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cutiepie
06-21-2005, 06:25 AM
Hello!

Being a new Elvis fan, I was looking through the Gallery at the candid pictures from the 60s. I saw a couple of pictures of Elvis with a beard! Wow! He looks completely different! Still very good, but, so...different. It's unnerving!

This may sound like the silliest question, but how often did Elvis shave?? From the pictures I've seen, he is always clean shaven, no matter where the picture was taken or even the time of day (some pics look like daytime, others, night). He must have shaved several times a day (or night)--since he never even has a shadow!

I just finished reading _The Inner Elvis_, which described Elvis as androgenous from the time he was very young, at least through the 1968. Then he appeared very masculine, especially in the jumpsuits, where the author of the book pointed out that Elvis had a lot of chest hair. I don't know the specific age when men start sprouting chest hair...but I would guess it would be sooner than their mid to late 30s. Does this mean that Elvis had his chest waxed regularly?

I know this sounds a bit obsesseive! My apologies if I offend anyone! :blush: But, nowadays I see a lot of men really getting into the "Metrosexual" style, where they use more hair and skin products than women do. Maybe they are ultimately going after Elvis' look!

Good Night!

Cryogenic
06-21-2005, 03:41 PM
Howdie, cutiepie.

This is by no means the definitive answer to any part of your query - but here goes. I will break it down for ease of writing and reading:

Beard: The beard you see Elvis sporting is a direct consequence of his film career, or more specifically, one film. In 1969, Elvis appeared in Charro, a gritty western in which his character was required to have a beard. Elvis was apparently uncomfortable with the idea of this and/or the physical issues of having a beard (i.e. itchiness!) so various members of his entourage supposedly grew their own to help him out! Even Colonel Parker got in on the act! (To the best of my knowledge, Parker usually went clean-shaven, but you can see him with some facial growth in a single image used in "Elvis by the Presleys"; I guess it's confirmation of the "everybody making Elvis feel at ease" anecdote...). The only other times Elvis had any sort of growth, to the best of my knowledge, is when he came out of hospital for various reasons.

Shaving: Elvis preferred electric shavers, like my good self. Although they can give you a slight rash on the softer skin (i.e. neck) from time to time, I like the "no nonsense" aspect of them. I can't be dealing with shaving foam and the delicate precision needed to avoid giving yourself a nick! That said, Elvis could have let other people shave him if he'd wanted to. I guess he didn't trust any other SOB with a razer to his face! (A logical enough fear :P ). There are a few photos here and there where he appears to have very, very mild stubble; but this seems more a consequence of his skintone being lighter in those shots (i.e. providing more of a contrast for the stubble to be visible) than anything else.

Androgyny: I think it's fair to say that Elvis was not a conventional-looking man. He always wanted to stand out in the visual sense. Even when still dirt poor (well, maybe not dirt poor, but still pretty poor), he began kitting himself out in the best and brightest stuff that Beale Street and black places had to offer - two tone shoes, bright pants and shirts, loud jackets etc. A favourite combination of his in the 50s was pink and black! Elvis always stayed with the times, and as the years progressed, so did his personal fashion. In the 70s, he really pushed things by donning furs and capes and equipping himself with canes. Cosmetically, he was something of a trend-setter, too (though only more recently do you see men embracing stuff that Elvis was doing daily 50 years ago!). So yes... carefully coiffed and dyed hair, mascara and lip balm were all part of the package. As if to compensate for this non-masculine image, he was a pretty coarse guy - tough in a fight, quite profane and "one of the lads" (hence all his practical jokes and wild spending sprees where EVERYONE got a horse, or a car, or a fancy wristwatch or whatever).

Chest hair: I'm not sure on this one. From what I recall of a picture of him and June in Peter Guralnick's "Last Train to Memphis" (from, er... 1955/56?), his chest was completely smooth. Fast forward to his army induction in 1958 and I seem to recall a little growth. Even if my recollection is wrong there, he definitely had little "flecks" ten years after that in the Comeback Special. Bottom line: I don't recall ever seeing obvious amounts until well into the 70s era. Remember... it was quite fashionable to have chest hair at that point in time! Now, I don't want to fill you or anyone with bad mental images here, but speaking personally (you may look away now!)... my own, erm, fibrous filaments have continued to grow since I hit puberty. I SWEAR I've gained a little more between my 21st and 22nd birthdays! It's not as bad as Elvis' in the mid-late70's, but it's certainly more than he was showing at my age. ****. Smooth chest people: I hate you.

cutiepie
06-21-2005, 10:03 PM
Hi Cryogenic!

I appreciate your thoughtful reply to my questions!

I've heard, more than once, in the few books that I've read about Elvis, that he was often compared to Michaelangelo's Statue of David. Not that I've seen the real thing--the closest I got was at Caesar's Palace in Vegas...but the resemblance really is quite striking!

