Monthly Archives: November 2017

Today is Cyber Monday

Cyber Monday

 

It is reported that Amazon.com will account for 43% of all on-line purchases today. So, as long as you’re going to be on there, anyway, how about typing Big E and the Santa Man in the search box? It will take you to my book’s Amazon page, and you can get a copy for just $7.99. You won’t be sorry.

BIG E and the SANTA MAN 2017 Front Cover

The best bargain you will find on Cyber Monday.

 

Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister

Oh, no. Now there’s a part 2.

Big E and the Santa Man - Part 2

Yes, now that Big E and the SANTA MAN has successfully sold in the US, Canada, England and two European countries, of course a sequel was inevitable. To write a good one, I knew I’d have to maintain the same level of conflict, unexpected twists, and exciting action as the original.

Could I think up another plot evil enough to fit the villain’s obsession with ruining Christmas? Actually that turned out to be easier than expected, so our villain has three this time. The main plan, the backup, and even an improvised one after Santa and Big E outsmart and overcome the first two.

Of course I wanted Big E’s jetsled to again be a big factor in saving Christmas. It certainly does that. In a little twist, two elves, Gears and Geezer, also get to fly the jetsled on a rescue mission. Lucky old Geezer also gets to fly Santa’s sleigh during the final exciting confrontation.

And I needed to continue the rock & roll shows staged by Big E, the attractive female elf Corky, and the four-man elf band, the ELVI’s.

George and Paul

As I told you last year, I modeled the ELVI’s after the Beatles. Just for kicks, I played around with Microsoft Paint and merged some images together to get these two guys. That’s GH on the left and Mac on the right. Now, if you have a sharp eye, you will notice I made a mistake. Paul McCartney played a left-handed bass and George Harrison played a right-handed guitar. I’ve got them reversed, but it was so much work that I’m not starting over to get it right.

All of you who have read the original book will remember that it ended with a Christmas Day concert in Santa’s workshop. I was particularly proud that I took a visual event with music and made it exciting in written form. That’s not easy to do. Now, in Part 2, there is another Christmas Day show with a surprise guest performer. Plus, the ELVI’s  – Jonel and Sunny and the two guys above  – join Corky to do a show for Big E on his birthday.

 

Tease on back of Part 2

This is the tease on the back cover of Part 2. The Ghost of Christmas Future is an interesting addition to the characters. The villain goes after him as a way to lure Santa into a trap. But the fun new character is Snorty the hound dog. Elvis had a lot of dogs, but never a hound dog. You will love the way these two become best buddies. Snorty may do a lot of silly dog things, but he’s right there helping his master during the huge final confrontation.

 

Snorty

I searched for drawings of hound dogs to see if one captured the essence of Snorty. This one comes pretty close, particularly the long ears. They play an important part in foiling the villain’s back-up plan to ruin Christmas.

 

Cover BIG E and the SANTA MAN - Part 2

Here’s the cover for Part 2. I know it isn’t much different from the original, but I’m way over budget for graphic design expenses this year.

 

 

Part 2 Amazon Page

Same as with the original, Part 2 is available on Amazon for $7.99. However, both books aren’t on the same page, so…

Click here for:

BIG E and the SANTA MAN
BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2

And for you readers who like eBooks, the Kindle version is available for just $2.99.

 

Well, how about it you folks who purchased the original? I know you liked it because I have a folder full of emails, letters, and Amazon comments that are 100% positive. Why not get a copy of this second installment of my unique Rock & Roll Christmas fantasy?

 

And to you ElvisBlog readers who still haven’t experienced BIG E and the SANTA MAN, it’s time to let someone you love know that you want the book for Christmas. Make it easy for him. He never knows what to buy for you, anyway. (just kidding)

 

Thank you. Thankyouverymuch,

Phil Arnold, Original ElvisBlogmeister

 

Some Fancy, Some Skimpy — Linda Thompson’s Wardrobe

Linda Thompson and Elvis Presley

You all know that Linda Thompson was Elvis’ girlfriend from 1972 to 1976. You might also know that she was third runner-up in the Miss USA Pageant and won the title of Miss Memphis State. But you might not know she was voted the Best Dressed Co-ed at Memphis State University. That tradition of sartorial excellence continued during her time with Elvis.

