Elvis and the Top Ten Halloween Costumes

Top Ten Best Selling Adult Halloween Costumes

On October 19, USA Today featured an article about all the money Americans spend each year on Halloween. They showed a list of the top ten best-selling adult costumes according to the National Retail Federation. My first impulse was to try to find pictures of Elvis in each of those costume types and post them on ElvisBlog. Then I realized three of them were for females: Witch, Princess, and Wench/Tart/Vixen. That definitely made the challenge greater.

WITCH:

Priscilla Witch

As you can see, I was stymied by the number one costume on the list. If there’s a picture on the internet of Elvis wearing a witch’s hat, Google couldn’t find it. However, Priscilla makes a pretty good witch, so we’ll go with that.

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ANIMAL:

Elvis in Elephant Mask

I’ve never seen an elephant mask, but I guess Elvis found one for this shot.

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BATMAN CHARACTER:

Elvis as Batman

Elvis wouldn’t dress up as the Riddler or the Joker. No, sir, it gotta be Batman himself.

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PIRATE:

Elvis as Pirate

Elvis looks excellent as a swash-buckling bad-ass pirate, doesn’t he?

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ZOMBIE:

Zombie Elvis

Wow, Elvis wouldn’t get any candy coming to the door looking like this.

 

VAMPIRE:

Vampire Elvis

This is a great job making Elvis look like a vampire, but here’s another one I had to show, as well.

Dracula Elvis and Marilyn Monroe

Who wouldn’t want to bite into Marilyn Monroe’s neck?

 

DOCTOR:

Elvis as Dr John Carpenter in Change of Habit

This was too easy. Anybody recognize Dr. John Carpenter?

 

ACTION/SUPER HERO:

Elvis as Action Hero

I guess this would be Elvis as a generic action hero, but he sure looks like someone the evil guys shouldn’t mess with.

Hulk Elvis

The incredible Hulk is a super hero, isn’t he?

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PRINCESS:

Queen Elisabeth and Elvis Morphed

I thought the second costume associated with females would be a problem, but it wasn’t as bad as Witch. I could lie and say this is Elvis in a princess costume, but is actually some strange morphed picture of Elvis and Queen Elizabeth.

 

WENCH / TART / VIXEN:

elviris

Whoa. Now that is kind-of creepy.

 

Anyway, I hope you all have a happy Halloween.

Halloween Elvis

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Eight Years of Al Wertheimer Stories on ElvisBlog

Al Wertheimer Holding The Kiss

Al Wertheimer Holding “The Kiss”

If you regularly follow other Elvis websites or blogs, you probably already know about the passing of Alfred Wertheimer, the iconic photographer who snapped over 4,000 photographs of Elvis in 1956. The remaining circle of folks with a connection to Elvis shrunk again Sunday when Al died of natural causes at age 85.

Fitting tributes to Al Wertheimer are all over the internet, but most tell you the same information everyone else has. You may feel like you’ve heard it all already, but please don’t skip this article. In 2006 and 2010 I had six lengthy telephone interviews with Al, a total of 8-1/2 hours, and he really told me some stuff. Enough to result in eight ElvisBlog articles, a six-page spread in Elvis The Magazine, and the forward to Al’s book, Elvis: The Early Years. Here they are in chronological order.

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The Al Wertheimer InterviewElvisBlog, June 4, 2006:

Darwin Lamm, the editor of Elvis The Magazine set up a phone interview between me and Al Wertheimer so I could get material for an article celebrating the 50th anniversary of him taking all the photos of Elvis.

Elvis The Magazine - August 2006

Elvis The Magazine – August 2006

Actually, I had two interviews with Al on successive nights totaling 5-1/2 hours.

The best paragraph in this blog post was a thumbnail description of Al‘s experience with Elvis:

During Al Wertheimer’s odyssey, Elvis performed two live concerts, did a rehearsal and two live TV shows, and recorded “Hound Dog” and “Don’t Be Cruel.” Elvis moved around between three states: New York, Virginia, New York, and Tennessee. There was nearly fifty hours of train travel linking it all together, none of which Al had to share with any other photographers.

This blog article was pretty much a tease for future posts about Al as well as the magazine article, but it hopefully it whetted the readers’ appetites for more.

Al Wertheimer Showing his Photo in Magazine

Al Wertheimer Showing his Photo in Magazine

Click on the article title above to read the whole post.

 

Elvis Departs for GermanyElvisBlog, June 18, 2006:

One thing omitted from most Al Wertheimer biographies is that he also photographed Elvis a second time in 1958 when he boarded an Army troop ship for the trip to Germany. Al was one of 250 reporters, photographers and cameramen, so his photographs weren’t much different than those taken by others.

Elvis Boarding USS General Randall

Elvis Boarding USS General Randall

However, Al told me about some of the things he witnessed that day, like this:

The ship had four decks and soon Elvis appeared on the top one – along with Col. Parker. Wertheimer wondered to himself, “What is Parker doing on a troop ship?” To give something to Elvis, it turned out. Elvis opened a box from Parker, and guess what it contained? Dozens of playing-card-sized autographed photos of Elvis. Then, Elvis flipped then one-by-one over the railing, and they fluttered down to lucky fans standing on the dock four decks below as the band played “Hound Dog.” Just your average troop deployment.

For more of Al’s memories and thoughts about this day, click on the title of the blog article above.

 

Alfred Wertheimer – But His Friends Call Him Al ElvisBlog, July 18, 2006:

Franed Copy of Elvis on his Harley

Franed Copy of Elvis on his Harley

I have referred to Alfred Wertheimer as Al several times so far. This old blog post explains why that is. But the fun part of this article is about the time Elvis took Al for a ride around Memphis on his Harley:

Although Wertheimer had taken almost 4,000 photos of Elvis during the previous week, he had no shots of himself and Elvis together. He tried to correct that while they zipped along on the cycle. He held the camera out as far as he could with one hand and shot back toward their faces. It was a big guessing game as to the proper angle and alignment, so Wertheimer moved the camera around and kept snapping until he ran out of film.

When he developed the prints and discovered his guesses at the correct shooting-backward camera positions were all wrong. He got Elvis’ cap, his nose, and a few full-face shots of Elvis, but none contained his own face, too. Oh well, at least he got to ride on the Harley with Elvis. How many people can say that?

Elvis and Al also ran out of gas on that Harley ride. To read about that and other good stuff, click on the title above.

 

Al Wertheimer: Have Photos, Will TravelElvisBlog, December 9, 2007:

This post resulted from a two-page letter Al sent me outlining his recent travels to Holland, Paris, and China in support of various projects with his Elvis photos.

I also used the occasion to tell about the time that Al inadvertently caused an article I wrote specifically for the 25th Anniversary issue of Elvis The Magazine to get bumped.

…. a four-page picture spread of six photos Al Wertheimer took of Elvis back in 1956… those four-pages were originally supposed to be mine. I had a lengthy article already approved and submitted with art-work at the graphic designer for lay-out. Then, a week before the magazine went to the printer, editor Darwin Lamm acquired six new Al Wertheimer pictures. Of course, he wanted to get them into the issue, but he needed a lot of space so the photos could be presented large size. Guess whose article got cut? It killed me not to be in the biggest and best issue in the magazine’s history.

