Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:45 am

Gold-Spangled Elvis: Flashes Of The Old Fire
Rolling Stone #213 - May 20, 1976


This may have been the last nationally-published review of Elvis in concert before his death in August 1977. It's spot-on, but not at all malicious, covering what Presley is all about in 1976. The quiet Sam Cooke reference is pretty cool, too.

Interesting that Rolling Stone editors used a photo taken in New Haven on July 16, 1975 by Joseph Sia for the review. They either didn't send a photographer to St. Louis that March, or disliked the photos they ended up with.

Enjoy!


RS 213 - May 20 1976 p102.JPG
Rolling Stone 213 - May 20, 1976
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Last edited by drjohncarpenter on Mon May 20, 2013 9:08 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:47 am

Very cool! Thanks a lot sport!

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:47 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:The quiet Sam Cooke reference is pretty cool, too.

A clever link to the gospel number "Touch the Hem of His Garment", the intention being to shine light on the fact many in the audience where essentially worshipping their "Jesus". The Bible verse in context:

Luke 8:42-48, NIV
As Jesus was on his way, the crowds almost crushed him. And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her. She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

"Who touched me?" Jesus asked.

When they all denied it, Peter said, "Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you."

But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."

Then the woman, seeing that she could not go unnoticed, came trembling and fell at his feet. In the presence of all the people she told why she had touched him and how she had been instantly healed. Then he said to her, "Daughter, your faith has healed you. Go in peace."


Interesting review - thanks for posting it!

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:23 pm

This was a fine read and summes it up quite well I guess.

Funny how time slips away......how prophetic.....

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:18 pm

Thanks Doc - a good, honest account.

I'd disagree with the 50 minute comment though - Elvis was on stage for more than an hour by this time, usually around 70 minutes, albeit with a lengthy introduction segment, as we all know.

As for the photo, maybe they just found a photo of a suit similar to the one he wore on the night?

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:09 pm

Thanks for posting Doc - a well written, honest review 8)

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Tue Feb 02, 2010 8:41 pm

A very professional, accurate portrait of Elvis in '76. Thanks for posting. The quip about Kahane was priceless.

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:03 pm

Nice posting, cool to see the original article!

One comment though..
Two drummers?

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:18 pm

Robert wrote:Nice posting, cool to see the original article!

One comment though..
Two drummers?

Maybe Charlie was playing the bongos that night?

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Tue Feb 02, 2010 11:20 pm

Can't argue with the review,neither scathing or reverential.The man sure knows
his guitarists!

Cheers Doc.

norrie

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:30 am

Thanks for the kind words, all.


midnightx wrote:
Robert wrote:Nice posting, cool to see the original article!

One comment though..
Two drummers?

Maybe Charlie was playing the bongos that night?

Heh.

Didn't the Joe Guercio Orchestra carry percussion?

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Wed Feb 03, 2010 12:37 am

Matthew wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:The quiet Sam Cooke reference is pretty cool, too.

A clever link to the gospel number "Touch the Hem of His Garment", the intention being to shine light on the fact many in the audience where essentially worshipping their "Jesus".

Indeed. And the carefully-chosen closing sentences underscore something of a miracle occurred. Did you catch it?

The writing was, overall, quite deft, with many subtle, telling observations.

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Wed Feb 03, 2010 1:24 am

Excellent thanks for posting! :lol:

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:43 am

And I thought it was a reference to the Gospel of Luke! Silly me!

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Wed Feb 03, 2010 9:42 am

Frankie Teardrop wrote:And I thought it was a reference to the Gospel of Luke! Silly me!

Sam Cooke's best-known, non-secular recording is "Touch The Hem Of His Garment."

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:32 am

I'm quite aware of that, Doc! That phrase may be a bit more popular from the Gospels, is all I was saying, in a lighthearted fashion. The Soul Stirrers track was, of course, derived from a passage in Luke.

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Wed Feb 03, 2010 10:40 am

Actually, it was Matthew, haven't read my Book in too long a time:

And sought him that they might only touch the hem of his garment: and as many as touched were made perfectly whole.


Anyway, not important, great review up top there!

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:03 am

Great find, but the article barely mentions the music itself. I think it's kind of blasé and rather typical for the progressive rock critics of the times. It does portray the circus-like atmosphere of a run-of-the-mill Elvis concert anno 1976 fairly well, though. But you always get the feeling that the guy in question doesn't like Elvis and his audience very much, or at least what Elvis stood for during his 1970s concert years. But guess what? Elvis' and his music has outlived them all, included at the bottom of that page.. except for Paul McCartney and the great Emmylou Harris.