Elvis loved to dress Linda Thompson up in custom-made designer clothes when she accompanied him on special occasions in public. But he also apparently liked to see her in skimpy, sexy outfits, especially at home in Graceland. We’ll take a look at some of the fancy and the skimpy items Linda kept in her closet while she was with Elvis.

Linda Thompson Evening Gown

This is the evening gown Elvis had custom-made for Linda to wear to the “Aloha From Hawaii” concert filming. It is beige silk with a brown velvet rose pattern, sleeveless, deep V-neck front and back.

 

Linda Thompson In Jungle Roon

This, on the other hand, is something more casual and skimpier for lounging around the Jungle Room in Graceland.

 

Linda Thompson Black Jumpsuit

Elvis loved his jumpsuits so much that he had this sharp two-piece ensemble custom made for Linda. It consists of a long-sleeved bolero jacket with black and white cross-grain ribbon trim and a matching black bell-bottom jumpsuit with spaghetti straps.

 

Linda Thompson Bare Midriff

Linda with a bare midriff is a familiar image if you go looking for photos of her on Google. As we will see, denim was obviously something she preferred.

 

Linda Thompson Eagle' Jacket

So far, this is the only item I have found where Elvis and Linda had matching outfits, but no photos have surfaced with them together wearing these striking jackets. His sold at auction in 2016 for $50,000.

Elvis Wearing Eagle Jacket

Photographed in Las Vegas 1974

They have brown leather yokes, silver leather body and sleeves, multi-colored ‘star’ appliqués affixed to front and back shoulders, intricate rainbow-colored airbrush-painted designs on front and back. They are called the Eagle Jackets because of the added silhouette of black eagle on back.

Linda Thompson Eagle' Jacket - back

 

Linda Thompson Green Feather' Ensemble

This is called Linda’s Green Feather’ Ensemble: a black suede jacket with added black leather patches, adorned with lime green rhinestones and silver-tone studs throughout, trimmed in lime green ostrich feathers.

 

Here is what Linda had to say about the clothing Elvis gave her:

“When I first met Elvis, I was just a college girl at Memphis State University, and my wardrobe highly reflected that. Elvis immediately wanted me to fly out to Los Angeles and accompany him (the same day via Leer Jet) to Las Vegas for the opening of his engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton International Hotel. Elvis was anxious to show off his new girlfriend, so he sent me to the designer & dresser of the stars at the time, Suzy Creamcheese. Suzy outfitted me with beautifully outrageous clothing befitting a rockstar and a rock star’s girlfriend! These absolutely one-of-a-kind, handmade, studded, bedazzled, feathered & furred, Vegas and Elvis inspired 70s outfits are practically museum quality now. I wore each of these to Elvis’s shows in Las Vegas, and sometimes even on tour with him – much to his delight. There was really nothing subtle about Elvis or his taste in clothing…”

 

Linda Thompson wearing Skimpy Denim

Here’s another shot of Linda wearing denim. Not very much of it, though.

 

Linda Thompson Jean Ensemble

And here’s an example of Linda Thompson’s designer denim. She had a number of pants and tops that could be mixed and matched. This top is a cropped jean jacket with added darker jean patchwork and royal blue rhinestones. The pants started out as a regular pair of Levi’s jeans, but designer “Miss Vintage” added jean patchwork and silver-tone studs

Linda Thompson in Graceland Kitchen

This is Linda in the Graceland kitchen wearing a different set of denim co-ordinates.