By now, you know the drill. Click on the title to read about Al’s travels and more.

Only Known Photo with both Elvis and Al Wertheimer in It

Only Known Photo with both Elvis and Al Wertheimer (top left) in It

 

Writing With WertheimerElvisBlog, August 22, 2010:

I got to brag a little in this article. It told the story of how I was selected to write the forward for Al’s latest book of photographs, Elvis: The Early Years, published by earBooks.

The following snippet mentions ‘my article’ which was the one I wrote for Elvis The Magazine — “Al Wertheimer – 7 Days with Elvis, 4,000 photographs, 50 Years Ago”:

Alfred Wertheimer’s last book, “Elvis at Twenty-One,” contained a foreward by noted Elvis biographer Peter Guralnick. EarBOOKs’ editor Astrid Fischer wanted to use somebody new this time, so she did an internet search and found my article. She liked what she read, and she contacted Alfred Wertheimer to get his opinion. He told her he “found the text very good.” Ms. Fischer then contacted me and we worked out a deal for me to write the forward. To say the least, I am thrilled to be associated with an Alfred Wertheimer project.

The rest of the blog post covered four stories about Al and his Elvis photos: two travelling exhibits, the use of twenty images in the new Cirque du Soleil show Viva Elvis, and Al’s participation in the 2009 Elvis Cruise. Al told a couple of good cruise stories.

Al Wertheimer in his Office Surrounded by His Elvis Photos

Al Wertheimer in his Office Surrounded by His Elvis Photos

 

Elvis: The Early YearsElvisBlog, November 14, 2010:

Elvis   -  The Early Years

Elvis – The Early Years

The title of the forward I wrote for this Al Wertheimer book was “Elvis Presley – Before the Opaque Curtain Fell.”

We agreed on a title for the forward that incorporated a line he had written years earlier. When describing how Col. Parker severely restricted media access to Elvis in late 1956, Wertheimer said, “I believed an opaque curtain had been lowered around Elvis.”

Al kindly gave me permission to reproduce the entire forward on this blog post. Be sure to read this one. If you really want to learn about Al Wertheimer, this is for you.

 

Al Wertheimer Reflects on Photographing “The Kiss” ElvisBlog, August 20, 2011

This one was fun to write. My 2006 phone interviews with Al were preserved on tape. So, when the news came out revealing who the woman in it was in Al’s iconic photo, “The Kiss,” I remembered he had lovingly related every detail about taking this shot. I asked if I could reproduce it word-for-word on ElvisBlog, and he kindly agreed:

I move in three or four feet, I take another shot. And then I go Hollywood. I say, “Well, this is not too good an angle. I can get a better angle than that.” So, I climb up on the handrail, and now I’m three feet away from them. Elvis is up against the wall while she is sort of in his arms.

And now I’m clicking away and they still don’t see me. Totally oblivious to me. I now get courage, so now I’m doing like acrobatics with my legs, leaning forward. I’m practically on top of their heads.

Of course, Al took many shots during this episode, and he gave me the okay to use three of them that illustrated the narrative.

Al Wertheimer Shot of Elvis Moving in for The Kiss

Al Wertheimer Shot of Elvis Moving in for The Kiss

Please check out all of Al’s recollections and pictures in this blog post.

 

Al Wertheimer and the Dreaded Tonto Bar ElvisBlog, March 17, 2012:

By this time, I had been added to a list of email contacts Al would occasionally send stuff to. This post started with a cartoon that he liked and shared with us. When I sent back a thank you to Al, I also included a photo of Elvis on the Steve Allen Show that I had recently found on the internet, and I asked if it was his. It was, but Al said he had a better one and sent it to me. So, that picture ended up on the blog post, too, along with the story about the “Tonto Bar” in it.

Do you know what Elvis is doing here? If you are familiar with his 1956 TV show appearances, you might recognize this shot from the Steve Allen Show. It is from the same night when Elvis had to wear a tux and sing to a real hound dog. Allen had Elvis in a skit about cowboys. Here we see him shooting a dreaded Tonto bar being pulled along the stage on a wire. The skit was pretty lame, but I always enjoy watching Elvis doing it.

Elvis Shooting the Tonto Bar

Elvis Shooting the Tonto Bar

As usual, Al informed me of his latest project. So, this blog post includes news of his “Elvis at Twenty-One” touring exhibition sponsored by the Smithsonian Institution.

One other paragraph in this blog post causes me regret:

I keep asking him if I could do another phone interview, this time about his gig as a film photographer at Woodstock, the 1969 three-day festival of love and peace. Al was on the Woodstock staff. Talk about being in a situation that gives you amazing opportunities for memorable events. You know Al has to have some good stories to tell. I’d be very pleased if I can someday write about them.

Well, I never did get to do that interview, but I will always have fond memories of the other ones with Al Wertheimer.

Al Wertheimer and Elvis' Teddy Bear

Al Wertheimer and Elvis’ Teddy Bear – 1956

Al Wertheimer Signing Elvis at Twenty-One

Al Wertheimer Signing Elvis at Twenty-One – 2012

 

Al often signed his emails

Be well,
Alfred

So, I’ll repeat it here.

Be well, Alfred, and say hi to Elvis for us.

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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The Elvis Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Announcement of Elvis Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Did you see this announcement on Graceland.com a couple of weeks ago? I’m going to enter it, and maybe I’ll win the $100 prize.

2014 Elvis Pumpkin Contest Prize

Too bad I didn’t enter the first Elvis Pumpkin Contest back in 2012 when the prize was $250. Wonder why they cut it back?

 2012 Elvis Pumpkin Contest Prize

 

ElvisBlog usually has an Elvis/Halloween post each year, and some of them have featured pumpkins carved with his image. The first was back in 2008, so unless you dig deep into the archives, you likely haven’t seen most of these. So here is a look at the best of the Elvis Pumpkins from those posts.

Outstanding Elvis carved pumpkin

I wanted to start with this one for two reasons. First, it is just an outstanding design. And, second, it is an example of what seems to be becoming a lost art – cutting completely through the shell to make the image.

 

Elvis Pumpkin 2

This is equally outstanding work, but here only the outer dark shell is carved away. Light inside the pumpkin shines through the thinner yellow membrane to show off the design. Here are nine more designs using this technique.


Elvis Pumpkin 3

Elvis Pumpkin 4

Elvis Pumpkin 5

Elvis Pumpkin 6

Elvis Pumpkin 7

Elvis Pumpkin 8

Elvis Pumpkin 9

Elvis Pumpkin 10

Elvis Pumpkin 11

 

Here’s yet another carving technique where the design is revealed in relief by cutting away the thick pumpkin shell to different depths.

