Last week, in honor of ElvisBlog‘s 10th birthday, we looked at old articles originally posted at the beginning of each new year. That took us up to 2009. Here’s the next five.
Fifth Birthday: Postscripts to Earlier ElvisBlogs – 6, January 30, 2010
It’s been four months since the last Postscripts, and lots of interesting photos have cropped up that relate to earlier blogs. Here’s a look at several of them. Click on the titles below to see the original columns.
Elvis Birthday Cakes: Three weeks ago, we looked at Elvis birthday cakes, including the one presented to him on the set of King Creole when he turned 23 in 1958. Elvis was also filming a movie on January 8, 1961, when he turned 26. Here is Elvis and the cake, along with costar Hope Lang, during the filming of Wild in the Country.
More NodNiks: Back in December, we zoomed in on the heads of various Elvis figurines, bobbleheads and Christmas ornaments available at www.ShopElvis.com. I was not particularly charmed by the two NodNiks, mainly because their marshmallow-shaped heads looked kind of stupid to me. However, the promo text said they were the next big thing with young collectors. Perhaps this isn’t just wishful thinking. Certainly, they will have better success with these other choices.
Giant Elvis Pez: In that same blog article, I stated that my favorite little Elvis collectible was Jumpsuit Elvis Pez from the three-pack gift tin. However, not all Elvis Pezes (Pez Elvises?) are small. How about a three-foot tall Giant Elvis Pez? The one on the right is available in the Cirque du Soleil Viva Elvis gift shop in Las Vegas. The one with the TCB shield actually has a chip in it that plays an Elvis song.
Mixed Media Elvis Art: Back in August, we looked at Elvis Images constructed of various unusual materials. Google Images picked up several of them, and the Elvis bust made of matchsticks has brought many folks to ElvisBlog. Now we have a similar bust made from colored matchsticks:
The same article contained an Elvis Statue made entirely of butter. Since then, we have found another Elvis butter statue which includes a hound dog. To keep this fair and balanced, here is a butter statue of Michael Jackson and his pet chimp.
Again, in that old article, we looked at two Elvis images done on toast. One was scratched out on one piece of toast; the other contained hundreds of pieces. Here is one in between with Elvis’ face on thirty pieces of toast.
Elvis M&M Ornament for Christmas: Prior to Christmas 2008, we looked at the wide variety of Elvis M&M Christmas tree ornaments that were available. Now, the selection is even better, expanding to free-standing models. Here is “A Little M Conversation” M&M Elvis. Sorry to be a critic, but what’s with the eyebrows up on the top of the head? Kind of looks like Groucho Marx hair, doesn’t it? And what’s that thing he is holding in his left hand? At $20, I’ve got to pass on this one.
Pick the Better Elvis Image: Last fall, this article contained two Photoshopped pictures depicting Elvis as Superman. Here’s one more with young Elvis as Superboy. I still don’t know why nobody has done Elvis as Captain Marvel Jr., who was the super hero that young Elvis admired so much:
Look at all the things Elvis copied from Captain Marvel Jr. and his alter-ego Freddy Freeman: the hairdo, the lightning bolt (in his TCB Logo), the cape, and the white scarves around the neck.
In Search of Historic Elvis: This column from early December 2009 was a little short on pictures. Here is a photo of an ancient Elvis petroglyph that could have fit right in.
Like we’ve said here many times before, Elvis is everywhere.
6th Birthday: Reagan, Obama, and Elvis, February 5, 2011
Lately, there has been much in the press about Barack Obama’s shift to the center. He is said to be thinking and sounding a lot like Ronald Reagan. This, plus the 100th anniversary of Reagan’s birthday on February 6, has even prompted news magazines to pair the two presidents on their covers.
Current Time magazine cover featuring Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama
One thing the press hasn’t mentioned is that both presidents have been Elvis fans, and that they’ve worn clothing to give them that Elvis look.
Obama favors the young Elvis gold lamé coat from 1957. Reagan looks great in the 1973 Aloha from Hawaii American Eagle jumpsuit. Some clever folks did a nice job on Photoshop making these shots.
Do you know how many presidents Elvis met? Of course there was Nixon in 1970. Lesser known is that Elvis met both Jimmy Carter and George H W Bush – before they became presidents.
