Late June 2002
Media coverage of:
[ Elvis vs JXL: A Little less Conversation ] [ Lilo and Stitch (Disney) ]
- Elvis, honored at fair, was fair game in '56
(San Diego Union-Tribune, June 27, 2002)
The county fair is featuring a tribute to Elvis Presley, but longtime San Diegans may recall that the "King of rock and roll," or "Pelvis" as he was known to his detractors, had to cancel a San Diego performance in September 1956. The city's police chief, A.E. "Elmer" Jansen, spread the word that the gyrating Elvis was about as welcome here as an earthquake. "If he puts on the same kind of show here that he did last April, I'll arrest him for disorderly conduct," Jansen told a news reporter. The social services department banned Presley unless the "grinds and bumps" were eliminated, and Jansen refused to issue Elvis a performance permit. Former City Manager John Lockwood, an aide to Jansen in the late '50s, says it wasn't just prudishness on the part of the chief, although Jansen did consider Presley's body language semi-obscene. The police chief's prime worry, recalls Lockwood, was that kids would go bonkers and cause a riot . . .
- The essential Elvis
By JONATHAN TAKIFF
(Philadelphia Daily News, June 27, 2002)
CAN ELVIS Presley regain his "cool"? Are those who now consider him a sad joke due to the physical decline of his final years ready to reconsider him as the supremely versatile vocalist he was? Twenty-five years after Presley's passing, BMG/RCA Records is on the case with a major image reshaping of Elvis' tarnished image. Just this week, a fascinating four-CD compilation called "Today, Tomorrow & Forever" arrived in stores, boasting 100 previously unreleased Elvis Presley recordings - many astonishingly vital and inspiring. Structured as a chronological retrospective, the set traces Presley's life as a singer from his first recording session to his last. In September, a new collection called "Elvis 30 #1 Hits" will aim to do for Presley what the "Beatles #1 Hits" did for the Fab Four - return him to the top of the charts. And remind us anew that he was, in fact, the most successful recording artist of all time - with more than 1 billion platters sold. If that's still not enough "new" Presley music for you, a BMG-steered boutique label called Follow That Dream has lots more. Through Presley's worldwide fan clubs, FTD is dishing out a fresh Presley disc of rarities every four months. These limited editions are intended to stem the flow of EP bootlegs and satisfy the true believer's lust to own every note the man ever uttered.
Denmark-based Ernst Jorgensen, now the world's leading Presley authority, is following his dream as president of BMG Records Denmark and worldwide producer/reinventor of the Elvis Presley catalog. Jorgensen, a Presley fan and historian long before he was put in the driver's seat in the late 1980s, aims for nothing less than to change our perceptions of a man some still think of as royalty, others as a royal fool. ... Jorgensen argues that Presley "never" should have been labeled the ultimate rocker. ... Elvis was first and foremost a crooner, "like a Sinatra, a Crosby or a Como," notes Jorgensen, thus dependent on others to supply him musical material. "He was a singer of an older tradition. He loved people like Dean Martin, Roy Hamilton and the lead singer of the Ink Spots."
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- DiCicco steps in to rescue Elvis
(Philadelphia Daily News, June 27, 2002)
ELVIS LIVES! It looks like the King of Rock 'n' Roll will beat a City Hall ban, thanks to Councilman Frank DiCicco, who says he will introduce legislation to allow a kitschy replica of Elvis Presley to remain standing at his longtime perch at 2nd and Race streets. DiCicco fired off an appeal yesterday to the Department of Licenses and Inspections following a Daily News report on Monday, outlining Elvis' feared demise. Presley - along with models of Jake and Elwood, the Blues Brothers - has been standing outside the Mr. Bar Stool shop in Old City for years. The characters are somewhat of a local sight-seeing attraction, with scores of tourists snapping their pictures every day. In April, L&I cited the shop for an illegal display of merchandise on its sidewalk. The figures are for sale, at $899 apiece, plus tax. The write-up was part of a citywide sidewalk sweep, to make it easier for pedestrians, including the handicapped, to get around town. Nice idea, except the sidewalk outside Mr. Bar Stool is notably wide; the statues do not block traffic. Store owner Barry Belsky said his shop has been besieged by TV cameras and visitors in the days after the Daily News report. "We've been getting lots of e-mails and calls from people who say they're behind us," Belsky said. "We had one visitor who said he got off the train at 30th Street and came right over here, just to get a picture of Elvis."