Elvis Pumpkin 12

 

The next design seems to be some advanced technique that involves copying an Elvis image to the pumpkin and possible even adding colors. The white on the jumpsuit just doesn’t look like something you get naturally from the pumpkin. Kind of seems like cheating.  (Editor’s note:  The “seems like cheating” reference here was in bad judgement.  I should have quit after “just doesn’t look like something you get naturally from the pumpkin,” because that is true.  This design was carved on a foam craft pumpkin bought at Michael’s Hobby Shop.  Check out the comment below from the carver, Bryan Moore, who describes the whole process and many other interesting things.  Sorry, Bryan.)

Elvis Pumpkin 13

 

So, we’ve seen four different techniques for Elvis pumpkin decorating. I have a fifth one that I will submit to the contest.

ElvisBlog Pumpkin Entry

It helps if you own your own personal granite Elvis bust. Wish me luck.

 

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Long Live Digital Elvis

Reworking Elvis Digitally

Hey, what are they doing to Elvis here?  There was no narrative in the You Tube video containing this shot, so we don’t know the technical details.  What we do know is that some Brazilian digital engineers took Elvis images from the movie Spinout to use in a TV commercial.

Spinout Poster

That commercial was for fashion retailer C&A, which operates in Europe and Brazil, but not the United States.

 C&A Fashion Retailer

The ad is a fast-paced 30-second look at Elvis singing and kissing girls at a modern-day party.  The video’s director created a set and filmed beautiful people dancing and talking.  Then his digital team extracted Elvis’ image from the Spinout sequence where he sings the song “Smorgasbord” and placed him in the middle of the modern party.  The footage of Elvis came from this:

Elvis Singing in Spinout

And ended up like this.  Keep in mind that this was not just a single image transfer.  It was several seconds of Elvis doing some classic moves.

Elvis Singing at Modern-Day Party in Ad

 

Several other snippets from the song were lifted and placed in the modern setting.

Elvis Walking Past Girls with Guitar in Spinout

Elvis Walking Past Couple with Guitar in C&A Ad

 

Elvis enjoys a lot of fast kisses while he sings “Smorgasbord,” and all of them are transferred to other girls in the ad video.

Elvis Kissing Two Girls Sitting on Couch in Spinout

Elvis Kissing Girls on Couch in Ad

Here’s a shot from the footage they shot before Elvis was added to the scene. Each girl had to pose for their air-kiss with the right timing to match Elvis’ movements in the film.

Girl Air-Kissing Elvis' Cheek in Ad

 

A bit later, Elvis ditches the guitar, strolls over to two standing girls and kisses them on the cheek.

Elvis Kissing Standing Girls In Spinout

Elvis Kissing Dancinging Girls in Ad

Here’s a shot of the two party girls before Elvis kisses them.  Notice that they are dancing on a bench.


Two Girls Dancing Alone in C&A Ad

Then the images of Elvis jumping up between them on that bench are added.

Elvis Jumping Between Dancing Girls in Ad

The footage of Elvis doing this spin-around jump came from a different segment of the movie.

Shadow Elvis

It looks like they flipped it from left-to-right for some reason.

Elvis Doing Spinning Jump

 

The last kiss in the commercial is between Elvis and a beauty in a white dress.

Girl Coming Down Steps to Kiss Elvis in Ad

Here’s the footage of Elvis kissing Deborah Walley in Spinout.

Elvis Kissing Debrah Whalley in Spinout

After a little digital trickery, the kiss looks like this.

Elvis Kissing -- in C&A Ad

 

Check out how they posed the girl for the kiss.

Posing for the Kiss with Elvis-- C&A Ad

 

 

Now that virtual/digital/holograph technology has advanced so much, I think we will be seeing much more of Elvis in contemporary media.  That prospect will probably rankle some folks, but it’s fine with me.  The more Elvis the better.

 

 ©  2014    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 


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Elvis’ Fabulous Rings — Part 4

I don’t know how many rings Elvis owned in his lifetime, but ElvisBlog has reported on 33 of them so far in the first three parts of this series.  Here are nine more. 

Horse Head/Horseshoe Ring

Elvis' Horse head-Horse Shoe Ring

This gold and diamond ring sold for $18,800 at a Christie’s auction in 2001.  According to the auction website information, Elvis acquired this ring in 1956 and wore it on May 1, 1967 when he married Priscilla.  Sometime later he gave it to Memphis Mafia member Alan Fortas.

Elvis' Horse head-Horse Shoe Ring - Wearing

 Horseshoe Ring - Elvis Wearimg

It is 14k gold with fourteen single-cut diamonds around the surface in the shape of a horseshoe.  Elvis must have liked this design concept, because he had another one we looked at in Part 1 of the series.  This later design had 20 diamonds and a larger horse head facing front and containing two of the diamonds.

 Elvis' Horse Head Ring from Part 1

 

 

41-carat Ruby and Diamond Ring:

 Elvis' 41-carat ruby and diamond ring

This ring was shown in a November 29, 2013 Associated Press online article about a new Elvis memorabilia exhibit opening at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  The only information given was that Elvis bought it in 1975, and that it has a 41-carat ruby surrounded by fourteen diamonds.

 

Gold Ring with Diamonds and Citrine:

 Elvis' Gold Ring With Diamonds and Citrine

Elvis owned this one in the 70s when he seemed to prefer big showy rings.  It sold for $15,000 at the August 2014 Heritage Entertainment and Music Memorabilia Auction.  The auction website calls the ring a “stunner” because it weighs 20.9 grams and contains 11 full-cut diamonds and an 8 x 6 mm citrine set in 14k gold.

The ring’s history is interesting.  In 1973, Elvis was hospitalized for three weeks.  During his stay, girlfriend Linda Thompson stayed with Elvis 24/7, and her brother (and Elvis’ bodyguard) Sam Thompson visited the hospital every day.  Near the end of the stay, Elvis took the ring from his finger and gave it to Sam in appreciation of his friendship and loyalty.

 

Gold Ring with Diamonds: 

 Elvis' Gold Ring with Diamonds - Side View

 Elvis' Gold Ring with Diamonds

This ring and the next one sold at another Heritage entertainment memorabilia auction in April 2014.  It is 14k gold with 28 full and single-cut diamonds weighing a total of approximately 2.25 carats. Overall the ring has a gross weight of 44.5 grams.  The winning bid was $12,500, which seems like a bargain for a ring this stunning and with a notable history.  Elvis was supposed to wear it on June 26, 1977 in Indianapolis, his final live performance.  This is another ring with a Sam Thompson connection, and here is his story:

“Backstage, in the dressing room just before he went onstage, Elvis was having Band Aids applied to his fingers to keep this ring from coming off and the Band Aids became uncomfortable. Irritated, he removed the ring from his hand and it was placed on a table in his dressing room. As we left the dressing room for the stage, I put the ring in my pocket for safekeeping. It was the only concert I remember where Elvis wore no rings while he performed onstage. Later, back in Memphis at Graceland, I offered the ring back to him. He just smiled and said it looked good on me and told me to keep it.”

The auction story mentions two Elvis websites with photos of the concert confirming he wore no rings for his last appearance on stage.

