ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:48 am

Dave Marsh crafted some beautiful notes for the deluxe "Aloha From Hawaii" DVD issued a couple of years ago.

They are worth a second look -- enjoy!

Elvis Presley was an explorer of vast new landscapes of dream and illusion. He was a man who refused to be told that the best of his dreams would not come true, who refused to be defined by anyone else's conceptions. This is the goal of democracy, the journey on which every prospective American hero sets out. That Elvis made so much of the journey on his own is reason enough to remember him with the honor and love we reserve for the bravest among us. Such men made the only maps we can trust.

Dave Marsh
Elvis (Rolling Stone Press, 1982)



Image


ELVIS GOES GLOBAL

We think of Elvis as a pioneer but it’s amazing how many of his trips off the map of expectations we forget. Who today thinks of him as the original explorer of live satellite broadcasts of entertainment events? Today we take such things for granted. But nobody had ever done anything like it before January 14, 1973. When Elvis sent his live show out into the world, with a live audience that included almost forty per-cent of the TV sets in Japan, the very idea was audacious. (The only previous worldwide broadcasts had been of President Richard Nixon’s tour of China in February 1972.) The show aired later the same day via Eurovision in 28 European countries. In America, delay diminished the impact of Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite.

The program didn’t air until almost three months later, on April 4, 1973. Even then, what showed up was an edited version of the concert padded with four (of five) “insert” songs sung just after the live show, with only Elvis, the group, and the camera crew present, and illustrated with rather uninspired backdrops of Hawaiian scenery. Since the original already incorporated some very strange montage selections based upon another new TV toy – multiple simultaneous screen images – in the U.S. rendition, Elvis seemed weirdly distanced from his audience. The broadcast on NBC was highly rated though, and half an hour longer than the live version.

These two DVDs show that everyone, but most especially Americans, missed much of the best that Aloha had to offer. The concert and the rehearsal show from the night before are included here, re-edited from scratch and restored to absolute completeness, along with the complete after-concert insert-songs recording session and the complete raw footage from the staged “arrival in Honolulu” scenes with Elvis for the opening of the special. There’s also the American broadcast version to which to compare them. It’s a fascinating journey no matter in what order it’s watched, and, as well as the most authentic, in terms of fidelity to a great ’70s Elvis show, by far the most exciting version of Aloha that has ever been presented.

The NBC special serves as a period piece. That edit misses much of Elvis’s onstage energy, and the insert songs and the multi-screen editing make it feel, in a sense, more dated, more locked into a specific past, than his immortal ’50s and ’60s TV appearances. In a way, the most entrancing thing about the NBC show is the way it works around Elvis’s music, focusing first on the fans waiting outside the arena, then on his arrival by helicopter, and periodically cutting away for the insert songs which not only eliminate Elvis’s interaction with the audience, but show such un-mesmerizing Hawaiian shots as a tractor in the sugarcane fields. Since almost everyone who’s ever written about the Aloha special knew only this version, that explains the disdainful critical reception it received in America. It is only in the full-length re-edited versions, perhaps especially in the just-for-kicks spirit of the rehearsal show, that what Elvis really achieved can be seen.

Elvis sang well that night, as did his backup singers, J.D. Sumner and the Stamps, the Sweet Inspirations and soprano Kathy Westmoreland. His band and the orchestra played great, as they invariably did, and this edition offers an unusual opportunity to observe how Elvis interacted alongside his principle musical foils, guitarist James Burton and drummer Ronnie Tutt. His performance is amazingly private, almost as if he sings to himself most of the time, then periodically recalls where he is and heads on down the runway to glad-hand the front rows.

What Elvis sang leaned heavily on the concert staples he’d been developing since returning to live performance in 1969: Big showbiz ballads like "What Now My Love" and "My Way," jived up old rock ’n’ roll hits like "Johnny B. Goode" and "Blue Suede Shoes," movie period production numbers like "Big Hunk O’ Love" and "Can’t Help Falling In Love." He did a few contemporary soft rock tunes, notably James Taylor’s lumbering "Steamroller Blues" and the Beatles’ "Something."


Image


That band could, and did, rock the hell out of his hottest numbers, from the opening "C.C. Rider," a ’50s standard (actually the song was decades old before any rocker got hold of it) and most important, Elvis’s biggest recent hit, the explosive "Burning Love" with its shrieking choruses and, here, intensely enunciated, fiery verses.

