Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:42 am

brian wrote:
stevelecher wrote:Obviously, it was good and very beneficial that Elvis did the 68 Special he did. He needed a project to have pride in. I'm only saying that Elvis' career would have gone on if another mistake had been made. He was too great and influential to completely go away.

You guys really think people wouldn't have wanted to see Elvis in concert because he did a Christmas special? He was still a legend.

Steve Lecher


I agree with what you are saying Steve.

I've said the same thing in other threads about the 68 special.


What was happening in Elvis' career before the '68 Special? "Not a whole lot to write about." The records were not doing what they used to and the movies were not doing much better. When was the last time Elvis had a single in the top ten? '65 "Crying In The Chapel" (recorded in 1960). Last time he had an album in the top ten? '65 "Harum Scarum." Elvis' films were no longer profitable. The last Elvis film that made the top box office rankings was Girl Happy '65. Elvis' last live performance was back in '61.

I think Elvis was nervous and his confidence was low about doing a TV Special. He needed the TV Special to be a "hit." If Elvis did a show of Christmas songs Parker had originally planned, not only the show would have 'not' been a success but also Elvis would have lost his confidence. Now the Colonel would have full control. I don’t want to think about what the Colonel would have planned next for Elvis. I’m sure at this time the Colonel’s priority would have been to renegotiate his contract with Elvis. Probably wanting 90%.

I agree with you that Elvis' career would have continued, back into the movies. Why, because that what the Colonel would have wanted Elvis to do.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:55 am

brian wrote:
midnightx wrote:Individuals like Steve Binder and Chips Moman who defied Tom Parker and were able to influence Elvis to do the same -- all in the name of producing quality work -- were clearly blacklisted from having access to him in the future.


If Steve Binder or Chips Moman wanted to go backstage and say hello to Elvis that's okay.

As a matter of fact i bet if Moman went to see a show he would have went backstage and said hello.

You're assuming he could have gotten backstage.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:58 am

EPA4368 wrote:
brian wrote:
stevelecher wrote:Obviously, it was good and very beneficial that Elvis did the 68 Special he did. He needed a project to have pride in. I'm only saying that Elvis' career would have gone on if another mistake had been made. He was too great and influential to completely go away.

You guys really think people wouldn't have wanted to see Elvis in concert because he did a Christmas special? He was still a legend.

Steve Lecher


I agree with what you are saying Steve.

I've said the same thing in other threads about the 68 special.


What was happening in Elvis' career before the '68 Special? "Not a whole lot to write about." The records were not doing what they used to and the movies were not doing much better. When was the last time Elvis had a single in the top ten? '65 "Crying In The Chapel" (recorded in 1960). Last time he had an album in the top ten? '65 "Harum Scarum." Elvis' films were no longer profitable. The last Elvis film that made the top box office rankings was Girl Happy '65. Elvis' last live performance was back in '61.

I think Elvis was nervous and his confidence was low about doing a TV Special. He needed the TV Special to be a "hit." If Elvis did a show of Christmas songs Parker had originally planned, not only the show would have 'not' been a success but also Elvis would have lost his confidence. Now the Colonel would have full control. I don’t want to think about what the Colonel would have planned next for Elvis. I’m sure at this time the Colonel’s priority would have been to renegotiate his contract with Elvis. Probably wanting 90%.

I agree with you that Elvis' career would have continued, back into the movies. Why, because that what the Colonel would have wanted Elvis to do.


you've missed Steve's point

I've already gave my views on this before.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:00 am

midnightx wrote:
brian wrote:
midnightx wrote:Individuals like Steve Binder and Chips Moman who defied Tom Parker and were able to influence Elvis to do the same -- all in the name of producing quality work -- were clearly blacklisted from having access to him in the future.


If Steve Binder or Chips Moman wanted to go backstage and say hello to Elvis that's okay.

As a matter of fact i bet if Moman went to see a show he would have went backstage and said hello.

You're assuming he could have gotten backstage.


Apparently everbody got backstage except Binder.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 1:18 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:I disagree. A Parker-designed Holiday special might have pulled viewers, but it would have also shown us a pretty subdued star -- can you imagine Elvis on camera, delivering "Here Comes Santa Claus" in a sweater and mittens, with faux snow falling behind him? The reviews would have been uniformly awful, a confirmation that the Elvis everyone used to know and love was well and truly dead.

