Conversations With Robin Page 2

November 13, 2008

 

Conversations With Robin

Page Two.

Chatter Between

Robin Mark and R.E. Prindle

 

     Well, you know, the river just keeps right on a flowin’ and you have to stay afloat but the bozos in Washington just don’t seem to have a clue and they’re so cynically dishonest.  Eighty percent were against the bailout but they said we had to have it or the world would end yesterday.  Now the bailout has gone away.  first there was a bailout, then there was no bailout.

     I thought both Obama and McCain were genuninely crazy to want to step into Bush’s shoes and I hope Obama gets what he’s got coming.to him before I get mine.  The Commies have to be stopped this time; twice was enough of that bull roar.

     But to turn the radio back up.  Have you read any of Miss Pamela’s latest:  Let’s Spend The Night Together?  she interviews twenty-four groupies mining their minds for golden memories.

     As super Presley buff you’ll want to read the first chapter by someone called Tura Satana.  Taught Elvis nearly every thing he knew.  How to kiss, the whole works.  Came to her as a country bumpkin and left as The Sheik.  Funny I haven’t heard you vent on her before.

     And then a Catherine James invents the most improbable story about Dylan you’ve ever heard.

     Elvira makes her guest appearance with some more info on Elvis that sounds like it might be as true, at least, as a Hollywood movie.

     It’s kind of a kiss and invent book but Miss Pamela is her usual charming self.  Get’s a little gruesome after a while though, but, Hey, here it is 2008 and they’ve all survived.  Even Miss Mercy.  Carazy mama but she’s got a few more tidbits on Elvis.  Did he ever have an interest in a Memphis area club called Hernando’s Hideaway?

     Those girls did get around but the question is what can they actually remember?  It makes you wonder how Jimmy Page ever had a spare moment to practice guitar.

     Good luck with your school.  We’re a long way from the bottom yet.  It amazes me how few people understand how far its fallen and that it is absolutely impossible for it to bounce back.  For crying out loud the Faller has barely gotten ‘Timber’ out his mouth already.

     I pity those poor Liberals who’ve finally gotten their wish.  Now what are they going to do with General Motors.  There is no forgiveness in my heart for them.

62 Responses to “Conversations With Robin Page 2”

  1. RM Says:

    Heh, heh. Oh, those groupies. I think Elvis mangaged to muddle through by the time he was about 22. He said so. So no, I haven’t heard of THIS groupie, but I imagine, he found more imaginative ones along the way.

    I can’t understand how those guys submitted to the that “plaster caster” indignity! I mean, they had to know it would go public some day. Sheesh. Jimi still played the heck out of that guitar! I don’t care if he had a teeny-weeni. {giggle}
    And I have heard of some place called “Hernando’s Hideaway,” but I cannot recall where. I’ll have to look it up.
    As for our political situation, I figure that you love to spoil for a fight. Really, I do. ‘Cause you’re gonna get some fights. But talk is important in these times, and I think he SHOULD change his name to “Barry.” He looks even more like a “Barry” than a “Steve” {they actually changed his name to that for a while, but he decided to stick with what he was born with; heck I did that too}. I don’t label myself, but I also don’t like to end up like that “dead skunk in the middle of the road” if you know what I mean. Even if it irritates people, America exists for the sole purpose of people having the right to take a stand. And if pissing people off is what it takes to demand the freedom to think and speak, then at this time in history, it may be necessary to spoil for some fights. No, I don’t think “Col. Epstein” {as Andre Von Kuijick {sp?} called him} was the reason for the nutso reaction. But he was a damn good manager in the very early days. Except for one thing: “cleaning them up” may have gained them giant fame, but it denied who they really were: leather-jacketed thugs. They would admit it! They did! “You can’t be a rebel if you grin,” Elvis insisted often, and he was right. They were left confused when trying to find out who they really were. But Bob was a rocker at heart, always, well, maybe after being a “Hillbilly” fan first, since the Iron Range really IS Hillbilly Country, as he quite correctly puts it. And I do not see any great divide between his early work and his middle work, and his “happy work” {what a joke!}, and after that . . . at all times, he is HIMSELF, a “Rank Stranger” to all. A motherless child, a boy without a name. A loner from a family of “happy joiners.” Fake happy joiners is what I see. But if he came from another religious background, or if his father was into Tennis, or whatever, it would be the same. Abe’s lucky that angry young Bobby didn’t pull a Menendez. Really: young Bobby was one angry young kid. Look at the violence he meeted out to Weberman!! On a New York, open, large sidewalk!!!!!!! Gosh, Elvis was too loose with his fists (sometimes for good reason: there was an incident with a temp garderner, and I think he did right: his mother told him, early on, to do it, and even after she was gone, when he heard that word {I’ll leave you guessing}, he just did it. One punch.} But Bob seemed wild, out-of-control, and in some indefinable way, still deeply troubled. I mean, so the guy went through your garbage . . . gosh.

    More later,
    Robin

  2. reprindle Says:

    RM; Boy, you really know how to hurt a guy. Spoiling for a fight? Nothing could be further from the truth. I’m a man of peace and only wanted to be left in it. They didn’t want to do that.

    Now, here’s a lesson in Orwellian Double Speak. Back then when the Boys of ’64 like Greil Marcus were in the bleachers shouting their lungs out for ‘freedom’ their slogan was: Nothing is good or bad but thinking makes it so. In other words all is relative and the individual is sole arbiter based on how he or she evaluates ‘it.’

    The Boys of ’64 then said everything you think is wrong and everything we think is right because we think it. Acting on the premiss they then attacked everything that was actually right and made it wrong. That moron Tom Brokaw’s ‘Greatest Generation’ capitulated to these slovens without a fight allowing them to change the democracy to a totalitarian state.

    Of course what the Boys did wasn’t wrong according to their thinking because as Bomber Billy said: When you believe in something as passionately as I do then you just have to act even is some people get hurt or killed in the process. You just have to bring about change. That’s how he and the Boys justified their murder and mayhem.

    Alright!! But now the shoe is on the other foot. We think what they think is BS and we’re right because we think it. We want peace but they will have to abdicate because we can’t submit to their tyranny just because they screamed their lungs out in the bleachers in ’64 and called it freedom. What they mistakenly think is ‘freedom’ we think is anarchy in the bleachers and we’re right because we think it and they’re wrong because they don’t think it.

    You see how that works? In ‘Weird Old American’ they used to call that: What’s sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

    Obama is the candidate of the Boys of ’64- Bomber Billy, Bernie, all the crew in Chicago, Trinity Church and Black Liberation Theology and all that crowd- but he had now better make himself the President of all the people according to our thinking or else. He can forget his old crowd.

    We want Bomber Billy, Bernie and that Chicago crowd incuding the Presidents of U. Illinois and Northwestern thrown into jail. We want the rest of the Weatherpersons put there too. Jerry Rubin and Abbie Hoffman are already beyond the Pale or them too. A little desecration of their graves might be in order. Jane Fonda is still out there though wearing her ring.

    So you see, ‘social justice’ is all we want. We just want to put those rings they wear made out of the fusilages of downed jets through their noses instead of on their fingers. We want them paraded before Vietnam Vets to have offal and refuse thrown on them.

    Peace and social justice is all that’s wanted. As some of our Moslem and Black friends have said: They can have peace and we get social justice or else no peace.

    You see: Nothing’s good or bad but thinking makes it so. Now, we’re going to tell them how to think.

    Spoiling for a fight? Oh, RM, how could you say such a thing about me?

  3. reprindle Says:

    RM? Oh, Weberman. It is too bad Dylan had to gratify the t— by giving him a beating but it does reach a point of what are you going to do? The cops are never there when you need them as Dylan noted. I wouldn’t have troubled myself too much about the garbology bit but staging demonstrations in front of the house while insisting Dylan was a heroin addict is real harassment and defamation.

    Weberman did create a nuisance with the garbology bit. I talked to a mere store clerk once, jast a few years ago, who had had credit card slips fished out causing her problems. God only knows what you might throw away that could be used against you. Innocent stuff can be construed as something sinister believe me.

    Guys like Weberman consider any contact with their hero, even a beating, such an honor that you’re better off not doing it. I wouldn’t even consider holding something like that against Dylan though.

    Hernando’s Hideaway is or was a real place but i thought it was in Mississippi. That might be just outside of Memphis for all I know. They may have used the place for the song Hernando’s Hideaway in Pajama Game but I don’t know which came first. When Miss Mercy was there, probably in 1969-70 it was a trans-racial rendezvous. The question is did Presley have a share as she asserts. It seems Guralnick would have said something but from what you’ve been saying he left out half the book. Wasn’t even anything about Tura Satana. 🙂

    Hillbilly, rockabilly and Rock and Roll go together. That doo wop stuff was an entirely different aspect of pop that had no bearing on RnR as far as I’m concerned. Some of it (Leiber-Stoller) was big beat but most of it was some kind of falsetto wimpy proto-soul. Besides Leiber-Stoller were a commercial outfit trying to appeal to Whites while promoting Black folk.

    Little Richard was RnR but even he was coming from a different place than, say, Gene Vincent, Johnny Tillotson and like that. Much more country based. Look at Sam Phillips, Presley was the first real RnR.

    In the fifties Black was Black and White was White. If you want to hear really White Rock n’ Roll Google Dickie Do and the Don’ts. Even Barry DeVorzon who’s Jewish is really pleasant but totally non-threatening. He wrote a song for his sister, Barbara Jean by that title. I used to play it a lot. I met her once. They’re from LA there, give her a call.

    So, yeah Dylan’s always close to his country ‘roots.’ Actually now that I think about it Tangled Up In Blue is real C&W. Maybe compare it to Johnny Cash’s Big River. That’s just off the top of my head.

  4. RM Says:

    A lot here tonight. I won’t be able to get to it all. But one thing is true for sure, Guralnick left MORE than “half” the story out of the story. He not only fails often to connect the dots, but forgets even the obvious: like the weather! I mean, one of the most beautiful thing about Dylan’s writing (and, by the way, the ad-libs that The Critics don’t consider “writing” that Elvis always did), is that the elements of nature itself help to shape a story. If it’s hot and humid to point of being unbearable, you WILL “ramble in the moonlight” as Elvis said he always did, and which gave other entertainers so much difficulty in trying to reach him. There was only a brief window when he’d be available, and then he’d be out the door, and then, he’d be back in the sack (no, I don’t mean groupie stuff: I mean acutally sleeping, or sleepwalking or whatever he did). Dylan is someone who, by nature, could understand this. Elaine Dundy, who wrote a beautiful, powerful biography, also sees the idea of a blues-loving (“I’m a sucker for the blues,” he told Sam Phillips, early on) 18 year old, in the heat and humidity of a Memphis summer, actually NOT slinking around Beale Street as unthinkable, and she’s right. And when the info comes to him, he just throws out whatever he wants. It’s crazy, but he does it. But wait: if DIXIE says it happened, then IT HAPPENED. But if B.B. King and Rufus Thomas (who I met once, briefly), and Billy Emerson, and all the other Beale Streeters, all older than Elvis (only Billy} is even close, or maybe the youngest Newborn, if THEY say it, he simply either ignores it, or dismisses it. And this is an IMPORTANT part of the story, perhaps the most important. I keep thinking about Dylan’s multi-handed gunslinger (Harding, with a gun in “every” hand}: it ends with Harding never having made a foolish move. Now, Dylan is probably talking about himself, but you never really know on that record. It’s still my favorite because it always leaves you scratching your head. In any case, there is some absolutely vital stuff about the dual “news” system in the U.S., especially in the ’50s, and Elvis’s “foolish” move that in some ways killed his mother and broke his spirit: not just the endorsement {and undoudtedly he saw it first in the Mephis World, or Tri-State Defender} . . . “Barry” wasn’t born yet, and probably knows nothing of this crucial American history. He’s gotten his history from the Baby Boomers who seem so cool to kids too young to have been REAL “boomers.” I’m in that co-hort, so I know. But I know my history damn good BECAUSE I know pop culture, and anyone who doesn’t, will have problems. They’ll be blindsided in ways they cannot possibly imagine. You wait, and I’ll point it out. See, once you become an “icon” everything changes, and if you do not understand pop culture, you will be at sea, without a life preserver. You’ll be screaming “help”!! And I don’t mean the song.
    But back to the music. See, the foolish move was in condemning the draft in the fifties, when he was, as he said “draft bait.” Gawd, what a knuckleheaded thing to do!!!!!!! If he had just thought for a moment, instead of just FEELING, pop culture would be different. I don’t think the Beatles changed things all that much in the early days. It was just pimple music. Guess what? Elvis owned “Rubber Soul,” “Revolver,” and “Slow Down” and “I Saw Her Standing There.” The last two were singles. excellent taste. I would choose some others, perhaps, but it is quite spot on. He sure didn’t own “Matchbox”!!!!!!! Ha! {My own private joke, that maybe won’t be private for too long.} Dylan was overcome by what he saw as a kind of power in it all, but he was wrong. That kind of idolatry, as he soon learned, can turn on you in a second. The next thing he knew, tears streamed down his face, in concert, no matter how much he’d like to deny it today. I know people who never even heard of him, watch it and say “gosh, he’s CRYING.” And I add a little bit of detail, so’s it makes some sense.
    Yeah, I know about dumpster diving, and all that, but Weberman was a jerk, and Bob knew it, but to risk a murder rap, which is what he did, was CRAZY. If those two men hadn’t pulled him off . . . well, let’s just say that the “trial of the century” would have happened in the early ’70s or thereabouts. My point wasn’t about Weberman at all; it was about Bob. He had so much stored-up rage, still, from his childhood and adolescence, that people should have known to watch it around him. And I think he WAS clean at that particular time. I don’t think it lasted forever, as the ruminations about the “Born Again” thing make very clear, but things happen to people, and they get knocked off the wagon. From about ’73-74 on, ’till 77 . . . Bob went through some serious stuff. Clearly. He probably tried to keep clean, but after a while, well: “the room moved.”
    He tried to bring people from the past back into his life: particularly his mother. I think that was not a good idea, either in the ’70s, or the ’90s. Much too much baggage for a guy like that to handle. Heaven knows what the “advice” was?!?! Think about it!
    And oh, about the recent “singers” issue of Rolling Stone, I think Bono hit his head or something. I think even Bob himself would like to clock him for what he said about his idol. It’s just crazy in light of what he has earlier said. Just crazy. Another “late Boomer” who doesn’t really understand the history of his older brothers, cousins, etc. Sure, the Weatherman were {bad word for DAMN fools}, but everybody sort of knew that back then!!!!!! Lennon knew it, and was very clear, and Dylan was sly as always: “you don’t need a Weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
    Uh, I think you are elbowing me with that Prince of Peace stuff, but whatever. The point is that there were people in the 60s who did things the right way, for the right reasons, and those who just were in for kicks. And those guys were dangerous. And a young guy like “Barry” ought to really study this period HARD and learn about “foolish moves” of all kinds, or he’ll make one or more. And he’ll regret it deeply, because it will be made from ignorance, not malice. Ignorance can often be worse than malice. The people from this “lost generation” (mine, actually) need to stop and think about what went before them, and not just blindly embrace it all. Because it is far too complex than it first appears. Everybody in my co-hort wanted to be “older.” WE DID!!!!!! Do you think “Barry” was any different? Of course not. We were much more “serious” than kids today, who don’t expect much, and don’t get much. I can’t blame them. But we wanted to be like the “genreation” (actually it was only a few years, but it seemed so very long ago to us} before us. We wanted to be cool. Doesn’t everybody, sometime? But we should have listened more deeply to lyrics like “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” Which is exactly what “Like a Rolling” is REALLY all about. It’s not about the freedom to BE, it’s about the freedom to be stranded, and alone, in a “stony” world. Marcus has always lived in a sort of dream world. Trust me on this. Do not for a minute think that he really LIVED this stuff, ’cause that’s a shuck. And it’s not just me. Don’t ask me how I know this; trust me that I do. I have always had a problem with his seeming joy in others’ pain and suffering. Honestly. Or just being mean for no damned reason. It’s probably not surprising that a young guy like Bono is getting all mixed-up, suddenly. Bob knows not to trust “criticism” of this sort. You know, the Boomers who thought they were great literary critics.
    That’s all for now. More later.
    Best to all,
    Robin
    Peace!!!! I mean it!!!!!!!

  5. reprindle Says:

    RM: No, I’m not elbowing you on the Prince of Peace thing. I’m so serious sometimes it hurts me. All a sudden this religious side of Dylan is big news. Probably Joel Gilbert’s movie. It isn’t bad, at least not for the obsessed.

    Check out my Exhuming Bob 14,15, 16 especially 16 that covers the Michaelson article. That guy seriously nominates Dylan for ‘King of the Jews.’ Try to get from Point A to that one, whatever point that is. Read Michaelson’s article through two or three times. The guy’s overwrought. It’ll blow your mind.

    I’ve goe EB 17 plotted out but I want to rework it a little bit. Enough of the slap dash.

    A lot these guys, Bono for instance are living their press books but my romanitic image of my yung self is so wonderful even I can hardly believe it. Seems like there might be a stretcher or two in there. I was the master of cool but in order to maintain that image I have to leave a number of the slides in the box. Slides! See, that’s how far back I go. I can’t tell you how much I love my digital and combputer. I was not only cool but kind of progressive on the side. Knew a guy once who stunned us all by calling his various psychoses a ‘multi-faceted personality.’ That’s me.

    Anyway, it ain’t easy as you probably know. They really did dump on Elvis. I’m surprised he didn’t crack up earlier. I do have to back Dylan over Weberman though. It was a risk but he could have made a case for justifiable homicide. He might have ended up talking to the Hurricane from the inside nevertheless.

    Huh, God! Can you imagine Hurricane Carter in a women’s prison? Talk abut insanity. I can imagine Joni Mitchell singing her crap to hardened criminals. ‘I’ve looked at bars from both sides now…’

    Too funny for words.

    Dylan and the religious thing is getting interesting.

  6. ray Says:

    Prindle on Michealson:..”the guy’s overwrought. It’ll blow your mind.” Prindle: “I was ejected(from expectingrain) for voicing pretty much the same sentiments as Michealson.” You play both sides against the middle and come off looking foolish once again. Jay is your straw man here, a good choice. He’s unhappy because D. does not adhere to his idea of proper Jewish thought. While you quoted him correctly, you missed the whole point of what he actually said. He did not nominate B.D. as king. He said B.D. never wanted the assignation to begin with. You are being intellectually dishonest once again. Just as you failed to put B.D.’s quote from Nov. 4 in its proper context. You had the info at hand but as usual, you disregard any facts that don’t line up with your preconceived notions. If anyone wants to read what those notions are, read RE Prindle Contemporary Notes from November 10. That’s the last plug I’m giving you. I just wanted Robin to know who he is dealing with.

  7. reprindle Says:

    Ray: Now listen. Don’t be a boor. Anyone is welcome to join this forum but you are going to have to be decent and act you like the other participants. I will delete your garbage unless you shape up instantly. Block you if I have to. I don’t want to because I feel that everyone as a right to their say. But I can’t allow unpleasantness on this site. We’re having a good time. Robin knows who I am and I know who Robin is.

    So you have your choice, apologize and shape up or I’ll ship you out.

  8. reprindle Says:

    RM: Some interesting things happened to me as I was checking out the Yesteryear Museum site. From a distance of nearly five decades I noticed a few things I hadn’t noticed before. Watch and listen closely to Paul Stookey as he sings Don’t Think Twice. He really brings out the meanness and viciousness of the lyric I hadn’t noticed before placing it on a par with Positively Fourth Street or Like A Rolling Stone.

    This would reenforce your observation concerning Dylan’s repressed rage.

    Then a funny thing happens in Presley’s version. He seems to treat the song as lightweight humor having to work to make something of it. Elvis brings out the basic complaining and whine of the song, the sense of self-righteious self-pity.

    If he and Dylan did meet to sit and watch the river flow I would have to imagine that Elvis was bemused by ‘the Napoleon in rags’ figure of Dylan. Think about that image of Dylan too. He must have been intrigued by Dylan’s success with such spiteful material.

    Interesting stuff. Descent into the maelstrom.

  9. ray Says:

    I asked very nicely to be shipped out(deleted) after reading your Nov. 10 piece and you didn’t do it. I am truly at a loss as to what I should apologize for. Should Kermit the frog apologize for being green? It ain’t easy being me. You say I’m not decent, nor pleasant and that my words are garbage and for that I am truly sorry. Who am I to argue? The true self is often seen by others from without more clearly than from within. Perhaps that is your service to me and vice versa. You have my best wishes now and always…

  10. RM Says:

    I am not sure about the argument going on here between the two fellows, but if everybody looks up the old USENET posts on just about anything, you’ll see that there were rules: you couldn’t just “flame” somebody for the heck of it; you needed to make your case. Whatever you think of Prindle’s case, he goes to the trouble of making one. You do not have to agree with it, but you have to be polite to the extent that everyone has a right to their opinion if it is constitutionally protected speech, and nobody’s going to get physically hurt by the speech. And if you see the potential for a genuine second thread, as I did (or two or three), that’s fine. But you can’t “troll” which is not to OPEN a thread, but to close one by throwing the discussion into sheer irrelevence and thus stopping it altogether. I feel I have enriched the discussion, because there is no denying Dylan’s work, it’s relation to his life and vice-versa, and how his work relates profoundly to the work of other rock-era titans (like Elvis, for instance, who occupies Dylan’s mind so forcefully, and for so long . . .). Shoot, I got a bunch of the old Rolling Stone mags from the beginning, and I read how nutso everyone was over “Went to See the Gypsy.” And then, when EP died, it popped up again. At the time, Dylan had not yet revealed that he had a genuine nervous breakdown when it happened, and could not speak to anyone for an entire week. The way I see it, that is an extreme reaction. He did remember reacting to Hank Williams’ passing, nor even to James Dean’s in such a way. Both Williams and Dean existed only the imaginations of both Elvis and Dylan. There was no way either one of them could have ever met Williams or Dean. But they could definitely, not only have MET each other, but what I read in a new “Encyclopedia” (EP) — that Bob Johnston was seriously trying to set up a recording session between them in about ’70 or so. Which would totally explain the “cloak-and-dagger” style meeting described in the song. It’s all in code, and when reading recent interviews with Jerry Schilling, and from his book, and elsewhere, there WAS A GIRL who served as an intermediary. And Jerry dropped out of Elvis’s life in about ’68 (he was still in it in January, in the insane two-day “session” where Elvis clearly toked up half the lawns in Kentucky, Tenn., and Arkansas!! The profanity was a big deal for Guralnick and the gospel fellows, but since they only let you hear some of that, I hear the uncontrollable giggling, and Reed’s immediate reaction to it, and then his continuing and growing annoyance the following day. His guys, as always, tried to laugh along with him, but this time, they couldn’t keep up. Nothing was actually that funny, or sometimes not funny at all. At one point, Guralnick quotes him: “I’m one f’d-up U. S. Male.” And Guralnick says he may well have been. MAY HAVE BEEN?????? Good Lordy!!!!!! That’s why ignoring someone like Johnny Bragg (most of the time, even when Jud Phillips confirmed the original story!!!!!!!! So what if it was in the newspaper at the “wrong” time? Maybe Johnny got the date wrong, since when you’re in prison, dates just start to lose their importance. He didn’t think he was getting out, but he did get out, and then he got back in, and well, once they get somebody, parole violations happen easily. This proves Elvis understood something of the politics of race in the “Buckle of the Bible Belt” and for a biographer, is vitally important!! Because if Elvis DID understand this, then what he did do took incredible courage, and also explains his mother’s terror. I do not think either Guralnick, Hopkins, nor Dundy, all three of ’em, even ONCE mention the Ku Klux Klan, lynching, or any of that . . . and to leave that out of the story leaves out the most vital }part: Elvis, unlike Dylan, who walked down a field already plowed by a kid from Mississippi who literally took his life into his hands in what he did from ’54-’57 — he was lucky that he DID endorse the losing presidential candidate: that way, he got drafted, not hung from a tree — but in the earliest days, when even his own guitarist called him, to his face, the “N-Word” [the 1st O.J. trial’s gift to the world, or is it? I dunno.] You see the citizen’s councils in the old films removing “all Presley records from the jukeboxes” and these look like very scary men. Sam Phillips put this boy, this teenager, right in harm’s way: right in the gunsights, and he was relatively free from harm: hell, he sold his contract, and was happier with people like Cash and Perkins, who were pretty straight-arrow country, and gave up his R&B business almost totally. For both “Mr. Phillips,” then, and to Bono today, I quote Phil Ochs, the supposed “Dylan-imitator” {he was not; his songs did not have the spit and vinegar — the anger}, “love me, love me, love me, I’M A LIBERAL!” Man, he had it pegged. No knock on Bob: but it’s the people who DID indeed watch from the bleechers while others put themselves in harm’s way. Bob was clearly in harm’s way, but get this: FROM THE LEFT!! THEY were the ones booing him, and leaving him in tears! It’s hard to believe. And after he did “go home” to rock, when he sang some of those sentimental things that Elvis did in those days, sometimes, just to see how it felt, maybe, too feel that way, the “rock-critical establishment” as I have called it, in a paper I gave in the ’80s, lined up, all of ’em! And shot him, symbolically. Loving every minute of ripping Dylan’s heart out, AGAIN. He must have felt like there was nowhere to turn. It would make sense that he would try to get Johnston to set up a session with “the Gypsy,” around that time. It started with “Nashville Skyline”: the critics turning on their poster-boy, Dylan. I cannot understand why Johnston didn’t realize that Col. Andre Von “constitutional psychopath” {hey, don’t blame me; the U.S. Govt. ruled him so!} would see that it could not happen. Elvis seemed quite prepared. “Ten Thousand Years Ago” – the subtitle of the famous “country concept album” was an old Guthrie thing! I’m serious as cancer. {I hope no one is offended; I lost a dear family friend in ’06 to the pink ribbon cancer. I cannot believe she’s gone, ’cause we don’t have many “family friends” and she would have been here like a shot, especially with Christmas coming, and my mom’s birthday was Christmas Day, and yesterday I bought a “tiara” ornament-tree-topper, for my mom: queen of my heart, and of her tree, evergreen {no, I do not refer to the song – shoot}. It seemed perfect. In her early life she was treated as Cinderella by her own family, except for her eldest sister, who died of lung cancer when I was about 3, but she was out Queen. I gotta stop talking abou that. But nobody, NOBODY but Elvis, at least on record, can sing my pain. He was so alone, without her. And everybody made fun of him for that.}
    Anyway, I can understand Dylan wanting to “see the Gypsy” real bad at this time, and wanting to work with him. And Elvis DID understand the spite in “Don’t Think Twice”: Dylan said that it was NOT a love song, but just something to make oneself feel better. Elvis was in a whiny mood when he did it. And he went on for 15 minutes, of which about 12 and change have been captured on record. I have heard almost all of it. He takes every different approach imaginable, and finally gets into a seemingly genuine trance. He won’t stop, even when they signal in all the usual ways. Finally, the engineer says” “let’s hear a playback.” I think he could have gone on for hours. Remember, even back in ’69, his marriage was failing. Heck, even in ’68! They were both stunned at different times when they found out she was immediately with child. First, she wanted to get out, and he said he’d rather not, but whatever she wanted. And then, much later, out of the blue, he announced to her, while pregnant, that he wanted “a trial separation.” You can imagine the young lady’s shock. She was, after all, supposed to be the younger one! But Elvis suddenly frozed with terror. He told her to forget that quite quickly, but it totally supports Johnny Bragg’s unexpected visit (I am sure Guralnick doesn’t believe it, but it comes at just the right time}. Johnny is out on parole, living with a granny or somebody, and up roars a motorcycle in Nov. ’67 to his house. It’s “Presley,” what he always called him, mostly because “Mr. Phillips” was threatening “Presley” with jail if he didn’t quit hanging around when the sign said “closed.” It may have been a later Prisonnaires session, but Phillips’ son confirmed the story. What a great time to slip in, and get the lay of the land! Bragg said they were more or less both locked in the inner studio, while the boy helped Bragg with the “diction” that Phillips wanted. He wanted to go pop-country with this black vocal group, like the Ink Spots or whatever. So, that is, I think, why you hear Elvis singing like he does in the very beginning. Trying to please. And of course, you sing ballads to your girl!! But “Tommorrow Night” was a Lonnie Johnson BLUES ballad. I think Guralnick forgot about WHBQ’s “Old Camp Meeting of the Air” and the East Trigg Baptist Church on Sunday nights, which Elvis attended very early in life. Before Dixie. I think he probably met Dewey there, and that’s why the blues singers remember Dewey taking him around to the people like “Nat-Daddy.” As early as ’54 or ’55, Elvis knew where he lived!!!!!!!!! Not Dewey, Prof. Williams!!!!!!!!! “Mayor of Beale Street.” That’s amazing. And he was not at all afraid. It was that “Elvis-innocence” that Dundy describes. But he wasn’t dumb. He had to know at some point that he was in the line of fire for what he was doing. “Milkcow” was said to have “flopped.” Both Phillips could have made that happen. It went over the line. And then there was the great lost song: “My Baby Is Gone” which can be REALLY heard on the vinyl edition of The Complete Sun Sessions. The best take is cut at the beginning and end. Take 13, no less. (Remember Appollo 13!) Surely, this so far over the line that the boy could have been in danger. But on the other hand, he re-wrote the song completely, and you have to know it broke his heart. Woody Guthrie encouraged the young Dylan about writing and how to do it. Everyone DISCOURAGED Elvis. Because he was going in what they realized was a “dangerous” direction. Maybe you cannot blame “Mr. Phillips” totally: the boy was putting himself in jeopardy in a dangerous time. But the boy himself, as he became a young man, DID blame him, and had precious little contact with him, and did not speak well of him, generally. Perhaps he did not understand how in over his head he was. But when you crush a major part of a youth’s talent, it crushes something deep inside of them. Especially using tricks and the like to fool him. Instead of being straight and talking about it. Phillips admits he did not do that. Because maybe the kid would have stopped altogether. For his mom’s sake, of course. He wasn’t scared, really, it seemed.
    But Dylan came to a place the was truly “protected” with his music. It was a different deal. Still, there was much they had in common, especially in terms of music, movies, the whole thing. In the “new” earlier version of “Born In Time,” you can hear Dylan’s sadness and frustration years after the fact.
    Perhaps that sadness has turned to vinegar, and he turned Bono’s head. I mean, Bono is just too young, generationally, to see and hear what Dylan saw and heard. I know the line is in the wrong song, but that happens with Dylan, because so many lyrics dance about inside his head, but “it’s a sad thing to see beauty decay/sadder still, to feel your heart turn away.”
    As “Luke the Drifter” put it, and as Elvis recited it, and as it is now in a rap version of “In The Ghetto” – which Elvis partially wrote: he added the last line, which makes the whole song’s point, “You haven’t walked in that man’s shoes, or saw things through his eyes — to watch with helpless hands, while the heart inside you dies/so help your brother along the way, no matter WHERE he starts, because the same god that made you, made him, too: these Men With Broken Hearts.”

