All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:09 am

I recall that the '77 TV Special was a huge reminder that Elvis was a sick man at the end, especially since so many had dug out old records from the '50s (litterally in my house) and bought new ones and so had a kind of fuzzy, nostalgia-induced image of who he was at the end. And in New York, there was a lot of use of the '72 press conference photos and footage, nevermind the '50s shots, so it was enough to make me forget how it had actually been at the end.

But watching that Special was a mind-blower. On one hand, it was great, and on the other hand, it was terribly sad. Mainly because there was a heroism to his performance, as sick as he was. Overaching was a stark, still-shocking feeling that autumn that "Elvis was dead."
Last edited by Gregory Nolan Jr. on Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:32 am

Greg, your comment about pre 08/16/77 and post was insightful and is one of the reasons I read the posts on this forum.
I often recollect Elvis events as to what I was feeling before vs after his death, and I do the same in my own life when thinking of my parents; I just didn't realize that I consciously do so until I noticed it in your post.

As I recall, my world as a young teen around '74-77 was naieve yet exciting ... it was a mix of Elvis biographical radio shows, oldies stations, catching an Elvis flick on tv, or listening to older friend's describing a concert.
Thats right, even in 1976, it was cool for teens to jump the border and catch the King in Niagara Falls or Buffalo. I distinctly remember an older girl I had a crush on describing the previous night's concert as "amazing" ... maybe we all had blinders on back then, but Elvis Live was an event.

One of the first Aug.16 quotes I heard was someone describing the event as "it's like there's no longer cheeseburgers in the world". An innocent comment, intended to show that Elvis was a fun, innocent American institution before his life was disected to the nth degree. With death at age 42 from an annouced heart attack, I think many people instantly sensed their own mortality.
So, pre Aug 16, Elvis was fun, cool, hip, approachable via concerts, still a magical experience to be a part of.

We now know more about the man, but the magic and definitely the mystery often eludes me since his death. I'm just thankful for the artistic legacy, for the soap opera gossip won't stand the test of time.

Being a fan was far more exciting for me pre '77, even though the music catalogue was comparatively small.

Sat Jul 02, 2005 7:43 am

TCB TED wrote:One of the first Aug.16 quotes I heard was someone describing the event as "it's like there's no longer cheeseburgers in the world"

The original quote is from Roy Orbison. It may've been published in the 1977 issue of "Rolling Stone" dedicated to Elvis.


Sat Jul 02, 2005 8:05 am

I had the honour to see Roy live on 5 occasions in the eighties. Probably the humblest, most sincere person I've ever met. He seemed genuinely surprised at the crowd's enthusiasm, even though he heard it every night.

He always introduced "Hound Dog Man" as a song about a very good friend.
Such a talent, ignored in the seventies, and then he accomplished a truly epic comeback with the Mystery Girl album and The Travelling Wilburys. Just a shame he only briefly revelled in the applause prior to his death in '89.

Once Elvis was gone, I tried to see his contemporaries perform, as I knew it was only a matter of time.
I saw Rick Nelson perform often, even having tickets to a show he couldn't get to, a few days after his death at the end of '85. I loved hearing his Stone Canyon band, led by Bob Neal on guitar, nailing "Fools Rush In".
Like Roy Orbison, on every concert I saw of Rick's, he gave the same intro as Roy, saying "here's a song a really good friend of mine did", and then doing a really fast, rockabilly "That's All Right".

Roy had the voice, doing reprises on the big hits, just like Elvis. Rick had a little bit of Elvis' magic, the charisma. All three went far before their time.

Sat Jul 02, 2005 8:28 am

I remember pre-77 seeing press clippings of Elvis, and knowing that he was not in the best shape physically. I particularly remember one that had incensed me, a profile view of Elvis on stage, full length. The caption to the photo was "The King Of Roll", and the writer went on to savage Elvis with the same old "Fat and 40" tripe. Oddly, by the end of the article there was nothing but praise for the power and resonance of his voice.

That being said, however, I don't believe the vast majority of fans had any inkling of how much his health had degenerated. I remember the news flashes and press clippings of his ever-more-frequent hospitalizations, but the diagnosis of his ailments was never framed as anything life-threatening, and the prognosis was always rosy.

I recall the issue of his weight being brought up to Dr Nick in the fall of '76 I believe, and as near as I can recall the response was " Junk food has plenty of nutrition in it, it's just that Elvis eats so much of it. But we've got him on an exercise regimen and he's going to be in great shape". Just a little typical middle-age battle with an expanding waistline.....nothing more.

So while I knew that Elvis was overweight, and that he had health problems, the image of him as a "shy,humble country boy", a teetotaler, a crusading anti-drug activist of sorts, was still firmly implanted in my psyche. And all these reports about his weight and health were still being filtered through that image. So I was unconcerned about the state of his health the summer of '77. Which of course made 8/16/77 all the more jarring.

One odd point June or July of 1977 ( I remember it as being BEFORE I had heard 'Way Down" played on the radio), I clearly remember being in the living room of our home in Connecticut. Mom and Dad were away at an event of some sort, and I was using the opportunity to play my Elvis records on the good stereo with the BIG speakers.

