I wish Elvis had guest starred on the Muppets in the 70's like many other stars did, John Denver, Elton John and the like. That would have been a scream, and I am sure a young Lisa Marie would have loved it too.
"Music is the voice that tells the human race it is greater than it knows" -Napoleon Bonaparte
Elvis, if he guess starred, would have burned up
(Colonel, of course, would not have allow it).
After the 1960 Sinatra Special, Elvis never guest starred or appeared with any other performers on TV and he was asked by just about every talk show of the era-Carson, Joey Bishop, Mike Douglas, etc.........Bishop said he contacted Col. Parker about doing his ABC show when it first went on opposite Carson in the late 60s-Parker told Bishop Elvis would walk on for nothing.............but walking off would cost big bucks....
On one side it made Elvis in a league of his own-he was the only great star who just did not do TV shows....but in another it kept him from shining to many kinds of people who perhaps only knew Elvis from his 50s exposure or from his films.......Elvis was so quick witted, and much better read/aware than most people gave him credit for..he could have won over many just with that wit. Also he could have done more "music" that he liked to do which was not written to fit a scene in a film.
I think a couple shows a year could have done much more good than harm to Elvis.
Work in Progress!
Yes Elvis and the Muppets would have been fun too!
Last edited by Raised on Rock; 12-17-2012 at 11:09 PM.
I truely believe that deep inside he wanted to do some of this things that were constantly turned down by Parker or were never even submitted to Parker because they already knew the answer.
Work in Progress!
A little mystery is a good thing but I think in Elvis' case it would have been all to the good. As was said, his good looks, wit and charm could have dispelled so many false ideas that the media created about him in some people's minds.
Now Madonna, I don't know much of her, but I don't like her from the stuff I recall, I don't find her ever charsimatic, its all a big machine behind her. Now Elvis, anybody who knew him, even people who disliked his public image, when they had the chance to know him and talked to him, they say they couln't help but love him, as he was such a great guy. People who knew him recall over and over that you could hate his music, his films, the icon or whatever he meant to people, but then, you couln't hate him if you actually meet the guy face to face and interact with him, that he was just such a likeable dude, so... I think it would have worked the other way of what you say with Elvis if there was a chance of an indeep interview so more people got to see the real guy beyond the myth, yes just one, as the misterious aura was part of his trick too lol.
I don't like him less when I see the few (short and superficial) interviews he did or the few chances we got to see him just talking and being him as in the sit down sessions of the '68 comeback special or the TTWII rehearsals. His long monologues in '69 or the audio tapes from On Tour '72 when he recalls his early days with the film director are also to great examples of his charm and wit away from the cameras and maybe about his will to tell us a bit more beyond the: who many Teddy Bears you got E?
I don't think anybody likes him less but opposite when they watch the Army (leaving and comeback) or the Houston or the MSG press conferences (and a few others only available in audio), which are probably the only close thing we got to an indeep long interview.
Last edited by Raised on Rock; 12-19-2012 at 05:41 AM.
Elvis was purposely underexposed on TV by Parker-I truely believe the reasoning was "MONEY"... no grand plan, no mystique making-it was money.
Parker liked the idea of letting Elvis star in B-pictures that would promote soundtrack albums and rake in his cut of big money from the hard core fans (like me) who would buy it....but in the process of doing so-he limited the fan base because people who hated the movies, hated the soundtrack albums never gave Elvis a second look and they thought "hes a limited, use to be rock star who now makes B-Movies"
Elvis was told "Flaming Star, Wild in the Country did not make the money the musicals did-so stick with the formula that works....might have worked better if Elvis had still worked hard at his music outside of the film soundtracks...but that was limited by "only songs that were allowed by Parker" so his status as an innovator and dedicated musician just was not taken serious by potential fans and critics.
Elvis lost enthusiam for the films, the music and was not allowed to go on Carson, Bishop, awards shows, variety shows such as Ed Sullivan-would one appearance on Sullivan a year-killed the mystique-or gained new fans if Elvis had concentrated on his music for the Sullivan show...or any show?