 

Hawk’s Eye Quartz 14k Gold Ring:

 Elvis' Hawk's Eye Quartz 14k Gold Ring

Yet another Sam Thompson ring.  It is rather small by Elvis standards and sold for just $4,062 at the auction.  Thompson frequently travelled on tour with Elvis, and enjoyed the unique benefits that came with it. Elvis loved jewelry, but he may have loved giving it away even more. After Sam admired this ring, Elvis gave it to him, saying he had gotten it in Hawaii during the time he performed the Aloha from Hawaii special.

 

One More Sam Thompson Ring:

 Sam Thompson's Elvis Ring

On February 1, 2013, an Elvis website showed this picture and accompanied it with a short article.  Sam Thompson said, “I just found this gold nugget pinky ring that Elvis gave to me that I had forgotten I had.  I found it in an old jewelry box of mine.  It’s the real deal and I’ve had it since 1977.  Between June and August of 1977, while at Graceland, I admired the pinky ring Elvis was wearing.  He took it off and said ‘It’s yours” and handed it to me.”  Thompson was thinking about selling the ring for $4,000.

 

Turquoise and Citrine Ring:

 Elvis' Turquoise and Coral Ring

Someone from ElvisArtifacts.com recently placed a comment on an ElvisBlog article.  I clicked on their URL and found out they have three Elvis rings for sale – the next three of this article.

 Turquoise and Citrine Ring -- Elvis Wearing

Ownership of this ring has passed from Elvis’ barber, Homer Gilleland, to his Optician, Dennis Roberts, to his eyeglass technician, Artie Dadyan, and finally to Elvis Artifacts.  It is currently offered for sale at $35,000.

 

Gold Nugget and Diamond Ring:

 Elvis' Gold Nugget and Diamond Ring

Elvis owned and wore this 14k gold ring and later gave it to his uncle William Earle Pritchett (husband of Vernon’s sister Nasval).  Over the years, Elvis gave many items to them, including a concert cape.

 Gold Nugget and Diamond Ring - Elvis Wearing

The ring is missing one diamond, which the Pritchetts never replaced because that is the way it was received from Elvis.  If you want to buy an Elvis ring with a missing diamond, this one is for sale at $25,000.

 

7 carat Diamond Ring:

Elvis' 7ct Diamond Ring

This seven carat diamond ring was worn by Elvis in various photographs in the early to mid 1970s. It is featured on the cover of the album His Hand in Mine, as well as shots taken of Elvis backstage before a show modeling various jumpsuits.

7ct Diamond Ring --Elvis  Wearing

It can be yours for $35,000.

 

Elvis’ Fabulous Rings — Part 1

Elvis’ Fabulous Rings — Part 2

Elvis’ Fabulous Rings — Part 3

©  2014    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis Allusions in Commercials

New Heineken Ad

If you watch much television you certainly have seen the new ad for Heineken Beer set to the music of a remix of Elvis’ hit “Bossa Nova Baby.” In it, a guy embarks on a search for a mysterious beautiful woman with only the some enigmatic cards to guide him. Each card takes him deeper into the heart of the city and eventually leads him to the girl of his dreams.

New Heineken Ad Conclusion

That girl has a considerable resemblance to Priscilla. I wonder if it was intentional. You can view the entire two-minute internet version of the commercial by clicking here and scrolling down a bit.  The ad runs 30 or 60 seconds on TV.

 

You probably remember that Elvis’ songs or his image have been used in other commercials over the years. This prompted me to do a little research on Google to find them. ElvisBlog has done Elvis Allusions in the Movies for years, so now we will look at Elvis Allusions in Commercials.

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BBC 2 – 2008:

Elvis and Cheryl Crow on BBC 2 Commercial

Sorry for the fuzzy picture, but that’s the best I could pull off of YouTube. The girl in this photo is Cheryl Crow, supposedly playing bass guitar on stage with Elvis. The theme of this one minute ad for BBC2 in Great Britain was a superstar band backing Elvis in concert. The producers used footage from Elvis’ Aloha from Hawaii concert and digitally added Stevie Wonder on piano, Keith Moon (The Who) on drums, and Marvin Gay as back-up singer.

 Jimmy Page and Elvis -- BBC2 Commercial

The two guitar players supposedly backing Elvis were Noah Gallager (Oasis) and Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin).

 

Sirius Radio – 2009:

Elvis, He Changed Music -- Serius Commercial

We get both Elvis’ image and his music on the ad. “All Shook Up” plays throughout the 30-second spot that uses film stills from the ’68 Comeback Special. Three other icons that have changed their specialty are shown: Michael Jordan –sports, Richard Prior – comedy, and Howard Sterns – talk radio.

We're Changing How You Listen to It -- Sirius Commercial

 

Heineken Beer – 2011:

Bar Scene -- Heiniken Ad

Those Heineken people are getting their money’s worth for whatever price they paid to use “Bossa Nova Baby” in their commercials. Three years ago, they presented a one-minute ad with another theme of a guy trying to connect with a girl.

 Close-up of couple in Heineken Ad

This time he’s trying to do it at an airport bar, and he resorts to a little trick to pull it off.

 

Energizer Batteries — 2006:

Elvis Driving into a Gas Station -- Eveready Batteries Commercial

There’s a nifty little story line of this 30-second ad. A guy working the counter at a gas station is a big Elvis fan. He sees Elvis drive a Caddy in and start to fill up. An Elvis look-a-like is used for most of the shots, including this one from the gas tank POV.

Elvis in Gas Tank POV -- Eveready Ad

The fan grabs his camera and goes outside to take Elvis’ picture. Here they insert an actual shot of Elvis’ face. When the guy tries to snap his photo, the camera’s batteries are dead. Bummer.

 

Brisk Iced Tea – 2011:

James Brown and Elvis -- Brisk Iced Tea Ad

This 35-second animated commercial is very creative. In the shot above, Elvis is in a jail cell and James Brown pushes up a book cart. Naturally, “Jailhouse Rock” accompanies the action, which also includes Coolio and Willie Nelson.

Willie Nelson -- Brisk Iced Tea Ad

I enjoyed this one so much, I watched it three times.

 

Nike – 2002:

Ship Housing Secret Tournamant -- Nike Ad

Remember when “A Little Less Conversation” became a big hit? And we read about how the remix version by Junkie XL was created for Nike’s 2002 World Cup advertising campaign. I can’t remember ever seeing the commercial – I think it was shown only in Europe. Anyway, it is on YouTube and it lasts for three minutes. The picture above is from the start of the footage, and the small boats approaching the big ship each contain a three-man team of soccer players.

Goal in Nike 2002 Ad

The athletes are supposedly playing in a secret tournament in a cage-like arena inside the ship. See the dark area in the bottom right corner. That’s the goal.

Players in 2002 Nike Ad

The ad probably could have been cut to two-minutes or less, but if you like soccer, it is full of spectacular scoring moves you won’t see in real matches.

