Monthly Archives: September 2009

Postscripts to Earlier ElvisBlogs — 3

It’s starting to look like Postscripts will be an ElvisBlog feature every three months or so.  New stuff keeps popping up that relates to old columns.  That is likely to happen now with over 300 articles posted since February, 2005.  It would have been nice to know about these items back when I did the original writing, but it’s also fun to go over them here.  Plus, where it is appropriate, I’ll go back into the archives and add any new photos to the old article.


An Elvis T-Shirt in Braille:

Back in July, 2008, I posted a column on my 15 favorite Elvis T-shirts.  If this one had been available then, the list would have increased to 16.  This is a real T-shirt, not a joke, but I don’t know how many people who read it will know that is Braille spelling Elvis on front (unless they get real close and see (elvis) in small print.  And blind people can’t use their fingers to read it, because the dots are printed on, not embroidered or something where you can feel it.  Anyway, this is a clever, unusual idea.


Elvis in the Funny White Hat, Again:

Just last week, I posted a photo of Elvis in a floppy white hat, and I mentioned that there were other pictures out there showing him wearing the hat in different scenes.  Well, how about this one?  We can’t see who the woman is, but Linda Thompson does appear in one of the other white hat pictures.


Another Aid for Hosting the Perfect Elvis Party:

Three weeks ago, we looked at, which has decorations, games, recipes, puzzles and everything else Elvis fans could want.  Well, now we find that there is also a kit titled, “Host Your Own Elvis Night Tribute Party.”  Included is an audio CD with Elvis Karaoke sing-alongs and Elvis memorabilia/trivia games.  But my favorite item in the party kit is “tips to turn your house into Graceland’s Jungle Room.”   You can get yours for just $19 at



How To Make A Painting of Elvis Using Crushed Cheese Puffs:

Last month, one of the features in “Mixed Media Elvis Art” was a portrait made from Cheese Puffs.  Recently, I discovered a U-Tube video showing how the artist, EclecticAsylumArt, did it.





A Super Memento from Elvis’ Last Concert:

Three months ago we looked at Elvis’ last concert on June 26, 1977, at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.  The article mentioned a time capsule erected on the site, and one of the articles a fan donated to put in it.  It was a scarf Elvis threw to her during the concert.  I wonder if it was autographed like this one:


Elvis and Nipper:

An article from May, 2008, took a look at a review of Elvis’ first live concert appearance in Los Angeles on October 28, 1957, by LA Mirror-News entertainment editor Dick Williams.  Williams titled his review, “6000 KIDS CHEER ELVIS' FRANTIC SEX SHOW,” and he made the ridiculous assertion that “Elvis writhed in complete abandon, hair hanging down over his face.  He got down on the floor with a huge replica of the RCA singing dog and made love to it as if it were a girl.”  Months later, I found a photo of Nipper (the RCA dog) and went back and added it to the article.  Here is another one I will be adding.



Better Photo of TCB Band Member John Wilkinson:

Back in May, I campaigned for all members of the TCB Band to be enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the Sideman category.  Guitarist James Burton has been a member of the Rockhall since 2001, so drummer Ronnie Tutt, piano player Glen D. Hardin, bassist Jerry Scheff and rhythm guitarist John Wilkinson should be recognized as well. I illustrated the article with photos of Elvis with each of the band members.  Unfortunately, the only one I had of John Wilkinson was dark and fuzzy.  This one is much better.

Elvis and Michael Jackson Spotted in Hiding Together?:

As mentioned twice previously, I’m not crazy about having the count of visitors to ElvisBlog swelled by Michael Jackson fans linking from Google.  However, there are lots of MJ fans that keep wanting to know about him and Lisa Marie, a subject I covered in an article back on June 28, 2009.

Also, I don’t really like the “Elvis is still alive and living incognito” thing anymore.  It was fun for a few years after his death, but now it is just silly.  However, some clever person came up with a picture that really made me laugh.  I will delete this one pretty soon, before the Michael Jackson fans start linking to it.



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



Congratulations to Betsy Harris for the winning caption.  There will be a new contest next week.


Hey, ditch that guitar and get me some towels.

