Democratic Underground Latest Greatest Lobby Journals Search Options Help Login
Google

Elvis' physical decline (WARNING: a bazillion pictures)

Printer-friendly format Printer-friendly format
Printer-friendly format Email this thread to a friend
Printer-friendly format Bookmark this thread
This topic is archived.
Home » Discuss » The DU Lounge Donate to DU
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-05 11:30 PM
Original message
Elvis' physical decline (WARNING: a bazillion pictures)
I've been AWOL from DU for a long time, but happened to stumble across a 'before and after' thread that showed various famous types in their youth and in more mature years. One of the entries featured a 1977 picture of Elvis that's pretty awful, a favorite of the tabloids. Got me thinking.

Elvis had always (even in the '50s) had a familial tendency toward overweight. His diet was, to put it plainly, more often than not fairly atrocious. He had his better days, and he actually knew a fair bit about nutrition and so on, but he chose to eat in an unhealthy manner for a good deal of his adult (such as it was) life. A lot of it was a 'comfort' issue, important to someone who, when it comes down to it, was pretty insecure in many ways.

By late 1973 Elvis' increasing body size was becoming apparent but it yo-yo'd up and down a fair bit over the next couple of years and, for the most part, he was more or less at what was probably a fairly natural weight throughout most of his '70s career, the period lazily and inaccurately labeled the 'fat years' by the terminally hip and cool crowd. This shot, from the energetic March tour of 1974, is pretty typical of Elvis' physical condition at that time:



March 6, 1974 - Montgomery, AL

The first time that he appeared in public as significantly overweight was when he returned to the Vegas stage, after an extended hospitalization, in March of 1975. Throughout the engagement he made jokes about his weight and his hospital stay and, though heftier than ever before, he put on great concerts and garnered good reviews.



April 1, 1975 - Vegas closing show (with his dog, Getlo)



April 24, 1975 - Macon, GA



April 27, 1975 - Lakeland, FL



May 31, 1975 - Huntsville, AL


By the June tour he'd dumped a lot of weight and, after a Vegas stint and a Spring tour that saw him wearing new multi-piece suits, he was back into his form-fitting jumpsuits. The July tour -- one of his best ever, in my opinion -- saw him back on stage obviously overweight again but packed full of energy and doing long shows with very interesting setlists.



July 21, 1975 - Greensboro, NC



July 23, 1975 - Asheville, NC

And so it continued, as 1975 turned to 1976 and Elvis got bogged down in a seemingly endless tour schedule during the Bicentennial Year. He was looking very overweight much of the time but, more disturbingly, sometimes appeared not at all well. The weight had come and gone over the past year or so, but more serious things were going on beneath the surface. Throughout most of 1976, Elvis alternated between just two twinned jumpsuits (neither the most attractive, to my eye) -- perhaps because they were the only ones that fit him, perhaps because the lighter-weight sleeves they featured were cooler, or perhaps because he was depressed and just didn't care any more.



June 5, 1976 - Atlanta, GA



June 6, 1976 - Atlanta, GA

Then something weird happened. Somewhere between the September tour and the October tour he ditched an awful lot of weight and seemed to regain an awful lot of energy, the special energy that had been in conspicuously short supply during some of his recent concerts. For the October, 1976 tour he not only wore a variety of jumpsuits but was able to fit suits that he'd last worn back in relatively svelte 1974 days. In fact, some of the suits were slightly big on him. There was also an extra twinkle in his eye that had been less obvious during the summer of '76.



October 15, 1976 - Chicago, IL



October 25, 1976 - Fort Wayne, IN



November 27, 1976 - Eugene, OR



November 30, 1976 - Anaheim, CA



December 4, 1976 - Vegas

The November tour was more of the same, as was the Vegas gig that followed and then the legendary short tour that led up to his Pittsburgh New Years' show (cited by some, including his rhythm guitarist, as one of his best concerts ever). Elvis was back, with almost manic energy and an apparent motivation that had been slowly slipping away ever since he did the landmark 1973 Hawaiian satellite broadcast. A man who was burning out because he thought he had nothing left to accomplish (other than a world tour, an enterprise long thwarted by Colonel Parker) appeared to be totally re-energized. So here we are on the early morning of the first day of 1977, with Elvis leaving Pittsburgh on his jet and the future looking as bright as ever.



