Monthly Archives: June 2011

Blago/Elvis Bonus Blog

Some interesting stuff in the news has inspired a rare mid-week post.

You have probably seen the news that former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich was convicted Monday of a wide range of corruption charges, including trying to sell President Obama's Senate seat.  Experts say he could get ten to fifteen years in jail.

Blago is now the poster boy for scumbag politicians, but he does have one good quality.  He is a real Elvis fan.  After the verdict was announced, he faced reporters outside the courthouse.  When asked how he felt, Blago replied, “My hands are shakin’ and my knees are weak, I can’t even stand on my own two feet.”  You good Elvis fans know these lines are from his hit “All Shook Up.”  At least Blago didn’t continue, “I’m itchin’ like a man in a fuzzy tree.”  What is a fuzzy tree, anyway?

 

ElvisBlog has mentioned Blago twice before, once to show this very poor Photoshop picture of him in the outfit from the Jailhouse Rock dance scene.  Maybe it isn’t Photoshop.  It looks like a cut-and-paste job using scissors and glue.


When the scandal broke in 2009, two Chicago newspaper reporters were aware of Blago’s fondness for Elvis.  They thought it would be fun to see how many Elvis song titles they could list that made reference to Blago’s troubles.  They came up with: “A Fool Such As I,” “Put the Blame on Me,” “Suspicious Minds,” “T-R-O-U-B-L-E,” “There Goes My Everything,” and “Heartbreak Hotel.”  How in the world did they ever leave out “Jailhouse Rock?”

It may be hard to believe, but there is another interesting Blago/Elvis connection.  Check out the picture below.  This is a shot showing the area directly behind Blago’s desk when he was Governor of Illinois.  Backed by a bright window and framed by the lush drapes is an outstanding statue of Elvis.

 


 

Look at the detail work on this thing.  You can imagine it cost some big bucks. 


We can also assume it is still among his prized possessions, wherever he moved it to after leaving the Governor’s mansion.

However, Blago has been stretched financially by legal fees, etc., and he got behind on payments for some storage units last year.  The owners of the storage company also knew Blago was a big Elvis fan.  When Blago got a full year behind, they decided to apply a little Chigaco-style persuasion on him.  They threatened to auction off his life-size statue of Elvis Presley.

                              

                                
Actually, they announced they would auction all of Blago’s belongings in seven wooden storage boxes to cover the back rent.  But, his Elvis statue was the only thing they dragged out to get Blago’s attention.  I guess he came up with the cash, because there was no follow up news of the auction actually happening.

One thing for sure, Rod Blagovejich won’t have either of his Elvis statues with him in that prison cell.  Maybe he’ll end up with a big ugly cellmate named Bubba who thinks Blago’s stylish hairdo is really cute.  That ought to make his hands shake and his knees get weak.

 

©  2011    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net
 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

Postscripts To Earlier ElvisBlogs — 7

No Rings:

We took a look at Elvis’ Fabulous Rings back in May.  In the article, I suggested you check out Elvis’ hands in any of his jumpsuit pictures, because he would usually have three or four on each hand.  Now, look at the picture below.   There are no rings on his right hand.

Elvis is wearing the Sundial jumpsuit, so we know this photo was taken at the end of his career.  During that period, he often suffered through swelling problems, and on this night, none of his rings would fit the right hand.

 

 

Elvis and Elizabeth Taylor – Not:

This post last April pretty well decided that Elvis and Elizabeth Taylor never met.  The one internet photo of them together turned out to be a fake.  So, I guess there is not one photo in existence showing Elvis and Liz together.  Except maybe this one of them holding hands on the cover of Movie Mirror.  Did they have Photoshop back in 1969? 

 

 

Ducktail:

An article titled Tony Curtis, Elvis, and Ducktails, posted back in October 2010, had several good photos showing Elvis’ classic ducktail hairdo.  Here is another one.  For you younger readers, he is reaching for the needle arm on his 45 RPM record player.  Every kid had one.

 

 

Shreck – A Hunka Hunka Burning Ogre:

There never has been an ElvisBlog article that mentioned Shreck, but I’ve had this picture for over a year and never had a reason to post it.  Shreck Forever After has been playing on one of the cable movie channels recently.  Does that count?

 

 

Two Better DVD Covers for Lonely Street:

We looked at the film Lonely Street in an April 2010 post titled Mr. Aaron Has Left the Building.   I criticized the studio for not including a picture of 75 year-old Elvis on the DVD cover.  After all, the whole plot revolved around him. 