    So, maybe I am judging too harshly, and not understanding your motives. I haven’t walked in your shoes, or saw through your eyes. Nor you mine. But in this new way, we are trying, reaching blindly in the darkness to find a place to talk, to make sense of the world in which we grew, each of us experiencing our own hells, very different from one another.
    And you know that both the Titans of “the rock era” knew this, too. That as much as they were different, they were also, in many ways the same.
    Johnny Bragg said that Elvis roared up his drive to announce he was taking a nap first, and then he had to talk. He told Johnny that all his cousins and suchlike were mooching off him, and he was going to get rid of ’em all . . . and Johnny said he was carrying a pistol in the open, and appeared clearly stoned. It jibes perfectly with everything else at that time, including those horrific January sessions when he toked himself into a sheer oblivion of meaningless, unstoppable giggling and disgusting obscenity. And then he roared back off. It would soon be Thanksgiving. Right around the same time of the year, two years later, when I have it on excellent authority, that Dylan DID see the Gypsy by “the lights on the River” {as I said, bluespeak for Memphis}, and I think ahead to Dylan’s first album after EP’s demise, and that weird song “Baby, Stop Crying.” Dylan’s on a bench, offering friendship, but “please stop crying.”
    Who knows, for sure. The teens who saw them, did not catch the conversation: they were in total shock at the time, for one thing. It was always, always a GIRL with Elvis, and this was not only a guy, but a real famous guy!
    Anyway, it fits. I do applaud Guralnick for finally reaching the black communities in the U.S., and proving the truth about Elvis and his lack of race prejudice. If anything, he feared white people. I’ve had my moments like that in my life, even though I come from a different generational co-hort.
    I just worry about “Barry” growing up mostly in Hawaii. Nothing’s real there. His musical tastes run to Billie Holliday. Nothing wrong with that, but what about Funkadelic? I mean, his age and all. My point is that he is not “soul bro’ number 1” {giggle}. He’s quite removed from a lot of real, down and dirty things. And now those things are going land in his lap. I hope things will be better for all of us. That’s all we can do.
    Those young Memphis kids who lived in shotgun shacks a couple of blocks from Graceland to the west, and who grew up with his music, beloved by those who raised them, they know maybe more about the world than “Barry” but he’s gonna hafta learn.
    Hey, that’s fun, calling Dubya a commie! Hahahahahha!
    All the best,
    Robin

  11. RM Says:

    Corrections: “froze” with terror, not “frozed.” The last line of “In the Ghetto,” that Elvis added was, of course, “And his mama cried.” It completes the arc. Maybe Elvis knew Hollis Brown, the song. Who knows?
    And I meant to say Dylan did NOT react this way to the deaths of Williams or Dean. Or even Guthrie!!!!!!!
    Get ahold of that!
    Listen to “Baby, Stop Cyring.” It’s weird. I could be wrong, but it feels right.RM

  12. RM Says:

    Thanks for the full, original Guralnick link. I only disagree with the last line, by Jake Hess (was Hess thinking of himself, puffed up by Elvis’s idol worship? Hmmm.) But who DID Rolling Stone put ON THE COVER of “greatest singers”? There wasn’t even any choice for them. And frankly, he could lick Aretha or Ray Charles. They stayed in one single stylistic place. Could they have put over “O Solo Mio” as genuinely and as solidly as Elvis, while being able to also roar out “When It Rains, It Really Pours” even more suggestively than “Billy the Kid” Emerson’s version (which, if Emerson is truthful, and Elvis cut demos late at night at WDIA, then Emerson was there, with him: perhaps the song simply started as a hoot: a wild jam, and Elvis would never, never have taken the writing credit, particularly if it was a shared thing among the musicians, just blowing the roof off, anyway? Who knows. I am sure he knew Emerson well. I will say that. I have NO doubt. As to the song, well, Elvis was teaching Scotty how to play blues guitar, in a much kinder and more helpful way than “Mr. Phillips” who was yelling at him. Perkins was just coming in. I do not believe there is any evidence from what you hear that he played on the cut. Scotty did, with difficulty, but a necessary difficulty, if he was going to reach the level he reach on “Hound Dog” which he correctly refers to as “ancient psychelia” — 11 years is not what we, today, would consider an “ancient” sound, but everything was so new back then, or seemed so. Scotty is in his ’70s now, and looks swell. “The teenager” who slithered his way into the Sun studios has been dead for decades now. And his daughter picked up the “twin” gene! She just had two live twin girls. And Elvis missed being the happy ole grandpa of live twins. The “lucky little girl” as he called her when she was born, did not suffer as did his mother, and her babies lived.
    Bono is just as messed up in his thinking, in a way, as Mary J. Blige had been (I assume she knows the truth now). Elvis sang some very deep truths, long before it should have been possible. And while Mr. Phillips was essentially “in the bleechers” himself, the kid was out there in Klan Country, driving with 3 or 4 people, maybe five, in the car, and anything could have happened. And Sam KNEW this. I don’t think his parents really understood it. Tupelo was mostly white, and they were treated horribly by their former “friends” “above the highway” and by the working class folks in the nice clothes in town, both — the white folks, I mean. Yes, a lot of the black people with whom they lived felt pity, but at least they reached out and offered assistance, which was appreciated. When you’re child is hungry, and seems to be approaching starvation (protein deficient, ’cause cornbread and water is not sufficient, and if you look at him in any filmed situation, he clearly had Ricketts for some period of time), you don’t let pride get in the way. And one of the last things his father told the world was that “poor we were,” he wouldn’t ever deny it, “but trash we weren’t.” And how did he define “trash”? As “prejudice.” He gave NO other definition.
    So Elvis did not “march” around, or whatever: his manager probably would have nearly ’bout hung him himself had he done so, but Elvis begged the Col. to “make a statement about this injustice” when MLK, Jr. was murdered in Memphis. Of course, he was a grown-up who didn’t need to “beg” anyone to speak, but we didn’t walk in that man’s shoes. And then Parker rigged an elaborate hoax through his hated grandfather in Louisville, Kentucky, to scare both his family, and him, the very next day! Parker wanted this to come out of “nowhere” so they would believe it, so he remembered grandpa, who had, apparently, the Graceland hotline. He got him to get an anonymous person to go to a phonebooth and call, saying that Elvis Presley is lying dead in a Louisville funeral parlor after a crash in early April, 1968, and gave the number of the place. It was wrong, but the name was right, so his aunt called there, and they said there was no such person there, and no plane crash. In fact, no crashes that day that he knew of. Told her to call the Loisville police. They said “why don’t you try to call your nephew in California?” That ought to settle it, they giggled to themselves, as though his aunt was hopelessly dumb, instead of very frightened. The hotline was hard to get, and she totally forgot about grandpa. She calls Cali, gets Elvis, and says: “Honey, they said you was dead!”
    So, not until he sang “If I Can Dream,” did he make his “statement.” The single record version was sung, while he “writhed” (witnesses reported) on a concrete floor in Burbank, with all the lights out, except what was absolutely necessary. {He loved to sing in total darkness, especially if it was important.} They couldn’t believe what they saw. It looked like he was in agony or something. But it was more like desperation. No way Aretha or anybody could have done that song that kind of justice. The circumstances weren’t there, clearly. And the Burbank folks didn’t even know the whole story!
    Later, he vehemently insisted on a mono release, in 1968. The RCA people were very upset, but he wanted the vocal to jump out on AM radio, as potently as possibly, with no distractions.
    An addendum to Guralnick {from his book, I am pretty sure, and others}. He did not print the “Honey, they said you was dead” story. Why? Because that’s his way. But it wasn’t about HIM {Elvis, I mean}, or his life, or even his family: it was about being muzzled about what he wanted to say!! It was so very, very important to him – what had happened, in Memphis. And he really believed, that on his own, he could not defy the Col.
    I’m sure the Bobster, who wrote “Dear Landlord” about Col. Grossman, could understand. After that 1966 argument with him, he pulled that bike out of Albert’s gargage, and then went flying. I am certain he could understand it all: feeling trapped, feeling young and not really aware of why the world was how it was . . . but, PLEASE, BABY STOP CRYING!!!!!!!! (IF that happened . . . that’s the one part – that kind of detail, I cannot be sure about at all: it’s just my gut telling me so. And you’re thinking: but the guy you say was “crying” would have been 6 years older: not in maturity, for certain; not at all. Even Steve Binder, at 23{!!}, found himself in an “authority” role when EP froze up, and said he didn’t want to go out on stage for the first black leather concert – the sitdowns. “What if they don’t like me?” And finally, “what if they LAUGH at me!?” And Steve said “YOU ARE GOING OUT THERE!” Binder told him that even if he forgot every song, couldn’t think of anything to say, that he was going out there, and if he had to say “good night” and leave, well, ok, but “YOU ARE GOING OUT THERE.” That’s what it took. This is from Steve directly. No fooling around. This is what happened.

    So it makes my gut feeling about “Baby, Stop Crying” seem more understandable, I think, a little.

    And the poster from that album that I had framed in 1978, of Dylan. I am too old for such posters now, and did not understand why the pink outfit was not very “Dylanesque,” or what it meant, perhaps to him, as a kind of “homage.” Perhaps to a friend – of some kind, at least – who didn’t make it out of rock alive. Back then, I had no idea.) Me, I was still very young and I just dug it. The poster, I mean.
    RM

  13. reprindle Says:

    RM: .).? Can you give me any Rolling Stone references to ‘Went To See The Gypsy’? The ones that have influenced you. I have the DVD set of Rolling Stone Cover To Cover so I can retrieve any article, letter or ad in Rolling Stone from 1967 to 2007. If you haven’t seen the set you might find it useful.

    Walk a mile in his shoes… Well, one should always ‘Be A Little Forgiving’ but then one always has to stand on one’s own two feet, walk that lonesome valley all by yourself. So, you know, stay on the sunny side. Hank Williams wrote some great songs and makes a good general impression on the video clips I’ve seen but those guys were always up against the wall. In harm’s way as you point out.

    You see guys like Lefty Frizell or even Jackie Wilson who were destroyed by hangers on. Elvis needed them to validate his existence, make him feel like he was OK while Dylan rejects that scene seeming to rather play ‘the rolling stone on the lost highway.’

    I would really like to see some work done on Parker and Grossman. Both agents seems to have attempted to make their artists alter egos by which I mean to say assuming those alternate personas. Grossman at the Savoy in Don’t Look Back is absolutely disgusting and he’s trading on his relationship to Dylan to get away with it.

    That’s the loony crowd that Dylan had to distance himself from. Crazies using his fame and reputation to be as destructive as they pleased. Chucking junk out the hotel window down into the street without any thought as to possible consequences. Or letting Dylan take the blame anyway. That’s what you have to put up with though or walk away. That’s what Dylan did. Stepped back in 1966 from them all including Grossman. I can understand that one.

    Presley’s relationship with Parker is more difficult. Elvis apparently needed the money. Bad. And Parker in short run psychology got it. I mean, who needs to buy a 707? If anything indicates to me that Elvis was off the rails that’s it. But, walking in his shoes, he was under a lot of pressure, most of it psychological from his childhood. The squirrel. Don’t know why he chose to go in an occult way when the greatest minds in psychology would have been open to him. Maybe he thought he’d lose his talent if he straightened up.

    Of course, once you’re deep into ‘stimulants’ you can chuck what’s left of your brains out the window. And then something that no one addresses is the Mob influence. Presley had to deal with those underworld types in Vegas. Especially as Parker worked the tables so hard. Parker would have had to cut sweetheart deals to meet his gambling debts. At that point Presley would have been his ‘human resource.’

    I don’t know what the catual percentage of the total earings that Presley generated including side deals was that Parker took but I’m edging in the direction that Elvis was lucky to get ten percent. Psychopathic might be the right term for Parker.

    Parker’s real alter ego fixation seems to have been Gene Austin. Thus he has Presley record Austin’s song: Are You Lonesome Tonight? linking the two alter egos. And then combining his and Elvis’s by making him play Roustabout. The whole movie thing was probably an extension of who Parker thought he was played by his boy. That’s why the movies were the way they were.

    Thus Elvis who should have been made carefree by his agent in a long term relationship so he could concentrate on being Elvis Presley was thrown into a world of intense psychological anxiety.

    At least Dylan had the courage to tell Grossman to go to hell.

    But, I don’t know what Elvis could have done.

  14. ray Says:

    RM: I’ve enjoyed reading your ramblings on here. I agree that Elvis was a spectacular talent and truly worthy of his iconic status. And I think he was an underrated guitar player, too. As far as rating pop-rock-blues vocalists, it’s a matter of taste. Otherwise it would be Pavarotti at the top of the list. Vocalizing is emotive and hits different people different ways at different times. Some of my favorites include Dylan, Otis Redding, Toots Hibbert and Al Green. Van Morrison ain’t bad. Can’t really argue with Aretha and Ray Charles. I think the creams rises to the top in pop music. (I don’t know if the country artists were slighted by Rolling Stone, but Orbison and Waylon were as good as any). I think people with rare individuality and soul are noticed and appreciated for the most part.
    I wanted you to clarify a comment you made about Dylan in Hibbing during his father’s funeral. You said something about Mr. Rolfzen being in the kitchen when Bob became emotional and left the gathering. I did not understand what you were alluding to there. There was some vague reference to why Mr. Rolfzen was there but I have no idea what you were trying to say. Mr. Rolfzen is a good friend of mine and is in his late 80’s now. I could ask him what he remembers about that day and clarify it for you if I had a clue as to what you were driving at. He is the sweetest man, a rare jewel. He saw Bob in 2004 and Bob said to him, “You taught me a lot”. In fact, he talked about the concept of God and war in his H.S. lectures, possibly inspiring the song “With God on our Side”. There a line on Love and Theft: “You gotta sit near the teacher if you wanna learn anything”. Mr. Rolfzen likes that one. He said Bob always parked himself in the front row directly in front of his lectern, and that he never spoke to anyone or averted his gaze from his teacher. Robert Z.. wrote a paper on Steinbeck in that class which got a B. That paper recently was sold for $35 K at auction.
    I don’t understand the whole Redwing speculation or why it matters. If true, I don’t think admitting to going to reform school would be a big deal or a shameful secret to Bob. In a small town like Hibbing a secret like that would not have been easily kept anyway. I don’t think he got in any trouble in Hibbing from what I know. But I could ask my friend Leroy (who was Bob’s good friend and drummer in his band The Golden Chords in H.S.). The song Redwing doesn’t prove anything. His talent for writing stems in part from his ability to put himself in another man’s shoes, so to speak. It could have been one of his friends recollections that he internalized. I cite his song Ballad of Donald White (written in the first person) as an example. I didn’t read the Thompson book, but from what I’ve gathered Beattie never said anything about the place in Pennsylvania. She said Bob went to Denver right after graduation. She was a year off, so someone speculated about her covering up some secret. (I’m not sure about these details or where I read them.) She could have easily just made a little mistake from an innocent memory lapse.
    My other question I have is this: what was the supposed secret that you alluded to between Bob and Elvis? You said something about when Elvis died, Bob’s secret was then safe. What the heck were you talking about?
    As far as my argument with Prindle, just read the 11-10-08 article of his and my comments.You will understand. I agree that he has a right to his opinion except for slander and endangerment of others. You can’t go to jail for calling someone messiah, like you would if you cried fire in a crowded theater. But that distinction is what makes his writing so subtle and insidious. Any student of history knows that Jewish “messiahs” don’t last very long once they are outed in public square. Notice his sly placement of the phrase “if still alive”. It’s f-ing creepy. I tried to get him to at least edit the piece, if not delete the whole damn thing, to no avail.

  15. reprindle Says:

    I’ll tell you something Ray, you’re either a joke or Dylan in a ridiculous disguise. ‘Mr. Rolfzen is a good friend of mine and is in his late 80s now…In fact he talked about the concept of God and war in his H.S. lectures…’

    You’ve got to be kidding. Are we to believe that you live in Hibbing? Are we to presume that you sat in class with Dylan, noted where he sat and his rapt attention to the stirring and always stimulating words of Rolfzen as he expounded on God and war? Get serious for a moment. You’re telling us that Dylan mined his past to sell a high school paper for 35K at auction? Or did Rolfzen keep the treasure and turn it to cash? That would be truly embarrassing. Where are you coming up with this crap? Get staight with us. Post a picture. Anyone’s.

    You didn’t read the Thompson book but you gather? Get out! What have you read?

    ‘I don’t think admitting going to reform school like that would be a big deal or a shameful secret.’ You’re not from Hibbing, you’re from another planet. Of course a stint in reform school would be shameful to Dylan or anyone but a hardened criminal.

    It’s important because it shaped Dylan as it would anyone else. Why do you think he’s trying so hard to keep it hidden? ‘Forty red, white and blue shoestrings?’

    It’s important because in any biography of Dylan it has to be included. If Dylan left school in early Spring of his Senior year but was back in time for graduation and was actually allowed to graduate that in itself requires explanation.

    ‘You can’t go to jail for calling someone messiah…’ Glad I’m safe. Do you have a brain, ‘ray’? Do you understand what research is? Do you understand that both RM and I have researched our material extensively and know what we’re talking about?

    Let me give you some good advice: Learn something about your subject before you shoot off.

  16. ray Says:

    Why is it hard to believe I know people in Hibbing? It is a real place with real people like me. I’m not making this stuff up. I got the stories from Rolfzen himself about Bob. No I was not there in class with them. I don’t know who sold the Steinbeck paper or how they got it. It was not Rolfzen or Robert who sold it, I know that much. Maybe Weberman found it in the garbage for all I know. But I can do some research and find out if it matters so much to you. Please allow Robin to respond to my questions here. I’m a little curious about the things I asked her about.

  17. reprindle Says:

    Don’t be ridiculous Ray, I don’t allow anybody to do anything. When they respond they respond. Get acquainted with the facts of life.

    Yeah, OK, it does matter me to me, find out.

    Like I say, get straight, what do you know about Hibbing and why? How did you befriend this old dinosaur?

  18. ray Says:

    My source for my Redwing-Devoroux comments is the Heylin bio. He has an unnamed psychiatrist placing B.D. at Deveroux. Then he quotes Al Aronowitz as saying B.D. told him he had been at Redwing at some point. Either Bob was there and unashamed of revealing it(he wrote the song in first person and played it at Carnegie Hall, for gosh sakes), or he was embellishing his bio to Al, as was his wont back then. It’s not a big deal, either way, to me. If, as you say, he left H.S. for a length time in early spring, the whole small town would have known about it. I don’t know your source for that claim, but it does not seem plausible. As to your “40 red white and blue shoestrings” reference, I am lost. Is this some kind of Weberman code for something?

  19. reprindle Says:

    Ray: If you’re ready to settle down, the problem is this. RM and I have been trying to resolve the mention of Heylin concerning Dylan’s statement to Aronowitz that he had done time in Red Wing and Heylin’s claim of Devereaux. Both incidents must have occurred betwen Spring of ’59 and Summer of ’59. The problem then is to fit them in. Tou may be right that he was just jawing to Aronowitz, on the other hand there seems to be evidence that he actually had done time.

    For Dylan to have been sent to Red Wing he had to commit a crime. RM and I believe the crime was a breakin committed sometime from Nov to Jan. of ’58-’59. We believe he and Echo were caught. I believe Echo set him up. The breakin is commemorated in his song Chimes Of Freedom. If he was arrested, say, in January there was a trial and he was sentenced. Now, when did he do his time? He says in Chronicles I that he left school in early Spring of ’59 yet he was there for graduation in June. That is a possible perhaps probable window.

    He then says he got of town the day after graduation. We know he left for Fargo at that time. Ian Whitcomb in his autobiography Rock Odyssey confirms that he played with Bobby Vee. If he played several dates as claimed that would have taken at least two or three weeks.

    We know he was back in Hibbing, regardless of what he says, because he claimed to friends that he recorded with Vee and that frequently enough that he was ribbed for it. Some say hea cctually claimed to be Vee.

    So, his other story that he left town spending the entire summer in Minneapolis is not true.

    His actions can be accounted for once college begins. If he was sent to Devereaux and RM is more confident about this than I am, then it would have to have been July-August of ’59. That is the only open window with time unaccounted for unless he was sent there between Junior and Senior years which is a possibility.

    From ’53 to ’57 is out because he was at Camp Herzl.

    That is what RM and I are working at. You have to get up to speed.

    Now, if you live sixty miles from Hibbing you could check court records and newspaper files if Hibbing had a newspaper. Asking people is OK but documentation is better. His court records may have been sealed as he was still under eighteen but there should at least be a record of it.

    It doesn’t matter whether you or anyone else cares. What matters are the facts. Is it true or not? Dylan can be your hero but we still need the facts.

    That’s it. Can you contribute or not?

  20. ray Says:

    It was a typographical error, simple as that. Substitute “June” for “spring” and the sentence makes more sense in the context of what he is saying: summer in MLPS after graduation(Chronicles quote).

  21. reprindle Says:

    Ray: You can substitute anything you want but it says early Spring. You’ll never make a researcher.

  22. ray Says:

    You have never made a typo? Or had an editor make one? The sentence does not make sense as is and you have overblown it with your colorful imagination. There is also the context of the fact he graduated H.S. He dropped out of college, not high school. Had he done the former, the latter would be moot. He would not have been accepted at U of M to begin with. My typo theory might not be as exciting as yours, but it makes more sense. But, just as a humor to you, I will ask Leroy next time I see him what he knows about R.Z. and Redwing. He, Bob, Echo, and John Bucklen were all part of the same “outsider” clique. In a small Minnesota town(trust me, I know), the scenario you describe would not remain a secret. In your “jilted girl” theory, Echo would not have kept the “secret”. Ruining Robert’s rep would be part of the fun. Is Al Aronowitz still among the living? Why don’t you check with him?

  23. reprindle Says:

    Robin: Oh, that last was an e-mail, didn’t notice at first. I wasn’t so sure you’d be back. Time and the river; yes, water has flowed under the bridge.

    I’ve put a few brief pieces on contemporarynotes.wordpress.com referring to Dylan. If you want to look at those then let me know and I’ll post the URLs. Dylan also wrote a bit for the Karl Lagerfeld site that is a little puzzling and disturbing. You might want to check that out. I haven’t made up my mind yet.

    Believe it not Al Weberman has commented a couple of times. You may remember I mentioned Pamela Des Barres”Let’s Spend The Night Together’. I wrote a review ceoncentrating on the chapter about Catherine James assertion that she was a 13 year old friend of Dylan’s. Catherine was offended that I doubted her story dropping a comment suggesting I read her ‘memoir.’ OK, I read the book. I’m working up a review. Interesting psychology. That’s where the river has carried me.

    Hank Williams bought songs and put his name on them? I can see why Dylan was devastated. I’m not shocked but suprised. Where did Dylan write about it?

    Songs are made not written. I don’t know. C. James says her mother was married to Travis Edmundson of But & Travis. Travis just died, Bud earlier. The B&T site has a lot of videos in one of which Travis discusses that issue scouting the idea songs are ‘made’ and not written. He cites Day-O as an example. I tend to side with him. Of course the core song for, say, Frankie and Albert may have been written by one guy then others changed and added to it until a hundred different versions of Frankie and Johnnie emerged. The ‘folk’ writers, of course, didn’t copyright anything so the lyrics didn’t remain fixed.

    But anyway it may take a couple two or three posts to get into the swing of things again.

  24. R M Says:

    Dylan has NOT written about it!! If he’s not on this board, and hasn’t read the latest Williams’ bio (famous writer; forget, oh Colin Escott). It was COMMON in the business at the time. Which leads me to certain other songs {clearing throat re: Elvis . . . and uh, others). I don’t mean that Elvis bought anything; hell no! I believe he either sold a few, or gave one or two away, and the whole thing made him want to throw up, so he just gave it up at an early age. It was all a dirty set-up at RCA-HillandRange, anyway. Note the date on the “Heartbreat Hotel” contract. Why post-date? Did this also involve a cold check? That needed warming on exactly the day the option had to be picked up, and TREE would be out of the loop? Look, I’ve listened to Roy Brown’s Hard Luck Blues enough times now to be ready to break things!!!!!!!! Both Durden and Elvis got the {bad word/also a movie in the early ’70s starring deep voiced singer {grin}}. Axton is the most credited, and Durden said she didn’t write a Goldang thing!!!!!!!! The problem now is that Elvis was just a kid then surrounded by some very nasty “grownups” {he was still a legal minor, and he never grew out of it!! I just watched some ’68 TV Special outtakes last night, and he has this face that . . . well, it brings out the maternal instinct in females like you cannot begin to comprehend . . . in the “It Hurts Me” segment. I can’t quite explain in . . . words. He’s got “little boy” all over his face: don’t ask for rational thought, ok? It’s just there! The eyes look up, imploring. When he laughs, he does so with a stuttered whispery laugh. It’s just too much for the female of the species. What can I say. And then, on June 30, he cops an attitude that is just . . . nasty. “Watch me drive him nuts!” And he keeps banging on the mike. And Steve is just stewing, and finally BLOWS! “Uh, there’s an open mike there! The uh, tinkling, the applause, THE GODDANMITS!” Steve doesn’t often lose it on these hours and hours of footage, but he was in a rage. So what does Elvis do? He raps HARD on the mike three times and goes: “that don’t bother Steve, does it?”
    Steve didn’t even bother pressing on the “talk” button. One more take, and they were DONE. But they had two more big scenes that day, and oddly, Elvis stopped copping an attitude. {After the opening sequence, Steve says, “one more thing after dinner, and we wrap the show!” to applause all around.
    Elvis also told a dancer that “I got so drunk last night it scared me.” “Won’t drink like that again,” the dancer replies. “Naw, it scared me!” Steve pushes the talk button: “oh great, just fantastic!” Dancer: “PLEASE, don’t anybody say ‘got drunk’!”
    Hey, this is for sale: you can hear it yourself.
    Maybe he and Dylan would have gotten on very badly (or, worse, DID): remember “who threw it, man?! Who threw THE GLASS?!!!!” If he hung with Elvis even for a while, and he was in a “mood” to get rowdy, Dylan would have told him off and told him what an immature jerk he was. ’cause men don’t have that maternal instinct for that sort of thing. If they don’t dig it, they don’t!

    More to come,
    Where’s that post of which you spoke? Hmmm.
    Robin

  25. R M Says:

    Hi Ray,

    Re Elvis ramblings. See, I cannot see pop culture in a vacuum of any kind. And Dylan is a true mirror image of Elvis in so many ways, and when he told Bob Shelton, twice, that on August 16, 1977, on hearing the news, he had a genuine nervous breakdown and did not speak to a soul for a solid week. Now Dylan, understand, is a “deny-er,” but not good at making stuff like that up. He’s better at denying than at “lying” if you you know what I’m talking about. He’d rather hide from the hard truths, than admit them. So he denies a lot, but I don’t think he “lies” as much as people think he does. There’s a huge difference between “denying” and “lying.” And the truth for any performer is always in the music, anyhow.
    As to Elvis’ musical abilities, saying his guitar playing is “underrated” in an “understatement” since 1} Almost everything he DID was knocked around and ridiculed, and 2) I hope you have the REHEARSAL disc from the 2008 release (CD – music only) of the TV Special in ’68. It’s kinda shocking. It was like he didn’t want the public to know how good he was, or what his potential was. Jerry Leiber (I think it was Leiber) said Elvis seemed to have some kind of “early childhood trauma” thing going because he was so talented and so seemingly frightened of everything and everyone. Well, to me, the “trauma” is called “poverty.” When he was 11, they lost EVERYTHING, and were cast out of the city’s poorest section (happened to be white: Tupelo was really different in a lot of ways: even Lincoln said so! Can’t let Miss. go; we’d lose Tupelo!” Ha!) and found themselves almost literally “Under the Ghetto.” There was a little tiny alley astride the city dump for the trucks to dump stuff. Three little shacks, undoubtedly the only remains of “Tin Town” the black neighborhood destroyed by the ’36 Twister (several blues songs about it! 200 people died, mostly black: the men from East Tupelo were the first responders: Elvis was a little baby at the time) ’cause these shacks were tin-roofed jobs. Real, real, real bad. But despite the filth and the bugs, and the rats from the dump, Elvis was just steps from the heart of Shake Rag, the “low down” black ghetto with the juke joints, and the blues. He heard Arthur Crudup there live, but didn’t remember who he was listening to until AFTER putting his, quite different version of “That’s All Right Mama” on to wax. I think Phillips must have taken out pictures, mug shot style, for the boy to find the man who he really didn’t remember well. And then when he saw him, it all came back: “Old Arthur!” The guy with the “feel.” Yeah! Actually, Crudup was not a very talented bluesman, but the kid was moved by the “feeling” more than anything else. And there were always other things just jumping all the time.
    Then they moved to a “churchier” black neighborhood for more than two years, and this time, they lived IN it, not just in a corner, with a street to cross. Religious singing went on unabated. BLACK religious singing. He mainlined it all. He, and Mama and Daddy and Dodger, and Deaf Uncle Tracy all lived in a “dogrun” style, two-family structure, not as nice as the other houses (which were not so hot to begin with), and it was marked “white” so they were the LONE WHITE FAMILY there at that time. So, yeah, he was different. He didn’t see the separate fountains and bathrooms and such. The most horrible thing was having to walk a literal mile to the white school, PAST a black school right close to home. No kids from “his” school came to “that” neighborhood, and they cut his guitar strings, and generally made him feel like dirt. Or lower than dirt. “Please make that lil’ ole boy stay away from me!” a girl would beg the teacher . . . and so on. They had a toy exchange thingy at Christmas, and he gave a boy some little trucks that were clearly used: he gave away his own toys, what little he had left. I know this sounds corny, except that it’s true.
    So, years later, he’s hard to figure out by people: why so scared, why so “Yessir” and so forth. And why did he treat black people different. One time, in a barbecue joint near Graceland, he thanked the “busboy” and called him “Mister.” A “pal” said “why, Elvis, did you call him that? He’s just a barbecue guy . . .?” Elvis replied: “He’s a man.”

