All posts with more than 3000 Hits, prior to 2008

The few months after Aloha.

Tue Aug 29, 2006 4:47 am

Lately I have been thinking about a phase in EP's life that I haven't seen discussed too much in the past, and that's the 6-7 months after Aloha. I feel that it is like a "forgotten" zone. To me, it seems that he hit an all time low from the time of the Aloha aftermath. A winter Vegas-season plagued by illness and sore throat via a good tour to his Tahoe-engagement in may at which he cancelled several shows. Reportedly due to his medical overuse. Then another good tour that supposedly ended in a major overdose in Atlanta after which he almost died, through to his horrible studio dates at Stax in July. I have to admit that he sounded totally out of everything during those sessions. I came to think of how vast the difference is between Jan 14 and late July the same year. He gained weight almost at record speed. That period must have been really tough on him.

Of course, the rest of 1973, at least up until the next Stax sessions in mid-December, that is; wasn't that good for him, with the Vegas stand and it's bizarre ending, via the cough-sirup incident, the divorce settlement and the subsequent massive overdose once again that hospitalized him.

But I wonder what went on behind the curtains those six months after Aloha. He had the whole world in his hands, he had conquered the entire world with his satellite program, but instead of seizing it all it seemed to go straight down the drain instead. Why?

Tue Aug 29, 2006 5:33 am

1. He threw away his marriage and was depressed. After his wife and daughter left in 1972, this hit him really hard.

2. He drug dependence was escalating. His depression fed this cycle.

3. He was becoming bored with performing live--performances were becoming pefunctory and workmanlike. Whereas during 68-70 his peformances burned with a genuine passion, his Aloha peformance, while praised by some, is for the most part a lackluster affair. His strained and thin voice a mere ghost of of his stunning peformances only 2 years earlier.

I think the main issue was the loss of his family unit and the guilty realization that he had sabotaged it.

Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:06 am

monkboughtlunch wrote:His strained and thin voice a mere ghost of of his stunning peformances only 2 years earlier.


You know, I wasn thinking the exact same thing during American Trilogy. :wink:

Tue Aug 29, 2006 7:17 am

Larry Dickman wrote:
monkboughtlunch wrote:His strained and thin voice a mere ghost of of his stunning peformances only 2 years earlier.


You know, I wasn thinking the exact same thing during American Trilogy. :wink:


yeah Monk, im afraid that observation was not your best moment! nice try tho.

Re: The few months after Aloha.

Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:07 am

FVH wrote:... another good tour that supposedly ended in a major overdose in Atlanta ... horrible studio dates at Stax in July ... how vast the difference is between Jan 14 and late July the same year. He gained weight almost at record speed ... rest of 1973, at least up until the next Stax sessions in mid-December, that is; wasn't that good for him, with the Vegas stand and it's bizarre ending, via the cough-sirup incident ... he had conquered the entire world with his satellite program, but instead of seizing it all it seemed to go straight down the drain instead. Why?

Phew.

You have several facts wrong -- the near-fatality was apparently after the show in St. Louis on 6/28, although he made his Atlanta gig the very next evening. The July Stax sessions were not a complete mess, just defined throughout by Elvis' evident depression. "I Got A Thing About You, Baby," "Just A Little Bit" and "For Ol' Times Sake" are decent recordings from that week. If "Raised On Rock" didn't have inappropriate lyrics, it would be considered a later-period Elvis classic.

He gained weight, but not so much that he looked terrible, it was just a contrast from how much he lost for the "Aloha" tapings. The disturbing "cough syrup" incident is known to have occurred during the May Tahoe stand.

The reasons for this sad decline have been broached many times on this MB, with the smart money on Elvis' mixed feelings about his impending divorce coupled with growing depression and a subsequent over-reliance on prescription drugs.

Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:19 am

monkboughtlunch wrote:1. He threw away his marriage and was depressed. After his wife and daughter left in 1972, this hit him really hard.

2. He drug dependence was escalating. His depression fed this cycle.

3. He was becoming bored with performing live--performances were becoming pefunctory and workmanlike. Whereas during 68-70 his peformances burned with a genuine passion, his Aloha peformance, while praised by some, is for the most part a lackluster affair. His strained and thin voice a mere ghost of of his stunning peformances only 2 years earlier.

I think the main issue was the loss of his family unit and the guilty realization that he had sabotaged it.


That's it.

Tue Aug 29, 2006 11:46 am

Hindsight is a wonderful thing but the period after Aloha should have been one where Elvis took on a world or at least a European tour this would have got his juices flowing once more over a new challenge and we know how he rose to new challenges and it could/would have took his mind off his divorce, instead of doing the usual now boring Vegas/tour syndrome.

Does anyone have any more detail regarding the near fatality after St Louis 28/6/73?

Re: The few months after Aloha.

