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

Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:04 pm

midnightx wrote:Please explain how complex production numbers could have played a part on a live concert broadcast? And there is zero reason to compare the concept of a pre-recorded television special that had multiple segments and scenes to a live concert.


I'm sorry, are you asking me? I agree with you.

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

Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:12 pm

Marko wrote:Regarding the rehearsals for the Aloha show Day by Day book by Peter Guralnick and Ernst Jorgensen states that Elvis held rehearsals with the band and the backup singers at his hotel the same day he arrived to Hawaii on Tuesday January 9th. The next day there is rehearsal with the full orchestra and on Friday there's an extra reheasal at the ICC Arena. I think it's fair to say he did prepare himself for the show.




So, what would you account the reason being the lyrics screwup of "Burning Love" and "Steamroller Blues" (and he actually misses parts of the lyrics to "My Way", as well, during the rehearsal).....???

Of course, he once again misses lyrics during the actual show for "Johnny B.Goode" and "Long Tall, Sally".

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

Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:23 pm

Tony Trout wrote:


So, what would you account the reason being the lyrics screwup of "Burning Love" and "Steamroller Blues" (and he actually misses parts of the lyrics to "My Way", as well, during the rehearsal).....???


It was a rehearsal show, wasn't it?

Tony Trout wrote:
Of course, he once again misses lyrics during the actual show for "Johnny B.Goode" and "Long Tall, Sally".


These 2 tracks were added to the main concert at the last minute to make the show longer. I guess he didn't have the time to rehearse them. Still doesn't change the fact that he did put out a great show.
Last edited by Marko on Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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

Thu Oct 30, 2008 9:32 pm

So, what would you account the reason being the lyrics screwup of "Burning Love" and "Steamroller Blues" (and he actually misses parts of the lyrics to "My Way", as well, during the rehearsal).....???

Of course, he once again misses lyrics during the actual show for "Johnny B.Goode" and "Long Tall, Sally".

Nobody´s perfect, not even Elvis Presley. And, despite those screwups, the show was still pretty good and entertaining. BTW, during the ´68 comeback, Presley missed parts on several numbers too, including BLUE SUEDE SHOES (1st Sit Down). He even coughed and got lost on HEARTBREAK HOTEL. The sit-down segments still are for me the greatest concerts in Rock´n´roll history. "Aloha" is not that great but still very enjoyable, in its own context.

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

Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:42 pm

Bear in mind, the 1968 miscues you cite never made the December 3 broadcast.

And that's a big difference.

Aloha is what it is, and that is both our pleasure and our burden as super fans.

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

Fri Oct 31, 2008 11:48 pm

Bear in mind, the 1968 miscues you cite never made the December 3 broadcast.

And that's a big difference.

Aloha is what it is, and that is both our pleasure and our burden as super fans.

You´re right. Still, I don´t think those miscues ruin those performances; I even enjoy that moment when Presley gets completely lost during the 1st Stand-Up version of BLUE SUEDE SHOES. it´s part of the magic of a live act.

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

Sat Nov 01, 2008 3:18 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Bear in mind, the 1968 miscues you cite never made the December 3 broadcast.

And that's a big difference.


Not really.

The degree to which the sitdown shows have become known about and venerated since the transmission of "Elvis: One Night With You" in 1984 means that Elvis' mistakes and miscues have been accepted de facto as an essential part of his live alchemy.

That said, he did make fun of himself over these many moments in the sitdown shows, which he was really unable to do in the context of the "Aloha" broadcast. I can see why someone could be disgruntled over his errors in the 1973 gig, but not bother getting hot under the collar about any transgressions in 1968. Still, one thing is clear: Elvis Presley made mistakes.

drjohncarpenter wrote:Aloha is what it is, and that is both our pleasure and our burden as super fans.


Hang on, I need a minute here.

When ekenee and I dared to make critical remarks towards the quoted essay, you made this sweeping statement . . .

drjohncarpenter wrote: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.


. . . as if negative commentary cannot be insightful (or appreciated).

