Monthly Archives: April 2008

ODD ELVIS WEBSITES — 3

Cruising through the Internet is one of my favorite ways of finding ideas for ElvisBlog columns.  I doubt that there are many websites devoted totally to Elvis that I haven’t visited at least once.  But, I have a special joy in finding other sites with just some Elvis content, and often it is pretty strange.  I bookmark them, so I can share them with you from time to time.

 

 

Elvis Shot JFK – We Have Proof:  This site is 100% tongue-in-cheek, and contains some interesting elements.  I like the disclaimer at the bottom that says, “This web page is best viewed… while on prescribed doses of Prozac, Lithium and Valium.  Check out the letter that supposedly shows the startling similarities between Elvis and JFK, or the one were the writer talks about putting on his aluminum foil cap to keep the alien beta-waves from causing further brain damage.

http://www.jokewallpaper.com/elvisshotjfk/

 

Elvis Effigies:  I don’t think effigies is the right word here, but this website certainly has an eclectic assortment of Elvis images, and most seem to be made by Elvis fans.  Elvis has been depicted many ways, but this is the first time I’ve seen him done with balloon art.

http://www.shsclassof1956.org/ElvisEffigies.htm

 

Elvis Guns for Sale (Maybe):  I discovered this site back in November 2007, so I was surprised that these guns Elvis used to own are still available for sale five months later.  If you are interested in finding out, click on Home, and scroll down to the contact information.

http://www.famousfirearms.com/_wsn/page3.html

 

Mickey Mouse in an Elvis Jumpsuit:  Here is a joint offer from Disney and EPE, and it looks pretty good for $20.  Thanks to Photoshop, we have seen everybody else in an Elvis jumpsuit, so why not Mickey Mouse?

http://www.collectiblestoday.com/ct/product/prdid-901529001.jsp?elvis+mickey/_prod/_16&endeca=true&abbr=hm#

 

38 Women Elvis Dated:  It figures that a website named “Who’s Dated Who?” would have a pretty good section on Elvis Presley.  There are quite a few women they say Elvis ‘hooked up with” who I have never heard of.  No proof is offered, so take it with a grain of salt.

http://www.whosdatedwho.com/celebrities/people/dating/elvis-presley.htm\

 

Elvis Does Some Self-Promotion in Sweetwater, TX:  This is a six-year-old web column from Don Aly’s Celebrity Scene.  Aly is a freelance journalist with past experience in motion picture promotion.  In this article, he reminisces about Elvis performing in his hometown in 1954.  I especially like the part about Elvis going from car to car at a drive-in hamburger joint promoting himself while “That’s All Right” played on the PA system.

http://www.donaly.com/don_alys_column5.html

 

Elvis Bootleg Albums — The Bottom of the Barrel:  When this site opens, your first impulse may be to get out quickly.  The two photos at the top of the home page of El Buncho’s Sound Dungeon aren’t very appealing, and neither is most of the content.  However, if you scroll quickly about 2/3 of the way down, you will spot a picture of a bootleg Elvis album with a title I won’t repeat here.  The concept is totally gross, presumably because the album is a collection of the worst songs Elvis ever recorded.  I’ve never seen a copy of this mess, but if you are curious and not easily offended, check it out. (Note to the male readers: I’ll bet something will catch your eye as you scroll down, and you will stop and look at it.  I do have this album.)

http://sounddungeon.blogspot.com/

 

Tag Team Match – The Oprahs versus The Elvii:  I would imagine very few of you readers ever watched Celebrity Death Match on cable TV.  It was an animated show pairing two celebrities in a no-holds-barred fight, and it was pretty crude and very violent.  Two courtside announcers provided verbal humor ((sort-of) with their commentary.  Well, there is an Internet version called WWWF Grudge Match.  There is no animation, just the text of the announcers’ commentary.  For 248 matches, the fans could vote for the winner, but the function has now been retired.  Most fights had just two combatants, but this one has both fat and skinny Oprah Winfrey and fat and skinny Elvis in a tag team match.  At least check it out to see if the Elvii came out on top.

http://www.grudge-match.com/History/elvii-oprahs.shtml

 

©   2008   Philip R Arnold   All rights Reserved   www.ElvisBlog.net

PRISCILLA PRESLEY AND DANCING

Sadly, Priscilla has been voted off the island – or, more accurately, off the dance floor.  She put up the good fight on Dancing With The Stars and lasted until the fifth night of competition, but a couple of slips last Monday did her in.  I will leave it to others to argue whether the judges were looking for a way to vote her off, or if they showed favoritism to Marlee Matlin because of her hearing disability, or if Louis van Amstel made a poor choice for their dance routine.  We probably all agree with those who state that Priscilla’s five-week resume of performances was superior to that of Jason, Marissa, and Christian, all of whom will come back next week. 

 

However, I will say one thing.  That split by a 62-year-old-woman was absolutely amazing!!!  It will be a long time before we will ever see another dancer eligible for Social Security do something like that.   Maybe there ought to be a Seniors Division, like in golf.  Priscilla would be their superstar.

