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Thread: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

  1. #81
    Backstage Pass Mr.TCB's Avatar
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Quote Originally Posted by nabelt24 View Post
    Here's some pictures I found on Silvesters Elvis Page. I'd never seen them before, so I thought I'd share them here.
    I've got a peice of the scarf from those 3 pictures. This show was on February 22,1972 in Las Vegas.
    Sincerely,
    Mr.TCB

  2. #82
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Its covered in stars to reflect night time i.e when owls come out

  3. #83
    Coming On Strong thejumpsuitman's Avatar
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Why is the belt now purple too? They didn't dry-clean leather...

  4. #84
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    I am sorry, but I am not buying the story of the Blue Owl being destroyed at the cleaners and it turning purple.

    I know it seems like I am always rebutting you Leroy... It's not personal. I am really just rebutting the story you were told by "Butch" Polston who never had any dealings with anybody related to Elvis during his lifetieme. I take that entire story as an urban legend. We have one person's account (who was not there) of something that supposedly happened almost 40 years ago.

    I even have rebuttal evidence. Why is the belt purple that happens to match the suit perfectly? It is obviously the original belt. And here's something a lot of people don't know... It is very difficult to photograph purple because of the red element. It is at the end of the color spectrum and very often translates into blue on film. In fact, in photographing purple it is common to use purple gels to capture the purple color since it is so notorious for showing up blue.

    I believe that the Owl suit has always been purple and people have always thought it was blue because it looks blue on film. I think that perhaps Elvis didn't like the purple and that's why he only wore it once.
    Last edited by thejumpsuitman; 06-25-2011 at 03:08 PM.

  5. #85
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    The shot on the right sure looks purple to me.
    Last edited by thejumpsuitman; 06-25-2011 at 04:11 PM. Reason: repetative

  6. #86
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I took these photos today with a Kodak C653 with no flash. They are unaltered. The spool of thread and piece of material on the left are royal blue. The bolt of fabric and spool of thread on the right are purple. If you don't believe me, try it yourself without any filters. As I said before, purple is so notorious for coming out looking blue on film that filters are used to capture the purple color accurately.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 102_9916.jpg   102_9917.jpg  
    Last edited by thejumpsuitman; 06-25-2011 at 04:12 PM. Reason: repetitive

  7. #87
    Too Much Monkey Business Jumpsuit Junkie's Avatar
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Looking at the images you have provided they are very different colours and you can clearly see that the left is blue and the right is purple! I could understand if there were only subtle differences but they are poles apart, so the above (to me) doesn't necessarily prove the theory right... For instance the photo you have taken is in a bright location and taken without a flash, so the differences look acute.

    I hear what you are saying about Butch, yes he is only one man and he wasn't around Elvis at the time but that wouldn't disprove the story 100% because the guys who made the Jumpsuits were in touch and worked with Butch so they would have discussed possible reasons for the discolouration?

    Why would Butch come up with a story about the colours changing if it was just a simple case of lighting, surely Gene & Bill would have knowledge of such things?

    I'm open to reason and fully accept that it could be either theory just not sure which, as both are plausible...

  8. #88
    Too Much Monkey Business Jumpsuit Junkie's Avatar
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Sorry, one more thing, concert photo's are unreliable because the colours they become after years of being published, scanned and uploaded is questionable at best! I have thousands of photo's that once cleaned up can be several shades different. So without good quality photo's it is very difficult to compare the colour differences.

    The photo below shows (as with other photo's) that the Jumpsuit is blue and that the belt looks a different shade, which looks almost purple?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Royal Blue Fireworks.jpg  
    Last edited by Jumpsuit Junkie; 06-26-2011 at 01:49 AM.

  9. #89
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    You do not have the benefit of seeing the true colors of the fabric I photographed to appreciate the dramatic change. The purple on the right is as purple as you can get in real life, but in the picture, it looks blue. Perhaps I should not have put it next to true blue. Maybe I will take a new picture and tweak the color to show how it really appears. I took another picture in sunlight with even more dramatic results than that. The reason the suit looks blue is that the stage lights washed the red out of the image which is why the purple suit looked blue on stage.

    It is a very well known fact in photography and film that purple comes out blue. A blue looking suit is exactly what I would expect from purple. You can't prove that wrong. Buck Owens' Buckaroos had purple matching suits that everyone thought were blue because they are blue in pictures.

    The suit at Graceland is purple, the belt is purple. Are you suggesting that they made a purple belt for a blue suit? Not plausible. And as for the different shade, the belt is suede and the suit is wool.

    As for why would someone make up a story? There are lots of reasons. Perhaps it's just something he heard somewhere, maybe it's just a theory that he decided to believe and perpetuate with nobody able to disprove it.. Maybe it's bad memory on the part of those who told him. Personally, I think that story has kept going because it is a more dramatic and sensational explanation than the suit always being purple from the beginning.