    Either before or after this, I dunno, he was at home, singing some songs, and started singing “How many roads must a man walk down, before you call him a man . . .?”
    True facts. Including that last one. And there’s a lot more “Dylan” stuff slithering through Elvis lore and I think it’s all important. Get the BIG BOX “Walk a Mile In My Shoes” and listen to the 48 seconds of “I Shall Be Released.” And how, with such resolve, he says a single word: “Dylan.” He knows the musicians know who wrote the song; that’s NOT the question he’s answering. He wants them to know what he thinks of the guy. And if you are both an Elvis and Dylan fan, it strikes you through the heart. Or, conversely, when surprised, you feel like maybe your heart stopped! It’s that intense, and the singing, just the chorus, repeated, is chilling, as well.
    He didn’t bother to record the song. His publishing set up would have made it into a Camden budget thingy or something. He did a few Dylan things in the studio (many more on stage), and one time, he just did it, and walked out.
    There was some serious s–t going on at the time, and Bob Johnston has said so. They were trying to set up a collaboration, but it fell through. Dunno who to blame. Johnston felt that Bob could be the right mentor to get Elvis doing his own material: Parker would not have wanted that, and Elvis would be terrified: “what if they laugh at me,” he said to Steve Binder in ’68, minutes before showtime, trying to flee. Steve shoved him out there. Johnston wasn’t so lucky.
    I have solid evidence that Bob’s blatherings in the recent Rolling Stone are just that: blatherings. Check out my earlier posts. Bob has this thing about “denying” which as I said, is not the same as “lying.” Or maybe he promised to never, ever tell – as long as he lived. You never know. All I know is what I know.

    Best to All,
    Robin

  26. R M Says:

    Oh, uh, Ray,
    Nobody “stopped” me from posting for a while. It’s just that my mother . . . this is hard even to write . . . died last year, and I zone out for periods of time. As the anniversary approached, I withdrew, emotionally. And I’m peeling my way out of the shell again. You may not know that much about me, if you hadn’t read the earlier stuff (it’s a lot, and don’t worry), but we were very, very close. I went to 17 different schools growing up, lived in NY, Fla, GA, Ala, then moved up to New York twice as an adult, and to Cali, twice. The last time, I decided I did not want to be without family, and NY is quite bereft of any family by now. Especially my mom. She was just so . . . ALIVE. The fella who cut our hair: I told him (after waiting quite a bit to do my hair!), and I swear he looked like he got weak in the knees. Total shock. He knows we both dug/dig Elvis, as I would wear these outrageous “big shirts” with his “live ’68” face, life size, or larger, all over the shirts . . . often, anyway, recently, I hadn’t been for a while, and he was at a Tennessee hair convention thingy, and he picked up a souvenier for me. It was a little shot-glass, in the same design as the “big-shirt.” A match! Anyway, after quite a few months, my mom was really on his mind, and me, too, obviously, as he realized I must be really . . . as he knew my world was slammed by one of those wrecking balls. And it was so thoughtful; it just struck me: this little shotglass. It meant so much to me. Years ago, my mom guessed “correctly” (read Alana Nash’s book on the Col., but ignore the part where she says it was better that he “stayed away” in the sixties ’cause it was that pschydelic stuff . . . oh man, it was the golden age of southern soul music!! Right in Elvis’s backyard! And they were filming him in a pool “portraying” a lilly pod (or is it pad? Whatever.) That one picture from the movies is enough to make you crazy. It’s unbelievable. So, my mom guessed what Nash discovered in Holland. Now, there’s no “proof,” of course, because the cops bungled the case, and it was never solved, but that’s what my mom guessed many years ago. And, I guess a lot of people, in whispers. But a guy wrote a letter, IN 1981, stating it “as fact,” and knew what he wrote since ’59!!!!!!!!! Oh, great, so you tell the folks four years after Elvis died!!!!!!!????!!!!!!! But E.P. and those close to him should have guessed it themselves when he wouldn’t let him out of the country (except for the service, and Nash, I think, leaves out the letters Parker sent to the Army, begging for Elvis to complete his tour of duty in the State: Germany was too close “to home” for Parker’s comfort). There was not “fun in Acupulco” because he didn’t go across the border, and he didn’t have no fun.
    ’nuff about all that.
    But believe me, I talk here a lot when the muse gives me a shove. And it’s not our head blogger: it’s really “the muse,” whatever that really is.

    Best,
    Robin

  27. R M Says:

    Yo, fellas,
    If Rolling Stone: all of it, is available on DVD, I want it like a big giant chocolate cake!!!!!!!!!! Where do you get it? As for Gypsy, there have been so many articles in so many places (not just Rolling Stone) that I couldn’t begin to list ’em all. Lester Bangs has a characteristically weird one, but of course, Elvis is portrayed as “dumb,” and Dylan as being incomphrensible to him, even when Bangs is annoyed with Dylan. There’s a drawing, and Elvis is shooting out a TV, and ya know. Elvis is this dumb hillbilly, and Dylan is, well, he’s not. He “ought to know better.” That kinda thing. Lots of people have messed around with that. I think some of the “You Tube”ers were more respectful, but I think Bob shut them down. Michael Gray, before Dylan’s recent blatherings to Rolling Stone, said they very well could have met on a variety of occassions (sp?), but the song is specific. And it matches the people I spoke to in Memphis who had these “‘zines” they were selling, and though I technically “have” them, they were printed on such cheap stock, that to even try to move ’em would probably reduce them to powder or close. But the teens were NOT TOGETHER in late ’69: several Memphis teenagers used to hang out by The River, by the “big hotels” to catch Elvis with whatever girl he took there (his marriage changed nothing . . . well, for a short while, perhaps . . . very short while), and whenever he was home, they’d be out there. They were far enough away just to hear his voice, but usually couldn’t make out the conversation. And one night, according to two different people in the Howard Johnson’s “flea market” and “mini-conference” {Joan Deary spoke that year}, and they were then about 30ish. I was younger (felt like “a lot” at the time, which is silly now). Anyway, as teens, they were jazzed that this person walked up to one of the benches, and it wasn’t a girl. And then they heard the voices, and they were BOTH recognizable. The young people said that when they were teens, they were like jumping up and down, but trying to be cool at the same time. No, they didn’t catch the conversation. And by about 1 AM, most went home, ’cause they were just kids at the time.
    But, “outside the lights were shining on THE RIVER OF TEARS” — “lights on the River” is bluespeak for Memphis, so the kids were right. I spoke to two different people who did not know each other, other than that they were fans who used to “stake out” the River benches (which were “off-limits,” generally at night, for safety reasons.) Elvis never, in his life, paid attentions to such things.
    Remember him b-word-ing about his mother? Even AFTER? About how he couldn’t go down to the creek with the other kids, and she would lay waste to him, put it that way, and he said “I thought she didn’t love me.” Well, he left something out. Part of the creek was slimy and dangerous and had a no swimming skull and crossbones sign with rope and everything. He went in and almost drowned. One or more of the kids HAD to go get his mother, because they were failing in their attempts to rescue him. I guess when he saw her, he didn’t know if drowning would be the better part of valor. {grin} Anyway, he left his own recklessness out of the story. ‘natch. Sometimes he could be sweet and “yessir,” or “yes mam,” etc., and shy and all of that, and like on the ’68 special, get in a weird mood: “watch me drive him nuts.” And then, bang, bang, bang on the mike: “that don’t bother you too much, Steve, does it.” {Correct quote} Like replaying dramas from his childhood. But damned annoying to adults. Oh, and Steve was NOT “23” at the time. See, he left college just before graduation and STARTED as an “apprentice” on STEVE ALLEN’s variety show. VARIETY SHOW. The one BEFORE the Tonight Show. If, for a moment, Elvis thought he was in ANY WAY involved with the “singing to a dog” bit on that show, he would have just walked right on out. And Binder realized that, PDQ. And he knows that fans hate Allen just as much. So, until last year’s release of that CD box I told you about, his real resume has remained secret and he lied about his age from the beginning of his association with Elvis. Now Elvis was very quick about voices, especially. He could hear everything in a voice about a person: it was a gift. He would probably have known he was, as Binder now says “just another guy my age” in describing Elvis, and how he didn’t cop a “star” attitude (which is true: when he did cop an attitude, it was just being a pain the ass for his own amusement; the dancers were grinning and almost eye-rolling, and they treated him like a total peer: “won’t drink again like that, uh?” Elvis: “Naw, it scared me.” With several “man”s thrown in here and there. It’s not that he was acting the star; it’s that after Steve pushed the talk button after the “drunk” business and said “oh fantastic! Just great!” that Elvis started acting the fool. He thought his “confession” was sufficient, but Steve was angry, and Elvis got all “pouty” (but with that grin, of course) and started to annoy him on purpose. Near the end of the “nightclub” and “go-go” segments, you see flashes of anger, and there isn’t one good take, but Steve just calls it quits. After lunch, they had more to do: the opening sequence had to be set up (huge set, lotta dancers), and then shot. It was a long, big thing. And that took the afternoon, and after dinner, they did “If I Can Dream” and wrapped the show. It was on this night that Elvis watched a rough cut of the show with Steve, and they applauded and laughed, and Elvis said “I want to make great things from your new things!” {Don’t forget: E.P. was imprisoned in Hollyweird from ’62 to ’67, and so these were “new things”: he was like a released hostage. Jerry Schilling says: “He was out of prison, man!” {Jerry wasn’t there; he had left for around 2 years or so after an “in your face” fight over a stopped-up toilet. Those guys were TOO close, ok? Lamar and Billy and Marty all agree that this is exactly what happened, embarrassing as it might be for Jerry.} After the brief flash of foolishness and attitude, he didn’t do it again. He thought Steve was totally in sych, you might say. But Steve saw the fear, the immaturity, the phychological problems (everyone had to sleep on cots, like summer camp), etc. and he saw the danger signs on the road ahead.
    Steve said right back to him: “Elvis, I don’t think you’re strong enough.” Binder said Elvis was shocked and a little saddened, but he felt he had to be honest with him about the Col. Parker thing. Which was really HIS thing (as it was with Dylan and Grossman). You can blame Col.’s psyche, various mobs, Vegas, you name it, but in the end, Elvis wasn’t strong enough on his own. I guess you could say his mother WAS too strict, for way too long (at 21, she would check his knuckles when he came in the door, and if he’d been fighting, I swear to God: this is the truth, hard as it is too believe, she grounded him!!!!!!!! {Ok, one time he got busted for fighting, but still!) When they were driving around, and he would stroke his girlfriend’s hand, Gladys would be sitting behind the driver’s seat and she had a rolled up newspaper in her hand, and she kept hitting him on the head with it, like he was a dog or something. Vernon slept through this. And one time, with June Juanico, they were, well, doing it – or starting to do it, really starting, and “tap, tap tap” on the door. It was Mama. “Maybe we should take June somewhere to make sure she doesn’t have too many babies.” Elvis looked more scared than embarrassed; June was mortified. “Uh, Mama, you don’t have to worry about June: she’s a virgin, and she will be ’till she’s married!” Unbelievable. But this is true. June was a serious main squeeze for a year. Has the Guralnick seal of approval and everything!! Her book goes into more detail, and some of it is so uncomfortable that Guralnick tries to shy away from it. But it’s clear in the book. It’s just that Guralnick couldn’t really handle it. Too weird. One reason, the main one, really, that June just had to leave. She could blame his Hollywood friends, but you can tell that she could not deal with a mother-in-law like that, and is being nice for the fans, who also worship Gladys.)

    And, hey, there’s another recent book: “Elvis, Linda, and ME” ME being some friend of Linda, his girlfriend ’till 76. So, if THAT’S the reason Bob wanted to beg off and not be another “Elvis and ME,” good on him!!!!!! I mean, it gets ridiculous after a while. I am sure Jerry Schilling is not lying; he has NO reason, but if you want to take Dylan over Jerry, it’s your choice. Jerry is a pretty stand-up guy, and didn’t make his life “Elvis”: he was into film editing, and now I think maybe he wants to watch the sunset a bit. For a while, anyway.
    But Bob’s tale is silly: Elvis’s guys going after him, and he rejects them? How did they know where he was staying in the Hollywood Hills? If he and E.P. didn’t talk? I can just picture Marty Lacker clamboring up on the Hollywood sign with binoculars and a potato sack with which to try to abduct Bob. “There he is; let’s git him!!!!!!!” {LMAO} C’mon, Bob, you can do better than that? Cantcha? Ah well, it’s better than a book “Elvis, Bob Johnston, and ME.” You must admit.

    Hey, if they did hang out a bit, when it is apparent that they did, well I hope that maybe Elvis had maybe ONE friend who had no “leech”-like agenda, but just someone who doesn’t even want the world to know about it, ever. That would make me happy to know that. (Even Jerry, who is probably a nice guy, has made most of his life associated with Elvis in one way or another, and he has kept almost none of it private. I mean, I’m glad to hear that “Yeah. Elvis is Dumb: like Bono!” That was meant as a super compliment to Bono, and of course, more his departed friend (but who, nevertheless, paid him, and bought him a house). Ok, Dylan was gifted with Lamar Fike and the use of a Long Black Limo in Nashville, and protection enough to enjoy Music City, but you know that Elvis could not help trying to buy friendship, even when “free” friendship was offered. That has nothing to do with Dylan; it’s just a fact. Could be anybody: but there were so few. Almost no celebrities came to the funeral, or paid respects to Vernon and Lisa. Sam Phillips did not bear the pall. Yeah, you heard me right. He should toast his toes a bit for that. The poor man, moaning the whole time: “my baby’s dead, my baby’s dead,” gave Phillips the care of his only child, a minor, and not too damn long after, his boy was home in a box. Didn’t Sam owe Vernon the kind of courtesy call that James Brown gave? B. Reynolds was a curiosity seeker, just famous. He did not see Mr. Presley. And Ann Margaret was an old girlfriend. Then Sammy Davis might have been there. That’s it. Nobody else. Essentially, except really for James Brown, nobody came. {Jackie Wilson was comatose, already. He had that on-stage attack in ’76. He would have been wailing just like at any southern white or black funeral. He absolutely loved Elvis. And it was mutual, but Jackie really loved him.) And I guess Ali was in training somewhere, but he said he was “a close personal friend,” which was true when they were having fun in Pennsylvania, but it would have been nice of him to pay his respects to Mr. Presley.
    If you take a magnafying glass and look at the crowd by the hearse, and in and around, you’ll see something the press hides: there are a lot of BLACK PEOPLE. In clumps, you might say, but there they are. In othere words, the PEOPLE, all the people, came out (well, ok, I was just a teen, and I couldn’t just run off to Memphis just yet). All his rich friends in the City didn’t. Like in the song “Long Black Limo.” He thought they would.
    You can’t buy friends.

    Back to the muse,
    Robin

  28. R M Says:

    Ok, I left out the kicker. I recently watched an old VHS tape of oddball performances (most quite good, and also shows more of his guitar skills; I learned to play the blues when I was about 20, but it’s been a while, and I wasn’t great or even good, but I understood the nature of the instrument, and all the various things one could theoretically do with it [for instance, a guitar really is just a portable mini-piano, which is a stringed instrument . . . it sounds weird, but I kinda got myself INSIDE a grand piano at school and poked aroud – crazy, I know . . . and this was after someone explained it to me, but I wanted to take a close look for myself: anyway, that’s true, among many other things. Also, if you REALLY want to play the blues get an old, old “Stella” guitar {they used to be cheap, but maybe not anymore}. You’ll get the sound on those clasic blues sides from the Delta a lot better on that guitar. But I made it my business to learn not just to pick ‘n’ grin, but to learn about chord progressions, keys, different picking styles, different strumming styles, etc. And I tell ya, Elvis was doing some strange things with the guitar in ’68. On the CD, it’s not perfectly clear whether he or Scotty is playing Danny Boy, but then Elvis gets annoyed with Charlie, who is on acoustic rhythm accompanyment (sp?), and Elvis “sings him” to the right key {“I was in A-minor,” Charlie explains, but Elvis keeps on doing whatever he is doing,) which by now is clear: he is playing the Danny Boy lead, and was annoyed with the rhythm being in the wrong key. It’s one of the oddest guitar styles I have heard, but maybe I haven’t heard enough: you will have to tell me. It’s like a “single string” type playing, but he’s hitting the string, batting it about as he plays, rather than pulling or pushing it, as is normal for single string playing. It’s strange, and it sure don’t sound like Scotty. First of all, Scotty was never into a song like that: he like(s)d “pretty” country picking: Chet Atkins and that frustrating (to me, anyhow) full fingered bit that Dylan maintains throughout “Don’t Think Twice.” {Good Gravy, when Elvis did that for 15 minutes, I thought poor James Burton was gonna get Carpel Tunnel Syndrome! Or something. He was just in a state of hypnosis, and they had to yell to break it.} But Elvis is not doing this ’cause it’s a pure instrumental, but it’s NOT what he does on “Peter Gunn Theme” which is to just pick it, and then, mischeviously, make the squeaky noises with his voice {whatever you call it: I don’t remember the original Theme from back in the sixties: but I do NOT think it was voice; he sounds like he was goofing around when he sort of squealed that [no sound here] thing that makes those high pitched noises near the end}. Get the record; that part is both cute and shows Elvis doing something people thought he couldn’t do. They thought he was some rank amateur who could only “strum.” One of the writers (also wrote for Laugh-In, and the Smo. Bros.) says that after they were in the office the night of June 5, 1968, late, and watched Bobby Kennedy die, live, Elvis kinda freaked: he got very angry {which generally meant you should protect the breakables}, yelled about the whole grand set of conspiracies in all three major murders {I think he stretched it a bit}, and also felt he was at risk. {The Col. WANTED him to think that}. He called some friends, he called Lamar and yelled “turn on your TV!!!!!!!” All hysterical . . . And then something magical happened as the TV blathered on in the backround. He grabbed a guitar, and for FIVE HOURS, picked (NOT STRUMMED, according to Chris, the writer: he knew enough to know he wasn’t “strumming”} while he told them his “life story.” The guy says he told them a lot about the song “Tiger Man,” but no one reveals what it was that he said. Anyway, the writer called the hours “cathartic for all of us” and then they told Elvis to go back to Hawaii and get a deeper tan {salons were not yet in vogue}, whild they wrote the script based on the now century-old play “The Blue Bird” where a young man goes off to find his bliss, his joy, his happiness, and discovers it was where he started, all along.
    The writers (with Elvis ad-libbing a bit} wrote these “special lyrics”: “I’ll never be more than what I am; well-ah wouldn’t ya know: I’m a Swingin’ Little Guitar Man.” Memphis may have immolated that Spring, Beale Street would never be the same, but on those “sit down shows” of June 27, 1968, good old electric thick Gibson in hand, THAT Memphis was IN HIM, and it lived, vibrantly. Thanks to the miracle of video, we can watch and hear old Memphis, both on the 27th, and in those wonderful rehearsals on CD, when Elvis is just picking the blues and he goes “what the hell are we playing?” He had no intention of doing “Baby, What You Want Me To Do” at first. The guys tried to guess: “Raunchy?” {NO.} “Walkin’ the Dog,” Charlie inacurately concludes. Elvis decided to turn toward the lyrics of Reed’s song, but he was actually playing something else, something very special. I have the vinyl of Joe Hill Louis’s “Tiger Man” from Sep. 27, 1952, cut at Sun, but never released {Sam wanted it for Rufus Thomas, who I briefly met in a resturant in 1979: just a handshake and a “it’s an honor, sir” from me, and a “thank you, dear” from him . . . at least he was WAY nicer than Charlie Hodge, who I think wanted to kill me when I asked him the “wrong” question in ’81 . . . I asked about “You’ll Be Gone” and he exploded: AT ELVIS and in telling me Elvis couldn’t do a damn thing but sing. It’s one thing to say it, but to get so ANGRY! It was clear he hated Elvis and was jealous. In Marcus’s “Dead Elvis” with its collection of articles, there was a tidbit that I recently caught: when Elvis was mumbling, tragically, through the recitation of “Are You Lonesome,” YOU CAN HEAR CHARLIE GIGGLING! Man, I hadn’t read that before, and I started breathing real hard, remembering that Charlie succumed to cancer in 2006. But, it was 2006. Not 1977. I don’t they’ll meet. ’cause they ain’t in the same “place” if you know what I mean. (Ok, for our headblogger: I don’t know if there’s an afterlife, or a multiverse, or something . . . I doubt the “afterlife,” but as an idea, well, you know what I meant.)

    Anyway, if you know that guitar styling on “Danny Boy” on the second rehearsal that’s on the CD, well, let me know. It seems unusual to me. And it shows unusual prowess, in my view. I think you’ll be stunned. I only wish we had a visual, to be certain it IS Elvis. It seems sure because of his correcting Charlie on the key, which Charlie had wrong.
    Chris, the writer jokes: “that’s pretty; love those Jewish songs.” I kid you not. I am not pulling anybody’s leg, or anything else (God, I’m watching too much Elvis . . . my sense of humor is warping.) But throughout his life, Elvis loved the song, and his father loved it even more. Just before EP’s mother died, he played a character named Danny, in King Creole, his finest film. And they’d sing “Danny Boy” around the set. I guess when he got home, ready to leave for the service {they did NOT know, until May, that he could bring his “dependents” near the base to stay with, so his mother thought “you must go, and I must bide.” And then, “if you come, and all the roses dying, and I am dead, as dead I well may be . . . I will FEEL YOUR TEARS you shed above me, and then my grave will richer, sweeter be . . .” That’s in a home recording, not exactly the same words as on the ’76 recording. It was an extremely personal song, but isn’t it always, even if your name wasn’t temporarily “Danny”?
    (I’ll tell ya, when I put my one and only rose on Elvis’s grave not long after his passing – his father was still alive – as I kneeled, and my knee hit the mud {it had been raining}, that song, as he sang it in ’76, well I started hearing it in my head like you would hear a commercial jingle: ear “candy” — but this was sure bitter candy. It was kinda weird. I placed the rose {I have a picture of it.}, and as I stood, the song began to just . . . fade. Weird, man, I’ll tell ya.
    Listen to Dylan’s “Where Teardrops Fall.” Just do that: and ’nuff said. Fan, friend, whatever the hell. That little song is ’nuff said.
    NO ONE can write ’em like Dylan: “I just might have to go over the wall, to the place where teardrops fall.”
    Interestingly, in the interview, he mentioned going to Tupelo to sort of commune with the “real gone” king. The guy who did not burn like a comet, but the guy who, like the poor, hungry little boy he had been, failed and was so tragically sad and afraid. Makes the first part of the long paragraph seem like total horse pookey. (Which it undoutedly is. Because I happen to have evidence to the contrary.) He couldn’t help gettin’ real there at the end. He remembered that without the tragedy (including the tragic beginnings and ending), there is no meaning in the joy – no feeling in it, either. He started to really THINK as he went on.

    Another thing I left out was that Elvis was under an umbrella of suspicion from ’64 to ’69 regarding his contact with Jay Sebring and co-horts. It wasn’t because of Larry; in fact, they busted Larry only to try to get him to “flip” on Elvis! Elvis’ “sheriff in a pocket” Bill MOrris wasn’t so nice to Larry, and he wanted him to talk, and he was batted around a bit. Larry kept a lot of it from Elvis, because he was ready to “leave town” and since they got nothing from Larry, and there was no stash, fortunately (It had gone up in smoke in L.A. [grin]. They were trying to dry it out.} Anyway, as he was being dragged away in handcuffs, Elvis told one of the boys to run accross “Daddy’s” yard to the street back there and find a phone booth so as to tell a certain someone not to send any more “beauty supplies.” Elvis felt, by this point, that Graceland was bugged, and that’s why they trailed Larry there, and were reading all of Elvis’s mail {Well, the addresses, anyway.} This is all documented very clearly. {A lot is still classified because a fellow Sebring “customer” was Charles Manson, who killed Sebring, among others, and who is still alive.} Until the massacre, Dylan very well might have been scared of “that scene” in the Hollywood Hills. And yeah, the innocent “boy King” would not have been involved in something like that. What he didn’t know was that Elvis was hanging around with the “Rebel . . . ” crew, and that Jimmy Dean taught them all to smoke Mary Juana, and you don’t think they passed this knowledge on to Elvis, who was already messing with uppers? But Bob’s image of the Elvis he “thinks of in Black and White” doesn’t fit with that picture. He was pure. To Bob. In his B’n’W memories that are “made of dreams.”
    EP was a street kid and the old meaning of “hustler” (meaning he knew how to get what he wanted, legal or not). He was never all that innocent. But let him dream

    Best,
    Robin

  29. reprindle Says:

    Robin: The Rolling Stone collection is called Rolling Stone Cover to Cover. It’s availabe now for 53.43 on Amazon. I got robbed. It was issued at 125.00 and I paid 75.00. Good idea to wait. Four cds with a paper back book I’ve never looked at. Downloads with a reader.

    Get back to you as soon as I can.

  30. R M Says:

    Oh, gosh, I promised “the kicker” and I left it out! It’s on a tape called “The Lost Performances” from the early ’90s. It’s August 1970. Elvis is wearing a different outfit, trimmed with a red plasticky type trim. Anyhow, watch “Don’t Cry Daddy.” You will fall down, so SIT DOWN. Ray, you too.
    Deep breath. Elvis, looking into the darkness of the wings, suddenly puts the microphone to one side. And he makes a signal to the darkness, and whomever is there. You gotta watch it yourself and ask yourself if that “signal” could seriously mean anyone else but Dylan. I ain’t gonna tell ya, but I bet you can guess what he did!! Man, I wasn’t thinking about this years ago, so when I saw the tape recently, I nearly ’bout fainted. If you can come up with another explanation, you really have to work at it. The signal is as simple as can be. And remember, it’s 1970. To Elvis, and most people who followed the music of that time, what ELSE could that signal mean? Or who else? Charllie McCoy from Nashville? Why “signal” him? He could just show up. You “signal” someone if it’s “a secret.” This was like a “code.” They were apparently still trying to set up the session. The real kicker is when you slow the tape and watch Elvis: he not only grins that grin, but sticks his tongue out! After the signal. They made solid eye-contact, whoever it is. They made solid eye-contact. Just from that signal. So simple, too.
    As a test, I won’t tell you what it is. I hinted; that’s enough. YOU TELL ME!!
    And then we’ll know.
    Hey, Elvis and Buddy Holly were captured on film together, but when Buddy died, in a sympathy note, Elvis wrote “I never met Buddy Holly, but . . .”
    And that was BEFORE Elvis did Acid!!!!!! Hell, you think Dylan remembers the mid-sixties that clearly {or “was it what? ’68?” When Elvis “really” came back, like he don’t know.}. Hell, even if Elvis was alive, and they asked HIM, they both were doing Acid at the time, shoot. (I am speaking of the mid-60s, which is really all Dylan addresses in the article. ’68 happened on some other plane of existence or something . . . {snort}
    But this is film, guys. Film. 1970: exactly as Bob Johnston has said. Dylan had already settled on the “disaster” “Self-Portrait” and it seemed like he just didn’t have any songs going. Why? Johnston sorta clears things up. By saying that things were literally up in the air at the time, ’cause they were trying to make it happen. And it did not happen. But there were meetings all right. About something important with somebody important.
    And you tell me who he’s signaling, if NOT Dylan. It was not a chick, ok? I mean, c’mon!
    Better, guess what the “signal” was. It wasn’t even obscure. If Pete Seeger wanted to signal Dylan across an open field, he’d do just that. Just exactly that, but without the grin and sticking out his tongue (Seeger was NEVER that immature, ok?). In those days, I mean: today, there’s too many more people with “signature” things – back then, there’s no real doubt. It meant “Dylan.” You see a black leather suit, it means Elvis; you see a certain something used as a sign: well, you think of the most famous person to use it. And that’s what Elvis signaled. I tried and tried to think of who else it could have been. And nothing else made sense, especially under the circumstances, and that goofiness Elvis did just after. It was “their little secret.” Who else? I mean, it’s ridiculous.
    YOU GUESS, NOW. What did Elvis do when he pushed his microphone away from his mouth? And then grinned and stuck his tongue out mischieviously.
    It ain’t Red West, ok?

    Good Luck, fellas,
    Robin
    P.S. — thanks for the Rolling Stone DVD tip.

  31. reprindle Says:

    ‘Bear the pall.’ Oh, that’s excellent. All this time I never ever bothered to think what a pall was. God, before I die, too.

    Have you checked out the Karl Lagerfeld site yet? Dylan was a little embarrassing. I wouldn’t write stuff like that as a joke. Makes you wonder. Lagerfeld tries a little too hard also although he did make a great soap.

    I don’t intend to listen but what do you think of Dylan’s new album? I did listen to the free song. Nice crooner stuff but not my style.

    Supposedly we’re supposed to get Chronicles II this Fall. Lagerfeld implies that he’s already got it. Wonder when Karl and Dylan got together and how. There’s an odd couple.