December 27, 1976 - Wichita, KS



December 29, 1976 - Birmingham, AL



December 30, 1976 - Atlanta, GA




December 31, 1976 - Pittsburgh, PA

This is where that photo comes in.



February 12, 1977 - Hollywood, FL

That picture came from the first show of Elvis' first 1977 tour -- February 12, 1977. Tabloids frequently use a bad shot to make a spurious point, but every picture I've seen of Elvis from that show is a bad shot. I can only conclude that he looked bad, and by 'bad' I mean that he appeared very overweight and not at all healthy. It gets strange, though. Pictures from concerts taken a few days later show Elvis looking pretty good, pretty much like on his last tour of '76. Check out these samples, in which it almost seems that Elvis is slimming down day by day:



February 15, 1977 - Orlando, FL



February 17, 1977 - Savannah, GA



February 18, 1977 - Columbia, SC

And if we fast-forward to the February 20 and 21 shows in Charlotte, we see this:



February 20, 1977 - Charlotte, NC



February 21, 1977 - Charlotte, NC

Looks like a different person than the one in those shots from eight or nine days earlier. These pictures are not exceptional ones that, through random photographic magic or flattering angle, just happen to make Elvis look good. Every shot of Elvis from these two shows depicts a 42-year-old man who appears a bit overweight but still in pretty decent shape. My 'unofficial' video and audio evidence indicates that the whole tour featured Elvis in good voice and as charismatic as ever, but these two North Carolina shows -- the last of a short tour -- had the most interesting setlists and some great performances. He even tried out his newest record, "Moody Blue," for the first and last time.

Perhaps it's significant that, again, Elvis alternated between only two jumpsuits after the February tour. On his May tour, that seems to me a physical low (lower than his final tour, and in Baltimore he had to leave the stage for a half hour) he wore the 'Sundial' suit at every single show. Pretty good bet that he was depressed, because that suit was made back in late '74 and there were plenty that still would have fit him during this last year.



March 26, 1977 - Norman, OK



April 21, 1977 - Greensboro, NC



April 24, 1977 - Ann Arbor, MI



May 21, 1977 - Louisville, KY



May 29, 1977 - Baltimore, MD



June 2, 1977 - Mobile, AL

Seems to me that, although overweight (actual adipose tissue involved) and poor diet were underlaying things, Elvis' apparent "weight" was more water retention than anything else. That also explains his sudden apparent losses and gains of weight. Some photos from the last couple of tours, for example, show his hands very swollen, as his face was for much of the year (well, a year truncated by his death on August 16). The TV special shot on his last tour featured footage from two shows, one of which is tragic to see or hear in its unedited form and the other of which was far, far better. Both concerts, however, give us an Elvis far "heavier" and less agile than did the final two shows of the tour -- once again, Elvis looked so much better (sounded better, too) at the end of the tour than he did a few days earlier when the TV show was shot. That kind of change in appearance is not weight loss. Elvis' actual problems with fat were overlaid by the bloating results of far more serious maladies.



June 18, 1977 - Kansas City, MO



June 25, 1977 - Cincinnatti, OH



June 26, 1977 - Indianapolis, IN (the last concert)



June 26, 1977 - Indianapolis, IN (leaving the stadium...Elvis has left the building)


So why am I writing all this? Well, one reason is that it's just what's on my mind and the Lounge is for that kind of thing. More to the point, though, it's common (acceptable, apparently) for people to make fun of or criticize Elvis for his physical decline. Sure, I can understand that some of that -- especially from his contemporaries -- might be a result of feeling betrayed. Fear, really, because if ELVIS - a King, an Adonis -- can decline and die so quickly then what chance do the rest of us have? But, really, it's unacceptable, that attitude that it's okay to make fun of people or put them done solely for the way they look.

