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Review of the new Pichon book

Thu Aug 09, 2007 9:25 pm

I was born in 1972 and therefor I'm much too young to know something about the impact Elvis had in the 50s. I'm even too young to know what a great experience it must have been to see Elvis in concert in 1972, 1973, 1974 or at least in 1975.

Almost everything I know now comes from reading books, listening and watching interviews, movies or fan-footage and last but not least from listening to the great amount of his music. However most of the time you can hear the same people talking about Elvis and their experiences with him for example Joe 'Diamond' Esposito, Larry Geller, Lamar Fike to name a few.

To be truthful I'm getting really tired nowadays from listening to their stories over and over again. Seldom you have the chance to listen to someone who was there and had experienced Elvis as a fan. That's one reason I find the new book "Elvis On Tour '75 - Photos from the heart" from Sandi H. Pichon refreshing. So let's dig into the book.

Elvis and 1975? What'd you think of Elvis in 1975? The first thing that comes to my mind is the comment "fat & forty" on the occasion of his 40th birthday. Even knowing the fact that Elvis wasn't a darling of the critics most of the time of his career, it can be said that it was a very malicious comment.

That aside the comment makes clear that Elvis was written off from his critics as a relic of the 50s at that time. So why bother to release a book about Elvis on tour in 1975? Because the answer is - simple as it is - it's absolutely worthwhile.


What's this book like? It contains on more than 130 pages roundabout 400 pictures - almost unpublished - of four concerts from the April-May tour 1975, exactly from the concert in Jacksonville from April 25th and from the three concerts he gave in Atlanta from April 30th to May 2nd.

All the photos - which were for the biggest part shot by Pichon herself (a fewer are credited to Alverson & Phillips) - are sharp and get delivered in pristine quality. Alone for the quality and the rarity of the photos, the book would have been recommended. But there's much more to it than alone the quality.

Pichon is telling the reader what fans have felt like to have Elvis in town and to know that they would see him live in concert that particular day. Her description about all the things that were thought and done around the concert and especially Elvis creates a new picture for me of Elvis and his devoted fans in 1975.

The excitement of those days is getting lively again! Now you get the feeling that for the fans there was no difference between the Elvis in let's say 1970 in comparison to 1975 - the thrill of going to an Elvis concert hasn't changed a bit since then!

Hopefully you're lucky enough to have an import recording from one of those concerts which get covered in the book, while listening to the music, watching those fantastic photos and browsing through the whole book, because that makes it an even better experience - if that's possible!

The book offer lots and lots of high quality pictures to look at, a remarkable and never before seen layout of an Elvis book and a story told by a fan who was at the concerts and knew Elvis personally.

Fortunately there are at least three import CDs available which offer two out of four concerts or at least parts of them, which are "A Damn Fine Show" (from April 25th/ soundboard recording released by Vicky), "Live At The Omni" (from May 2nd/ audience recording released by Wizard Ing. Cop.) and "We'll Make You Happy" (from April 25th/ soundboard recording released by Savoy).

As an extra plus (to be correct, the book starts with it) you get an oversight of all concert dates of '75 including the Vegas concerts and also the number of attendance and in parts the gross of the concerts.

Coming to an end I'd like to say that I really liked the release "Born To Rock" which was in my opinion unique in quality, packaging and concept and I recommended it highly.

This time it gets even better. They've made a big step-up in terms of design and layout as the paper-quality stays the same like the paper-quality of the "Born To Rock"-release.

What’s so great about the layout is that you’ll get the impression of motion by watching the photos, which are presented in different sizes changing from smaller ones to full-page ones, which makes browsing through the book very varying.

Also awesome is the induction of memorabilia stuff, ticket stubs, newspaper reviews – you could go on and on. Therefor Regina Wiegand who's responsible for cover, book design and layout deserves an extra applause. She did a marvelous job, which makes this book my favorite 70s book.

The forewords are written by Sonny West and Elvis tour producer Charles Stone what makes clear that this book is something special as it is written by a fan who was well known and accepted by the so called inner circle from Elvis.

So with this book you'll get a very good impression of Elvis as a performer and entertainer in his latter days and much more you can learn something about the relationship from Elvis with his fans in those days.

