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Thread: The July 15 and 29 rehearsals

  1. #1
    Backstage Pass dannyboy1's Avatar
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    The July 15 and 29 rehearsals

    This thread is a spinoff from one of Unchained's recent ones. There?s an issue regarding the July 15th and 29th, 1970 rehearsal footage that has annoyed me for years.

    It seems to me very clear that the footage supposedly from July 15th was actually filmed on the same day as that from the 29th. Close scrutiny of all the MGM footage I've seen so far confirms that all of the performances attributed to those two dates are actually from one lengthy session.

    For some reason the tape roll containing the second half of the session (from ?Stagger Lee? through to Elvis playing the piano and leaving) was somehow given the incorrect date of July 15 in the MGM archives. How this happened is anyone?s guess. Considering the length of Elvis? hair, the 29th is a much more likely date.

    In the footage acknowledged to be from the 29th, Elvis is seen to be wearing brown pinstriped pants, an ornate silver belt and a paisley shirt which is primarily green and orange/brown. But looking at the so-called July 15 footage you see that he?s dressed exactly the same, and not only Elvis, but all of the musicians and Elvis? assistants as well.

    For instance, lead guitarist James Burton can be seen in a long-sleeved red shirt and white trousers. Charlie Hodge is wearing a long-sleeved white shirt and navy-coloured trousers and Joe Esposito is in a short-sleeved blue shirt and white trousers. The point is that everyone is dressed exactly the same in ?Words? and ?Little Sister? (the first half - the confirmed July 29 footage) as they are in ?That?s All Right? and ?Crying Time? (the second half - supposed to come from July 15). Yet it isn?t possible that they could all have dressed exactly the same on two separate occasions by chance. Did someone ask them to? Not likely, since no similar requests were made for any other rehearsal sessions or concerts.

    In the footage, Elvis? watch, sunglasses and rings are all put on and/or taken off, the microphones are changed over and some camera angles are altered. But these things are minor changes and could easily have happened in a three-hour session with at least one break part-way through. The fact remains that the clothing worn by all people in view of the camera, the room setup, and even some of the camera angles themselves all remain exactly the same. As far as I?m concerned, there is no doubt whatsoever that all of the ?green and orange/brown paisley shirt? rehearsal clips seen in Elvis, That?s The Way It Is; Elvis, That?s The Way It Is - Special Edition; Elvis: The Lost Performances and This Is Elvis are all from the one rehearsal date - that date most likely being July 29.

    Comments, anyone?
    "The way you looked, the sound of your laughing..."

  2. #2
    International Level Leroy's Avatar
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    DannyBoy,
    I too have always considered the rehearsal pictures and footage with Elvis in the brown/green shirt as one and the same date. The length of his hair and the way it falls are in this case a good way to determine that fact. I think that's the point to concentrate on in this case.

    The clothing however (of both Elvis and his entourage) does not proof a point because there's always room for the possibility the director demanded the same wardrobe for another day (the same thing occurs on a film set when a certain shot have to be filmed again)

    But I think your point is a good one and very much worth to investigate. I will get into my files to search for clues.

  3. #3
    Backstage Pass dannyboy1's Avatar
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    Great comment, Leroy.

    Of course I've heard the idea before that maybe the director requested the same clothes be worn again on a different day. But I think that for a person to rely on this they'd have to explain why a similar demand wasn't made for the other rehearsal sessions as well.

    In fact, why didn't they get Elvis to wear the one jumpsuit on the 10th, 11th and 12th in order to make it easier for them to edit the concert footage together later? I just really don't think these things were considered an issue. In any case, in the rehearsals in question it isn't just Elvis and the band, but JOE ESPOSITO TOO.

    No, to me the most logical reason for the two sets of footage appearing to be from the same day is because they ARE from the same day.
    "The way you looked, the sound of your laughing..."

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