    Bill Belew gave two interviews about the suits... one where he said the suits were made from "stretch gabardine", in another he said they were made from "jersey knit". I'm not saying he was a liar, but it's been 40+ years since he made a lot of the suits. As a self-proclaimed expert, Butch seems to have the answer to every single question about every single suit. That alone is very suspicious and discredits him in my opinion.

    And furthermore, ask yourself this, why on earth would the designers be involved in laundering the suit? and why would anybody around Elvis remember if a suit that he wore once or twice was purple or blue?

    In the end, people will believe what they want, but there is more proof for what I am suggesting than the other theory. The other theory would be thrown out of court and inadmissible as evidence as hearsay.

    It's amazing to me that if something is told and heard enough times it is accepted as truth even in the face of evidence to the contrary. If you throw out everything else, the suede purple belts stands as witness that the suit was always purple.
    Last edited by thejumpsuitman; 06-26-2011 at 07:20 AM.

  10. #90
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    So for clarifications sake and to put this to bed once and for all, ALL photo's of Elvis in this suit despite all different lighting and settings will always appear blue unless in Graceland in which the photo's will appear purple

    I'm joking of course, I'm still not 100% convinced either way, I'm sure the colour has faded and the appearance has changed over the years which has given rise to this subject coming up. In the end it is a detail that doesn't warrant anyone falling out

  11. #91
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Nah, I hope nobody is getting upset, it's just a fun topic to me, and i think I'm right. But to clarify, it is bright lighting (on stage and from flash bulbs) that makes purple look blue. Obviously they don't allow you to use a flash in Graceland. And if you have been to Graceland to see the suits, you know how dark it is in there. It even takes a few minutes after coming in from the sunlight for your eyes to adjust to the dark. Another thing is that today's high tech cameras have much more automatic color saturation and white balance sensing and control, so they take color pictures more accurately than cameras in the past.

    But all that aside, no one has even tried to give me an explanation to why the original belt is purple to match the suit. I know why... because the suit has always been purple and they made the belt purple to match.

    I
    Last edited by thejumpsuitman; 06-26-2011 at 05:07 PM.

  12. #92
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Yes, I am having fun with this... Okay, I took another picture of the purple spool of thread. The first picture is exactly how it came out naturally. It looks blue. The second picture has been adjusted to make it look like it does in real life. I held the actual spool up to my computer screen until I was able to achieve the correct shade of purple. Now you have to admit, that's dramatic!... And would explain to an unbiased, open mind why the purple suit was always thought to be blue.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #93
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Here is a great example of what I am talking about from the book "100 Years of Western Wear". The top of Porter Wagoner's Nudie suit shows the true purple color, but as the light changes as you go down, the suit appears more blue at the bottom. The type of light at the top of the display case did not wash away the red hues the way the ambient light of the room did. Even though the book didn't scan as well as I hoped, I think you can see what I mean.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  14. #94
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    The suit was blue. It was called "Royal Blue Fireworks". The fabric however was white. All colored suits were in fact white but the fabric was dyed to get a different color. When the suit was shown on display at Gracelend the public witnessed a purple suit. This was a goof-up job by the Graceland staff who send the suity away for a cleaning job. But the wrong chemicals were used. That made the suit turn purple. Later they altered the belt. Here a picture of a replica. Elvis version was exactly the same color. Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #95
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    How did they "alter the belt"? You can tell the leatherwork is original by the way the edges have facings skived and sewn, so they somehow magically transformed the suede from blue to purple? That is not an explanation.

    I think some people would rather climb up a tree to believe a story than to stand on the ground and accept the truth.

    I don't buy it for a second, Leroy... We will just have to agree to disagree.

  16. #96
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Quote Originally Posted by Leroy View Post
    The suit was blue. It was called "Royal Blue Fireworks". The fabric however was white. All colored suits were in fact white but the fabric was dyed to get a different color. When the suit was shown on display at Gracelend the public witnessed a purple suit. This was a goof-up job by the Graceland staff who send the suity away for a cleaning job. But the wrong chemicals were used. That made the suit turn purple. Later they altered the belt. Here a picture of a replica. Elvis version was exactly the same color. Click image for larger version. 

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    Quote Originally Posted by thejumpsuitman View Post
    How did they "alter the belt"? You can tell the leatherwork is original by the way the edges have facings skived and sewn, so they somehow magically transformed the suede from blue to purple? That is not an explanation.

    I think some people would rather climb up a tree to believe a story than to stand on the ground and accept the truth.

    I don't buy it for a second, Leroy... We will just have to agree to disagree.

    Sorry, but Leroy is right on the money here about the suit being discolored and turning purple instead of it's natural blue during a cleaning job. But...I will say that I would like to know how they altered the belt??? Other than that, when it comes to jumpsuits, I consider Leroy to be "the One" to go to as far as jumpsuit knowledge. I dare say that he's spent much more time with both Bill Belew/Gene Doucette & Butch & Kim Polston than ANY of us have!!!

