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Thread: Elvis always unplugged..never ELECTRIC guitar..why?

  1. #1
    Graceland Mail Room U.S. Male's Avatar
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    Elvis Playing Instruments - 1970's Shows

    I have read many different accounts to this little quirk, so I am going to ask it here in order to get some thoughts on it.

    Why didn't Elvis play more instruments in concert during the 1970's? From recordings I have heard, and from written accounts, he was a good musician and was known to have played not only guitar, but piano and drums. Of course everyone is aware of the few occasions he'd play a few bars of 2-3 songs on his acoustic guitar from 1976-1977, and when he'd play piano on Unchained Melody and a few other songs.

    However, my question is this, do you think had Elvis been more involved in playing more instruments during his shows that he would have taken an even greater interest in his work?
    "Don't tamper with the property of the U.S. Male"

  2. #2

    Elvis always unplugged..never ELECTRIC guitar..why?

    Why didn't Elvis ever strap on an electric guitar 71-77??????

    Can you imagine Indy '77...Elvis playing ELECTRIC guitar singing "Baby What you Want me to Do" ...on his stool???

  3. #3
    From Elvis Presley Blvd Lonniebealestreet's Avatar
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    When was the last time he played an electric guitar onstage, I wonder? Would that have been in August 1970? I know they would have a mike on his guitar on some later concerts for a few songs, and that was cool. In fact, I think when he started doing that in '76, I guess, it really added something to his shows, showcasing his musicianship. ("You never played the guitar, they said." "No, I've played it several times." ) So I would have liked to have seen more of that.

    I guess I've seen a photo or two of Elvis at the drums, but could he really do much with them?

    Hey, jb, if you're tuning in, I meant to comment on this before: You mentioned in another thread how Elvis really killed Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata; were you joking or is there a recording of this?

    His moments at the piano in concert were definite highlights too. Perhaps if Elvis had not died when he did, he would have continued to play the instruments more in his shows, which he seemed to be doing a little more towards the end.
    ...you won't forget me when I go.

  4. #4
    TCB Mafia buttonhead's Avatar
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    i dont think elvis need to play instrument, since he got who's the best at it...his band members,...if you heard them playing solo's ...sometimes it gives me goosebumps, especially Ron Tutt,..he is one hell of a drummer i dont think elvis could play drums better than that I think Elvis didnt really think it was a big deal that he doesnt play guitar either, i remember one story when elvis met Eric Clapton, and he didnt know that Eric was one of the best guitarist by that time, he pointed Eric to learn how to play guitar to JB,..what a helper (h) that shows how much Elvis think that JB is some one with bigger talent than himself.
    Last edited by buttonhead; 09-15-2004 at 02:03 PM.

  5. #5
    International Level NEA's Avatar
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    Fakin' it??!!

    Buttonhead,

    You ever see Elvis play the bass/rhythm chords on songs like 'Heartbreak Hotel' and 'Money Honey' on the Dorsey Brother's TV Show in 1956?

    You ever hear Elvis play some rhythm guitar chords on the Million Dollar Quartet session in December, 1956?

    You ever hear studio out-takes of Elvis playing acoustic guitar on 'Shoppin' Around' from the 'G.I. Blues' soundtrack?

    You ever see the 1968 TV Special Comeback - the new DVD edition was released this summer? I think I can see our man play the Lead on a song called 'Baby, What You Want Me To Do' a number of times in that!

    You ever see Elvis playing bass/rhythm chords on acoustic and electric guitars in the documentary 'Elvis-That's The Way It Is'?

    Granted, Elvis wasn't the worlds most primed guitar playing maestro and he probably did only know about three chords prior to January, 1956 and this resulted in a lot of the chords Elvis supposedly strummed during any of Scotty's live instrumentals being somewhat 'mimed'.

    But, taking all the aforementioned points I have just raised into account, would you not say that Elvis is still actually playing the instrument as opposed to this 'fakin' it' as you rightly pronounce it ? - Elvis didn't play Lead guitar, James Burton did, but it didn't stop Elvis playing his bass/rhythm licks on such vegas songs as 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', 'Reconsider Baby' and 'Blue Christmas'.

  6. #6
    Graceland Mail Room U.S. Male's Avatar
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    In the 68 Comeback Special after watching Elvis play the electric guitar during the song One Night, I feel he would have energized both the audience and himself during his shows had he added an electric guitar segment in to his show. As for him saying he could only play 3 chords - well, he played them nicely and earned a lot of $$$$$$ doing it

    I just wish I knew how to play 1 chord
    "Don't tamper with the property of the U.S. Male"

  7. #7
    Graceland Mail Room U.S. Male's Avatar
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    I believe this topic should have been added to the thread I started in regards to Elvis playing instruments during the 70's.

