Category Archives: THE MOST UNUSUAL ELVIS ARTICLES ON THE WEB

Joe Petruccio — Official Elvis Artist

Joe Petruccio Elvis Artwork Avilable at Graceland

I was pleased to see this announcement on Graceland.com. Joe Petruccio’s paintings of Elvis have been famous for over a decade, and his enormous body of work now numbers in the thousands. The website cites a quote by Elvis’ good friend Jerry Schilling: “Joe Petruccio has a unique ability to capture the essence of an individual like no other artist today.”

So, I eagerly clicked on the link to see the artwork and what the costs are. We’ll take a look at all of them, and then veer off on some tangents about Joe Petruccio’s other Elvis paintings.

Elvis, Just Pretend by Joe Petruccio

JUST PRETEND

Let’s start with the largest and most expensive item in this new offering — $1,495. The canvas print measures 30” x 40”, and the framed image is 40” x 50”. This is a new offering for Elvis Week 2016, and there are only twenty-five of this limited edition available. I’d be surprised if they don’t sell out. Joe Petruccio had this to say about the inspiration for his creation:

“I tried to depict the last moment we got to see Elvis on stage as he walked off, and the last of the bright lights bathed the back of his beautiful figure as he walked into the darkness of the night. Just Pretend is Elvis saying to us, ‘Just pretend this wasn’t the last time you got to see me.’”

In case you are curious, Elvis’ last concert was in the Indianapolis Market Square Arena on June 26, 1977.

 

Elvis, Graceland Mansion by Joe Petruccio

GRACELAND MANSION PORTRAIT

This is the least expensive offering at $20, and there does not seem to be any limited quantity available. It is unframed and measures 11” x 14”. Although this seems like a modest offering, the website gushes with praise: “This portrait style art print captures the statuesque and soulful brilliance of the King’s castle via Joe’s signature techniques—subtle contrasts and surface styles, amazing depth and an understanding of highlights and line placement like no other.”

If you are wondering about the “portrait” reference for a painting of a building, Joe Petruccio explains it as follows:

“I love painting portraits. That is my ‘thing.’ But there is something about the Graceland mansion that inspired me to paint it. So I decided, if I was going to paint it, it would be a portrait. A portrait of the home of a man I admire and adore. Like the lights that lit its owner as he took the stage, I would paint Graceland basking in that same light. Even though it’s painted in black and white, I love how you can feel the warmth of the sun and his light shining on this amazing treasure.”

 

Elvis, Really Big Show by Jpe Petruccio

REALLY BIG SHOW

I’m not too excited about this one. The four pictures are inside a 9” x 12” box, so they are really small. Overall size with matt and frame is 20” x18”. However, this is an Elvis Week 2016 limited edition of just fifty-six, and it costs $480, so Graceland and Joe Petruccio think highly of it. He has a nice explanation for the title Really Big Show.

“I thought I’d pay homage to the first time Elvis was on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was 60 years ago. What a night. I thought I’d combine my advertising background and recreate that moment in a storyboard. It’s the way I design TV commercials before I actually shoot them. Here is the first piece I’ve done in fine art that combines my passions. Painting, advertising, and Elvis.”

 

Elvis, Surrender Eyes by Joe Petruccio

SURRENDER EYES

I just love this one. You know an artist is good if he can paint only someone’s eyes and we instantly recognize who it is. The print measures 12” x 25”, the framed image is 22” x 32”. It sells for $495, and the quantity is not limited, so they will sell lots of this one. Joe Petruccio had this to say about it.

“During the years that I’ve been drawing and painting Elvis, the one thing that becomes evident is that the magic is in his eyes. As a matter of fact, I was sure that if you just saw his eyes you would know who he is. This is one of my personal favorites.”

 

Elvis, Welcome to My World by Joe Petruccio

WELCOME TO MY WORLD

Here’s another look at Graceland, but this time it includes Elvis and there is some color in it. The 18” x 12” print is presented in a matted frame measuring 28” x 22”. It is an Elvis Week 2015 limited edition, and the last fifty-seven pieces sell for $475. Joe Petruccio has an interesting take on what this painting represents.

“There are often times I look at the house sitting there so big and lonely, and it’s kind of sad to me. It was a house filled with song, love, laughter and all of the other things that fill our own homes. I can’t help but picture Elvis standing outside the door, just wondering what it would be like to be on the other side of that big wall around Graceland. This painting is how I picture this moment. Is Elvis welcoming us into his house? Or is he welcoming us into the world he created by being so idyllic?”

 

Elvis, Unfinished Symphony by Joe Petruccio

UNFINISHED SYMPHONY

I’m no art critic, but I don’t get the presentation of this one. The print of a raw sketch measures just 9” x 9” inside a 21” square frame. It is an Elvis Week 2015 edition and only 25 are available at a cost of $295. Here’s what the artist had to say about it:

“It’s called Unfinished Symphony because it is a metaphor for his unfinished life. All of my paintings usually start with sketches like this. This one never went further. I felt there was such emotion in his eyes and the lines of the drawing had such power, that I felt this was done as ‘Unfinished’ as it was. Sometimes in art, less is more. In a drawing and in a life.”

 

Elvis, His First Steps by Joe Petruccio

HIS FIRST STEP

This is some really cool artwork, but it doesn’t say Elvis to me. When I see white bucks, I think of Pat Boone. Why not some blue suede shoes?  I do love the way it is presented.  It is called a gallery wrap canvas print, so it has depth without a frame. It measures 11” x14” x 2”. His First Step was unveiled at the 2014 Elvis Week, and there are just 15 copies left at a price of $650. Joe Petruccio explained his thinking on the white bucks:

“I wanted to do something to commemorate the 60th Anniversary of Rock ‘n Roll as special as I did for the 50th. Every huge accomplishment, discovery, or invention all started by someone taking a first step. So, I thought, what better shoes to show taking that first step into a whole new generation and style of music. I wonder if Elvis ever imagined just how far those white bucks would travel. 60 years and they still look brand new.”

