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Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:29 pm

Here's a funny memory.

Less than 5 months after Elvis died, and two days before what would have been Presley's 43rd birthday, rock 'n' roll's latest threat to the status quo, the Sex Pistols, played Memphis.



780106_Pistols Arrive In Memphis.JPG
Members of the Sex Pistols -- Sid Vicious (with cigarette), Steve Jones and Johnny Rotten (behind Jones) -- arrived at Midtown's Taliesyn Ballroom amid a tense scene as the concert had been oversold and angry fans mobbed outside the venue. Inside, the audience waited 90 minutes for the band to take the stage.
Photo: Jim Shearin, Memphis Commercial Appeal




It would be part of their only U.S. tour, one which consciously avoided New York and Los Angeles while playing several conservative southern cities. They did no Elvis covers that night.



780106_Johnny Rotten_Taliesyn Ballroom_Memphis.JPG
Johnny Rotten, on stage at Midtown's Taliesyn Ballroom in Memphis



It was also the occasion of the first "Elvis vigil" by hardcore fans, and the contrast was played out in the national press.



780109_SF Examiner p09.JPG
San Francisco Examiner, Monday, January 9, 1978
Note: former Presley bodyguard Dick Grob calls the Presley event at the Memphis Fairgrounds less than "fourth class."



The Commercial Appeal's music writer Walter Dawson gave the band high marks:


In a front-page review published the day after the concert, Dawson reported that, "What the Pistols proved was that they are indeed first-rate rock and rollers, soaked heavily in that tradition and possessing a frenzied rage that has been lacking from rock for too long."

The night Memphis met the Sex Pistols >> The Commercial Appeal
http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2008/jan/05/the-night-memphis-met-the-sex-pistols




Sadly, the groundbreaking group would soon fragment after this tour ended, following an amazing finale at San Francisco's Winterland.


Read more here:
Sex Pistols - Memphis 1978
http://www.guerrillamonster.com/memphis/sex-pistols/index.html
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Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Fri Apr 19, 2013 11:47 pm

Elvis was then and still is bigger in death than any rock star or group will be in life.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 12:09 am

Wow! What a great topic! Elvis and The Sex Pistols, true Rock'n'Roll. Thanks Doc, good stuff!

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:17 am

SuspiciousMind wrote:Elvis was then and still is bigger in death than any rock star or group will be in life.


Don't agree with that, but glad you enjoyed the topic.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:19 am

mysterytrainrideson wrote:Wow! What a great topic! Elvis and The Sex Pistols, true Rock'n'Roll. Thanks Doc, good stuff!


Thanks!

Yes, for true rockers only!!

I remember cutting out that newspaper article and reading with wonder. I didn't own records by anyone yet, but I knew it was a significant moment, somehow.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:49 am

I remember hearing the Sex Pistols for the first time...i was blown away by the sheer power and energy of their music. It's such a shame they only really made one album, and what an album it is!!!

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:55 am

Really never got into these guys but they were pretty huge for a short time. If Lennon had lived, The Beatles would, I bet , have reunited for a concert, and possibly at least one album. I don't think there is any doubt that this would have been the biggest musical event in history dwarfing anything Elvis ever did or even The Beatles themselves. The public desire for them to reunite grew bigger & bigger each year. Wherever they went, they were always asked that question and you had the feeling that one day, egos would have been put aside , and it would have happened and I am sure it would done what I have stated.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:52 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
SuspiciousMind wrote:Elvis was then and still is bigger in death than any rock star or group will be in life.


Don't agree with that, but glad you enjoyed the topic.


I don't know. Can Justin Beiber draw in 70,000 fans to a concert? Elvis had 70,000 at last year's candle light vigil.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:44 am

SuspiciousMind wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
SuspiciousMind wrote:Elvis was then and still is bigger in death than any rock star or group will be in life.


Don't agree with that, but glad you enjoyed the topic.


I don't know. Can Justin Beiber draw in 70,000 fans to a concert? Elvis had 70,000 at last year's candle light vigil.


Did you just compare Justin Beiber to Johnny Rotten? :smt101

Anyway, it was Rotten/Lydon who spoke this reaction to Elvis's death just months before: "Good career move." (Or at least that's the legend.)

rjm

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:48 am

While dealing with hypothetical situations, R &B, a real Elvis comeback ( off drugs, slim, new manager, new producer, world tour) in 1979 or '80 or '85 could have been as big as any Beatle comeback.

We'll never know.

Thanks for the post, Doc.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 1:39 pm

SuspiciousMind wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
SuspiciousMind wrote:Elvis was then and still is bigger in death than any rock star or group will be in life.


Don't agree with that, but glad you enjoyed the topic.


I don't know. Can Justin Beiber draw in 70,000 fans to a concert? Elvis had 70,000 at last year's candle light vigil.

Actually, he drew in that particualar amount of people at three concerts in Oslo this week.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 2:22 pm

rjm wrote:... it was Rotten/Lydon who spoke this reaction to Elvis's death just months before: "Good career move." (Or at least that's the legend.)rjm

Shortly after Elvis' death, he is also reported to have said:

"F---in' good riddance to bad rubbish. I don't give a f---in' s---, and nobody else does either. It's just fun to fake sympathy, that's all they're doin'."

Years later, in his 1995 memoir "No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish," Lydon apparently mellowed when recalling the common ground [in his view] of "Rotten" and Elvis:

"Each was a working class kid possessed of strange charisma, an extraordinary sense of style and a talent for articulating an individual voice from unheard segments of society. Each used these gifts to change the path of pop music."