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:06 am

Dude, you're saying Elvis is better than PABLO CRUISE?

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:15 am

Ahhh.. I wouldn't go THAT far. :oops:

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:09 am

James27 wrote:But you always get the feeling that the guy in question doesn't like ... what Elvis stood for during his 1970s concert years.

What exactly did Elvis stand for in St. Louis, MO on March 22, 1976?

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Fri Feb 05, 2010 8:33 am

Oh c'mon..he was the King of Rock'n'Roll! Same as any other year for 20 years...!

And hey, thanks for the post. I can't bother with the details at this hour but will print this and read it later.

I'm always fascinated that Elvis was still in our midst in '76 and had it gone differently, he might have truly "reigned" in '76 even in a paper like ROLLLING STONE, had he kept momentum of '68.

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Fri Feb 05, 2010 11:06 am

James27 wrote:But you always get the feeling that the guy in question doesn't like Elvis and his audience very much, or at least what Elvis stood for during his 1970s concert years. But guess what? Elvis' and his music has outlived them all, included at the bottom of that page.. except for Paul McCartney and the great Emmylou Harris.


You are right: Elvis outlived them all (in music), but it isnot the reviewer to blame for chosing this kind of form. I think it is an excellet choise and dome with respect for Elvis and his place in the music field back then. The review is about what an Elvis concert was all about back then and musically Elvis was not so interesting. The stage shows were routine and sometimes even the scarf tossing looked to be of more interst to his crowds than the music itself. If a reviewer of Rolling Stone or any other serious music magazine would choose to review Elvis concert in the light of the avantgarde of the music scene back then, the review certainly would have had a negative tone. You can see the same thing happen with reviews of Elvis' albums in 1973 en 1975.

Elvis was a top sell out artist who had become a giant in the music field and fortunately giants have there own place in the spectrum. The Rolling Stone journalist did understand that excellently. Great reading, thanks Doc!

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:33 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
James27 wrote:But you always get the feeling that the guy in question doesn't like ... what Elvis stood for during his 1970s concert years.

What exactly did Elvis stand for in St. Louis, MO on March 22, 1976?


Read carefully, the subject in the quote is 1970s concert years, not 1976 specifically. What Elvis stood for on stage in the 1970s, for one thing, was fantastic live music played to millions of enthusiastic people who mostly only knew him from records or movies, until he started performing live again in 1969. They could now see him and hear him in the flesh.

What he stood for in the 1970s was about the only man who presented such a versatile slice of true American music to audiences of all walks of life. Varying from early rock 'n' roll, country, gospel, pop opera, pop ballads, rhythm and blues, and certain things like "An American Trilogy" that can't be placed into a category except as "Elvis music".

What he stood for was the presentation of a kick ass band that couldn't be called a rock band or a soul band or a gospel band or a pop band, but something very much unique, with top-notch musicians for the most part. Especially his guitar-drum-bass core was the best in the world.

Although by 22-3-76 certain things had detoriorated compared to his last Vegas appearance, his voice was still good enough, less stable than it was, but more stable than it would become in the following months, and the charisma was also still intact. In fact crowds were even wilder in 1976 than before. Elvis was already a (living) legend even then. I was listening to that 1977 show Bruce Springsteen attended, and it struck me how crazy the crowd still went over him, totally nuts, although his voice was weak. But still Elvis' mood was rather upbeat, and as a whole this show wasn't particularly bad for the time, just run-off-the-mill.

DJC, I propose you obtain yourself a copy of "A New Kind Of Rhythm", that should give you an idea of the spirit of these March 1976 performances. They're not as bad as you think.
Or if you should have difficulty finding a copy, wait for the brand-spankin'-new release "Springtime Tours '76-'77" which features not one but two of these March shows, for the real 1976 enthusiast and apologist that is waiting to come out. :)

Re: Gold-Spangled Elvis (1976) -- Complete!

Sat Feb 06, 2010 5:34 am

James27 wrote:DJC, I propose you obtain yourself a copy of "A New Kind Of Rhythm", that should give you an idea of the spirit of these March 1976 performances. They're not as bad as you think.

How bad do you think I think they are?