The emphasis of the song selection, though, lay in ballads, often with subtexts ranging from the obvious – "You Gave Me a Mountain" and other songs of a troubled adult heart – to the obscure: The Aloha concert, and the previous night’s rehearsal show, benefited the Kui Lee Cancer Fund. Lee, a famous Hawaiian singer, wrote and popularized "I’ll Remember You," which Elvis adopted as a regular part of his show. A surprising number of the songs were classics of the elaborately arranged Nashville “countrypolitan” style: Jim Reeves’s "Welcome to My World," the Hank Williams standard "I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry," Don Gibson’s "I Can’t Stop Loving You" and his own "Suspicious Minds," arguably the countrypolitan apotheosis.

The dramatic climax of the show unquestionably lies in Mickey Newbury's "An American Trilogy," which fuses the anthems of the Civil War era - "Dixie" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" - with an African-American spiritual, "All My Trials." Elvis performs these songs as a man who explicitly understands himself to be the product of the history they describe, and in some ways its culmination. Elvis reinforces these symbols, and the concept of this show as a statement about his version of America, when he spreads his arms to fully expose the American bald eagle studded in gemstones on the back of the white cape he dons for the finale, "Can't Help Falling in Love."

The best version of these songs, though, comes from the night before, the “rehearsal show,” where Elvis looks lean, acts loose and lets go musically as he rarely did. Burton’s guitar is on fire, and Tutt literally plays up a storm. It’s a shame it has taken so long for this show to find its public, because there isn’t a better record, in video, film or audio, of what Elvis did once he’d standardized the ’70s show and began touring with it regularly. Elvis radiates healthiness, but more important, he sings fabulously, and the ritual he and the audience enact has a depth of feeling on both sides. The main ritual though is the byplay between Elvis and the musicians, who are clearly having a ball, especially at the beginning when there are ample opportunities for Burton to tear off with many of the rock ’n’ roll riffs he helped invent.

“It is the intention of Elvis to please all his fans throughout the world,” said RCA Records president Rocco Laginestra at the press conference announcing the special some months before. At the rehearsal show, he seems to have pleased himself—there is something almost contemplative about the way he sings some of the ballads, although as a whole the event is more boisterous than anything else.

Aloha from Hawaii was the last appearance of Elvis in full bloom on a worldwide stage. In this assemblage of everything that happened publicly during those few days in Honolulu we finally have a classic record of Elvis in his prime as a stage performer. Like all else he did, its best moments are unique and unforgettable whether you encounter them as a veteran Elvis fan or as a new Elvis fan. There is no third category.

Dave Marsh
Music Writer, Historian & Critic

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 12:11 pm

The best version of these songs, though, comes from the night before, the “rehearsal show,” where Elvis looks lean, acts loose and lets go musically as he rarely did.

I agree with that, specially with the Rock numbers: STEAMROLLER BLUES is just bluesier in the rehearsal show (perhaps it is not possible to get the blues every night... :D ) and FEVER is also sexier compared to the rather restrained "telecast" version. Even Presley seems to enjoy the whole thing a little bit more the day before.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:25 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:Dave Marsh crafted some beautiful notes for the deluxe "Aloha From Hawaii" DVD issued a couple of years ago.

They are worth a second look -- enjoy!

His performance is amazingly private, almost as if he sings to himself most of the time, then periodically recalls where he is and heads on down the runway to glad-hand the front rows.

The dramatic climax of the show unquestionably lies in Mickey Newbury's "An American Trilogy," which fuses the anthems of the Civil War era - "Dixie" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" - with an African-American spiritual, "All My Trials." Elvis performs these songs as a man who explicitly understands himself to be the product of the history they describe, and in some ways its culmination. Elvis reinforces these symbols, and the concept of this show as a statement about his version of America, when he spreads his arms to fully expose the American bald eagle studded in gemstones on the back of the white cape he dons for the finale, "Can't Help Falling in Love."



Thanks doc.

Indeed worthy of a second (and more) looks! Both the notes and the shows.

The way he describes both the almost introvert attitude Elvis displayed during the performance and the way he performed Trilogy reassures both the casual reader and fan that David Marsh knows his stuff.

