Re: Elvis Classic -> Blue Hawaii: Tragic news from the mainland

Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:47 am

likethebike wrote:I don't mean to be an advertisement, but for your knowledge, several Barnes and Noble chain stores have Rolling Stone Cover to Cover available in the bargain books section for $24.98, an incredible bargain considering it contains on four computer discs every Rolling Stone for 1967 to 2007. It did at one point contain a subscription to the current magazine, although I think that offer has lapsed. Having the set allows you to see the original articles in their original context.


I saw that. I found that set used for $40 a couple years ago and thought I had got the deal of the century. Little did I know....
I had no problems with the reader-program, nothing cumbersome about it to me. Also, all the files can be copied over to hard-drive, and used in other programs.

Re: Elvis Classic -> Blue Hawaii: Tragic news from the mainland

Tue Dec 15, 2009 3:54 am

Thanks Frankie for the feedback...will maybe grab one if the price is right.

Re: Elvis Classic -> Blue Hawaii - Elvis: Spirit And Flesh

Wed Jan 12, 2011 3:27 am

Frankie Teardrop wrote:
likethebike wrote:I don't mean to be an advertisement, but for your knowledge, several Barnes and Noble chain stores have Rolling Stone Cover to Cover available in the bargain books section for $24.98, an incredible bargain considering it contains on four computer discs every Rolling Stone for 1967 to 2007. It did at one point contain a subscription to the current magazine, although I think that offer has lapsed. Having the set allows you to see the original articles in their original context.


I saw that. I found that set used for $40 a couple years ago and thought I had got the deal of the century. Little did I know....
I had no problems with the reader-program, nothing cumbersome about it to me. Also, all the files can be copied over to hard-drive, and used in other programs.

That is GREAT information, thank you!

Re: Elvis Classic -> Blue Hawaii - Elvis: Spirit And Flesh

Sun Jun 05, 2011 7:09 am

I have the issue protected in plastic. Read it for weeks after, then protected it.

Two things. How do we know with certainty Elvis didn't read his book? Marcus ends with a wish for Elvis to sing the chorus of "I Threw It All Away." In 75, he recorded "Pieces of My Life." With "I guess I threw the best parts away, Lord away . . ."
I do not know the date of Mystery Train's very first pblication. Awful close.

Second, tho I hate to think of it, ther is Marcus's inexplicably nasty 2003 piece where he castigates him for not Marching In Memphis AFTER Dr. King was killed, for not changing a Little Rock teen's racial views, for being, literally, a "Stay Away" from the whole civil rights struggle {which is either inexcusable ignorance or an inexcusable lie}, and for being socially pathetic EVEN THOUGH he was smart enough to know who Bob Dylan was! Marcus hadn't thought Elvis sufficiently enlightened, apparently until he heard the little Vegas 69 joke.

The capper, though, came the very next year. In his excellent liner notes to the Deluxe 68 DVD, he says that Elvis's passion on "If I Can Dream" "seemed to come from experience, not a script." To what experience did he refer? Apparently, Marcus knew more than he cared to let on the year before. For the paid liner notes, the civil rights "Stay Away" was now a social hero!

Bummer. I felt sorta cheated. I had been disilussioned before but that kind of thing was shocking. And proved rock criticism existed no more as any kind of social or cultural force.
Elvis, though dead, had "outlived" it.
And maybe that irritated Marcus more than anything. Elvis still mattered. His field did not.

I still treasure the article from 77. {Oh. He wrote in shortly that he had phoned in the words "barbs" not "broads"}

rjm
P.S. Yes I know of the thread on the 03 piece. But I cannot entirely separate it.

Re: Elvis Classic -> Blue Hawaii - Elvis: Spirit And Flesh

Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:53 am

rjm wrote:Two things. How do we know with certainty Elvis didn't read his book? Marcus ends with a wish for Elvis to sing the chorus of "I Threw It All Away." In 75, he recorded "Pieces of My Life." With "I guess I threw the best parts away, Lord away . . ."
I do not know the date of Mystery Train's very first publication. Awful close.

Not close enough. The book was reviewed by Rolling Stone in August 1975, and probably went to print in June or July, long after the RCA Hollywood sessions that year. It was written by Marcus colleague, Presley fan and fledgling Bruce Springsteen manager, Jon Landau.