- Elvis time capsule buried in Indiana
By Chris Birk
(Yahoo News / Associated Press, June 27, 2002)
A woman in Elvis earrings clasped her hands and wept while men with thinning pompadours and thick lamb-chop sideburns stood to the side, quietly remembering the King. Fans held a ceremony Wednesday to dedicate a marker honoring Elvis Presley at the former site of Market Square Arena, 25 years to the day after the concert that would turn out to be his last. Presley died in 1977. "People around the world know of Indianapolis, Indiana, and Market Square Arena just because Elvis was here," said Kay Lipps, chairman of the Taking Care of Presley Memorial Committee. "Even though it has been 25 years, his music still touches people and makes them happy." The marker is in a gravel parking lot where the arena stood before being demolished last year. A time capsule encased within holds Presley memorabilia including a scarf he gave Lipps, letters from fans across the world, and a bootlegged recording of one of Elvis' last shows. A bronze plaque reading "Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis has left the building" sits atop a stone column, just as Elvis' show announcer Al Dvorin would say at the end of each of Presley's shows. "His spirit lives on," Dvorin said. "He could have started his own religion."
- Elvis may have left, but memorial remains
By Chris Birk
(Indianapolis Star, June 27, 2002)
As the midday heat baked the gravel remains of Market Square Arena, a flock of Elvis Presley fans returned to the site of the King's final concert to pay their last respects. With soaked brows and solemn faces, more than 100 people lined the southeast corner of Alabama and Market streets to swap Elvis memories and welcome the city's newest landmark -- a memorial commemorating Presley's final concert. The Memphis, Tenn., native died less than two months after his June 26, 1977, Indianapolis performance.
Elvis fan Brian McKee pauses to feel the new 58-inch-tall granite marker memorializing the popular singer. It has a bronze plaque and also encases a time capsule to be opened in 100 years. -- Frank Espich / staff photo
- Love me forever: Elvis is still a hit
By STEPHEN LYNCH
(Kansas.com / Orange County Register, June 27, 2002)
Suspicious minds want to know: How does Elvis Presley stay so hip? Twenty-five years after his death, Elvis has a No. 1 song in England, is all over a hit children's movie and is displayed prominently on everything from record-store shelves to Visa cards.
The return of the king has a lot to do with two unprecedented decisions on the part of Elvis' estate and record label. The first was granting permission to Disney to use six Elvis songs in its new animated film, "Lilo & Stitch." Only movies by Elvis himself have ever had that much of his music. Chris Sanders, co-director and writer of "Stitch," is a fan and considered using Elvis' standards instead of the original Disney songs. That evolved into a character trait for the young, blue Hawaiian girl, Lilo, who plays the sequined-one's records and hopes to mold the alien hound dog Stitch into "a model citizen, like Elvis." Besides the six original Elvis tracks, Wynonna also covers "Burning Love" for the film.
The other decision is an electronic remix of 1968's "A Little Less Conversation," the first time RCA has allowed the devil to be disguised. Dutch musician Tom Holkenburg, a member of the group Junkie XL, remixed the song, which hit No. 1 on the UK singles charts, putting Elvis over the Beatles for the most top-spots in England. Americans know "Conversation," which keeps Elvis' lyrics relatively intact, from a series of Nike commercials airing during the World Cup. Directed by Terry Gilliam, the ads have soccer players dueling in a cage inside a grungy ship. The "Conversation" single will be released in the United States this week, as will a four-disc boxed set called "Elvis: Today, Tomorrow and Forever," from RCA/BMG Heritage. The set includes 100 songs spanning his career. This is only the first of the onslaught. In July, the release of a boxed set of concert recordings will mark the 25th anniversary of Elvis' death, on Aug. 16. And a collection of 30 of his No. 1 hits comes out in September.
That's just the music. There's a new Elvis credit card from MBNA America Bank, numerous books (including "The Girls' Guide to Elvis," out this summer from Random House), and a fall TV special is planned. All of which leave Elvis fans -- and they are still legion -- with no time to check into heartbreak.