I particularly like the quote from 1982. In a few sentences it both captures the essence of Elvis and the America he loved (and the America most of us love) and what America can be all about.
Impeccable timing, doc, with just a short week to go.
Last edited by epf on Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:28 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:35 pm

Thanks for posting this, Doc. Funny - I read that text for the first time just a week ago, although I bought the DVD at the time of release (2004). I'm sure I'm not the only who's overlooked it.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 3:52 pm

Two things:

1. The title is very misleading....Aloha From Hawaii did not go 'global" on January 14, 1973.

2. I much prefer the main show to the rehearsal show. Elvis, at least to me, just didn't seem 'with it' in the rehearsal show on a few numbers ("Steamroller Blues"/"Burning Love"/"Welcome To My World") and he screwed up the lyrics to these songs - especially "Burning Love" & "Steamroller Blues" Yes, I know a lot of you will say that this is/was a rehearsal show but Elvis still (at the time) being the consummate professional that he was....HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PREPARED! I know he was prepared in the main show (Boy, was he ever!) but the rehearsal show shouldn't have been any different.

3. My last observation is obvious: Elvis had too much of 'something' (no pun intended) in him during the rehearsal show.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:12 pm

Tony Trout wrote:Two things:

1. The title is very misleading....Aloha From Hawaii did not go 'global" on January 14, 1973.

2. I much prefer the main show to the rehearsal show. Elvis, at least to me, just didn't seem 'with it' in the rehearsal show on a few numbers ("Steamroller Blues"/"Burning Love"/"Welcome To My World") and he screwed up the lyrics to these songs - especially "Burning Love" & "Steamroller Blues" Yes, I know a lot of you will say that this is/was a rehearsal show but Elvis still (at the time) being the consummate professional that he was....HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN PREPARED! I know he was prepared in the main show (Boy, was he ever!) but the rehearsal show shouldn't have been any different.

3. My last observation is obvious: Elvis had too much of 'something' (no pun intended) in him during the rehearsal show.



Mr. T, I thought Elvis was 'relatively' drug free while he was in Hawaii????

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 4:23 pm

As I've said before, the 'not with it' demeanour at the rehearsal show can pretty much come down to nerves. Even though it wasn't the live telecast, it was still important.

I don't see any evidence of drug use, at least not of the usual standard around that time.

And, all credit to Marsh, he didn't regurgitate the 1.5 billion viewers/more than watched the moon landing BS.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 5:59 pm

bethann wrote:

Mr. T, I thought Elvis was 'relatively' drug free while he was in Hawaii????



He was but...and I may be wrong...I have a feeling that he wasn't totally drug free during the rehearsal or actual show.



Scott wrote:As I've said before, the 'not with it' demeanor at the rehearsal show can pretty much come down to nerves. Even though it wasn't the live telecast, it was still important.


I won't argue with you there....but still...he just looks so 'out of it' during certain parts of the rehearsal show.



Scott wrote:I don't see any evidence of drug use, at least not of the usual standard around that time.



There wasn't the usual standard of drug use by Elvis during this time but....he wasn't totally 'clean' at any time before the Aloha shows.



Scott wrote:And, all credit to Marsh, he didn't regurgitate the 1.5 billion viewers/more than watched the moon landing BS.


True but I still think the title is misleading - especially since we know what we know now about the viewership statisics.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:07 pm

Tony Trout wrote:....but still...he just looks so 'out of it' during certain parts of the rehearsal show.

There wasn't the usual standard of drug use by Elvis during this time but....he wasn't totally 'clean' at any time before the Aloha shows.


Him looking so out if it can hardly be seen as hard evidence. What do you think of Elvis during the Hy Gardner calling interview?

phpBB [video]



And concerning the 'usual standard of drug use'... What concrete information do you have on that?

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:16 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:Dave Marsh crafted some beautiful notes for the deluxe "Aloha From Hawaii" DVD issued a couple of years ago.

They are worth a second look -- enjoy!

Elvis Presley was an explorer of vast new landscapes of dream and illusion. He was a man who refused to be told that the best of his dreams would not come true, who refused to be defined by anyone else's conceptions. This is the goal of democracy, the journey on which every prospective American hero sets out. That Elvis made so much of the journey on his own is reason enough to remember him with the honor and love we reserve for the bravest among us. Such men made the only maps we can trust.