Yet, here you now are, for the umpteenth time, blowing hot and cold over "Aloha", and making comments both positive and negative.

Hmmm, maybe that's why you didn't appreciate someone like myself indicating that Marsh, in my subjective judgement, appears to have little love for the main show? His feelings are clearly commensurate with your own. That's fine, but I could do without the back-handed remarks.

Again, it's not so much that I disagree with any particular thing that Marsh said (aside from citing the rehearsal show as superior), but more that I get no spark from reading his essay. Thirty years after the fact and Marsh still doesn't like the "Aloha" gig, nor can he disguise this and force himself to write an especially incisive or compelling essay when his heart just isn't in it. My two cents, anyway.

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

Sat Nov 01, 2008 4:25 am

I just want to make something a bit more clear. Although I do love the aloha show, I still think that many of his shows in 1972 are superior. Example would be the Madison square Garden show. What if that show was the one broadcast all over the world?
I think its a better show, but Aloha still has many great moments. There was something about that show that it seemed that ELvis didn't connect with the rather reserved audience that makes it less exciting. Perhaps it was the stage?
Perhaps it was the bright lighting? Can't put my finger on it, but something was a bit robotic about the show.

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

Sat Nov 01, 2008 5:11 am

i agree that 72 and even 74+ shows are better but on the whole it is fair to say Elvis was very professsional for Aloha, he looked fine and sounded fine even if there were a few fluffed lyrics

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

Sat Nov 01, 2008 7:09 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Aloha is what it is, and that is both our pleasure and our burden as super fans.


Aloha is no "burden" at all to any serious fan.

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

Sat Nov 01, 2008 9:48 am

ekenee wrote:There was something about that show that it seemed that ELvis didn't connect with the rather reserved audience that makes it less exciting. Perhaps it was the stage?
Perhaps it was the bright lighting? Can't put my finger on it, but something was a bit robotic about the show.


Maybe it was just the pressure of the whole event and not really knowing if and how things would be different from a 'normal' performance. Quite possibly both Elvis and the audience have a bit of world stage fright.

I think Elvis tried very hard to take the Aloha special seriously, to the point where he lost a bit of his ability to give himself some breathing space with ease.
In the 68 special, in TTWII, in OT he has his off guard moments but he always lands on his feet.
During Aloha, he seems a bit less in command and a bit less at ease.... but given the context (and do not forget the time frame... 1973... it is easy for us in 2008 to look upon this as just another live show.... it really was not) he can be forgiven i think.
In the end he is still the winner.... with the definitive (imho) version of Trilogy he clearly showed the world who he was and where he came from.

I am not sure the lighting played a part. In 68 there were bright lights as well and Elvis did not seem taken by that. On the contrary, he was the centre of attention and loving it, having a ball and creating an orchestrated chaos.
In 1973 he obviously is again the centre of attention but one sometimes gets the feeling that he'd rather be somewhere else, so i think it is mainly a psychological* thing. And i think the audience responded to Elvis subduedness (how is that for a word?).
The developments in his private life surely affected his state of mind and the way he performed. All the more because we know how he tried to deal with the problems in his life.
But seen in context of where and when and how it was performed, Aloha is something to be proud of and Elvis is still the winner.

* It has been said before here on this forum (and i agree) that Elvis did show a lot of signs of having a serious (manic) depression.

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

Sun Nov 02, 2008 4:02 am

epf wrote: Maybe it was just the pressure of the whole event and not really knowing if and how things would be different from a 'normal' performance. Quite possibly both Elvis and the audience have a bit of world stage fright.


Yes. It was the biggest show of his career. The audience was told not to jump around and carry on as it was more of a TV special than a concert per se, if you follow me. I think Elvia played it straight for good reason. Still, it's a great show and great special overall.

epf wrote: It has been said before here on this forum (and i agree) that Elvis did show a lot of signs of having a serious (manic) depression.


Depressed sometimes, yes, but he was not manic depressive. Not by a long shot.

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

Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:55 am

Cryogenic wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:Bear in mind, the 1968 miscues you cite never made the December 3 broadcast.

And that's a big difference.


