Monthly Archives: December 2018

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Some Elvis Pictures I’ve Never Seen Before – Part 9

Elvis Backstage at Maple Leaf Gardens ~ Toronto ~ April 2, 1957

This shot shows Elvis’ disdain for the pants of the famous Gold Lamé Suit. He is clowning around in them (and the gold shoes) on a prop dolly backstage at Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto on April 2, 1957.

Look how baggy and stiff they are. No wonder Elvis didn’t like them.

 

Elvis at Arcade 1956

This is Elvis and his cousin Junior Smith at an arcade in 1956. He had an entourage of one back in the early days. In the later years, this room couldn’t have held all the guys hanging around Elvis.

 

Elvis wiith Diana Goodman in the back of his limo July 19, 1975

This is Elvis with Diana Goodman in the back of his limo on July 19, 1975. We can’t see any of the rings he surely was wearing, but check out the gold bracelet and the gold chain around his neck. That is some serious weight of gold. On the downside, it was time for Elvis to give this coat away to Charlie Hodge, or one of the other guys. He had definitely outgrown it.

 

 

Long White Fringe Suit...Elvis only wore one time. The fringe got all tangled up when he danced.

This is a jumpsuit Elvis wore only one time. His jumpsuits all had cool names like Black Butterfly, Inca Gold, or King of Spades. This one is simply referred to as ”the Long White Fringe Suit.” Elvis wouldn’t wear it again after the fringe got all tangled up when he danced.

I think the whole thing is pretty ugly, and I’m surprised Elvis even put it on. Anyway, the Long White Fringe Suit joined the baggy gold pants in the Elvis wardrobe rejects hall of fame.

 

oks like Charlie Hodge and Elvis are Dancing

All you good fans recognize this as Charlie Hodge on stage with Elvis. At first glance, they seem to be dancing together.

 

February 12, 1977 - Elvis Presley Palm Beach International Airport 3

This is Elvis during his best interpretation of Bo Diddley.

 

Bo Diddley

If you are too young to know about Bo Diddley, look him up. There’s a lot more to the Bo Diddley story than that square guitar.

 

Elvis Presley & Gene Vincent

Here’s Elvis with Gene Vincent. I loved all three of his hits, and wish he had made more. Gene Vincent is another early rocker with an interesting story. Look him up, too.

 

Elvis On stage at 68 Comeback Special

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the main three outfits Elvis wore in the ’68 Comeback Special. Here is a fourth one. It’s not up to the brilliance of the white (If I Can Dream) suit, the black leather outfit, and the burgundy gospel suit.

 

Young Lisa and Elton John

This is an interesting photo of young Lisa and Elton John. Compare it to one many years later.

 

Lisa and Elton John - Later

 

This is from Stay Away Joe, and there’s a lot of girls in that car with Elvis.

Elvis and Girls in Car in Stay Away Joe

 

But this is from real life.

Elvis in a Car with Three Girls

How about that look on his face? Elvis, you lucky dog.

 

 

© 2018 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.

 

Christmas Greetings from ElvisBlog

First Christmas at Graceland 1957

This photo was taken in December 1957, Elvis’ first Christmas at Graceland.  It appears that his first outside decorations included a life-size model of Santa’s sleigh containing lots of presents, including two guitars.  Behind that was a huge Santa Claus, which appears to be about 12 feet tall.

The woman and child are not identified, but it is said that Gladys can be seen to the left of the sleigh heading toward the Graceland  front door.

 

Here, Santa and the sleigh are incorporated into the Christmas scene and message that endures at Graceland to this day.

 

The tag on this photo says that this is Elvis in front of Graceland in March 1957 while renovations were going on.  He and his parents moved in on May 16.

 

I’m not promoting a Photoshop make-over here, but how nice would it have been if somebody had snapped Vernon, Elvis, and Gladys in front of Graceland with Santa and his sleigh ?