 

The Graceland.com website contains a great deal of information on each of these pieces of art. Click here to read more – and place an order if you are motivated.

 

Joe Petruccio’s artwork has been mentioned on ElvisBlog seven times over the years. Here’s a quick look.

Collectible Graceland Cellars 2005 Etched Elvis Wine

This image appeared in a November 2008 post on Graceland Cellars wine. It is a bottle of 2005 Limited Production Cabernet Sauvignon. That Joe Petruccio Elvis image is actually etched on the bottle. The wine sold for $119.99.

 

Elvis, Love Me Tender Poster

This appeared in a July 2010 article on the 12 Days of Christmas in July from ShopElvis.com. The 20’ x 16” poster is titled Love Me Tender. I wasn’t real crazy about it because it was pink and looked washed-out, but for just $11, it figured to sell well with the ladies.

 

Elvis Heartbreak T-shirt

This T-shirt image appeared in a September 2010 ElvisBlog post on Ladies Tees. It is titled Elvis Heartbreak. The Joe Petruccio artwork is from Elvis’ first 1969 concert appearance in Las Vegas as he returned to live performing. The shirt is accented with Swarovski Crystals. They must be pretty special, because the price for this T-shirt was $130.

 

Elvis, King Me T-shirt

The June 2011 ElvisBlog T-shirt review included two Joe Petruccio designs. This one titled King Me shows his skill in painting Elvis’ eyes. It’s quite an achievement to depict just a portion of Elvis’ face and have it instantly recognized. I really like this shirt.

 

Elvis, Stars and Bars Ladies T-Shirt

The second shirt was a ladies model titled Stars and Bars. Seems like a strange name because there are no stars in the image. Both of these Joe Petruccio design shirts sold for $25.

 

Elvis Star T-shirt

Another Ladies Tee, this time from a June 2012 ElvisBlog article. It is titled Star and contains three strong elements: black leather, a guitar, and Elvis. The website at T-Shirts.com said there was another image on the reverse side but didn’t show it. I wonder if it was more Joe Petruccio.

 

Elvis Rock n Roll Tank Top

In a May 2016 ElvisBlog post, I included a tank top in the T-shirt review. It is called Rock and Roll Racerback Tank, and believe it or not, it originally sold for $120, but was on sale for $18.97. The original price was because it was created by fashion designer Susan Fixel, and it featured original artwork by Joe Petruccio and hand-applied crystals. The drop to the low discount price was because the only size left was X-small.

 

Joe Petruccio - Art That Rocks Website

If you would like to see an extensive display of Joe Petruccio’s Elvis artworks, go to JoePetruccio.com. Click on “The King” at the top of the Home Page. This is not a site where you can buy them. For that, you can try www.ShopElvis.com.

 

By all means, be sure to check out www.MyElvisJournal.com. Joe Petruccio started it on August 17, 2012. Here is how he explains it:

“I wanted to do something special this 35th year after his passing. So, I created this journal. This is My Elvis Journal where I will create a year in the life of the king by revisiting his life a day at a time. I hope you enjoy it and whatever that special date you hold so dear.”

Here are the first few entries:

Elvis, August 17, 1977

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Elvis, August 18, 1977

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Elvis, August 19, 1977

How amazing is it that Joe Petruccio could turn out new paintings like these day after day. Unfortunately, the effort paused after four months, but it did come back for two more months in 2014. I hope he will someday be able to complete the project and give us 365 of these wonderful images.

 

 

© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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A Tribute to Scotty Moore – Part 2

Scotty Moore and Elvis Presley Performing at New Frontier Hotel 1956

This is the way most people think of Scotty Moore – playing guitar on stage while Elvis performs. Scotty will forever be linked with Elvis, and that’s fine, because his guitar skills played a huge part in Elvis’ music starting a revolution.

Scotty Moore died ten days ago at age 84, cause not announced, and ElvisBlog presented a tribute that generated much positive comment. Because there is still more to say about this rock pioneer, here is A Tribute to Scotty Moore, Part 2.

 

Elvis Leaning on Scotty Moore's Wife's 1954 Chevy Bel Air

This photograph has appeared on the web everywhere. The emphasis is always on Elvis’ wild clothes, especially the pink shirt, back in the early days. The thing most people don’t realize is that the car he is leaning on is Scotty’ wife’s 1954 Chevy Bel Air. The group used this car to travel on all their initial road tours. So, not only was Scotty’s guitar work instrumental in creating Elvis’ Rockabilly sound, he also made it possible for the singer to travel to appearances that added to his growing fame.

 

Cartoon of Scotty Moore

I don’t know the story behind this drawing, but I’m glad I found it. However, I’d change the tagline to “The Man that made the King Rock.”

 

Now for a few things about Scotty Moore you may not know.

 

Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists -- # 29 Scotty Moore

Scotty Moore's Bio on Rolling Stone

How about that. When Rolling Stone magazine selected the 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time, Scotty made the list. His # 29 position put him ahead of many famous names, such as Prince, Stephen Stills, John Lennon, Bruce Springsteen, and Kurt Cobain. Of more interest to me was how Scotty fared against his contemporaries in the early days of Rock & Roll. Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley placed ahead of Scotty, but Duane eddy, Dick Dale, Buddy Holly, and Carl Perkins trailed him. In case you’re curious, Elvis’ guitar player in the 70s, James Burton, placed # 19.

 

Rolling Stone's 100 Greatest Guitarists

I was particularly struck by the praise Rolling Stone magazine heaped on Scotty. In a flip on the widely-accepted notion that Elvis was the first to mix country, gospel, and blues music, Rolling Stone‘s bio on Scotty said:

“Moore’s tight, aggressive runs mixed country picking with blues phrasing into a new instrumental language.”