Image

Rolling Stone - Issue 194, Aug 28, 1975


In order for Elvis to have read Marcus, someone would have had to bring the materials to him. There was no one around like that.

rjm wrote:Marcus's inexplicably nasty 2003 piece where he castigates him for ... literally, a "Stay Away" from the whole civil rights struggle {which is either inexcusable ignorance or an inexcusable lie}

Is it? Elvis was publicly invisible when it came to civil rights struggles in the 1960s. Even one gesture would have made tremendous waves, but it never happened. Yes, there was a single in mid-1969 ("In The Ghetto"), but that could hardly be called vociferous support for the civil rights movement. And this is what Marcus laments. It doesn't read as nasty but rather as wistful, and regretful.

Re: Elvis Classic -> Blue Hawaii - Elvis: Spirit And Flesh

Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:31 am

You know of a PUBLIC gesture as the very first sit-ins were beginning.

Conducting the orchestra at the Ice Capades before an audience of all black Memphians.

Then he was given an award by Native Americans of The Los Angeles Tribal Council.

Not to mention breaking local segregation ordinances earlier.

His late sixties topical hits were heard by millions. GK of all people thought it was a "risk." At least one song was almost not cut.
Jessee Jackson condemned him but later has said kind things. It was a mistake on Jackson' part and he realizes that.
But it sure kicked up a fuss! So much for Elvis living under a rock.
rjm

Re: Elvis Classic -> Blue Hawaii - Elvis: Spirit And Flesh

Sun Jun 05, 2011 9:36 am

rjm wrote:You know of a PUBLIC gesture as the very first sit-ins were beginning.

Conducting the orchestra at the Ice Capades before an audience of all black Memphians.

Then he was given an award by Native Americans of The Los Angeles Tribal Council.

Not to mention breaking local segregation ordinances earlier.

His late sixties topical hits were heard by millions. GK of all people thought it was a "risk." At least one song was almost not cut.
Jessee Jackson condemned him but later has said kind things. It was a mistake on Jackson' part and he realizes that.
But it sure kicked up a fuss! So much for Elvis living under a rock.
rjm

Sadly, I don't see a single thing here that intersects with the significant events of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, say, starting with JFK's inauguration in January 1961.

Timeline of African-American Civil Rights Movement: 1960-1969
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timeline_of_the_African-American_Civil_Rights_Movement#1960.E2.80.931969


Again, this is what critic Marcus laments, and his point has merit.

Re: Elvis Classic -> Blue Hawaii - Elvis: Spirit And Flesh

Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:40 pm

Now you're just teasing. You know I was sitting here nearly gouging holes in the upolstery. Because you know I take things too much to heart. "Lighten up"? It's not me. Wish I could sometimes.

And the JFK thing was a little test: he was invited AFTER it was over, from LBJ's office, with an old Nixon flyer stuffed into the envelope after said former VP had left town. It looked like one of Parker's stranger "practical" jokes. I mean, it was one peculiar envelope.

Also, I believe his cousin Junior had recently killed himself in Memphis. Having to re-shoot the "suicide ending" to Wild In The Country, Elvis had missed the funeral. Now he was supposed to head off to Washington to "bear any burden"? I think he already did. {At the time, JFK was NOT the eloquent civil rights activist president he would become in 1963, not long before an assailant blew his head off. In fact, he was still the "tough talking" cold warrior of the election.}

How did those actions apply to the movement? Directly. It was not a movement that was limited to only specific locations and situations. Creativity was prized. If one could disturb the status quo right there and then, it certainly added to the vitality of a movement that was starting to burgeon. And what did ANY other well-known white Memphian do at the time? I am sure the audience was both stunned and very pleased. While other whites ignored the one performance black folk were permitted, Elvis made a spectacle of himself.

It didn't matter who you were: only that you thought of something that might offer encouragement and did it. Though he finally made the mainstream paper in Memphis, they sure tried to slide around it. Puffed up with "warmth," the paper deftly avoided the story being widely picked up.
I think it was a way of letting some old friends know he was back. With a flourish. He wasn't called a "race man" for no reason.

Did he later find himself "stuck" in a Hollywood quagmire, both artistically and personally? Sure. And it isn't fair of any of us to say WE wouldn't get ourslves in that position where our lives were no longer our own. Because we don't know what we would have done had we been dealt that hand of cards.