 

Linda Thompson Purple Dress

Linda Thompson must have looked elegant wearing this to the opening of one of Elvis’ Las Vegas engagements. The dark purple gown had two side slits, long sleeves slit to expose a white lining, deep V-neck front, and tailored waist.

 

Linda Thompson Purple Dress

Not quite so elegant, but Linda sure looks great.

 

Linda Thompson Black Floral Dress

Worn to another Las Vegas opening, this black full-length, V-neck sleeveless gown features outstanding embroidered design.

 

Linda on Elvis' 9ft bed in Graceland

I’m not sure how to describe this outfit, but it’s interesting that she is sitting on the nine-foot bed in Elvis’ Graceland bedroom.

 

Linda Thompson Fur Cape

Linda even got dressed up to visit Elvis in the hospital. The web information on this says she wore it on February 12, 1975 when she went to Baptist Memorial Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee to visit Elvis in his recovery room. I’m not sure why Elvis was there, but several press photographers were outside the hospital and snapped shots of Linda going in.

Linda Thompson Fur Cape - Wearing

This dusty pink suede, waist-length cape is trimmed in white fox fur, lined in rose-colored satin, and the label reads “Helen of Memphis.”

 

Linda Thompson Elaborate Feathered Jumpsuit

Here’s another jump suit top. – a black suede jacket, adorned with white ostrich feathers, brown peacock feathers, and rhinestones.

Linda Thompson Elaborate Feathered Jumpsuit - back

There’s a matching pair of black bellbottom pants with the same feather and rhinestone treatment. Doesn’t sound very practical to me.

 

Elvis with Linda Thompson in See-Through Dress

This photo of Elvis and Linda Thompson was shot in 1974. It’s not one of Elvis’ better images, but Linda — wow.

 

 

© 2017 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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

 

Take a Peek inside BIG E and the SANTA MAN

Customer Reading Book

When you’re in a bookstore, you read the first few pages of a book to see if you like it before purchasing. You have a similar option at Amazon.com, too. If you click on a book’s cover image, a Look Inside link appears.

Look Inside Amazon Book

If you click on Look Inside, you can read the first seven pages of my rock & roll Christmas fantasy.

I’d like to make it even easier for you to do that right here, so you can see what the story is like, how Elvis is portrayed, how well the writing is done, etc. Please read following Chapter 1 of the book. I’m confident you will enjoy it a lot, and maybe you will be motivated to click on this Amazon link to buy a copy. [Note: the illustrations are not in the book, but it is a blogger axiom that you must break up large chunks of text with pictures.]

 

Harsh and Desolate Frozen Landscape

 

– Chapter 1 –

A Trek to the North Pole

 

Late September, 1977…

The relentless arctic wind swirled over a harsh and desolate world. Glacial fields, broken by jagged ice outcroppings, stretched between ridges of foreboding mountains. A solitary figure, with a backpack and guitar case slung over his shoulders, climbed up one of the lower slopes. He slipped and stumbled, beaten by wind-driven snow, as he fought to reach the top of the ridge.

Without warning, his footing gave way and he slid downward at a frightening speed. His shoulder bounced off a large crag, slowing him down. He flailed wildly with both hands, and grabbed an outcropping to stop his fall. The man clung there, panting, and shifted his feet around until he found a solid foothold. He pulled himself together, checked to see that the guitar case was undamaged, then struggled on.

He clawed himself to the top and saw the object of his incredible trek – an inviting valley, bathed in sunlight, with beautiful evergreen trees and holly bushes all around.

Santa's Castle at the North Pole

And, right in the middle, stood Santa’s castle. Not far from it, a tall red and white object stood by like a sentinel. Even from this distance, the traveler felt certain it was the North Pole.

He took a deep breath and started down the incline toward the castle with new resolve.  Suddenly, a shaft of energy shot down from the sky, locked onto his body, and lifted him three feet in the air.