    I got my review of Catherine James posted. Her story about Dylan is hard to believe. If there is a kernel of truth she must be a master embroiderer.

    How’s the school going?

  32. R M Says:

    1st: The school’s like everything else these days: struggling, but alive. We’ve had to move, and that was a {b-word}, but it was really all for the best. More info to come.

    Next: You didn’t guess!!!!!!! Aw, c’mon. You don’t even have to get the tape. I’d rather you didn’t and just guess. One of you guys. Gee. {pouty expression} I guess it’s too easy, but I still want to hear it. Or, well read it.
    See? those words: “hear” Dylan could say “I never ‘heard’ Elvis, and mean I never “read” anything he wrote. You see where I’m going. Especially when he slices him into at least (at the very least) two different people: actually three, since he says “he didn’t really come back until what it was? ’68?” “really” As in being “the Elvis I wanted to meet.” If he “really came back” and you “wanted to met ‘THAT’ Elvis, well, piece ‘o’ cake. Once he sliced him up, his “never met” means nothing, because you have to ask “which one?” We know he could meet the Boy King, but he certainly could have met the flaming rocker of mid-’68 to mid-August ’70. THAT would have been the one who “REALLY” came back!! He’s having fun here; playing with words and meaning, and how people play different “roles” in their lives ’cause you know they say all the world’s a stage, and each of us play a part . . .
    Like he was about the first celeb to endorse Obabma, but it did not come to the festivities. Or was not seen, at any rate. In ’76, he “complained” that “some man” has been going around quoting his songs who is running for president. Well, I’ve seen the photos of Dylan and that “some man.” It was Carter, who said “he not busy being born, is busy dying.” Anyway, Dylan does this s–t. It amuses him and gives him pleasure. He could have said this many decades ago, but he DID NOT. That’s because the Memphis thing had got out on the ‘net. It never got out generally before. It was kind of “thing” between certain Elfans: and not too many. Hell, not too many cared. Now, for some important reasons, people care. Why? Not the new for sure. (It’s nothing like his best recent work: he just wanted to title a song “Shake, Shake, Mama” to give Bono a kick of reality: “no one tries to sing like him anymore, huh? How about ME?” In other words, he wanted to stand up for Elvis, which he did (that bit about the Statue of Liberty, which is kinda weird if you look at it), all of that about him landing here from outer space: a being so incredible, maybe he’s not quite human: he’s special; he gave us all this sense of possibility that we didn’t have before . . . and after ’68, he did the same for a younger generation of musicians. Bono himself said so earlier. Then he kicks him? It was Dylan’s way of saying: “Bono, what’s up wit you? Elvis was so great, he was from another f—ing planet or something; he’s on the statue of liberty, he’s MY DAMN IDOL, you shuck! So don’t kick in an article lauding me, for Krissakes!!!” That’s what was itching him, without a doubt. And if he said it because he was defending “a friend,” it wouldn’t mean nearly as much. It would, in fact be tainted, be biased. Dylan is now a master of word usage: very, very careful word usage. I cannot compete, certainly. But I can analyze it. He was very uncomfortable in trying to find an adequate excuse for “refuse to want to” meet him in the sixties, and the reason he gave: it would ruin your ‘rep to hang it with someone who was “ridiculed” was a pathetic excuse, and it had better NOT be the reason. I didn’t want to see him “like that.” Well, you saw Woody in the throes of that terrible disease, didn’t ya? And you, smart as you are, KNOW that a different kind of “illness” caused Elvis to be shoved around like that to the point where (and I KNOW for sure that Dylan has read both Guralnick volumes) as Elvis said “I would get physically ill. No, really, I would get VIOLENTLY ill” when making those films. Another words, he really needed a real friend at that bad time.
    I’ll ya what: in ’65, a Memphis paper did an interview, and it was pretty down yet also desultory, when at the end, as the reporter was packing up, Elvis sorta grabbed him: “listen, tell me fans something . . .” So the reporter settles back in for a bit, and Elvis says, quote: “I do not withdraw from my fans; I withdraw from mySELF.” (Elvis gave the emphasis, I just highlighted it.) In other words, he was talking to people like Bob, and telling them that he didn’t mean to seem to leave them bereft of the greatness of which he was capable, but he could not help it at this point. He was saying: please understand. I HATE MYSELF, AND WISH I COULD JUST DISAPPEAR! It was so clear, and the reporter realized he felt kinda desperate, so he made sure to get the words right, ’cause Elvis made sound almost like a suicide “open letter.” Or something like that. The reporter didn’t have the language for what he had been entrusted to report. But a reader, down the road, can see it clearly. “It’s you, Bob, or Susie, or whomever, IT’S ME THAT I SPIT ON, NOT YOU! PLEASE DON’T HATE ME! I DON’T ‘WITHDRAW FROM YOU’!” I doubt Dylan has read this. It was only in a Memphis paper at the time. It’s not in Guralnick. But he does not how forcefully Elvis condemned himself in the only “real” interview he ever gave. (By real, I mean “Rolling Stone”-style, where the questioners were serious, and hip, and understood what they were asking, and what he was saying. You can’t call the Memphis piece a “serious” interview, ’cause it was not meant to be. I don’t think the reporter understood him at all, but Elvis grabbed at him so desperately, that he put it down just as he wished.) So AFTER reading of Elvis anguish and suffering, he speaks of ridicule? I mean, ok, the guy is dead, but it was wrong to put it in that context, but then we KNOW Bob has a loftier moral compass than that of a Jr. High kid careful about his “rep.” Hell, he suffered booing and catcalls because he was gonna do whatever the hell he wanted, so YOU’RE goana worry about your “cool quotient”? Of all people. That is simply absurd. He knows, that in ’72, Lennon, somewhat humorously, screamed out, in Mad. Squ. Garden, “I LOVE YOU, ELVIS.” Elvis said something back about how he couldn’t come up there to give kisses or something, with that silly grin. See, in ’72, Elvis called Lennon on the “hotline” he’d given him a while back, after the Mike Douglas Show when he said “you wanted us to be scared? Well, WE’RE SCARED!” Elvis got right on the horn. He told Lennon to calm down, that Nixon was easy to manipulate if you know what you’re doing: “do a PSA, or a little single where you go: ‘Get High On Life.'” Elvis told him that Nixon just gets all slimy over that, and that he promised to do it, and he didn’t even do it, but he gave him what he wanted anyway. So, LENNON DID THE PSA! I think it ran once, and Yoko sorta buried it or whatever, but by damn it worked. The immigration agency was still not happy, but they caved, too, eventually. And Lennon got his card, his baby, everything. But that little jerk (I used much more colorful metaphors at the time) did the unthinkable.
    Dylan had a nice comfy seat up front at the Garden concert, BTW. He did not want to sit backstage where George chose to sit, and was given the choice. The potential collaboration, according to Johnston, was history. So why not be seen out front? Robert Plant was also at one of those concerts, but he has “admitted” to “meeting” Elvis, very much so. EP gave him an autograph, and signed it: “Treat me like fool, Elvis.” Of course, Plant has made this available to the public. If Dylan has anything, it’s carefully stowed away. VERY carefully.
    Now, why does he get into these things? I mean, Jerry Schilling said he called several times, and WANTED to meet Elvis. Schilling stops right there. Doesn’t say if he passed the call along (would depend on the time of day: you DON’T call Elvis during the day!), and then they had the fight, and Jerry left for at least two years, perhaps more.
    People forget that Bob was violently interrupted in 1966 with THE ACCIDENT, and that put everything in his life on hold for quite some time. But earlier that year, Elvis gifted Dylan with a 300-pound bodyguard and a beautiful Long Black Limo. (Kooper thought it was Lamar’s car: he was wrong. Lamar has a light-colored car, also a gift, of course, but it was not the car he squired them around in. And Kooper didn’t follow the rules: he went off on his own, and got himself in trouble {he throught the first punch!}, and had to call Lamar, who rushed right over, and stopped any carnage}. The idea was stay protected: Lamar had some sort of leave from HillandRange {which he could always have at EP’s request}, and Al should not have gone off by himself. Dylan got in no trouble, apparently. And I’ll bet he checked out he Ryman Auditorium! I mean, c’mon. And like everyone else, was probably let down, ’cause it’s small. But there was no trouble, save for the fact that Dylan had not finished his songs, and left the musicians playing pool in Columbia’s posh studio. (RCA’s Studio B is very small, and if you wanted to talk, you had to go in the Men’s Room. I have heard rumors, perhaps false, that Jerry Reed asked him to chat after the second day of the disastrous ’68 sessions and told him he would never work with or for him again, and really tore EP a new {well, you know}, verbally. And remember, Reed is like 6’5″ at least, with those gigantic clawlike fingers. Like I said, this is just a rumor, but if it happened, you better believe our little “squirrel” stopped giggling and sobered up right quick. Like I said, just a rumor. But he never did work with him EVER again.
    What everyone didn’t know was something that happened in California, and maybe EP just found out how it turned out, and perhaps he got stoned ’cause he didn’t know how to deal with it. It’s in the “official” books, but they just mention it! My Lord, can you imagine the size of the setttlement? It was Elvis’ car! And you wonder if Johnny Bragg was telling the truth? So his dates were off by about a week. The fact is that Christmas was coming {as was a BABY}, and EP was flat broke, and getting broke-r {sorry for that one}, and the Elvis he describes is the one you HEAR in early January. His career was flat dead: the films were dying on release, and the records were NOT selling. At all. The ’68 special may have been a shuck for the Col. to get to Vegas, but it WAS necessary. And then Elvis took King’s assination, especially, very, very hard. Moreso that Guralnick thinks. The actress in that silly movie with the big dog, and acid trip, and SEX: well, she says Elvis collapsed in her arms, sobbing uncontrollably during the televised funeral. I watched it at the exact same time: but I was too young to know what to cry about. I was just blown away by that voice, and that he gave his OWN eulogy. In many ways it changed my life: gave ME a “voice.” Many adults, though, saw it quite differently. See, Elvis’ Memphis, the one he remembered from when he was a teen, exploring Beale, and bright colors, and equally wild sounds, and everything, it was gone now. It burning down. Well, no, it didn’t really all “burn.” But things were smashed up for good. HIS Memphis would have to live inside of him, which explains the guitar and voice conflagration we hear in June ’68. (Like I said, if you’re interested in Elvis as a musician, Ray, you will HAVE to get that FULL rehearsal disc, on the boxed CD set from ’08. It’s just: WOW.}
    I wonder what Dylan felt that year. No one can know, I mean, the public. But he made a “happy” album in Nashville in January, ’69. At about the same time, Elvis made some of the finest soul music that ever was made in that little pink “funky” studio in Memphis. Freddy Bienstock, the song plugger who got NOTHING on the sessions met a famous musician on the plane to NY, and talked to him a solid 2 and one-half hours about a single song: “Only the Strong Survive.” He went on about how Elvis just LIVED every words, how he went into like another world, how it was something he had never seen or experienced before in his life in the music business. You better believe this musician, who let him go on for 2 and a half hours, sure as HELL wanted to meet THAT guy who sang that song.
    His name was Bob Dylan. The guy on the plane. Who listened. (Guralnick seal of Approval. {grin}
    Best,
    Robin

  33. R M Says:

    Hey yo guys,

    It’s easy: all you gotta do is guess!!
    Do go buying no VHS tape, now. The IMPORTANT thing is to guess, so I’ll have some idea that my “interpretation” (it’s more like a hammer bopping you over the head) is correct.
    And it’s EASY.
    How would you signal him in the stage wings? Especially right after he gets a piece of paper in his hand, reads it quick and hands it back to Charlie, who ALREADY has his hand out. Now, I know he did this with chicks, but after the note, there was no “reply” (visually). Because the person in the wings, see, could think it WAS a chick thing. Without that signal, the person could think that. Uncharicteristly, Elvis yells back, somewhat off-mike, “thank you, Charlie.” This was, in some way special or different.
    And then, consider the song he was singing when the person made eye contact with him: “oh, Da-a-ddy, please do-ow-n’t cry.” First Dylan album after Elvis’s death, we get this strange song called “Baby, Stop Cryin.'” The song offers both friendship and a sort of philosophy lecture: “you knew, and I knew the sun would always shine, so PLEASE stop CRYIN’ cause it’s tearin’ up MY MIND!” This was after the nervous breakdown he told Bob Shelton, twice, that he had the moment he heard the news. “Come down by The River, Babe; I will meet you there/meet me by The River, I will Pay Your Fare.” Now, a lot of people would be mystified by “pay your fare.” But you gotta think about it: there’s a cost, and SOMEBODY’S gonna pay. Dylan, in an imagined memory of “welcome” long after “the firelight was still gleamin,'” offers to take the hit. But that never happened, BECAUSE he saw him in Mad. Squ. Garden, in full view of everyone. That told everyone it was all over: any attempt to get together (musically, or really, any way at all, but musically most of all) was just OVER. And done. “Why did I ever leave ya, or bereave ya?” “I took you close and got what I deserve,” he sings on the original version of “Born In Time.” You must hear the whole song to really feel it, and know what he saying and to whom. Sure, you can read the lyrics, but the singing here is so, different, in a way. It has a pleading quality. “Just. When I thought. You were gone. YOU CAME BACK. Just. When I was ready to recieve ya.” “You were smooth. You were rough. You were more-than-enough (that’s how it sounds). Just when I knew who to thank; you WENT BLANK.” (Who in blazes ELSE could he be singing about? Went it’s about Joan, you know. So, this, I also know. In his music, he rarely plays the games he does in the interviews. And, oh, he wasn’t playing with Aronowitz. After all those years, he severed his reationship with him. Dylan did the song way back in ’63 {and sang it live, in front of his parents!}; he spoke to Aronowitz in the mid-80s, just before Shelton was finishing his book! Dylan just cut him off, and with some anger.) His voice reaches out like a hand to a drowing man.

    Best,
    Robin

  34. R M Says:

    I meant DON’T go buying any VHS tape now! Just GUESS! C’mon, felllas, it’s easy! It really is. Look: OJ: single black glove; MJ: single WHITE glove. Elvis: Black Leather suit. Madonna: gold pointy cones on one’s chest. Purple SYMBOL for both sexes: Prince! It’s easy!!!!!!! Star Trek: funny hand gesture that I can do with BOTH hands! Etc.
    Guess what Elvis signaled! Doggone it! What other rock star could Elvis have pushed the microphone away from his mouth, to make the signal with his hands?!? Back and forth a little: then he grins, and sticks his tongue out!!!!!!! Like “this is fun, this ‘secret’ stuff! I see ya, Bobert.”
    Doggone it!!!!! What’s the signal?

    Best,
    Robin

  35. R M Says:

    God, I messed up that paragraph: after the note, there WAS a visual “reply,” of course: the “signal.”

    I am typing too fast.
    But guess!!
    It’s easy!
    Robin

  36. R M Says:

    Not yet. Bob Dylan has pulled a cool one now: he is officially the OLDEST PERSON to have a number ONE Album on the Billboard Charts.

    I do not believe there’s anyone ALIVE to beat him. If Lennon were alive, I think he’d have a great chance: he had left recording for five years, when at 40, he made an absolutely perfect album, in my view (“Beautiful Boy” is still chilling, in so many ways . . . yeah, it’s about Sean, but it’s also about everyone’s child, or how it should be: since I’m presently immersed in “Elvis Studies” {silly grin}, I look at that old Werthheimer book call “Elvis ’56” and all I hear, ear-candy-like, is “Beautiful Boy.” It’s perfect. Love, innocence, the meaning of life . . .
    I’m casually reading June Juanico’s own accounty {intro by Guralnick, thus: “Guralnick Seal of Approval”}, and there’s bedlam at 1034 Audoban drive, October, ’56: Elvis and June are innocently pillowfighting, and it spills out into the hallway and into the living room. Gladys flares and grabs that dogwood broom, and is not laughing: now you cut that out boy, or somebody’s gonna get hurt; that’s dangerous!” Elvis flops onto the sofa, June says “practially in his father’s lap.” Vernon wraps his arms around his son, laughs {June hass never seen Vernon laugh} with love in his heart, and says “he’s all yours June, have it him {with the pillow}.” The beauty of it is that the pillow fight is over and June is sort of overcome: now, Vernon’s boy is in his arms, sort of sinking in, and giggling softly, delightedly, and his father is smiling and laughing, also not loudly, but so peacefully, so contendedly. He knows his son must “go west, young man” and make his fortune, but now he’s home, and he’s, “Glad All Over” because he just loves his boy – and it’s mutual, and there no tension, fear, anger: all the things you see with his mother. It’s a precious moment. And it gives so much weight to ending waiting down the road. “Before you cross the street, hold my hand/life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans . . . beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy-oy.”
    It’s all you can think of. Because, dammit, you know the ending.
    Anyway, I see no reason why Lennon wouldn’t keep releasing albums sporadically all this time. And break that record.
    Of course, there’s one Titan’s got five years and change over Lennon; what if he’d gotten clean in ’73: what if his well-meaning father had found the strength to follow the advice of those specialists with the locked rehab in Tenn. They said they believed strongly they could really help him, but they’d have to give him a knock-out shot while in the hospital, and whisk him to the unit, and then lock those doors. Odd: as a youth, EP said his fave movie {before he watched Strangelove about 500 times[slight exaggeration], was the Sinatra picture, “Man With the Golden Arm.” The Boy King had already been doing uppers since for a couple years already, and he’s still in the throes of what he later called “terminal acne,” but it was as if he could see his future: himself bashing that chair against the locked door and collapsing. He just chose that film every time he was asked.
    Well, what if either one of them, each Dylan’s senior, and both dead in their early 40s, had some fine unreleased material in the can, and someone decides that now is the time to release a modest single album of utterly unreleased gems: the question: HOW OLD ARE THEY? Do they break the record, or are they forever in their early 40s?
    I don’t really expect an answer to that one, although I asked a couple people, and they, almost angrily said: “Bob Dylan is alive, and will continue to have birthdays, many of them . . . they will forever be 42 and 40 {the anger is really not at Lennon, of course, because it was not at all his doing, except that one security guy would have made some sense, but otherwise, he’s only gone because of a madman, and maybe he would DESERVE to break the record, whereas the anger was directly at the other fellow, who caused his own death, and missed out on his daughter’s growing up, her kids (we won’t mention the four husbands, ok?), and now these wonderful twin girls. Boy, these new little girls would be inspiration enough to make a lovely album: “beautiful girls” or something. Maybe what he said as a young man on the birth of his daughter: “she’s a lucky little girl; a lot of kids born today are not so lucky.” He called a bunch of people that night: one was Nancy Sinatra, and while sharing his joy, shared this insight. Which is to say he cast a shadow of darkness on his own “good fortune” which he didn’t take seriously at all. I wonder what Dylan thought of the night his first son was born, over 43 years ago? Did he think about all the “unlucky” little boys? My gut tells me: no. He was into convincing himself of his “happiness.” So much so, that he pushed himself into “playing happy” for a number of years. Pies on the windowsill . . . “Country Pie,” of course. The happy domestic life.
    Which scared the p. out of EP. Hell, the truth is, except for that night, for monghts before and long after, he wanted to run, run, run. The following year, after his first big nightclub gig, he ran, ran, ran: jumping from city to city to city (can’t recall how many jumps: A LOT) At one point, Priscilla, sorta desperate, said “we’re vacationing in Europe!” He was elated, and she thought tackled him. But Parker panicked: NOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!! “Ok, ok, but don’t insult your fans: they want concerts; I’ve {I’ve????} got “contacts” in Bermuda {or was the Bahamas; don’t matter}, and they went, and there was a hurricane, and they returned quickly, and he begain jumping once again.
    “The Gypsy,” indeed. How could Dylan get this SO RIGHT?????????? He’s a smart cookie, but he sure don’t read minds, ok? Not clarvoyant, that I’ve heard. But what a perfect handle: “Gypsy.” Like the old blues, “gotta keep movin,’ gotta keep movin,’ blues fallin’ down like, blues fallin’ down like hail.” Or the southern pronunciation of hell: Hay-ill.
    Anyway, every answer is that Dylan can’t be beat (until Elton John is older, I guess, and probably not then: a NUMBER ONE album! This could only be done by those three men. Even Sinatra was younger in ’80, when, at ’65, he blew out the charts with that bulky album with “New York, New York” on it. Imagine that? Beating Sinatra, agewise, and still cookin.’
    Sinatra was not implored to call DYLAN at age 40 to say “calm down, calm down: I was just hitting my peak then!” And Sinatra wasn’t finished, either. And Dylan has beat ’em all, and he ain’t finished. Wanna bet he has a number one in his early to mid-seveties? Wanna bet that he STILL won’t be finished? Easy odds I got there, I figure.
    The guy pointed out his superb physical conditioning (he credits boxing, which is silly, considering a certain multi-degree’d black belt who dropped dead “up against the drain,” as Springsteen so crudely put it). It has to do with the whole package: staying clean, eating right, and exercise. And he’s doing it. I guess that heart fungus over ten years ago really got his attention. But it GOT his attention. It depends on the person; you could be in your 30s, unable to breathe, and have amber yellow eyes and skin, and still NOT GET IT. The only answer was to lock him up. I don’t know: maybe it just wasn’t to be. But I think of those little grandchildren, especially the TWINS, and it pricks and stabs quite a bit. And his daughter’s rage on those albums she made: you wanna hear HATE in music, well, get those. “I hate you like the cockroach in my salad!” Supposedly a husband; yeah right. She’s just furious at growing up fatherless: recently she told a reporter she, I can’t believe someone would say this, but she did: she lost her virginity to a DRUG DEALER. Yup. To paraphrase another old blues: “fatherless children have a hard time.” From “Motherless Children” by Bukka White, Vernon’s fellow inmate at Parchman Farm when he was there. Greil Marcus had the disgusting nerve to say that writer Elaine Dundy “makes too much of” his imprisonment in her book. Or maybe you’re just jealous, ’cause she unearthed by actually going down to Tupelo, while you wrote your stuff while never leaving your house. Man, like Dylan, I went to Tupelo (more times, but, well), and I remember the second time, with my Nikon in hand (a REAL camera, no automatic anythings), not just photographing the boards that make up the house, way up close, but touching the boards {even though I think it said “don’t touch”}, trying to feel what cannot be felt, except through the music, the performance, and the possibilities denied. Never became the actor he knew he could (and that OTHERS, professionals) knew he could; never went much beyond “My Baby’s Gone” in writing, crushed by a dirty trick: they released it to radio to his delight, and then they pulled it, quickly. I say they, because I also blame Dewey.
    And Guralnick may not know where that rumor {about black people} came from, but in a telegram to a guy regarding a different false rumor {regarding hating soldiers and sailors, which is ridiculous: he didn’t like the draft, but one of those soldiers was his cousin Junior, who was driven mad by Korea, and died at 28 of an OD: he just couldn’t go on, PSTD}, EP himself said the rumor came “out of Memphis.” I think he knew who did this to him. He punched Dewey that year, and knocked him to the ground: Dewey had been acting weird lately (dope and drink, which killed him, ironically, at 42). He leaked a single to radio {nothing that important, but it was part of a whole paranoid revenge thing Dewey was into}, then when he heard about it from the young man himself, he came over to Graceland, drunker than Jerry Lee would later appear, and stoned, and yelling “you forgot all your old friends now that you’re a big shot!” EP ran out and decked him.
    I do not know if this was before or after “the rumor” started, but it doesn’t matter. It was either Robert Henry, which I sincerely doubt, who ran the Hotel Improvement Club {which had a store that combined a “shine parlor” and record shop, as well as many other notions for sale}, but Dewey knew this place like the back of his hand. It was the perfect set up for the weird rumor. It HAD to have come from a denizen of Beale St. with a gripe. And Dewey was griping all to hell that year. He didn’t even know what he wanted from him: it was just chemically induced paranoia. But the rumor lasted until Guralnick worked his ass off to prove it false. Too much water, though, had gone under the bride. People Spike Lee’s age, and older, believed it until just recently. And Chuck D. “that sucker was racist, simple and plain . . .” And Vernon Reid, and so on. When confronted with the truth about B.B. King {BY B.B. KING, I might add, who really didn’t know about all this: he just knew his young, dear friend, who loved. Have you heard his early ’80s version of “Love Me Tender”? It’s so very beatiful; it’s heartbreaking. And James Brown, and Jackie Wilson, and Ali, and oh well. THESE were his REAL friends: he INVITED Dylan into this circle, and we’ll never know, for absolute sure, if Dylan stepped away {whether they “met” or not is irrelevent; it’s that he wasn’t close like those others, and he was invited to be on several occasions: did he know that was a kind of honor? Only black people were really admitted to that small circle, and Dylan. Did he know? He should KNOW! EP really revered him: his beautiful songs, his talent, and perhaps the person who wrote those songs: sure, he knew the voice was as phony then as his name, but if they had that session, he’d would’ve had him singin’ like a canary: with coaching, he could have been a lovely light, high Irish tenor. It’s a gorgeous sound. He’s too grizzled now to have that back. I know, maybe EP ran in fear, most likely {“what if they laugh at me?????!!!!!”), but regardless, he was passionately desired to belong to that “small circle of friends.” Nat-D, who called Elvis a “Race Man,” which is a supreme compliment to a white person from a CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST. He knew about going to the Fairgrounds, against the law, on Juneteenth, ’56, and about the black Ice Show at Ellis Auditorium in ’57, when he invited the entire troupe, plus the full orchestra, over to Graceland for coffe and cake after their show, which he attended, ILLEGALLY. Back then, Gov. Clement did nothing to stop him. He was not going into THAT rogues gallery of governors, for sure. He might have joked with Parker {good Lord} about a teenage misdeed “I should should have discovered him,” he told Parker. His son is insistant that his father told him, insistently, that EP got into a teenage scrape and had to spend some of a summer on a highway cleanup gang. Not a big deal. I figure it was probably knocking the crud out of that movie usher (‘rat-fink’ ha!). Hey, if your boy came home all banged up and bleeding, would you not press charges? Sure it was just a juvie thing, and so on, and the penalty was as minor as the minor, but perhaps that explains, a little, Gladys checking EP’s knuckles every time he come home, just about. (And boy, one time in the fairgrounds, he decked this loudmouth, and they kept it out of the press {amusement parks hate this kind of publicity, that fights happen in the park, but June said 2 guards appeared out of nowhere, grabbed him, and told him to leave, NOW, which he did}, but his knuckles were “not right” and they spent the better part of the next week never leaving the house. You couldn’t fool HER.)
    But Dylan has this record, and I’ll bet he’ll break his own, soon. Talk about having the last laugh.

    Guess what was on the tape!
    Robin

  37. reprindle Says:

    Robin: Did you go through some sort of spiritual transforamtion during your abscence or what? Your style seems quite different. It’s like talking to another person.

    Do you identify Elvis with your mother?

    Elvis has two problems caused by his inferiority complex. He couldn’t negotiate successfully with Parker and he should never have taken up with the Memphis crowd who despised him as a twit and could never accept him as their superior or better or more hip or whatever.

    He should have had Parker hire some guys and manage them, earn some of that fortune he dissipated. Parker was a clown and he used the movies to mold Elvis in his own fantasy image. what you see on the screen is Elvis imitating Parker’s dream of himself.

    A key scene is when Elvis is dressed as the marionette Pinocchio somehow come to life bobbing up and own as though on strings. That must have had Parker and the Hollywood cruds rolling in the aisles. How Elvis transcended that crap is beyond me but he did. It broke my heart to see what they were doing to him. The crowning humiliation from the Hollywood point of view would have been Streisand putting him down in A Star Is Born.

    If Parker wouldn’t let him take the role it was because he saw through the scheme and applied the humiliation to himself. Parker is the key: Elvis was just a pawn in his game. You have to write the Parker/Presley story. There is no pure Presley story.

    If Elvis had had some self-confidence he could have put Parker in such fear of losing him that Parker would have crawled a mile through the most unimaginable filth to keep him.

    Dylan should go gracefully into the sunset, not that he’s not trying. He served his purpose with the last note of Blonde on Blonde.