Aren't you selling Binder (and Elvis) a little bit short here? Would Binder, being forced to do an all Xmas song special (as the Colonel wanted), suddenly turn into a hack, talentless producer? Surely he (and Elvis) had the talent to tranform those lemons into lemonade. I'm pretty sure they would come up with an enjoyable and successful hour of Elvis performing Xmas songs. Sure, the rock critics would have snubbed their nose at the final product, but the TV critics would have probably seen it favorably and pointed out that beyond the "Hollywood Elvis" there still was a fine singer and entertainer.
We are free to speculate what would have happened following such a TV special. Songs recorded prior to the special show us an Elvis who seemed to have a desire for change and a return to his roots. Perhaps American Studios would have eventually happened, in one way or another. Plus, with his movie contracts at an end and a resigning somewhat doubtful, our man was probably headed to live concerts anyway. And people would have been more than a little interested in seeing Elvis "freakin' Presley, an American icon if ever there was one.
However, no matter what different roads he would have taken, they have all led to the shag carpet of his bathroom. As X mentioned, the man was way too self-destructive for the story to end any other way. :cry:

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 7:34 pm

brian wrote:
midnightx wrote:
brian wrote:
midnightx wrote:Individuals like Steve Binder and Chips Moman who defied Tom Parker and were able to influence Elvis to do the same -- all in the name of producing quality work -- were clearly blacklisted from having access to him in the future.


If Steve Binder or Chips Moman wanted to go backstage and say hello to Elvis that's okay.

As a matter of fact i bet if Moman went to see a show he would have went backstage and said hello.

You're assuming he could have gotten backstage.


Apparently everbody got backstage except Binder.

Parker, Diskin, and Jarvis clearly did not want Elvis associating with Chips Moman. You can bet that Diskin or Esposito or whoever was overseeing entrance to Elvis' "backstage" festivities would have made it difficult for Chips to enter.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:21 pm

It's great that someone continues to troll through the BIllboard archives for such items. Nice eye, DJC.

I do agree it's a bit of self-inflating hyperbole by Binder to suggest Elvis' career might have been "killed" by doing an all-Christmas TV special and here the barely-in-his-30s Binder is showing a bit of generational bias against this stodgy but popular Yule tradition that would last for many more years. Perhaps Elvis might have morphed more into a Dean Martin figure that much earlier than he did in the '70s - "not that there's anything wrong with that."

But its all speculation and we do know he hungered for the old fire again and thankfully Binder, Howe, et al. (briefly) overcame the absurdly-selfish and outdated management of the Dutch illegal alien.

We've had some threads on other Binder interviews more recently where he spells out in more detail how he was shut out by the Elvis circle. It's maddening and tragic to read. It really drives home how short-lived his "comeback" would be destined to be, with him not even living to make the ten-year anniversary of the program in 1978 when he'd have been a mere 43.

Elvisjock, I prefer to say that some of the production scenes are "dated" and should be watched in the context of such big showbiz themes that were commonplace on TV into the '70s.

That some of them were edited out (apparently for being "risque) doesn't fully address probable time limits of the TV-special and the inherent power of the "boxing ring" performances, sitting or standing. I think the "It Hurts Me" segment with "Big Boss Man" has a light-hearted (Elvis movie-like?) feel but gets a bit absurd with the karate segment, the confrontation with the "boss," etc. but to me it's good fun and Elvis is on fire in his own way, dated concepts or not.

And sure (especially if you've ever labored through all the outtakes) the gospel segment might get the "dated" tag but I rather like it, particularly with the Blossoms, providing a progressive, integrated setting for Elvis, evoking the turmoil of 1968 that Elvis would more clearly summon at the end with "If I Can Dream."

I'm not much for modern dance or Bob Fosse but in small doses, the dancers do add some punch and power. (If you watch them enough, you can find the less-than 100% tight aspects of their dancing and I know little of the subject.) I think it's a very effective and powerful special (original or expanded) and latter-day harping (as with the ALOHA special) tends to come into play as we've all had years to pick it apart. I still love popping this special in on occasion and even the audio (if a bit loud, and busy) can pack a wallop on it sown.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:32 pm

Mister Mike wrote: However, no matter what different roads he would have taken, they have all led to the shag carpet of his bathroom. As X mentioned, the man was way too self-destructive for the story to end any other way.

Unfortunately, this is true. Although it hurts, it’s true.

I’ll say this “Elvis Fans are the Best!” :D

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:36 pm

I reviewed my earlier post. It sounded more harsh than I intended.

