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Did Elvis have a duty to perform overseas??

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:18 pm

Do Elvis fans throughout the world have the right to feel cheated that Elvis never performed outside the States? Except of course for the Canadian shows there was never any serious talk.

Elvis’ fifties touring seemed to follow a pattern as his fame and fan base spread. Memphis and the Southern States in 1954/55 then nationally in 1956. 1957 saw the Canadian and Hawaiian shows. Had he not been drafted could 1958/59 have seen an overseas tour?

When he returned to touring in 1970 he was the biggest entertainer in the world! An international tour was the obvious step, particularly after Aloha. The Aloha concert was not broadcast in the UK in 1973 as neither the BBC nor ITV could afford it and British fans had to wait until after Elvis died before they got to see it. There were the concert movies and the albums and this must have surely increased the clamour from the overseas fans. By the mid-late 70’s the demand must have reached fever pitch! Yet in March 1977 Elvis played to 6000 people at Austin, Texas, a State where he’d appeared hundreds of times throughout his career! It doesn’t make any sense either artistically or financially!

I know the reasons why he never toured have been discussed many times, but I wonder how the overseas fans felt at the time? If I was around at the time and couldn’t afford to just jump a flight to Vegas I would have felt pretty pissed off! :( :( :wink:

Did Elvis let his fans down or do fans have no right to demand such a thing as an overseas tour??

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:26 pm

Delboy -

Can't say I ever felt let down by his non-appearance in the UK.

It's just how it was !

And some US stars did their careers no good by visiting our shores, and went home with a lesser stature than when they arrived !

I'm thinking of people like Johnnie Ray, Bill Hayley and Jerry Lee Lewis.

Others found a greater popularity here than they enjoyed in the US !

Like Gene Vincent and Eddie Cochran.

Touring here was always a bit hit-and-miss for US stars.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:33 pm

I would find it hard to say Elvis let us over seas fans down, but he should have toured here in the UK, just because we have always been the most avid fans anywhere in the world. Just look how often his singles charted here compared to the USA back in the 70`s........and since.

Yep, the UK is the Elvis capital of the world.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 4:39 pm

Yes.

In the 70´s he was selling much more overseas than in the US. Besides that, the world tour could had save Elvis´life in a certain way.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 6:28 pm

A duty to perform overseas? Well he did perform his duty overseas. :wink:

No, i think had he have been contracted to do so and then failed to keep to the terms of the contract then he would have failed his duty to honour it, but that never came up.

Did Parker have a duty to look into Elvis performing overseas - Yes! I believe he did if only in the sense that managers duty is to perform themselves in the best interests of their client.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:07 pm

Then again the artist really needs to want to tour overseas, and whilst Parker was`nt keen for reasons we all now know, Elvis did`nt seem to fussed himself. And like i have said many times before down the years on this site, Elvis was the boss, he signed everything off, Parker was his employee. Elvis should have made it happen.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 7:23 pm

In a way, Elvis was obligated to.

Foreign fans kept buying every new record when US fans got fickle, caused Elvis an embarrasing plummet of ddomestic sales, because they opted for other bands and teen idols in the 60s and 70s.

Overseas fans and fan clubs were very loyal
and deserved a personal apperarance as a manner of saying thank you for all those millions of foreign currency spent to make Elvis and RCA and Colonel their millions.

And the paycheck was there had he done it.
There were bone fide $$$ offers to pay Elvis for a show
just one show we beg!
and there were many official invitations from London, Paris, Tokyo, etc. over the years.

The excuses for not going are ridiculous and even insulting.

Gee, by the time the the movie commitments are over,
and well, by the time the Colonel's back gets better,
well, there's an energy crisis. Gas and oil are skyhigh.
Maybe later folks.

France? Well, heck, Elvis, they won't even understand your singing.

Foreign customs inspections? Elvis, you and the boys carry guns and prescriptions. That would be messy, my boy.