 

 

A Merry Christmas to all,

 

Phil Arnold,

Original ElvisBlogmeister

 

Many thanks to reader Karen Middleton for sending me the first photo above.

 

 

 

ElvisBlog Mini-Nuggets # 25

Elvis Traffic Lights in Friedberg, Germany:

 

Here are some clips from a EuroNews video on YouTube.

Elvis Traffic Light - in Germany - Green

Elvis Traffic Light - in Germany - Red

Friedberg is a town about 2-1/2 miles from Bad Nauheim where Elvis served in the Army. I believe the next picture was taken in Bad Nauheim.

Elvis Sign in Germany

After I cropped this picture, the sign doesn’t appear as large as it really is. I like the way they cut Elvis’ silhouette out of the center of the sign and made a separate stand-up of him. Wonder why they used a Jailhouse Rock outfit. It seems like the uniform from G.I. Blues would be more appropriate.

 

Young Donald Trump Looked Like Elvis?

 

At a November political rally in Tupelo, MS, Donald Trump said.

“Tupelo, home of thousands of hard-working American patriots, and the proud birthplace of the king of rock n’ roll, Elvis. Elvis! We love Elvis.”

“I shouldn’t say this, you’ll say I’m very conceited, because I’m not, but other than the blonde hair, when I was growing up they said I looked like Elvis. Can you believe it? I always considered that a great compliment.”

Young Donald Trump

What do you think?

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Remember When I Told You About All the Companies that Want to Advertise on ElvisBlog?

 

This is one of the more recent ones I’ve heard from.

idilvice Elvis fashions

They don’t just do Elvis fashions, but they have dozens of them. Here’s a few that got my attention.

 

Elvis Fashion - Cowboy Prairie Sunset Turtleneck Sweater

This is the “Elvis Cowboy Prairie Sunset Turtleneck Sweater.” It looks pretty good… until you see the price tag of $249.

 

Elvis Fashion - Cowboy Ranch A-Line Skirt.

If you’re involved in the effort to restore Elvis’ Circle G Ranch, here something for you – “The Cowboy Ranch A-Line Skirt.” Just $89.

 

Four Elvis Floating Heads

This is the art work on another item. I was intrigued with the image of four floating Elvis heads, all with his famous shades, so I saved it for my files. However, on a long-sleeved turtle neck sweater, it looks horrible. Especially at $259.

 

Elvis fashions Vegas Glam Fringe Satin Scarf

It’s better on the “Vegas Glam Fringe Satin Scarf.” $149

 

Elvis fashion - Groovy Afrique Pattern Midi-Dress

And finally, we have the “Groovy Afrique Pattern Midi-Dress.” $298

 

National Cupcake Day is this Saturday Dec 15:

 

 National Cupcake day

 

I did a little surfing on Amazon and found these samples of Elvis Cupcakes.

Elvis Cupcake (4)

Elvis Cupcake (2)

And my favorite:

Elvis Cupcake (1)

 

How Come Bill Clinton Didn’t Award the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Elvis?

Music stars Getting Presidential Medal of Freedom

I published this list a few weeks ago. George W Bush honored two music stars, Barack Obama honored thirteen, and Donald Trump honored Elvis. Notice what name is missing? Bill Clinton. He honored lots of folks in other categories, but no musicians.

I can’t figure out why Clinton didn’t jump at the chance to pick Elvis. During the 1992 Presidential campaign, the press corps started comparing Bill Clinton to Elvis, although the candidate never did this himself. The press even made references to Clinton’s campaign plane as “Air Elvis.”

 

Clinton Playing Heartbreak Hotel on Sax

It has been said that one of the late boosts to Clinton’s campaign in 1992 was when he played “Heartbreak Hotel” on the Arsenio Hall Show.

 

Elvis and George H. W. Bush:

I didn’t have a good place to post this picture when President George Bush 41 passed away a few weeks ago.