Pick The Better Elvis Image


For almost two months, Google searches about Lisa Marie and Michael Jackson made a June 26 article I wrote about them more popular than any other story on ElvisBlog.  Then, two weeks ago, order was restored when a favorite old article featuring Elvis photos moved back into first place.  Although it’s been nice having all those Michael Jackson fans check in, this blog is written for Elvis fans.

So, here is another photo spread similar to the one you Elvis fans like.  Let’s look at two variations of some interesting topics.  See which on you like best.

Wild Sunglasses:


The upside-down glasses come from the filmed rehearsal footage taken for “That’s the Way It Is.”  You can see Elvis wearing them like this in the video.

Water Sports:


Elvis had a pretty tight body when he was young.  What do you think, girls, good-looking legs?


Elvis/Mickey Mouse:


Well, you can have Mickey in an Elvis jumpsuit, or you can have Elvis in Mickey Mouse ears.

Funny Hats:


Several photos of Elvis in that white hat show up on the internet, including one of him and Linda Thompson on a motorcycle. 


Altered Archeological Treasures:


The Photoshop folks did a good job on Michelangelo’s statue of David.  My wife and I saw the real thing in Florence last year, and he could have used a guitar to cover up his goodies.



What surprises me is that I haven’t found any similar pictures of Elvis as Captain Marvell Jr.  Elvis had a significant connection to him, and none for Superman that I know of.

Elvis and Jesus:


It sure looks like something is shooting out of Elvis’ finger — like he is smiting somebody with his wrath.  This is probably in bad taste, so if anyone is offended, I’m sorry.


Retro Movie Stills:


After all the fine-looking women Elvis had in his movies, Barbra Streisand would be a big comedown.  Let Kris Kristofferson have her.  

Worst Looking Elvis Tribute Artist:


Have you ever seen worse bling on an Elvis Tribute Artist than the guy on the left?  That is a string of little plastic junk.  It’s hard to pick what is the worse part of the guy on the right, but I guess I’ll take the hair.


Shadowy Images:


I really like these two pictures.  Elvis’ face is so distinctive and well-known that it doesn’t take much for us to recognize him.


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



Last week I predicted that Cirque du Soleil’s new Elvis show in Las Vegas would be called either “E” or “TCB.”  It looks like that was a bad guess.  According to Steve Friess on his website, the name will be “Viva Elvis.”  Although he says he found this out from the show’s creator-director, he did additional detective work to verify his scoop.  He checked with a registry of website domain names and found out that Cirque du Soleil owns these three:

So, I think Mr. Freiss may be right.  Cirque du Soleil is keeping quiet about the name, but it seems pretty likely it will be “Viva Elvis.”  EPE has to be pleased with that.  They weren’t too happy when the Viva Viagra ads appeared on TV, using rewritten lyrics to the Elvis’ signature song “Viva Las Vegas”.  This is a good way to reclaim the Viva connection to Elvis.

Here is a shot of the theater at the Aria Hotel Casino where “Viva Elvis” will be performed.


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

Elvis Commentary Mini-Nuggets — # 15


A Name Suggestion for Cirque du Soleil:  While researching the upcoming Cirque show celebrating Elvis, I noticed something about the six permanent Cirque shows in Las Vegas.  They all have one-word (or one-letter) names.


So, you have to figure they will stay with that theme when they name the Elvis production.  I have two suggestions: “E” and “TCB.”  If they already have on “O,” why not an “E”?  That was, after all, what Elvis’ best buddies called him. Seems like a pretty good title for a show that celebrates his life.

Of course, “TCB” stands for Taking Care of Business, which has become synonymous with Elvis.  And, it already has a ready-made logo with Elvis’ design of the famous pendant.  I’ll stick my neck out and predict Cirque du Soleil will choose either “E” or “TCB” as the name of their new Elvis show in Las Vegas.  If you have any good suggestions, add them using Comments below.

The Real Guitar Man:  Country music star Jerry Reed died just over a year ago.  You may know he wrote two songs Elvis recorded:  “U.S. Male” and “Guitar Man.”  There is a good story about why Reed also played the guitar part on the latter.  The studio musicians were unable to duplicate the sounds Reed had laid down on his own earlier recording of “Guitar Man.”  Producer Felton Jarvis advised Elvis, “Well. You’re gonna have to get Reed in here to play on it, then.  He’s a fingerpicker, and these guys don’t have any idea what he’s doing because he does all this weird stuff, anyway.  He tunes them strings so weird.”