You can not grow if everything is forbidden or contractually not allowed because of percentages and using certain publishing houses......Rock is about Freedom and fun...how can you do it with so many "NO NOs"?
An indepth interview would not have hurt every now and then, and the occasional guest spot "ANYWHERE" might have helped Elvis stay connected and not so into his own little world.
But I have always maintained Parker did not want Elvis connnected to anything in show biz/music that might start him thinking and questioning his career path.
Work in Progress!
No a few indepth interviews wouldn't hurt, but over-exposure can be very damaging too. We can all be armchair experts on what we think should've been the perfect career path, but the reality is something different. How many of todays stars can still pique your interest, there is only one I can think of at the moment because he rarely gives interviews, everything he wants you to know is there in his music.
Of course the artist I'm referring to is notoriously private and in a different genre altogether, but to still go platinum without doing interview after interview and guest appearances is something.
I'm not in any way suggesting Elvis giving interviews would be damaging to his career, far from it, I'm just saying giving too much away of yourself isn't a good thing, I get bored really easily so what applies to me isn't necessarily going to apply to anyone who disagrees with what I've just said.
I'm just saying, let's not underestimate the Colonel, he was brillant at certain points (mostly '56-'61), and yes, you're right my friend, not allowing over-exposure was one of Col. Parker valid points managing Elvis, but he also did went to far, and did hurt Elvis by not allowing a bunch of stuff that Elvis DID wanted to do and would have been great for him as a human being, as well of great for his career.
Funny enough, over-exposure to me did also happened in Col. Parker game, like: was the fact that the movie musicals formula of the mid 60' lost his once popularity, charm and success because they where a case of over-exposure till hideous repetition? if not of Elvis of the same formula? or both? It would be an interesting topic to think about that! As then the 60's movies where at odds with Parkers ideal of avoid over-exposure.
Last edited by Raised on Rock; 12-21-2012 at 07:21 AM.
Parker could not get-a million dollar salary for any TV guest spot-but the overexposure in the B-Films....paid Parker big percentages not to mention the perks he got such as Tech Supervisor, or the office spaces he received etc.....Parker played up the exposure angle.. but If the pay and perks had been on par with the movie deals-I would bet my housecat that Parker would have had a "change of heart epiphany" and done a complete turnaround
Looking back-I see now that keeping Elvis so distant and mysterious-may have had the opposite affect on his career, sure he was mysterious and distant To US...but becoming "oldhat to many teens after the repetition of the films" They did not see the rocker, the musicmaker-the innovator...they would hear "Old MacDonald" from 1967s "Double Trouble" and think....what the heck is this.
Elvis needed stimulation....time and time again we have all said he needed to be challenged and tested......"Old MacDonald is not a test for a singer or innovator" and to most 1960s teens-its not rock, its not pop...its not music.
How excited and fired up might Elvis have become from some new avenues of musical exchange-or cultural exchange with people outside the "Parker approved areas"
I always think ......how much great fantastic music did we miss by the contractual and managerial "Dos and Donts of Parker" that kept Elvis "MYSTERIOUS" to some...but what did it do to the creative drive and spirit of Elvis.
IF Parker would have been the manager of Elvis before he met Sam Phillips would Elvis have found his style?...... or would Parker not want Elvis near a chrismatic Producer like Sam-would Scotty and Bill have been used, or would Parker say-they arent good enough.
I agree Parker had a great track record until 61...from there on-he just wanted the cash and did not mind cooking the golden goose.
Work in Progress!
I think the primary reason Elvis didn't do more variety show guest spots was because of the money.
In 1957 Elvis got a then record amount of money to appear on Ed Sullivan and in 1960 he got another record sum from Frank Sinatra for a 6 minute appearance on his show.
After that all the offers i've heard about Elvis being offered were for scale payments and Parker likely wanted more money than that.
Dick Clark said the reason Elvis never appeared on American Bandstand was because Colonel Parker wouldn't accept scale payment.
It worked out for Elvis in the 1950s and 1960s because he may have been the only person in the history of the music business that didn't have to appear on television and promote his songs for them be hits.