Think about what that says. Was it the guitar player or the singer in those 1954 Sun recording sessions that deserves the credit for the monumental change in music that followed? Probably both together, but Scotty deserves more credit. I’m glad Rolling Stone got it right.

 

Priscilla Presley, Scotty Moore, and Gail Pollock

There are two women in this picture with Scotty. One you easily recognize as Priscilla Presley, but can you identify the other? She is Gail Pollock, who was the woman in his life since the early 80’s. I met Scotty at four Elvis Weeks, and Gail was with him every time. They were a team.

Gail Pollock passed away in November 2015, and I am only guessing here, but I think her passing may have hastened Scotty’s death. With her gone, Scotty must have had a huge emptiness in his heart.

That's Alright Elvis - Scotty Moore Bio

I remembered there was a cute story about Gail and Scotty in his autobiography, That’s Alright, Elvis. (Side note: The book is out of print, and the prices for used copies on Amazon have zoomed up since Scotty died). I got out my old signed copy and looked up the story. Back in 1973, Scotty lived in Nashville and worked as a free-lance recording engineer, frequently at Monument Records. Gail Pollock worked there, but had no idea of his background. Scotty never talked about it to anyone.

One day a man came into Monument Records to book studio time, and Gail introduced him to Scotty. After Scotty left the room, the man asked, “Is that the real Scotty Moore?” Gail had no idea what he was talking about. He said, “Scotty Moore, the one who played with Elvis?” Gail answered, “No, he’s an engineer.”

Since then, Gail learned everything about Scotty, and the two of them had long friendships with most of Nashville’s ‘A Team’ session players, singers, and producers. She became famous for her “Southern Mother” cooking for countless recording sessions, jam sessions, or any other reason just to have friends get together.

Scotty Moore and Friends on his Back Deck

Here is Scotty (far right) with several friends socializing on the back deck of his Nashville home. We can presume that Gail either snapped the shot or was in the kitchen.

 

Colorized Scotty & Elvis on Stage

Here’s another strong photo of Elvis and Scotty on stage together, one of my favorites. I guess I am jumping around here. Hope you don’t mind.

 

Scotty on Elvis Trading Card

I wish they had used a clearer picture here for the only Elvis trading card that included Scotty.

 

Scotty Moore in Jailhouse Rock

Last week we looked at some photos of Scotty in the movie Loving You. Here he is at a recording session in the movie Jailhouse Rock.

 

Scotty Moore Album - The Guitar that Changed the World

This is an album that Scotty released in 1964, and I own a cassette copy made from it. It has since been released on CD, and Amazon’s Editorial Review says:

“Scotty Moore deserves this album’s title, exclamation point and all. His big, hollow-body Gibson electric provided the architecture that allowed Elvis Presley’s raw talent and charisma to assume its shape on those early Sun and RCA singles.”

Then, Amazon’s Editorial Review goes on to say some less complimentary things about the album itself. This is no surprise to me, because lots worse has been said about it, as related in an article I wrote for Elvis International magazine back in 2000.

“About ten years ago, I came across an interesting book in the music section of a large bookstore. The title was something like The 100 Worst Record Albums of All Time, which spiked my curiosity as an avid record collector. I flipped through it with mild amusement to see what albums the author had selected, but had quite a jolt when I came upon The Guitar That Changed The World by Scotty Moore.

“Wow,” I thought, “I didn’t know Scotty Moore recorded a solo album of Elvis songs.” Although I was pleased to learn of its existence, it bugged me that some jerk author could write such a bad review about the work of a legendary rock guitarist held in high esteem by Elvis fans. His argument was basically that the original songs were so outstanding nobody should have the audacity to record cover versions.”

Well, I got that cassette copy of Scotty’s album. I review each song in the article and had this summary, The Guitar That Changed The World is absolutely not one of the worst record albums of all time, but it sure is hard to find.”

 

Scotty, DJ and George Harrison

Last week, I wrote about how big Scotty Moore fans the Rolling Stones are. Same for the Beatles. Scotty and DJ Fontana hang out with here George Harrison in this shot. Scotty has done the same with Paul McCartney, and he has recorded with Ringo Starr.

 

Elvis and Scotty

Let’s finish up with a few more shots of Scotty and Elvis together. That’s probably the 54 Chevy Bel Air Scotty is sitting in.

 

Scotty and Elvis At New Frontier Hotel

This shot comes from May 1956 when Elvis performed at the New Frontier hotel in Las Vegas. It was nice that Elvis always moved back and let Scotty front the band when he did his guitar solos.

 

Scotty has already been buried in his hometown of Humboldt, Tennessee. However, his webmaster announced on www.scottymoore.net that a memorial celebration will soon be held in Nashville. When we read the media coverage of all the people in attendance, it will confirm that Scotty Moore was a very special person loved by many.

 

Good bye, Scotty Moore. I’m so glad I got to spend some time with you.

 

©  2016    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis – The King of Celebrity Hair Auctions

Elvis Heads Celebrity Hair Auction Market

Did you know there are folks who collect celebrity hair? I guess it’s a popular enough activity to motivate Forbes magazine researchers to find the highest prices paid for valuable hair at auction. You probably can’t read the results in red above, so here is the ranking, including the years when the auctions occurred.

Elvis Presley             $115,000     2002
Che Guervara           $100,000     2007
Mozart                       $53,000      2015
Justin Bieber             $40,668      2014
Abraham Lincoln       $38,837      2012
Willie Nelson             $37,000      2014
John Lennon             $35,000      2016
Napoleon                  $13,000      2010

I can’t conceive how Justin Bieber hair would sell for more than Abraham Lincoln or Napoleon. He’s a young man with many more haircuts to come in his life. Lincoln and Napoleon are long gone, so there is a limited, finite quantity of their hair for collectors. Maybe Bieber’s sale went to a rich young fan with more money than sense.