  38. R M Says:

    First of all, I don’t I’ve “changed,” it’s just that I KNOW what happened to Bob(by) as kid, and how it nearly killed him, but somehow, he had some deep-seated strength that saved him, which is not to say that he is without problems (Lordy Mercy: that “Born Again” thing was as weird as it gets; I am sorry, but even though I was so much younger then, I was still blown away by it. Lennon put out a quickie single called “Serve Yourself” as a gag, and a maybe “snap out it” slap. He done gone crazy, but he did slide out of it, but he was lost during the eighties; I’ve read all the “We Are the World” “inside the studio” books (almost a quarter century ago!), and Bob was sorta pathologically shy, even with Michael Jackson in the room, and Prince KICKED OUT for wanting to start a mini-rumble of the “stickum” on the stage floor. The Purple Minnesoatan came in furious and truly spoilin’ for a fight: “where is the little creep?! he demanded. “Why did he do that to MEEEEEEE!!????? I want him outside!” And it was a MISTAKE. MJ told the crew to clean the floor so he could slide around, and they forgot to put the “stickum” back. Prince when insane and wanted to beat him up. Must be something in the water up there in the North Country. So Quincy just kicked him out and told to go on home. Bob was just TOO nice. So shy Bette Middler was fussing over him. He seemed to feel embarrassed that he was “over the hill” or something: a relic, or so he thought. Looking back now, he must find it amusing, as most of those young performers either disappeared, went insane, or worse. (Ok, Stevie is that paragon of “normalcy”: so much that he’s boring as hell, and I have ZERO interest in such “put together” people. Maybe it’s me. But that’s how it has always been.)
    Now, as for my reintoxication with Elvis, and it seems to be growing or something, well, of course, there was that identification, but WITH HIM: with his grief and suffering over his mother. I don’t know of anyone, famous, or not, who somehow felt the suffering I felt, save for him. There were nights last year when, late at night, in the total darkness, I would play on the CD part of the TV {which has a darkness option} “I’ll Take You Home Again, Kathleen” like about 25 times. At least. Just continuously. He lived and felt every word, and it just expressed everything I felt at the time: “across the (nation), wild and wide . . .” See, when he did it ’71, it didn’t sound trite, as it most often does. It sounded fresh, and deeply wounded, and powerful: so, so powerful. I would just cry for . . . I don’t know how long. It was cathartic.
    BUT.
    I read a quote about all the books about him, and somebody said that since there are so many, you’d better have a damn good reason for writing one.
    And with all this Dylan digging, the reason was whacking me upside the head, and no one really, has asked the right questions, and the hard questions. They just assumed, I guess, that he was unusually dumb, or just a dumb hillbilly. Superdumb: all BODY, no “mind.” Could you insult a person’s whole life more than how Springsteen did during Bob’s Hall of Fame Induction: “Bob freed the mind, like Elvis freed the body.” Good for Bruce that the multi-degree black belt was in the ground, or he might have learned A LOT about the, uh, “mind-body connection” FIRST-HAND. I mean how can just call someone BRAINLESS like that and not even realize what you are doing?! Bob has never done that. In fact, he did a wonderful thing as a very young man (the copywright is ’63): he musically codified Elvis’ version of “That’s All Right Mama” (slightly different title!) to PROVE to people that Elvis completely re-wrote the song, from chord progression (actually the original HAS NO chord progression, actually, mostly just E, and I don’t mean the key. I mean that’s the chord. Well, ok, there’s one change, and then it’s back to E.) Anyway, the version Dylan codified is an exact replica of the Sun version, and there’s a wonderful melody, utterly original, and filled with the joy you hear {he includes exlamation points{!}}, the many chord changes and the “ringing” sound, and why you hear it, and all of that, plus Elvis’s fresh words {more attuned to an adolescent’s desire to breakaway: actually some of the spirit of the better angels of “Like A Rolling Stone” can be found in that foundational record: the desire to say, “that’s all right, Mama, anyway you wanna do!” And Bob remembers the “wanna” because it powers the record, its spirit, the firestorm it started}. Bob’s sadness over what happened to his idol in the mid-sixties is so palpable, so still real today, because he felt something more than the thrill of watching an ass wiggling. He heard it first on the radio (hell, Bob got the Hayride, even BEFORE Elvis ever cut the record! His folks had that electrical store, and he dug Hank Williams, who was on the Hayride, and he also like other Hayriders, so it’s entirely possible he heard that first appearance: Bob had just entered his teens; Elvis was praying for them to end {as if it would make any real difference for him; but he hopes, I guess}, and Horace Logan gets on and says they have something really new tonight. The young teen leans in to his big radio. Horace continues: “and he’s nineTEEN years old! Let’s give ‘im a real nice hand,” and this high flying voice {actually, it really was still changing; some boys’ voice “crack,” while others “slide”; apparently Elvis’s was a slider, clearly, ’cause it changed a lot, in just a year or so) tellin’ his Mama “anyway ya wamna do-oo-oo!” Or so it sounded. Now, later on, Elvis tries to change the title, verbally to “That’s All Right, LITTLE Mama,” to avoid the obvious, this after his mom’s death. But the obvious was the obvious. Anybody could feel it. I heard the record when I was a teen! But this kid in Minnesota is very serious about music by this time. Soon he’ll have his first band. And everything we’ll get rolling {except for some ugly bumps in the road, about which we have been investigating: look, I feel very strongly, based on a number of factors, that Robert Allen Zimmerman did time in Red Wing, but I hold open the possibility that they also sent him to that place in Penn. Why? ’cause he was not just a wiseass, anymore. Now, he had REAL problems, for which they were responsible. I mean, I believe they could have gotten him out of it, because the sentence was brief, clearly, and because there was a flexibility in Minnesota in those days, according to the article I read from ’89. One kid said his “dad” got him sent to the WORST place there could be, in a letter to someone of complaint. It was around this time, maybe a little earlier. At that time, the new director said that “reforms” would take a bit more time, so the article is clear that it was still pretty bad at that particular time. And it’s the details that I found: “the minutes, etc.” And when I saw that little house being put together in the shop by the boys: it looks EXACTLY as described: siding, shingles, the whole bit.
    You’d have to “inside the grounds” to know all of this. And I feel very strongly that he was. It accounts for the rage, and the mean trick of inviting them to the Carnegie Hall concert, and then singing that song right to their faces. You know of any OTHER live recordings??????? “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding.” The title, is not, in the song, and it’s a cruel take-off on “That’s All Right, Mama”!! No joke. And I count three different times Bob sings “too blind to see” and other Elvis song lyrics {not that he wrote them: in fact, Bob Johnston is a writer on the first appearance of that line, disguised as his wife: well, maybe she added something, and Charlie Daniels, too, but it was not a song FOR a singer: it was a song TO a singer, which is weird) swimming through his memory.
    RE: Parker. There are three good books out there, and Alana Nash is the best, except that she forgot about southern soul music in the ’60s which is precisely what Elvis missed while being “Pinnochio.” {Are you serious; I don’t remember that, or else, I turned off movie: I have them all on old tapes, but euwwww!!} So, that has been covered, intensely. But how did this young man ALLOW this creep to ride his back? MLK, Jr. once said “a man can only ride your back, if it’s bent.” Period. He once popped up to his hair-guy/guru Larry Geller that “you just tell me everything to do, and I’ll do it.” Geller said he nearly collapsed. Good Gawd! Geller said even if he was a 100 years old at the time, he wouldn’t be able to tell another person “everything to do, and they’ll do it.” The very notion gave him chills, but Elvis was all big-eyed and you know, had that look, and Larry was stunned was trying to very nicely say that this was impossible and wrong. It was difficult; I’ll put it that way. I mean, at that point, Larry should have said: ‘give me that damn book [whichever spiritualist text], and this is what I am telling to do, and you WILL do it: I am taking you to a a psychiatrist, and you will GO!’
    I mean, that’s what SOMEDODY needed to do, but NOBODY did!!!!!!
    I mean, instead of Steve Binder telling him “I don’t think you’re strong enough,” he should have said, “take my hand and go with me.” And not to some wrap party, either. He should have deposited him in a ritzy shrink’s office in Hollywood, where they both hung out at the time. I mean it was so simple.
    But to have severe psychological problems, is not the same as being DUMB. Hell, in Elvis’ musical culture, you wrote your own material. And he DID start to do it, but with one or more crushing blow(s), he ran, ran, ran. And just like his marvelous acting potential, only barely used, this was another aspect of his musical prowess that went, as Neil Sedaka put it in song (on purpose!!), “unshared, until it died within its silence.” The song was for him. And he knew it: “I’m gone kee-ill Neil Sedaka next time I see him.” He put on the ‘neck accent just for added ummph. Because Sedaka was taking direct aim at Elvis refusing to “share” what was inside him on the song “Solitaire.” It was the only direct jab anybody ever took, telling him: “what the hell is wrong with you: this is NOT ROCKET SCIENCE! Let us in.”
    But everyone else assumes he was retarded or something. I mean, Sinatra didn’t write, because he was in a different musical culture, where the writers had theirs jobs, and the singer respected it, as did the arranger {Sinatra did NOT arrange his own material, or make nifty combos of different songs, or give lectures on musicology as Elvis does on the “rehearsal” disc of that ’08 CD collection from the Comeback Special. It was Sinatra’s job to “phrase” and that’s it. He had to “sell” the “number” and do so in a way that RESPECTED the writer, rather than re-writing songs.
    I know we both loathe Greil, BUT, he has heard Freddie Bell’s version of “Hound Dog” and says, flatly that Elvis’ record is no more like Bell’s than it is like Thornton’s. Now, that’s pretty heavy. I would like to hear it for myself, but he’s not so easy to find, for what should be obvious reasons. The point is that his version of the song should is HIS. And if he could do that, and his own version of “Milkcow,”: there are so many, and everyone claims credit, just about, and my gosh, “My Baby’s Gone.” The great lost song. Which was only a start, but was an ending, really.
    I mean, I don’t guess that writing would necessarily have saved him, but it would have helped some. And more importantly, he wouldn’t be seen, literally and figuratively as an “ass.” And only an “ass.” I guy who “freed the body.” How awful. This wasn’t what reached Bobby Zimmerman! NO! He heard the SONG. And it inspired HIM to become the greatest songwritter. I’m not saying Elvis would have been both Brando and Dylan. I AM saying he should have been given the means to become HIMSELF, both as a serious actor, and as a maker of his own material. Yes, a writer. He wrote poems, heart-wrenching, too, at age 11. He knew music from the chord progressions outward. No, he would not have been Bob. Because only Bob is Bob. But he should have been himself: he should have shared what was inside, instead of “playing solitaire.”
    Hell, Sprinsteen ain’t Bob; he isn’t even Lennon. But whatever he’s got, he gives it. Bono ain’t Bob, but it’s understood that he must do his own material. On criticising Goldman’s wretched bio, Bono said Elvis could say more in “somebody else’s song” than Goldman can in that big book of nothing. Well, sure, but for reasons unexplained (typical), Greil Marcus italicized “somebody else’s song.” I don’t know what he meant by doing that? Was it a criticism of Bono? Of Goldman? Of both? {shrug} Greil thinks he is so brilliant, sometimes, that he expects to be able to telegraph his thoughts throught the ether. Why say “somebody else’s” anyway? Obviously, Bono says it for a reason. Yeah, he was sorta backward, but he was GREAT. Some compliment.
    I told you a long time ago that I first became a fan because of that high school girl, who when asked about his concert that night before by a gaggle of girls in the “lounge,” she said simply “he’s FAT.”
    At that point, knowing she was a bully, anyway, I was intrigued. A kindred spirit perhaps. It grew through my teens: not instantly . . . I was intrigued and began checking out some of his stuff. I think the ’68 special was my very first album that I bought. Good start. And sort just grew, but not totally blossomed, just grew. When I had the headphones on, it was like with no other performer: it felt like you were in his mouth. I know that sounds strange, but I don’t know how else to express it.
    Then, on August 16,’77, after severl years of pleasure, I found out PDQ, that my MOM was WAY more of fan than I thought I was, because she listened to the radio in Atlanta night and day back then.
    And when the news came over, I hadn’t heard that scream since Judy Garland died, or really, since June 5, ’68 (my Mom identified with Jackie because of their age and Jackie had miscarriages, and the kids were in my age co-hort: I was in between). Much later, she absollutely FELL for Bobby. We were in Florida; I was a little kid, but Bobby always seemed to interupting the kids’ programming with speeches, and now here was a doctor with pointer in hand. And a map of the human brain. My dad got up first, and I said, casually: “Senator Kennedy was shot.” He shot in bed, trembling and telling me to PLEASE SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!! She was still sleeping. He tried to break it to her gently.
    Instead, I think the roof of the hotel almost blew off from the scream.
    And yes, she screamed for Judy. But I really heard THAT scream again on August 16, ’77. Wow! I didn’t even know! I mean, that she dug him, too, and actually, quite a bit more at the time. Quite a bit. I mean, she wasn’t the age: she was more of a young bobby-soxer, I would have thought. But he touched her deeply, and also, the country singers would get in a lot of digs at him.
    Anyway, so yeah, it has a lot to do with my mom, and a discovery I made while exploring the GREATEST songwriter ever. WHY? Why didn’t he write? Why would he go over to Steve Binder about “Memories” and say “I don’t like that line about “cotton-candy and bubblegum,” can you think of something?” Why didn’t Steve say: “can YOU?” I mean, jeez. I would have done that. But he had those imploring eyes that seemed to always say “help” and so they did. Too much.
    Bob’s first album only has one original song. Remember that. It happen to even Bob overnight. It’s a PROCESS. And now I am seeing how that process was crushed in the case of Bob’s idol. He was an idol, but he also disappointed Bob in many ways. ‘Why ARE you so weak?????!!!’ I think he’s still scratching his head in amazement. You re-wrote history, but you let HillandRange put a collar around your neck: why? What was wrong. His talentless grandpa wrote a whole album (no, not Bob’s). It doesn’t make sense.
    So, I got my reason. To write, really write something. This is just brainstorming, and oh, by the way, haven’t you guessed? Or are you just being ornery? You know the signal he made toward “someone” in the wings.

    But, of course, it has to do with my mom. It wasn’t just that he was something we shared; it was his reaction to his own mom’s passing. J.D. Sumner said: “I have NEVER seen a man suffer so over the loss of his mother.” And that’s it in a nutshell (person would have been better than “man” but it was a while back). Other people say: “everybody loves their mother” and I want to just scream. They do NOT understand! The three of us were a unit; us against the world, sorta. With her gone, to such a violent stroke, and so much suffering for a person who deserved to be happy now, and she SO wanted to go on, just so long as we were with her. I remember just a few days before: my dad said “we gotta go eat; we’ll be back tomorrow,” and she sorta turned purple, and raised her arm, trembling. We rushed to her, and held on to her, and told her we loved her and we’re staying. And after a while she fell asleep and we tip-toed out. She wanted to live, even with so much suffering. She wanted to live. And she wanted US. She said my name, months earlier, when she was making progress: repeating it {I asked the nurses what she was doing, and they confirmend it, solid}. So, since she was getting better, they kicked her out of that facility. Insurance.
    Scream!!!!!!!!!!! This was like a roller coaster we all went through. They wouldn’t let her get better.
    And it’s like nobody understands the pain. But Elvis DID, and he sang the pain.
    What do expect me to do? Like I said, maybe you are lucky; you know what I mean. Bob, too. Lucky that he could erase them and feel nothing.
    Or maybe not. Maybe I dig that someone was, well, weaker than me. I hate to say that, but maybe it’s true. The people on the ’68 special {particularly the women} remember “a lost, frightened, sweet spirit.” I know I’m tougher than that. I hate to think that’s a motivation. But it probably is.
    But, one thing: he KNEW. He KNEW THIS PAIN. And I don’t know anyone else who does.

    I “lied.” I haven’t really figured out Bob yet. That’s impossible.

    Best,
    Robin

  39. R M Says:

    Geez, they got it wrong; he NEVER said “Graceland.” It was in the Hollywood Hills. Dylan speaks very specifically. They just sorta read it way too quick. But they did catch the bit about “the 1960s,” even though he made it clear it was the MID-sixties.
    I can’t get sound on this computer.
    Anyway, Jerry Schilling said he was calling the house, wanting a meeting, IN the MID-SIXTIES. Before the accident, of course, and then Jerry was gone, so . . . But yeah, EP DID make the first gesture, and then he gave him Lamar and the use of a limo. EP rarely reached out like that. Something in his gut told him that this little feller had STRENGTH, and perhaps that was the attraction at the time.
    I hope Bob is blowing smoke, and anyway, Jerry is not the lyin’, denyin’ kind. Bob IS.

    But perhaps it’s deeper than that, as I suggested. Maybe he feels that some thing should be forever “secret.” At least from his side.

    And he never mentioned the drugs! Sure, he knew all right. My God, there was a federal investigation going on at the time, and it was very hot. People were getting busted. And the Feds thought Elvis and Larry were “trafficking.” Serious. They wanted Larry to flip on him. And he wouldn’t answer their question about Elvis, which is interesting.
    Of course, Parker stopped the whole thing cold, but I’ll bet it kept on the back burner . . . ongoing. Until it was too late. They nearly took him down in Houston as late as ’76. {Guralnick seal of approval}

    Best,
    Robin

  40. reprindle Says:

    I hadn’t googled Dylan for a while. In the meantime I guess he’s had a face lift. Vanity, vanity, you can never go back to youth again. You just look like an old person in a youth mask. Age shines through those eyes. ‘Take it easy, baby, take it as it comes.’ That’s Morrison of course. Well, god gave him his incandescent moment and then he burned out. Wish life was easy and went the way we planned.

    Anyway, Dylan. I think he’s beginning to believe his press releases. Pride goeth before the fall, and all that. Die hard fans make you feel good but you should never take them too seriously; just be thankful you’ve got them.

    Our character doesn’t change that much over life. Just as Bob was a mean, spiteful backbiter in his youth so he is today. Like his pal Obama he’s always ready to trash anyone or anything. The ’64-’66 stuff has something to it but it’s all bitter putdown lyrics. ‘I’m OK and you’re not’ type stuff.

    Now Dylan says he’s it except for Chuck Berry. If Berry croaks soon, which at 82 is likely, Dylan will be crowing he’s the greatest ever. He really believes it too. Man the buy borrowed or stole everything he ever did.

    Now he’s interpreted as saying ‘he had no desire to meet a hero (Presley) who was past his best and along the way to drug addiction!’ For Christ’s sake Dylan was a heroin addict and may still be for all we know. The dylan we all admired ‘left the building’ in ’66 himself. So Presley and he would have been quite at home sitting there together watching ‘the lights on the river.’ Presley at least did Aloha From Hawaiii when he was over th hill; what has Dylan done but his stupid never ending tour. Presley will be a living memory long after Dylan is dead and forgotten. Who’s going to remember a hate song like Like A Rolling Stone. (Stone, I like that.)

    As for Johnny Cash Dylan can’t even shine his shoes. All that unintelligible stuff of Dylan will be a humorous footnote compared to Cash’s I Walk The Line. Songs are only songs and don’t last anyway. Who now sings Sweet Alice, Ben Bolt? No one. Biggest song of the nineteenth century.

    Dylan should have some self-respect. You don’t enhance yourself by trashing your betters; especially when their fan base dead is larger than your live one.

    Ah, vent, vent. Dylan should watch his step. Keep things in perspective.

  41. R M Says:

    Ok, before we bash the blazes out of Bob, and sit for the deathwatch of Chuck Berry {who I always thought would live a long time; he HAS mellowed more recently: he’s lost some of the hard-case mean-spiritedness so many remember, and has said some sweet things I never expected {Maybe he thinks Heaven IS getting a lot closer, but still, I think he’s gonna be a real, real, real old man. It’s just in his character: stubborn all the way}, let’s look at that newspaper summary of the Rolling Stone interview. It’s wrong in many places. Bob, except for maybe ONE WORD did NOT say what they say he said. And even that one word could mean something TO HIM that we are not supposed to “get” just yet. 1) He NEVER said, or even MEANT “Graceland.” Gosh, that’s plumb unthinkable! I can perhaps imagine EP slipping him in at 4:30 AM or something, maybe toward the back of the barn {called, I swear on my Mom, “House of Rising Sun,” where they kept all the horses, including Elvis’ golden palomino, “Rising Sun.” I named a computer that once {you know: where they had “My Computer,” and you can change it: the next time, I called “Mare Ingram,” Elvis’ name for another horse in “honor” of a Memphis mayor for whom he obviously did not honor . . . c’mom, I know it’s pretty broad humor, but it still tickles a little, when you let yourself be a little immature, just for a bit).
    2) I felt he really, shockingly, kinda BASHED Johnny Cash, and if the newspaper guy hadn’t skimmed the piece so quickly, he would have seen that quite clearly. He said, basically, that EVERYTHING after Sun was basically crud, which is NOT true. “Man In Black” is a hell of a foundational country anthem, and NO ONE can sing but Cash. And the live “Folsum Prison” album is a kinda forever-thing. {Should not Bob, if he really cared about the kids that came after the fifties, not have performed at Red Wing, regardless of whether he was there or not, and regardless of whatever secrets he was getting nervous about keeping. THAT would have taken guts, and been a damn honorable thing to do.} But it intrigues me that in the recent Scorcese doc., he treats Cash like, as he said “a religious figure” and now I hear a lot of vinegar. And he sure didn’t like hearing that Bob Johnston had kept a tape of the two of them drinking together in ’69, or thereabouts. He sounded kinda pissed, ’cause he said, CAUGHT as he was, that he thought the tape was destroyed. Anyway, something has irked him about Cash, because he went in reverse order to what he was saying about Elvis: he was getting sorta nastier as he went on, and I don’t know why. {Maybe he read the Elvis book where all three Mafiosi [Memphis-style, of course] were watching on the couch when Johnny looked up at Carl, and made it a point to say: “now, the man whose REALLY responsible for “Blue Suede Shoes.” And Elvis exploded in rage: “why that jealouse son-of-a-bitch” he roared, maybe Dylan, like me, is wondering why he got SO worked up, if, after all, Carl really did write the original. {There is the point that while Carl took a lot longer to get on national TV, Elvis’ performances of the song helped it up the charts, but still, Elvis’ explosion seemed to hold more than that: he was really angry, AND hurt.} And since this is precisely what I’m digging into, intrigued me. Bob may not have been moved by that, but he may have been: who is the one he was angry at: Johnny or Carl? Judging by Dylan’s vinegar, I would guess Johnny. Cash had a lot of different sides to him. And between them, they’ve told a variety of stories of how “Blue Suede” came to be. At least three different stories, almost all of which make NO SENSE. 1) Carl says a farm boy really cares about his shoes {right, [clearing throat]: a farmboy is going to wear bucksin or suede in the farm mud, and even be thinking of either white bucks, or Lordy, Lordy BLUE bucks! And Johnny said at one time that it was his suggestion based on a guy in the military who liked to spit shine his ARMY BOOTS. That really links right up with BLUE BUCKS. Finally, they get together on the story: at a concert in Amory, Miss., WHILE WAITING TO GO ON STAGE, but AFTER seeing a boy dancing in the audience and saying “watch my suedes,” which apparently they say were BLUE, in the countryside. See, Elvis, even according to the concert promoter, got the biggest amount of money, closed the show, so if Carl wrote it “while waiting to go on,” well, it was Elvis who was “waiting to go on” after the two of them. Oopsie. Then, Carl goes on to say that after his experience, he writes it down, right there, “waiting to go on,” on “a paper sack,” except that after he and Johnny both had been on, Elvis took the stage! And Carl never had a demo that anyone knows of: he SANG IT over the phone {this is absolutely true} to Sam Phillips, who got all excited, and Carl cut the record in December ’55, soon after Elvis departed for RCA. Supposedly, Elvis was “pressured” into cutting it, due to nerves over “Heartbreak Hotel” and “Blue Suede” doing so well, but in January, Carls record was still ascending, and he had some lead time: though not all that much. but he sure wasted no time: he cut it in January. And it was the ONLY time he ever put out a single or extended play that interfered with someone else’s, ever. Ever.
    And, in August ’69, he opened all his shows with it. It was only after his televisual bashing by the two of them, that he changed the opening to “C.C. Rider.” It was public domain.
    {In ’68, during the stand-up shows, he took his guitar and pick, and played that song all the way through. Most of the others, he did not. I’m not talking about the “sit-down” shows, during the first of which, he intro’ed the song by saying “I told ’em, I said . . . you can do anything . . . {he interjects: “funny line”}, and then commences an incendiary version where he plays lead and practically burns down Burbank.
    Oh, uh, I thought you said you were a couple years older than Bob? So how is Elvis, OR Bob, or anybody “over the hill” in their thirties? I mean, we are all over that infantile “boomer” notion of “age inflation.” It was a kind of boomer delusion, but I think they’ve gotten over it as all the “freaks” as they described themselves at the time, took their asigned places in society, usually starting their real careers in life, as has always been typical, in their mid-thirties. Yeah, people experiement after 25, but they tend to settle into something at about 35. Before 25, they goof off as much as they can, and they have to because they’re not really hireable for “life” positions before at least their late 20s, and usually it takes ’till about the mid-thirties for people to settle into their grey flannels.
    Yeah, I know in music, you’re supposed to be an eternal 21. But I think that’s quite passe now. Especially with Bob’s latest numero uno. No, it’s not his best, by any means, and the “deluxe” is enough to make you really angry when one of the extra discs is an ad for his radio show, and the other is more of a joke than anything else (yes, there WAS such a person; but I think this dude is an actor: it’s like a mean practical joke, ’cause people don’t have money to toss around like that}. And since that last disc is a parody of the Scorcese film, I can hardly imagine that he “didn’t watch it” since he SUED the guys who originally made “Don’t Look Back” and took their ’66 footage and scissored it. {Scorcese took what was available and restored much of it; the part I really love is not the big concert scenes, or any of that, but it’s when Bob’s in a little anteroom the size of a closet, singing “a work in progress” IN HIS REAL VOICE! It’s just lovely to hear it. It makes you wonder what would have happened if Bob Johnston could have succeeded in that abortive collaboration. EP could really have coached Bob to sing without the “mask.” Without the “false voice” beneath which he first hid as a kid, and tried to slowly back out of, but by the time he seemed ready, his voice was darkening a bit, as men’s voices do, and what the hell. {Voices can be protected by avoiding smoking and other chemicals, and good health habits. Any listen to Billie Holliday is a lesson no singer should go without. What a waste of life and talent.}
    {Oh, BTW, where you read that EP “didn’t smoke cigarettes; it’s a lie. There are not only photos in books, from the ’50s, no less {he’s about 22}, but some on the walls of the old “Elvis Souvenier Center” across from Graceland when I first visited in the ’70s. One lady behind the counter told me that one photo couldn’t be had for any price: you can see the smoke; it’s VERY much lit, and smoked down quite a bit. She told me that he smoked frequently, and often just stuck his hand behind his back if he saw a camera. She said she was NOT talking about the tiparillos, or cigarillos (which are what? “Little cigars,” which is what “cigar-ettes” are!).
    So, I agree with Ernst Jorgenson on this one: the “over-the-hill” Elvis you think you see on the “Aloha” show was not about age at all: it was about what he had already done to his body. Which is to say he was brutalizing it by this time, but lost weight. And got a suntan. But if you want the REAL guy at the time, get the alternate Aloha on CD, and the whole set on DVD and watch THE BONUS SONGS (of listen to the CD version from the first night). “Glen! Can’t you follow a damn thing!” And that’s just for starters. On the next night, almost the first thing you hear is “f”k.” And a nice smorgasboard of various curses and a sour attitude like you cannot believe. And this one: Producer: “Hey, if you can’t cut, Charlie’ll do it.” Elvis: “Charlie can’t cut it, either!” Every once in a while he tries to smile or laugh, but it’s not much. It’s like the ’68 special in “video noir.” I’ll put it that way. The lovely young shy prince is now a scowling “king” (king of shattered dreams: NOW, he knows for sure that he will NEVER tour the world. Parker told him outright: you don’t ever have to do a world tour! We can do it by satellite nowadays! It’ll be your biggest thing ever!” When RCA announced in late ’72 at a press event, the very first question a reporter asked a slimmed down, good looking Elvis {in still photos} was “are you awake?” The guy was NOT kidding. I couldn’t believe it the first time I saw this clip {and I’ve had a hard time finding it now . . . they’ve burned it, I think!}. He had never been so totally stoned at a press conference or any public event. He was slurring so badly and so openly. He blamed it on “it takes a while to come down after a show: you’re all key’ed up,” ignoring the question altogether. They didn’t ask why he was “key’ed up” or whatever; they asked if he was AWAKE! And then he mumbles on about “it’s hard to comprehend.” In the still pictures, the RCA suit-guy’s eyes are real BIG: kind of in shock-terror. The event ended quickly.
    Now: you are right about Bob’s hypocrisy. It took a flight off a motorcycle and two broken vertebre to get his attention, and he WAS afraid to get back on stage, for a while.
    He’s not so damn superior, and I can’t believe what he said: it sounds so Junior High School, that even if it isn’t true, he should be ashamed: he had to protect his own rep from “ridicule.” Like “Elvis the Joke/Jerk” would somehow rub off on him: HE’D GET COOTIES!! I am sure they had that in your generation. At least I think so.
    You lived, Bob. Elvis, at that time, was a terrified young man who really, really, really needed a genuine FRIEND. And in all accounts, he did reach out to him. It’s just that in Jerry’s account, Bob responded. The problem was two-fold, Bob had a lot of touring, and then, in mid-’66, he was smashed to the ground. Grounded by God, if you will.
    {In amusing aside, Vernon Presley saw the story about “folk-rock giant Bob Dylan had a near-fatal motorcycle accident . . .” on TV, and grabbed his only son and made him promise to only ride his bikes {motorcycles, mind you} ON THE DRIVEWAY. He remember Gladys’s warning that if anything happened to her, HE was both “Mama and Daddy, both.” Fortunately, he didn’t go very far with that, but for a few weeks, EP humored him. {And this was after a mysterious gift of a Triumph motorcycle had appeared on his driveway about 6 months or so earlier, and he bought everyone a Triumph {“fast little bike!”} One guy didn’t want a bike, so he got him a Triumph car. He couldn’t even ACCEPT a gift, without having to give everyone else a gift. It was pathological. If it WAS Dylan, and who can know (but he did get the gift of Lamar Fike and the use of a gorgeous Long Black Limo., and maybe did NOT want to be a “bought friend,” and so exchanged a gift. That makes sense. I mean the whole point, if Jerry Schilling is truthful (and why not?) of Bob calling, and trying to work out a meeting {hey, call Jerry a liar, not me!}, is that Bob, in Jerry’s account, clearly wanted to be a REAL friend, UNPAID.
    Schilling even describes the use of a female intermediary. The book is more overt; in interviews, he tries to give the impression that Elvis might not be too responsive, but he never actually says so. And he also is certain to say that the girl was a “Platonic friend” of both. Yeah, yeah. That’s how she knew them both? Well, you gotta be a gentleman, ya know. Well, some people do.
    But, A GIRL: “that pretty dancing girl” of “Gypsy”!!!!!!!! She was REAL!
    And now Bob washes his hands of it all. But. like the song says, he washed ’em in muddy water. As usual. Because there’s just too much: Elvis reaching out through Jerry through a girl, then gifting Bob with Lamar and a car . . . he was really reaching out. I have little doubt they spoke on the phone at the very least.
    But as I said, “that scene” in the Hollywood Hills WAS damn dangerous. People were getting busted all over the place. They tried to pin “trafficking” on Elvis: the FEDS. They busted his buddy Larry Geller, who had been with the Jay Sebring salon. And oh, one more thing: SAM COOKE did his hair at the salon. Jay usually did it.
    Sam Cooke was murdered at the end of ’64.
    Jay Sebring was killed by Charlie’s little merry band in ’69 (which effectively ended that investigation).
    No wonder Elvis wanted an “intermediary”: who knows what number he gave her. Maybe Elvis didn’t want Bob in the house; maybe he was afraid they would find out and tie him in. I’m deadly serious. And this “scene” was also very serious.
    Now, Elvis was sure that Sam was killed for “A Change Is Gonna Come” and what the Col. called “his big mouth about civil rights.” And his independence. It was awful easy to frighten Elvis, even though he should have been afraid of what was right in front of him: his absurd career turn and feeling trapped in it, and DOPE. Good gosh, he had tabs of windowpane acid. I dunno, but I assume that is stronger than the sugar cube kind or the stamp kind. It sounds like what it sounds like: it must have looked like little clear windowpanes. In other words, pure. Priscilla, who did it twice, once just her and Elvis, and once with the group, started having a bad trip with the group (something she did not share with her parents recently, when they did that video).
    He was spiking brownies with pot, and one time, they got together and spiked some without telling HIM. They were afraid of a flash of anger, perhaps, ’cause it was kind of a dare, but he just said, with that grin, “I’ll have more of THOSE.” Whoever guessed that he wouldn’t know, or would be upset if he did, lost.
    Anyway, none of this would be any big deal for Dylan at the time. And knew what “ridicule” meant more than most recording artists, and what it meant to be ostracized. It’s just that Elvis couldn’t really hear the boos. But he heard them . . . ’cause he KNEW. He later said he would get “violently ill.” He must have been speaking of the incident before “Clambake” {Lord, have mercy on his soul}, when he tripped over an ironing cord in the bathroom, and got a concussion. Like he was copying Bob, and maybe hoping for a good result.
    Didn’t work out that way. Not right away, anyway. And the “good years” lasted about 2 years, and he was plunging back into drugs, triple-time, now. Really goin’ at it.
    So, if he WAS “over-the-hill” by thirty-f—ing-seven, it was his own doing. God, by ’74, the very next year, his face just started to droop, and with that mouth deformity {which is what it was}, he looked like he’d had a stroke. {He did not; I have a book by people who have gotten to read the autopsy report, and he never had a stroke or heart attack, and no sign of a seizure: the conclusion was absolutely correct: OD, without the fancy word.}
    Bob is “over-the-hill” now, but I’d say he’s doing ok. As is Chuck, etc.
    But there was, I guess, no need to call Jerry Schilling a liar. That pisses me off. He wasn’t like the others. He met Elvis on a sandlot in ’54, the week the record came out, and he didn’t even realize that Elvis was now a “professional entertainer.” He was just one of “the big kids” on the sandlot, playin’ ball. And he was a big, tall kid, and they let him play. They couldn’t believe he was just starting at Humes – or thereabouts. He was taller than Elvis, according to some who were there. Then, Elvis finally caught up. He was still a teen, and as a male, still growing. You can hear it in the voice. And they just stayed buddies until EP started touring, and then Jerry finished high school and college. He caught up with Elvis ASAP. Problem was, that Elvis paid him as an “employee.” “Friendship”: over. Not that either one realized it at the time. But when they had that silly argument, Jerry struck out on his own for several years. And then again. But he always came back.
    But Bob has been known to play with “reality” over the years: Jerry was not known for that, except he liked to protect EP’s rep without actually lying. And he did good by that. I believe him when he says he didn’t see Elvis take drugs when he went on his “most excellent adventure” to D.C. But the letter is all druggy: the handwriting. IT WAS IN THE CHOCOLATE. He knows it, but why make a big deal out of it now, or ever. That silly badge meant so much to EP: his “silver cross of protection.” He really thought it made him untouchable. But his FBI file talks of an investigation in ’73 . . . ongoing, and then he died.
    And by the time he yearned for The Badge, he knew that crossing customs was NOT the Col.’s fault, but his own. So in his dazed confusion, he constructed “a plan of action.”
    It failed. He failed. But without him, there’d be no “Bob Dylan.” There’d just be old Bob Zimmerman up in Hibbing, now retired, and filled with hatred for a life unfulfilled.
    Didn’t Elvis deserve more than “I didn’t want to be ridiculed” for THAT?! Eh, Bob?
    And oh, GUESS the signal on that tape! Doggone it. I am NOT kidding. I wish could transfer it to the ‘net, but I don’t know how.