Okay, Colonel, whatever you say.

Sorry no tour.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:26 pm

Ezz wrote:Then again the artist really needs to want to tour overseas, and whilst Parker was`nt keen for reasons we all now know, Elvis did`nt seem to fussed himself. And like i have said many times before down the years on this site, Elvis was the boss, he signed everything off, Parker was his employee. Elvis should have made it happen.


Why have you ?

Elvis wasn't the boss in the end - he was on equal terms with Parker, they ended up as a partnership.

But before that, yes, when Elvis was making dumb ass movies in the 60's he should have put his foot down and told Parker he was going to go to the UK where Carnaby Street was almost waiting in line in every psychadelic flower pattern of clothing you could imagine.

Oh, wait a sec - I think I see a flaw in that plan. Probably good thing he didn't go actually, his credibility might never have recovered in order to make the 68 special. Or did Elvis know that then and made the decision not to go for the right reasons ?

To all those fans overseas who bought the record - they paid their money and got the songs. There endeth the deal. Elvis shouldn't have felt obliged to go having given them what they already paid for.

Whilst the money was pouring in at a rate faster than Parker could count it - where was the incentie to go after more ?
Only in the latter years when Elvis blew hot and cold over any idea within a 5 minute period, where was the will for him to go never mind that the incentive was back financially?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:37 pm

Tom Parker was contacted by one Brazilian producer in 1974. This producer wanted to bring Elvis to play in the Maracana Stadium on Rio de Janeiro and in that time the stadium could support more than 190.000 people in their own seats. Surely it would have been the greatest concert that Brazil could ever have.
But as far as I know Colonel asked for millions and millions and that meant something almost impossible for that time...

Best Regards
Renan.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 8:46 pm

renan -

You wrote:
But as far as I know Colonel asked for millions and millions


That was just his way of saying "No" !

Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:02 pm

ColinB wrote:renan -

You wrote:
But as far as I know Colonel asked for millions and millions


That was just his way of saying "No" !


Exactly right.

Parker insisting on millions beyond comprehension = translates into =
no, sorry, won't happen, don't ask again.


Bishop: How much for Elvis to do a cameo on my tv show?
Parker: $2500 for a walk-on.
Bishop: Wow. Why so low?
Parker: It's $27,500 for Elvis to walk-off.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:38 pm

Im quite sure that in 1975, Lord Archer was invited to visit Col.Parker and Elvis to discuss a deal to get Elvis to play 2 Wembley shows for £500,000 a show but Parker turned him down.

Sean

Wed Jun 22, 2005 9:48 pm

Steve.......even in an "equal partnership" there is always a boss in business.......always. And Elvis and Parker were together for many years before the alleged 50/50 kicked in.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:00 pm

Sean Ryan wrote:Im quite sure that in 1975, Lord Archer was invited to visit Col.Parker and Elvis to discuss a deal to get Elvis to play 2 Wembley shows for £500,000 a show but Parker turned him down.


Is that Jeffrey Archer? Great story! Archer & Parker....partners in crime! :D

The above just makes the decisions to proceed with the backbreaking tours in 76/77 all the more illogical!

I also read that Parker turned down an invitation for Elvis to appear at the Royal Variety Performance in London before The Queen in 1962. When asked why, Parker said "Well do we know if The Queen really wants to meet Elvis? If she doesn't then we've no right to go!". That's a great get-out as he knows no-one's going to ask the Queen if she wants to meet The King! :D

Didn't he also turn down a Presidential show after demanding a fee? "Why Mr Parker, no-one gets paid to play for the President". Parker - "And no-one get's to see Elvis for free!"

I believe Elvis certainly had a moral obligation! Particularly considering how his overseas fans continued to support him throughout the leaner years.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 10:17 pm

Yeah Delboy,

It was Jeffrey Archer,

He went over there on his own and wanted to finance the deal himself.