Not really.

Yes, really.

Cryogenic wrote:The degree to which the sitdown shows have become known about and venerated since the transmission of "Elvis: One Night With You" in 1984 means that Elvis' mistakes and miscues have been accepted de facto as an essential part of his live alchemy.

Ah yes, but that's not what was being discussed. You need to focus on the point if you want to join in!


epf wrote:I think Elvis tried very hard to take the Aloha special seriously, to the point where he lost a bit of his ability to give himself some breathing space with ease.
In the 68 special, in TTWII, in OT he has his off guard moments but he always lands on his feet.
During Aloha, he seems a bit less in command and a bit less at ease.... but given the context (and do not forget the time frame... 1973... it is easy for us in 2008 to look upon this as just another live show.... it really was not) he can be forgiven i think.
In the end he is still the winner.... with the definitive ... version of Trilogy he clearly showed the world who he was and where he came from.

I am not sure the lighting played a part. In 68 there were bright lights as well and Elvis did not seem taken by that. On the contrary, he was the centre of attention and loving it, having a ball and creating an orchestrated chaos.
In 1973 he obviously is again the centre of attention but one sometimes gets the feeling that he'd rather be somewhere else, so i think it is mainly a psychological* thing. And i think the audience responded to Elvis subduedness (how is that for a word?).
The developments in his private life surely affected his state of mind and the way he performed. All the more because we know how he tried to deal with the problems in his life.
But seen in context of where and when and how it was performed, Aloha is something to be proud of and Elvis is still the winner.

Beautiful and spot-on observations!

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

Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:11 pm

epf wrote:I think Elvis tried very hard to take the Aloha special seriously, to the point where he lost a bit of his ability to give himself some breathing space with ease.
In the 68 special, in TTWII, in OT he has his off guard moments but he always lands on his feet.
During Aloha, he seems a bit less in command and a bit less at ease.... but given the context (and do not forget the time frame... 1973... it is easy for us in 2008 to look upon this as just another live show.... it really was not) he can be forgiven i think.
In the end he is still the winner.... with the definitive (imho) version of Trilogy he clearly showed the world who he was and where he came from.


Two things he found a tad inhibiting with the Aloha show, I think.

One was the sheer size of the audience.

The other was the 'broadcast live' aspect.

No chance to do anything over. No chance for any 'tidying up' in post-production !

The outtakes for the '68 show reveal how often he goofed up during that & had to re-do things !

He was more relaxed then because he knew he could take several stabs at it !

With Aloha, he had to get things right the first time !

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

Sun Nov 02, 2008 5:23 pm

ColinB wrote:Two things he found a tad inhibiting with the Aloha show, I think.

One was the sheer size of the audience.

The other was the 'broadcast live' aspect.


You're missing a critical context: the massive live audience was non-American.

Ergo, this was the first time Elvis was consciously representing America, which is reflected in his eclectic setlist, his magnificent jumpsuit and his rousing, definitive performance of "An American Trilogy".

The nerves were primarily because Elvis Presley was now the ambassador for the country he was born and raised in, the country he loved and admired, the country that had made him who he was. It was not merely about not embarrassing himself; it was about not shaming himself through not shaming America. He came through splendidly, with all the subtlety, grace and power uniquely his.

And that's the way it is.

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

Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:09 pm

Cryogenic wrote:The nerves were primarily because Elvis Presley was now the ambassador for the country he was born and raised in, the country he loved and admired, the country that had made him who he was. It was not merely about not embarrassing himself; it was about not shaming himself through not shaming America. He came through splendidly, with all the subtlety, grace and power uniquely his.

And that's the way it is.

That is really reaching.... Ambassador? Shaming himself? Let's not go overboard.

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

Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:13 pm

midnightx wrote:
Cryogenic wrote:The nerves were primarily because Elvis Presley was now the ambassador for the country he was born and raised in, the country he loved and admired, the country that had made him who he was. It was not merely about not embarrassing himself; it was about not shaming himself through not shaming America. He came through splendidly, with all the subtlety, grace and power uniquely his.
And that's the way it is.
That is really reaching.... Ambassador? Shaming himself? Let's not go overboard.