The top bid for Elvis’ hair occurred at 2am on November 17, 2002, at an on-line auction by MastroNet, a Chicago-based company. According to an article in the Chicago Tribune, the hair had been saved by Elvis’ personal barber Homer Gilleland.

Homer Gilleland Cutting Elvis' Hair

Homer Gilleland Cutting Elvis’ Hair

 

The newspaper article referred to a “black hairball” with hundreds, if not thousands, of strands of Elvis’ hair.

Enormous Quantity of Elvis Hair

Here is an excerpt from the Chicago Tribune article:

“Gilleland, who traveled with the singer to shows, would color the King’s sandy-blond hair black, then cut it into a towel around Presley’s neck… He bundled up the towels with the hair inside and took them home. Then he put the hair into a plastic bread bag, where it stayed until Presley died in 1977. Shortly after, friends said Gilleland began selling strands of the hair at a souvenir shop across the street from Presley’s Memphis home, Graceland.

Before Gilleland died in 1995, he gave a bag of the hair to a friend, Tom Morgan. Morgan, 61, a municipal employee in Memphis, decided to sell the hair this year for his retirement.”

With a winning bid of $115,000, we can assume Mr. Morgan had a very nice retirement indeed.

 

One other thing in the Chicago Tribune article turned out to be prophetic:

“Some have speculated the hair could be resold, strand by strand, for a profit.”

Heritage July 1011 - Authentic Strands of Elvis Hair

I decided to check out the sales since 2002 for Elvis’ hair at two auction houses that sell a lot of Elvis collectibles, Julien’s and Heritage. The strands above sold for $418 at a July 2011 Heritage auction, and it came from the Homer Gilleland treasure trove of Elvis hair.

 

Here are samples of other results.

Elvis Hair Sold for $1,195 August 2010 Heritage

This went for $1,195 at an August 2010 Heritage auction.

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Elvis Hair Heritage Oct 2008 $1,782

This went for $1,782 at an October 2008 Heritage auction.

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ELVIS PRESLEY VIAL OF HAIR June 2012 Julien's $4,160

This went for $4,160 at a June 2012 Julien’s auction.

 

It should be noted that all of these offerings of Elvis hair had nicely-done, framed displays with additional photos and text to enhance them. The auction websites stated that the hair was all originally saved by Horace Gillebrand, but do not state if they came from the $115,000 “black hairball.”

There were also additional offerings of Elvis hair from his Army induction haircut at Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas, from haircuts while on duty in Germany, and other places. Plus, there are many other auction houses I didn’t check into. Suffice it to say, there has been a lot of Elvis hair sold in the last four decades.

 

Elvis Presley's Army Haircut at Ft. Chaffee, Arkansas

Let’s finish with an interesting story about locks of Elvis’ hair. Col. Parker ordered that all of Elvis’ hair clippings from his Army induction haircut be gathered up and sent to his fan clubs. One lock ended up at the Tulsa World newspaper, and they used it in a contest. Winner Sybil Coughman completed this sentence “I think the US Army can make the best use of Elvis by…

… letting him give hip exercises to the soldiers to keep them trim and in good shape like he is.”

 

 

© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Celebrating Elvis on National Limerick Day

National-Limerick-Day-May-12

There is no end to the special days, weeks, or months that celebrate something. They are all marked on the National Day Calendar at:

 http://www.nationaldaycalendar.com/

For some reason, May 12 is observed annually as National Limerick Day. Of course, Elvis has been the subject of limericks, just like he has been in every other form of expression. Here are a few Elvis limericks I’ve collected.

 

Elvis Presley would answer his calling
With the charm of his smile and his drawling
Both his presence and voice
Made promoters rejoice
Though some thought his gyrations appalling

Elvis Doing his Moves

 

 

There once was a man named Elvis
Who had a gyrating pelvis
He moved it every which way
Dynamic was its swiveling display
His pelvic moves sent women into a groove

(Editor’s Note:  I know his violates the limerick rule that the 5th line rhymes with the 1st and 2nd, but it’s a good excuse to show this very cool photo.)

Girls Reaching for Elvis

A man that we knew as The King
Moved the world with the way he would sing
He had roots in the South
And the sounds from his mouth
Would provide him a lot of ka-ching

Elvis and Handfuls of Money

 

He was born in northeast Mississippi
Where moonshine is drank when it’s nippy
Where much gospel is sung
As the church bells are rung
He was always polite, never lippy

Elvis' Lip Snarl

 

 

The boy from Memphis could sing,
Soon girls called him “The King.”
He died too young,
The last song was sung,
But the fans kept doing their thing.

Candlelight Vigil for Elvis

 

His recording debut ‘That’s All Right’
Turned him in to a star overnight
In July ‘54
With his foot in the door
His career was about to take flight

That's Alright, Mama

 

 

Elvis made a lot of dough,
Didn’t keep much of it though.
Colonel Parker’s
50% marker
Came off the top, you know.

Col. Parker and Elvis

 

 

So with fame he was suddenly rife
Then the army came in to his life
He completed his hitch
Putting off getting rich
And he made Miss Priscilla his wife

Elvis with priscilla at Release from Army

 

Later on several movies he made
And for that he was handsomely paid
Though each picture was crap
With less substance than pap
Off the set he would often get laid

Elvis and Two Babes

 

 

Elvis drove a large, bright, pink Caddy.
Popping pills and smoking a fatty.
Wearing suits that were white,
He shot his TV one night.
He was the original pimp daddy

Elvis Pimp Daddy

 

There once was a singer named Elvis
Who sure could shake his pelvis.
This has to end.
We can’t pretend,
That some other word rhymes with Elvis.

