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colonel parker about the overweight elvis ?

Tue Oct 24, 2006 9:57 pm

hello all

question for "elvis' historians", what was the opinion of the colonel parker about elvis' heath problems ( especially in the late 70's ) ?

Tue Oct 24, 2006 10:32 pm

He didn't care.

Parker once said: ''Just long as he can keep doing the dates, we don't have to worry. He'll get himself back together again.''

Another ''heartbreaking'' quote from Parker may 1977: '' The only thing that's important is that he's on stage tonight! Nothing else matters.

Parker wasn't from the human kind. May he burn in hell.''

Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:01 pm

Those quotes have never been proven though. More than once The Colonel approached Elvis about his weight and health and his behavior and Elvis told him to mind his own business.

In late 1973 Dr. Nick went to the Colonel and asked him if he could lessen each of Elvis' las Vegas Engagements and The Colonel agreed.

The Colonel was was not gonna be able to get Elvis to stop abusing himself.

Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:24 pm

Me wrote:The Colonel was was not gonna be able to get Elvis to stop abusing himself.


Correct.

Elvis berated everyone who confronted him over his health and drug addiction -- friends, girlfriends, The Colonel and even his own father.

Tue Oct 24, 2006 11:41 pm

Not to take up for Parker, but it's certainly understandable that, at the time, the weight problem was viewed as a temporary problem. We're basically talking 74-77, and there were fluctuations during this period. Elvis was mildly beefy in Jan./Feb. '74, but then looked a bit fitter (albeit not Aloha lean) in March-June 74. He started showing a little paunch in August '74, then came the October tour, which was the real beginning of the paunchy Elvis.

In March '75 he resumed concerts in Vegas looking even heavier than he'd been in October (although he does sound refreshed from the 5 month lay-off). He dropped quite a bit of weight for the May/June tour, gained a little back in July, gained some more in August. When he resumed live work in December he was about as heavy as he'd been in August.

Then came '76, and his weight was a problem. He was heavier than ever for the spring and summer tours, and while there were some at best mild fluctuations, he stayed heavy overall during this period. But then, in the fall he lost quite a bit of weight. Not lean, but not really heavy enough to be considered fat.

His weight went back up for the Feb. '77 tour, went down somewhat in March and April, then went back up and stayed up.

The point of all of this is to show that, at the time there were enough fluctuations in Elvis' weight to at least give hope that he would (and potentially still could) get serious about getting back in reasonable shape . Although when Parker saw the shape Elvis showed up in for the Feb. '77 tour even he must have thought "what the f*%k," particularly after the hope-giving Dec. '76 tour.

Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:07 am

Cryogenic wrote:
Me wrote:The Colonel was was not gonna be able to get Elvis to stop abusing himself.


Correct.

Elvis berated everyone who confronted him over his health and drug addiction -- friends, girlfriends, The Colonel and even his own father.


When Elvis stopped listening to the Colonel, the Colonel should have done the right thing and stepped down as his manager. Of course it was Elvis' responsibility to get straightened out, but it was also up to the Colonel to get through to his client which he couldn't do any longer. A managerial change could have been the wakeup call Elvis needed, I'm talking 1974, not 1977. Lets put it this way, it couldn't have hurt. Instead, he robbed him blind and continued to do so years after his "boy's"death.

Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:18 am

It's entirely possible that The Colonel didn't know how severe his problem really was. Though two near-death experiences before the fatal one should have clued him in. I don't know. There are things we know, and things we don't.

Wed Oct 25, 2006 1:29 am

if everyone around Elvis, especiialy the colonel said "if you wanna keep on abusing yourslef go right ahead but we won't help and facilitate you any more" then elvis would have had to arrange everything himself. i doubt elvis would have handled negotiating, planning and going ahead with the touring and neglecting himself and his health much longer. he would probably be sent right down into a dark abyss and be overwhelmed with a feeling that everyone had abandoned him. this could off course have ended his life even earlier. but if his friends was there for him on a personal level but denied to do anything involving his carreer or money earning business, i think elvis would have gone through a long hiatus and had come back a new person. in short, if all the yes people who was afraid to say no to the biggest star and not think of themselves and fear whatever personal losses each of them would have had to deal with and instead in unison turned into NO people i think things would have had a different outcome. yes, Elvis is the one to blame. but all the so called friends and other people around simply were cowards and gutless petty people who feared loosing their jobs and whatever other good stuff they got being around elvis and cared more for the circus to carry on than elvis health and life

Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:06 am

rezident wrote:if everyone around Elvis, especiialy the colonel said "if you wanna keep on abusing yourslef go right ahead but we won't help and facilitate you any more" then elvis would have had to arrange everything himself. i doubt elvis would have handled negotiating, planning and going ahead with the touring and neglecting himself and his health much longer. he would probably be sent right down into a dark abyss and be overwhelmed with a feeling that everyone had abandoned him. this could off course have ended his life even earlier. but if his friends was there for him on a personal level but denied to do anything involving his carreer or money earning business, i think elvis would have gone through a long hiatus and had come back a new person. in short, if all the yes people who was afraid to say no to the biggest star and not think of themselves and fear whatever personal losses each of them would have had to deal with and instead in unison turned into NO people i think things would have had a different outcome. yes, Elvis is the one to blame. but all the so called friends and other people around simply were cowards and gutless petty people who feared loosing their jobs and whatever other good stuff they got being around elvis and cared more for the circus to carry on than elvis health and life


Elvis didn't pay attention to the ones that warned him about the path his life was taking. He even sacked the ones who dared to show him the damage he was doing to himself. So basically what they could do was to either leave or keep being the "yes" men. And maybe was even better so, because if everyboy had abandoned him, as you have pointed before, the sad end would have come even earlier.

Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:37 am

March 21st 1977:

Elvis is due to leave tonight by plane for the first show tomorrow of the new tour.
His cousin, Billy Smith, has trouble rousing Elvis and he calls Doctor Nick.
Elvis is down because Ginger won't leave with him on this tour.
Instead of calling for an ambulance or booking Elvis into hospital, Doctor Nick decides to put Elvis on IV and get him to the plane so that he can be wheeled out in front of each audience.


Hmm....is that the standard practice for that time in the states?

Guralnicks' Careless Love:
Dr. Nick’s nurse, Tish, states of Elvis’s condition, “If he was my son, I’d have him in the hospital.” “Well, do what you can…” Vernon replies. Elvis rides to the airport slumped with his hat over his eyes and IV’s sticking out all over the place. He gets on the plane groggy and slurring his words.

Col Parker: "all that matters is that he gets on that stage"

Wed Oct 25, 2006 10:47 am

Though my disdain for that fat carny bastard is nearly boundless, you can't blame him for Elvis' condition. He talked to Elvis, and Elvis basically told him to get bent..........just like he did to everyone else.

Wed Oct 25, 2006 11:55 am

but what if EVERYONE around elvis in unison said no at once. what would elvis have done then? booked, negotiated and went on the road alone? hired a bunch of new people? would the latter have worked? elvis bad sides and problems were known by his inner circle of friends/employees. keeping everything hidden from a whole bunch of new people who had no previous experience with elvis and his moods and lifestyle wouldnt have worked. the people around him was there to aid elvis continue his spiral downwards and worked as a buffer against the outside world. that would have been totally gone had they all said NO MORE and left

re

Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:11 pm

rezident your post reminds me the kidnap story planned by some of his bodyguards :!: anyone knows the full story ?

re

Wed Oct 25, 2006 12:20 pm

i opened the topic because i saw the bbc documentary about the colonel's life and there was this man Mr Davis ( maybe one of the best friends of the colonel ? ) from morris agency who said that the colonel didn t like elvis becoming fat and threatened EP to quit him but E disagree. According to Mr Davis, Parker remained and did the famous 50/50 agreement.

Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:14 pm

I think the "yes" men angle is a little played up too much in terms of Elvis' health and weight. How many of us flat out challenge our friends about their deficits in appearance, bad habits. Maybe we may needle them but we don't up and leave them. The MM should have challenged Elvis more on his abusive behavior but really Elvis' weight and drug habits were his own business. I don't necessarily think the MM should have told an overweight Elvis that he looked "great" in a tight jumpsuit but to get on him about straightening out his ways could definitely be seen as overstepping.

Pete's point about the fluctuation in weight is a good one. It's also fair to note that when you're with a person frequently weight gain loss/often is less noticeable.

Plus, it's not like drug abuse/rehab was as widely accepted in the 1970s as it is now. If someone would have told the MM to have an intervention in 1976 would have probably inspired quizzical looks.