Jimmy Carter was the Governor of Georgia when he and Rosalyn visited Elvis backstage after a June 1973 concert in Atlanta. George H W Bush was UN Ambassador when he was the guest speaker at the dinner where Elvis was honored as one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of 1971.
John F Kennedy was one president Elvis never met, but a Photoshop jockey with questionable taste did try to give us picture simulating an occasion when they got together.
7th Birthday: You Ain’t Nothin’ But A… Golden Retriever?, February 28, 2012
All good Elvis fans are familiar with him singing “Hound Dog” on the Steve Allen Show in 1956. After all the fuss Elvis caused performing the song on the Milton Berle Show, Allen made Elvis dress up in a tux and sing to a hound dog wearing a little top hat and sitting on a platform.
Now, check out this picture.
Elvis and Molly
My talented friend Carol Stephens does all the graphic design for Elvis International magazine. I am always impressed by how much her work enhances my articles published there. Carol recently got a new dog and had the inspiration to play around with one of the photos from the TV show. She replaced the hound dog with her doggie and sent me a copy to see how I liked it.
I loved it and immediately wrote back and asked her if she could do the same thing with my golden retriever, Molly – please, please, please. Carol is such a sweetie. She said yes. My wife helped me get Molly in the right pose for a photograph, and I e-mailed it to Carol. The picture above is the result. It is so cool, and I now have a large blow-up of it on the wall above my desk.
Carol did one other clever thing. The deposed hound dog is now off to the side, looking back as if to say, “Hey, what happened here?”
I know there are lots of Elvis fans who also have beloved dogs in their household. Maybe they would also like to see their dog in this shot with Elvis. Carol did mine for free, but she does get paid for her artistic work. So, my gift to her will be to let anyone with any interest know they can contact Carol at Stephens@2D-CreativeDesigns.com.
If you have any other graphic design needs, you might also want to check out her website www.2D-CreativeDesigns.com. Carol has done a lot of great work, including the ElvisBlog logo.
8th Birthday: Elvis Presley’s Gold Limousine, February 2, 2013
Every once in a while I check out the “News” at Elvis.com. Unfortunately, to find the few newsworthy items, you have to skip through a lot of what really are advertisements. During the past week, so-called news reports have been about the new 64 gigabyte Elvis USB drives, the 2013 Elvis Presley Holy Land Tour, big saving on Valentines Day gifts at ShopElvis.com, and my favorite, a 30% discount at Graceland’s Chapel in the Woods.
However, one news item that caught my eye was this:
I immediately recognized the car as Elvis’ customized Cadillac that toured all over Australia in 1968. It has an interesting story. Elvis wanted to have his own classic-styled luxury limousine, so he bought a 1960 Cadillac Series 75 Fleetwood for $10,000, and he took it to Barris Kustom City in North Hollywood, California. George Barris had considerable fame for producing customized cars.
Elvis told Barris what features he wanted, and Barris gave Elvis many designs, artist renderings and engineering drawings before the modifications were decided. The price tag was $65,000, which is $487,000 in today’s dollars.
Exterior modifications made significant changes to the roof, the paint, and the trim. The headlight rims and all other trim were plated in 24 carat gold, as were hand-spun hub cap bullets and flanges. The car is painted with forty coats of translucent pearl paint containing crushed diamond dust and pure fish scales from the orient. The top was lengthened and the rear quarter panel windows were replaced by portholes.
Here’s what the rear quarter panel windows on a standard 1960 Cadillac Fleetwood look like. In addition to the portholes, the back window above was also replaced with a smaller one. The roof was covered with coarse grain white pearl naugahyde.
The interior modifications were even more impressive. Keep in mind that Elvis had no intention of driving the car himself. His concept was for a chauffer driven limousine with a yacht-inspired lounge area in the back for him.
Elvis’ Dream Car was designed to give him the ultimate in comfort by transforming the back-seat into a plush private cabin. The seats are done in air-foam biscuit tufted panels made from gold frieze (with pearl buttons) imported from France. The two-tone trim is done in white pearl Naugahyde. The side and roof panels are covered with same gold-frieze biscuit panels and white Naugahyde. Note that the porthole has the privacy cover in place, and gold lamé drapes can be closed to cover the smaller custom rear window. Not shown in the photo is a car-phone mounted in a console between the seats. To the right of where Elvis sat is his private control panel.
