Live In L.A. Book & CD Review
I have been patiently waiting for this release to come through the post when it eventually arrived last monday and have been enjoying the great photographs and playing the cd.The year 1974 is a particular favorite of mine so I just had to buy it for my collection.
This fine book is about the same size as the FTD book THATS THE WAY IT WAS - and has the same quality hardback cover.The first part of the book covers the early years and there are some great photos from the Municipal Auditorium  especially on page nine showing Elvis on stage.The Shrine Auditorium features more pics with Bill Blacks stand up bass visible.There are eight publicity pics from 1956 next and they are superb.
Next up are pics from the Pan Pacific Auditorium Los Angeles - some feature Elvis in his famous gold lame suit. [black & white]Each page has the location and date of the photograph top left and adds a nice touch to the book.
The Inglewood Forum gets six pages and these are classic pics with the famous long- fringe suit shown on pages 26-27.
Orange County Los Angeles is the next location and there are some nice candid style pics also included, with Elvis wearing one of his Cisco Kid outfits.
The pics are quite small on these pages and also include, Linda Thompson and members of the Memphis Mafia.Inglewood Forum Afternoon Showpages 30-31 are fantastic with Elvis in action probably during 'See See Rider' wearing his eye catching Peacock jumpsuit.
Next the Inglewood Forum May 11th evening show pictures which take up the bulk of the book and they are superb with tiny white borders which enhance them ,However, some are a little blurry but that doesn't detract from the enjoyment of the book, not for me anyway.Pages 32 to 101 all feature this evening show with Elvis wearing his American Eagle jumpsuit- the highlights for me are most of the images; but page 86 is a reason to buy the book on this pic alone.There are also great pics on 88-89,92-93,94-95 and 96-97.
The remainder of the book is taken up with pics from 1976 and although Elvis was in obvious physical decline these are a good addition to the book.The picture on pages 114-115 from the Long Beach Arena is an absolute classic,with the King blasting out a tune with all his heart & soul [probably Hurt]
The soundboard concert was the main reason for purchasing the book and especially after reading Elvis's stepbrother, David Stanley's Elvis Encyclopedia
in which he wrote: Being a huge Zeppelin fan , I told Elvis before the show that the entire band was in the audience.He didn't say much,but did the best show I've seen him do.Later he told me,"I guess I showed the boys how to rock."
I simply said, "I guess you did."After the concert all the members of Zeppelin came over the hotel to meet Elvis,and from the time they walked in the door to the time they left,they were star-struck.I mean they were like little kids.You could definitely classify them as super fans.I escorted them to the door when it was time to leave and on the way out,Robert Plant turned and in his best Elvis-impersonation voice,began singing "Treat Me Like A Fool,"and Elvis finished the line singing,"Treat me mean and cruel."The scary thing was that Plant sounded exactly like Elvis.The band loved it.
If you were at the show itself witnessing Elvis doing all the karate kicks and moves it would have been mindblowing, but as a soundboard recording it doesn't quite cut the mustard.I was expecting a high energy show with a fast pace,[The terrific I Found My Thrill FTD release is still the show to beat]
and a bit more fire from Elvis.However it is still a very enjoyable show,and don't forget it's over 30 years old.
Also Sprach Zarathustra opens up the show then it's 'See See Rider' which is a standard version with a good chickin-pickin solo from James Burton.Next up is 'I Got A Women/Amen' no real surprises but a good bluesy intro.Elvis introduces himself,"my name is Glen Cambell,would you believe, Wayne Newton.?"
'Love Me' is ok but does have a reprise which is unusual for this song.One of Elvis's 50s classics, Trying To Get To You is next but is only a standard version.
'All Shook Up' is just a ok version with no outstanding moments.'Teddybear/Don't Be Cruel' and 'Love Me Tender' are all performed ok but with no real excitement or fire from the King.'Steamroller Blues' is a good version with Elvis sounding commited, listen to the "hep hep" @1.22 this is more like it.This version is better than the Aloha version from 1973 and is beginning to take the shape of the versions from 1975 check out-SOUTHERN NIGHTS FTD.
'Hound Dog' includes some tasty wah wah from James Burton, but 'Fever' and 'Polk Salad Annie' are standard versions.The gospel song 'Why Me Lord' is not bad and ends with a reprise.Suspicious Minds is again a no-frills version.The intros are next with Elvis saying,"On lead guitar is chicken-picking James Burton, and on rhythm guitar duck-plucking John Wilkinson,and on the piano Jerry Lee lewis, no Glen Hardin" Elvis loved performing 'I Can't Stop Loving You' but this is a typical version.Next is 'Help Me' which is a good version.On 'American Trilogy' Elvis sings Disneyland, replacing the dixieland line and performs a decent version of this Elvis classic. 'Let Me Be There' get's a reprise but is nothing more than standard fare. Next is the Willie Nelson wrote classic, 'Funny How Time Slips Away' and after a false start Elvis says,"Wait a minute,wait a minute, hold it,If we can start together fellers because,we got Led Zeppelin out there and Jimmy Darren [popular American singer and actor]and a whole bunch of people out there.It's a crowd who look like we know what were doing,whether we do or not.Now, what were we doing?''
Elvis goes straight into the song "Well hello there, my it's been a long long time" and it's a fantastic version one of the best on the cd with some great James Burton guitar fills fantastic!
Big Boss Man is a fantastic version recorded in San Bernardino at the Swing Auditorium.It's taken at a slower pace than is normally heard, with again some superb Burton guitar playing- awesome worth owning the book to get this very different version.I Can't Help Falling in Love ends the show and there is a bonus audience recording of You Can Have Her from the afternoon show at the Forum Of Inglewood Los Angeles,CA which sounds ok.
Finally this is an essential releases for fans of the 70s Elvis.The book is top quality apart from some slightly blurred pics.The CD soundboard is an enjoyable show but lacks a bit of spark from Elvis-but 'hey", you had to be there
Another superb release from the FTD collectors label.