    Also, the jumpsuit wasn't just worn in Greensboro, NC on April 14 & San Bernardino, CA in November of 1972. That was the final time the suit was ever worn because it got damaged and he never wore it again. He also wore it during that first winter engagement in Las Vegas, NV during January/Febrary of 1972. That's where the pictures of Elvis displaying the suit and cape spread out comes from.
    Last edited by Tony Trout; 07-05-2011 at 08:59 AM.

  17. #97
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Leroy is awesome for his research... But your research is only as good as the source. Butch Polston has never played any role whatsoever with the real jumpsuits and I completely reject the premise that he is an authority on anything that happened with the original suits. And I seriously doubt Gene Doucette knew anything about what happened to the suits after they left the shop. His only role, by the way, was studding and embroidering the suits. He did not have anything to do with tailoring them, so he wasn't even the last person to work on them when they were made. Gene Doucette never even met Elvis! How or why would he know what happened to them when he isn't even the one who would have been involved in any alterations after the fact?

    Gene Doucette said in an interview that Elvis loved the Aloha Eagle suit so much he wore it a lot, but kept giving away the belts, so they decided to add the waistline eagles so there would be something there when the belt was gone.... WHAT? We all know that is not true. Those waistline eagles were there from the beginning. I will give Gene a mulligan and say that maybe he doesn't remember, but if he doesn't remember the details related to the most famous jumpsuit ever, then why would you blindly believe this Owl story? (if it even came from him)

    The pictures I offered for demonstration were of a deep "Barney purple" piece of cloth that almost looked blue in photos. The actual suit is not that deep of a color, it is lighter, more of an "eggplant purple" which looks completely blue in photos. If you are willing to reject all of that evidence and believe a story to the contrary, you are betraying your own common sense because the belt stands as witness to the fact that the suit has always been the same color.

    I work with materials, dyes, and leather all the time. It is a simple fact that you cannot dye a color from darker to lighter... Period! But even if you could, you would not be able to dye that suede Owl belt because of all the embellishments. The prime reason being that you could not distribute the dye evenly and smoothly around all the stars, bars, grommets and owls and avoid splotching (ruining) the extremely absorbent suede. You would also have to be concerned about the chemical dye itself interacting with the embellishments. Those at Graceland certainly would not have taken such a risk on an item with the value of Elvis' original Owl belt!

    But in spite of these facts, I am supposed to believe that they not only were able to defy the laws of nature and physics and successfully dye deep royal blue to eggplant purple, but somehow they were lucky enough to come up with the perfect shade of purple to match a suit that was supposedly an accidental color to begin with?... But yet shows no variation or variegation whatsoever? Think about it. There is no variegation anywhere. If it was faded or damaged, there would be some. I find it easier to believe that the purple belt matches the suit because it was supposed to match it from the beginning.

    People will believe what they want, I am just astounded that people are willing to do so without objectivity.

  18. #98
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    I have one last thing to say on this subject... And I can't believe I neglected to point this out earlier... And if this doesn't make you question the story, nothing will... BLUE CANNOT FADE TO PURPLE BECAUSE BLUE IS A PRIMARY COLOR! Let me say that again... BLUE IS A PRIMARY COLOR! TO GET PURPLE, YOU HAVE TO ADD RED! Did they dye the suit red at the cleaners? Now that is ridiculous. To say the suit faded from blue to purple is the exact same thing as saying yellow can fade to orange. Be honest, does the "story" make sense? NO WAY.

  19. #99
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Hi Brad,

    What I was going to say is that this belt is one of the few belts which is not made out of leather!
    If you look close you can see that it's made of other material. (can't think of the name of it right now).
    That material was dyed. And the color has changed.

    Later on IC made another blue suit: the lucky suit (currently on display in Hollywood casino in Tunica).
    I made photos using flash there (which was allowed). And also that suit has faded colors and now looks more purple then blue.
    Also that gabardine material was dyed before the suit was made.

    So my conclusion would be that both suits and the belt was blue. But that using dry cleaning had it's effect on the dye.
    Not a cleaning mistake, but just it's natural causes of cleaning.
    Although it remains strange as to why blue would change into purple. Obviously the belt wasn't washed. But color changed nonetheless.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  20. #100
    Heartbreak Hotel, Room 11 Albert's Avatar
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    Re: Royal Blue Fireworks (aka) Owl Jumpsuit (1972)

    Quote Originally Posted by thejumpsuitman View Post
    How did they "alter the belt"? You can tell the leatherwork is original by the way the edges have facings skived and sewn, so they somehow magically transformed the suede from blue to purple? That is not an explanation.

    I think some people would rather climb up a tree to believe a story than to stand on the ground and accept the truth.

    I don't buy it for a second, Leroy... We will just have to agree to disagree.
    Perhaps 'altering' was just another word for "we've put the original in the box again, and ordered a replica that matches the same color as the discolored suit"
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