Monthly Archives: June 2009

Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie

 

I’ve never much cared for Michael Jackson, and I am certainly glad of one thing about him.  Decades ago, the media bestowed the title “King of Pop” on Jackson.  If the media had taken away Elvis’ title as the “King of Rock and Roll” and given it to Michael Jackson, I would have been very upset.  I hope the autopsy doesn’t reveal Jackson had a system full of prescription drugs when he died.  We can do without the endless comparisons to Elvis that would result.

I never figured on writing about Lisa Marie and Michael Jackson in ElvisBlog, so I never accumulated much about them in my files of possible story ideas.  However, with Jackson’s passing yesterday, it was time to dig up something to write.  Within minutes of hearing the news about Michael Jackson passing, I was on the computer gathering information for this article.

I was particularly pleased to find six photos of the happily married couple.  They were posted at 7:38 last night.  By midnight, ElvisBlog had more hits than on any day since Elvis Week, when interest is always high.  Google did a great job bringing people to the site.  Then, Lisa Marie made a public statement about Jackson’s death, and all the news and entertainment websites picked it up.  Now, ElvisBlog is way down the list of sites on the Google list about Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie.  Oh, well.

Here is Lisa’s statement:  “I am heartbroken for his children who I know were everything to him and for his family.  This is such a massive loss on so many levels, words fail me.”  Words did not fail her during two appearances on the Oprah Winfrey show.  During the first one, Oprah asked her to describe her marriage to Jackson, and she replied, “Holy Mother of God.  It was insane.”  In 2005, Oprah asked, “Do you think he loved you?”  Lisa replied, “It’s hard for me to answer that question.  I don’t know the answer to that, to be honest with you.”  In answer to a follow up question, Lisa said Jackson loved her as much as he was capable of loving someone.  Lisa also confirmed to Oprah, “It was a consummated marriage.  Yeah, that’s all I have to say on it.”  However, ten years earlier on ABC’s Primetime Live, Diane Sawyer wondered about the same thing.  Lisa answered, “Do we have sex?   Yes! Yes! Yes!”

Acording to www.whosdatingwho.com, Lisa first saw Michael Jackson when Elvis took her to a Jackson 5 concert in Las Vegas in 1975.  Supposedly, they met backstage.  When Lisa was sixteen, Michael asked Priscilla to meet him for dinner, and he was very insistent that she bring Lisa with her.  Priscilla thought Lisa was too young and said no.  Michael persisted, but Priscilla held her ground. Years later, Michael and Lisa were connected by a mutual friend.  They married on May 24, 1994, at the elegant Case de Campo resort in La Romana, Dominican Republic.  The couple kept their marriage secret for as long as they could.  On August 1, 1994 they finally confirmed the rumors and announced their marriage.  Lisa said, “I am very much in love with Michael.  I dedicate my life to being his wife.”

Seventeen months later, Lisa Marie filed for divorce.  It was finalized on August 20, 1996.

Michael Jackson’s life was pretty weird, and it spawned its share of jokes.  There are even a dozen Michael/Lisa jokes listed on www.gusworld.com.  Most are pretty lame, but here are two better ones:

Q – What was Lisa Marie’s newlywed complaint about Michael Jackson?

A – He leaves the lid off the mascara, causing it to dry out.

 

 

Q – What did Elvis say after seeing Michael and Lisa Marie on television?

A – “Boy, that’s a relief.  I thought she married a black guy.”

Likewise, www.getback.com had an interesting comment on the question, “How did Michael Jackson get Lisa Marie Presley to marry him?”  They offered this list of perks:  Neverland, a house that actually trumps Graceland; a pet chimp (named Bubbles); and the bones of the Elephant Man.

Now, maybe the jokes will stop.  Rest in peace, Michael.

(C)  2009    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

 

CAPTION CONTEST # 14 — Winner

 

Regular contributor Laura Harrison has come up with another winner.

 

Elvis' singing sets the beach on fire

 

Tabloid Deja Vu: Elvis Is Dead, Again

 

You have to hand it to the supermarket tabloid Weekly World News.  Elvis has been dead for thirty-two years, but they are still publishing cover stories about him.  Two weeks ago, I’m in the checkout line, and what is staring back at me?  Just my old favorite Weekly World News with a photo of Elvis on the cover.  Actually, it’s just a small picture, with a tease line, sharing a side column with two other stories.  It’s not as prominent as the Elvis headlines used to be, but that’s OK.  Nowadays, you wouldn’t expect the world’s shortest marriage or Elvis to beat out a Senate steroid scandal for the top spot below the masthead.