 

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In last week’s column, I made reference to her history of ballet lessons.  Realizing that I was drawing on a hazy memory, I decided to go back and re-read Priscilla’s book “Elvis and Me.”  It has probably been fifteen years since my first reading, and it was just as enjoyable the second time.  Here’s what I found about Priscilla’s dancing history.
 
In 1963, she was 18-years-old and had just received her high school diploma:  “I had no real goals after graduation, but I did sometimes dream of becoming a dancer.”  Those dreams apparently did not get fulfilled until five years later when Elvis and Priscilla had been married for a few months.
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While writing in her book about events in 1968, Priscilla said:  “We returned to Los Angeles, where Elvis was filming Live A Little, Love A Little… I started searching for dance classes to enroll in.  I looked through the local Yellow Pages until one class caught my attention, a school for jazz and ballet not far from home.  The studio was small and unpretentious… Still too shy to dance in front of a group, I wanted to wait until I was sure I could keep up with the older dancers before taking a class.  I began taking private lessons three times a week… I was soon doing lifts and jumps, things I’d never thought I could accomplish.  He [the studio owner] said I had the potential to be a good dancer, and he pushed me to the limit.  Out of frustration and pain, I would want to quit.  Demanding that I continue, he told me I was building character and forced me to repeat the same routine until it was nearly perfected.  This made me realize that I could go farther than I’d ever dreamed… I was accomplishing something.  For the first time I was creating, feeling good about myself, and couldn’t wait to get to class each day…dancing was becoming my life; I was obsessed with it.”
 
Later in 1968 while Elvis was preparing for the Comeback Special, Priscilla wrote:  “In his absence I was taking care of Lisa in addition to attending dance classes in the morning, ballet in the early evening, and two jazz classes at night, lasting often until one in the morning.  I was now studying with a new dance instructor, who was using me to give demonstrations for the evening classes.  Many of the students were professional dancers.  I had diligently worked my way into the company, rehearsing four hours every day to master new steps, constantly pushing myself to new limits, and eventually I was to take a place in the dance company, anonymously performing shows on weekends at colleges in the L.A. area.”
 
This gives us a sense of just how much Priscilla achieved in her dance training.  You’ve got to be pretty good to be giving demonstrations to professional dancers.  What really amazes me are those dance company shows she performed in anonymously.  What do you think Elvis would have done if he had ever found out about them?  My bet is that he would have pulled her out of that dance company in a heartbeat.  Other passages in Priscilla’s book make it very clear that Elvis wouldn’t stand for any other men to be watching his wife’s body intently.
 
The last reference to dancing in Priscilla’s book was:  “I was still there to tend to his [Elvis’] needs, as he wanted his wife to be, while also creating my own world, no longer intimidated by the magnitude of his.  I was growing, learning, and expanding as an individual.”
 
I think we can all agree that Priscilla’s experience on Dancing With The Stars enabled her to grow, learn, and expand even more.  Well done. Priscilla.
 
©  2008   Philip R Arnold   All Rights Reserved   www.ElvisBlog.net

 

PRISCILLA, ELVIS, and CHUCK NORRIS

For the past several weeks, I have been watching Dancing With The Stars and rooting for Priscilla Presley.  Give the woman some credit.  She is sixty-two years old and has already out-danced four other competitors.  It did get a little hairy last Tuesday when she came in next-to-last, but the week before Priscilla and partner earned the second-highest score by the panel of judges.  It looks like Kristi Yamaguchi would have to screw up big time not to win this thing, but Priscilla is already a winner in my book.

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Priscilla and her Dancing With The Stars partner


How does a woman of her age hang in there against folks so much younger?  Perhaps all those ballet lessons she took during her years with Elvis provided some help.  Maybe she did very well in ballet, and that gave her confidence that she could master the other dances required for the TV competition.  Perhaps another thing that helped Priscilla was her karate training, with all that emphasis on focus and discipline.  Certainly, plenty of both are required for Dancing With The Stars.
 
Did you know that Priscilla started her karate training with none other than Chuck Norris?  In the early 70s, Priscilla was living in Beverly Hills, and Norris had his martial-arts studio in nearby Sherman Oaks.  They had been introduced at a karate tournament by Ed Parker, the man Elvis trained under at the time.  In an article in WorldNetDaily last year, Norris told this story: “Priscilla called me to say she wanted to study karate with me.  I asked her why she didn’t study with Ed, to which she replied, ‘Ed can’t teach me because he is Elvis’ private trainer as well as his personal bodyguard.’”
 