Now, we find that there were two alternate covers featuring Elvis that were not selected.  What marketing idiot thought the cover they used would appeal to more folks than one with Elvis on it.  Not only photos of him, but great tag lines:  “Elvis Has Not Left The Building.” and “The King is Alive… and Everyone Wants A Cut.”   If you haven’t seen the movie, one of the best scenes is when the young hottie in the white tank top comes totally unglued when old Elvis takes her in his arms.

                         
                 

  

DEA Sweat Suit:

Last February, we started our Elvis Scrapbooks series.  The caption under a newspaper clipping in the scrapbook revealed something I didn’t know.  The night before Elvis died, he had a dentist visit around 11 PM wearing a DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency) sweat suit.  The photo below is certainly not from that night, but that’s an older Elvis, and that is a DEA sweat suit.  So, this is probably the DEA shirt he wore to the dentist that night (packing heat, too).

 

Elvis on Abbey Road with the Beatles:

I did a Mini Elvis Blog in August 2009 containing just three altered pictures.  Ever since then, the one of John Lennon and Elvis together has consistently stayed one of the most viewed pictures on the blog.  Also in the mini-blog was a shot showing Elvis going one way across Abbey Road, and the Beatles coming back from their iconic crossing.  The Elvis picture comes from his arrival at Fort Chaffee in Arkansas in March 1958.

Now there are two more Elvis poses on Abbey Road to share with you.  Don’t you like 70s Elvis in his Karate gi prodding the Beatles to get across the street?

              

The picture below is a set of stamps from some country I have never heard of.  There have been quite a few paintings of Humphrey Bogart, Elvis, James Dean and Marilyn Monroe together.  Usually they are at a bar, or playing pool, or something similar, but I love the idea to incorporate one more pop culture reference by having them cross Abbey Road.  Elvis' pose is okay as a shot of him dancing in a movie, but as a style of walking, it’s pretty lame.  If he keeps it up, Bogart is going to punch him out.


 

 

©  2011    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

Elvis Movie Publicity Photos

While assembling photos for the ElvisBlog series 50th Anniversary Movie Pictorials, I was pleased to find many interesting PR shots for Elvis’ movies.  Most of them will be featured in the photo essays for each movie, but there are enough publicity shots that a few can be borrowed for this article without being missed.

Girls, Girls, Girls:

This is one of the more clever publicity photos for an Elvis movie.  Laurel Goodwin (left) and Stella Stevens (right) both posed for other PR shots alone with Elvis, some innocent, some more provocative.  We will look at them in 2012 when the 50th anniversary of Girls, Girls, Girls rolls around.

 

Tickle Me:

Here is a variation of the ropes around Elvis theme.  This time his co-star Jocelyn Lane is tied up with Elvis.  The other four good-looking women are part of the bevy of unnamed lovelies that appear in numerous scenes throughout the movie.  Diligent research has determined that Tickle Me is one of the top three Elvis movies for the most hot babes.  The other two are Clambake and Paradise Hawaiian Style.

King Creole:

This obviously posed picture had to be one Elvis enjoyed making.  The girls kissing him are his two love interests in the film:  Delores Hart (left), the sweet soda-fountain girl, and Carolyn Jones, the alcoholic mob-boss kept woman.  The two girls who are not kissing Elvis had lesser roles as Elvis’ sister and a stripper with the interesting name Forty Nina.

 

G.I. Blues:

Last October we took a look at Elvis’ fifth movie in our 50th Anniversary photo essay.  This included a couple of press photos, and now I have discovered two more of Elvis and co-star Juliet Prowse.

         

I’m not sure why they don’t just release actual shots from the movies.  You good Elvis fans know these scenes never happened on the film.

 

Flaming Star:

When I did the 50th anniversary photo spread on Flaming Star, it included several publicity pictures of Elvis and co-star Barbara Eden.  They all showed them in close physical contact, even though this never happened in the movie.  Eden actually played the girlfriend of the brother of Elvis’ character.  Here are two of these photos.

              

Now, yet another pose from this photo shoot has surfaced on the internet.  We can imagine Elvis was more than willing to oblige the requests for as many poses with Barbara Eden as the photographer wanted.

More Flaming Star:

Our 50th anniversary photo essay also looked at the many variations of Andy Warhol’s multiple-Elvis lithographs based on a promotional photo for the movie.

                    

The picture below is a shot from Cirque du Soleil — a huge background image of Elvis in cowboy garb and aiming a gun.  It is the third reincarnation of the publicity shot.  I like the way they have descending sizes.  To my knowledge, Warhol never tried any of that.