Elvis and George H W Bush

Elvis met George H. W. Bush before he became President. Bush was the Ambassador to the UN when he was the Keynote Speaker at the 1970 awards dinner for the “Ten Outstanding Young Men” by the United States Junior Chamber of Commerce, or the Jaycees.

 

George H. W. Bush was Bill Clinton’s opposition in that 1992 campaign. He felt compelled to respond to this linking of Clinton and Elvis, by stating this in a campaign speech:

“Clinton is on all sides of every issue. He’s been spotted more places than Elvis Presley. I guess you’d say his plan really is ‘Elvis Economics’. America will be checking into Heartbreak Hotel.”

Noted Elvis author Greil Marcus contends that an Elvis reference in any politician’s campaign speech is a guaranteed sound-bite on the evening news, although there is no guarantee what the public’s response will be. This quote is said to have lost votes for former President Bush in his re-election campaign:

“I finally figured out why Clinton compares himself to Elvis. The minute he takes a stand on something, he starts wiggling.”

 

 

© 2018 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.

 

Elvis, Santa, and Kurt Russell

Last week, I read a USA Today review of the new Netflix movie titled The Christmas Chronicles. It stars Kurt Russell, one of my favorites, as a wonderfully different Santa Claus.

Title - Christmas Chronicles

 

But I panicked when the review talked about him zooming around in muscle cars. I thought, “Ah, man, they’ve got Santa flying in something like the jet sled in my book BIG E and the SANTA MAN.”

Big E and Santa in Jet Sled

 

To my relief, Kurt Russell’s radical sleigh still had reindeer pulling it.

Christmas Chronicles Sleigh with Reindeer

Interesting design, but it can’t fly without reindeer like the Big E’s jet sled can.

 

Santa's Sleigh with Wings

The closest it comes is when the reindeer are accidentally untethered, and wings pop out to glide it down to safety. Unfortunately, one wing clips a water tower, and the sleigh crashes.

You might notice that the next picture shows a different design than the first one. When the sleigh crashed, the elves rebuilt it, and for some unexplained reason, it came out different. That’s why the USA Today writer referred to muscle cars, not just one.

Santa in front of Christmas Chronicles Sleigh

Yes, that’s Kurt Russell as Santa Claus

 

Santa’s sleigh also crashed in my book, and because the elves had just one hour, they did urgent repairs that got it flyable, but looking rather makeshift. After Christmas they rebuilt it just like it had been.

Another interesting comparison between The Christmas Chronicles and BIG E and the SANTA MAN is the people who got to ride in the sleighs/sled so central to the task of saving Christmas.

Santa with Kids on Christmas Chronicles Sleigh

Kurt Russell’s Santa sleigh carries a brother and sister who had discovered it unoccupied while Santa was depositing presents down local chimneys (He doesn’t go down chimneys in this fantasy, but the presents do). The kids climbed in the sleigh and hid in the back. Santa took off without realizing they were there.

In Part 2 of BIG E and the SANTA MAN, two elves get to pilot the jet sled; the oldest elf standing on the seat steering, and the head elf on the floor pushing the accelerator. Deeper into the plot, the old elf gets to fly Santa’s sleigh. One of the cool parts near the ending has him do a buzz dive directly at the bad guy and scare him and his henchmen so bad they run away from Santa’s castle in a frenzied retreat. After that, he was like a folk-hero to the young elves.

Santa's Sack of Presents

Santa’s sack of presents actually factors into the plot of both the movie and my book. When Kurt Russell’s Santa sleigh has its violent crash, the sack is tossed to some unseen place.

But in my story, Santa has lots of sacks of presents and is forced to throw them all out of his sleigh (it’s too long to explain why here). Then, Big E and Santa have to go back in the jet sled to rescue the presents in a race against the villain who’s trying to ruin Christmas.

 

That’s about it for comparisons between The Christmas Chronicles and BIG E and the SANTA MAN. So let’s talk about Kurt Russell as Santa Claus. This is a good photo of him.