“What the heck!”

~~~~~~~~~~

“Weasel, put that man down immediately.” The thin old man’s outburst shattered the quiet hum of the spacecraft’s command bridge. He managed to get his anger under control, but his disposition remained as dark and grim as his soiled black lab coat and tangle of unkempt hair.

Weasel jutted out his chin, flashing his displeasure with the command, but he grumbled, “Yes, sir,” and moved a lever on his control panel.

The old man continued his rant. “You need to get over this idea that I’m merely a brilliant scientist. I’m also the commander of this spacecraft, and you guys don’t make the decisions. I do. Sometimes you Humbahs are so stupid.”

Weasel headed a group known as the Humbahs, four elves who had washed out with Santa a few years earlier. They were all surly and stubborn, especially Weasel. He had purple spiked hair, and wore a heavily studded, sleeveless black leather jacket. His face sported several piercings, and numerous tats covered his little arms.

The commander turned back to his telescope monitor screen and watched as the traveler settled slowly back to the mountainside. Dammit, I really have to keep these Humbahs under tighter control, he thought. Evil elves with no qualms about ruining Christmas ought to make the right crew for my plot, but sometimes that independent streak of theirs drives me crazy.

Scrooge the Villain

Then the old man twisted to face the elf again. “Weasel, what the hell did you think you were doing?”

“Just having a little fun,” he said with a tone of insolence. “I wasn’t going to hurt the man – just shake him up.”

“We’re not here to have fun. We’re here to complete a mission.”

Weasel straightened up in his chair and puffed out his chest. “Well, we’ve tested our prototype transporter beam on big rocks and stuff, so why not on a person? It didn’t do any harm.”

The scientist snorted at Weasel’s continued defiant attitude. “You better hope there’s no harm. That man is obviously going to Santa’s castle. Suppose he tells what happened to him, and Santa gets suspicious and figures out we’re back with another plot this year to ruin Christmas.”

Weasel shot back, “Even if he does, there’s nothing Santa can do about it.”

The commander shook his head in exasperation and turned back to the monitor screen.

~~~~~~~~~~

The traveler settled gently onto the mountain slope. He sat there for a moment, unhurt, wondering what just happened. Then, he looked ahead and locked his eyes on Santa’s castle. His mind spun back to the task at hand, and he stood up, shrugged, and continued his journey.

About halfway down the mountain, the traveler realized it was getting warmer – but the snow was not melting. The lower he went, the warmer it got. When the slope leveled off, he thought, it feels like a gorgeous spring day, but there’s snow on the ground. This is pretty cool. He unzipped his heavy parka and pulled back the hood.

Soon he reached a point where he could make out the details of the North Pole. It looked to be almost two feet in diameter and over thirty feet tall. The traveler hadn’t known what to expect, but its massive size surprised him.

The traveler spotted two young elves ahead playing in the snow. They looked up and stared at him, then scurried off around the corner of Santa’s castle and out of sight.

As the traveler passed the North Pole, he noticed a small compartment door about three feet off the ground. It looked like it might cover some sort of control panel and had a combination lock securing it. He wondered why it was so low, then smiled when he realized the answer. That door is set for elf height. I’ll bet one of them opens it up and works some kind of switches or dials. Wonder what it does?

He trudged forward to Santa’s castle, a sprawling stone structure with multiple turrets and Tudor-style wood trim on the gables. The snow on the roof made it a picture-perfect image, and it beckoned him with an irresistible pull.

The traveler reached the steps, climbed up to the porch, and paused in front of the door. Well, this is it. He took a deep breath and knocked on the door.

In a few seconds, the door opened to reveal a familiar face. Santa smiled broadly when he saw his new visitor, and said, “Welcome to the North Pole. We don’t get many visitors here, but we’re real glad to see you, Mister….“ Santa paused.

He didn’t greet me with ‘Hello Elvis,’ so I guess he doesn’t know, or else he’s cuttin’ me some slack. Yeah, that’s probably it. “Well, sir, aaah, aaah…you can call me… aaah….Big E.”