    Best,Robin

  42. R M Says:

    Heck, you already KNOW the “signal,” and you know that I know that you know. Both of you, if Ray is still listening.

    Can’t you just humor me, by saying it? And then try to come up with any other person it could be, BUT B. Dylan? No, not Bob Johnston; he was a writer/producer, etc. But he didn’t DO what Elvis pantomimed. Only the Bobster himself did that, and Woody was dead and gone, and it’s hard to think of a musician who DID THAT who was as well-known for it as Dylan: that it was a significant part of his IDENTIFICATION. (It ain’t a tamborine, ok?) That’s just one song. {Which EP sang in concert a few times. Check out the large painting in the “Gospel Segment” of the ’68 Special, and you’ll see the “Miriam Tamborine” with the ribbons, signifying dances associated with a certain ethnicity/religion. I have little doubt that EP wanted it that way.

    Best,
    Robin

  43. R M Says:

    It was that image of the ribboned Tamborine that might explain WHY, according to both Schilling and Dylan, EP reached out to him: he had this “secret,” which was really pretty meaningless at that point, I think, but it seemed to add to his sense of being uttlerly alone in the world: a white kid with the “soul” of a black guy, both musically and if you listen to people like B. B. King, Johnny Bragg, James Brown, Jackie Wilson, etc., as a person, too, but having hangers on who absolutely couldn’t comprehend it {and maybe HE couldn’t either}, and he knew that many country singers had American Indian heritage: that much was obvious, but then at a certain point in his growing up, his mother tells him that her grandma WAS JEWISH! Can you imagine his shock and confusion? I crossed wires the first time: Gladys’ mother’s name was Doll, not “Dodger” {she was on the Presley side: Minnie Mae Hood}, and Doll’s mother was a woman named Martha Tackett, who outlived her daughter Doll. It’s entirely possible the EP may have known her as a young child. She was the daughter of Abner Tackett and Nancy Burdine Tackett. She was 100% Jewish {if such “percentages” matter; I guess they do}. So it was close enough that he very well could have known her {though I’d have to check the dates}. So, he’s walking the tightrope between black and white, and he’s part Cherokee on BOTH sides {more on his father’s side, actually}, and then THIS?! His head must have been in a swirl at certain times, so it makes sense that he would want to hook up with Dylan {and I have no doubt that Jerry is being truthful about Dylan calling the house and wanting a meeting; Bob is contradicting this directly by saying “they wanted me, but we didn’t want them!” The more I think about it, it sounds like a kind of wish fulfillment, a reversal, almost. Because, after all that has come out recently {though much of it is not well understood: Paul and Ringo seem to think he really MEANT what he said to Nixon about them, when he was really just getting desperate about that silly badge. And he NEVER said anything about “banishing” them! Good Grief! And they don’t even know, that AFTER that, Elvis called Lennon on the phone and offered advice on how to “play” Nixon so he could get HIs “badge” {his Green Card}. See, if you’re gonna say something, you should research it thoroughly. Marty, Lamar, Billy, and Larry ALL said that he liked them, but he felt he was being forced to “do a duty” and so that basically killed it all for him. I mean, Parker and Epstein were both in HIS HOUSE, keeping watch over their publicity stunt. In my view, really, under the circumstances, they NEVER met. That’s not “meeting.” That’s a staged thing for the public, and it meant nothing. They STILL are reading tea leaves, trying to guess what he thought of them, because they really didn’t get to talk at all during the “meeting.” Lennon got to talk to him, and he realized that Elvis DID know Nixon, but that he obviously must have “played” him for something {I doubt he mentioned the badge}, and so knew how to give advice about the matter. The other Beatle he really saw again, in a real sense was George: it was just kind of a “moment,” but meaningful. Jerry was there, and Esposito had offered him a chair backstage {that’s how much he wanted them “banished” . . . [snort]}, and he paused, grabbed George’s fingers, and gripped them so tightly, then went visibly white. He just squeezed the hell out of poor George’s fingers! There was really nothing he could communicate in words, I guess, so he wanted to let him know how he FELT. What happened in that Oval Office, anyway, is filtered through “Bud” Krogh, and we have to trust that he actually got it right. I mean the guy was a moron to even let him in! Gosh, when he describes the “briefing,” which involved security, he said that his eyes were all bloodshot, and he red bags under his eyes, and he kept acting like he had lice or hives or something, the way he kept jumping around on the seat and continually scratching his neck, and explained that it was some kind of allergy. On top of all of this, the hairspray he had used {without first remembering to adequately COMB his hair before entering the Oval Office, no matter WHO was in the big chair: jeez} WAS DRIPPING. And then there was the matter of the “gift of a gun, with bullets.” “Bud” was instructed to check for “dangerous tendencies.” Good golly, Miss Molly, maybe he should have just looked at his belt buckle! In close-ups of the famous shot that are not too high constrast, you can CLEARLY SEE the outline of a pistol on the right side of his waist, pushing the belt outward. Proof is just seeing him at Sonny’s wedding shortly thereafter, when he’s skinnier than Sonny! That bulge was not some weird, one-sided “paunch.” It was A GUN! Hidden under all that weird clothing he had on. He had on a purple shirt, various jewelry, the jacket from the ’68 Special, worn over his shouldders as a kind of “cape.” And so on. And while he and the two fellows had on TCBs, he did NOT offer Nixon one, even though he gave them little pins, and Elvis brazenly said “they’ve got wives, you know!”
    I mean, that “Bud” idiot really dropped the ball that time. I’d say anything, anything involving A GUN would be good cause to call the whole unexpected thing off, especially Nixon said he “scarcely knew” who he was talking to, or why. He wasn’t giving in for the longest time about the badge, and that’s when EP mentioned the Beatles. It was not as though Nixon agreed: he seemed, even according to Krogh, to get scared at such an “out of left field” remark {excuse the pun}. Right then, seeming a bit disturbed, he said “Bud, can we get him something?” “Yes, sir,” Bud replied. All of a sudden, EP broke into a real grin and sort of lunged at Nixon, grabbing his hunched shoulders with one arm. He just about jumped for joy. Quickly, he scooped up all his badges and stuff, and like a kid on X-mas morning, left the office.
    They were invited to eat lunch in the White House “mess” as his guys called it, but while they wanted to take their time, and sorta look around, he had a “let’s blow this joint” attitude, and so they did. I do not believe Jerry realized he had a gun under his belt, or if he did, he’d rather keep his own counsel as to that. It’s damn obvious. If the picture is not completely blackened, you can see it so clearly.
    I don’t think he would have done anything, but I do think he dug the idea of sneaking it by them. He did them same thing with the FBI tour, but it fell out, seemingly on purpose {you’d need a real good shrink for THAT}.
    If only Paul and Ringo knew that he had nothing against any of them regarding this: Lamar, his cousin Billy, and Marty ALL found this surprising. He NEVER said anything like this before, they all insist. But he got sorta desperate. Why anyone would get desperate about something that wasn’t even going to “work” I don’t know. The answer: dope.
    Have you ever heard or seen the lyrics to “I’d Hate to Be You on That Dreadful Day” by Dylan. ’64!!!!!!! Now, he could have been talking about himself. And probably was.
    But, man, though he did NOT mention “drugs” in the Rolling Stone interview, you gotta wonder if it wasn’t on his mind. He doesn’t say “drugs,” either, in the old song: he’s very specific: he says: “pills.” I read that and was kinda shocked. Like a total prophecy. I mean, it couldn’t be. But maybe it could be. He sure was afraid of the “scene” in the Hollywood Hills. In 1964, approx.
    And he renewed the copyright in ’68. What month, we don’t know. But anyway, EP had graduated beyond “pills” by then. Dylan had just cleaned up. {For the time being, anyway.} EP had done Acid, regularly got whacked out on pot, and then there were the pills, and during the ’68 special, he said “I got so drunk, it scared the hell out of me.” When cautioned by the dancer, he said “Naw, it scared me.” Not drinking per se, but SO drunk. Like a kid who can’t yet hold his liquor. That’s what he sounded like.
    It was a confession. And since he said it scared the hell out of him and he wouldn’t do it again, he must have been shocked when Steve pushed that button and said “Oh, just great! Fantastic!” And the guy in the yellow shirt goes “PLEASE don’t anybody say “got drunk!” They were afraid of Steve; he had a rep as a “whip and chair” director, and they had to stay with him after that day. EP would be leaving. But he got mad: he figured the confession and penalty were self-contained: “Naw, it scared me.” And was p.o.’d, apparently that Steve had more to say. We can say for certain that THEY “met.” Meeting someone means you talk, you get to know the person, you have some privacy, some time . . . etc. It does not mean “hello.” Or even a surfacy discussion. Maybe Dylan feels, quite passionately, that he really didn’t get to “meet” the real person. Elvis said, often, “I’m not that image; I’m ME.” And maybe it’s that “me,” that person that Dylan didn’t feel he really got to meet. After reading so many of his interviews over the years, he uses words with great care. Sometimes he slips up and doesn’t quite say what he means, but over time, he usually makes it clear.
    It certain starts people to thinking what it means to “meet” someone.
    Best,Robin

  44. R M Says:

    Just caught some writing about Red Wing, where someone – I guess Ray – says “it doesn’t matter.” Now, there’s a certain truth to the idea that the art matters in and of itself, which is fine, but we have a person here who did something very unusual, at least when he first started out (and who knows, may still be playing a few games . . .). HE ERASE HIS ENTIRE IDENTITY! New name, false voice {you can hear his real voice on the Scorcese doc. in a small room in Scotland with a “song” called “work in progress” which means it never really became a song. “Carry my troubles . . .” and so on. Just sort of talking to himself musically. The surprise is the VOICE! It’s a real, honest-to-goodness VOICE. It’s HIM. {He would argue just the opposite, I’d guess: that the voice with which he was born is “not real.”} Anyway, so he disguises his voice, his name, and said he HAD NO LIVING PARENTS, plus grew up in a variety of places, especially Gallup, New Mexico.
    When that whole bit began to wilt, he said he ran away 17 times or thereabouts. Again, no he didn’t. {Maybe once . . . and that may have caused a problem. I doubt it: not “running away” in that sense, in any case.} In other words, he came to New York like he later sang: “you’re invisible now; you got no secrets to conceal!” Or, anyway, his folks were sure “invisible,” their secrets “invisible” because he made them invisible. People who don’t exist cannot tell “secrets” about anyone, now can they?
    Worked long enough, but wilted by the second album. And his voice sounded less odd, as well.

    But, you must admit, this was extreme. Even recently, he said that at 10, he felt like he’d “been born to the wrong parents or something.” Wow! Holy Cow!
    That’s serious. A fugitive from his own life.
    So when we find out that his mother has “an answer” at the ready, along with a handy psychiatrist {who had to have Bob’s signature to reveal he even ever worked with him, or even said he did}. I’d bet that’s why they came to NY in the first place: to get that signature, if and when necessary. And sure enough, down the road, a close friend quotes him to A BIOGRAPHER about him saying he “did time” at Red Wing, and guess what? Close friend BANISHED!
    And when did he pick to sing that song live on a professionally recorded concert that never came out? When his parents were right there in front of him!
    Oh, and if it says the Ballad of Mickey Mouse, even if sung in the first person, it is about Mr. Mouse, not Mr. Dylan.
    And what of his MOST literal song of all, “Ballad In Plain D”? Read the last verse. “My friends from the prison . . .” Totally out of the blue.
    And you can “visit” it yourself, or today’s Red Wing, on the ‘net, and read about it in an ’89 article on the ‘net. When all is said and done, I have no doubt. That does not mean his mother is “lying,” necessarily: maybe he went to both! I doubt it though. She was so well prepared: dang!
    Now you NEVER reduce an artist to his version of his life, or even his real life. The art speaks for itself, and stands on its own. BUT, the life helps illuminate the art, and vice-versa.
    Dylan learned over the years, to be quite creative with interviews, as though they were a different kind of art form. Which is interesting in itself. I think he’s most open with Bob Shelton, perhaps feeling bad for the guy for the first liner notes. But Shelton understands.
    And for whatever reasons, never asked, after the ’77 nervous breakdown {repeated TWICE}, “did you know him”? Don’t ask me no questions; I’ll tell you no lies. His life is littered with this stuff. And Shelton knows much more than he’ll ever tell.
    I think Bob felt the mystery going out of his life story – which is really all about relationships, after all, which is why, in the recent Rolling Stone article, he directly contradicted a guy as fundamentally decent as Jerry Schilling. If he said he called and wanted to meet EP, I believe Jerry. Dylan’s track record tells me that.
    But why does Dylan feel the need to keep running from . . . whatever? Whether it’s family, or people he’s known {he was upset to learn that film of him and Cash drinking still existed}, or any number of things, he considers flight.
    I would check the songs. Never trust the artist; trust the tale.
    Best, Robin

  45. reprindle Says:

    http://fakekarl.blogspot.com/
    Robin: Dylan probably posted this on the Karl Lagerfeld site but Karl does play games.

    Elvis. Elvis. I don’t think anyone knows how tough he had it. You talk of making signs. Let me give you a possiblility of how evil it can be.

    I saw a Las Vegas performance on TV. Might have been early Las Vegas, the stage was primitive. At the end of the show Elvis went into that straddling crouch and simulated fellatio. Then he rushed off stage into a crowd of adoring women. Coming back on stage as he walked off stage he looked backstage at the camera, shrugging his shoulders as if to say: No big thing.

    Now, we know what envy led Streisand to propose as revenge for Elvis blowing her out of Vegas. But there was another guy who used to be king of Vegas before Elvis arrived and that was Frank Sinatra, one of the Mafia chiefains.

    Elvis’ mother was not an alpha mother so Elvis was not an alpha male. Frankie Boy’s mother was an alpha mother and consequently Sinatra was an alpha male. In addition the Mafia thugs have a real emasculation problem so they have to be belittling anyone more successful and hence manly than themselves. Elvis was of course the biggest of the big; bigger than Streisand and Sinatra put together. If Streisand needed vengeance by putting Elvis down as a loser and herself as a winner in make believe what do you suppose Sinatra’s vengeance might be?

    I speculate and this is only speculation although Elvis’ strange behavior does have to be explained, that before that show the boys and Sinatra got Elvis in a room and compelled him to go down on them. We know that at some point Elvis began to shoot out TVs. But what was playing, what was on the sccreen when he shot out the TVs? Was it Sinatra? Who?

    It is impossible that Elvis had a grudge against TVs. One is not so irrational even when one is irrational. Who then was on the shot out TVs? Possibly the same guy who was in the darkened wing when Elvis made his rude gesture.

    Like I say, just speculation

  46. R M Says:

    Oh, my goodness!!!!!! I really you knew! I mean, what the “signal” was, but apparently not, beacause he did say something “rude” ABOUT Dylan that could be interpreted in a sexual manner, but it was a mildly dirty joke, ’cause they stopped him from saying something REALLY rude, that had nothing to do with any person. But it was NASTY. So, he had to come up with someone else. Anyway, on that August night (and I checked Dylan’s schedule, and he absolutely could have flown there, perhaps for a FINAL meeting, because things went sour with Bob Johnston: something to do with the Columbia dispute, I guess: or Johnston was secretly writing songs for Elvis for years, even though he was not supposed to have anything to do with RCA because of his status as a Columbia producer. It is possible that this “collaboration” idea got out and Johnston got in a Jam, and withdrew from Bob, and oh, everybody got all tangled up. Bob briefly left the label; the colloration, which would have been so good for both of them, but especially for EP, ’cause he needed someone to just tell him that song “writing” is no big deal, but he did need a mentor, ’cause he WAS, without a doubt, terrified of critics.
    Anyway, is AIR HARMONICA a “rude gesture”? Like I said, the first thing you see is Elvis reading, not just looking, at a small piece of paper, which he hands to Charlie, who already has his hand out for it. (And THAT is unusual; when Elvis got something from a girl, he just quickly, VERY quickly, slipped under his belt, or wherever, and would NEVER yell out: “Thank you, Charlie” over something of that nature if it was a chick. He did it, but carefully. You can see such things on “That’s the Way it Is.” But this was DIFFERENT. He really read it, but quickly. And made SURE that Charlie had it. This looked like business. And then, shockingly {well, now, of course: in the early ’90s, Dylan hadn’t grabbed my “mystery train” of thought yet. I just listened to the strange lyrics I guess ’cause I wanted to be as cool as the other people who were too young to have heard them in the ’60s.} I mean, you HAD to see it. It was just so overt, and then that mischevious grin, and he stuck his tongue out just a little: not “rudely,” but kinda silly: as in an “almost-laugh,” but he was in the middle of song, for heaven’s sake, and a tearjerker at that. I do have a recording of him actually giggling during that song, but he sounded stoned {pot: giggles, uncontrollable}. Not this time. And after all of this, he launched immediately without a break right into “In the Ghetto.” Now, I know that is stereotyping Dylan as a “protest singer,” but he was trying to maintain attention with someone who clearly did not want to be seen.

    As to Sinatra, I would separate him from the mobsters he idolized as though they were rock stars {if ANYONE was ever pushed to “service” THE BOYS {and I don’t mean Elvis’ guys}, it would be Frankie himself, ’cause what do groupies do, after all?
    In the ’50s, he said something really mean about Elvis and rock, but Elvis just killed him with kindnes. After a while, Sinatra developed, I think, a genuine affection for the much younger fellow {Frank was older than Elvis’ father!}, and according to all accounts was absolutely terrified when he heard what Elvis did with “Softly, As I Leave YOU.” Ok, it’s creative, but EP really seemed to believe his “true story” was a true story, and it was not. Sinatra caught what was happening; everybody knew about the dope, and most people who knew EP knew that had severe pyschological problems involving his mother and her early death {what they didn’t know was that he had serious unresolved issues that caused him to have a true “death obsession” {hey, he used to break into funeral parlors at night to look at the corpses, and once took Priscilla, who I think is still having nightmares; he was comfortable!}. The song is just A SONG, period. Sinatra got ahold of one of the writers and brought him to an EP concert in about ’74. No one disputes this. Sinatra asked him if there was ANY truth to Elvis’ tale, and the songwriter was frankly shocked. So Sinatra told him to see another show, and when he goes into it, to shake his head “no” while he was telling his tale {that eerily recalled his mother’s passing: Vernon was on a cot when he found her “suffering for breath” and grabbed the nurses. They put her in an iron lung, but she just couldn’t make it anymore. She had hepatitis and liver disease very badly. Elvis finally had his pass to get there, and talked to her that day, and asked if he could squeeze in another cot, but she told him “son, you haven’t slept for two days, at least: please kiss me goodnight and I’ll see you first thing tommorrow.” Nurses heard all of this, as they hovered nearby the whole time. Vernon’s cot, unlike in Elvis’ “story,” was perpendicular to the bed, so the nurses could work on her, but the story mirrors the experience. She wanted Elvis, especially, NOT TO BE THERE, she didn’t want to see him that upset. At 3:30 AM, he was called. He said “I knew what it was before I answered.” You can imagine the scream. Well, you don’t have to. On an album called “The Nashville Marathon” on FTD records {a kind of legal bootleg outlet}, you can HEAR the blood-curdling scream at the end of a song called “The Sound of Your Cry.” It’s just about a guy-girl thing, but Elvis flubbed the lyric at the fade and said “kiss you goodNIGHT” instead of “goodbye” and he sorta went nuts on that take. He started singing madly, in a kind of dizzy wildness until his singing voice quit. Then he just squawked on and on, until THAT “voice” quit. At that point, all you hear is a LOUD SCREAM. I mean, like a female Hitchcock scream. It’s horrible, beause you KNOW it’s the same scream! And this was in 1970.
    All Sinatra heard was this bizzarro story that frightened him. To Frank, of course, at the time, Elvis was just a kid: to him. And he saw DEATH: he heard the railroad tracks rumbling with that “Mystery Train.” The real one: the one sixteen coaches long. And he tried to help, in his awkward way. Don’t be so hard on Frankie: he was just a silly groupie; a mob groupie. To him, this was GLAMOUR. Go figure.
    But the Streisand thing has further intrigued me, ’cause when the Col. dismissed a picture idea, it was quickly DISMISSED. DONE. But Col. let this one go into negotiations. I think Parker thought she would continue to negotiate, and I think Parker wanted Elvis to play The Loser. Not that it didn’t give Babs pleasure: she’s a megalomaniac, and everybody knows it. {When you buy a Christmas album, you don’t need every song EXPLAINED . . . I mean, that sort of thing is like a symptom: it’s weird.}
    But Parker was THE LOSER in Vegas. But The Boy, at first, was THE WINNER. P.O.’d him, big time. And in ’74, Elvis had lost a lot of weight on those creepy sleep diets. Jerry told a horrifying story: the phone rang, and Elvis was on the line, desperate. The sedatives were so strong that he couldn’t move, but he had fallen off the bed. He was on the floor. He’s in his thirties, and he fell like an old lady, but only ’cause of the sedatives. Meanwhile the doc {name witheld for all of our protection} LEFT HIM ALL ALONE IN THE HOUSE, ASLEEP, WITH A FEEDING TUBE IN HIM! It was horrble: he had to get carry him like a kid to the bed, disconnect the tube, and hope he doesn’t give him a fatal infection, and then he had to carry him, like a child, to the car and take him HOME. EP was semi-conscious, embarrassed and scared as hell when he made the call. Jerry said he told the doctor that if he ever tried anything like that again, he would “go all the way.” And he MEANT it. {Jerry also said that Dylan called the house every few months in the mid-sixties, but the calls did not result in a face-time meeting,{as far as he knows, of course}. But, Jerry left not long after the marriage, and didn’t return ’till late August ’70 due to a death threat. And only came sporadically until about 6 months, at least, later.
    He had NO WAY of knowing WHO Elvis met between ’68 and mid-August, ’70. NO WAY. So, no, they did not meet face to face, as far as Jerry knows in the mid-sixties, BUT, DYLAN LIED. Period, he lied. He said “every few months, he called, asking to meet Elvis.” This was about ’65. Remember, Dylan had a lot of touring, so it took a lot of effort to get out there to Hollywood, often.
    And before he says this, Jerry said {about the Beatles meeting}, “I’ve learned never to say never about anything happening.”
    The book is far more revealing, but he shut down the “look inside” function, so I gotta buy it. Man, he shut it down. Why are people so afraid of Bob?
    Well, the most officious Elvis fan site: EIN, says that each of the information with the videos they show, along with the footage has been checked for accuracy. And they continue to insist that “Gypsy” was done after the “first” meeting!!!!!! Which says it began in late ’69 in Memphis, under cover of darkness, and quite probably ENDED in Vegas when Johnston left the picture.
    I think Johnston got everyone in a bit of trouble because he was f’ing with Parker . . . and you don’t do that. Dylan sings, on the beautiful “Born In Time,” “I took you close and got what I deserved.” The song is as clearly about Elvis, almost as Gypsy, but not crudely so. No “well”s, if you know what I mean. But you MUST listen to the “Tell Tale Signs” version; it’s far superior. It’s just so beautiful, but filled with frustration and hurt. “Just when I thought you were gone, you came back . . . you were smooth, you were rough; you were more-than-enough . . .” it gets even lovelier, and the ending is gut-punch. “You’ll always be inside ‘o me/When we were born in time.” There are more lyrics that are perhaps even more telling. It’s worth the price. The new one, it ain’t.

    What you saw was not quite “staged.” Steve Binder really pushed the envelope. He played some weird ridiculous music while he let Elvis and the blond girl just “improvise.” And man, he gobbled up her finger! And then, he was about to start, well, to start, and that’s when he got up and wave himself away.
    Steve, laughing, said: “Elvis, see you tomorrow.” Imagining God knows what he would be off to, uh, complete.
    It’s cool. Especially the outtakes!! See, that’s from the DELUXE version of the DVD of the special: 3, count ’em, THREE DVDs. Anything else is not the same.

    The CD of the rehearsal with the awesome music is in a square box released last year. The DVDs released: ’04. You gotta hear the LBJ impersonation and “the all-lady topless band: The Lady Birds.” I kid you not.
    {He acted stoned on June 30; what can I say?}

    In early August, ’70, EP made such a potent effort to make eye contact like you cannot imagine. Because he seemed determined to have him see him, and see what he was signaling: as in: I SEE YOU! REALLY! SEE ME! And, clearly, when he grins, and sorta-laughs, you can see he has made that contact. And then he must have gotten some feedback which is when he grinned, and mischeviously stuck his tongue out. Just a little. As though it were a private moment, but fun, too.
    Anyway, when you find out what a mess Dylan had gotten himself into and how Bob Johnston was out of the picture {or apparently so? This is a guy who used his wife’s name to write songs, even the good ones.”

    Dylan and Jerry cannot both be lying. For some reason, Dylan doesn’t want the world to know about this. And I feel strongly that Jerry has come to know this. But he did tell the first part: Elvis made contact through a girl, and Dylan KEPT responding: not just once! Look, if he was rejected, he would NOT have called back. The Beatles accepted that Elvis would not be coming back to see them again {and I think Lennon and George, both wiser, understood: Elvis felt sorta mind-raped by the Col. with this goofy publicity stunt: and Lennon knew it.
    Oh, and they DID jam. A little. First they tried tinkling the ivories, and I think Paul took that, and Elvis played the bass part to “I Feel Fine.” “Coming along promisiingly on bass, Elvis,” Paul ignorantly said. And after Elvis recorded one of the classic bass lines of all time of “You’re So Square” from Jailhouse Rock. It must have hurt. He was a fabulous musician, and I even saw a picture of him subbing for Cash in late ’55. ON HARMONICA!! See, Cash got stoned or something, and didn’t show. So Elvis stepped up to the plate, and unable to sing in that register at 20 years old, did it in Cash’s key, on harp!!!!! I HAVE THE PICTURES!!!!!!!