Beside the tiny Elvis face is an image that’s hard to recognize.  It’s a car that is upside and on fire.   Below that was the title:  “ELVIS DIED LAST WEEK – In Tragic Car Wreck.”

 

 

In spite of that sad news, I was so happy.  My face beamed.  Weekly World News finally had Elvis on the cover again.  After a long four-year absence, I had been starting to think maybe Elvis had seen his last days on the tabloids.  Now, my patient vigil was being rewarded, and I couldn’t wait to plop down $3 for a copy.

The management of the Weekly World News probably doesn’t figure that Elvis fans have saved any of their old issues, but they underestimate us.  I’ve got boxes full of tabloids, classic ones from the late seventies, like National Enquirer, Midnight Globe and The Sun.   Each issue tried to outdo the others with outrageous Elvis cover stories.

In the eighties, my interest in owning every Elvis tabloid waned, but for some reason I have picked up Weekly World News over the years.  It’s been fun to follow their sequence of alive and dead Elvises.

This is an early eighties issue announcing “ELVIS IS ALIVE.”  It played right into the Elvis is still alive mentality possessed by a substantial number of Elvis fans at that time.  How about that headline?  Elvis is still alive and secretly living in Michigan.  Check out the ridiculous picture of Elvis.  Some staff artist altered a photo by adding a beard and mustache and removing all the hair on the top of Elvis’ head.  It’s so stupid, it’s funny.

 

Then in June, 1993, the Weekly World News had another scoop:  “ELVIS DEAD AT 58.”  This time they had Elvis moving around, living in Florida, Arkansas, and Tennessee, before finally succumbing to a diabetic coma.  The 1993 photo had Elvis with thinning hair on top, combed down in front, almost in bangs.  Not a good look for him, at all.

In May 2005, the Weekly World News came up with a wonderful headline for us fans:  “ELVIS IS ALIVE — That was a double in my coffin.”  And check out the picture.  That’s a good looking man in his seventies.  Inside, the article said Elvis was not only alive, but  that he was running for president.  I was ready to vote for him, but somehow Elvis’ campaign never materialized.

 

During the entire time I waited for a new Weekly World News article on Elvis, I knew what the next storyline would be.  With a pattern of Elvis being alive, dead, and alive, it was an easy call.  It was time for Elvis to be dead, again.

 

 

Supposedly, Elvis’ fiery car crash took place in Las Vegas.  Weekly World News had him travelling all over the place:  Memphis, Michigan, Florida, Arkansas, Tennessee, and now Las Vegas.  I love the clever proof the paper offered to confirm it was Elvis.  It was an autopsy report on file at the Las Vegas Police Department, which describes the decedent as, “an obese male in his mid-seventies, who was dressed in a rhinestone jumpsuit and wearing a bouffant hairpiece.”

Well, that settles it.  What more proof do we need?  It had to be Elvis.  You can explain the wig by rationalizing that the older Elvis lost his hair.  Being dead for thirty-two years will do that to you.

The story continues and tells us that the man crashed a 1957 Cadillac into a dumpster behind an all-night barbeque restaurant.  What could be more Elvis?  That was the last of the facts, but the fiction that followed in the article was so much fun.

There were several quotations attributed to officers on the scene.  As to the cause of the crash, they speculated he was:  “attempting to maneuver into position at the establishment’s drive-through window, and that the steering wheel became wedged beneath his ample girth.”

The crash victim was still alive when police and paramedics arrived.  Supposedly, the police report revealed the victim was babbling incoherently about a hound dog, Heartbreak Hotel, Lisa Marie, and thank you, thank you very much.

I’m a little skeptical of that police report.  It listed the contents of the victim’s stomach:

Six eggs
A pound of bacon
Half a pound of pork sausages
12 buttermilk biscuits
A large jar of peanut butter
Five cheeseburgers
Two pounds of mashed potatoes

Wow.  No jelly donuts or grape jam?  They ought to send that report to the Guinness Book of World Records.  Of course, it might actually be possible.  The report says he weighed a staggering 343 pounds.