Elvis' story ended sadly. He had serious health problems. Anyone who makes fun of that is slime. And that includes people on this site, so-called progressives, who use his obesity (or edema, more likely) as a tool of jest or to downplay his amazing, unprecedented, unmatched musical and cultural legacy. Anyone who makes the connection between Elvis' physical decline (in what amounts to a year or two of his 23-year career) and the value of his contribution to music, culture, and history, is plainly an imbecile. The same goes for those who offhandedly dismiss Michael Jackson talent and catalog for his odd attributes, even the self-inflicted ones. Or whoever. There are no 'safe targets' here for those who'd apply such a double standard -- unprovoked poking fun at others' more tragic mental or physical traits while proclaiming themselves a liberal -- and anyone who makes a case for such traits negating that person's import or contributions is plainly demonstrating a major logical failure.

Speaking of double standards, there's always the statistical likelihood that -- if the critic of 'fat Elvis' is an adult American -- they're more likely then not to themselves be 30 to 50 pounds overweight. The pot-belly calling the kettle black.

Anyway, that 1977 picture is undeniably shocking, really, given Elvis' good looks and the physique and physical ability that went along with everything else in his stage presentation, etc. It's not a picture that really sums up Elvis, to be sure (focusing on transient weight and appearance issues ensures that more important things about his legacy will never be grasped), but it is a picture that -- juxtaposed with others taken on the same tour -- underlines the extent of his ailments. Looks like congestive heart failure, even. Really, he should not have been anywhere near a stage during that time, but to get into that is a whole other story that involves self-destruction and the culpability of 'friends' and a manager who watched this man work himself to death. Whatever the case, he's free of it now...and, by the way, still topping the UK charts week after week with un-retouched songs that are almost fifty years old.




Happier times...November 10, 1970 - Oakland, CA
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
progmom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-05 11:44 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wow!
Thanks for sharing! Really amazing!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:07 AM
Response to Reply #1
10. De nada!
He was a pretty amazing dude, for that matter.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
LeftyMom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-05 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
2. I appreciate your sharing that
I really didn't know about the water weight gain and loss, as I'm not old enough to remember.

Was his drug use as bad as is sometimes suggested and could that have played a role in his sudden changes in appearance?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #2
13. The drug use was sensationalized but, yes, it was bad for fairly long
periods of time. The consensus seems to be that it began getting out of control and truly dangerous after his marriage dissolved. Elvis didn't see it as drug abuse, though (except during some rare moments of introspective honesty shared with a couple of people close to him) because they were drugs presribed by docctors...prescription drugs. When he railed against drugs and even convinced others not to use them, he meant street drugs...he considered them an entirely differtent animal. It was the '70s, too, before such abuse became not only understood but accepted. Illegal drugs were bad and the prescriptions that the omniscient doctor wrote for you were good.

It's a pretty complex issue because, though you can't stop someone from destroying themselves (and he was extremely knowledgeable about medications, poring over the PDR and determining mixes of drugs that might optimally meet his goals), in my mind his personal physician and other doctors (and, of course the Colonel and the worst of the enablers among his 'friends') were partially responsible for his death. It's true, though, that nobody could ever say no to Elvis Presley -- not because he was a figure to be fearted but because he could charm anybody into doing anything. The doctors also, of course, were completely starstruck.

And, yeah, many of the medications were for ailments that were very real but -- no big surprise -- his abuse of them only made everything worse. He was incredibly strong and robust and could easily have died three years earlier if he'd had a weaker constitution.

Elvis did NOT die of a drug overdose, and very likely his death was unrelated to other direct effects of drugs, but it'd be naive not to accept that they almost certainly were a prime factor that led to his fatal heart attack. The drugs could also have altered his appearance, in terms of edema, but so could have congestive heart failure (the medical report said that he had an enlarged heart) and the severe gastrointestinal disorders that he suffered from during at least part of the last couple of years of his life.

Pretty sad.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Southsideirish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-05 11:50 PM
Response to Original message
3. Thanks very much from an old Elvis fan -for photos and pithy comments.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:19 AM
Response to Reply #3
14. Pithy?
I sure hope that you're not typing with a lisp. :-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-05 11:51 PM
Response to Original message
4. Thank you for this ForestGump!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:21 AM
Response to Reply #4
15. Thanks for being here!
Thankyouverymuch...

There...I said it. :-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 01:04 AM
Response to Reply #15
29. ForrestGump has left the auditorium.
:yourock:

Ah, I had almost all Sun Records 45's as a 5/6 year old. It was a form of behavioral control that backfired on my parents. Kept them for years and then came home in my mid 20's. My mother had thrown them out!