    Which is precisely only one reason why Dylan kept calling. There was so much to ask about!!!!!!!!
    And if he wants to keep it from the world, well, hell: maybe that’s right.
    Look, clearly, on both sides: Elvis made the first move: he gave the girl the number and told her to deliver it. The point was to keep any “of the guys” out of the loop. Didn’t work perfectly, but almost. If Elvis wanted to meet someone, HE DID. He barged into the White House, and not only “met” the Prez, but demanded something from him and got it.
    Probably helped that he was armed and looked stoned out of his gourd. Like I said “Bud” Krogh is some kinda idiot. What if the Prez denied him that badge? I don’t think he would have pulled the gun {you can see it in lower contrast photos}, but it was a gamble. And Krogh didn’t even think to LOOK!

    Oh, and the scene you saw was NOT in Vegas, but a year earlier, in the UNCENSORED version of the {in}famous “brothel sequence” in the ’68 comeback special. It passed the network, but the Singer Sewing Machine Company went ballistic. Just freaked out over some old ladies sewing ‘1930s style dresses for little girls who didn’t want them! {Hey, I remember the sixties! I didn’t have any real grandparents, but a neighbor friend of my mom’s had a granny living in their house, and she was always making dresses and stuff with that contraption {I shope catalog only, and have total control of such things now, and would never try to induce a kid to wear something they found odious {even if they didn’t say it was; gosh, people can usually TELL}.

    Best, Robin

  47. R M Says:

    Oh, my goodness!!!!!! I really thought you knew! I mean, what the “signal” was, but apparently not, beacause at other times, he DID say something “rude” ABOUT Dylan that could be interpreted in a sexual manner, but it was a mildly dirty joke – and meant to be taken in good humor, ’cause they stopped him from saying something REALLY rude, that had nothing to do with any person. But it was NASTY. So, he had to come up with something else that was milder, to say the least. Anyway, on that August night and I checked Dylan’s schedule, and he absolutely could have flown there, perhaps for a FINAL meeting, because things went sour with Bob Johnston: something to do with the Columbia dispute, I guess: Johnston was a kind of a sneaky guy: secretly writing songs for Elvis for years, even though he was not supposed to have anything to do with RCA because of his status as a Columbia producer. It is possible that this “collaboration” idea got out and Johnston got in a jam, and withdrew from Bob, and oh, everybody got all tangled up. In the Memphis Blues again. Bob briefly left the label; the colloration went to dust, which would have been so good for both of them, but especially for EP, ’cause he needed someone to just tell him that song “writing” is no big deal, but he did need a mentor, ’cause he WAS, without a doubt, terrified of critics.
    Anyway, is AIR HARMONICA a “rude gesture”? Like I said, the first thing you see is Elvis reading, not just looking, at a small piece of paper, which he hands to Charlie, who already has his hand out for it. (And THAT is unusual; when Elvis got something from a girl, he just quickly, VERY quickly, slipped under his belt, or wherever, and would NEVER yell out: “Thank you, Charlie” over something of that nature if it was a chick. He did it, but carefully. You can see such things on “That’s the Way it Is.” But this was DIFFERENT. He really read it, but quickly. And made SURE that Charlie had it. This looked like business. And then, shockingly {well, now, of course: in the early ’90s, Dylan hadn’t grabbed my “mystery train” of thought yet. I just listened to the strange lyrics I guess ’cause I wanted to be as cool as the other people who were too young to have heard them in the ’60s.} I mean, you HAD to see it. It was just so overt, and then that mischevious grin, and he stuck his tongue out just a little: not “rudely,” but kinda silly: as in an “almost-laugh,” but he was in the middle of song, for heaven’s sake, and a tearjerker at that. I do have a recording of him actually giggling during that song, but he sounded stoned {pot: giggles, uncontrollable}. Not this time. And after all of this, he launched immediately without a break right into “In the Ghetto.” Now, I know that is stereotyping Dylan as a “protest singer,” but he was trying to maintain attention with someone who clearly did not want to be seen – very much.

    As to Sinatra, I would separate him from the mobsters he idolized as though they were rock stars {if ANYONE was ever pushed to “service” THE BOYS {and I don’t mean Elvis’ guys}, it would be Frankie himself, ’cause what do groupies do, after all?
    In the ’50s, he said something really mean about Elvis and rock, but Elvis just killed him with kindnes. After a while, Sinatra developed, I think, a genuine affection for the much younger fellow {Frank was older than Elvis’ father!}, and according to all accounts was absolutely terrified when he heard what Elvis did with “Softly, As I Leave YOU.” Ok, it’s creative, but EP really seemed to believe his “true story” was a true story, and it was not. Sinatra caught what was happening; everybody knew about the dope, and most people who knew EP knew that had severe pyschological problems involving his mother and her early death {what they didn’t know was that he had serious unresolved issues that caused him to have a true “death obsession” {hey, he used to break into funeral parlors at night to look at the corpses, and once took Priscilla, who I think is still having nightmares; he was comfortable!}. The song is just A SONG, period. Sinatra got ahold of one of the writers and brought him to an EP concert in about ’74. No one disputes this. Sinatra asked him if there was ANY truth to Elvis’ tale, and the songwriter was frankly shocked. So Sinatra told him to see another show, and when he goes into it, to shake his head “no” while he was telling his tale {that eerily recalled his mother’s passing: Vernon was on a cot when he found her “suffering for breath” and grabbed the nurses. They put her in an iron lung, but she just couldn’t make it anymore.} She had hepatitis and liver disease very badly, and just a short time before insisted on DRIVING {well, riding} back to Memphis in the hot Texas sun ’cause she was scared of planes: that really took a major toll. Elvis finally had his pass to get there, and talked to her that day, and asked if he could squeeze in another cot, but she told him “son, you haven’t slept for two days, at least: please kiss me goodnight and I’ll see you first thing tommorrow.” Nurses heard all of this, as they hovered nearby the whole time. Vernon’s cot, unlike in Elvis’ “story,” was perpendicular to the bed, so the nurses could work on her, but the story mirrors the experience. She wanted Elvis, especially, NOT TO BE THERE; she didn’t want to see him that upset. At 3:30 AM, he was called. He said “I knew what it was before I answered.” You can imagine the scream. Well, you don’t have to. On an album called “The Nashville Marathon” on FTD records {a kind of legal bootleg outlet}, you can HEAR the blood-curdling scream at the end of a song called “The Sound of Your Cry.” It’s just about a guy-girl thing, but Elvis flubbed the lyric at the fade and said “kiss you goodNIGHT” instead of “goodbye” and he sorta went nuts on that take. He started singing madly, in a kind of dizzy wildness until his singing voice quit. Then he just squawked on and on, until THAT “voice” quit. At that point, all you hear is a LOUD SCREAM. I mean, like a female Hitchcock scream. It’s horrible, beause you KNOW it’s the same scream! And this was in 1970.
    All Sinatra heard was this bizzarro story that frightened him. To Frank, of course, at the time, Elvis was just a kid: to him. And he saw DEATH: he heard the railroad tracks rumbling with that “Mystery Train.” The real one: the one sixteen coaches long. And he tried to help, in his awkward way. Don’t be so hard on Frankie: he was just a silly groupie; a mob groupie. To him, this was GLAMOUR. Go figure.
    But the Streisand thing has further intrigued me, ’cause when the Col. dismissed a picture idea, it was quickly DISMISSED. DONE. But Col. let this one go into negotiations. I think Parker thought she would continue to negotiate, and I think Parker wanted Elvis to play The Loser. Not that it didn’t give Babs pleasure: she’s a megalomaniac, and everybody knows it. {When you buy a Christmas album, you don’t need every song EXPLAINED . . . I mean, that sort of thing is like a symptom: it’s weird.}
    But Parker was THE LOSER in Vegas. But The Boy, at first, was THE WINNER. P.O.’d him, big time. And in ’74, Elvis had lost a lot of weight on those creepy sleep diets, and so looked almost movie-ok {but he was actually very ill}. Jerry told a horrifying story: the phone rang, and Elvis was on the line, desperate. The sedatives were so strong that he couldn’t move, but he had fallen off the bed. He was on the floor. He’s in his thirties, and he fell like an old lady, but only ’cause of the sedatives. Meanwhile the doc {name witheld for all of our protection} LEFT HIM ALL ALONE IN THE HOUSE, ASLEEP, WITH A FEEDING TUBE IN HIM! It was horrble: he had to carry him like a kid to the bed, disconnect the tube, and hope he doesn’t give him a fatal infection, and then he had to carry him, like a child, to the car and take him HOME. EP was semi-conscious, embarrassed and scared as hell when he made the call. Jerry said he told the doctor that if he ever tried anything like that again, he would “go all the way.” And he MEANT it. {Jerry also said that Dylan called the house every few months in the mid-sixties, but the calls did not result in a face-time meeting,{as far as he knows, of course}. But, Jerry left not long after the marriage, and didn’t return ’till late August ’70 due to a death threat. And only came sporadically until about 6 months after that, at least, later.
    He had NO WAY of knowing WHO Elvis met between ’68 and mid-August, ’70. NO WAY. So, no, they did not meet face to face in the mid-’60s prior to the accident, as far as Jerry knows, BUT, DYLAN LIED. Period, he lied. He said “every few months, he called, asking to meet Elvis.” And, excuse me, but I believe Jerry: he has a way better track record. This was about ’65. Remember, Dylan had a lot of touring, so it took a lot of effort to get out there to Hollywood, often.
    And before he says this, Jerry said {about the Beatles meeting}, “I’ve learned never to say never about anything happening.”
    The book is far more revealing, but he shut down the “look inside” function, so I gotta buy it. Man, he shut it down. Why are people so afraid of Bob?
    Well, the most officious Elvis fan site: EIN, says that each of the information with the videos they show, along with the footage has been checked for accuracy. And they continue to insist that “Gypsy” was done after the “first” meeting!!!!!! Which says it began in late ’69 in Memphis, under cover of darkness – and that’s all, and quite probably ENDED in Vegas when Johnston left the picture.
    I think Johnston got everyone in a bit of trouble because he was f’ing with Parker . . . and you don’t do that. {Lister to “It Hurts Me”: it’s not a song writter FOR someone: it’s written TO someone; it’s kinda touching; “I know he never will set you free . . . but if you ever tell him you’re through, I’ll be waiting for you . . . It Hurts Me to see you sit and cry.” Dylan sings, on the beautiful “Born In Time,” “I took you close and got what I deserved.” The song is as clearly about Elvis, almost, as Gypsy, but not crudely so. No “well”s, if you know what I mean. But you MUST listen to the “Tell Tale Signs” version; it’s far superior. It’s just so beautiful, but filled with frustration and hurt. “Just when I thought you were gone, you came back . . . you were smooth, you were rough; you were more-than-enough . . .” it gets even lovelier, and the ending is a gut-punch. “You’ll always be inside ‘o me/When we were born in time.” He mentions bereavement and “when I knew who to thank; you went blank . . . just when the firelight was still gleaming.” There are more lyrics that are perhaps even more telling. It’s worth the price. The new one, it ain’t.

    What you saw was not quite “staged.” Steve Binder really pushed the envelope. He played some weird ridiculous music while he let Elvis and the blond girl just “improvise.” And man, he gobbled up her finger! And then, he was about to start, well, to start, and that’s when he got up and waved himself away.
    Steve, laughing, said: “Elvis, see you tomorrow.” Imagining God knows what he would be off to, uh, complete.
    It’s cool. Especially the outtakes!! See, that’s from the DELUXE version of the DVD of the special: 3, count ’em, THREE DVDs. Anything else is not the same.

    The CD of the rehearsal with the awesome music is in a square box released last year. The DVDs released: ’04. You gotta hear the LBJ impersonation and “the all-lady topless band: The Lady Birds.” I kid you not. The rest of that bit is priceless. One must hear it for oneself.
    {He acted stoned on June 30; what can I say?}

    In early August, ’70, EP made such a potent effort to make eye contact like you cannot imagine. Because he seemed determined to have him see him, and see what he was signaling: as in: I SEE YOU! REALLY! SEE ME! And, clearly, when he grins, and sorta-laughs, you can see he has made that contact. And then he must have gotten some feedback which is when he grinned, and mischeviously stuck his tongue out. Just a little. As though it were a private moment, but fun, too.
    Anyway, when you find out what a mess Dylan had gotten himself into and how Bob Johnston was out of the picture {or apparently so? This is a guy who used his wife’s name to write songs, even the good ones.”

    Dylan and Jerry cannot both be lying. For some reason, Dylan doesn’t want the world to know about this. And I feel strongly that Jerry has come to know this. But he did tell the first part: Elvis made contact through a girl, and Dylan KEPT responding: not just once! Look, if he was rejected, he would NOT have called back. The Beatles accepted that Elvis would not be coming back to see them again {and I think Lennon and George, both wiser, understood: Elvis felt sorta mind-raped by the Col. with this goofy publicity stunt: and Lennon knew it.
    Oh, and they DID jam. A little. First they tried tinkling the ivories, and I think Paul took that, and Elvis played the bass part to “I Feel Fine.” “Coming along promisiingly on bass, Elvis,” Paul ignorantly said. And after Elvis recorded one of the classic bass lines of all time of “You’re So Square” from Jailhouse Rock. It must have hurt. He was a fabulous musician, and I even saw a picture of him subbing for Cash in late ’55. ON HARMONICA!! See, Cash got stoned or something, and didn’t show. So Elvis stepped up to the plate, and unable to sing in that register at 20 years old, did it in Cash’s key, on harp!!!!! I HAVE THE PICTURES!!!!!!! {NO, he was NOT signaling Johnny; he detested him. Just a damn fact. Liked June, though.}

    Which is precisely only one reason why Dylan kept calling. There was so much to ask about!!!!!!!!
    And if he wants to keep it from the world, well, hell: maybe that’s right.
    Look, clearly, on both sides: Elvis made the first move: he gave the girl the number and told her to deliver it. The point was to keep any “of the guys” out of the loop. Didn’t work perfectly, but almost. If Elvis wanted to meet someone, HE DID. He barged into the White House, and not only “met” the Prez, but demanded something from him and got it.
    Probably helped that he was armed and looked stoned out of his gourd. Like I said “Bud” Krogh is some kinda idiot. What if the Prez denied him that badge? I don’t think he would have pulled the gun {you can see it in lower contrast photos}, but it was a gamble. And Krogh didn’t even think to LOOK!

    Oh, and the scene you saw was NOT in Vegas, but a year earlier, in the UNCENSORED version of the {in}famous “brothel sequence” in the ’68 comeback special. It passed the network, but the Singer Sewing Machine Company went ballistic. Just freaked out over some old ladies sewing ‘1930s style dresses for little girls who didn’t want them! {Hey, I remember the sixties! As a child, anyway. I didn’t have any real grandparents, but a neighbor friend of my mom’s had a granny living in their house, and she was always making dresses and stuff with that contraption {I shop catalog only, and have total control of such things now, and would never try to induce a kid to wear something they found odious {even if they didn’t say it was; gosh, people can usually TELL}.

    Best, Robin

  48. R M Says:

    The doggone computer blogging thing did it AGAIN. Repeated a post. I saw my mouse thingy twirling, but . ..

    Keep the complete post. Ditch the other one.

    Sorry,
    Robin

  49. R M Says:

    I believe the final post was the intended post. Sorry again for the double posting.

    These blogging client-side things work kinda weirdly; I don’t remember this from the earlier days of the ‘net in the ’90s. Oh, the Glory Days! I had a great newsreader/writer, and I actually met some terrific friends that way. There were like 50,000 groups after a while, and while those groups may still exist, all the action is in blogging, or worse, in the short-form “twittering” and such, where you can only bleat out a few words and you’re done.
    Well, this is progress, and that’s it. See, people used to learn HTML and make their own pages, and spew their opionions thusly. Then, it was possible to incorporate threaded discussions, too, and so on.
    I still have my CSC site, but it hasn’t been updated in ages.
    It’s been intriguing to go to the You Tube “Gypsy” pages and read the responses to the “videos.” Some people are straight “realists”: if Bob says it’s so, or isn’t so, then that is THE TRUTH. As if they have some personal knowledge, which is silly. Hell, Jerry Schilling says he heard no music during the Beatles Summit, when a number of other guys remember, distinctly “I Feel Fine,” with Elvis on bass, and Paul’s condescending comment. {I don’t think he meant it to be that way; he just didn’t know: in fact, it was decades before people knew who played the classic bass line on that record. And it marked the real beginning of genuine rancor between EP and B. Black. Not only was he annoyed at having to overdub his vocal {they were running out of time}, but he did something very mean, I think. He got all the female actresses, etc. from the film to pick up the large stand-up bass, sideways, and CARRY IT AWAY, and he took a picture! Ouch. “out with the old; in with the new.” Which meant that Bill himself would be OUT.
    One always should watch out about kickin’ people on the way up, as the old saying goes. In ’69, during the legendary Memphis session at American Studios, an ex-member of the Bill Black combo humiliated Elvis in front of EVERYONE, and he did it on purpose. They were stuggling to get a decent tempo on a song, and Chips yelled out “great: keep going,” but Reggie Young called out. Elvis, naturally, said: “yessir” to a guy one year younger than himself {eye rolling}, and Reggie calls “that part in the middle”{on electric guitar} “was a little weird.” Charlie laughs like a damn hyena, but the damage was done. He just stopped playing. I’ve listened to it several times, and it’s clear that the strings were all loosened: not out of tuned, but loosened. On an electric, that’s easy. You have to wonder if it was an error, or if someone loosened them. But it’s clear as a bell. The strings are loose. It was not a “clunker.” But when you look at the history of the thing, he probably had it coming. Bill had died of a brain tumor, and it’s kind of a morality tale: never treat people unkindly, ’cause you may never get the chance to make it up. And somehow, Karma will kick you in the ass, somehow. {Gee, if only Pete Seeger had known that trick at Newport! Hee. Hee.}
    Just kidding; you wouldn’t want to encourage a madman.

    Anyway, what we were getting into there, we used to call “rambling.” Sometimes you think your imagination has gotten away from you, and then almost unexpectedly, you find out that you were just about hit the target. Believe me on this; it comes from experience. But it sure is easier dealing with people who have either passed, or passed their prime. {About Dylan, I dunno. Does he have another Time Out of Mind in him? Maybe. Certainly, he genuinely craggy voice is far more real than that silly pretend voice he used as a kid. And he knows exactly what he wants to write {I mean in his songs: never mind those interviews where HE plays with people’s heads. Anyway, I’ve thought about that, and I realize that it was actually a compliment. John Lennon was supposed to be so formally “intelligent,” and yet Dylan credits someone who came from the poorest of the poor: whose parents completed the 3rd and 6th grade, respectively, and he credits the supposed “hayseed” with “playing with their heads” to the extent that he claims that he was INTIMIDATED so much that he was scared to face him! Now, THAT is a compliment, and totally negates the “Bob freed the mind like Elvis freed the body” type comments. And I think that maybe Dylan couldn’t think of another way of doing it. Just saying it is just that: saying it. He wanted something stronger: he was telling the wORLD that Elvis was so intellectually cagey, that he was AFRAID of him! Now, THAT is a lolopalooza, when you think of it. And it puts one in mind of the weird Sam Shepard “One-Act Play” where he duplicates a conversation on the back porch of a Malibu residence between Shepard and Dylan word-for-word. It starts with this: Dylan: “Know what Elvis said?” Shepard is curious, and asks, and Dylan replies: “If James Dean had sang, he would have been Ricky Nelson.” And several writers who read the transcript of the “play” were stunned. How could a “dumb hayseed” come up with something LIKE THAT? Dylan left to get a drink or something, and on returning, wishes to shoot the breeze about other matters. Shepard does not. He presses him: “Elvis said WHAT?” And it kinda trickles off. Dylan had made his point. He wanted to talk about visiting the Dean Death Site and so on. Commentators on this said that it was remarkable: you would expect “a Gurlanick or a Marcus” to say something like that, but Elvis??????? According to Shepard’s account, Dylan placed EP as a “thinking person.” NOT as merely an ass-shaking hillbilly.
    And when he said “he played with their heads.” {The Beatles’ heads}, he DID IT AGAIN! Because I guess he felt he HAD to do it again. Clearly he felt no need to place himself somewhere in the Presley pantheon of “ME’s” but DID feel it necessary to lash back at what Bono said in his own, weird way. But weird as it was, it works. I mean, the guy didn’t really seem to ask him if “they met”: I think the guy wanted to know what he THOUGHT of Elvis, and he came up with this strategy. That NO, of course I wouldn’t want to meet someone who would “play with my head!” I mean, isn’t it Dylan, who is the “intellectual” who “plays with people’s heads”? Who had always played “head games” because he was so devilishly “smart”? Do you see what he did here? He TURNED IT AROUND. And for a particular reason. I guess he’s sick and tired of hearing his idol/peer called a “dummy.” For all these years. And it seems to me that someone like Dylan would only care that much about it if he was something more than your average fan. Sure, I care, but I’m a sociologist, and I see class politics at play here. The average Elvis fan doesn’t really give a damn. They just like him. But Bob is NOT a “sociologist” {well, not officially}, and he is TWO things: 1) He, too, sees class politics at play here, and it stinks, and 2)He’s of an age, and was in various places enough to make it difficult for him to have NOT met him. {Several of the guys said that as far as musicians were concerned, IF they didn’t bother him when he was sleeping ALL DAY, that it was “an open invitation.” If EP took the time and irritation to endure Peter Noone {Noone:”What do you guys do when it rains?” On a film set, he asks this. Elvis: “We usually come inside.” Not exactly “playing” with Peter’s head, such as it is.}, I figure Dylan would be far more pleasurable. ESPECIALLY if Col. Parker was not around. {He was there, pushing this “interview each other” think with Noone — why is anybody’s guess.}
    Look, James Brown thought at first that Elvis was avoiding him when Jerry or whomever told him “he’s asleep” a whole bunch of times. Except that he WAS asleep, and you didn’t wake him in those days unless you wanted your head handed to you. What you did was to find out where Jackie Wilson was performing {usually a club called “The Trip”}, and that’s it. James made arrangements to stop at Memphis at an appropriate time, and the very first thing they did together was to sing a spiritual called “Old Blind Barnabus.” They maintain a friendship for the remainder of Elvis’ life. Marty Lacker didn’t like him, but Marty didn’t like a lot of people. One guy says “well, maybe he just rubbed Marty the wrong way.” Or it could have been Brown’s “redneck detector.” You know: “Bla-dar.” In any case, their friendship disturbed Parker, as did his friendships with Wilson, Johnny Bragg, Sammy, Ali, B. B. King {of course} and others. Elvis palled around with “Billy the Kid” Emerson before his association with Col. Parker, and Parker tried to get Elvis to get friendly with some country singers. The altercation backstage with the Louvin Bros. showed how well THAT worked: “why you [N-word]!” one Louvin shouted at Elvis when he said that Gospel was his favorite music, but that the audiences don’t come to his shows to hear gospel. Hardly a reason to call him that name, but they wanted to. But Elvis had a fairly deep knowledge of white mountain music, Jimmie Rodgers, and as a child, performed “Barbara Allen” in front of his class {a little deep for a 9-year-old, I would think}. In the late Autumn of 1969, I’d bet Dylan wanted to sing that song that goes “where did you sleep last night?” at him. He keep jumping from city to city like a rubber ball. He did NOT want to go home. And IF they met as I have been told, it is possible he shared the reason, and if it was intense enough, it would be reason enough for Dylan to deny ever shaking his hand – I mean, it would be something you just wouldn’t share. And IF he mentioned anything about Red Wing, and nothing about it ever came out until his “so-called friend” Al blabbed it to a biographer, then – IF what those Memphians described to me is true, etc. – he knew that EP never said a word to a soul. {And all the guys said he could never keep a secret, which was generally true: but maybe there were exceptions.}
    Haven’t other people ever made such pacts? I am quite sure they have. It’s kind of a “kid-thing.” “Don’t tell anybody we met.” Typical kid-type thing. Creates a bond. Sometimes people forget their childhoods, or even the films they saw as children . . . gosh, every Saturday or Sunday {I forget which}, they had an afternoon “kid’s movie” and you’d see all this weird bonding behavior, and secrets, and all whatnot. And this reeks of it: especially with “Gypsy” {and the lights WERE always “low and dim” and the rooms were dark – though not always crowded – and Dylan had no way of knowing this – about the darkness of his rooms – in early 1970: NO WAY OF KNOWING}.
    Doesn’t matter anyway, does it? One of ’em’s been dead for decades now.
    Hey, did you see that movie “Cadillac Records” about Leonard Chess? What a mess! Apparently, you see, Chuck Berry INVENTED rock ‘n’ roll, and Howlin’ Wolf did NOT make his first records for Sun, for in this film, Sun doesn’t really exist, except to trash Jerry Lee and of course, to not only call Elvis a thief, but a GRAVE ROBBER!!!!!!!!!! I’m serious. I mean, Little Walter, who had the hit on it, did NOT write it, and this they make clear, but show a film of an adolescent Elvis performing, and audio from 1969! When he shredded the original record: well, excuse him for singing his heart out. At one point, as they are preparing the Little Walter for burial, and the song is the soundtract, you hear him singing his lungs out, and he goes “she don’t, she don’t, she don’t, OH GOD!” I mean, that’s the performance RCA/BMG {or whatever they are nowadays} gave them! It wasn’t released until recently and shreds all other versions. Unfortunately, when you visually see a guy being prepared for burial, it looks like this great performance is A MURDER. I mean, that’s how you can lie with film, and brutally.
    So, I can see how Dylan’s little grey lie was really a GOOD thing to do {ok, Bob, a “possible lie”}, because it restores the dignity of a man whose dignity is STILL continuously being trashed. He’s either a thief, or an idiot. Dylan proved, in his codification of “That’s All Right Mama” {get the sheet music} that Elvis could indeed “write” whatever that actually means in American folk music: here it means that the melody, chord progression, and many lyrics are totally different. And in this latest interview, to say that Elvis “played with {the Beatles} heads,” hands him an intelligence which he’s always been denied.
    Now, I truly never met the guy, so I don’t know from personal experience if he was “intelligent.” Not from personal experience. But if you DID know from personal experience that he was a very bright guy who continues to get trashed as a dumb hillbilly, wouldn’t you do almost anything to change that view? Even if you had to sever any public personal connection with him to do it? Hell, I would. Hell, if I knew him, I wouldn’t care what anyone else thought. I would know. See, the world looks at it from their point of view: from the circular logic of mine: I would like to KNOW that he had a friend that WE did not KNOW that he had! No actual “reason” to that, except emotionally. I’d like to “know” it, but if I did, he wouldn’t have a friend that nobody KNEW about! I mean, that’s Dylan’s take on the world seeing this. Like, tough! You’re gonna have to live with this! {But too many fans know different, and Bob has fibbed too often.} If there’s one thing in this world that Bob has always detested, it’s the exploitation of the another person’s soul. That’s how he started out, and I believe it’s what he really feels, because he went through it himself with “his landlord.” {Which doesn’t mean he hasn’t treated a variety of women quite exploitatively . . . you could say: not only was “Sad Eyed Lady” a crummy, way-too-long blather, but it exploited her existence as his wife. The world really was just finding out, and he “immortalized her” in one of his worst songs. My opinion. I don’t think that “Rolling Stone” IS about “a woman”; I think it’s about him, and so do quite a few others. Unless it’s about his own background as a “Stone” and the woman who symbolized that most for him.}
    For now,
    Robin

  50. R M Says:

    What the hell happened? How many times did the software replicate that one post?? Can you fix it? Figure out the right one (that’s pretty easy), and knock out the others. Sorry, Robin

  51. R M Says:

    Hey, how come when “Went To See the Gypsy” came out in 1971, when Elvis was 36 years old, and bought LOADS of records, and expressed his reverence for Dylan ON TAPE that year, how come he didn’t DENY THE STORY on that song???????

    One little press release would have done it. But he deliberately chose not to do so.

    So, in essence, we have EP himself endorsing the story of meeting Bob Dylan.

    Period.

    Robin

  52. R M Says:

    Ok, now I only see two of those posts. Last night, I swear I saw THREE: it was like TRIBBLES!! {You know: those cute Trek creatures that are born pregnant.}

    Anyway, I am quite sure that the last post is the complete one, with some errors corrected, too. So the earlier one was not supposed to be posted, but it did. Sorry, but I didn’t do it! There’s really little control over this blogging software.