Dave Marsh
Elvis (Rolling Stone Press, 1982)



Image


ELVIS GOES GLOBAL

We think of Elvis as a pioneer but it’s amazing how many of his trips off the map of expectations we forget. Who today thinks of him as the original explorer of live satellite broadcasts of entertainment events? Today we take such things for granted. But nobody had ever done anything like it before January 14, 1973. When Elvis sent his live show out into the world, with a live audience that included almost forty per-cent of the TV sets in Japan, the very idea was audacious. (The only previous worldwide broadcasts had been of President Richard Nixon’s tour of China in February 1972.) The show aired later the same day via Eurovision in 28 European countries. In America, delay diminished the impact of Aloha from Hawaii via Satellite.

The program didn’t air until almost three months later, on April 4, 1973. Even then, what showed up was an edited version of the concert padded with four (of five) “insert” songs sung just after the live show, with only Elvis, the group, and the camera crew present, and illustrated with rather uninspired backdrops of Hawaiian scenery. Since the original already incorporated some very strange montage selections based upon another new TV toy – multiple simultaneous screen images – in the U.S. rendition, Elvis seemed weirdly distanced from his audience. The broadcast on NBC was highly rated though, and half an hour longer than the live version.

These two DVDs show that everyone, but most especially Americans, missed much of the best that Aloha had to offer. The concert and the rehearsal show from the night before are included here, re-edited from scratch and restored to absolute completeness, along with the complete after-concert insert-songs recording session and the complete raw footage from the staged “arrival in Honolulu” scenes with Elvis for the opening of the special. There’s also the American broadcast version to which to compare them. It’s a fascinating journey no matter in what order it’s watched, and, as well as the most authentic, in terms of fidelity to a great ’70s Elvis show, by far the most exciting version of Aloha that has ever been presented.

The NBC special serves as a period piece. That edit misses much of Elvis’s onstage energy, and the insert songs and the multi-screen editing make it feel, in a sense, more dated, more locked into a specific past, than his immortal ’50s and ’60s TV appearances. In a way, the most entrancing thing about the NBC show is the way it works around Elvis’s music, focusing first on the fans waiting outside the arena, then on his arrival by helicopter, and periodically cutting away for the insert songs which not only eliminate Elvis’s interaction with the audience, but show such un-mesmerizing Hawaiian shots as a tractor in the sugarcane fields. Since almost everyone who’s ever written about the Aloha special knew only this version, that explains the disdainful critical reception it received in America. It is only in the full-length re-edited versions, perhaps especially in the just-for-kicks spirit of the rehearsal show, that what Elvis really achieved can be seen.

Elvis sang well that night, as did his backup singers, J.D. Sumner and the Stamps, the Sweet Inspirations and soprano Kathy Westmoreland. His band and the orchestra played great, as they invariably did, and this edition offers an unusual opportunity to observe how Elvis interacted alongside his principle musical foils, guitarist James Burton and drummer Ronnie Tutt. His performance is amazingly private, almost as if he sings to himself most of the time, then periodically recalls where he is and heads on down the runway to glad-hand the front rows.

What Elvis sang leaned heavily on the concert staples he’d been developing since returning to live performance in 1969: Big showbiz ballads like "What Now My Love" and "My Way," jived up old rock ’n’ roll hits like "Johnny B. Goode" and "Blue Suede Shoes," movie period production numbers like "Big Hunk O’ Love" and "Can’t Help Falling In Love." He did a few contemporary soft rock tunes, notably James Taylor’s lumbering "Steamroller Blues" and the Beatles’ "Something."


Image


That band could, and did, rock the hell out of his hottest numbers, from the opening "C.C. Rider," a ’50s standard (actually the song was decades old before any rocker got hold of it) and most important, Elvis’s biggest recent hit, the explosive "Burning Love" with its shrieking choruses and, here, intensely enunciated, fiery verses.

The emphasis of the song selection, though, lay in ballads, often with subtexts ranging from the obvious – "You Gave Me a Mountain" and other songs of a troubled adult heart – to the obscure: The Aloha concert, and the previous night’s rehearsal show, benefited the Kui Lee Cancer Fund. Lee, a famous Hawaiian singer, wrote and popularized "I’ll Remember You," which Elvis adopted as a regular part of his show. A surprising number of the songs were classics of the elaborately arranged Nashville “countrypolitan” style: Jim Reeves’s "Welcome to My World," the Hank Williams standard "I’m So Lonesome I Could Cry," Don Gibson’s "I Can’t Stop Loving You" and his own "Suspicious Minds," arguably the countrypolitan apotheosis.