Elvis in Perspective

 

 

© 2016 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.

First Look – -The Rooms at the Guest House at Graceland

GuestHouse at Graceland

Back in July 2014, ElvisBlog reported EPE’s announcement that they would be building a 450-room luxury hotel in Memphis. It was be located across Elvis Presley Blvd from the Graceland Crossing shops and Heartbreak Hotel.

For some reason I never followed up with any additional news as construction went on. The photo below shows the progress on the Guest House at Graceland as of December 2015.

Guesthouse at Graceland under construction

We can be sure EPE had hoped it would be completed by Elvis Week this year, but they must have recently accepted the reality that it wasn’t possible. So, last Thursday they made the official announcement that the Guest House will open on October 27. They also posted on Elvis.com/news renderings of what the rooms would look like and what they would cost.

 

King Size Bed in Basic Room at Guest House at Graceland

This is the basic room for two people. You can see the king-size bed with two small night stands on either side. Between the bed and the window there is a chair, ottoman, floor lamp, and a small modernistic table with a square glass top. The rate on Sunday through Thursday nights is $159. For an additional $20 you can get a room with a view of the courtyard.

Pool Area at Guesthouse at Graceland

The Courtyard is this area between the two wings in the back. It seems like it would be worth the extra $20. The first picture above shows that the other rooms look out over the front parking area or wooded areas on each side.

 

Wide View of Basic Room at Guest House at Graceland

Here’s a view of the basic room as you come in the door. There is a Keurig coffee machine and lots of beverage choices on the left. At the end of the room you can see the back of a desk chair at a desk with a Bluetooth-enabled media hub. The room rate for Friday or Saturday nights is $30 higher.

 

More Desk in Basic Room at Guest House at Graceland

This is a picture from the opposite direction with a better view of the desk. There is a smart-phone charger just out of sight. As you come in the door, there is the closet on your left and the bathroom on the right. There is nothing unusual about this room floor plan. Pretty standard. For $10 over the base rates you can get connecting rooms.

 

Bed and Chair in Basic Room at Guest House at Graceland

I like the jumpsuit picture on the wall. I wonder if every room has the same one.

 

Elvis Inage on Shears in Basic Foom at Guest House at Graceland

Here’s another image of Elvis printed into the window shears.   It copies the one on the gates of Graceland.  Very nice touch.

 

Bathroom in Basic Room at Guest House at Graceland

And here is the bathroom featuring a terrific looking walk-in shower with a Kohler overhead rain shower and wall-mounted body spray that features 120 jets of water.

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There are four taxes added to the room rates – state tax, local tax, tourism tax, and occupancy tax – totaling another 21%. Man, everybody gets a cut. So that weeknight rate for the room without the courtyard view at $159 actually costs you $192. And the weekend rate with a view jumps from $219 to $265.

 

Two Bed Basic Room

However, if you take kids with you and want everyone to stay in the same room, you can get one with two queen-sized beds. You get an extra chair and a bigger night stand between the beds. On weeknights (Sun – Thurs) the rate is $189 plus the 21% taxes. Just like the one-bed room, add $30 for weekends, $20 for the view and $10 for connecting.

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There is one more goodie you can add to your room reservation. For $20 per person more, you can have the Breakfast Package. If that is supposed to save you something compared to just paying at the restaurant, meals must be pretty pricey at the Guest House.

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 A price break is available to all senior citizens, whether AARP members or not. It is just $7 for the rooms with one bed and $8 for the rooms with two, but it helps a little. You can also save $15 if you want the Advanced Deposit Rate. But, if you cancel your reservation, you get no refund. That extra $15 in the regular rate allows cancellation up to 6pm the day prior, so if you make your reservation many months in advance, this might be good insurance to have in case of unforeseen circumstances.

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In addition to the 430 regular rooms, there are nineteen specialty suites, eight of which are on the top floor called “The Upstairs,” a name inspired by the part of the Elvis’ mansion we aren’t allowed to see on the tour – Upstairs at Graceland.

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Next week we will take a look at these fabulous suites what kind of money it takes to stay in them.

 

Guest House at Graceland Logo

For more information on the Guest House, click here.  (Disreguard the lobby picture. omebody screwed up.  That is the one for Heartbreak Hotel.)  To make room reservations, click here.

 

© 2016 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 in Short Sleeves

EP Monogrammed Elvis Short Sleeve

There are lots of photos out there showing Elvis as a fashion icon.

Cool Elvis Out the Sun Roof

In fact, in March 2010, Graceland introduced a new exhibit called Elvis Presley: Fashion King. According to the press release at the time, it explores the fashion trends ushered in by the King of Rock & Roll.

Elvis Presley Fashion King Logo

 

The best fashion photos of Elvis came from his later years when he wore some stunning clothes. Even his casual wear during that period was notable.

Graceland Fashion King Exhibit

 

But in the fifties and early sixties, when Elvis dressed casually, he wore a number of short sleeve shirts with no particular fashion statement.

Elvis in Very Plain Short Sleeve

Not only did he wear short sleeve shirts, he rolled up the sleeves.

Elvis on Phone in Short Sleeves

 

Sullen Elvis in Short Sleeve

The top few buttons were almost always open.

Elvis with Short Sleeves Rolled up, Buttons Open, Collar Up

 

Elvis Signing Autographs Wearing Short Sleeve

There are a lot of photos of Elvis wearing this shirt.

Elvis WearingCustom Made Pink Gabardine Short Sleeve Shirt

When Elvis first started getting into stylish clothes, he went to Lansky Bros. in Memphis. This custom made Lansky shirt from 1956 sold for $2,925 at a 2013 Gotta Have It auction.