I'm right in the middle of reading "Careless Love" the Peter Guralnick book that you mentioned. The pictures are all embedded into the pages (vs other books, where there is a picture section), so I will look for the picture that Elvis took with June.

Re: the pink and blue color scheme. It sure would have been nice to have had color pictures of Elvis back then! I've only become familiar with this color scheme from reading "The Inner Elvis," where the author had a special theory about it. He thought that this was a color scheme that Elvis started to wear since he was a teen because of what each color represented: Pink for life and innocence, black for death. I'm paraphrasing, but the author said that Elvis could have worn these colors to stand out, nonverbally saying "Look at me", but also, in light of Elvis' still-born twin, "Look at *us*". It's just theory, of course--he went on to say that Elvis could have been the "dark" or "black" or "death" side of the balance, where as Jesse was the pink one.

Sounds a little loopy, now that I've tried to summarize it. I read that passage several times because the writing was very dense...but it was very interesting!

I'm having a hard time reading "Careless Love," so I'm about to go get "Last Train to Memphis" instead. It's a familiar pattern in reading now, where it's so exciting in the first 3/4 of the book, and the last few chapters are heartbreaking!

This website is so cool! I'm glad to be able to talk about all this! :)

NEA
06-21-2005, 10:29 PM
Hi Cutie Pie,

I enjoyed reading your thread very much and thanks for sharing some of the book anecdotes and theories that you are reading.

What has recently got you started into becoming an EP fan then? I see that you are one of the more elder of the younger fans amongst us just like myself - I mean that in a nice way by the way. Please let us all know.

Many thanks,

NEA.

Cryogenic
06-22-2005, 01:17 AM
Hi Cryogenic!

I appreciate your thoughtful reply to my questions!

Not a problem. :king:


I've heard, more than once, in the few books that I've read about Elvis, that he was often compared to Michaelangelo's Statue of David. Not that I've seen the real thing--the closest I got was at Caesar's Palace in Vegas...but the resemblance really is quite striking!

There's a particular webpage out there that goes into detail on Elvis' facial features and his supposed resemblance to Ancient Greek/Roman statues. Personally, I think you have to take it all with a pinch of salt; the page is so hyperbolic that I honestly find it a little disturbing. But it's a good read - if only for the wonderful language used! (Shakespeare would have struggled to write better!).


I'm right in the middle of reading "Careless Love" the Peter Guralnick book that you mentioned. The pictures are all embedded into the pages (vs other books, where there is a picture section), so I will look for the picture that Elvis took with June.

Actually, the book I named was the first part that you later mentioned yourself; "Last Train to Memphis". Helpfully enough, the picture appears at the start of the chapter labelled, "Elvis and June". :D


Re: the pink and blue color scheme.

[...]

Sounds a little loopy, now that I've tried to summarize it. I read that passage several times because the writing was very dense...but it was very interesting!

Well, it's very fun to speculate and come up with all manner of ideas - but that's ultimately all they are. Some may have a basis in actual fact; others, no basis at all. One must make up their own mind on such things.


I'm having a hard time reading "Careless Love," so I'm about to go get "Last Train to Memphis" instead. It's a familiar pattern in reading now, where it's so exciting in the first 3/4 of the book, and the last few chapters are heartbreaking!

I actually need to go and do the reverse. I've read Last Train and should now acquire Careless Love. Not only is Last Train a less emotionally draining read, but it's also the more highly regarded of the two. So... you're in for a treat! If there's anything that makes reading either Guralnick book a chore, I'd say it has to be the slightly academic approach he takes. Dave Marsh's book, from the bits I've read directly of it and the reviews I've perused, comes across as the more fluidic and thrilling of the treatments (while being almost every bit as accurate and insightful).


This website is so cool! I'm glad to be able to talk about all this! :)

Yes. There are other websites out there that are equally and perhaps way more substansive - but I don't think you can beat this for information-to-friendliness ratio, cleanliness of interface and that all-round warm and fuzzy feeling. :D

cutiepie
06-22-2005, 05:03 AM
What has recently got you started into becoming an EP fan then? I see that you are one of the more elder of the younger fans amongst us just like myself - I mean that in a nice way by the way. Please let us all know.

NEA.

Hi NEA !

Thank you for your kind words! Gosh--I never considered myself an elder-- I guess I'm all grown up! :notworthy

I appreciate your asking me about how I became an Elvis fan--I've wanted to share my experience, but wasn't sure if it was appropriate for this forum. In a nutshell, this all started off with a cat named Midnight Louie and a movie that I did not enjoy!

Well, actually, there's a bit more to it--back in April, I found out that I have diabetes--it was a real shock, since I've always been healthy, did yoga, and kept very active. Even worse, getting such a diagnosis upset me, and I was just too young for this!