Yes, I thought Cryo was a bit heavy there !

After all, everything Elvis ever did, like records, films - they all were heard and seen around the world, weren't they ?

He already represented the US in a way, long before Aloha.

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

Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:24 pm

epf wrote:...During Aloha, he seems a bit less in command and a bit less at ease...


I agree that Elvis was a bit less at ease--who wouldn't be in that setting?--but one of the things I love most about the performance is how totally in command he was.

The audience, the cameras, the band, himself. There is no question that our boy was in charge that night.

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

Sun Nov 02, 2008 6:42 pm

ColinB wrote:
midnightx wrote:
Cryogenic wrote:The nerves were primarily because Elvis Presley was now the ambassador for the country he was born and raised in, the country he loved and admired, the country that had made him who he was. It was not merely about not embarrassing himself; it was about not shaming himself through not shaming America. He came through splendidly, with all the subtlety, grace and power uniquely his.
And that's the way it is.
That is really reaching.... Ambassador? Shaming himself? Let's not go overboard.


Yes, I thought Cryo was a bit heavy there !

After all, everything Elvis ever did, like records, films - they all were heard and seen around the world, weren't they ?

He already represented the US in a way, long before Aloha.


It's not reaching, not at all.

Everything that Elvis had done previously had always been intended for and intercepted by American audiences, first and foremost. But the first people to receive "Aloha" were non-Americans . . . and lots of 'em. That's a very big thing.

I can't believe anyone would have such a cavalier, almost cynical disregard for this aspect of "Aloha". Elvis gave few instructions throughout his life, but he did have one for this telecast: a jumpsuit that "[said] 'America'".

In the mind of Elvis Presley, the stakes were high -- very high.

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

Sun Nov 02, 2008 7:20 pm

Cryogenic wrote:
ColinB wrote:Two things he found a tad inhibiting with the Aloha show, I think.

One was the sheer size of the audience.

The other was the 'broadcast live' aspect.


You're missing a critical context: the massive live audience was non-American.

Ergo, this was the first time Elvis was consciously representing America, which is reflected in his eclectic setlist, his magnificent jumpsuit and his rousing, definitive performance of "An American Trilogy".

The nerves were primarily because Elvis Presley was now the ambassador for the country he was born and raised in, the country he loved and admired, the country that had made him who he was. It was not merely about not embarrassing himself; it was about not shaming himself through not shaming America. He came through splendidly, with all the subtlety, grace and power uniquely his.

And that's the way it is.




Very well said and I agree with you 100%.

:D

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

Mon Nov 03, 2008 8:43 pm

ekenee wrote:
Bottomline: I don't like everyone just because they like Elvis.

I don't care for the guy. I don't find his observations particularly interesting or thought provoking.
There are many writers I find interesting, but Marsh is not one of them.
I think I did read his book when it came out. I think I checked it out at our library.
To be honest I can't remember what I thought of it, but since it doesn't stand out in my memory, that says something.
He kind of reminds me of the way Bono goes on about Elvis. Mumbo jumbo. Alot of talk but not but substance.
In fact, Marsh went on tv one time and basically just started stating the obvious about ELvis. All cliche.
Sorry, but that is my observation. Maybe he made a bad first impression on me.


Image

The long essay in the book is over 25 years old but has aged extremely well. Give it another look, Ekenee and see if your dimissive attitude is warrented. It says more about you that you think it's mere "mumbo jumbo." As I recall, he's making some highly-personal and spirited defense of Elvis Presley in popular culture and takes on even the rock establishment who piled on after his death, despite themselves being fans of acts heavily-influenced by Elvis, indeed impossible to imagine without Elvis.

So Dave Marsh is an Elvis fan. He's one of us. Give him that.

"I'm not particularly impressed with your insights on Elvis as of yet but keep on trying...! I'll be looking for your book. " (Just kidding. But see?)