- New CD gives Elvis Presley a fresh spin after 25 years
By David Hinckley
(Centre Daily Times / Knight Ridder Tribune, June 26, 2002)
Elvis Presley has been dead now for longer than he was a rock 'n' roll star. It isn't slowing him down. BMG Heritage has compiled a four-CD box set, "Elvis: Today, Tomorrow and Forever," which comes out this week and includes 100 previously unreleased recordings, some live and some studio outtakes. And that's just the beginning. Six Elvis hits, including "Burning Love," can be heard on the soundtrack of the movie "Lilo and Stitch," which came out Friday. Just last week, Elvis scored a No. 1 record in the United Kingdom with a remix of an obscure movie track, "A Little Less Conversation." Also, Random House is publishing three Elvis books this summer, and on Sept. 24, BMG is releasing another Elvis CD, "One," with his 30 No. 1 hits. The songs on "Today, Tomorrow and Forever" span his career, from an eerily unadorned early '50s solo rendition of "Harbor Lights" through the swelling ballads of the Vegas years.
- Elvis Time Capsule Busting at Seams
(Yahoo News / Associated Press, June 26, 2002)
Like the white jumpsuits an overweight Elvis Presley wore in his later years, ... (As below)
- Elvis capsule too wide
(CNN, June 26, 2002)
Like the white jumpsuits an overweight Elvis Presley wore in his later years, ... (As below)
- Elvis time capsule is too chubby
By Rachel Kipp
(Indianapolis Star, June 25, 2002)
Like the white jumpsuits an overweight Elvis Presley wore in his later years, a time capsule commemorating the King's last performance proved to be just a little too tight. The time capsule of fan letters and other memorabilia was to be sealed today in a marker on the former site of Market Square Arena downtown, where Elvis performed his final concert on June 26, 1977. He died less than two months later, on Aug. 16. But the capsule was too wide to fit inside the marker. So it was sent to a local welder for repairs in time for the memorial's dedication, scheduled for Wednesday. The time capsule sealed inside the marker will hold letters from Elvis fans around the world, the original schedule from Elvis' 1977 tour donated by the singer's estate at Graceland and a cassettetape of the final concert.
- 'Wise men say' ... why they love Elvis
(Seattle Times, June 25, 2002)
You might be at a wedding party (as I was recently), watching the young crowd dancing on the warm summer night. The hired rock band, seeing that things are slowing down, cranks out a punked-up version of "Suspicious Minds." That would be Elvis' 1969 No. 1 single. Bam! The floor fills with couples, and all is well with the world. The tune descends on the crowd and lifts it. Is there a rock band out there that doesn't owe some part of its act to Elvis? Is there a would-be lead singer who hasn't mimicked some Elvis stage move, some Elvis self-mocking sneer, some Elvis wipe-the-sweat-and-throw-the-towel-into-the-crowd move? Just listen to a few of these quotes, from rock musicians and just plain rock 'n' roll lovers. Feel free to read any of these quotes to a friend who might scoff at the mention of Elvis. Why is he supercool again? Here we go. "There have been a lotta tough guys. There have been pretenders. And there have been contenders. But there is only one King ... it was like he came along and whispered some dream in everybody's ear, and somehow we all dreamed it." - Bruce Springsteen. "Before Elvis, there was nothing." -John Lennon. "When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew that I wasn't going to work for anybody; and nobody wa going to be my boss. ... Hearing him for the first time was like bursting out of jail ... I thank God for Elvis Presley." - Bob Dylan. "You know, Bush (that would be George Bush Sr.) is always comparing me to Elvis in sort of unflattering ways. I don't think Bush would have liked Elvis very much, and that's just another thing wrong with him." - Bill Clinton, who was known as "Elvis" to the Secret Service staff. "Elvis was the only performer I have ever seen to whom I responded sexually; it wasn't real arousal, rather an erection of the heart. When I looked at him I went mad with desire and envy and worship and self-projection." - Lester Bangs, the late and renowned rock writer. And, finally, this, from Elvis himself: "Rock 'n' roll music, if you like it, and if you feel it, you can't help but move to it. That's what happens to me. I can't help it."
