Performance - but it didn't get nominated over Elvis is back because of sales but because it was more palatable to the rather conservative Grammys: so conservative that Ella Fitzgerald won for best pop vocal performance and not best jazz performance. Ella was as close to pop as the still-in-their-infancy Grammy's were going in 1960! Bearing that in mind, Elvis never stood a hope in the main categories.


That's what I meant.

Anyway, who cares about the Grammys ? I don't ! :D

Thanks for your post !

Re: Why did Presley allow this?! Jack Good speaks out, 1960

Fri Nov 08, 2013 3:42 pm

Like the Oscars, BAFTAs, Golden Globes etc., Grammy nominations aren’t plucked from the air, chosen in a random fashion or selected with a mind for specific inclusions or exclusions. Producers, studios and record labels have to submit their choices for inclusion to the various awards bodies, from which a short-list is decided upon before the ultimate nominees are chosen. There’s a broad range of opinions at large in doing so. A.M.P.A.S., for example, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, is a body of over 6,000 voters within the film industry, who make their choice of Oscar winners by secret ballot. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, who choose the Grammy winners, is a body of almost 20,000 voters that comprises of almost anyone within the recording industry who is credited as being professionals on at least six tracks released in the U.S.A. Elvis, himself, was probably asked to vote in his lifetime. What’s usually kept secret is who, and what, is submitted for consideration. Whilst, in relation to the Oscars at least, studio campaigns made to persuade voters come at the cost of millions of dollars. However, movie studios and record labels, such as RCA, may opt to submit one piece of work from an artist if they believe something like G.I. Blues, for example, to be a popular choice and a genuine contender for an award. But they can submit as many works in as many categories as will allow. With regards to Can-Can, the soundtrack for this underrated film was a deserved winner. There are some delicious performances to be found on record and within the film, which was met with a lukewarm response upon release, largely because it felt like a reheat of Vincente Minnelli’s dazzling Gigi. This, despite the Cole Porter musical on which Can-Can is based, actually pre-dating Gigi by five years. Time has been kind to Can-Can, however, with its outstanding production values and affable cast taking some airy material in their stride, but doing so with aplomb.

What’s interesting here, or worth mentioning at least, was that Sinatra acted in Can-Can as a contractual obligation to 20th Century Fox. Sinatra, perhaps at the height of his powers and certainly among the most influential, powerful and popular actors in Hollywood, had to meet with contractual requirements like any other actor who enters into an agreement with a major studio or producer. Sinatra self-produced, of course, and worked in association with Jack Cummings to bring Can-Can to the big screen in partnership with Fox. But finance only allows for so much with regards to options and exposure. And that’s something Elvis required upon his return to civilian life and a career that had been on hold for two years. Elvis had contractual obligations that had to be met, and being a young and still relatively inexperienced actor, his ascension to the ranks of bona fide leading man would come on the heels of popular, commercially successful vehicles like G.I. Blues and Blue Hawaii. In many ways, G.I. Blues was the right vehicle at the right time. The material was inoffensive, mildly topical and came to existence via the kind of first-rate production values typically representative of a Hal Wallis feature film. And with the appeal of a popular, talented leading lady, in the shape of Juliet Prowse, and a soundtrack that leant on traditional melodies and Bavarian themes, there’s much to like with regards to G.I. Blues, despite it feeling slightly lukewarm and probably showing its age as much at the time, as it does now. Paramount, however, was raising Elvis’s profile and ensuring him a vehicle that audiences would flock to, and with solid box office returns, the cache for Elvis to expand his horizons in Hollywood. What’s galling is that Elvis never used that cache to his advantage or came to appreciate the fact that a commercial triumph like G.I. Blues or Viva Las Vegas should have afforded him opportunity. Not merely financial, but creative. Especially when Tom Parker gave little consideration to quality material, merely seeking increased salaries and decreased production values sourced from producers pliable enough to make the kind of Presley vehicle that done little more than fit tab A into slot B. This is something that became increasingly apparent to everyone except Elvis, it seems. With columnists at the time, such as Hedda Hopper, noting Parker’s disregard for both quality and direction in Elvis’s career, instead, making his primary consideration the bottom line.

Elvis was a valuable asset to any studio or producer to whom he was contracted. Not least of all, Hal Wallis. And I like to give Wallis more than a fair degree of goodwill when it comes to Elvis, because he was a great producer who afforded him grade-A productions that may not have been representative of first-rate material, but were solid commercial offerings. It should be no surprise that Wallis used revenue from Elvis’s films to finance other projects, because that’s, quite simply, how films get made. Finance is sourced from various avenues and box office returns is one such area, especially for an independent producer, like Wallis. To make Becket, he co-produced with Paramount and found much success in doing so. It was a splendid film that deserved the critical plaudits that it found. If Elvis was unaware that money earned from the returns of his films was invested back into other films, then I really have to wonder how switched on he was. However, Elvis had his own remuneration of almost every film in which he starred, and if he was unhappy, the platform to establish his own production company or campaign for roles was present. If his aspirations were quashed at every turn by Parker, the only person culpable for not saying no was Elvis. But contracts were frequently signed during the sixties, especially when Parker came to the realisation that a more cheaply produced picture could result in greater profit participation. It’s documented that Hal Wallis came to the belief that audiences found the tougher image of Elvis most appealing and that both he and Parker negotiated to find Elvis dramatic roles, but couldn’t agree. But where was Elvis during all of this? And what was his stance?

G.I. Blues, it seems, is one of the projects in Elvis’s career that has come to polarise opinions and find a growing air of disdain among fans. It was certainly a step down from King Creole and Jailhouse Rock, but considering the necessity at the time in Hollywood for strong commercial projects, and Elvis’s own requirement to re-establish himself on film as well as on record, G.I. Blues must surely be considered a success. That Elvis’s career as an actor stumbled into the banal is a better reason for frustration, although G.I. Blues may be considered as a catalyst for what would follow. Even if it was a musical that relied on a little bit more than Elvis alone this was, regardless of that, the fourth big screen adaptation of Kenyon Nicholson/Charles Robinson’s 1933 play, Sailor Beware. And Elvis, as both a singer and an actor with more potential than G.I. Blues would suggest, thrived on original material. Lew Ayres, William Holden and Dean Martin had all been there before with this narrative, so Elvis was going to add little of his own. He does bring considerable charm to his performance and seems more comfortable than behind-the-scenes anecdotes would suggest, but one has to wonder if a less safe option would have proven pivotal for Elvis’s resurgent career in Hollywood. G.I. Blues earned $4.3 million at the North American box office, almost double its production costs. Can-Can earned around $100,000 less, but cost almost $5 million to produce. More was certainly expected of Can-Can, whilst G.I. Blues probably exceeded expectations, becoming Elvis’s highest earner since Love Me Tender and his fourth most successful picture of all-time at the North American box office. The soundtrack was a roaring commercial success also; surpassing Elvis is Back with regards to sales and chart performance. Whilst Flaming Star and Wild in the Country failed to measure up to G.I. Blues or any of Elvis’s pre-army films, despite the former making a profit and garnering Elvis’s best reviews since King Creole. Therefore, the necessity for popular, commercial vehicles was present and required for Elvis to maintain a high profile and find himself in demand. And as an actor, he was in demand until Parker priced him out of producer interest and showed complete contempt for his client’s growth, artistry and desire to enter into periods of true creativity. Doing so allowed Elvis to fall into a cycle of self-same vehicles the likes of which few major stars or leading actors are forced to endure. That Elvis couldn’t, wouldn’t or just didn’t emancipate himself and move in circles more becoming of his talent and potential is something fans, unfortunately, will always have to wrestle with.