In the 1970s that strategy didn't work anymore so Elvis appearing occassionally on a variety show to promote one of his songs could have been a big help.
About the talk shows if Elvis appeared on them he probably would have become too common coin.
The Houston Astrodome, MSG and Aloha press conferences had the same questions that he probably would've been asked had he appeared on a talk shows.
I guess Col. Parker, as the Old timer he was, just thought 1961 was the top of the hill with Blue Hawaii, and from then on, it was all a matter not of building a career but milk on that formula until the cow gave its last breath, and what he saw on a 7 years contract for silly musicals was already beyond expectations about what Elvis could last. It was suvival.
We have to remember, all mid 50's rockers that started with Elvis where seeing their records staying out the top 20 by '61, when only a couple years before where still having top 10's. When by 1965 Elvis was the highest earning celebrity in the States, all his 50's mates, or even most of the teen idols of the early 60's where out of the map. What Col. Parker didn't get is that it wasn't the movies what made the lasting fame trick, but it was just that Elvis was Elvis, he was so loved by everyone, his fame so huge and he was so talented, and there was some undying youth vitality on him, that while Jerry Lee or Carl Perkins looked already as old farts by '65, Elvis if unknown, could have grown his hair long and started a mod band. While Chuck Berry was only able to change the lyrics to the same guitar riff and groove ad nauseam after '64, Elvis went beyond anyone of his generation in his ablility to reinvent his sound and looks.
I think either Parker didn't get the mine of gold he had in Elvis, or exactly he knew so well, that he rather put it in a greed cage before any other younger and smarter manager took it from him. Rather dead but mine! Rather kill his career but sucking all the juice, than making him bigger and lost him.
The thing is, talking of a change of heart in Col. Parker, I think he was old and short sighted, after '61 he didn't build Elvis career thinking in long term as he wisely did in the 50's, but always in short time quick money making until '77. Parker did was genius from '56 to '61. After the army, the original '60-'61 formula was in fact great: One silly musical - GI Blues, Blue Hawaii, (but with high production values and a more or less decent soundtrack), and one dramatic role -Flaming Star, Wild in The COuntry- (less money makers, but little by little allowing Elvis to grow as an actor, getting better reviews every year, and winning other kind of fans in that area in the long run), there was the soundtrack album, but there was Elvis is Back and Something for Everybody, and even a gospel album, there was the movie single with Can't Help Falling in Love, but there was Little Sister and Are You Lonesome Tonight etc. It was an everybody wins situation, there where even some concerts, and there where plans for a '62 Tour, it was the path to everlasting glory! He was respected both artistically and comercially, and he was on a path to somewhere, so what was the need in changing that path?. Well Parker just couldn't think in long term, we was handycapted on that area I guess, we know he didn't seem a reason to do less succesful movies than the musicals, and if the soundtracks made more money than the studio albums and singles, well... what was the point on them, and after Blue Hawaii, Elvis career path went lost cause artistically. Sure money was coming amazingly big time until '65, but as early as '63, after the Viva las Vegas soundtrack (the last decent one) you could tell it was a dead end artistically. Even to Hal Wallis became obvious by '65 that it was bad move to keep on that direction and said bye bye to Elvis camp, he well sensed that you couldn't make big time money with those musicals any more, they where alread OVEREXPOSED and burned, Did Col. Parker did sensed it too? Or he just didn't care... As you well said, seclude the real man, and overexpose the silly movies, and what you get: 50 years later, the mids 60's movies are still Elvis worst enemy when it comes to taking him seriously as a music man.