Wed Oct 25, 2006 2:26 pm

likethebike wrote:I think the "yes" men angle is a little played up too much in terms of Elvis' health and weight. How many of us flat out challenge our friends about their deficits in appearance, bad habits. Maybe we may needle them but we don't up and leave them. The MM should have challenged Elvis more on his abusive behavior but really Elvis' weight and drug habits were his own business. I don't necessarily think the MM should have told an overweight Elvis that he looked "great" in a tight jumpsuit but to get on him about straightening out his ways could definitely be seen as overstepping.

Pete's point about the fluctuation in weight is a good one. It's also fair to note that when you're with a person frequently weight gain loss/often is less noticeable.

Plus, it's not like drug abuse/rehab was as widely accepted in the 1970s as it is now. If someone would have told the MM to have an intervention in 1976 would have probably inspired quizzical looks.


Hi bike, how you doing? great post btw. I think some people on this site don't realize how it was back then, especially the younger guys. You didn't get heralded to rehab as you do nowadays, now it's even excepted in our work enviroment. As far as weight goes, how many of us have run into people from high school years later, and seen a noticeable weight gain. How many years has Oprah and other stars been fighting their weight, even though it's much easier (we are way more knowledgeable) then before. I dare say had Elvis had been turning 40 now, he would have turned out much differently, especially with the brutal media scrutiny that's world wide.

Wed Oct 25, 2006 5:39 pm

Me wrote:Those quotes have never been proven though. More than once The Colonel approached Elvis about his weight and health and his behavior and Elvis told him to mind his own business.

In late 1973 Dr. Nick went to the Colonel and asked him if he could lessen each of Elvis' las Vegas Engagements and The Colonel agreed.

The Colonel was was not gonna be able to get Elvis to stop abusing himself.


Mmmm, strange...................................if Parker was aware of E's condition, why he kept booking dates?

''Those quotes have never been proven though''. Wich facts are right and wich are speculation? There are hundreds of books written. That means believe what you want to believe. :oops:

re

Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:14 pm

if Parker was aware of E's condition, why he kept booking dates?



maybe because E required the colonel to do so :idea: 8)

Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:20 pm

It was a tough situation for everybody I'm sure.

Wed Oct 25, 2006 6:33 pm

rezident wrote:...but all the so called friends and other people around simply were cowards and gutless petty people who feared loosing their jobs and whatever other good stuff they got being around elvis and cared more for the circus to carry on than elvis health and life


I hear that kind of characterization of the situation a lot, and it is unfair to look at things that way. It is very easy to sit behind a keyboard thirty years later and say the people around Elvis were "gutless," "cowards," etc., but I don't believe any one of us would have handled the situation any differently if we were living that reality. If you spoke up, you were gone. What would your prospects look like in that case? I think you had to live the life to truly know what you would have done.

Re: re

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:04 pm

tcb4 wrote:if Parker was aware of E's condition, why he kept booking dates?



maybe because E required the colonel to do so :idea: 8)


So its also a lie that Elvis was bored after the third Vegas season and begged Parker to do, lets say 5 seasons a year? If you have serious healt problems, it seems that it is normal you want to perform so much. :roll:

Learning new everyday.................i guess. :?

But you said it right, tcb4, ''maybe''.

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:13 pm

Elvis may have been bored with his routine but Im sure he was accustomed to a certain lifestyle that all that touring provided.He probably knew he couldnt afford to stop and keep maintain the status quo.
Jak

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:26 pm

jak wrote:Elvis may have been bored with his routine but Im sure he was accustomed to a certain lifestyle that all that touring provided.He probably knew he couldnt afford to stop and keep maintain the status quo.
Jak


Part of the problem was that a lot of people relied on him working so they can have jobs as well. I'm sure he was well aware of that.

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:32 pm

Joe Car wrote:
jak wrote:Elvis may have been bored with his routine but Im sure he was accustomed to a certain lifestyle that all that touring provided.He probably knew he couldnt afford to stop and keep maintain the status quo.
Jak


Part of the problem was that a lot of people relied on him working so they can have jobs as well. I'm sure he was well aware of that.


That's a good point.He may have felt trapped to a certain degree.It's a shame that someone like him for whatever reason had to get stuck in that cycle of live performances without ever trying to express his talent in other ways.
Jak

Wed Oct 25, 2006 7:33 pm

jak wrote:Elvis may have been bored with his routine but Im sure he was accustomed to a certain lifestyle that all that touring provided.He probably knew he couldnt afford to stop and keep maintain the status quo.
Jak


Agreed. He needed the money too. What i never will believe is that Parker would say '' you need to recover, no matter how long it takes''. One thing all that matters for Parker was money. At any price.