    Lets try and keep the subjects together guys so we don't crowd the room, please.

    Thanks
    "Don't tamper with the property of the U.S. Male"

  8. #8
    TCB Mafia buttonhead's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NEA
    Buttonhead,

    You ever see Elvis play the bass/rhythm chords on songs like 'Heartbreak Hotel' and 'Money Honey' on the Dorsey Brother's TV Show in 1956?

    You ever hear Elvis play some rhythm guitar chords on the Million Dollar Quartet session in December, 1956?

    You ever hear studio out-takes of Elvis playing acoustic guitar on 'Shoppin' Around' from the 'G.I. Blues' soundtrack?

    You ever see the 1968 TV Special Comeback - the new DVD edition was released this summer? I think I can see our man play the Lead on a song called 'Baby, What You Want Me To Do' a number of times in that!

    You ever see Elvis playing bass/rhythm chords on acoustic and electric guitars in the documentary 'Elvis-That's The Way It Is'?

    Granted, Elvis wasn't the worlds most primed guitar playing maestro and he probably did only know about three chords prior to January, 1956 and this resulted in a lot of the chords Elvis supposedly strummed during any of Scotty's live instrumentals being somewhat 'mimed'.

    But, taking all the aforementioned points I have just raised into account, would you not say that Elvis is still actually playing the instrument as opposed to this 'fakin' it' as you rightly pronounce it ? - Elvis didn't play Lead guitar, James Burton did, but it didn't stop Elvis playing his bass/rhythm licks on such vegas songs as 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', 'Reconsider Baby' and 'Blue Christmas'.
    well NEA..i mean that for jokin'..relax
    if you watch elvis CBS Special...he said that ' fakin' it for a long time , and only knew 3 cords' as a joke before he sang " Are You Lonesome Tonight "..thats what i meant to it... i copied the sentences from the man himself ..
    i am sorry if that offended you, mate.
    Last edited by buttonhead; 09-14-2004 at 10:50 PM.

  9. #9
    Heartbreak Hotel, Room 11 Albert's Avatar
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    I have merged the two more or less simular topics together

  10. #10
    Coming On Strong
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    Evis & Instruments

    I think that it all boils down to ?habbit?. Elvis never was plugged with his acoustic-guitar in the fifties, nor in the sixties, not in the Comeback Special... Most of the time, Elvis? acoustic could be heard through his own mic and later on Charlie held a mic in front of the guitar (?You got a lot of nerves boy? Memphis, July 76), later on a small standard can be seen in pictures for his guitar (77).

    I love the way Elvis played electric-guitar, he really had his own style. I wish he had played it more often, as well as the piano. Would love to hear Elvis play the drums as well...

  11. #11
    Heartbreak Hotel, Room 11 Albert's Avatar
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    I think this thing can also be brought back to Elvis' believe that he wasn't good enough. I think Elvis thought about it this way "James and John are much better guitarplayers than I am, so what's the point?". Same thing with writing and composing ("They are professional composers/songwriters.. who am I to think that I can do better?").

    But on the other hand: he did play piano durin "Unchained Melody"..... weird.... So many questions, so few answers....

  12. #12
    Cadillac King
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    Hey, jb, if you're tuning in, I meant to comment on this before: You mentioned in another thread how Elvis really killed Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata; were you joking or is there a recording of this?
    Bobby, they really messed up this wonderful tune and you can hear it in all its painful haming ( the whole gang just hum/ yowl) on a FTD - "In a Private Moment " I think it is.Write and tell me if you dont find it.

    Sorry I cannot access this board from home and I rarely find the time to do it from office- right now it time for me to go home!

    jb

  13. #13
    From Elvis Presley Blvd Lonniebealestreet's Avatar
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    Ah yes. I need to listen to that.

    Go home, jb!
    ...you won't forget me when I go.

  14. #14
    Cadillac King
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    I'm home ! This **** PC gets me to click at least 20 times to get the screen - every time I change or want to look at another thread it is the same -lousy Norton ! Just cannot get the settings right ,despite giving "full rights" for this server/board- sadly it is only for this board !

    I too, just got out " Pvt moment" and guess I am listening to it after more than year !

    jb

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