 

Elvis during Rehersal for Ed Sullivan Show

Elvis wore this shirt while rehearsing for the Ed Sullivan Show in 1956. It shows another common Elvis preference – the collar turned up.

 

Elvis Wearing Short Sleeve in Girls, Girls, Girls

Elvis had all of his favorite early shirt features going in this shot from Girls, Girls, Girls – rolled-up short sleeves, open buttons, and turned up collar.

Elvis in Plain Black Short Sleeve

But, he doesn’t have them here. Looks pretty plain for Elvis, doesn’t it?

 

60s Elvis in Short Sleeve 1

This is older Elvis in unusually conservative clothing. Still rolling up those sleeves, though.

 

Elvis in Short Sleeve Like a Regular Tourist

Elvis looks like he could be just another tourist in Hawaii in this shot.

Elvis Wearing Faux Suspenders Short Sleeve

This looks like faux suspenders to me.

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Elvis did make attempts to get some fashion elements into his short sleeve shirts with so-so results

Elvis in Jazzed Up Short Sleeve

Young Elvis in Decorative Short Sleeve

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However, there is one shirt that doesn’t look very sharp by itself, but it shines when a sport coat is added to the ensemble.

Short Sleeve Shirt Worn by Elvis while Singing Hound Dod on Milton Berle Show

 

Elvis Doing Hound Dog on Milton Berle Show

This is Elvis performing “Hound Dog” on the June 5, 1956 Milton Berle Show. If you don’t know all about how Elvis’ gyrations that night ignited a firestorm of protest, you need to brush up on your Elvis history

. Black rayon shirt with pink yoke worn by Elvis Presley on The Milton Berle Show on June 5, 1956

I don’t know if the other parts of Elvis’ outfit from that landmark performance still exist, but the shirt sold for $51,000 at the Julien’s Music Icons Auction in June 2010. Not bad for an ugly short sleeve shirt.

 

 

© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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So, How Much is an Elvis Autograph Worth? — Part 7

 

Elvis Handwritten & Signed Note to Charlie Hodge - Envelope Back

Elvis autographs keep showing up at rock and roll memorabilia auctions. I wonder how many times he signed his name on something over the course of his life. It must be many thousands, but bidders keep paying big bucks for his autographs. As before in this series, the value generally depends on what Elvis signed (plus the condition, of course). Here’s what sold at a Gotta Have It auction in November 2015 and a Heritage auction in February 2016.

 

Unreleased Photo (Shreveport, 1954-55):

Early Unreleased Elvis Photo (Shreveport, 1954-5)

This black and white snapshot was takenof Elvis backstage at the Municipal Auditorium in Shreveport, Louisiana during an early performance at the Louisiana Hayride. The auction website doesn’t say that this photo was shot on a Polaroid camera, but how else would the original owner be able to snap it and also get Elvis to sign it on the back? The size is tiny, just 2.25” X 3.25”, which sounds like the early Polaroid pictures..

Autographed Back of Early Unreleased Elvis Photo (Shreveport, 1954-5)

Elvis signed it in pencil. According to the auction website, the autograph was obtained by a young lady that Presley dated when he was in Shreveport. How do you like the way she glued cutout phrases to the photo: “My Babe”, “Memphis, Tennessee”, and “Elvis Presley”.

The winning bid of $2,375 has to be significantly due to the autograph being on a very rare, early picture. For less money, I would prefer a bigger picture with the autograph on front so it would display well.

 

Handwritten Song List for an RCA Recording Session:

Elvis Handwritten Song List for an RCA Recording Session

Elvis hand wrote this list of songs he wanted to use for an RCA recording session in Stax Studios in Memphis from July 20-25, 1973. It is written in black ballpoint pen on white paper.

Elvis' Album Raised on Rock

Four of the songs were released as A-sides or B-sides of singles. That left only six songs for the planned new album Raised on Rock, so three more were recorded in September in the living room of Elvis’ Palm Springs home.

Living Room of Elvis' Palm Springs House

While this song list is not technically an autograph, it contains a lot of printing by Elvis. It was certainly a popular item, generating ten bids and selling for $5,900.

 

Handwritten & Signed Note to Charlie Hodge:

Elvis Handwritten & Signed Note to Charlie Hodge

This also does not contain Elvis’ signature, but it has a printed message he wrote to Charlie Hodge plus Elvis’ initials in black ballpoint pen.

This is the front of a Hilton Hawaiian Village envelope presumably from November of 1972 when Elvis performed a show there. For some reason, Elvis also initialed the inside of the envelope flap as shown at the beginning of this article.

This item had just one bidder, but he was willing to part with $1,000 to get it.

 

Signed Black and White Image, Circa 1956:

Elvis Signed Black and White Image, Circa 1956

This appears to be a fan club-type insert, depicting a headshot of a serious Elvis with his name printed below on the lower left side. The inscription in green fountain pen ink on the left side reads “To Gina from Elvis Presley.” The photo is 8″ x 10″, and with the autograph on the front, it begs to be presented in a proper frame.

Even without a fancy presentation, it had six bids and went for $1,750.

 

Inscribed and Signed “The Prophet”:

Elvis Hand Annotated and Signed The Prophet

The auction website says this is Elvis’ personally owned copy of “The Prophet,” that he gave to Col. Parker’ assistant Tom Diskin. It is well known that this book was quite important to Elvis, so it is reasonable to question whether this is the original copy given to Elvis by columnist May Mann, or if it might be another copy he just bought for gift giving.

Elvis Hand Annotated and Signed The Prophet - Cover

Elvis inscribed the book to Tom Diskin when they were on the Paramount lot during the filming of a movie. The minimum bid was $2,500, but no one was willing to part with that much. Maybe prospective buyers shared the same doubts I had.