However, there is a different account given by an associate of Ed Parker, Al Tracy, on his website www.tracyskarate.com. According to Tracy, both Elvis and Priscilla were private students of Ed Parker, and both by preference wore black Gis (uniforms).  “As fate would have it, Ed Parker went to Hawaii on vacation, which left Priscilla with no private lessons from Ed.  Because Priscilla wanted to continue training during Ed’s vacation, she decided to attend a class run by one of Ed Parker’s senior students.”
Well, this substitute instructor apparently was more hung up than his boss about one of the karate traditions — only instructors were allowed to wear black uniforms.  When Priscilla arrived for class, she was informed that she could not attend wearing a black uniform.  She was then told she was more than welcome to attend class if she wore a white uniform.  So, do you think Priscilla said, “OK, sell me a white uniform.”?  No way.  She dropped out of Ed Parker’s studio and immediately contacted Chuck Norris.
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Although Elvis did not train under Chuck Norris, the two did have some contact.  Priscilla invited Norris and Bob Wall (his karate studio partner) to Las Vegas to see Elvis perform at the Hilton Hotel.  Norris later commented, “I’ll never forget sitting in the front booth with Priscilla at that dinner show and being captivated by his charisma and showmanship… No one can doubt Elvis’ musical and theatrical genius, creativity, and magnetism as a performer.” 
We all know Elvis incorporated some karate moves into his live shows, but he must have really done it big time that night with Chuck Norris in the audience.  Norris was moved to say, “I’ll never forget seeing him perform in Las Vegas, where he kicked, punched, postured and even did splits holding his guitar in his hand.”
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After the show, Elvis invited Norris up to his suite, and what do you guess they talked about until 4:00 in the morning?  It wasn’t music.  Of course, it was martial arts.  Norris remembers, “I was impressed with his self defense insight and devotion.”
 
Norris obviously watched most of Elvis’ films, because he has noted the influence of karate in the following movies (in the fight scenes, I assume):  G.I. Blues, Wild In The Country, Blue Hawaii, Kid Galahad, Follow That Dream, Double Trouble, Harum Scarum, and Flaming Star.
 
Perhaps you are familiar with those Chuck Norris Facts that seemed to be all over the Internet a few years ago.  If not, they are essentially little jokes based on what a super-tough badass he is.  Here’s an example:  Chuck Norris tried to shoot himself, but the bullet was too scared to come out of the barrel.  So, I’ve been trying to come up with similar Elvis Facts, based on the old rumors that he didn’t really die in 1977.  Here’s what I’ve come up with so far.
 
    Elvis had a two way mirror installed at Graceland so he could
    watch all the fans come by on the tours.
 
    The security cameras at the Graceland Car Museum are turned
    off at midnight, so Elvis can take the pink Caddy out for a spin.
 
    Elvis is the secret cook at the Graceland Crossing restaurant
    that serves peanut butter and nanner sandwiches.  When one
    is ordered, he makes two more for himself.
 
If you can think of any more, please click on Leave Comment and share them with us.
 
©  2008   Philip R Arnold   All rights Reserved   www.ElvisBlog.net

Fun With Elvis on Photoshop — 2

Last week, we got serious and did a historical piece on Elvis’ most significant ancestor.  According to my wife, it was too serious — and boring.  She likes all the fun stuff I put in ElvisBlog.  So, this week, we are going back to fun – fun with Elvis on Photoshop..  It’s too late to give proper credit to all the clever people who created these things and put them on the web for me to borrow.  When I added them to My Pictures, I failed to note where they came from —  but thank you all, anyway.

 

Let’s start with a nifty image of what Elvis would look like if he had lived to be an old man.  He still looks very handsome, doesn’t he?  Vernon kept his full head of hair into old age, so Elvis may well have turned out like this.  Looks like he could still beat the crap out of the bad guys in a movie, doesn't he?

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Here’s a type of composite picture that wasn’t featured the first time we looked at Elvis treatments in Photoshop.  There is a large photo of young Elvis, plus a smaller shot of older Elvis in his jumpsuit standing on top of the marquee of the International Hotel in Las Vegas.
 
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One of the most common themes last time was Elvis' head on other peoples' bodies.  Here's one I like:  Indiana Presley.
 
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Well, if we can have Elvis as a movie character, why not Elvis as a TV character?
 
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He's got the pointy ears, so this must be Elvis as Mr. Spock.  I would rather see him as Captain Kirk.  Then DJ Fontana could be Spock, Scotty Moore could be Dr. McCoy, and Col. Parker could be some mutant space alien.
 
The reverse treatment is fun, too.  Last time, we saw a number of politicians' heads replacing Elvis in jumpsuit shots.  Here's what Governor Arnold Schwartzenegger looks like.  “Thank you.  Thank you, very much.  I'll be back.”
 
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Who do you think looks better in a jumpsuit — Arnold or Vladimir Putin?
 
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A theme we looked at last time was Elvis' image altered in some manner.  We had a melting Elvis picture then, and here is another one now.  I think this is so clever.
 
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Here's another Elvis image with a different twist.  I call it Swirling Elvis.
 
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And finally, here is my favorite altered Elvis.  Just immagine if Elvis was a 20-year-old today and performed the popular music of the times.  We might have Rapper Elvis.
 
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Elvis In the hood!  How do they think up this stuff?
 
 
(C)  2008   Philip R Arnold  All Rights Reserved   www.ElvisBlog.net
 
Elvis, Elvis Presley, and Graceland are registered trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises, inc.