Tue Apr 17, 2012 1:54 am
Steve has "friended" me on Facebook, so I get to see all his postings, and the shows he's most proud of, etc. The Diana Ross In Central Park shows are coming out on DVD, and that's a big deal (and it is; I plan to get it -- have it on VHS).
I didn't see anything so far about Olivia . . . his special with the faux-"sit-down"/"stand-up" thing. Look, some people like her, but on another level, and don't take this personally if you like her, but the "sit-down" format is very silly-looking. Kind of like a Saturday Night Live skit. I mean, how can an easy-listening performer pay homage to some the hardest, low-down blues-rock sessions in history??
There was no "Unplugged" or "Storytellers" as yet, and I guess Steve was intrigued with the format, and liked it, was proud of it. Now, in hindsight, with "Unplugged" and "Storytellers," he has much to be proud of! And so does Elvis, really. After all, he was just doing this: Steve only wanted a documentary-style set-up capturing Elvis doing his thing. In fact, he says that at one point, about the sequencing. "Then you do your thing." It's a stylized version of real life. For Elvis, it was, anyway. To try to put that exact format on anyone else is just . . . it was a mistake, I think. I mean, it obviously doesn't feel right.
What MTV did later was a good idea. "Storytellers," especially, is drawn from the tradition of "the guitar pull." A bunch of guitar players, mostly writers, get together, and each "pulls" out a song. They aren't always self-penned songs. Sometimes, they'll sing a spiritual, an old Carter family song, or whatever. It's very improvisational, lots of talking, and in real life, drinking . . . etc.
Elvis was actually doing this for years. (Johnny Rivers alludes to his guitar playing and singing, and we've seen pictures with Tom Jones, and etc.) It's also called "jam sessions." Elvis's career was started basically with a jam session. Just foolin' around. Which is why it was so perfect for him. It replicated the conditions of "That's All Right (Mama)" almost exactly. It was loose, but do or die. You can't replicate that for someone else by a set, and people sitting around. And questions, and talking. It's so absolutely artificial, that it functions as parody.
I know that some rock musicians have paid homage to it, but I can't recall where, exactly. I think there's a music video. Not a parody; an homage. That's a cool thing to do. Different artists have their own ways . . . leave it like that. What he did with Elvis, was to try to bring the most real Elvis to the people. Not to make him imitate The Jefferson Airplane. Really.
So, anyway, my two cents, without the "Alan Fortas" joke.
P.S. -- I meant: "so would Elvis." Be proud. He's dead, of course. Billy Goldenberg is also on Facebook, and clicking away, and meeting people. They're around the same age, aren't they? Oh, well.
BTW, off-topic, but since yesterday was the 100th anniversary of the Titanic disaster, I recalled that Gladys Smith was born 10 days after that. In a little more than a week, it will be the centennial anniversary of her birth. If Graceland is not doing anything, fans can. Everyone can do a little something. A memorial slide show, something just to commemorate it. She only got 46 years out of her allotted - two-and-a-half decades of adulthood is all, before facing her own private Titanic . . . but she did a lot for the world, just by being his mother, and a good person. Another thread . . . she died before most of us were born, but we all remember her.
Tue Apr 17, 2012 5:53 pm
Here you go Robt - from Hollywood Nights.
Hey TCB If you did download it onto your PC can you re-upload it ?
I think ONJ had recorded regular TV specials each year between 1975 - 1982. Has the "Olivia in Concert" seen a DVD release ?
There is a DVD circulating of Olivia Live in 1982 (can be found on ebay) - picture is a bit dark and the opening montage is an extra instead of starting the concert. It's not at all bad though.
Olivia's other TV specials:-
1976 - 1st American TV special
1977 - Only Olivia (BBC England)
1978 - Olivia (with Andy Gibb & ABBA)
1980 - Hollywood Nights (ABC) Aired just before The Oscars
1981 - Physical (videos from her 'Physical' album)
1982 - Olivia Live - Ogden, Utah (HBO)
Wed Apr 18, 2012 5:18 am
Thanks jetblack. Can't believe that to this day none of the specials are available on DVD/ blue ray format.