 

Signed Photos Taken at Tyler, Texas Concert in 1955:

Elvis Signed Photo (1955

The next two autographed photos were both taken at a Tyler, Texas concert on January 25, 1955. However, the results are different for them, and I can’t see the logic of it. Both photos were taken from the same close-up position and have similar Elvis autographs on the back.

Elvis' Autograph on Back of Photo (1955 -- Back

The pictures were taken at a travelling Louisiana Hayride show. They are both small, just 3”X 3”. This first one has two vertical creases at the left and right sides, some wear at the creases and edges, and a pinhole in the upper-left corner, with two more at the upper-right corner.

In spite of the small size and less than stellar condition, it still sold for $1,625.

Here is the other one.

Elvis Presley Signed Photo 1955 -- Front

Elvis Presley Signed Photo 1955

The photo is in better shape and the autograph doesn’t run off the edge like the first one. The minimum bid of $1,250 plus 25% auction house premium equals $1,562, which is $62 less than the first one went for. However, it received no bids. I don’t get it.

 

Previous Posts in this Series:

Part 6

Part 5

Part 4

Part 3

Part 2

Part 1

 

 

© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis and David Bowie

David Bowie and Elvis

David Bowie passed away yesterday at age 69 after an 18-month battle with cancer.

Back in 2009, I read that Bowie and Elvis shared the same birthday – January 8.  So, I Googled both names together to see if there were any other connections.  What came up was a website called The Ziggy Stardust Companion.  They listed a number of things connecting Elvis and David Bowie, and I decided to do an ElvisBlog article commenting on their points.  That article is reprinted below.

 

Elvisblog strives to bring you articles you won’t find on any other Elvis websites or blogs.  Certainly, that is accomplished with this topic discussing a connection between Elvis and David Bowie.  That can’t be possible, you say.  Well, there is one website that thinks there is a case to be made.  According to The Ziggy Stardust Companion, “David Bowie and Elvis Presley have many similarities, and Presley also served as inspiration for some aspects of the Ziggy Stardust phenomenon.”

For those of you who don’t know, Ziggy Stardust was a stage persona David Bowie assumed during concerts in the 70s.  I linked to the Ziggy website from Google Images, where I found this picture:

         

               

This is both sides of a 45RPM record (inside the paper sleeve) that RCA released in Thailand in the mid-70s.  “Space Oddity” was Bowie’s first hit, reaching #15 in the US, and who knows why RCA didn’t just use the original “B” side for its Thailand release.  Instead, they picked “Fool,” which was already an obscure Elvis “B” side on “Steamroller Blues,” his #17 hit in 1973. 

Elvis recorded with RCA from 1956 to 1977, and David Bowie was with RCA from 1973 to 1980.  Besides recording for the same company, here are some of the other similarities between Bowie and Elvis as stated on “The Ziggy Stardust Companion.”

They share the same birthday.  Elvis was born on January 8, 1935, and David Bowie was born on January 8, 1947.  This is an easily verified connection between the two performers.

Elvis and Bowie experimented and got into trouble with their hair styles in high school.  Well, we know Elvis wore his hair differently than his classmates, and if Bowie’s later preference in hair styles is any indication, he was a rebel in high school, too.

         

              

Bowie says that he first discovered the power of music when he saw his cousin get up and dance to Elvis’ “Hound Dog.”  Excuse me, but this hardly seems like a major connection between Elvis and David Bowie.

Bowie had his clothes designer Freddi Burretti copy Elvis’ jumpsuits for Bowie’s own use at Ziggy Stardust concerts.  Well, “copy” would be a stretch.  Perhaps “inspire” might be a better word.  Bill Belew and Gene Doucett never designed anything for Elvis like these Bowie/Ziggy jumpsuits.

                              

Bowie’s manager – Tony DeFries – was a big fan of Elvis’ manager Colonel Tom Parker and would quote from Parker’s book to anyone who would listen.  This is another pretty weak connection between Elvis and Bowie.  If it is true, I wonder if DeFries took a 50% cut of Bowie’s earnings, like the Colonel did with Elvis.

Tony DeFries used the announcement “David Bowie has left the building,” as was done for Elvis Presley concerts.  I have been unable to verify this, so I am skeptical.

The lightning bolt motif Bowie wore for the Aladdin Sane album cover was partly inspired by a ring that Elvis wore – which had a lightning bolt emblem along with the letters TCB.  Of course, Elvis was more famous for his TCB pendants than his ring, but that’s beside the point.  Do you really think Elvis’ lightning bolt inspired this?

         

                 

David Bowie was a big fan of Elvis.  At short notice, he crossed the Atlantic on a plane to attend an Elvis concert in New York in 1972, even though he had a strong fear of flying.  “The Ziggy Stardust Companion” printed this quote that Bowie made in 1996 concerning the Elvis concert he attended.

“[Elvis] was a major hero of mine. And I was probably stupid enough to believe that having the same birthday as him actually meant something. I came over for a long weekend. I remember coming straight from the airport and walking into Madison Square Garden very late. I was wearing all my clobber from the Ziggy period and had great seats near the front. The whole place just turned to look at me and I felt like a right idiot. I had brilliant red hair, some huge padded space suit and those red boots with big black soles. I wished I’d gone for something quiet, because I must have registered with him. He was well into his set.”

As he looked out from the stage and saw this freaky-looking character take his seat up front, I’m sure Elvis thought to himself, “Man, I’ve got a lot in common with this guy.”

 

©  2009    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    

 

Elvis-David Bowie Morphed

Elvis and David Bowie Morphed

One news report on Bowie’s death mentioned that he kept changing his appearance and personna and had several distinct successful careers.  In that reguard, he and Elvis had a direct parallel.  There was Elvis the young brash rocker in the 50s, Elvis the movie star in the 60s, and Elvis the record-breaking concert performer in the 70s.  I wonder why The Ziggy Stardust Companion missed that connection.