The dramatic climax of the show unquestionably lies in Mickey Newbury's "An American Trilogy," which fuses the anthems of the Civil War era - "Dixie" and "The Battle Hymn of the Republic" - with an African-American spiritual, "All My Trials." Elvis performs these songs as a man who explicitly understands himself to be the product of the history they describe, and in some ways its culmination. Elvis reinforces these symbols, and the concept of this show as a statement about his version of America, when he spreads his arms to fully expose the American bald eagle studded in gemstones on the back of the white cape he dons for the finale, "Can't Help Falling in Love."

The best version of these songs, though, comes from the night before, the “rehearsal show,” where Elvis looks lean, acts loose and lets go musically as he rarely did. Burton’s guitar is on fire, and Tutt literally plays up a storm. It’s a shame it has taken so long for this show to find its public, because there isn’t a better record, in video, film or audio, of what Elvis did once he’d standardized the ’70s show and began touring with it regularly. Elvis radiates healthiness, but more important, he sings fabulously, and the ritual he and the audience enact has a depth of feeling on both sides. The main ritual though is the byplay between Elvis and the musicians, who are clearly having a ball, especially at the beginning when there are ample opportunities for Burton to tear off with many of the rock ’n’ roll riffs he helped invent.

“It is the intention of Elvis to please all his fans throughout the world,” said RCA Records president Rocco Laginestra at the press conference announcing the special some months before. At the rehearsal show, he seems to have pleased himself—there is something almost contemplative about the way he sings some of the ballads, although as a whole the event is more boisterous than anything else.

Aloha from Hawaii was the last appearance of Elvis in full bloom on a worldwide stage. In this assemblage of everything that happened publicly during those few days in Honolulu we finally have a classic record of Elvis in his prime as a stage performer. Like all else he did, its best moments are unique and unforgettable whether you encounter them as a veteran Elvis fan or as a new Elvis fan. There is no third category.

Dave Marsh
Music Writer, Historian & Critic



His reviews are worth-less, let alone worth a second look. I saw Dave Marsh on a tv show one time spouting out his "reviews" and I lost respect for him then, and after reading this, I see nothing to change my mind. His observations are inaccurate and generalized with out pointing out anything worthwhile. Its all worthless. Not sure any of it is accurate other than the state he performed in.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:18 pm

"Out of it" during the rehearsal show, geeze, here we go again. He made several mistakes early on, but by the mid point of the show, he was back on his game, and nailed every song after that. Lets not forget that this was his first show since November so rust had to be a factor, thus the reasoning for the rehearsal show. At what point during either show did Elvis appear "high?" He seemed great to me!

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:43 pm

He definitely seemed to be out of sorts for the rehearsal show, primarily in the beginning, at which time he struggled with lyrics. Was he "high"? Who knows for sure. I wouldn't doubt it. All one has to do is compare the opening five (or so) songs of the rehearsal show to the broadcast version to see there was a notable difference in his sharpness.

He didn't seem nervous to me during the rehearsal show; rather, he appeared sluggish. He even stated he needed time to "get the motor runnin'"? There seemed to be some slurring, and some of his physical movements appeared to me to look somewhat...suspect, I guess.

Just one man's observations.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:58 pm

Here, Dave Marsh is too prosaic, for my tastes. When I want to read some good writing on Elvis' art and appeal, I want to read something that is suitably poetic and inflected with joy. Greil Marcus gives me that in the "Comeback Special" essay; Marsh failed in this one, in my opinion.

One of the problems seems to be that he's dancing around the point. I actually don't think he particularly likes the "Aloha" concert. Look at this paragraph, for an example:

What Elvis sang leaned heavily on the concert staples he’d been developing since returning to live performance in 1969: Big showbiz ballads like "What Now My Love" and "My Way," jived up old rock ’n’ roll hits like "Johnny B. Goode" and "Blue Suede Shoes," movie period production numbers like "Big Hunk O’ Love" and "Can’t Help Falling In Love." He did a few contemporary soft rock tunes, notably James Taylor’s lumbering "Steamroller Blues" and the Beatles’ "Something."


It's just a mundane list of songs with unimaginative descriptors: "jived up", "movie period", "contemporary", "lumbering". The middle two are bland, like Marsh is rattling off a corporate speech, while the surrounding two are contrite, almost damning the arrangements, if you really think about them.