Santa reached out and shook his hand. “Well, Big E, won’t you come on in?”

“Thank you, Santa,” he said as he passed through the door. “I’m really sorry to show up unannounced like this, but I’m hopin’ I might be able to stay here for a while. There’s some stuff goin’ on with my life, and I need to get away, you know?”

“You’re welcome to stay here as long as you like, Big E.” Santa looked at the guitar case. “I presume you can play that guitar or you wouldn’t have gone to all the trouble to lug it up here.”

Big E laughed. “There’s some debate about that, but I can hit a few licks.”
“Well, four of the elves entertain us with music occasionally,” Santa said. “They would like to play rock and roll, but it’s not going so well. Maybe you could work with them and help them along.”

“Oh, I’d love to. It would be great to get back to makin’ music again, just for fun.”

“Excellent. Say, can I help you get that heavy parka off?”

After Big E shed his gloves and coat, he tugged on his loose pants and shirt. “I guess I lost about fifty pounds making this trek. It’s been years since I’ve been this trim.”

“That’s nothing,” Santa said. “It’s been centuries since I’ve been trim.” They both laughed.

Big E looked around and took in the grandeur of Santa’s living room. Massive beams and sturdy wood decking towered over rough-sawn walls and a dark-pegged hardwood floor. A huge couch and two overstuffed armchairs formed a semi-circle facing the massive stone fireplace. Christmas decorations adorned the tables and walls, and a sturdy Christmas tree somehow supported an extensive display of ornaments.

“Oh, wow,” Big E said. “This is some place you’ve got here.”

Santa nodded. “It suits Mama Claus and me quite well. Say, let’s go out to the kitchen and I’ll introduce you to her.”

As they headed across the room, Big E asked, “I noticed the temperature around your castle is quite mild, but the snow doesn’t melt. Why is that?”

Santa stroked his chin. “For now, let’s just say that it’s one of the many magical properties of the North Pole. I’ll explain it all to you later, but you’ll be happy to know that anyone living at the North Pole never gets any older.”

Big E smiled but did not reply. Oh, man, this is going to be even better than I thought.

 

Big E and the Santa Man

I hope you enjoyed the first chapter of BIG E and the SANTA MAN. Like any good writer, I tried to work in as many things as possible to hook the readers. There’s our two iconic title characters, an evil villain and his bad-elf henchman, hints about all the magical properties of the North Pole, and mention of the four musically-inclined elves who will pair up with Big E to play some serious rock & roll.

Of course, the whole idea is total fantasy, but it sure makes for a fun story. I say this every year: BIG E and the SANTA MAN is the perfect Christmas present for Elvis fans. Please click here to go to the Amazon page, then email the link to your sweetie with this in the subject box: I want this book for Christmas.

 

PayPal

Or. if you live in the U.S. and want a signed copy, and you have a PayPal account, send an email to philarnold@charter.net.  Tell me what inscription you want on your book, and I’ll take care of the rest.

 

Santa's World Cover

I would like to end by paraphrasing the message on the above magazine cover.

Who is this Big E guy?

And will he be under your Christmas tree?

 

Thankyouverymuch,

Phil Arnold, Original Elvisblogmeister

 

Are There Any Collectible Elvis Figurines That Actually Look Like Elvis?

Elvis Presley Collectible Vinyl Figures

That’s a pretty scary face looking out from this box. It says ELVIS, but does it really look much like him? This is the latest collectible Elvis figurine. It is made by Kidrobot and is available on Graceland.com for $14.99.

Elvis Vinyl Figure '68 Special by Kidrobot

Here’s another view. It is the ’68 Special black leather version, and it doesn’t look much like Elvis to me, either, except maybe the lip snarl.

Elvis Gold Lame Vinyl Collectible

And this is the other option – Gold Lamé Elvis. Both are 4-1/2 inches tall, which means the head is about 2-1/2 inches. That should be plenty big enough to allow decent design and art work that looks like Elvis.