Id had to be people out of Parker field of control: Steve Binder and then Chips Moman (and maybe Felton Jarvis for the Nashville '66-'67 stuff, and Marty Passetta who demanded him to be in shape for Aloha) the ones that returned a career direction and self confidence to Elvis. Those where the only ones that as you said provided him with a challenge and a cultural exchange to take the man out of his apathy. Man! imagine the great records and concerts and stuff that we might get, if there where some four or five more names in that two guys list. But that was it, Parker was not going to loose his only client by some youngsters with way better ideas (and more profiting also) than his. It is really amazing to think about, that it only taked a new down to earth with nothing to lose guy totaly out of Parker's control cage, to take Elvis to unbelieavable heights of creative drive!!!!! What would have been of Elvis with no Steve Binder or Chips Moman? Felton Jarvis did great with leading to the '66-'67 session, but he worked under Parkers control, and limitated and ultimately screwed the great vibe and creative drive of those sessions. Binder and Moman didn't needed thee job and couln't care less, and look what Elvis got working with them!
The only thing I would never get is this KPM, if Parker was all about the money, and the reason he imprisioned Elvis in Vegas was the same contractual short sighted logic of the movies in the 60's, why couldn't he realize that there was so much more money in World Touring? If there where really some bad financial problems for Elvis in '73, well duh! running hot after the success of the Aloha show, the MSG album and ELvis on Tour movie gettin good reviews world wide, Burining Love going No.1 outside the States, and all the world wide media still all excited for Elvis comeback and tour again, wasn't taking some good deals to world tour a better option for quick money than sellings his old catalogue. And yet not allowing Elvis to world tour (and he wanted it so bad) was such an anticlimax, that again it was all boredoom and downhill after that, even in money terms, it was such an anticlimax idea not to world tour in 1973, it really was Its Now or Never. That would never make sense even to the most amateur managment agent. You could tell in the MSG press conference that Elvis felt already akward when asked about not world touring yet.
Even crooked Allen Klein would have been better for Elvis than Parker after '61, and I'm not saying that Allen was actually good for anybody's bank account. But at least, in strict creative directions aside the money, he was way more creative. He might had left The Rolling Stones broke and exiled in '71, but, he left them being what the Stones were in artistic terms, and not as some oldies has beens from the early 60's.
Last edited by Raised on Rock; 12-26-2012 at 10:31 PM.
I think the reason for no world tour is the one I have proposed here many times-Parker just would not take a chance on leaving the US....because of his illegal status.
I believe we all are crafted by our genes and our environment/early years-and things that scare us-continue to scare "most of us" all our lives Parker did not leave the US because he was still spooked, stilled scared by the idea that his secret could cost him his very plush life.
He left his homeland with the cloths on his back, he left in the night with no hint to his family-disappeared and began building a new existence why?
Not sure why... but something scared him and he left quietly and quickly. That scare never left him.
I said years ago in another thread-Parker never realised the full extent of the power and talent of Elvis Presley-the fact that he pushed the long term movie deals to Elvis (knowing that the films would be pretty much the same and would attract mainly Elvis fans) shows he had no idea how talented Elvis was as an entertainer/singer....and the possibility that he could have been much much more as an actor.......none of that mattered to Parker because the long term deals-were money in the bank..........and that, Parker felt, trumped acting or talent.
He advised Elvis to sign the deal to sell the pre73 catalogue, and he could have made millions upon millions more-by setting up that European tour and still kept for Elvis the artists royaltees to Elvis's greatest hits...but IMO Col. did not see the true greatness-the extent of his talent and charisma of Elvis....he saw what he saw best-the fastest easiest path to making huge money.
IF Parker had one single artistic creative bone in his body he might have understood how talent needs to expand-and evolve....Parker did not.
I always felt 1971 would have been a great year to tour the world-Elvis was still "hungry to show he was the best" but 1973 would also have been a great year as you have pointed out.
The amount of money to be made would have been astronomical for the 70s-but Parker put Elvis off-as he had since the 50s when the subject of a world tour came up....Elvis as far back as the 50s mentions "a world tour on the horizen" it must have taken all the Colonels Snowman power to keep coming up with reasons "not to tour the world" unfortunatly Elvis must have bought them.
Work in Progress!
A very rare special ancient Roman coin is still special - whether its in a Salvation Army pot or a New York Museum.
Elvis showing his humor, showing knowledge of the world around him would have been nothing but a plus for him, not to mention performing new music that he was proud of and showing off that voice to people who did not follow him.
Work in Progress!