- Elvis mania hits London auction: Well-thumbed copy of 'The Prophet,' other memorabilia at sale
(MSNBC / Reuters, June 25, 2002)
As The King of Rock 'n' Roll lays siege to British pop charts for a third week, a memento of his philosophical leanings goes under the hammer at a London auction house, expected to fetch up to 5,500 pounds ($8,265) Tuesday. The copy of "The Prophet" by Kahlil Gibran bears a 38-line message from Elvis Presley to Tom Diskin, the right-hand man of his manager Colonel Parker, extolling the virtues of true friendship and signed "E.P."
- Prince's 'Purple Rain' guitar sold for £12,000
(Ananova, June 25, 2002)
A guitar used by pop star Prince during his Purple Rain tour has fetched £12,000 at auction. The instrument was snapped up by comedian Ed Byrne, a spokeswoman for auctioneers Cooper Owen confirmed. But "Lost Tapes" of John Lennon discussing the Beatles splitting were not sold after failing to meet the reserve price of £15,000. Items connected to singer Elvis Presley, as well as a life jacket given to rock vocalist Courtney Love by dead Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, were also not sold for the same reason. Printed flyers for the Sex Pistols' first US tour and press sheets sold for £110.
- Beatles, Elvis and Prince items in Rock Legends auction
(Ananova, June 25, 2002)
Rare Beatles memorabilia is [sic] up for auction in London tonight. The lots include reel-to-reel tapes of a radio interview given in New York by John Lennon and Yoko Ono shortly after The Beatles split. Other items for sale in the Rock Legends auction include a purple guitar custom-built for Prince and a shirt signed by Elvis Presley.
- Elvis got all shook up over shows, fans
(Indianapolis Star, June 24, 2002)
The new Elvis Presley monument will be unveiled Wednesday at the former site of Market Square Arena. [F]or legions of Elvis fans, we're a special place, the site of his last concert 25 years ago on June 26. ... [a tale about Myrna -] Myrna Smith is with the Sweet Inspirations, who sang backup for Presley from 1969 until his death in 1977. They still play. She was in town for the Elvis Fantasy Fest on Saturday and Sunday. She stayed at the home of organizers Paul and Kay Lipps. Smith and the Sweet Inspirations played more than a thousand concerts with Elvis.
In talking about the years with Elvis, she's talking about the happiest time of her life. She and the Inspirations joined Elvis with his return to live performances in 1969, at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. He had not played concerts for years, and they were booked solid for a month. "They loved us through Elvis. When you're playing to an audience that really loves you, it's different from going on anyplace else. It was very easy to play Elvis' audience." She barely remembers the June 26, 1977, Indianapolis show because, of course, at that point, nobody knew it would be his last. So, like most other dates, they flew into town and got to the stadium about an hour before the show. Life wasn't perfect, but they had fun in those days. "It wasn't like work. It was a big party. We used to play with water guns and stuff like that. He was like a big kid. He had a new toy almost every week. We were like a big kindergarten on the road."
The two of them got along because they were both nervous about performing. "You could tell he was kind of shy. "He was scared every night. I think that's where he got all those moves from, that nervous energy. "He stretched out with a couple of the guys just before he went on. He was just a bundle of nerves until he got out there and started singing." She said Elvis would be surprised to know how dedicated his fans remain after 25 years. It seems so unlikely now, when his former home in Memphis anchors a vast Elvis industry, but he didn't think it would last. What would he think of the monument here? "He would be flattered and feel undeserving, because that's how he always was," Smith said. "He always worried about that, whether his fans would stay with him."
- L&I: Elvis is leaving the sidewalk: IT'S ILLEGAL TO DISPLAY STATUES
By Don Russell
(Philadelphia Daily News, June 24, 2002)
A HALF-CENTURY after the King first turned America on with those gyrating hips, wet-blankets at City Hall are finally getting their way. Elvis Presley: Banned in Philadelphia. In an act of extraordinarily bad timing, the city is trying to boot Elvis from his longtime perch outside the Mr. Barstool shop at 2nd and Race streets in Old City. A mannequin of the late rocker - along with those of Jake and Elwood, the Blues Brothers - has occupied the sidewalk for possibly 10 years. The kitschy figures attract scores of camera-toting tourists each year. But now, as fans mark the 25th anniversary of Presley's untimely death in the summer of '77, City Hall has busted Mr. Barstool. A notice of violation was issued in April, charging the shop with illegally displaying merchandise on the sidewalk. Elvis, it turns out, is for sale: $899 plus tax. ... L&I commissioner Edward J. McLaughlin said, "It was just a warning. You're not allowed to put items for sale out on the sidewalk, unless your have specific approval from a Council ordinance."