It should also be said, that this book is a hardcover book in the format they've used for their former book releases BTI Vol.1 & 2.

Highly recommended.

Joern

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Last edited by Joern on Fri Aug 10, 2007 11:36 am, edited 1 time in total.

Fri Aug 10, 2007 1:46 am

Nice review Joern. The fan's perspective is too often dismissed.

I had no idea this book was out there but I'll definitely look for it now.

Fri Aug 10, 2007 6:54 am

I'm totally gettin this book at the conferance!

JEFF d
EP fan

Fri Aug 10, 2007 4:54 pm

Thanks for the excellent review!

Sat Aug 11, 2007 3:19 pm

Fantastic Review. I'm looking forward to getting this now. Thanks!!

Sun Aug 12, 2007 6:36 pm

thanx Joern for interesting review.

Sun Aug 26, 2007 12:44 am

:lol: Excellent review! now i know i'm certainly going to be getting AND enjoying this book!! :lol:

sandi pichon

Sun Aug 26, 2007 1:56 pm

Thanks for the review joern... im going to order this now thanks again.

Mon Aug 27, 2007 5:38 pm

Thank y'all for the nice respondings.

Joern

Sat Sep 01, 2007 1:44 am

:smt038 :smt038 :smt023 :smt023 :smt038 :smt038 :smt023 :smt023

Wed Sep 05, 2007 5:38 am

Thanks for the review -- it seems to be a very cool journal of the period. The cover shot is a little odd, though, Elvis looks kind of sleepy.

Sat Oct 20, 2007 5:22 pm

Anyone of you have bought this book at last?
Hope you have a good time to flip through it.

Joern

Sat Oct 20, 2007 8:56 pm

I keep wanting to, but I need to get it at the right price because other cool items keep popping up and I always side track the book due to the price. I'll hopefully get it soon though. 8)

Tue Oct 23, 2007 7:30 am

Joern wrote:Anyone of you have bought this book at last?
Hope you have a good time to flip through it.

Joern


Yes, I got a copy at the Elvis Insider Conferance during Elvis week and met Sandi and she signed it for me! She was an extremely nice and warm person... the book is just as beautifull as I was hoping it would be! I think that perticular white two piece suit that is featured in most photos is the most flattering stage costume that Elvis had from that era untill the end.

HIGHLY RECOMENDED!

ps page 49 that photo just blows me away... it is so close and crystal clear you think you could almost reach out and touch Elvis yourself.

JEFF d
EP fan

Tue Oct 23, 2007 3:13 pm

Got this at the Elvis Insider's Expo during Elvis week and met Sandi and got her to sign it. She was honestly one of the nicest "names" at the expo and I was fortunate to have some time chatting to her during the course of which she cried remembering Elvis - a good sign it's more than $$$ for her.

The book is beautiful and, not being able to add anything to Joern's good review, will point out two "practical" things about it. Firstly it does manage a "true black" where required in pictures - something I have a minor gripe with the FTD books about because their blacks always look washed out. The book comes with a "print varnishing" technique which means finger prints don't show on the dark part of the pictures - a great feature that really does keep it fresh looking (even when a little nephew decides to browse through it and point a few hundred times at "Elfish"!)

Tue Oct 23, 2007 11:18 pm

Did Sandi take all of the pictures? If so, how did she manage such good ones?

Wed Oct 24, 2007 2:17 am

drjohncarpenter wrote:Did Sandi take all of the pictures? If so, how did she manage such good ones?


I asked that myself also, but can't give a correct answer to your question as I don't know exactly which ones were really shot by her. Possibly Alverson and Phillips should have gotten more credits for their photos as was done in the imprint.

Joern

Re: Review of the new Pichon book

Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:40 am

8) I recieved this excellent book last night. its quite simply THE BEST book since 'caught in a trap' . the stories,pictures and everything were 1st class- fancy sandi being SO LUCKY to be invited into the stax studio in Dec 73' and listen to Elvis recording!! many photos are by Kieth Alveston and others(incidentally i bought the book from Alveston) on tour 1975 is the best Elvis book i have bought this year-its THAT GOOD! :roll: :lol:

Re: Review of the new Pichon book

Thu Mar 13, 2008 6:13 pm

Where can i buy this one please?
Excellent review!!!!!!!