Regarding "Aloha," I love it for what it is and it remains a terrific show in many respects. Maybe I just have watched it with too many women awed by his physical magnetism, but it's his voice as a performer that comes out so well on the "big ballads."

Only time and repeated showings have allowed me the luxury of thinking it bears some aspects of being more a rock/ pop recital than a true unrestrained top-of-the-line Elvis Presley concert. But I'll take any Elvis recital any day of the week, "robotic" or not. :lol:

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

Tue Nov 04, 2008 3:33 am

I tell you this, I have a sprited defense of Elvis.

If you don't agree with my insights on Elvis, but you do agree with Dave Marsh's, and yet I disagree with Dave Marsh, then I can't see us agreeing on this. That's ok, but I see you have a spirited defense of Dave Marsh.

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

Tue Nov 04, 2008 4:33 am

Really, at the piano, Elvis surpassed his own genius. He may have been locked into some brilliant rhythms on guitar, but he was able to bring an even more desperate approach to the vast percussive instrument, which seemed to ground him and allow him to draw even deeper from the well of his own talent.


Now that's a beautifully written piece of text, which I'm always looking for on this MB, being in the business of writing myself (not english!).

Seriously Cryo, it's you who should write essays on Elvis in official (and unofficial) booklets. You have a real talent for it. :smt023

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

Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:04 am

That Marsh has been inconsistent on Aloha through the years because a good critic sometimes changes his or her mind. Reflection is a big part of criticism.

Marsh is a very good passionate critic. He is insightful and a good writer and that's all you can ask. He also shares many of my passions like doo wop, soul and 50s rock (and dislikes art rock) so that makes him sharper for me. Along with Marcus, he really got the ball rolling on theorizing about Elvis. He was the first writer I ever knew about who came right out and laid down a case for Elvis' 60s music. I was like "Yeah!" Really, it's hard to believe that once upon a time stuff like "Can't Help Falling in Love", "Viva Las Vegas", "Are You Lonesome To-night?" was considered bad Elvis. Marsh was also one of the first to lay down a defense of '70s Elvis as well. Marsh is actually one of the only critics I know where I can feel certain that he has listened to each and every Elvis album.

He certainly has his flaws. He tends to let his political agenda get in the way of music sometimes. He has certain rockist biases although not so much as in previous years. He also gets too personal and mean spirited with enemies and with artists he simply does not like. Calling Beverly Sills an "opera pig" because she protested Ice-T's "Cop Killer" was not necessary nor was citing the fact that Harry Connick Jr. was the son of an indicted congressman in an overview of his work. What's that got to do with the price of milk? Still he's a good critic.

Greg- Most critics have conceded that there is artistic merit in rap. As I pointed out before many contemporary critics have to struggle can only find intellectual merit in stuff like Marvin Gaye.

Tony Trout- I don't understand your criticism of the rehearsal show. Isn't a rehearsal show designed to work out kinks? Why should Elvis be prepared to practice? That he ran a rehearsal show indicates his commitment. For the most part, he'd been performing this show every night for a year.

Cryo- You think Marsh has no passion for this stuff? I disagree. I loved the comment about the privacy of the performance.

I feel Cryo was right on though when he said Elvis was trying to be a representative of the country on the show. Maybe "ambassador" is over the top and I agree that Elvis' records and movies were gobbled up by an international audience. However, this was the first time he had done something specifically aimed at the international market. He very much felt that he was a special exemplar of American life and wanted to represent that. Whatever you say about the show, he certainly looked fantastic.

Technical perfection was never an essential part of Elvis' appeal. If it had been "Heartbreak Hotel" would have been perfectly enounciated. The finished Aloha featured very few mistakes. The slight alterations in say "Burning Love" are hardly noticeable to anyone but the most die hard fan of the record. I like that it's a little different than the record.

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

Tue Nov 04, 2008 10:26 am

I know the show on the 12th is referred to as the "rehearsal show", but wasn't the show actually filmed as a backup in case something went wrong (technically I suppose) during the live broadcast on the 14th? Now imagine if something had happened and the "rehearsal show" had become the "official" Aloha.... Would we view the TV special that much differently today?