I have the highest level of respect for Steve Binder, and the team that worked on the TV show. "Ridiculous" might be too strong a criticism of the production sequences. That said, those numbers didn't make the show the success it was, nor are they the reason we are still watching and listening to it. In the open, the close and in the arena, Elvis was allowed to simply be himself. When that happened, it was Ed Sullivan all over again.

"There is so much in the guy."

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:44 pm

midnightx wrote:
brian wrote:
midnightx wrote:
brian wrote:
midnightx wrote:Individuals like Steve Binder and Chips Moman who defied Tom Parker and were able to influence Elvis to do the same -- all in the name of producing quality work -- were clearly blacklisted from having access to him in the future.


If Steve Binder or Chips Moman wanted to go backstage and say hello to Elvis that's okay.

As a matter of fact i bet if Moman went to see a show he would have went backstage and said hello.

You're assuming he could have gotten backstage.


Apparently everbody got backstage except Binder.

Parker, Diskin, and Jarvis clearly did not want Elvis associating with Chips Moman. You can bet that Diskin or Esposito or whoever was overseeing entrance to Elvis' "backstage" festivities would have made it difficult for Chips to enter.


Simply put I don't believe that Steve Binder wasn't allowed to go backstage to say hello to Elvis.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 8:52 pm

"There is so much in the guy."


:lol:

That says it all!

That, and "I think he's a good clean fellow.." :lol:

Thanks for the amendment. We are blessed to have at our disposal the '68 show at our fingertips.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 9:17 pm

elvisjock wrote:I reviewed my earlier post. It sounded more harsh than I intended.

I have the highest level of respect for Steve Binder, and the team that worked on the TV show. "Ridiculous" might be too strong a criticism of the production sequences. That said, those numbers didn't make the show the success it was, nor are they the reason we are still watching and listening to it. In the open, the close and in the arena, Elvis was allowed to simply be himself. When that happened, it was Ed Sullivan all over again.

"There is so much in the guy."


Very good post. Thank you!

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:53 pm

Thanks for posting Doc :)

I agree that after the early 60's Tom Parker did more harm to Elvis' career than good. It hurts to imagine what kind of music, movies etc. Elvis could have made without the Colonels "advice".

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 03, 2010 10:59 pm

Mister Mike wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:I disagree. A Parker-designed Holiday special might have pulled viewers, but it would have also shown us a pretty subdued star -- can you imagine Elvis on camera, delivering "Here Comes Santa Claus" in a sweater and mittens, with faux snow falling behind him? The reviews would have been uniformly awful, a confirmation that the Elvis everyone used to know and love was well and truly dead.

Aren't you selling Binder (and Elvis) a little bit short here? Would Binder, being forced to do an all Xmas song special (as the Colonel wanted), suddenly turn into a hack, talentless producer?

No.

Under those circumstances Binder would have quit the project.

He says so in the article posted on page 1.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:09 am

All the American artists and bands all appearing on programs like Shindig or The Ed sullivan show etc all the amazing talent with all those amazing songs,music had changed beyond all recognition,what about the Beatles appearances on the Ed sullivan shows? what about their US tours and the mass hysteria surrounding them? what about the British invasion and all their bands/artists?

I dread to think what would have happened if Binder had walked and the no talking christmas song special had taken place.

I suppose it's a bit like if Bruce Lee didnt get that picture deal in Hong Kong.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Sat Sep 04, 2010 4:22 am

Furthermore I think it's no coincidence that Parker talked Elvis into marrying Priscilla in 67 as he was looking for a way to boost Elvis flagging career,Parker even chose the place.
Parker was playing it safe by planning a no talking christmas song special.
Same reason he didnt want Elvis recording "If I Can Dream" he whent nuts about the lyrics.

We must realise just how much Parker was controlling.

PS. I reasd in an earlier post about Parkers gambling habits and booking Elvis into endless touring,well Parkers gambling habit was getting absurdly out of hand as early as the mid sixties.

.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Thu Sep 09, 2010 8:17 pm

GERRY wrote:We must realize just how much Parker was controlling.

Indeed, that is clearly one of Steve Binder's main points.