All we do know is that when he did get the chance, he made a plea before 60,000,000 Americans for "a better land where all my brothers walk hand in hand."

rjm

Re: Elvis Classic -> Blue Hawaii - Elvis: Spirit And Flesh

Sun Jun 05, 2011 8:54 pm

And if an Internet encyclopedia does not wish to confer "significance" to certain events or acts, that does not mean they lacked genuine siginificance.

I can think of a number of things unrecognized as officially significant, but were essential. Not Elvis things either. And some of them by ordinary people who will never be recognized.

rjm

Re: Elvis Classic -> Blue Hawaii - Elvis: Spirit And Flesh

Mon Jun 06, 2011 6:52 am

rjm wrote:I can think of a number of things unrecognized as officially significant, but were essential. Not Elvis things either. And some of them by ordinary people who will never be recognized.

No doubt Elvis' heart was in the right place during the 1960s, but no one with a firm grip on the history of of the movement, the Wiki link is a useful and instructive outline of events great and small, would ever place his name in the top 500 prominent supporters. Ever.

You're trying to make it seem like Elvis was on the same level of activism in the 1960s as someone like, say, Joan Baez, and that's absurd. Period.

Maybe it is this misplaced attribution that made you so dislike the 2003 Greil Marcus column.

Re: Elvis Classic -> Blue Hawaii - Elvis: Spirit And Flesh

Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:05 am

Joan Baez?! C'mon. That is obviously not what I meant.

I returned to the topic today in any case because I feel like I owe Marcus a second look.

Those of us who are younger probably do not feel it in the same way.

He had reason to expect more of Elvis but Elvis let others down in letting himself down. Time and again. Unto death. Of ALL the southern whites in his business and in Memphis, who else so flagrantly and deliberately broke the taboos during that time? THAT is Marcus's point, I now realize. And THAT is precisely the root of Marcus's anger. Elvis, who DID care and was different, betrayed himself. And thus the world. And it still enrages him. More than ever.

He felt it was too easy to blame anyone else. Even in 77.

I have reconsidered the 25th anniversary reaction regarding Marcus and that's what I really want to talk about. The fact that the piece made me feel angry and betrayed made me think again. Clearly Marcus felt what he made me feel. Because I HAD said you cannot separate the two pieces.
That's the key.

Recall Marcus's ORIGINAL reaction to the death: ugly, sleazy, wasteful . . . "It was simply rage; I was devastated." There it is. Right there. Elvis had been in the ground a QUARTER CENTURY at the time, for NO good reason, and for an original fan like Marcus, time did not heal. Quite the reverse. In other words, it was RAGE. It was if his whole achievement had been wasted. And it was palpable; I felt it. How can one "grow" if one is secretly obsessed with one main thing: the means of his own destruction? Marcus knows a lot more about the details of that in the 21st century than in 77.

And therein lies the WASTE. Elvis wasted everything good about himself. Whatever he did in good conscience is buried under a mound of the self-involvement that killed him. It was like Marcus wanted to face him and throw a punch. But he couldn't.

It was as though Marcus was saying, to Elvis: "YOU were different. YOU had more to offer. You were smart and you gave a damn about the world even under diificult circumstances. I have seen pictures, among other things, to demonstrate that. But you pursued your own destruction in every way - and early on. You did not cherish your better angels. And I do not feel like celebrating THAT. In fact, Elvis Aron Presley, I would like to point out just one thing you wasted. Because, frankly, you're dead and cannot challenge me. And that REALLY pisses me off."

The original obit helped me see that my reaction to his death could never be the same as an original thoughtful fan. At 7 or eight years old, I didn't even know who Elvis was. {Like many children, I also didn't know who MLK was but that was not HIS fault. Elvis not being on the radio was Elvis' fault.}

Ya dig?
rjm

Re: Elvis Classic -> Blue Hawaii - Elvis: Spirit And Flesh

Wed Jun 08, 2011 7:27 am

I don't mean 7 or 8 at EPs death. I mean not long before the King murder, I didn't know who Elvis was. I thought he was like Rudolph Valentino or somebody.

When he SHOULD have been on the radio.

Clearly, he wasted quite a bit of himself. Time and time again.

rjm