He offered Parker £1million for two shows but Parker wanted £2million.
Parker said'If we need a million that bad we'll get back to you'.

You know what Delboy, That Parker was a right little plonker, :wink:

Sean

Wed Jun 22, 2005 11:16 pm

Ezz wrote:Steve.......even in an "equal partnership" there is always a boss in business.......always. And Elvis and Parker were together for many years before the alleged 50/50 kicked in.


Well there's not, not always.

But I did pick up on the before the alledged 50/50 thing and referred to the 60's as well.

As for the 50/50 thing it just wasn't true - Parker was getting far more overall than Elvis.

Look at the stuff above, whether in the "stories" or the Parker quotes - Where did Elvis have this so called say as the Boss ?
Where did Elvis' voice get placed in the Bishop quote ?

Where did Elvis' voice get placed in the text of the Rio deal ?

And all along the question was did Elvis have a duty ?

If I wrote a book and it sold a few million copies in the US and everyone got a copy of the book and everyone paid for it, why should I feel obliged or feel that I have a duty to go over there on the back of that and give more of my time ?

Wed Jun 22, 2005 11:42 pm

I don't feel Elvis had a "duty" to perform overseas. It would have been nice, but I don't feel he had a "duty". No artist has the "duty" to perform in any paticular location. The only duty a recording artist has is to honor the terms of their recording contract. I've talked to quite a few stars(particularly from country music) in my 30 plus years in radio broadcasting and none of them ever mentioned being obligated to tour in any certain place. In fact many of them have told me they wouldn't tour at all if it were possible. Touring is hard work. It's exhausting. It's not glamorous. Touring domestically is a pain. Touring overseas with all the extra stuff to worry about can be a nightmare.

Wed Jun 22, 2005 11:47 pm

At the very least I feel that Elvis did owe the fiercely loyal U.K. fans a tour of some type.

Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:17 am

I,ve never held that against Elvis but it would have done him the world of good if he sorted out his health problems and did a tour of Europe.He would have got such a kick out of our love for him it would have given him a new lease of life.
Elvis got bored with doing the same old tours in the US and Elvis always needed a new challange.

I know he never liked performing out doors but he could have done a two-month stint at the Albert Hall.That would have been something.

Parker kept him at Las Vegas cause Parker was a gambling addict and apparently owed the casinos millions.

Parker was good for Elvis at the start of his career but he should have got rid of him in the 70's and took control of his music career.If only........ :cry:

Sean

Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:35 am

Pete Dube wrote:At the very least I feel that Elvis did owe the fiercely loyal U.K. fans a tour of some type.


Pete, why ?

The loyal UK fans paid more money out and got more records in return, or whatever Elvis commodity they were buying.

Why did Elvis owe the UK fans more ?

Sure, it would have been nice if.......

It would be nice if I win the lottery, but I don't feel anyone owes me the money if I don't.

Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:46 am

Yeah but most Elvis fans regard Elvis and his music, just a little bit more than just "commodities".

Thu Jun 23, 2005 12:57 am

Absolutely, I think we all do, maybe more now than ever before.

But why should Elvis ?

Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:05 am

Hmm..............lets see.................Elvis should have toured overseas for no other reason than to get away from Parkers close influence !

Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:12 am

I'll buy into that.

So definitley no duty to perform for the fans - but he did have a duty to himself.

Thu Jun 23, 2005 1:28 am

Steve_M wrote:But why should Elvis ?

Steve,

Artists shouldn't be thinking 'commodities' and 'units'. That's a management job.

It's perhaps true that no artist can be obligated to tour, but, as I said in the first post, in March 1977 Elvis was playing to crowds of 6000-8000 in cities he'd played countless times before, when there's several million fans waiting for that once in a lifetime opportunity with millions of dollars on the table.

His management had a business obligation with their client, and by Elvis playing venues of that size when those offers are out there, is pretty much insulting his overseas fans!