Tue Aug 29, 2006 12:21 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
FVH wrote:... another good tour that supposedly ended in a major overdose in Atlanta ... horrible studio dates at Stax in July ... how vast the difference is between Jan 14 and late July the same year. He gained weight almost at record speed ... rest of 1973, at least up until the next Stax sessions in mid-December, that is; wasn't that good for him, with the Vegas stand and it's bizarre ending, via the cough-sirup incident ... he had conquered the entire world with his satellite program, but instead of seizing it all it seemed to go straight down the drain instead. Why?

Phew.

You have several facts wrong -- the near-fatality was apparently after the show in St. Louis on 6/28, although he made his Atlanta gig the very next evening. The July Stax sessions were not a complete mess, just defined throughout by Elvis' evident depression. "I Got A Thing About You, Baby," "Just A Little Bit" and "For Ol' Times Sake" are decent recordings from that week. If "Raised On Rock" didn't have inappropriate lyrics, it would be considered a later-period Elvis classic.

He gained weight, but not so much that he looked terrible, it was just a contrast from how much he lost for the "Aloha" tapings. The disturbing "cough syrup" incident is known to have occurred during the May Tahoe stand.

The reasons for this sad decline have been broached many times on this MB, with the smart money on Elvis' mixed feelings about his impending divorce coupled with growing depression and a subsequent over-reliance on prescription drugs.


I remember to have read, however not where, that the near-fatality happened after the final Atlanta show on 7/3. I have never read anything about the St. Louis incident. That does not mean that you're not right, of course.

Regarding the Stax-sessions I was mostly referring to the studio banter we have available, and I disagree with you on the matter of both I've Got A Thing and Just A Little Bit. While being very nice songs, there is no effort from him and ,to me, his voice seems funny and a little out of control. I think For Ol' Times Sake is the only standout.

I always though that the cough-syrup thing happened just after his Vegas-engagement later that year.

Sorry for the factual errors.

Tue Aug 29, 2006 2:22 pm

I thought the cough syrup overdoese happened in Tahoe in '71??


:? :? :?

Tue Aug 29, 2006 3:44 pm

It was a very rough time in our guy's life, everybody has pointed out the different reasons. I truly believe the reality of the pending divorce hit home, thus depression set in, not to mention shortage of money, which in turn lead into the infamous 5 million dollar sale to RCA, all the while performing a ton of concerts. What started off as a banner year, turned into a nightmare.

Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:04 pm

Joe Car wrote:It was a very rough time in our guy's life, everybody has pointed out the different reasons.

Indeed.

However, thankfully, it didn't carry over to the stage. We have some very good performances to listen to from the April and June tours. Being in front of his fans was more than likely the only time he enjoyed himself during this period (or many others for that matter).

Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:22 pm

He had been slippin' for a while when he did Aloha, however he did rise to that challenge and made some beautiful renditions of American Troilog, What now my love and Big hunk - he wasn't himself though. His depression started earlier than that, probably caused by abuse, heritage and to some extent his family situation. Someone should have helped him there (before Aloha), but noeone seemed able to. Yes, he had his moments, but things were downhill after Vegas January 1972. If not for Aloha, it would probably have been evident sooner than it was. Nobody can manage a life and a career with the problems Elvis had. His medication problems were evident by the end of 1970 for those close to him, but his real problems started in the beginning of 1972 or maybe even in the fall of 1971. He was never 100 percent after that.

Tue Aug 29, 2006 8:56 pm

Rob wrote:However, thankfully, it didn't carry over to the stage.

Rob, surely you jest. After September 3, Elvis did not play live until January 26, 1974, a gap of nearly five months.

And that September closing show in Vegas certainly was affected by his health problems, not to mention several in February and much of the blown Tahoe engagement in May. The FECC site offers a detailed look at those inconsistent-at-best Tahoe gigs.

1973 was tough for our hero, and his fans. And I'm not even talking about "Mr. Songman" or "Love Song Of The Year."

Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:20 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Rob wrote:However, thankfully, it didn't carry over to the stage.

Rob, surely you jest. After September 3, Elvis did not play live until January 26, 1974, a gap of nearly five months.

And that September closing show in Vegas certainly was affected by his health problems, not to mention several in February and much of the blown Tahoe engagement in May. The FECC site offers a detailed look at those inconsistent-at-best Tahoe gigs.

1973 was tough for our hero, and his fans. And I'm not even talking about "Mr. Songman" or "Love Song Of The Year."


Lovesong Of The Year is actually one of my top ten favorites. Well sung, nice arrangement; especially that beautiful solo violin, and the outstanding piano work by Per Erik Hallin that in my opinion surpasses anything heard pianowise before from an EP recording. Indeed, Hallins work ups the songs by several notches.

Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:38 pm

FVH wrote:Lovesong Of The Year is actually one of my top ten favorites.

Wow! From the scores of classic recordings, that makes your top ten.

Don't worry, I won't hold it against you. There's not much of a chance I'll take your advice on buying CDs by Elvis, or anyone else, however.