FUCK!

But they sure kept me busy!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #29
32. Ouch!
Those Sun singles are pretty sought after. John Lennon traded his gold album for "Abbey Road" for some, actually. Still, the most valuable thing about them was the music that they held, and you'll always have that... :-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
autorank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #32
49. Maybe I should dig my mother up and apologize for over reacting!
This is a joke!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Gloria Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Mar-12-05 11:53 PM
Response to Original message
5. Wow, what a great "essay"!! The change in the pictures would not
be evident to most people and you're right, it looks like he had severe water retention problems, most likely due to his heart, not just "obesity" problems.

I've always felt Elvis was a tragic figure....very gifted, but very "used." He was very isolated, from what I read, which is pretty sad.

Elvis lives in his music...just heard one of his song today. My favorite is "I Can't Stop Fallin in Love with You." My earliest recollection, however, was when I was about 8 or 9 years old and my uncle brought a single over---Hearthbreak Hotel. So great! RIP, Elvis.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:31 AM
Response to Reply #5
17. I agree with you
One really sad story relates to when he was in Hawaii (can't remember if it was in 1961, for Blue Hawaii, or for the 1973 satellite-broadcast concert) and everyone wnent out to enjoy Honolulu or to lay on the beach. Elvis couldn't go, because he just couldn't have a normal life out in public. So this wealthy, handsome, full-of-life man was stuck in his penthouse suite looking out over everyone else having fun. Kind of sums it all up. Which is why when he went to the movies he rented the entire theater (and played Doctor Strangelove over and over and over and over and... ) and why when he went to the amusement park he rented it. 'Normal' was a long way from where he lived. Though his address was never as far out as Michael Jackson's, I guess.

But I think that, if he had to do it over again, he probably would have. I think many of us would, just hoping that it turned out differently (there's an excellent Twilight Zone episode on that theme from the '80s, actually). He was an American tragedy. Sure, others have had harder lives or more terrible thing shappen to them, but he was basically eaten alive by the same forces that bulit him up to an international icon. From rural, Depression-era Mississippi to unprecendented fame to being locked away, in a sense, from the age of 21 to his death alone 21 years later.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fleabert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:00 AM
Response to Original message
6. you weren't kidding "Bazillion" is right! Whew!
Very interesting stuff, and great commentary. My mom says his was the best concert she's ever seen. (and she's been to a bunch!)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:36 AM
Response to Reply #6
18. Cool!
Yeah, he had charisma rarely seen anywhere else. One of my friends from way back went to an LA concert in the mid-'70s with his wife and daughter, The daughter was less excited than her parents -- undoubtedly more a fan of David Cassidy and David Essex -- and resented being dragged along to see some old dude from the '50s give some stupid, boring concert. The moment Elvis stepped out on the stage, she began screaming. She hardly stopped the entire show. And her mother hasd to explain to her why her panties were...well...let me just cut away to a blazing fireplace now and say that Elvis' effect on his audiences cannot be overstated. That's some powerful mojo.

Led Zeppelin was at the same concert -- dont know how their underwear fared, but they loved the show and loved the man (when they met him backstage) and offered to be the house band for a recording session with him. Would have been interesting, to say the least.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fleabert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #18
26. Great story, my mom wasn't that descriptive, but I am sure she would agree
Led Zeppelin and Elvis, now THAT would have been something! too bad it never did...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 02:13 AM
Response to Reply #26
45. Yeah, too bad
So many people made the same offer. The Beatles, Dennis Wilson, James Brown (who did, at least duet with Elvis during visits to him, as did the Beatles, Tom Jones, and Mama Cass)...can't recall who else, but there were lots of interesting possibilities.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
psychopomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 04:15 AM
Response to Reply #26
47. No No No You're WRONG it HAPPENED!
Dread Zepplin, one of the more way out musical happenings that came out of the eighties:




Seriously, tho, this band was too original to die...LZ tunes with an
Elvis-inspired vocalist done over a reggae beat. Check it out if you dare!