Here is a blow-up of Elvis’ control panel which contains the intercom microphone Elvis used to talk to the chauffer, as well as controls for the radio, air-conditioner and heater.
Here is a view of many of the customized features at Elvis’ disposal. At the top is the gold lamé privacy drapes between the front and rear seats. The gold plated color TV sits on a swivel. To the right of the TV and clock is a closed vanity case. Below the TV is a gold refreshment bar that freezes its own ice cubes in two minutes and a refrigerated cab unit. On the left is the pull-out RCA record player with 10-record automatic changer.
This shows a different view of the center lounge. The gold vanity case is open. Below it is the AM-FM tuner and the open shoe buffer. Note the TV is not on the swivel in this shot, which seems to serve as a small table for Elvis to put stuff on. Somewhere in the panel of accessories is a pull-out bar. The open side door window has the same gold lamé curtains used throughout the car.
This close-up shows the fold out shoe buffer and white mouton fur on floor.
This close-up shows the open gold vanity case which contains a gold electric razor, gold hair clipper, chrome brush, etc.
It is not recorded just how much Elvis used his dream car, but souvenir-seeking fans caused enough damage to the car that he ultimately stopped using it. He sold it to RCA who used it for promotional purposes across the country from 1965 to 1967.
Next, the car was shipped to Australia for a tour to raise money for the Benevolent Society of New South Wales. It made almost four-dozen stops and was viewed by almost 400,000 people.
Elvis’ gold car was not just displayed at large Australian cities like Sydney and Melbourne. It also appeared in schools, shopping centers, and civic centers in many smaller communities.
As the Elvis.com news report above states, the tour of Elvis’ gold Caddy raised over $110,000 ($700,000 in today’s dollars). You all know how generous Elvis was and how much he contributed to charity. You may not have known that his car could do that too
9th Birthday: Planet Elvis, January 2, 2014
If you are a news junkie like me, you’re probably aware of the buzz about this recent New York Times Magazine cover.
The subtitle is:
The gravitational pull of a possible 2016 campaign is bringing all the old Clinton characters into her orbit.
Well, Elvis has pulled all of us fans into his orbit for over fifty years, so I wondered if there had ever been any reference to Planet Elvis. I went to Google, the Exalted Source of All Knowledge, and did an image search for Planet Elvis. I had to scroll down the results for many pages before coming to what I wanted, but there was some interesting stuff on the way.
When Elvis gave his four-show block of concerts at Madison Square Garden in June 1972, there were positive reviews all over the media. The most memorable line was in the New York Times, who said about Elvis, “He looked like a prince from another planet.”
I love this T-Shirt. What a clever twist on Al Dvorin’s classic line at the end of Elvis’ 1970s concerts: “Elvis has left the building.” The phrase has since become a popular culture catchphrase, sometimes even a humorous punch line, but this is the best adaptation so far.
You might say this is a variation on the ‘Elvis has left the planet’ idea.
This sounds like fun. Has there ever been a Karaoke party where nobody sang an Elvis song? Hard to imagine.
I never heard of Planet Football, but I’m glad Elvis lives on it.
Has any celebrity been featured in more cartoons than Elvis? This one is pretty good.
There is no text at all on this image, so how does Google Images know to make it a result in a search for the words Planet Elvis? Maybe the Exalted Source of All Knowledge is magic, too. To me, it looks more like a fortune teller’s ball than a planet. But, it’s still a nifty image.
The site with this image didn’t have anything much to say about it. Maybe this is the artist’s interpretation of the man on the moon.
This is more like it. Here’s my interpretation: Planet Elvis with its moon circling by, earth off in the distance, and a white hot vortex sucking in all the Elvis music. What do you think?
Finally. I knew there had to be a picture of Planet Elvis out there somewhere. Hillary wants to be the President, but Elvis is already the king.
So, ElvisBlog moves into its 11th year. Interest keeps growing, and people visited the site 179,000 times last year, resulting in 292,000 hits (page views). Thanks to all you Elvis fans who have been reading ElvisBlog.
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