Nowhere does Marsh talk about Elvis' vocal approaches or visual flourishes, except in sweeping, superficial, lip-service-like ways. For example, rather than call "Steamroller Blues" ... "lumbering" ... I'd have favoured Marsh commenting on how Elvis peformed it here compared to James Taylor, the originator. That would give you just the faintest insight into why Elvis matters.

Marsh really gives the game away by heaping added praise on the "rehearsal" concert, in no uncertain terms. Not only do I disagree with this viewpoint, but it's clear he finds more love for that than the main event, yet it was the main event he was required to focus on. That's the issue: Marcus has no passion for what he's been asked to write for, and without passion, a writer has less than nothing.

When one listens to or watches Elvis and finds enjoyment in doing so, one gets a magical feeling inside them. When I read this essay by Marsh, he does not put that hint of magic across. It may be impossible to transcribe the inner experience of art into words, but Marcus captured something sublime that was fitting of Elvis' talent, while Marsh cannot extend beyond, "Elvis did this, then he did this, and this" -- it's boring.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:19 pm

High as a Kite, Out of Sorts, whatever you want to call it -- I still much prefer the Rehearsal Show to the Main one. He's loose and having fun -- just as I like him.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 7:35 pm

"It’s a shame it has taken so long for this show to find its public, because there isn’t a better record, in video, film or audio, of what Elvis did once he’d standardized the ’70s show and began touring with it regularly." - Dave Marsh

The above statement isn't exactly accurate, but his support of the Aloha show and his mission to give it ongoing credibility in this century is honorable. Aloha was a special and important event for Elvis and the entertainment industry - it deserves to have a positive lasting legacy.

Joe Car wrote:"Out of it" during the rehearsal show, geeze, here we go again. He made several mistakes early on, but by the mid point of the show, he was back on his game, and nailed every song after that. Lets not forget that this was his first show since November so rust had to be a factor, thus the reasoning for the rehearsal show. At what point during either show did Elvis appear "high?" He seemed great to me!

Joe, you are living in Fantasy Land if you think Elvis was "clean" during the Aloha project. By 1973, drug use was a daily routine in Elvis' life. No one is taking the position that he was loaded and pulling a 1976 on the audience, but it is well known that drugs were coursing through his system during January 1973. It isn't a knock on Elvis, just the reality of the period of his life. And cleary Elvis delivered the goods, so it is a non-issue with regards to it having a negative impact on the show.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:05 pm

midnightx wrote:"It’s a shame it has taken so long for this show to find its public, because there isn’t a better record, in video, film or audio, of what Elvis did once he’d standardized the ’70s show and began touring with it regularly." - Dave Marsh

The above statement isn't exactly accurate, but his support of the Aloha show and his mission to give it ongoing credibility in this century is honorable. Aloha was a special and important event for Elvis and the entertainment industry - it deserves to have a positive lasting legacy.

Joe Car wrote:"Out of it" during the rehearsal show, geeze, here we go again. He made several mistakes early on, but by the mid point of the show, he was back on his game, and nailed every song after that. Lets not forget that this was his first show since November so rust had to be a factor, thus the reasoning for the rehearsal show. At what point during either show did Elvis appear "high?" He seemed great to me!

Joe, you are living in Fantasy Land if you think Elvis was "clean" during the Aloha project. By 1973, drug use was a daily routine in Elvis' life. No one is taking the position that he was loaded and pulling a 1976 on the audience, but it is well known that drugs were coursing through his system during January 1973. It isn't a knock on Elvis, just the reality of the period of his life. And cleary Elvis delivered the goods, so it is a non-issue with regards to it having a negative impact on the show.


From all accounts from people who were with him at the time, he was "clean" or not using just prior or during the show. I'm not saying there weren't drugs in his system from previous use, or that he didn't go back to his regular ways after the show, but no way he was frickin high for either show. It reminds me of people that say that Elvis was high during the MSG press conference, another ridiculous statement.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:12 pm

epf wrote:I particularly like the quote from 1982. In a few sentences it both captures the essence of Elvis and the America he loved (and the America most of us love) and what America can be all about.
Impeccable timing, doc, with just a short week to go.

All the positive -- and insightful -- comments are appreciated. Marsh's offerings have been inconsistent through the years, but his notes were a job well done.

Having recently reviewed the January 14 show, I must say the horn arrangement on "A Big Hunk O' Love" is awful! Guercio misses the essential groove at the heart of Elvis' 1958 recording. Still, the singer and band do a good job!