Long an underground phenom, I think they are still making music.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Maddy McCall Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
7. You know how I feel about Elvis.
Nobody better go dissin on Elvis in MY presence. :-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #7
19. Tell it like it is, sister!
You and Janis Joplin agree: "Elvis is my man."
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
InvisibleTouch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:02 AM
Response to Original message
8. Very interesting read, thanks.
I was a kid when Elvis died ... I was in my room drawing a picture, something with fireworks. My mom said to me the next day, "While you were drawing that picture last night, Elvis died." I didn't really come to appreciate his music until I was much older, but that connection has always stayed with me.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:41 AM
Response to Reply #8
20. I didn't know much about him at the time, either, but
-- for some reason -- the news hit me like a ton of bricks. I'll never forget seeing newscasters cry on live TV.

And to add to your connection, by the way, here's Elvis in the "fireworks" jumpsuit!

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
InvisibleTouch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 01:07 AM
Response to Reply #20
31. I love the suits!
That's the other thing that really stood out for me in your original post. I kept admiring his clothes. I guess I'm just a sucker for sparkle and glitter. :)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
psychopomp Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:05 AM
Response to Original message
9. Although not really a fan
I appreciate the energy and thought you have put into this post. One good thing I will say about Elvis...that man knew how to dress! Quite the showman, he was...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:46 AM
Response to Reply #9
21. And you gotta love those 'Superfly' suits!
Edited on Sun Mar-13-05 12:46 AM by ForrestGump
Though on this day Elvis seems to have traded the big, floppy hat for a turban. Eek! It's El Qaeda!

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
auntAgonist Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:14 AM
Response to Original message
11. thank you ..
I am and always have been an Elvis fan!
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #11
22. Cool!
Pretty amazing, really, that he's still a huge presence in...well...just about everywhere you look. I think he's had three or four (maybe more by now) reissued singles hit #1 in the UK in the past few weeks, with others piling up in the Top Ten. All this against contemporary acts. Good music lives forever.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Floogeldy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:16 AM
Response to Original message
12. Your pictoral is kind, flattering and false.
I've seen film of his last days and your pics don't capture it. He was a HUGE, FAT, BALL, sweating profusely. At least a hundred pounds more than your pics show. It was really, really disgusting at the end and you don't have any of those pics.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:58 AM
Response to Reply #12
27. And you are displaying your ignorance
I have film that I doubt you've ever seen, film that documents concerts from the beginning of 1977 to the end. I know exactly what he looked like at every show, and how markedly it varied from show to show and as the tour progressed.

I imagine that you are referring to the CBS TV Special. Notice the part where I said that he looked better during his last two concerts (and noticeably leaner) than during the two filmed for TV? The June 18 picture that I included is about as bad as he got, and he perhaps looked a bit better than that when the TV show was taped (June 19, a very bad show, and June 21). He was never, ever more than a hundred pounds heavier than ANY of the pictures that I show, including the 1970 one at the bottom. Your gift for hyperbole is exceeded only by your shooting off at the mouth when you don't actually possess the facts.

As for me not having any pictures of "the end," what part of June 26 being his final concert do you not understand? That was the end...the last concert, and I included pictures from it. He looked and acted noticeably better then and on the preceding day than he did earlier on the tour.

Just admit that you don't know what the f*** you're talking about.

As for him being "disgusting" right at the end, well, excuse the hell out of me for hoping that you never get sick or overweight, if you aren't either already. I'd hate for people to point at you and for you to overhear them calling you a disgusting huge, fat ball.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #27
34. Good points.
My best friend is severely obese and if anyone called him a "disgusting huge, fat ball," I am not sure I could control myself.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Floogeldy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 01:50 AM
Response to Reply #27
35. I've seen film of Elvis wherein he looks alot more horrible than your pics
Frankly, he looked hideous. A big fat tub of shit, totally soaked in sweat. You haven't shown any of those pics. That's okay with me that you aren't showing them, but I stand by my recollection.

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 02:04 AM
Response to Reply #35
40. See my rebuttal to your first spouting of crap
You tub of shit.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Floogeldy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 02:07 AM
Response to Reply #40
41. It doesn't bother me for you to call me a tub of shit
For future reference.