- Game Launch Advisory: Wisconsin Lottery Elvis
Source: MDI Entertainment, Inc.
(Yahoo News / Business Wire, June 24, 2002)
The Wisconsin Lottery today launched Elvis(R), a licensed instant lottery game featuring logos and other imagery associated with Elvis Presley(R), according to an announcement by MDI Entertainment, Inc. (OTC BB: LTRY), which is the official licensee for Elvis Presley(R) lottery games and promotions. The Wisconsin game features 1.44 million tickets. Each ticket costs $3 and gives lottery players the opportunity to win cash prizes of up to $20,000. Additionally, the game features four Bonus Drawings which players can enter to win one of ten Grand Prize GRACELAND(R) TRIP PRIZE PACKAGES, or 380 First Prize ELVIS(R) PRESLEY MERCHANDISE PRIZE PACKAGES.
- Between the lines: Bobby J and Elvis?
By Steve Morse
(Hoboken Reporter, June 23, 2002)
Former County Executive Robert Janiszewski may not sing rock and roll or swivel his hips, but when it comes to specualtion about his latest disappearing act, he may even have elvis Presley beat. For weeks, the specualting rumor mill of Hudson county politics has reported sightings of the former county executive, who resigned last September amidst a federal probe in which he is reportedly cooperating. ... Now, according to published sources, Booby J is on the run with the help of the feds, changing locations every few days to keep safe from people he might "rat out" in the federal corruption probe.
- On CDs, Elvis is still rockin'
By Steve Morse
(Boston Globe, June 23, 2002)
You're not entering the Twilight Zone yet, but you may be soon. This is the summer of Elvis hype - the 25th anniversary of Presley's death is Aug. 16 - and waves of Elvis goodies are on their way,s as marketing departments work overtime to satiate the anticipated demand.
- Eminem, Elvis and cultural truths
By Crispin Sartwell
(Orlando Sentinel, June 22, 2002)
African-American music and its appropriation and commercial exploitation by white folks is, to a remarkable extent, the history of world popular music in the 20th and, so far, in the 21st centuries. Consider the artists: Benny Goodman, Elvis Presley, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, the Eurythmics. And then there are the mere exploiters: Pat Boone, Vanilla Ice, the Backstreet Boys. Each moment in the history of pop music has been a moment in the history of race relations. But white culture has never been as self-conscious, and white use of black vernacular has never been more knowing than on The Eminem Show -- which has dominated the market in sales since its May 28 release. Presley never sang about his own status as a white person performing black music, but Eminem tackles the question at the start of the new album. On a song called White America, Eminem attributes his success to the color of his skin. This is not entirely fair to himself, because by any measure he is one of the best rappers of any race that ever grabbed a microphone. ... Elvis challenged white America to acknowledge its false exclusion of pleasure: dance and sex. Eminem challenges us to acknowledge our equally false exclusion of pain. ... Eminem is our authority on what it means to be white in this culture, a question that is difficult, central and dangerous. ... That's why, like it or not, he's our Elvis.
- Elvis shows his colours
(Daily Record, June 22, 2002)
The Elvis impersonator, who has had to add Presley's "A Little Less Conversation" to his act after its success in the charts, waved a Brazil flag as he performed keepy-uppy dressed as the King in Perth.
(Yahoo! News, June 21, 2002)
A supporter of the USA team, dressed up like Elvis Presley, bursts into tears as he sits in the stands at the end of the 2002 World Cup quarterfinal soccer match between Germany and USA, at the Munsu Football stadium in Ulsan, South Korea, Friday, June 21, 2002. Germany won 1-0 and advances to the semifinals, the USA team is out of the competition. (AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)
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