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 3:18 pm

Gregory Nolan Jr. wrote:While dealing with hypothetical situations, R &B, a real Elvis comeback ( off drugs, slim, new manager, new producer, world tour) in 1979 or '80 or '85 could have been as big as any Beatle comeback.

We'll never know.

Thanks for the post, Doc.



That already happened (except the manager/world tour) in 1968/69. The world took notice, Elvis was relevant again for a short while and then we moved on. I think a Beatles reunion would have been much bigger. They, by all accounts , were the most critically acclaimed rock/pop music act of all time.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 5:43 pm

Thanks for this Doc, I've always wondered what Elvis would have thought of the Pistols and Punk as a whole and it's slightly ironic that they played Memphis on what would have been his birthday, by the way, Steve Jones is a big Elvis fan and he plays on LMP's track "Idiot".

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:03 pm

elvisalisellers wrote:
rjm wrote:... it was Rotten/Lydon who spoke this reaction to Elvis's death just months before: "Good career move." (Or at least that's the legend.)rjm

Shortly after Elvis' death, he is also reported to have said:

"F---in' good riddance to bad rubbish. I don't give a f---in' s---, and nobody else does either. It's just fun to fake sympathy, that's all they're doin'."

Years later, in his 1995 memoir "No Dogs, No Blacks, No Irish," Lydon apparently mellowed when recalling the common ground [in his view] of "Rotten" and Elvis:

"Each was a working class kid possessed of strange charisma, an extraordinary sense of style and a talent for articulating an individual voice from unheard segments of society. Each used these gifts to change the path of pop music."


If that's true, then I hope whoever Lydon is that his ass burns in hell for having little compassion for the dead, especially the dead who opened the doors for him to have a career in rock music. Funny thing is, that dead man he said nobody cared about is more loved than he will ever be. In fact, nobody gives a **** about him. Jealousy is a b!tch.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 6:33 pm

Liverbobs wrote:Thanks for this Doc, I've always wondered what Elvis would have thought of the Pistols and Punk as a whole and it's slightly ironic that they played Memphis on what would have been his birthday, by the way, Steve Jones is a big Elvis fan and he plays on LMP's track "Idiot".


Pretty easy to answer that. Elvis would have hated the Pistols and the punk movement. A fan of progressive rock he was not.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 7:37 pm

I hated punk rock myself and I was a teen then. The music sucked and was filled with drug addicts on a stage influencing kids to be like them. As I like to call them; the devil's children.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:19 pm

r&b wrote: Elvis would have hated the Pistols and the punk movement. A fan of progressive rock he was not.


Punks, for the most part, hated prog rock too.

Elvis was a punk in the 50's. It's all relative.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:23 pm

Bill Tanner wrote:
r&b wrote: Elvis would have hated the Pistols and the punk movement. A fan of progressive rock he was not.


Punks, for the most part, hated prog rock too.

Elvis was a punk in the 50's. It's all relative.


As Elvis said in King Creole..."I'm not a hoodlum, but I am a hustler." :wink:

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:34 pm

Liverbobs wrote:Thanks for this Doc, I've always wondered what Elvis would have thought of the Pistols and Punk as a whole and it's slightly ironic that they played Memphis on what would have been his birthday, by the way, Steve Jones is a big Elvis fan and he plays on LMP's track "Idiot".


The music and vocals would not have appealed to him, any more than Black Sabbath or Yes. But, given the right conversational circumstances, he might have recognized and appreciated the back-to-basics, D.I.Y. philosophy of the punk/new wave movement. These kids were reaching back to the manner in how rock 'n' roll broke through in the mid-fifties, and it was notable how it disturbed parents and musical snobs in equal measure, just like back in the day.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:35 pm

SuspiciousMind wrote:I hated punk rock myself and I was a teen then. The music sucked and was filled with drug addicts on a stage influencing kids to be like them. As I like to call them; the devil's children.


For someone who knows so little about this genre, and dislikes it so much, you sure are posting a lot on the topic.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:37 pm

Bill Tanner wrote:
r&b wrote: Elvis would have hated the Pistols and the punk movement. A fan of progressive rock he was not.


Punks, for the most part, hated prog rock too.

Elvis was a punk in the 50's. It's all relative.


Spot-on. This parallel was lost on many Elvis fans in January 1978, and evidently still seems so today.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 9:51 pm

Wasn't punk basically a backlash against Disco? If so, then Blondie certainly combined the 2 genres successfully

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sat Apr 20, 2013 10:18 pm

r&b wrote:Wasn't punk basically a backlash against Disco? If so, then Blondie certainly combined the 2 genres successfully


No.

Punk was a backlash against rock star excess and elitism, and the notion that no one was saying anything of value with the music. The idea that only rock virtuosos (i.e. "Clapton is 'God'") should make rock music was proven dead wrong by the energy, excitement and fresh ideas of the punk and new wave movement.

Re: Elvis Defeats Sex Pistols --> January 1978!

Sun Apr 21, 2013 12:39 am

egilj wrote:
SuspiciousMind wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
SuspiciousMind wrote:Elvis was then and still is bigger in death than any rock star or group will be in life.


Don't agree with that, but glad you enjoyed the topic.


I don't know. Can Justin Beiber draw in 70,000 fans to a concert? Elvis had 70,000 at last year's candle light vigil.

Actually, he drew in that particualar amount of people at three concerts in Oslo this week.


A nonsensical comparasin, Beiber with David Cassidy now that you can compare.
Dead Elvis pretty much outsells live Beiber.