I took more yoga classes which made me feel better, and added cardio -- with my treadmill. Suffice it to say, using a treadmill is not the most interesting event of the day! So, I browsed through some audio books--and ended up with "Midnight Louie Mysteries: Cat in a Jeweled Jumpsuit". Not surprisingly, a fictional version of Elvis figured into the story--along with a bunch of impersonators. I was taken aback, though, that "Elvis" was portrayed quite sensitively -- I didn't really know a thing about Elvis at the time, but I was touched at how his character (in this story he faked his own death) developed and moved on with his life.

By the time I finished the tapes, I was intrigued. But it wasn't until I watched Oceans 11 that I heard "A Little Less Conversation." I didn't like the movie, but I was surprised at how the *real* Elvis sounded--much better than the movie, by the way!

Up until then, I hadn't really heard a lot of Elvis--only on TV, and mostly impersonators. I was certain that his music sounded just like those guys on Saturday Night Live (the "thankyouverymuch" mumble, etc...).

So, I started listening to "A Little Less Conversation" on the treadmill. Then I watched "Elvis by the Presleys" -- and thought that Elvis was so ... good!!!! ... and cool!! Nothing at all like the impersonators!

I added more songs to my treadmilling music--I swear I look forward to waking up at 5:15 every morning to listen to Elvis for 60 minutes, and running over 4 miles each time -- with 5lb weights, to boot! I honestly can't discern from which decade the songs come from--I love the gospel album, and the songs capture Elvis' energy-- his sheer JOY at singing his songs--which makes the hour simply fly by! Sometimes I keep going for an extra 10 minutes or more, just so I can listen to a few more songs! It's better than a cup of coffee!

I have to admit, however, that I was ambivalent about being an Elvis fan at first--the only image I had in mind prior to this was when he was practically dying, in the 70s. But, from reading the books, I can really understand how people just loved him--not just as a movie star, singer, whatever, but as a good, kindhearted person. From just reading about him, 30 years post-mortem, I realize that he had a loving soul at his very core--so many people tried to take it away, or possess and control it, but that tenderness was a part of him until -- or even beyond, the end. I can only imagine what it was like for his fans when he was alive.

Do I still prefer to look at Elvis pictures from the 50s and early 60s? Yeah--those were the really cute ones, after all! But now I see the beauty -- despite the pain, of the ones taken during his later years. I guess any fan would accept the whole image of Elvis, and not discriminate between decades--he was the same person, thoughout, after all.

I've never been one to be a "fan" of rock/movie/tv stars--I believed that the whole "celebrity worship" trend is just a very slick marketing ploy (think Paris Hilton...). But Elvis was the real thing--proven by his popularity, even after so many years since his death.

So--I'm glad to say that my diabetes has gotten "better", and I don't have to take medication for it, since I exercise so much. I guess you can say that I owe my health...to Elvis!

;)

NEA
06-22-2005, 07:37 PM
Many thanks for sharing your story, Cutie Pie....great to know you are also on the mend!

A classic example of how EP has touched a person's life through his music - and now you're a fan!

You know, I would love to turn the clock back 30 years and experience becoming a new fan all over again - listening to the classic Rock 'n' Roll of 'Hound Dog' & 'Blue Suede Shoes' and the ultimate masterpiece of 'Suspicious Minds' - buying albums like 'Elvis Presley' (his first one), 'From Elvis In Memphis' and 'Aloha From Hawaii'. Plus, watching all those wonderful movies like 'Loving You', 'King Creole', 'Change of Habit' & 'That's The Way It Is'. Plus, discovering like yourself that he actually grew a beard for one of his movies....Great stuff!

But, come to think of it, I've been a fan for the best part of my life and I'm STILL discovering Elvis - things I didn't know about plus recapturing many forgotten stories, photos and anecdotes. And, with the likes of this Forum, the Follow That Dream label CD releases and the advent of Elvis on DVD, it is very much like experiencing the same feelings I did when I was a wee boy...my goodness, I've just travelled full circle!

It's great being an Elvis Fan - enjoy Cutie Pie....many thanx once again.

NEA.

cutiepie
06-23-2005, 12:29 AM
Hi NEA!

I'm glad I had a chance to tell my story! There is a deluge of stuff to learn--how does FTD differenciate from the RCA label? It seems to be an independent entity all on its own. I placed a large order for books, DVDs, and a CD -- I can hardly wait until it arrives!

NEA
06-23-2005, 06:59 PM
Hi Cutie Pie,

Hey, it's a great feeling knowing that you've got some Elvis goodies being delivered shortly isn't it?

Anyway, regarding the Follow That Dream Label it is BMG/RCA's very own Elvis Collector's label that concentrates on producing cd compilations featuring a number of unreleased studio out-takes and concert soundboards.

Check out the following, it will give you quite a great deal of information regarding what's available:

http://www.followthatdream.com/

Enjoy!

NEA.

NEA
06-23-2005, 07:09 PM
Here's a link to the Official site and a section featuring the latest news about Follow That Dream cd's and books. There are 3 great releases being issued on July 1st:


http://www.elvis.com/news/ftd.asp


Happy Hunting & Reading, Cutie Pie!

NEA.