 

David Bowie in Costume

David Bowie was a unique entertainer.  He will be missed.  Goodbye David.  Say hi to Elvis for us.

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© 2016 Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister All Rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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Elvis Microphone Poop Bag Dispenser

Black Friday Starts Now

Did you get this email from ShopElvis.com on November 29? I also get promo messages from ShopGraceland.com, and between the two, they have sent me a dozen or more emails in the past month pushing Elvis products. If you look at their websites and scroll down to the end of each category, you can find things that make you say “why?”

I have been trying to come up with a Christmas / Elvis topic for the next ElvisBlog post, and as I surfed around looking for an idea, I came across my post from 2010 titled “Elvis and the Island of Misfit Gifts.” It was inspired by the animated holiday sequel “Rudolph & the Island of Misfit Toys.”

Island of Misfit Toys

The idea was that a lot of really stupid Elvis products have been introduced over the years and may have been given to some unfortunate Elvis fan as Christmas gifts. Click here to see the whole article, or check out some of the bad ones here:

Elvis for Dummies

Elvis Toilet Seat Covers

Elvis keyboard cleaner brush

Elvis & Nixon Snow Globes

Elvis Plush Doll

 

Since 2010 I have uncovered some additional dubious Elvis products.

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Elvis Cuckoo Clock:

Elvis Presley Collectible Cuckoo Clock

See the two little doors at the top of the clock? What could be more fun than seeing a tiny Elvis pop out every hour and sing a few notes?

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Bar Stool:

Elvis Bar Stool

This may not be as bad an idea as I thought originally. My picture was small, so I went to the internet to see if I could find a better one. What I found is that there are at least six different designs of Elvis bar stools, so these things must be fairly popular.

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Elvis Pot Holder:

Elvis Pot Holder

This looked like it might be from the 50s, so I checked the two websites to see if there are any modern Elvis potholders being sold. There were not, but ShopElvis offered this…

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Elvis Paper Towel Dispenser:

Elvis Paper Towel Rack

These things need a heavy base to work, and this one is wood. I think you’d knock it over every time you ripped off a sheet..

ShopGraceland also had no potholders, but they did have this…

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Elvis Signature Shot Glass in a Small Pink Caddy Base:

Elvis Shot Glass in a Pink Caddy Base

Wow, I gotta have one of these. There’s quite a variety of Elvis shot glasses offered, but this is the only one with a pink Caddy base.

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Russian Nesting Dolls:

Elvis Russian Nesting Doll Set

You can hours of fun opening up these and putting back together. Think I’ll pass.

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Elvis Toilet Paper:

Elvis Toilet Paper

Please, no. Pleeeeease, pleeeeeeease.

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As bad as Elvis toilet paper is, this beats it:

Elvis Dog Poop Bag Dispenser

We can thank ShopElvis for this wonderful present for the Elvis fan/dog owner on your Christmas gift list. And what a deal. It includes one FREE poop bag roll.

Elvis Dog Poop Bags

At least we can be thankful that Elvis’ image does not appear on the molded rubber dispenser case. You know, this might actually be a good Elvis collectible to purchase for future appreciation. The price goes up on rare Elvis items, and I don’t think there will be many of these sold.

 

© 2015 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.

 

Show Your Dog’s Inner Elvis this Halloween

Show Your Inner Elvis at Halloween

Did this offer from ShopElvis.com show up in your email inbox recently?  They’ve actually got some quality costumes available this year.  The gold lame suit goes for $190, the black female jumpsuit is $60, and the American Eagle jumpsuit is the top item at $250.

Elvis Adult Jumpsuit

This’s also a cheapo version of American Eagle that sells for $69 today, but as noted in a 2008 ElvisBlog article, it cost only $38 then.  Well, I guess inflation catches everything including Halloween Elvis jumpsuits.

 

Elvis Deluxe Costume Wig

This is the wig in the promo email.  It is called the Elvis Deluxe Costume Wig and sells for $30.  I love this the item description that says it is made of polyester, and that it has the feel of real hair.  What?

 

Elvis Rubber Costume Wig with Sideburns

This bottom of the line wig is one-piece rubber for $15.  Kind of like a shower cap with sideburns.  As bad as that sounds, I did an article on Elvis wigs back in 2007 that showed some real losers (admittedly, not from ShopElvis).

 

Bad Elvis Halloween Wig

How would you like to go to a Halloween party wearing this one?

 

Horrible Elvis Halloween Wig

Oh, please!!

 

Of course, some folks like to dress up their dogs for Halloween.  And there are websites where you can buy Elvis wigs and costumes for dogs.

K9 Chic Elvis Dog

Doesn’t Rover look cute?

 

100Genius Costumes

Yes sir, this is genius, all right.

100 Genius Costumes Elvis Dog

Interesting placement of the sunglasses.

 

Costume Craze

Looks like they covered all elements of iconic Elvis regalia on this dog. Wait, no oversize belt and buckle?

Costume Craze Dog Elvis

 

Lots more dogs in Elvis wigs and costumes show up on the web, but not at sites that that have them for sale.  Maybe they are homemade.  Here are some of the better ones.

 

Brown Elvis Wig

Seems like this wig should be blacker.

 

Dog in Elvis Costume in front of Mic

The owner of these dogs went to some real trouble to stage this shot.  Unfortunately, it looks more like Roy Orbison than Elvis.

 

Elvis Dog 5 Best

This dog looks like he’s really thrilled to be dressed up like Elvis.

 

Standing Dog Elvis with Guitar

Another staged shot.  He really deserves a doggie treat after putting up with this.

 

Hound Dog with Elvis wig

This is my favorite.  You ain’t nothin’ but an Elvis…

 

 

©  2015    Philip R Arnold, Original Elvis Blogmeister    All Rights Reserved    www.ElvisBlog.net

 

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