After Reed was quickly summoned to the Nashville studio, he turned the E-string down and the B-string up and nailed the intro in his easily identifiable personal style.

Elvis Column Takes Back Most Popular Spot From Michael Jackson:  On July 28, I posted an article titled “Michael Jackson and Lisa Marie.”  I knew his death that day would pique people’s interest, so I assumed the article would do well on Google and bring lots of hits to ElvisBlog.  Boy, was that right.  For the next two months, more folks linked to the site because of that article than any other.  After a while, this started to bother me, because ElvisBlog was created for Elvis fans, not Michael Jackson fans.  Finally, on August 26, order was restored and an old Elvis article took back the top spot as the favorite ElvisBlog article.  It was “Another Chance to Vote on Elvis Images,” originally posted on June 29, 2008.  I think I’ll do a Part 2 on that topic and see if we can push Michael Jackson even farther down the list.

We Missed Col. Parker’s 100th Birthday:  One thing very big in Elvisworld is the celebration of anniversaries.  For example, the 50th anniversary of his first recording, or the 40th anniversary of the ’68 Comeback Special.  Graceland uses the anniversaries to draw more visitors, magazines cover them right on schedule, and ElvisBlog uses them as inspirations for new stories.  So, how did I miss the 100th anniversary of Col. Parker’s birthday?  Maybe, I just didn’t care.  Nobody else did either, it seems.  (For the record, he was born on June 26, 1909).

Elvis’ manager was never a real Colonel, and his real name was not Tom Parker.  He was born Andreas van Kujik, and he illegally immigrated to the USA from Holland at age seventeen. He quickly joined the US Army (Can you do that when you’re an illegal alien?).  

After leaving the Army, he took the name of a commanding officer, Tom Parker.  Sixteen years later, he was well established as Tom Parker and was promoting Country singer Eddy Arnold, when he got Governor Jimmy Davis of Louisiana to give him the honorary title of “Colonel.” 

Here’s a short story that is so typical of Col. Parker.  When Elvis toured Canada in 1957, Parker sold “I Love Elvis” buttons to the adoring fans.  However, there were plenty of Elvis detracters around, so he covered all bases by selling “I Hate Elvis” buttons, too.

Just Plain Ol’ Elvis:  As filming began in 1961 on the movie “Kid Galahad,” Elvis’ buddies presented him with a director’s chair.  Stamped on the back was Mr. Presley.  Elvis hated the formality of it, even though the Director assured him that it was “only the best for our star.”  Elvis wanted to be treated like one of the boys, and the chair destroyed that image.  Soon, a new chair replaced it.  In bold print on the bright red canvas back were the words JUST PLAIN OL’ ELVIS.  He liked that one a lot.

I Stand Corrected:  Back on December 7, 2008, I posted this in Elvis Commentary Mini-Nuggets # 13:

Frank Sinatra Quotes about Elvis:  Look how Frank Sinatra changed his opinion of Elvis over the years.

1956 – “His kind of music is deplorable, a rancid smelling aphrodisiac.  It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people.”

1977 – “There have been many accolades uttered about Elvis’ talent and performances over the years, all of which I agree wholeheartedly.  I shall miss him dearly as a friend.  He was a warm, considerate and generous man.”

The comparison was intended to provide a little ironic humor, but it appears I may have been guilty of spreading mis-facts about Elvis on the internet.  My friend and fellow Elvis blogger Alan Hanson called me on this in his August 13 article on  He presents a pretty good case that the 1956 quote was not accurate.  Alan backed up his assessment by reproducing two paragraphs of Frank Sinatra quotes from the October 28, 1957, edition of the Los Angeles Mirror News.  Here is a portion of that:

“…Naturally I refer to the bulk of rock ’n’ roll.  It fosters almost totally negative and destructive reactions in young people… It is sung, played and written for the most part by cretinous goons… this rancid-smelling aphrodisiac I deplore.”