The story says the crash victim died in the hospital, but was never identified before two mysterious women arrived at the medical examiner’s office and carried off the body in an unmarked hearse.  You know what that means, don’t you?  He’s not really gone for good.  In a few years we’ll get to read about how Elvis’ body was cloned and yes, he is back.

I can already see the Weekly World News headline:  “ELVIS IS ALIVE, AGAIN.”  I’m buying that one, too.

©   2009    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister   All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

First Look: New Bemjamin Keough Photos

 

(Ed. note:  To see a photo of Benjamin Keough taken in October, 2009, check out two more recent ElvisBlog columns, “Benjamin Keough Signs Recording Contract”  or  “More New Benjamin Keough Photos.”)

 

In the past two weeks, ElvisBlog has been the recipient of two new photos of Elvis’ only grandson, Benjamin Keough .  One of this blog’s loyal readers has an uncanny way of uncovering these pictures, and she chooses to send them here so we can share them with many other fans.  We now have three photos of Benjamin as a teenager, to go along with three younger shots.


Internet searches for Ben Keough, or Benjamin Keough, or Elvis' grandson have brought many Elvis fans to this site for years, linking to four different articles posted between February 2007 to May 2009.  As soon as photos of Ben were discovered during that period, they were posted.

The wonderful ElvisBlog reader who sent me number four and five in the series came up with number six yesterday.  She won't say how she gets them, and I’m not going to push her for that information.

So, let’s look at all six Ben Keogh photos together in a pictorial essay, along with comments on each.

 


    

If you look close at this picture, you can see that Benjamin has a diamond stud in his nose.  Elvis’ grandson is growing up.


My mysterious source advised me that the logo at the top right is from the jewelry line Bullets 4 PeaceTheir website says, “Bullets 4 Peace takes used bullet casings, which are meant to be recycled and used in the streets and battlefields, and turns them into beautiful jewelry pieces that promote peace and compassion.  Proceeds from sales help support various charitable organizations.”  Singers like Justin Timberlake, Kanye West and the Jonas Brothers have taken to this jewelry, as well. 

Benjamin is holding what seems to be the design called “Army of Peace Eagle”.  It is from the Bullets 4 Peace Silver Collection, and sells for $275.  I have a suggestion.  These folks ought to make a TCB design.  That would probably sell a bunch.

 

 

This is the photo we posted just two weeks ago.  It was the first one where Benjamin showed some resemblance to Elvis. 


 Note that the facial hair in this shot is gone in the more recent one.  About this same time, somebody Googled “Did Elvis ever meet his grandson?”  Oh boy, that would be a little impossible.  Elvis died thirty-two years ago, and Benjamin is seventeen.

 

 

This photo was posted on ElvisBlog about nine months ago, and it generated more comments than any other article in the four year history of this site.  Some of them discussed whether Ben had any resemblance to Elvis.  However, more folks were concerned about that beer bottle sitting on the table in front of a sixteen-year-old.  Not me.  I know a lot of us drank a beer at that age, and we all turned out okay, right?

 

The next three photos are of young Benjamin, first posted on ElvisBlog in December 2007, and they now show up on all sorts of websites.  Considering his age in the pictures, they were all taken well before 2007, but they sure weren’t in general circulation until then.  Lisa Marie took great care to keep Benjamin out of the public eye when he was little.

 

This one was supposedly taken at Elvis Week 2004, so Benjamin would have been twelve then.

 

I have no information about this photo, but the fan forum website where I found it says it is Benjamin, so I am going with that.

 

This is the youngest photo of Benjamin in this collection.  Cute kid.

 

The first ElvisBlog post with pictures of Ben in 2007 was cleverly titled “Benjamin Keough Photos.”  Although it is now very outdated, it is still ranked number one on Google for Benjamin Keough searches.  So, I’m going to drop the original article and replace it with a reprint of this one.  Folks are going to be a lot happier with the results of their searches.

I always say writing about Elvis is fun, and now it turns out, writing about Benjamin Keough is fun, too.  I hope my friend can come up with more photos.

 

©  2009    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

Colonel Parker's Secret Rules for Elvis Scriptwriters

Everybody knows that Colonel Parker killed Elvis’ chances of becoming a serious actor.  All Parker wanted was simple, light-weight plots with lots of songs.  To him, the movies were simply a means to sell soundtrack albums.  Of course, the films made a nice profit, too, for a long time, as the fans kept coming no matter what was served up to them.