I was thumbing through my Elvis scrapbook and picking out the order of the records I wanted to play, when I came across the original 1956 studio photo of Elvis that my mom had kept pasted to her rollerskate case ( and which she had given to me for my scrapbook) .

I sat there, playing the records, contemplating that pic and my press clippings in my scrapbook........when I had the thought cross my mind VERY forcefully that I had better prepare myself for Elvis' death. Now, this was not a random passing thought that just blew across my consciousness. It came with such force that it shocked me, and I remember being taken aback since this eventuality had never occurred to me before.

Well, I dismissed the thought, though I admit it bothered me for several days. That was the summer of his death, and that fleeting and quickly dismissed thought came flooding back to me as I sat at the kitchen table,looking into the living room at the TV. I don't even remember what program Mom was watching in there, possibly a soap, when the broadcast was interrupted.

"This is Morton Dean with a CBS NewsBreak. Singer Elvis dead."

Sat Jul 02, 2005 8:55 am

As great as Elvis was, I suppose folks forgot he was just another human being who was born to die. Of course, as we all know now as we age ( if we didn't then), 42 is nothing but too soon.
Last edited by Gregory Nolan Jr. on Fri Jul 08, 2005 8:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Sat Jul 02, 2005 9:46 am

Thanks for that never knows :shock:

Sat Jul 02, 2005 10:41 am

Great thread! I was 8 when Elvis died, and that day I´ll never forget, the newspaper on the kitchen table, and first I just saw the big photo of Elvis on the frontpage, "Great, it´s Elvis!" But then I saw the headline, and my mother was crying... "Elvis is dead". Then I remember the "fat jokes" in school, "Elvis died on the toilet".... TV showing a lot of Elvis films... And after a while the feeling that it was the end of something, the world had changed.

My uncle lived in the States (Chicago-area) for a few years in the mid-70´s, had some friends who were Elvis-fans, and went with them to a concert in Chicago in May 1977. A few years ago I asked him about his experience, not just the concert itself.

(As a child I idolized my uncle for having seen Elvis live and constantly asked him about the show, what songs Elvis had sung, etc)

- Did he think Elvis looked ill or just a bit overweight? What did other fans think about his appearance? It´s long ago now, and since my uncle wasn´t really a fan himself, he doesn´t remember all the details, but what he did remember was that after the show he went with some fans to a bar and there was a lot of talk about (and concern for) EP´s health problems, and that there was talk of drug and/or alcohol abuse... I found that very interesting.

Sun Jul 03, 2005 4:34 pm

I’ll always remember reading reports of Elvis’ later shows in the old ‘Elvis Monthly’ magazines.

Many fans would say that Elvis looked great, but was just a little bloated around the stomach, and when you watch some of the fan shot super 8 footage from this period, you get the idea that this is the way he would have looked if you were sat in the middle of a packed auditorium.

The reports of the shows themselves were often over enthusiastic, but who wouldn’t be if they’d just realised one of their dreams and got to see Elvis Presley in concert. Certainly what was written in these fan magazines was much more positive than the stories that the tabloids were writing, and it goes without saying that the fan accounts were the ones that I believed in at the time.

It’s also worth noting that back in those days, if we could get our hands on a recording of one of these shows, it was taped in the audience, so any mistakes or mumbled dialogue was drowned out by the screams and applause that were also picked up on the tape, giving a real sense of occasion and excitement to what we would now rate as an ordinary or poor performance.

Now we probably have more soundboards from the summer of 1976 than is healthy, and it’s generally acknowledged that this period, whilst not without its moments, was not a particularly good one for Elvis. However, listening to audience recordings and reading fans reports from the time, you could easily come away with a distinctly different impression.

Myself and many other members of the board have often pointed out that Elvis never really recaptured the consistency that he had shown during 1969 or 1970 on the later tours, but this is all done with the benefit of hindsight, access to countless recordings and the some excellent books on the subject.

I’m sure that for those that actually attended the later shows the magic was still very much in evidence.

Tue Jul 05, 2005 5:37 pm

"rockinrebel" wrote:
...Now we probably have more soundboards from the summer of 1976 than is healthy, and it’s generally acknowledged that this period, whilst not without its moments, was not a particularly good one for Elvis. However, listening to audience recordings and reading fans reports from the time, you could easily come away with a distinctly different impression...

And "bully" for that. I for one will never blame Ernst for letting "Tuscon '76" and other such FTD releases onto the market. ( I know some take it rather hard.)

Surely, the glow of even "Aloha" surely made fans still think he was the same performer of what was (after all) just three years prior!
What a tranformation, in reality!

Wed Jul 06, 2005 3:04 pm

"Posts: 68

Posted: Wed Jun 29, 2005 6:22 pm Post subject:


"Granted that Elvis OK'd the special, Genesim, but it doesn't appear that he was in a clear state of mind by 1977. I don't think that the Elvis would have approved the special if he was in a similar frame of mind as he was in 1970 (for example). "

Or perhaps he just needed the money. He didn´t have that much money the day he died.

Regards Björn