So, Sinatra actually slammed all of Rock & Roll.  I guess he gave Elvis a pass and didn’t include him with those cretinous goons.

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

Psyched About Cirque


Last weekend I watched a 90-minute special on one of the cable channels.  It was called All Together Now, and it was the story behind the creation of Cirque du Soleil’s Las Vegas show called “Love.”  If you don’t already know, “Love” is based on the music of the Beatles.


I have seen two Cirque du Soleil shows, one in Vegas and one here at home.  Both were great, so count me in as a fan.  I’ve also been a Beatles fan for 45 years, so the combination of Cirque du Soleil and the Beatles got me psyched when ”Love” was announced a few years ago.”  Watching the documentary just reminded me how badly I wanted to see it.  Unfortunately, the chances of me seeing it any time soon are nil.


Now, there’s another Cirque show coming to Las Vegas that I’m going to miss out on.  It is their newest creation, based on Elvis’ life and music, and tentatively set to open on January 8, 2010, after several weeks of private showings.  It doesn’t have a name yet, but it does have a website,


The show will take place in a brand new hotel, Aria, a key component of the fabulous multistructure CityCenter.   It is on the site formerly occupied by the budget Boardwalk Hotel and other structures.


If you look at the map below, there is an open lot on the North side of the strip.  That’s where Aria is.  To the left is Monte Carlo, followed by New York, New York, Excalibur and Luxor.  To the right are Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace and Mirage.  Right across the street are Aladdin and Paris, and the green X marks the MGM Grand.  So, the Elvis show will be right in the middle of the best part of the strip.

I think it must be a far greater challenge for Cirque du Soleil to build a show around Elvis music than it was with Beatles music.  So many of the Beatles songs are made-to-order for Cirque interpretation.  How about just the title of “An Octopus’s Garden?”  I’ll bet those Cirque producers didn’t hesitate for a minute to put that one on the list of 26 songs in the show.  How about “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds,” with lyrics like “tangerine trees and marmalade skies” or “cellophane flowers of yellow and green.”  If you were a creative person at Cirque, wouldn’t you love to create a production around that, or “Strawberry Fields Forever,” or “Sgt. Pepper?”

And it’s not just the titles or lyrics of Beatles songs that lend themselves to a Cirque production.  There is also the music, the instrumentation.  During the late 60s, the Beatles explored new sonic territory and produced trippy kaleidoscopes of sound.  In albums like Revolver, The White Album, Abbey Road and Sgt. Pepper, the Beatles were at the forefront of the new music for the psychedelic era.  They pushed the envelope with unheard of levels of fearless experimentation.  And the results were superb.

So far, the song list for the Cirque du Soleil Elvis show has not been announced.  Unlike the Beatles, the Elvis library of songs doesn’t supply many that are tailor-made for Cirque interpretation.  I love Elvis music as much as anybody, but you have to admit that his song topics and lyrics are not enough to build this kind of show around.  Elvis’ instrumentation is solid but not whimsical, and Cirque de Soleil is all about whimsy.

So, it is no surprise that the advance press releases point out that the Cirque Elvis show will celebrate his life and his music.  Elvis’ life was such a long and varied journey.  You can easily think of the parts of the Elvis timeline that Cirque will feature:  Sun records, early touring around the South, Milton Berle and Ed Sullivan TV shows, Army service, movies, ’68 Comeback Special, Aloha from Hawaii, the jumpsuit years.  Vincent Patterson, the director of the Elvis production, said that first he decided on the sections of Elvis’ life to cover, and then he found the songs that were appropriate for each section.

I suspect that one way he will tell his Elvis story is by using a feature I noticed at both Cirque shows I watched.  Images are shown on a gauzy fabric screen stretched across the stage, while live performers do their thing behind it or in front of it, or both.  Here is a look at how it is done in the Beatles’ “Love.”

Cirque du Soleil says it will present an abstract biography with little sparks of who Elvis was.  This includes showing the relationship between Elvis and his mother and between him and Col. Parker.  I can’t imagine what song they will pick for the Parker segment.

Director Patterson also says their Elvis show will be bold, sexy, energetic, funny and fantastic.  I’m sure it will.  I just hope I don’t have to wait five years to see it.

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