What is not so well known is that Colonel Parker had a secret list of seven rules which all potential screenwriters had to comply with if they wanted their scripts to become Elvis movies.  Recently, Parker’s secret rules list was uncovered, and a friend of ElvisBlog divulged it to us before anyone else.  Let’s take a look at Colonel Parker’s seven rules for Elvis movies and note a few of the rare exceptions.

Rule #1:

Elvis plays the main character in the movie.  His occupation is one that allows him regular access to one of the following: race car, motorcycle, airplane, or speedboat.  A racing contest in one of these vehicles will occur near the end of the film, with Elvis winning the contest.

     

Wow, how many Elvis movies can you think of that fit this rule perfectly?  The Colonel really had those screenwriters trained, didn’t he?  I can think of only one race Elvis didn’t win.  Brutus, the 200 pound Great Dane, beat him in a race on the beach in Live A Little, Love A Little.

Rule #2:

Elvis must have a strong, All-American, regular guy kind of name… like Lucky Jackson, Rusty Wells, Mike McCoy or Tulsa McLean.

Of course, four smart screenwriters figured out the best way to have the Colonel pick their screenplay was to use those exact names for Elvis’ characters in Viva Las Vegas, Girl Happy, Spinout, and G.I. Blues.  My pick for the two worst names for Elvis characters are Toby Kwimper from Follow That Dream and Walter Gulick from Kid Gallahad.  I wonder how those two slipped through.

Rule #3:

Elvis’ character must be given ample instances to sing songs.  There will always be one or more of the following:  a party, carnival, soda shop, or public bazaar, thus giving Elvis an opportunity to perform in front of a crowd.

Well, as it turned out, there were other acceptable locations for Elvis to sing.  Bars and clubs showed up in a lot of Elvis movies, and he sang in all of them.  There were a few swimming pool scenes, too, and Elvis never missed a chance to sing there, either.

 

And, how about singing on the beach?  Elvis did a lot of that.  Sometimes it was at big parties, sometimes it was the more intimate two-people variety.  Either way, the music of a full band, nowhere in sight, backed him up.

Rule #4:

If the leading female character is not in love with Elvis at the beginning of the picture, she will be by the end of the film.

Although this rule was almost always followed, there was a strange variation of it that managed to get Colonel Parker’s approval.  In Spinout, three women in love with Elvis early in the story all end up marrying other men at the end of the picture.  It must have been one heck of a pitch that convinced Parker to go along with that odd development.

 

Rule #5:

The movie may have one male supporting role whose function is to be either Elvis’ friend or rival, occasionally providing comic relief.

Spinout managed to overload that rule with two buddies and a rival. 

Rule #6:

Every business venture, contest, race, lottery, scientific inquiry, game of chance, or bar-room wager that Elvis enters must be won by Elvis.

Believe it or not, there actually was a scientific inquiry in one of Elvis’ movies.  In Clambake,   Elvis tried to find a special hard coating to help his speedboat win a race.  He gave his invention a highly technical name: Goop. 

 

There was also one business venture that bombed for an Elvis character.  In Stay Away Joe, Elvis played a Native-American living on a reservation.  His people received a herd of cattle from the government under a program to prove that Indians on reservations were not lazy, heavy-drinking, girl-chasing screw-ups and could care for and grow the herd.  Unfortunately, Elvis and his Indian buddies had a big drunken party and barbequed their only bull.  So much for growing the herd.

Rule #7:

Elvis must engage in at least one fistfight per movie.

Usually, it was more than one fight in most of the Elvis movies.  Can you name one film that did not have a fight?  My favorite fight is in the soda shop scene in Loving You.  Elvis knocks the local smart-ass around pretty good while Elvis’ hit “Got a Lot of Living to Do” blasts from the jukebox the whole time.

Who knows where Elvis’ acting career would have gone if it wasn’t for Colonel Parker.  He even turned down a role for Elvis co-starring with Barbra Streisand in a major movie, A Star Is Born.  I think Parker also had an unwritten rule:  If anyone comes to Elvis with an idea for a serious acting role, kill it.

©  2009    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

Editor’s Note:  If you ejoyed this article, hopefully you won't be too upset to learn that it is a work of fiction.  Colonel Parker did not have a list of rules for Elvis movies.  However, James Allenspach at Empty-Handed.com had one in a blog article five years ago.  It was the inspiration for this story.  You might want to check out his site at  http://www.empty-handed.com/archive/2004_03_22.html