B-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:50 PM
Response to Reply #35
51. Your recollection is off
I have the CBS tapes and yeah, he was a bit overweight (imagine... a man in his 40s with a bit of extra weight, that's unheard of). I also have films of his last concert and he wasn't as overweight as your "recollection" sees it.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
fleabert Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 01:02 AM
Response to Reply #12
28. would you talk this way about your mother or father, or someone you
cared about personally? Pretty insensitive. :-( I think talking this way about anyone, famous or not, is disgusting.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Floogeldy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 01:54 AM
Response to Reply #28
37. I have to talk about everyone as if they were my Mother or Father?
Are you kidding?

Elvis was not my Mother, Father, or someone I cared about.

What does that have to do with anything?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:22 AM
Response to Original message
16. Thanks. I don't have a lot of info on my cousin's life and death.
Yeah, Elvis was my fourth cousin. I never met him, but my father's middle name was my paternal grandmother's maiden name: Presley. Interestingly, pictures of my father when he was young look a lot like Elvis during his younger years. Some of us Presley cousins are also musically talented. My cousin is. One of my uncles is. I am. :D

I can tell you that depression runs deeply in my father's family. Elvis suffered from depression. If he felt anything like I do when I'm suffering, I am so sorry he went through so much. :(

I was never a huge fan of his music, but I went through life wondering how things were going for the cousin I never met. When he died, I realized I never would get a chance to meet him and felt a little sad.

I actually like Michael Jackson's music and part of me feels badly for the guy. Hell, he was my in-law when Lisa Presley married him. :D

Michael Jackson must have a severe case of dysmorphia to have ruined his face the way he did. I don't watch television, so I don't know all the juicy tidbits about his possible pedophila. My gut feeling tells me he probably did it, but gut feelings are worth only so much. I still like his music and I'm sorry he hated his face enough to destroy it. :(

Still, if he molested those kids, he deserves to spend the rest of his life in prison. It's almost impossible to rehabilitate a pedophile. If you've never been a victim, you don't know the pain molestation brings. I know the pain. And even though I felt sorry for my own molester (and Michael Jackson), they both belong behind bars.

My molester copped a plea and returned to his homeland. Sometimes I wonder if he's still free, molesting children. Michael Jackson, if he is guilty, needs to spend the rest of his natural life away from children.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 01:48 AM
Response to Reply #16
33. Cool!
Your family members should start a band!



Elvis was definitely depressed but he just coped with it, and that's where we come back to the drugs...essentially self-medicated. Eating, too. And all of his other destructive habits and quirks. We're all complex (well, most of us), but few of us have ever had the kind of pressure on us that he had from being Elvis Presley. Toward the end he told at least one person that he was "so damned sick and tired of being Elvis Presley." And it's hard to stay motivated when the stage is the only place that provided any real happiness and, even then, the fans would scream like maniacs just for him showing up.

Sure, some'll likely pull the "oh, I feel so sorry for the poor, sad, millionaire," but like Elvis was human, after all, and all of us to some degree are susceptible to the same kind of problems on some scale. They just don't become fodder for tabloids or provide hard currency for Judas after Judas on the tell-all circuit.

As for Mikey, I don't know. If he did it, I'd bet that his motivation was markedly different from the usual. But he'd still be guilty and, yes, I think it's about as bad a crinme as there is. If he didn't do it...well, he's already going to be seen as guilty. Some of my relatives knew him intimately for many years and they're divided over whether he's capable of doing such a thing, regardless of motivation and backstory. One, a female, slept in his bed, overnighting back in the "Thriller" days and thereabouts, and she denies that there was anything suspicious..well, back then, and who knows what might have changed in MJ since then. Another, who thinks that he may be guilty, told me that -- kinda already knew this -- Michael is extremely arrogant and will fight this and maintain his innocence until the end and beyond. He, apparently, considers himself above other's standards fo conduct (laws included). Sad -- poor little kid might have been better off going to school in Gary, IN, and getting a job away from his father as soon as he could.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Ladyhawk Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 12:55 AM
Response to Reply #33
48. I don't see members of my family very often.
Strangely, my father's family hardly ever visit each other. My paternal grandfather couldn't even get my name right. :) I doubt we'd get along in a band.

As for poor Elvis, I don't think it's right to call him names because he was overweight. Geez. I'm not exactly the queen of thin myself. I never thought I'd get fat, but life sometimes has other plans.