Tue Aug 29, 2006 9:44 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Rob wrote:However, thankfully, it didn't carry over to the stage.

Rob, surely you jest. After September 3, Elvis did not play live until January 26, 1974, a gap of nearly five months.

And that September closing show in Vegas certainly was affected by his health problems, not to mention several in February and much of the blown Tahoe engagement in May. The FECC site offers a detailed look at those inconsistent-at-best Tahoe gigs.

1973 was tough for our hero, and his fans. And I'm not even talking about "Mr. Songman" or "Love Song Of The Year."


Indeed, it was the year he died. Remember, doc?

Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:04 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
FVH wrote:Lovesong Of The Year is actually one of my top ten favorites.

Wow! From the scores of classic recordings, that makes your top ten.

Don't worry, I won't hold it against you. There's not much of a chance I'll take your advice on buying CDs by Elvis, or anyone else, however.


Tongue-in-cheekly; I'm surprised that a fan of your stature would even need advice on which EP-CD's to buy... :lol:
Especially since I've followed my own advice in that regard ever since I was old enough to make a living some 25 years ago: Buy each and every EP CD that hits the street, well, apart from the "Greatest Hits" and repackaged ones. That's why I never reply when someone here asks which one out of three FTD's they should buy, as my advice always would be buy all three.
But, yes, if I had to make it with a CD containg only ten of Elvis' recordings Lovesong would definately be on it.

Tue Aug 29, 2006 10:15 pm

I know Elvis went from Aloha to Vegas with only a couple of weeks off, but I don't know how long the Vegas engagement was for.

In hindsight it seems like with all that was going on and from the pressure of Aloha that he should have shut it down for about six months to get himself relaxed, in shape and together.

Wed Aug 30, 2006 3:16 am

3577 wrote:Indeed, it was the year he died. Remember, doc?

http://www.elvis-collectors.com/forum/v ... hp?t=24737

Wed Aug 30, 2006 8:31 am

Doc, don't slander him on liking 'Love song of the year', and making his top 10. I quite like the song, even if it is a more lacklustre effort. It is still very sincerely performed, hell i'll admit it, one of my fave songs was from the mentioned July Stax sessions, 'Girl of mine'. Everyones got their own opinion, some may like 'Ito eats' or 'Song of the shrimp'. Each to his/her own.

Wed Aug 30, 2006 10:58 am

Scott Haigh 781990EP wrote:Doc, don't slander him on liking 'Love song of the year', and making his top 10. I quite like the song, even if it is a more lacklustre effort. It is still very sincerely performed, hell i'll admit it, one of my fave songs was from the mentioned July Stax sessions, 'Girl of mine'. Everyones got their own opinion, some may like 'Ito eats' or 'Song of the shrimp'. Each to his/her own.



Its hard to understand for someone to have youre own opinion. Its arrogance. Let him. Its OK.

And indeed, the song isnt that bad.

Wed Aug 30, 2006 6:44 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Rob wrote:However, thankfully, it didn't carry over to the stage.

Rob, surely you jest.

You know me well enough to know that I never jest.
I was strictly referring to the shows during the April and June tours only. By the way, I have always liked Mr. Songman very much.

Wed Aug 30, 2006 9:51 pm

It's funny...whenever I put in the Aloha show DVD...my excitement for the show always tapers off after "Burning Love"...I usually then go to "Johnny B" then a couple ballads here and there but never turn it off without watching "Big Hunk O'Love". As everyone's been saying...the Elvis in that show isn't the Elvis that we know.

It's a shame that the show was indeed mediocre considering how much weight it carried.

Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:03 am

Scott Haigh 781990EP wrote:Doc, don't slander him on liking 'Love song of the year', and making his top 10.

You need to look up the definition of "slander," as you misuse it.

A statement of fact is not "slander," it's reality, something too many of you here have a great deal of trouble accepting.

"Love Song Of The Year" isn't even in the "top 200" of songs recorded by Elvis.

And that's the way it is.

Thu Aug 31, 2006 12:25 am

Wow! From the scores of classic recordings, that makes your top ten.

Don't worry, I won't hold it against you. There's not much of a chance I'll take your advice on buying CDs by Elvis, or anyone else, however.



A statement of fact is not "slander," it's reality, something too many of you here have a great deal of trouble accepting.

"Love Song Of The Year" isn't even in the "top 200" of songs recorded by Elvis.

And that's the way it is.



It's HIS Top Ten...not YOUR top ten, not Rolling Stone magazine's Top Ten, not Billboard's Top Ten, not FECC's Top Ten or your barber's Top Ten...why should you care if a song you dislike is someone else's favorite?

We know of the gaggles of songs that come before "Love Song of The Year" we don't need anyone showing off their memory skills and naming what song is so called better purely by mouthing off record sales stats and that garbage. It's his business.

We can probably expect a reply with that stupid 'phase of crap' article again.