 

Jailhouse Rock:

I’m not sure if this was a publicity shot or just a candid photo of Elvis and his co-stars goofing around on the set.  Either way, everyone seems to be enjoying it.  On Elvis’ right arm is Judy Tyler, his business partner and love interest in the movie.  The blond is Jennifer Holden, who played an actress in a movie Elvis’ character was filming.  Do you remember how she couldn’t stand him until the kissing scene started, and then the two of them developed a severe case of lip lock.  There are some more great publicity pictures and candid shots on the set that we will look at in the 55th anniversary pictorial of Jailhouse Rock in 2012.  The Elvisblog series of movie photo essays started too late to feature Elvis’ first four movies on their 50th Anniversary.


 

 

Wild in the Country:

Here’s the best example yet of press releases of shots that didn’t occur in an Elvis movie.  Recently we did the 50th anniversary photo essay on Wild in the Country.   Here are two publicity photos that promoted the movie, and we can be pretty sure Elvis didn’t mind posing for them.

           

Even though there was a perfectly good shot of Elvis Kissing Tuesday Weld in the movie, he had to kiss her at least two more times for the PR pictures.  Boy, what a tough job.  Making movies certainly had its perks for Elvis.


©
  2011    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved   
www.ElvisBlog.net

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Elvis T-Shirt Review 3 — Summer 2011

 

The latest catalog of goodies from Elvis Presley Enterprises just came in, and I always check it out for new items that interest me (or make me laugh because they are so dumb). As usual, the Summer 2011 catalog had lots of new T-shirts, so I clicked on ShopElvis.com to see the entire assortment of available Elvis T-shirts.  This has to be the best line Graceland has ever presented.  It was difficult to narrow it down to my favorite top fifteen, but here they are.

 

68 Jamming Pop:

The titles used here for all these shirts are exactly what the website calls them.  I don’t get this name because the image sure looks like it came from the movie Loving You, which came out in ’57, not ’68.  However, I love the design.  I wish they had shown the back, too.  The art work was done by Peter Mars, one of the Official Elvis Artists, licensed by EPE, and all his Elvis prints are an explosion of color.

 

Electric Performer:

Now, here‘s a shirt that should have a ’68 name, and it doesn’t.  Although Electric Performer is pretty general, it certainly works for this design.  There have been a number of ’68 Comeback Special T-shirts, but this is the best in my opinion.

 

Back in 72:

Here is a good T-shirt for old-time Elvis fans.  Elvis would have kicked your ass back in 1972 only if you were an adult, so you’d be in your 60s or 70s today.  Great picture to go with the message, and the red background is rare for Elvis T-shirts.  I’m a bit surprised Graceland okayed the profanity, but I’m glad they did.

 

Singing Fade:

Just as in last year’s review, there are three Elvis T-shirts here featuring Al Wertheimer photographs.  I didn’t pick them for that reason.   The designs caught my eye, and then I read the fine print and discovered the art sources.  At first, I was confused where the name Elvis Fade came from, but if you notice, the word Elvis is in the background multiple times, each one fading lighter than the one above.  As expressed in previous reviews, I am partial to 50s Elvis T-shirts, and this is a great one.

 

Stars and Bars:

Joe Petruccio is another Official Elvis Artist, and his work has appeared on my favorite T-shirts before.  I’m glad EPE stopped using his shirt designs all gussied up with Swarovski crystals and priced at $65.  This one goes for $25, as do all but one of T-shirts in this review.  However, it has another odd name in Stars and Bars.  Do you see any stars?

 

Elvis Live:

I couldn’t believe it when I first saw this design.  Graceland actually produced an Elvis T-shirt with Scotty Moore in the image.  In my opinion, they haven’t shown enough appreciation for Scotty’s contribution to Elvis’ early success, so maybe this is a start.  The photo on the shirt is another Al Wortheimer shot from 1956, but for some reason it is described as pixellated.   I thought that only occurred when a photo was blown up so much that the individual pixels are visible to the eye.  Anyway, if you are a Scotty Moore fan like me, this is a good T-shirt to get.

 

Americana Tie Dye:

With the colors of the American flag, this would be a fine choice to wear on holidays like Memorial Day and 4th of July.  EPE always includes a few tie-dye designs and patriotic themes in each year’s new crop of T-shirts.  Americana Tie-Dye combines both, making it a winner.

 

Blue Suede Shoes:

Graceland didn’t completely eliminate expensive T-shirts embellished with Swarovski crystals.  For $66 you can get this one by famous fashion designer Christine Alexander.  I never heard of her, but Google has.  She is famous for elegant and complex art embellished onto upscale products ranging from shirts and jackets to belts and handbags, and she has showrooms in Seattle, Dallas and Atlanta.

 

Red King: 

They call this one Red King, but it sure looks like pink to me.  It is available as a ladies T-shirt only, which is probably a smart idea.  I like the font used to spell out Elvis.