Binder was also hinting in the 1971 article how this control was to the detriment of Presley's life and career.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Thu Sep 09, 2010 9:40 pm

I do not get all fired up at the Colonel for what could have been if he had it his way. The fact is Elvis did it his way and this proves he was not being controlled if he did not want to. In later years he didn't want to, care and or was physically and mentally unable.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Thu Sep 09, 2010 10:23 pm

Juan Luis wrote:I do not get all fired up at the Colonel for what could have been if he had it his way. The fact is Elvis did it his way and this proves he was not being controlled if he did not want to. In later years he didn't want to, care and or was physically and mentally unable.

Yes, but Parker was well aware of this passivity, and took full advantage of it at all times.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Sat Sep 11, 2010 6:51 am

My brother-in-law works in radio and just last week gave me a CD of a radio show that was produced in 2008 for the 40th anniversary of the '68 Comeback show. STeve Binder, Scotty Moore and a member of the audience were interviewed for this show. Among the interesting things that Binder said (that I can't recall having heard before) regarded the distribution of tickets. Forgive me if this is old news to members here, but he said that he asked the Colonel if he wanted to distribute the tickets for the sit-down portion or if he wanted NBC to do so. The Colonel implied that he should be in charge of the tickets and, if he were, he would fly a planeload of "blue-eyed blondes from Memphis" and make it look like a success. Binder says that the tickets were given to the Colonel. The next day as he arrived at the studio, the gate guard asked Binder if he needed any tickets to "Elvis TV show." Binder asked what he was talking about and the guard said that "some bald-headed fat guy gave me a stack and told me to distribute them to anyone who wanted them." Binder, at that point, realized the Colonel was setting him up to fail (since the Colonel's caveat to Binder earlier was if the sit-down show didn't "work" live, then he would not be allowed to use any of it on the TV show. Of course, he retrieved the tickets and set about trying to distribute them himself to anyone and everyone who would agree to come.

If this is true, it's (another) example of a manipulative old bastard sabotaging his "boy's" career by putting forward his own wishes. Interesting story nonetheless.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:20 pm

srlogicom wrote:Binder said ... that he asked the Colonel if he wanted to distribute the tickets for the sit-down portion or if he wanted NBC to do so. The Colonel implied that he should be in charge of the tickets and, if he were, he would fly a planeload of "blue-eyed blondes from Memphis" and make it look like a success. Binder says that the tickets were given to the Colonel. The next day as he arrived at the studio, the gate guard asked Binder if he needed any tickets to "Elvis TV show." Binder asked what he was talking about and the guard said that "some bald-headed fat guy gave me a stack and told me to distribute them to anyone who wanted them." Binder, at that point, realized the Colonel was setting him up to fail (since the Colonel's caveat to Binder earlier was if the sit-down show didn't "work" live, then he would not be allowed to use any of it on the TV show. Of course, he retrieved the tickets and set about trying to distribute them himself to anyone and everyone who would agree to come.

This is true, although Parker may have had the ducats for up to a week prior to the June 27 tapings.

Binder did indeed have to scramble to get people for that Thursday evening. He did not leave ticket responsibilities for the stand up tapings on the following Saturday to Elvis' management.

IIRC, the story was published in Elvis: 68 At 40 (JAT, 2008).

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:40 pm

Hey Doc, There is an interview (EIN ?) with Marty Lacker that states that EP was told some "lie" about Chips Moman. And so if true then EP was the one that refused to see Moman and not that we was prevented from seeing him backstage.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Sat Sep 11, 2010 11:51 pm

Juan Luis wrote:Hey Doc, There is an interview (EIN ?) with Marty Lacker that states that EP was told some "lie" about Chips Moman. And so if true then EP was the one that refused to see Moman and not that we was prevented from seeing him backstage.

This may be somewhat correct, but Elvis always graciously received people who came backstage even if there'd been a problem, case-in-point when Johnny Rivers saw him backstage after a show in February 1970.

Moman or Binder were given the cold shoulder on direct orders from management.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Sun Sep 12, 2010 9:17 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:
Juan Luis wrote:Hey Doc, There is an interview (EIN ?) with Marty Lacker that states that EP was told some "lie" about Chips Moman. And so if true then EP was the one that refused to see Moman and not that we was prevented from seeing him backstage.

This may be somewhat correct, but Elvis always graciously received people who came backstage even if there'd been a problem, case-in-point when Johnny Rivers saw him backstage after a show in February 1970.

Moman or Binder were given the cold shoulder on direct orders from management.
Ok. Thanks.

Re: Steve Binder --> Off The Colonel's List ! (1971)

Fri Sep 17, 2010 4:55 am

Juan Luis wrote: Ok. Thanks.

My pleasure, Juan Luis.