Also, I think you're right about Elvis's weight loss and weight gain. I don't know too much about his health near the time of his death, but he didn't look very well in a few of those pics. Rapid weight loss and weight gain can only be water retention. :( Congestive heart failure is a possibility, but since I am no physician and hardly was Elvis's physician, I can't really say, can I?

If Michael's guilty, he needs to be in prison. But a part of me still feels sorry for him because only someone with severe emotional difficulties would destroy his own face. Something is definitely wrong there. Too bad arrogance comes with superstardom. His own arrogance is probably fighting it out with his lack of self-worth. Super arrogance is often the cover placed over an inferiority complex.

Since I have no TV, I won't be following the trial. Probably I'm just as well off without the damn tv.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
kskiska Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:49 AM
Response to Original message
23. I don't think young people really appreciate Elvis
I mean the Elvis of 1956 before the jump suits before he became a caricature. He was pretty much the first rock star and was very unique. Parents hated him for his long hair and gyrations. My mother would say, "Why can't you like Pat Boone, like so-and-so?" Elvis was considered a greaser.

Even the music business didn't know what to do with him or how to categorize him. At first he was considered "country" and appeared at the Grand Ol' Opry, but he didn't fit in there, either. He appeared on such hokey programs as Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey's show, or the Jackie Gleason show. Elvis never won a Grammy for anything other than inspirational music. Back then, R&R wasn't taken seriously. It was just kids' music.

There's a great documentary on Elvis' early years, focusing on 1956, when he could still walk about in public, without an entourage. He didn't know what hit him, or what was in store. It shows him strolling around Times Square by himself.

The best books are two by Peter Guaralnick(sp?) "Last Train to Memphis," on the early years, and "Careless Love," the later years.

John Lennon was right when he said that "Elvis died when he went into the Army." Nothing was the same after that.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 01:56 AM
Response to Reply #23
38. True
I differ on the Lennon quote (John himself contradicted that opinion and seemed to enjoy himself at Elvis' 1972 New York concerts), because Elvis brought the same blend of musical influences to the studio in his last session that he did in his first. In that respect, he never changed, and some of his post-Army sessions rate among his best (e.g., the 1960 "Elvis Is Back" sessions, the 1969 Memphis sessions, and some of the most amazing singing ever during the 1966 gospel sessions).

His record company never knew how to handle him and it showed, all the way through the end of his life and beyond (things really turned around when they let some European uber-fans take over the cataloging of their Elvis archives). For that matter, he was never appreciated in the US as he was (and is) abroad. He also never really grasped the full extent of his fame or his following. I think he'd be stunned to find that he's still topping charts and still regularly showing up on magazine covers, in books, on TV, and in the movies.

I love the '70s stuff, and I listen to it perhaps most of all (it's more accessible, in some ways, not least because there's more material and documentation available), and he was an amazing performer throughout. You're right, though, it was in the '50s that Elvis changed the world. And not just the musical world -- as Greil Marcus so eloquently told us, Elvis changed world history. Elvis would have mattered to a huge extent even if he'd never recorded anything past "Hound Dog." The rest is just a very nice bonus...
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
bloodyjack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:50 AM
Response to Original message
24. Great post.
:thumbsup:

I was just listening to that live version of "Are You Lonesome Tonight?" during which he starts cracking up and simply cannot stop laughing. Do you know what concert this is from? When I first heard it, I assumed he was doped up beyond all recognition, but after listening to it a few times I suspect it had something to do with the ridiculous back-up singer.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 02:03 AM
Response to Reply #24
39. Yep -- August 26, 1969
Midnight show *(second of two concerts), to be exact, in Vegas. As it happens, one of my relatives was at that very show! It was toward the end of a month-long gig in Vegas (two shows a night, every night) that heralded Elvis' return to live performing. Rave reviews all around, including from the previously-skeptical 'underground' press.

Accounts vary as to why he cracked up (hard not to laugh -- he had a pretty infectious laugh when he really lost it), but I've heard that it was in response to him seeing the toupee on comic Marty Allen's head lifting up at a critical point or just a response to his soprano's high note. He messed around with this song quite a bit, though, including on his very last tour.