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:13 pm

Joe Car wrote:From all accounts from people who were with him at the time, he was "clean" or not using just prior or during the show. I'm not saying there weren't drugs in his system from previous use, or that he didn't go back to his regular ways after the show, but no way he was frickin high for either show. It reminds me of people that say that Elvis was high during the MSG press conference, another ridiculous statement.

Again, Elvis was a drug user and abuser by 1973. He didn't turn the habit off for two concerts. No one is claiming he was high, but to try to convince yourself he hadn't popped any pills on January 14th is based on fantasy. Keep on dreaming....

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:17 pm

midnightx wrote:He didn't turn the habit off for two concerts.

This is true, but to everyone in the inner circle at that time, Elvis was really watching himself in regards to the pill intake. Thus, the "clean" impression to which Joe refers. Sadly, the day after it was all done, he slipped again. He was apparently too out of it to take a scheduled tour with Linda and his entourage.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:24 pm

midnightx wrote:
Joe Car wrote:From all accounts from people who were with him at the time, he was "clean" or not using just prior or during the show. I'm not saying there weren't drugs in his system from previous use, or that he didn't go back to his regular ways after the show, but no way he was frickin high for either show. It reminds me of people that say that Elvis was high during the MSG press conference, another ridiculous statement.

Again, Elvis was a drug user and abuser by 1973. He didn't turn the habit off for two concerts. No one is claiming he was high, but to try to convince yourself he hadn't popped any pills on January 14th is based on fantasy. Keep on dreaming....



Agreed....and, according to those that were there during the MSG press conference, Elvis was definitely high - not stoned out of his head but he was high.


But then again, we're getting off-topic.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:36 pm

Tony Trout wrote:But then again, we're getting off-topic.


Are we? I hadn't noticed.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 9:58 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
midnightx wrote:He didn't turn the habit off for two concerts.

This is true, but to everyone in the inner circle at that time, Elvis was really watching himself in regards to the pill intake. Thus, the "clean" impression to which Joe refers. Sadly, the day after it was all done, he slipped again. He was apparently too out of it to take a scheduled tour with Linda and his entourage.

Absolutely.

I always found it strange that the recording session that was used to produce the additional numbers needed for the U.S. broadcast took place directly after the January 14th performance.

Perhaps the best time would have been after the rehearsal show? Most entertainers would have celebrated backstage and at their hotel suite following such a tremendously successful worldwide satellite performance -- Tom Parker had his client return to the stage for additional work, clearly causing aggravation and tension. Instead of Elvis unwinding and relaxing after such a major career event, he was put into a stressful situation. Clearly that contributed to his need to overmedicate himself shortly thereafter.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:27 pm

Very good point.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 10:37 pm

midnightx wrote:I always found it strange that the recording session that was used to produce the additional numbers needed for the U.S. broadcast took place directly after the January 14th performance.
Perhaps the best time would have been after the rehearsal show?


It was strange, wasn't it ?

I guess they wanted to be sure he looked exactly as in the broadcast show, so that the inserts blended in seamlessly.

Like his hair was different at the 'rehearsal'.

Re: ELVIS GOES GLOBAL -> Critic Dave Marsh on "Aloha"

Wed Oct 29, 2008 11:19 pm

midnightx wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
midnightx wrote:He didn't turn the habit off for two concerts.

This is true, but to everyone in the inner circle at that time, Elvis was really watching himself in regards to the pill intake. Thus, the "clean" impression to which Joe refers. Sadly, the day after it was all done, he slipped again. He was apparently too out of it to take a scheduled tour with Linda and his entourage.

Absolutely.

I always found it strange that the recording session that was used to produce the additional numbers needed for the U.S. broadcast took place directly after the January 14th performance.

Perhaps the best time would have been after the rehearsal show? Most entertainers would have celebrated backstage and at their hotel suite following such a tremendously successful worldwide satellite performance -- Tom Parker had his client return to the stage for additional work, clearly causing aggravation and tension. Instead of Elvis unwinding and relaxing after such a major career event, he was put into a stressful situation. Clearly that contributed to his need to overmedicate himself shortly thereafter.


I read that by the time Elvis was filming the additional song material for the television inserts after the 2nd concert, he was getting somewhat testy and irritable -- whether that is b/c of the change in his drug regimen or the stress of the 2 performances taking its toll, nevertheless, he was ready for it all to be finished. Hence, the drug binge shortly thereafter.