Kurt Russell as Santa in The Christmas Chronicles

This is not the popular image of a chubby, ruby-cheeked old Santa. In fact, the USA Today review calls him a “real action hero,” and another review on Polygon.com says “Santa is hot.” They also say, “He’s styled as something of a bearded Elvis, introducing himself by saying, ‘Live and in person, one night only.’”

Santa in Jail singing Santa Claus is Back in Town

In another twist that makes The Christmas Chronicles  unique holiday movie, here we have Santa singing while in a jail cell. You might recognize the tag line as a lyric from the terrific Elvis blues song, “Santa Clause is Back in Town.” The movie soundtrack also includes the Elvis’ classic “Here Comes Santa Claus.”

 

Kurt Russell is 67 years old, and he is terrific as a bearded older Elvis, but look at this:

Kurt Russel in Elvis the Movie

Here he is at 28 in front of Graceland in the 1979 made-for-TV movie that appeared on ABC.

Kurt Russell in Elvis the Movie

 

Kurt Russell Young Elvis

 

Elvis the Movie is available on YouTube if you don’t mind watching it in sections.

The Christmas Chronicles is available on Netflix any time you want to watch it, and I hope you do. It’s a lot of fun, and Kurt Russel is perfect as hot, action hero Santa.

And BIG E and the SANTA MAN is available at Amazon. In my stories Big E is the action hero, and Santa is the willing sidekick.

A strong case could be made that The Christmas Chronicles is the most unusual holiday movie ever made. Well, for three years I have been saying that my book is the most unusual Christmas novel ever written.

And, to make it especially good for you fans, Big E is in it to give you a huge booster shot of Elvis.

Big E Bust

If you have no trouble envisioning Elvis as a brave, daring and resourceful hero, then you will like following Big E in his adventures. This guy is cool, and he and Santa make a heck of a team.

 

Big E and the Santa Man Scroll

 

You also remember me asking for your help by buying copies of BIG E and the SANTA MAN. I’m happy to report your response was so good that the costs of my blog platform and URL have been covered. Thank you very much. I really appreciate it.

But I don’t see why I should stop promoting my book while there is still time for delivery before Christmas. For one thing, I need to sell seven more books to reach the Amazon threshold for withdrawing my royalty money.

So, could I ask a few more of you to get a copy of my book. It’s a great well-written story, Elvis fans have really liked it, and it costs only ten bucks.

OK, I’m going to do one more last thing about Kurt Russell and Elvis, then hit you with the closing pitch on BIG E and the SANTA MAN.


Many of you already know about this, but for the rest of you, this is young Kurt Russell kicking Elvis in the 1964 movie, It Happened at the World’s Fair.

Kurt-Russell Kicking Elvis in It Happened at the World's Fair

 


 

We’ll end with a pretty low-key final pitch for my book. Maybe just a few more tidbits about what makes BIG E and the SANTA MAN so interesting.

Elves Playing Guitars in Big E and the Santa Man

There are no pictures in my book, but this one comes pretty close to depicting the elves that Big E teaches how to play rock and roll. The four little guys form a tight back-up band and rock out with Big E. You’ll love the concert they put on for Santa and Mama Claus the night after Christmas.

 

Scrooge's Space Station in Big E and the Santa Man

The villain in my story resides in a space station hoovering over the North Pole. His henchmen are bad elves that Santa had kicked out for shoddy workmanship on the presents and constant trouble-making. They hold a grudge and are happy to help in a plot to ruin Christmas.

Big E Close-up

Here is Big E again. Look at his eyes. He’s sending you a telepathic message:

“Buy a copy of this book about me and Santa.
You’ll be glad you did.”

 

Here’s where to get them:

BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Amazon.com webpage

BIG E and the SANTA MAN – Part 2: Amazon.com webpage

 

 

Thank you,

Phil Arnold
Original ElvisBlogmeister (2005-2013)

 

Note: If anyone knows Clay Kaytis, the director of The Christmas Chronicles, please email him a link to this post.