 

I found all of the last six commercials linked together in a YouTube video containing forty Elvis commercials (the others were for Elvis albums, DVDs, etc.). Click here to watch them. They are all numbered, so click on 1, 2, 3, 4, 16, and 19 in sequence.

 

Leeker Beer (Dutch) – 2014:

Old Elvis -- Lekker Beer Ad

This is supposed to be Elvis as an older man. He is living a secret life of leisure on a tropical island, along with several other dead entertainers. Here are Curt Cobain and John Lennon.

Curt Cobain and John Lennon -- Lekker Beer Commercial

Others enjoying this shared seclusion are Bruce Lee, Marilyn Monroe, and Tupac.

Curt, Marilyn, Elvis, John -- Lekker Beer Ad

When a boat sails into view, the group avoids discovery by a most unique plan. Click here to see what it is.

 

Axe Anarchy – 2012:

Can't Help Falling in Love with You -- Axe Anarchy Ad

How do you like this look of pure yearning? It is part of an ad for Axe Anarchy deodorant that features Elvis’ “I Can’t Help Falling in Love with You” playing in the background. Numerous other couples suffer this same craving for the opposite sex, resulting in a strange sequence of events.

Traffic Crash -- Axe Anarchy Ad

It’s hard to believe this type of chaos would make anybody buy deodorant. Click here to see if it works for you.

 

There were several other good ads featuring Elvis’ songs or his image, and new ones seem to come along regularly.  So, maybe someday we’ll have an Elvis Allusions in Commercials, Part 2.

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis Scrapbooks — Part 6

Elvis Fan Scrapbook Cover

From time to time I acquire an old Elvis scrapbook. I keep hoping to find one started by a fan back in 1956 when Elvis took over the world. However, what seems to be more common are scrapbooks by fans who were motivated to start them when he died in 1977. ElvisBlog took a look at one of these in January 2014, and it contained fifteen pages of stuff plus two dozen folded-up newspaper and magazine articles in the back. That’s enough for two blog posts, so here are some of the more interesting items not covered earlier.

 

Elvis and White Slavery

The Elvis photos on this page aren’t especially notable, but the question-and-answer text is interesting.

Q. When the late Elvis Presley brought different girls to live with him at Graceland in Memphis, didn’t he bribe their parents with lavish gifts in a form of white slavery?

Whoa. Good thing TMZ didn’t exist back then, or they would have certainly dug up the scoop on Elvis’ white slavery action. Give me a break.

The answer did say that Elvis was an extremely and spontaneously generous man. Then it stated that Elvis did verbally promise Ginger Alden’s mother that he would pay off her $40,000 mortgage. But Elvis died before doing so, and Mrs. Alden sued the Presley estate. The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled the estate was obliged to pay the $40,000 and retire the note. You can bet Vernon wasn’t too happy to write that check.

 

Elvis Compared to Valentino

After Elvis’ death, it seemed like hundreds of articles came out extolling the legacy of cultural change he left behind. However, the writer of this Associated Press article tried to make it different from the others by including a comparison between Elvis and silent film actor Rudolph Valentino.

 Valentino

They were American originals — “The Sheik” and “The Pelvis.”

In the 1920’s, Valentino danced the tango on a movie screen and women swooned. In the 1950s, Elvis wiggled his hips on TV and girls fainted.

Valentino gave us slickeddown hairdos, the tango, and the term “matinee idol.” For Elvis, it was long hair, tight pants, and a remarkable new sound called “rock ‘n roll.”

A half century apart, Valentino and Elvis inspired audiences with the same magic. You might call it “sex-appeal.”

Might call it??? One other comparison the writer might have made is that both stars died too young. Rudolph Valentino at age 31; and Elvis at age 42.

 

 Elvis Photo Montage

This page was one of several where the fan had cut out photos of Elvis from various media and mounted them to create a montage. I guess you have to say these pictures have stood the test of time. Now, thirty-seven years later, most of them are familiar images for Elvis fans.

 

 Elvis at Guiness Hall of World Records

This scrapbook covers the period from 1977 to 1983. Based on the newspaper clippings in it, the fan who compiled it lived in Anderson, SC. She apparently made a trip to Myrtle Beach, SC during this time and visited the Guinness Hall of World Records.

Elvis made the brochure cover, and his world record was the Most Gold Records. Guinness also presented A Tribute to Elvis, described on another page of the brochure. The print is too small for you to read, but this tribute included:

One of his original cars
Personal jewelry – gold, diamonds, silver
Items from his Hollywood home
Stage clothing

And don’t forget to visit the souvenir booth.

 

 Hand-Sketched ELVIS 1935-1977

The bottom of this page shows five books about Elvis (three of which I own). The article at the top describes the feelings by students at an Anderson, SC high school about how they miss Elvis and what he meant to them. But the most interesting thing to me is the pencil drawing of ELVIS 1935-1977. It is on white lined tablet paper, and was lovingly sketched by the fan herself. The only thing missing is a teardrop on the paper.

 

Elvis ' RCA Camden Albums

Our Elvis scrapbook fan cut this full-page advertisement from SuperTeen magazine. The record albums shown were all on the RCA Camden label, a budget-priced offshoot of RCA Victor. These Elvis albums were released between 1969 and 1973, and primarily consisted of repackagings of his 60s movie soundtrack recordings and previously unreleased material. Can you believe they are still finding unreleased Elvis recordings today, forty plus years later.

 

 Newsweek Review of Elvis by Albert Goldman

I’m not sure why our Elvis fan included this 1981 Newsweek book review in her scrapbook. It covers the horrible hatchet-job done by Albert Goldman in his book Elvis. Certainly, any young fan who read how Newsweek characterized Goldman and his book would never buy it.

Elvis Presley seems to fill Goodman with nothing but disgust.

Never has a writer lavished such contempt on his subject’s life.

Like a smug Victorian imperialist, Goldman sniffs at [Elvis’] curious native customs.

Newsweek’s review mentions several of the depictions Goldman made of Elvis – a freak attraction, little cracker boy, a carnival of gluttony, and several others too nasty to print here.

 

Elvis by Albert Goldman

So, as a public service, if you are ever tempted to purchase a cheap used copy of this book —

DON’T

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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The Movie Theater: One Building Elvis Will Never Leave — Part 6

Elvis Cinemas

Have you noticed how Elvis continues to loom so large in American pop-culture? One significant example of this is his presence in a dozen or so movies every year. Not necessarily as a character, but in more subtle ways, like his name being used in dialog, or his image in video clips or photos visible in a scene, or his songs playing in the background (or over the credits), or familiar Elvis trappings like jumpsuits and those famous sunglasses, or even his well-known moves and mannerisms.

Every August I enjoy going to  Memphis Commercial Appeal’s website and reading John Beifuss annual report on movies that contain something, anything, about Elvis in them.

 john beifuss

John Beifuss is a reporter and movie critic for the Commercial Appeal, and this nifty job has him watch every movie that comes to town.  And, because that town is Memphis, Beifuss makes note of every Elvis connection he sees in them.  As Elvis Week is going on each year, he posts his annual report on Elvis allusions in the movies during the past twelve months.