 

Back in 2008, I did an article on Tiny Elvis Heads from various figurines on the market over the years. I realized how difficult the task was when the head was just ¾” tall, like this:

Elvis and Priscilla Barbie Doll Collector Set

This one is the Elvis and Priscilla Barbie Doll Set, and his eyes are just creepy. But, like I said, it must be hard to mold and paint a good Elvis on such a tiny head.

Elvis Jailhouse Rock Christmas Ornament

Here’s what I call the skinny Elvis head Jailhouse Rock Christmas tree ornament. I’ve realized you could make a collection of just Jailhouse Rock Elvis figurines.

Elvis Nodnik

This charming thing is called an Elvis Nodnik.

Elvis Jailhouse Rock Bobblehead

This is called the Wacky Wobbler Bobblehead. There is another set of Elvis bobbleheads offered by Royal Bobbles, but no Jailhouse Rock design, just ’68 Special and Las Vegas Jumpsuit.

NECO Jumpsuit Elvis Bobblehead

Believe it or not, there is a third set of Elvis bobble heads by Neco.  And you have to say this head is very well done, easily identified without the jumpsuit or the name on the base.

 

Mini Black Elvis Nutcracker

However, if this nutcracker didn’t have the name on the base, who would ever guess it was Elvis? I do like the guitar strung over his shoulder, though. Here’s another nutcracker that’s maybe a little better.

Elvis Phoenix Jumpsuit Nutcracker

The Phoenix jumpsuit helps, but it still needs the name on the base.

 

While we are talking about bad images, how about this horrible one?

Elvis Jailhouse Rock n Sock Em Robot

I wonder if they ever sold any of these. Why would anybody want one?

 

Elvis Windshield Bobbler

I actually have one of these hanging in a window across the room, but I really like the way the photographer framed Elvis with the Graceland wall in the background.

 

Jumpsuit Elvis Pez

This is one of three PEZ Elvis that came in this tin display. The head is just over ½ inch high, so the PEZ designers deserve praise for coming up with a good tiny Elvis.

 

Elvis Bobble-Car Wacky Wobbler

This is a nice variation in Elvis figurines, and the face is pretty good.

 

Barbie Collectibles three doll Tommy as Elvis

Uggggh! This looks more like Kim Jung Un than Elvis.

 

Barbie Blue Hawaii Elvis Presley Doll

Blue Hawaii Elvis is not too common in the figurine themes. The top four are Jailhouse Rock, ’68 Special Black Leather, Aloha White Jumpsuit, and Gold Lamé. Others include G.I. Elvis and young Elvis wearing a sport coat.

 

Let’s finish up with the best of the Elvis figurines. That title goes to McFarlane Toys was started in 1994 by Todd McFarlane, a comic book creator and illustrator. His first figurines were the characters from his Spawn comic series. He has now produced hundreds of figures including cartoon horror icons, sports legends, dragons, the Simpsons, the Beatles, and many more.

McFarlane Elvis Wearing White Suit from '68 Special

Now this looks like Elvis. I also like it because it features Elvis dressed in a different outfit than in those other sets. I’m sure you recognize it as the white suit he wore in the ’68 Special when he sang “If I Can Dream.”

 

McFarlane Toys Elvis Jailhouse Rock

This is so good. Look at this close up to see how well McFarlane captured Elvis’ likeness.

McFarlane Jailhouse rock Elvis Side View

I’m really impressed with the quality of this Elvis reproduction. I don’t think they are still in production, but when I searched for good images, I found them for sale on eBay and other places.

 

Mr Potatohead Jumpsuit Elvis with Black Guitar

If you would prefer a fun Elvis figurine over an accurate one, there is always the Mr. Potato Head Elvis. I have the whole set.

 

 

© 2017 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net
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Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, Inc.