 

Elvis Karaoke:

This T-shirt is perfectly named, and I really like the tag line Hound Dogs Welcome!   The lack of an Elvis image on it might limit sales, though.

 

King Me: 

This T-shirt features more artwork from Joe Petruccio.   I like the image and the tag line, but I wish it had been done in color.  It’s quite an achievement to depict just a portion of Elvis’ face and have it instantly recognized.

 

68 Graceland Guitars:

A great ladies T-shirt in pink.  The guitars in the title can be seen in the background if you look closely.  I don’t get the ‘68 reference because this is a younger Elvis face.  And it sure looks like a ‘59 Caddy, but Elvis never owned one for that year.  (He was over in Germany in the Army).  This is the only polyester T-shirt on my favorites list.  All others were 100% cotton.

 

Blue Stars: 

This picture looks washed out, but the T-shirt is actually grey, not black.  I wondered about the name Blue Stars, but if you look closely around Elvis’ face, you can see them.  This is yet another Elvis T-shirt featuring an Al Wertheimer photo.  It is not one of his more commonly seen ones, so this makes a unique 50s Elvis shirt.

 

Elvis Left Planet: 

This one gets the award for the most clever message, and I like the Star Wars opening credits ascending graphics design.

 

68 Fame: 

We will end with my favorite Elvis T-shirt for 2011.   The artwork is by Betty Harper, who also happens to be my favorite Official Elvis Artist.  This image was used in a T-shirt last year, but that one was in black on a white shirt and had a profusion of artistic flourishes swirling around Elvis.  It was decorated with Swarovski crystals and had the words King of Rock & Roll in a fancy script font.  It sold for the highest price I have ever seen for an Elvis T-shirt: $130.  This time there is some color on a black background.  No flourishes and no message.  Just simple elegance — and it costs only $25.

 

To check out Elvis T-Shirt Reviews 1 and 2, click here and here.

 

©  2011    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net
 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.

 

Elvis Movie 50th Anniversary Pictorials: Wild in the Country – 1961

Wild in the Country was released fifty years ago in June 1961.  It was Elvis’ seventh film and has been identified by many as his last shot at becoming a serious dramatic actor.  After his return from the Army in 1960, his first movie was the musical romp G.I. Blues.  It was very successful at the box office.  Next was Flaming Star, an intense western where Elvis and some of his family are killed off.  It did not do nearly as well commercially.  The same was true for Wild in the Country, another straight dramatic role.  When Elvis returned to light-hearted romantic comedy with lots of music in his next movie Blue Hawaii, it’s phenomenal success sealed his future in Hollywood.

 

One interesting note about Wild in the Country is that Elvis shared screen time with three beautiful love interests.  There was Tuesday Weld as the sexy teenager who was hot for Elvis.  The pivotal character in Elvis’ emotional growth in the movie was slightly older Hope Lange as a psychologist.  When problems arose with either of these two, Elvis would seek comfort with his old girlfriend Millie Perkins.

 

Movie Posters:                         

                 

                               

 

Lobby Cards: 

Scenes from the Movie:      

               

Elvis and Tuesday Weld                                             Elvis and Millie Perkins

 


Elvis and Hope Lange

 

Down Time on the Set:           

              

Foreign Posters:                     

                    

German Poster                                                        Spanish Poster 

British Poster

Elvis Kissing His Co-Stars: 

Elvis and Tuesday Weld in a Garage

 


Elvis and Millie Perkins at her Dad’s Farm


Elvis and Hope Lange in a Motel

Trivia:

Tuesday Weld was just seventeen when she played opposite Elvis in Wild in the Country.  Twenty-seven years later she got to be Elvis’ love interest again in Heartbreak Hotel.  This delightful movie came out in 1988, and it is the fictional story of a teenage boy who kidnaps Elvis to bring a bit of joy to his troubled mother, a lifetime fan of the King.  David Keith plays Elvis, and does a more realistic job than all the actors who portrayed him in the bio-films.

                   

 

           


One interesting scene in Heartbreak Hotel pays homage to a similar one in Wild in the Country.  This time, Tuesday Weld sprays the hose on Elvis, rather than the reverse as in the original.

           

There is also an almost exact repeat of a scene from another Elvis movie.  Do you remember in Loving You when a surly punk goads Elvis into singing “Mean Woman Blues,” and then starts a fight?  Elvis punches him around some, and then decks him into the jukebox.  It’s a fun scene and worthy of seeing twice.

 

 

 

Elvis didn’t end up with Tuesday Weld in Wild in the Country, and he didn’t exactly end up with her in Heartbreak Hotel.  He had to leave to continue his demanding concert schedule, but Tuesday told him there would always be a room waiting for him at her home.   Somehow, you knew Elvis would be back.

©  2011    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.