Beifus should have a wider audience for this unique chronicle.  Since 2010, ElvisBlog has helped to spread the word by highlighting his annual discoveries and offering a link so readers can read his original comments.  In 2014, he found sixteen movies with Elvis allusions, but half of them were low-budget local productions or documentaries.  Let’s take a look at the ones you could actually find on the on-demand cable channels or Netflix and might want to watch.

 

The Art of the Steal:

The Art of the Steal

This is the only one of the eight movies I have seen, and it’s pretty good.  Kurt Russell plays a former get-away driver for a group of art thieves.  He’s trying to stay straight as a motorcycle daredevil, until his age and injuries take their toll.  As we remember with Evil Kneivel, he wears a jumpsuit for his performances.

 Kurt Russell on The Art of the Steal

 It looks a good bit like an Elvis jumpsuit, and he does a series of Elvis-like moves to pump up the crowd before doing his big jump.

 

Godzilla:

 Godzilla

Turns out Godzilla isn’t the only terrifying creature in this movie.  A giant winged-creature dubbed MUTO is unleashed from a massive cocoon-like structure that feeds on radiation.  When the fierce insectoid attacks Las Vegas, Elvis’ song “Devil in Disguise” can be heard in the background.

 MUTO in Godzilla

I’m not sure that’s really an appropriate theme.  That MUTO thing is definitely not in any disguise.

 

Devil’s Knot:

Devil's Knot

I like Reese Witherspoon, but must admit I never heard of this movie.  Possibly, it was really crappy and had a very short run.  Witherspoon’s character has an eight-year-old son in the movie, and they have several references to Elvis in their dialogue.

 Reese Witherspoon and Son from Devil's Knot

As she walks him to school, the boy sings “That’s All Right, Mama.”  Later, he tells her, “I’m gonna buy you a Graceland, Mama, just like Elvis has got.”  She replies, “How ’bout you buy me a Promised Land since he’s got the other one?”

After the son is murdered, the boy’s “Merry Christmas from Elvis” tree ornament is featured in two scenes.  She sings “That’s All Right” and caresses the ornament to console herself.  Later, when she moves on and cleans out the boy’s mementos including the ornament, we hear him singing the song again in the background.

 

I Origins:

I Origins

Despite a successful screening at the 2014 Sundance Music Festival, this movie also seems to have had a limited run in theaters.  It centers on medical student who specializes in the evolution of the human eye.  The Elvis allusions does not appear in the movie, but in a post-credits sequence where retinal scans of famous people in history are compared to living people for matches.  Elvis’ eye shows up here in a shot from “Jailhouse Rock.”

 

Muppets Most Wanted:

 Muppets Most Wanted

 You have to be alert or you’ll miss this brief Elvis reference.  When the Muppets start to organize a talent show, Fozzie Bear says, “I can do an Elvis impersonation.”  You know, I’d actually like to see that.

 Fozzie-Bear-from-Muppets-Most-Wanted

 

Birth of the Living Dead:

 Birth of the Living Dead

 AllMovie.com says this movie examines the volatile social climate that gave birth to George Romero’s highly-influential horror classic Night of the Living Dead, while paying tribute to the staunchly independent filmmaker and his unconventional methods.  That’s not going to entice me to watch it, so I’ll miss the scene where a famous film critic says, “The electricity generated by a first encounter with [Night of the Living Dead] was like… seeing Elvis Presley for the first time.”

 .

The Wolf of Wall Street:

The Wolf of Wall Street

When Leonardo DiCaprio dances with his new wife at their wedding in the Bahamas, guess what’s playing?  An Elvis classic – “Can’t Help Falling in Love.”

 Wedding Scene in The Wolf of Wall Street

 

Unfortunately, this has not been a classic year for reference to Elvis in the movies.  Maybe there will be a better collection for John Beifuss to discover next year.

 

 

©  2014    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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The Auction at Graceland — Postgame Show

We looked at the losers last week, so now it is time for the winners. I’ve followed dozens of Elvis auctions over the years, and there is no question that having this one at Graceland was a brilliant move. Some of the selling prices were incredibly high.

.

Gemstone, Diamond and Gold Lion Pendant:

Elvis' Lion Head Pendant Pendant

Minimum bid – $10,000, Estimate – $20-30,000: Sold for $82,500

This 18-karat gold lion’s head pendant contains two emeralds for the eyes, a cabochon ruby in the mouth, and brow and mouth set with 24 single-cut diamonds with a total weight of approximately 0.48 carats. It was designed specifically for Elvis by his favorite Memphis jeweler Lowell Hays.

Elvis Wearing Lion's Head Pendant

Elvis wore this pendant on multiple occasions, including his meeting with President Nixon, his acceptance of the Jaycees Award as one of the Top Young Men in America, and Sonny West’s wedding.

Elvis and Nixon

As has been stressed here repeatedly, nothing boosts the price of Elvis clothes or jewelry like a photograph of him wearing it. The famous Elvis/Nixon picture (bestselling item at the Nixon Presidential Library gift shop and most requested document reproduction from the National Archives) probably added $50,000 to the value of this item, and made it the big winner at this auction.

 

1977 Cadillac Seville:

Elvis' 77 Cadillac from Auction at Graceland

Minimum bid – $50,000, Estimate – $100-120,000: Sold for $81,250

Although this car was number two on the high bid listing, it went for well under the estimate. Keep in mind that the estimate price is before the auction house tacks on their 25%. The sell price shown above includes this charge; actual bidding stopped at $65,000. Two weeks ago, Elvisblog posted a photo and report from a 1994 auction where this Caddy brought in $101,000 at auction. That came from an Elvis chat room, so it could be off. But, if not, I can’t figure out why the car didn’t sell for that much or more.

Elvis’ 1977 maroon and silver Cadillac Seville – V8 automatic is the last known Cadillac he drove (the night before his death), and it was also the last Cadillac that he purchased for his own personal use.
Note: The next highest priced item was Elvis’ opal and diamond ring at $38,750. There were two other rings, but we’ll skip them all here. They will show up soon in the next edition of the series Elvis Fabulous Rings.

 

Graceland Blueprints:

Blueprints for Graceland's First Floor

Blueprints for First Floor of Graceland

Minimum bid – $10,000, Estimate – $25-35,000: Sold for $35,000

On several TV shows prior to the auction, Priscilla stated the estate would be bidding on some items. This certainly had to be one of them.

Blueprints for Graceland Upstairs

Upstairs at Graceland

There are three framed and matted 1939 blueprints measuring 32 by 54 inches in this lot. I can see the value, but if I had $35,000 to spend on Elvis memorabilia, I’d get a couple of rings or some clothes.

 

Shooting Target:

Elvis' Graceland Shooting Target

Minimum bid – $500, Estimate – $1,200-1,500: Sold for $27,000

I couldn’t believe my eyes as the bidding unfolded on this police silhouette target. There must have been two or three collectors who really wanted this, because they bid it up to a ridiculous level. Yes, we know Elvis had these 36 by 44 inch targets set up inside the old Graceland smokehouse, so he and the boys could shoot through the door at them. But, I agree with the woman in the auction chatroom who questioned whether the bullet holes were made by Elvis or by his bodyguards when he wasn’t using it.