August, 1969
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
argyl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 12:55 AM
Response to Original message
25. I saw him in Houston in late 1969 or early 1970. I was never a big
fan but this guy had charisma to burn.He steps out(this was at the Houston Fat Stock Show and Rodeo) and these middle aged Houston matrons were screaming like teenaged Monkees fans.Jagger, Hendrix, Zepplin, I've never seen anyone amp up a crowd like that. He was trim and looked great;put a lot into his performance.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 02:09 AM
Response to Reply #25
42. Must have been something
Though the acoustics were supposedly pretty awful inside the Astrodome. He did two shows on each of three days (Feb 27-March 1, 1970) and it was his first time playing outside of Vegas, where he'd just finished his second season four days earlier, since his three 1961 charity concerts. Great setlist, and he was working hard!



February 27, 1970 evening show - Houston, TX

Look familiar?
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
CanuckAmok Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 01:05 AM
Response to Original message
30. Thanks, Mr. Gump! I was never a fan, but...
...if you look at those photos, which are the "best" of tens of thousands shot at those shows, there's one constant, and that's that all the band and audience are clearly being entertained, and enjoying themselves immensely.

No doubt in my mind that Elvis was an incredible live performer... I wish I had seen him, even not being a fan of his style of music.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 02:10 AM
Response to Reply #30
43. That's the main thing...
That everyone's having fun. :-)
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
sundog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
36. whoa forrest, where the fuck have you been?
just checked in before bed & saw your post

:hi:
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
ForrestGump Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 02:11 AM
Response to Reply #36
44. A tree fell on the Forrest and nobody was there to hear the sound
I was okay after I chewed my way through Salma's dress and freed us both.

How about you? :D
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Jamison Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Mar-13-05 03:36 AM
Response to Reply #44
46. I don't think he looked fat in any of those pictures at all.
Actually pretty normal looking for a 40+ year-old guy. I'm 5'8" and have weighed as much as 345 pounds at one time in my life, now that is what I'd call fat.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
RetroLounge Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
50. Wow! Just freaking Wow! Great post...
My views on Elvis have changed over the years. When I was much younger, I laughed that my Aunt had all his records and was a HUGE fan. But as I hit my 20's, I discovered his Sun recordings and flipped out on them. I went and bought as many as I could find, on 45, some on original Sun, some reissues. Plus LP's wherever I could find them. But I still had a media-induced prejudice about the so-called "Fat Elvis" years and the movie parodies of himself.

But the more I discovered of him, the more I found some of his later stuff was pretty freaking brilliant too.

I have about 15 45's in the Jukebox of Elvis. And my kids knew who Elvis was before they knew who Elmo was.

Have you ever heard the double album, The Last Temptation of Elvis? I'm sure you have. Some really nice covers...

RL

Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
johnnie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:54 PM
Response to Original message
52. Great post Forrest
I wasn't home when you put this up and I missed all the fun. It's always nice to have you post the positive Elvis posts.
Hope to see you around more. Take care..
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Deja Q Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 08:59 PM
Response to Original message
53. Awesome post. Thank you much.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
Kaldis Donating Member (14 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Mar-14-05 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
54. Man..
I love Elvis. Ever since discovering him at the age of 9 with my father's tape of the 68 Special, he's been my favorite musical artist. I'm 23 now.

His 1969 album "From Elvis In Memphis" is my favorite album, period. It is simply a masterpiece. One of my only regrets in life is that I can't see him give one of his legendary live performances, since he died before I was born.
Printer Friendly | Permalink |  | Top
 
DU AdBot (1000+ posts) Click to send private message to this author Click to view 
this author's profile Click to add 
this author to your buddy list Click to add 
this author to your Ignore list Tue Sep 16th 2014, 11:48 PM
Response to Original message
Advertisements [?]
 Top

Home » Discuss » The DU Lounge Donate to DU

Powered by DCForum+ Version 1.1 Copyright 1997-2002 DCScripts.com
Software has been extensively modified by the DU administrators


Important Notices: By participating on this discussion board, visitors agree to abide by the rules outlined on our Rules page. Messages posted on the Democratic Underground Discussion Forums are the opinions of the individuals who post them, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Democratic Underground, LLC.

Home  |  Discussion Forums  |  Journals |  Store  |  Donate

About DU  |  Contact Us  |  Privacy Policy

Got a message for Democratic Underground? Click here to send us a message.

© 2001 - 2011 Democratic Underground, LLC