.

1969 Las Vegas Show Agreement:

Elvis' Las Vegas Show Agreement

Minimum bid – $10,000, Estimate – $20-25,000: Sold for $27,500

This isn’t just any contract Elvis signed with the Las Vegas International Hotel. This is for his1969 return to live performances after the movie years. Elvis was to be paid $100,000 per week for fifteen performances. The full contract is thirteen pages long.

 

Overnight Army Pass:

Military Leave Pass Issued to Elvis Presley, 1958

Minimum bid – $1,500, Estimate – $4-6,000: Sold for $20,625

I don’t get it. What makes this worth so much more than any other Elvis signed article? It’s not something big like his enlistment papers or release documents. It’s an overnight pass.

While stationed in Germany, Elvis was issued this military leave pass granting him permission for an overnight leave of absence to visit a “US Area of Interest” from noon on October 4 and ordering his return prior to midnight on the evening of October 5, 1958.

So, what was this US Area of Interest? Elvis, Vernon, Grandmother Minnie, Red West, and Lamar Fike travelled to Bad Homburg. They ate dinner and spent the night at the Ritters Park Hotel.

 

Personal Message to Vernon:

Elvis' Personal Message Christmas Gift to His Father

Minimum bid – $1,500, Estimate – $3-5,000: Sold for $18,750

In 1976, Elvis wanted to give his father Vernon something special for Christmas, so he asked his friend Janelle McComb of Tupelo, Mississippi, to calligraph a personal message. It has Elvis’ signature at the bottom. The framed and matted message measures approximately 17 5/16 by 14 3/16 inches.

 

Baldwin Upright Piano:

Elvis' Baldwin Piano

Minimum bid- $10,000, Estimate – $25-35,000: Sold for $15,000

This upright piano from Elvis Presley’s Palm Springs home. The plate in the center says “Baldwin.” Includes attached music stand and bench. Too bad they couldn’t find just one photo of Elvis sitting on that bench playing the piano

.

“Love Me Tender” Script:

Elvis' copy Love Me Tender Screenplay

Minimum bid – $1,500, Estimate – $4-6,000: Sold for $14,375

There were six items featured in the pre-auction promotion. The Martin guitar and the marriage certificate were over-valued and scared off bidders. The Caddy sold for much less than the estimate. However, the lion’s head pendant went for much more, and so did this script.

A number of things about the cover are interesting. The original title was The Reno Brothers back in August 1993. The script languished for years in pre-production, until hot young star Elvis was considered for a role in 1956. When his hit song “Love Me Tender” dominated the charts, the title was changed, as noted on the cover. Of course, many copies of the screenplay were printed, but this was Elvis’ own copy, as stamped in the upper left: “Please forward to: ELVIS PRESLEY.”

 

Library Card:

Elvis' Library Card from Auction at Graceland

Minimum bid – $5,000, Estimate – $12-15,000: Sold for $10,000

This is an important Elvis signature, a steal at half the price of the overnight pass. It is the second oldest known full Elvis signature, not counting a crayon box from when he was in first grade with ‘Elvis’ scrawled on it.

This signed library card was found by the librarian at the school which Elvis attended in Tupelo. Once the librarian realized Elvis’ fame, she searched through all of the books borrowed from the library by Elvis to find his signature, and discovered two cards. The second, from two days earlier than the offered card, is now in a private collection,

 

Okay, that is the top ten highest bid items (excluding the three rings to be covered later) at the Auction at Graceland. We’ll skip now to a couple of articles of Elvis clothing.

.

White Puffy Shirt:

Elvis' White “Puffy Sleeve

Minimum bid – $3,000, Estimate – $7-9,000: Sold for $8,125

This is the shirt that one auction chatroom lady said she would love to sleep in because it touched Elvis’ body. Made for Elvis by the IC Costume Company, this shirt has puffy sleeves and cuffs that were a particular favorite of Elvis’ during the 1970s.

 

Used Concert Scarf:

Elvis Presley Used Concert Scarf

Minimum bid – $300, Estimate – $6-700: Sold for $5,625

Before the actual live auction on August 14, there had been a week of internet bidding. I checked it several times and noted very spirited bidding on this scarf. By the time the live auction started, forty-six bids had been made, so you knew something interesting was going to happen. And it did with the winning price going for eight times the estimate.

There have been other Elvis stage-worn scarves up for auction before, and they didn’t bring in this much money. It’s not because Elvis signed this one – the autograph is a printed facsimile. Maybe the included ticket stub added some value. Or, maybe the winning bidder was at that concert in Pittsburgh in 1976. Then it just might be worth shelling out $5,600 to get.

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Too Pricey to Sell at the Auction at Graceland

Auction At Graceland

August 16 is the apex of Elvis Week, so a blog article posted on this date usually celebrates Elvis’ legacy and marvels at how the fans come back to honor him each year. Unfortunately, this theme has been covered by ElvisBlog several times already, and it’s hard to find new ways to say it. So, this year we’ll do a report on the marvelous auction of Elvis memorabilia that unfolded on Thursday night and early yesterday morning.

Everybody who follows ElvisBlog knows I cover several Elvis auctions every year. But the Auction at Graceland was different. We were able to watch all three-and-one-half hours of it on streaming video via LiveStream. I found it fascinating viewing.

 Terri Walker at Auction at Graceland

This is Terri Walker of Walker Auctioneers, a local Memphis company. This woman should have been hoarse after the first hour, because she talks non-stop. She’s pretty, funny, and excellent at pulling higher bids out of people. Once in a while you’d think the bidding stalled out at say $2,000, but she’d spike it up and the item would end up going for $6,000.

 Auction at Graceland View Screen

She had a staff of about ten people helping her, things like describing each item, spotting bidders, taking phone and internet bids, and recording all the pertinent stuff. Behind her is the screen showing the item under bid, often including alternative views.

 Chatroom at Auction at Graceland

The unexpected bonus to this online streaming of the auction was the chat room on the right of the screen. There were a hard-core group of folks doing most of the texting, and I found reading it strangely addicting. Here are three to give you an idea how it went.

Wendy Auliff: His body was in that…. I want it to use as my PJs. (describing the White Puffy Shirt)

Deborah: The same thing happened to me. I woke up and remember seeing the stage covered with flowers. I truly felt like I had stepped out of a dream and I don`t remember it to this day. (Response to someone talking about her first Elvis concert experience)

Kyle Vanover: This would be even cooler than having Fonzie’s little black book! (Comparison to Elvis’ Personal Address Book).

 

It will take more than one post to cover all the interesting items at this auction. So, let’s start with the ten who didn’t reach the minimum starting price or failed to meet the reserve (whatever that is).

 

1975 Martin D-28 Guitar:

Elvis' Martin D-28 Guitar

This Martin D-28 Guitar was gifted by Elvis to his friend and bodyguard Sam Thompson in January of 1977 and has an interesting history. It was later sold to the National Enquirer for use as a contest prize, which helped Thompson fund his college education. What it lacks is pedigree. It’s not one of Elvis’ early Martin guitars from the 50s. As they stated on the auction floor, Elvis used Gibson and Fender guitars before coming back to Martin in the late 70s.

This Martin D-28 guitar was one of six items featured in the pre-auction promotions, so they obviously had high hopes for it. Quite a few Elvis-owned guitars have brought in big bucks, but this one failed to generate the $30,000 minimum bid. The pre-auction estimate of $70-90,000 was wildly over-optimistic.

 

Address Books:

Elvis Address Book 1

Considering that there are four address books in this lot, I was very surprised no one offered the minimum bid of $7,000.

Elvis Address Book 3

The description on the auction website tried to beef up interest.

The books contain names, numbers and addresses for almost everyone in Elvis’ life including Priscilla, Colonel Parker, J.D. Sumner, Jerry Schilling, all his entourage members, old girlfriends both pre-and-post Priscilla, and countless others. Transport yourself back in time and live the life of Elvis through his personal contacts and business associates. The address books offer a peek into the life of the King.

 Elvis Address Book 2

Penguin Suit:

Elvis' Black and White “Penguin” Suit

Elvis jumpsuits are among the most desirable memorabilia items and sell for lots of money. This must have been the consideration when the targeting the estimate for this outfit at $70-90,000. However, although Elvis wore it one time on stage, it is not a jumpsuit and collectors bid accordingly (or didn’t bid, as it turned out).

This black and white suit, is referred to as the “penguin suit,” and was made in the mid-1970s for Elvis by the IC Costume Company. Elvis wore it as part of his off-stage wardrobe. On September 19th, 1975, in Las Vegas, Elvis was dressed in this suit, and because he was running behind schedule without time to change into a jumpsuit for the show, Elvis wore this suit on stage for that particular performance.

The Penguin Suit is still a valuable piece of Elvis clothing, so we will see it up again at auction. However, it needs to have a lower minimum bid than $40,000 it had this time.

 

Bean Bag Chair:

Elvis' Faux Fur Bean Bag Chair and Two Pillows

This faux leopard fur bean bag chair with small and large matching pillows was used in Elvis’ Chino Canyon, Palm Springs home. I saw it back in 1999 in Las Vegas when Graceland held a huge auction at the MGM Grand Hotel. I’ve often wondered why EPE dumped a lot of good stuff then. I’ll bet they wish they had most of it back now that they have opened the new Graceland Archives Experience.

Elvis Auction in Las Vegas, 1999

Anyway, the beanbag and pillows failed to generate the minimum bid of $2,000. It probably would have soared past that if a photo of Elvis sitting on it had been provided.

 

Molds for Elvis Sunglasses:

Molds Used to Create the Emblems for Elvis' TCB Sunglasses

When I saw the projected sell price of this item at $10-15.000, I said no way. You can buy the actual sunglasses for less than that, and they are much cooler. Here’s what the auction website description had to say about them.

An iconic part of Elvis history, Elvis’ sunglasses, whether aviator or neo-nautic style, are recognizable anywhere and all Elvis tribute artists and fans alike want “the look.” These iconic shades were customized by Dennis Roberts of the Optique Boutique in Los Angeles. The offered three molds are the original molds used by Dennis to create the gold and silver emblems that adorned Elvis’ glasses. The “EP” was typically placed on the bridge of Elvis’ aviator glasses, and the TCB logo with the lightning bolt adorned the temple arms.

Sounds good, but not worth the minimum bid of $4,000.

 

The Impersonal Life:

Elvis' The Impersonal Life” Book

There were a number of items at this auction that originally came from Ginger Alden. The folks in the chat room didn’t much like her. Maybe the bidders didn’t either, because not one would cover the $4,000 minimum on this book.

This surprised me, because it has a lot going for it. This copy of The Impersonal Life is signed on the interior “To Ginger, with love, E.P.” Ginger Alden states in an accompanying letter that the book was one which she and Elvis read together in bed. It also shows many passages and phrases underlined by Elvis, highlighting meaningful parts of the book or placing emphasis on certain words. Perhaps the fact that Ginger also made similar marks soured the bidders.

 

Numerology Pages:

Two Pages of Notes by Elvis on Numerology

This thing is really strange, and it’s no surprise that bidders didn’t think it worth the minimum of $5,000, let alone the projected $12-15,000. There is no way I can describe it better than this from the auction website.

Two pages of handwritten notes by Elvis written ten days prior to his death. These note pages were obtained directly from Ginger Alden, Elvis’ fiancée. Accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Ginger Alden stating that Elvis had written these notes during his visit to her Memphis home. She discusses in detail his interest in numerology and words and the ways in which each can be broken down into smaller parts, such as “his-story” or how the word woman is so appropriate because when you break it down into its two syllables it can be pronounced as “wo-man.

What???

 

Wrought Iron Chair:

Elvis' Yellow Wrought Iron Guitar

Like the beanbag chair, this yellow wrought iron chair came from Elvis’ Palm Springs home on Chino Canyon Drive. And it suffered the same fate. Bidders did not find it worth the $2,500 minimum. Again, a picture of Elvis sitting on it would have made a world of difference.

 

Personal Checkbook:

Elvis' Personal Checkbook

I thought this personal checkbook would make the minimum of $6,000, if not the estimate of $12-15,000. It got neither. It has 43 entries for checks Elvis wrote, so it certainly has his handwriting if not his autograph. He used it from May 21, 1975 to January 22, 1976. The checks totaled $89,000, showing Elvis’ incredible generous to his friends, family and even to strangers. This checkbook also contained a handwritten note giving his foreman an all-expenses-paid trip to Hawaii and a new car. The auction says, “This checkbook is a treasure trove of examples of Elvis’ generosity.” I can’t believe the stupid high prices some bidders paid for certain items at this auction, but passed on this checkbook register.

 

Marriage Certificate:

Elvis and Priscilla's Marriage Certificate

So, what do you think Elvis and Priscilla’s original marriage certificate would sell for? The pre-auction estimate was $40-60,000. Sorry, it didn’t even bring the minimum of $15,000. Again, I’m mystified by this, compared to what some other much less significant items went for.

This original Las Vegas, Nevada marriage certificate, dated May 5, 1967, is signed by Justice David Zenoff and best men, Marty Lacker and Joe Esposito, but not Elvis or Priscilla. The Clark County Nevada clerk claimed that the marriage certificate was mailed to Elvis and Priscilla, but came back to the county office marked “return to sender.” The clerk retained it in a file until selling it to Chris Davidson in 1995.

Can’t you just imagine her thinking: “That Elvis marriage certificate has been in the file for 28 years, and I’m the only one that knows it’s there. Screw it, I’m selling the thing and making some money.”

 

So, that’s Part 1 of our look at the Auction at Graceland results. Stay tuned for the big winners next week.

 

© 2014 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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