    But, I don’t want to sound like an anti-techie: this is what is current. And that’s that.
    News, though: seems Dylan spoke to “The Times Magazine” {don’t know if it was NY or London}, and all I got was that he “opens fire on Elvis.” And supposedly takes the onus off of George {W, I assume} Bush for our current catastrophe, and “seranades McCartney”???????? That last one is almost the weirdest one!!
    If he did actually “open fire on Elvis” {and you can never tell the truth from these summaries; they always get it wrong}, it means he’s really on his mind for some reason. Why now? I know an anniversary year is coming up, but still: why? Doesn’t make sense. Elvis really thought so much of him, really. Gosh, I saw a very rare photo of EP in about 61/62 {he looks even younger than ’62, but it HAS to be, unless he snuck off to Gerde’s folk city, which I sincerely doubt {grin}. He BOUGHT THE HAT! You know: the imitations of Dylan’s little cap that Macy’s was selling at that time. And in the photo, he poses himself almost shockingly like Dylan on his first album. Even tries to emphasis the jawbones in the angle he cocks his head. So, with that photo, we know that it was neither Charlie Hodge NOR Jerry Schilling who “turned him on” to Dylan: he turned himself on. He went to the record store, and there it was. At this time, Jerry was in college, and would not have known. He always liked to let people think that they had accomplished something that he had actually accomplished himself. It was that insecurity thing. But, somehow, I think they got it a little skewed. I don’t really think he “opened fire” if he expressed anger; hell, I’m angry – angry that he’s dead. Dylan’s son is 43 now, and I’d bet that has something to do with it. The waste of it all . . . it IS enough to make you very angry. But “lets Bush off the hook”? From an Obama endorser {the first one he ever made!}? That’s weird. Unless his comments are far more subtle than we know, ’cause I haven’t read the actual article. But “seranades Paul McCartney”? Huh? I mean, Paul’s ok, for what he is . . . “silly love songs” and all, but otherwise, this is SILLY.
    But, then again, Paul is alive, and John was murdered, and George had cancer, so you really can’t blame any of them in the way you can “open fire” on Elvis. But, hey, it’s been a long time, and he’s gone and it’s done. What is the point of wanting to slap him around over 3 dacades later? He was gone by ’73, really. That’s true. Sure, in ’73-’74, he gave the impression, frequently, of looking ok, but he was NOT. And, of course, dope addicts do not just “hurt themselves.” They hurt those who love them. {Which is reason to “open fire,” I guess, but it is much too late: maybe he’s just angry at himself at not intervening when it counted. EP was plenty f’d up in the early ’70s, and if you knew drugs, and Dylan did, he should have been able to see it, even in a film, or whatever. Hell, I can see the beginning of the glaucoma problem IN ’68, in the new DVD from ’04. The close-ups are so sharp, that you can see this grey spot on his right eye. First, you think it’s the lights, but it moves as he moves, so it’s not the lights. It’s what will become glaucoma by ’71. I guess as the years went on, he had trouble seeing. Many reviewers of “near death concerts” commented on his “blinking against the lights.” That was cruel, of course, but that’s what critics did in those days.
    But I say, what the hell: have mercy on EP’s soul, and kick Dubya big time! He kicked us plenty, and I experienced it, and am experiencing it. Gosh, things are continuing to go downhill, and Obama says to “expect” that, but that in time, things will get better. What if regular people don’t have this “time”? You can either keep blaming Dubya, or you can GET ON IT, and start fixing things, and if you’re too scared of the heat, get the hell out of the damn kitchen!
    I may look up the Dylan interview. But I won’t take it that seriously, ’cause I know his mind sorta blows up from time to time, and there’s just no accounting for it. And he loves to play with journalists for sport.
    Best,
    Robin
    And sorry about the double-post.

  53. R M Says:

    Dylan’s got several interviews going at once, it seems. And they are VERY different!
    The “official” one on his website doesn’t “open fire” on ANYONE, and there’s a charming, though seemingly absurd, rambling thought-stream about Elvis and the Civil War, and a Sherman battle and how Dylan wanted to “feel” what the child Elvis felt {which is impossible today because what you see in Tupelo today is a total tourist fraud — and Dylan should know this: first of all, Shake Rag was destroyed by “urban renewal” so you can NEVER know how THAT felt, as central as it was to him, UNLESS you actually knew the guy, and he described it, which he often did, and also his sadness at the “renewal” which kinda really crushed him when he actually saw it. Dylan could not know any of that, and I don’t think a civil war battle that made Dylan “feel” a “lingering sadness to the town” would inspire a child {which is what Elvis was at the time} to do what Dylan says: “Elvis must have felt it too.” Not the battle itself, but the “lingering sadness to the town.” Hey, there were other kids in that town who had nice clothes and new toys, and etc., and BELIEVE ME, they did NOT feel what “Elvis must have felt.” In fact, the only way Dylan could know that Elvis “must have felt” such wispy sort of “feeling”: a “lingering sadness,” would be IF HE KNEW THE GUY. Otherwise, Elvis the child had MUCH ELSE to be “sad” about in Tupelo, and after, as well. Gosh, the move to Memphis would leave ANYONE with a TRUE “lingering sadness” that had NOTHING to do with a Sherman battle in the 19th century! It has to do with living in one-room in a series of boarding houses for the better part of a year before they were approved for the projects. And then after they got kicked out of the projects {EP liked to boast that HE, at 17, made the “decision” to leave, which no matter how dysfunctional they were, is silly), they stayed for almost his entire final semester in high school, until May, in those same boarding houses. One or another of them. A hot plate shared; one bathroom for many families. And he was just about to graduate! Which “must” have caused him an indignity that Dylan cannot EVER know. See, cause it was in May that he started racing hell-bent-for-leather toward the music business. Hitched down to Meridian to a “Jimmy Rodgers Festival,” and won a “second prize”: a new guitar! Just what he needed, actually. Guralnick refuses to put his seal of approval on it, despite the corroboration of those who were there. Elaine Dundy feels it was significant, and I tend to agree with her. And what’s more she actually BELIEVES people who are interviewed, either by her, or in magazines like “Living Blues.” And the fact that he met Robert Henry “through Dewey Phillips” means nothing: Guralnick cannot say that he didn’t know Dewey BEFORE the first record. In fact, Dewey brought George Klein, then still in college, and DJ’ing in Arkansas, and who knew Dewey well, brought him down to the studio just after the record played, and Dewey put his hand over the label and asked him: “who is it”? At first George said he wasn’t sure who, and Dewey said “what, boy? You went to school with the boy!” GK said, “then I knew it HAD to be Elvis.” Dewey sounded proud, and it sure didn’t sound like he just met the boy on the record. The thing with Dewey was I think he felt he “made” him, which is ridiculous, but it caused what can only be described as a catastrophe, in my view, because I think Dewey was THE sole source of “The Rumor.” A rumor that has been passed by word-of-mouth within the black community all over the U.S. since 1957, despite Elvis calling Jet mag., and getting interviewed by Louie Robinson, who also conducted his own independent investigation: both of “the rumor,” which he could not even trace, and simply interviewed scads of black people in Tupelo and Memphis, including an M.D. in Tupelo who used to treat the family on a charity basis. They all more than vouched for him AND his parents, and were utterly stunned by the rumor, because it was so completely foreign to the person they knew. Just read what B.B. King had to say not too long ago. That ought to be enough. But still, some schoolkid {this, according to a schoolteacher somewhere in the midwest, or wherever} will say “my uncle says that . . .” and the teacher will show them the Jet piece, and the interviews with the musicians, and etc., but a kid’s gonna believe his uncle}. And that’s why, IMHO, he flattened Dewey in ’57. And never saw him again. When he died, he thanked him for his help “in the early days of my career,” and that’s ALL. He did go to the funeral, and was kind to his wife, and defferent, calling her “Mrs. Dorothy,” as did the black musicians gathered there. In ’68. Kinda blows you away some, when you imagine the scene.
    But these REAL things seem to be UNREAL to Dylan, and yet he claims he knows that “Elvis must have felt it too.” The “lingering sadness” of a defeated south. Hell, Elvis had a black stallion in his horse collection. He named him “Yankee Revenge” in a kind of malicious glee. I don’t think he felt the “sadness” of Sherman rampaging through . . . that was, after all, the whole POINT of Am. Trilogy. See, without the brief, but passionately delivered slave song, there is nothing there; it anchors the piece, in his rendition, anyhow. Mickey Newbury did it kinda without any deep caring; the EP version is quite different, and it ends with the exhultant victory of Lincoln, but “with malice toward none, and charity toward all.” It’s strictly a lincoln tribute, in my mind. And no “lingering sadness” excepting for the slave song and its relation to “Dixie,” which is played right after the slave song by a black man on a flute! He does not allow the Sweet Inspirations to sing Dixie: “sing it fellas,” he always went. That was important to him. It had to be right, that way.
    Dylan, who seems to love the romanticism of the 19th and early 20th centuries, somehow doesn’t see the past living in the present in the same way at all. He seems to kind of detest the present, lately. Mabye ’cause he’s truly “over the hill” {hey, where IS that hill?} now, and he sees the new world with its loudness, and the rap music, which almost 20 years ago, he claimed was going to be so very important, and which he now seems repulsed by . . .
    I know: why try to figure out a lunatic. Well, because he’s Bob Dylan, and he invites it. He’ll do two interviews at the same time, and say completely opposite things. To upset your head, really. That’s always been a kind of sport, or game with him. He said never met Howlin’ Wolf, and that’s a lie. Peter Guralnick, of all people WAS THERE! It was at Newport, and Dylan was rehearsing with his blues band, and Wolf was watching these white boys. Guralnick started talking to Wolf, asking his opinion of what he was hearing and seeing. The guys came over, including Bob. These were his buddies, after all, at the time. And how could he resist Howlin’ Wolf! Well, Wolf said they were ok, but “that other boy: out in California somewhere . . .” THAT’S a “white blues singer” to him. The guys started to chortle, ’cause of the movies, and Elvis was this national joke and everything. Wolf raised his mighty roar: “If he stopped, he stopped. IT’S NOTHIN’ TO LAUGH AT!,” the Wolf lectured them, “but HE MADE HIS PULL FROM THE BLUES!” Dylan was among the boys he was talking to. Maybe HE didn’t laugh, but Guralnick didn’t seem to make the distinction. But Dylan was there, Peter knew that much. So he DID meet Howlin’ Wolf. And it wasn’t a nice meeting, either. He was angry at them. He KNEW “that other boy” and maybe it saddened him, even if he didn’t know what all he was DOING out in California . . . but that boy was authentic: a great blues singer, and if he stopped, he stopped, and it was kinda sad, and nothin’ to laugh at. Because “he made his pull from the blues.” And you can’t say that about too many others.
    But he didn’t “stop.” In fact, the following year, he not only recorded Dylan’s song, but a stompin’ Clovers’ blues that shook the Nashville pavement, without a doubt. “Down In the Alley.” He never stopped. If Dylan doesn’t understand what it means to be trapped, then he’s either stupid or lying. Because there was a time, right then, actually, when he began to feel trapped. That night, when all hell broke loose, Dylan cried, right there on stage. Maybe he knew then that HIS predicament was also “nothin’ to laugh at.”
    Personally, Dylan’s life seems sorta like a “lingering sadness.” Dylan is not really a man of extremes, despite appearances. Elvis was. If he was sad, or in a rage, or filled with joy, he experienced it fully, but it never “lingered” — not until the end, anyway. When a young man in his 30’s and just entering his 40s began to feel himself “lingering” . . . sick, tired, all his dreams dashed to the earth. Unto death. It was a terrible tragedy, and Dylan seems like he’s “playing” with it. And like B.B. King once sang, “you upset me, babe.” {“you” meaning Dylan, of course). You cannot feel what Elvis felt in today’s Tupelo, or even the Tupelo of the late ’70s. All you feel is the stench of exploitation. You walk into a McDonald’s and it’s covered with souveniers, some for sale. Same for the old Piccadilly Cafeteria {I think I remember that correctly} . . . exploitating everywhere. No “Civil War” anywhere. So how on Earth can he say “I think Elvis must have felt it too”? A child? A child near starvation? I think the damn civil war was about the last thing on his 11 year-old mind. What he heard WAS THE BLUES! And it brought him joy and escape.
    And ain’t that something to “feel” when you visit Tupelo? You should not imagine the damn Civil War, but the rompin’ stompin’ blues of Shakerag at mid-century. {20th, I should point out} The shouting female gospel singers in their bright colors, and pounding the ground beneath their feet with a noise that seemed like it could be heard all over the world.
    Yes, as an adult, or even in his teens, he learned about that Civil War, and what it was really all about: he read the Tri-State Defender, and the Memphis World, and he read Jet. He felt no “lingering sadness” over Sherman. In fact, he took one look at that beautiful black stallion, and said to himself “Yankee Revenge!” ’cause he saw the other side of the south, the side Dylan just doesn’t seem to see. It’s not “romantic” enough or something.
    The real lingering sadness is up in the North Country. And that’s the truth. I’d like to see it sometime, but whatever I feel, I wouldn’t want to claim that “Bob must have felt it, too.” As a child! How presumptious. Yeah, that’s probable, but you gotta be careful when you’re in the same field as someone whose “feelings” you claim to know. Unless you DO KNOW. Eh, Bob? What say?
    You said you never met Wolf, and you did. If Guralnick says you did, you did. He’s WAY too careful. So I take the rest with a grain of salt.

    One more thing: I wish Dylan could see that photograph I saw yesterday: the one where Elvis posed with THE HAT. But that first album sounds so funny to me, today. Well, maybe that’s on account of time. Maybe he was touched by “Song To Woody,” which he may not have understood at the time, fully, but it may have touched him, emotionally.

    Best,Robin

  54. R M Says:

    Hey, I’m back. “I wasn’t there; I was gone.” Like the Basement Tapes song. I am sure you know why. It’s not your generation, but you must know.
    I sent Lisa Marie an e-mail on her real site {why the hell is she on that awful MySpace with those awful kids?}. She was so brave to be finally so truthful. I always knew it was “the Cher Syndrome,” but who was I to tell her. I just basically thanked her, and tried to put her mind more at ease. I fear two things: this might wreck her latest marriage {4, count ’em}, and I worry for her. But I didn’t say those things, of course! I sure hope she gets to read it. Man, the Ph.D. {PHUD, ha!} is good for sumpin’, ain’t it? Anyway, so I’ve been away. Remember my mom’s screams I told you about, and mine for Lennon, and the whistle I blew for Elvis? Well, the roof nearly came off again. This you will not comprehend, but I was on the phone with a friend, and we were both wailing, in a kind of morbid harmony of grief and horror. She told me to find a tranquilizer. as she had to, as well. I get emotional, as you have probably guessed. {And I am not stupid; I know he did wrong things – uh, downtown, but so did Jerry Lee, and Chuck Berry, and Elvis, and a bunch of others . . .} But I remember the days of fresh youth when it was such a sheer joy . . . like dancing on a cloud, all as one. You cannot be expected to understand, and I understand that. But I did not “mourn for my youth” or any of that B.S.; I mourn for a human being who I thought I’d see through my life, like my Dad sees Jerry Lewis, or whomever. Not for me, I guess. And because there was deep feeling there. You wouldn’t understand, I think, but that’s ok.
    I have found Dylan’s songs to be so helpful and explanatory. “I dreamed I was among the ones who put him out to death; I awoke in anger, alone and terrified: I pressed my fingers against the glass and hung my head and cried.” “St. Augustine” from my fave album, “John Wesley Harding.” God, doesn’t Bobert get it so RIGHT, so often? American music is one Big muddy River, and it all streams in and out together.
    I think good has come out of all of it, historically. Or will. But too many had to drop away and suffer so {did you see the photo of the legs: it’s like the Phil Ochs lyric: “do you have a picture of the pain?” Damn.} before they even got close to your age. And way older.
    Cronkite was 92. Karl Malden was 97. I do not begrudge them. But . . .
    I’ll get back to normal, very soon. Bye, now.
    RM

  55. reprindle Says:

    Well, this is a great year for people dying. Everybody’s doing it. Might do it myself, there’s six months left. I’ve got time.

    I suppose you’re talking about Michael Jackson. Probably more important to you than me. You have my sympathy of course but for me, nothing there. (Do you like soul music? No. Well, then do the trouser press baby.)

    Never understood why Priscilla married him. It was like Elvis dying twice. I hope she got your email too. Those people are all so cut off from normal discourse. Reality, whatever. So you flashed your PhD card, huh? How low will some people sink. 🙂 It will probably work though. Always gets your attention; not as quick as LLD though, or IRS.

    Your dad sees Jerry Lewis an a life anchor? Jerry Lee maybe, but Jerry Lewis? Not likely. He has aged well though. All my heroes are dead now. Can’t think of any star living now that I’m attached to. Some I still admire, like Chris Hillman.

    You must think I’m insensitive or something Robin; you said I wouldn’t understand three times or more. Try this one: John Stewart died this year just after Travis Edmondson. Both Kingston Trio and Bud & Travis now gone, gone, gone. I don’t see anything coming up to replace them either. Just like when Dylan tubes, like him or not, the sixties era will be dead even though there will probably still be survivors. Roger McGuinn has a nice site run by his wife Camilla. Very nice impression.

    All of these people mean more to me than Jackson. I keep wondering when Giorgio Morodor is going to take his final bow. Hope its before me. Speaking of the elegant (code word) you should check out Karl Lagerfeld’s site. Dylan has a couple posts there as a friend. Completely different writing style from Chronicles. I read where Dylan sent in his sheets and that they were completely rewritten by ghost writers. Changes things and seems likely.

  56. R M Says:

    Do I like soul music? Is that like a joke or something? I think you know the answer is Good Gawd, yeah! If you get the revised version of “That’s the Way it Is” from 1970 {Elvis}, watch “One Night,” the song: you will see something magical. It happens so fast because he’s going at a blistering speed {no jokes, now, about THAT}, but I just noticed it, and slowed it way down, and by God, he’s freaking moonwakin’! I mean, FOR REAL: he’s not just sayshaying backwards: he’s doing the step, but not his feet are not straight because it has a lot James Brown feel to it. I found out that at the time that Brown bought the farm, his doctor was charles Murray, the quack who MJ got the promotor to hire to knock him out at night. This is not new, unfortunately. Elias Ghanem, the notorious Vegas Dr. Feelgood invented the technique with guess-who. Yeah, EP, of course. Ya gotta hope that during one of those backstage session, young Lisa didn’t say, innocently “my daddy goes to sleep for three days, and wakes up real skinny!” She wouldn’t remember it. Why did she marry him? Why does anybody? Was there a song called “Love Is Strange”? I think those Scientologists ripped her away: they are known for brainwashing techniques {I cannot imagine you have anything to do with them: I would be shocked}. I heard some of them talking on one of those “BIO” channel things about her, and they were pretty merciless. They said really hideous things. Look, I am not an fool: I know he did some things that no one should do, but he was out of his gourd. He warped first by what one director called “terrible parents” and then by the insanity of the business itself, which continued apace into his early to mid-twenties {we now know those are still formative years in many ways}. I figure the kid never had a chance from day one. I know that you are of a completely dissonant generation, and that’s cool, but there ARE still people your age still alive and kicking. Didn’t you just see Pete Seeger’s 90th birthday party concert? He looked like he wasn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Of course, there are those who are simply born lucky. Sad to hear about the Kingston Trio. I was kinda raised up as a real small child on that sort of folk music. I always, always knew, from the ’80s ’till “the other day” that MJ WAS “Puff the Majic Dragon.” It is not a happy song. It’s very tragic actually. James M. Barrie was warped and a tragic figure as well. I should have seen it all coming from the beginning, but “the beginning” for someone my age was when I was still a child, and so how could I imagine that it had to end the way it did. That emaciated little body loaded into that wagon, the workers shoving his feet out of the way like a couple of sticks in the way. It hurt me: what else can I say. I know that people of an older generation, not to mention a somewhat different tradition {though not as different as you might think} cannot possibly comprehend what all the hubbub is about. But those days were awesome. Nothing like that {pop “explosions”} will EVER happen again, in music, in the new digital culture. But I was alive and young enough to see the last one, and I’m glad I experienced it and it was a blast at the time. You’d spin the radio dial, and one artist was EVERYWHERE. Formats collapsed, and you’d look at the magazine rack and there was only one face on virtually every cover. Clothing stores hung that “yellow sweater” poster . . . you couldn’t escape it, and if you were my age or younger, you didn’t want to. Naturally, such things crumble into catastrophe, and I should have known THAT from the beginning. It’s just that he was sort of the little “neighbor boy” that I never had, no matter where all we moved to. That kid helped me through my childhood, even before “the explosion” in the ’80s. Like so many, his life became a hideous train wreck: one of the worst, but it still hurt to the bone. You know me. And the only thing that made any sense of it to me was to look at old Dylan lyrics, really. I don’t mean to make him Shakespeare or anything, but damned if he did have lryics for any difficult situation that capture it like nothing else. It’s a gift: or maybe he sees it like a curse, I dunno. I just found that famous “lost song” “I’m Not There” and realized that that paragraph in Rolling Stone is really that song, in prose. Has nothing to do with ontological reality, but the song captures a deeper reality. But it was other lyrics that grabbed me: quite a few.
    But it’s true: so many people in the that cruel business are gone, quite before they ought to be. To desire utter oblivion, to want to be knocked completely unconscious day after day . . . even if you didn’t dig him, that is truly horryfing.
    But as for “the 60s” dying whenever Dylan goes, I figure the sixties ended on Ded. 31st, 1969. Heck, I remember that night! Where I was and everything. But “the rock era,” that’s more complicated. I’d say it’s kind of a mystery, but it IS over. Billboard is like a little flyer today, it’s so thin. The business is dying fast, and not even a major, major death can save it. NOTHING can save it. The days of rushing out to a store, salivating for the music of your dreams are over, and that is really very sad. Those were good times – when you could do that, and wanted to do that. It’s disrespectful to compare that “death” to that of any human being, but it is still a kind of death, and I find it very sad to see it go. But music lives on, no matter what. No matter how. And without music, I can’t imagine how I could have even made it through my life thus far. Really. It means that much to me.
    And what exactly IS “soul” music, anyway? Isn’t ALL music a kind of “soul” music, if it is anything at all?
    But yeah, I do feel, a lot as though “my pillow’s NEVER dry – of ‘Lonely Teardrops.'” {Jackie Wilson’s hit, of course, but Gordy wrote it, and ditched Wilson to start Motown, ’cause he only wanted teens he could completely control. It’s so damn sad. I hope out there in the multiverse somewhere, there could be a “heavenly quartet” . . . lost in the joy of the music, flying on angel’s wings … all of ’em.
    And YOU, my friend, aren’t going ANYWHERE!

    For now,
    Robin

  57. reprindle Says:

    Hey, Punk, I am the ‘there’ of ‘what is.’ That was a great essay nevertheless. I liked it.

    ‘Do you like soul music? Is that like a joke or something?’ Quicken up, of course it was a joke. Here in my dotage I remember things you haven’t heard of. That is a quote from the Bonzo Dog Doo Dah Band of the last century. An interviewer asks someone on the street: Do you like soul music? No? Well, then do the Trouser Press, baby.’ The Trouser Press is my dance. I do not like soul music. Whether all music is soul music or not, all music is not Negro music. Soul music=Negro music. Ask any Negro.

    Two guys, three actually, put a human face on Negro music, Berry Gordy and Leiber and Stoller. the two Jews were blacker than Gordy. Gordy had the real business plan for packaging Negroes as Oreos and it really worked. Cleaned ’em up and made ’em look like lovable Munchkins. That’s where Diana Ross came in. Was it a coincidence that Diana played Dorothy in the Black Wizard Of Oz? Not by a long shot. Gordy prepared her for the role a decade before.

    Leiber and Stoller did a self-portrait in Charlie Brown- you’re a clown. They wrote stupid but amusing novelty tunes for Black people that could never have been sung as originals by Whites. Now they’ve got a stupid musical – Smokey Joe’s Cafe, trying to make this stuff sound worthwhile. The House Of Blue Lights was better than Smokey Joe’s Cafe.

    Anyway the Jewish ezine Tablet just ran an interesting piece on the Dorky Duo. They’re trying to take Hound Dog back from Elvis and make Mama Thornton the hero. Good luck. In the first place Hound Dog is just a stupid novelty piece. Probably inspired Ray Stevens to crank out his endless novelty stuff, Gitar-zan and whatever. No musical for Ray.

    Presley made the two ignoramuses and now they turn on him. Freddie Bell recognized the comedic value of the song, rewrote the lyrics to make then even more nonsensical. Presley heard them, got the joke, and passed it on. Amazingly all the little Honkeys took it seriously, if possible, not to mention their idiot elders, which says something about the little Honkeys. My god, very nearly my own age cohort. Cohort, sounds slightly obscene, doesn’t it?

    So, these bozos, Leiber and Stoller, think Hound Dog is some kind of achievement. My god, is that all there is?

    Presley asks them to write some tunes for him and they come up with the mega-stupid Jailhouse Rock. ‘The whole rhythm section was the Purple Gang.’ Inside Jewish joke. The Purple Gang was all Detroit Jews. Jokey, jokey, jokes.

    But, where were you? Oh yeah. This very interesting medical stuff. Yes, ‘Love is strange.’ but I’m not. Doesn’t mean I haven’t done strange things. ‘The things we do for love.’ Not actually Scientologist either but many interesting things organized by Hubbard. Just because you’re a charlatan doesn’t mean you don’t have some good ideas; look at Berry Gordy. But, no, unshock yourself, I’m not a Scientologist. I walk alone as the man in the soul song sang.

    Anyway, if you can document the medical stuff you’ve got a killer essay. yes, that was a pun.

    Yes, the musical scene is in a state of decay from which it may never emerge but musical sources are so diffuse that the concentration of talent necessary to produce the spectacularly high quality of records of the fifties, sixties, and seventies isn’t possible. The generation raised on records has passed through. In my estimation the sixties ended with the first gas crunch of ’74. This is the era of mega-stupid stuff like Kill All Da White Men.

    I didn’t know of the Gordy-Wilson connection. Wilson should have stayed with Gordy. He’d have been greater and might have lived longer. Imagine Wilson with the original of Heard It On The Grapevine. Maybe Marvin Gaye was Gordy’s replacement of Wilson.

    When you came back after that long abscence the torrent was so fierce there was no room for me to enter. Didn’t know what to say. This last was a nice essay.

    I’m going to begin a new page. Next time look for Coversations with Robin Page 3.

  58. R M Says:

    I will look for it: the new board. Just want to sum up this part, though. Just for the heck of it, I’ve been reading some of the earlier stuff, and it got SO weird. Does that other guy know I am female? “He” Freaked me out kinda, ’cause people usually guess on the ‘net. It is “a foot in the door” though, or has been in the past: the gender-neutral name, I mean.
    Thanks for the praise for the last piece I wrote. Again, what I think is cool is that you really GOT IT about Lisa: perhaps she made it happen as some sort of self-flagellation, but she honestly caused herself to go through the pain of her father’s gruesome passing TWICE!! Her head is totally in a whirl, and plus: next Feb. 1, she will be 42 YEARS OLD! Like her dad! Oh, Lordy. And I checked out MySpace again, and it was cleaned up of all those stupid kids who kicked her around because they are stupid kids who couldn’t understand adult relationship confusion if it hit them on the head. But she’s rougher on herself, anyway. Now, on the kinder, gentler MySpace, people she actually knows are there, and one older lady said: “hon, hope you are ok.” Kinda scared me. Really. I think she is taking all this confusion badly {this weekend was Tribute Week, ya know: the annual Deathfest in Memphis}, and well, it’s a tough damn time. She’s not disturbed by any of the fans, of her dad’s or her late husband’s {he’s the only one that’s “late” so that’s it} throwing rocks at each other in some kind of Deathsweeps. It’s sick, really, to a music-lover like myself. Elvis used to say: “my biggest record, well, it’s really no bigger than the others: they’re all about the same size . . .” I mean, that’s the only sane attitude about “bigness.” If people get caught up in it, it’s really bad. Unfortunately, by late ’70, EP started acting completely crazy: in L.A., at a truly BIG concert, he started boasting of his record sales: “I’ve outsold all of ’em put together!!” And suchlike. Really doped up. MJ was TRAINED from early childhood to think insanely, and it made his life one long torment, among other things. But the truth is that Elvis, like Dylan, really held those “Luke the Drifter” meditations very close to his heart, most of the time. He’d make his own little changes, as was his way, but they meant a lot to him. And he raised up Lisa to really STICK to a morality that almost no one can actually live out and stay sane. To reach out to someone YOU KNOW is probably going to die soon and think you can save them is truly madness. And she said this is precisely what she did. And then called it “my biggest failure so far.” Well, hell, you created a “failure” from the start, kiddo, and I feel bad, ’cause her dad instilled this in her so passionately. He always talked to her at night {well, whenever the kid finally got to bed: she and MJ actually DID exchange phone numbers when she was six years old, and judging from the old interviews I’ve read from the ’90s, they both used them. Now, of course, it had to be to Memphis, ’cause her mother would not have had any of that: why SHE would never get involved with a guy a decade, give or take, her senior!! {sardonic joke, but true of ‘cilla’s hypocrisy}} But EP was, excepting rare occassions when he’d really go off {like in L.A. at the Forum in ’70 or whenever}, was this human ball of compassion and he wanted her to learn this above all. That God made everybody equal, so therefor {sp?} everyone is RESPONSIBLE for everyone else. A tough block of concrete to lug around, especially since she lost her beloved father at nine. Stayed by the open casket the whole damn time. And now, this, which was so utterly predictable. {Easy for me to say this, NOW: I got caught up some myself, but she’s in that WORLD.} She’s really tore up. I can tell by the messages. Spiritual stuff, not actually Scientology at all, either, and people who have known her, who seem truly concerned. She’s taking this very hard. The circumstances are hard to bear: if anyone, God, anyone with any sense of responsibility AT ALL were present, it would not have happened as it did. Knowing so much in these digi-days is only torturing her. Every damn detail.
    You’re right about Lieber-Stoller trying to dis the very guy who made them rich men. {And I find Gordy absolutely unctious: see, Jackie wasn’t 16 at the time, and he wanted this total CONTROl . . . little Michael was a badass soulman on those Steeltown singles, and the first one has always been heartbreaking and profoundly sung: when you hear “broken toys” it is NOT what the lyric writer had in mind; instead, the kid wrings the pain out of it so powerfully: Gordy wanted bright, sprightly songs: MJ made a breakthrough with his version of “Ain’t No Sunshine” where he was able to do his “pain” thing with the singing, and right now, it’s so sad: “wonder this time {shift to low, minor tone} where {s}he’s gone/wonder if {s}he’s gone to stay-ay-ay . . .” Kinda like “Pretty Polly” almost: I’m serious. It just made the tears pour from my eyes when I put it on in early July . . . it was unbearably painful and really because of the way the kid sings it with such agony and at this time, of course.} As to Leiber/Stoller, what the hell are THEY on????? She did not “nail it” — the song; she merely did it EXACTLY as they wished her to. It’s creepy to read about the session, THEIR session with her. And Elvis heard this novelty version {which probably changed a bit every night, ’cause if was for kicks}, and said “that’s a natural.” The record is different from the live performances prior to its recording. He didn’t just “nail” it; he DROVE NAILS INTO WALLS with that record. He pushed Scotty and DJ practically until collapse. And his singing, well, there is, in my opinion, no HARDER ROCK vocal on record. No “roll” at all. Little Richard, great as he was, maintained a “loveability factor” with a kind of rolling warmth in his work. Had to, since he WAS kinda weird, especially then. But he’d never slam something like “Hound Dog” {EP version, of course} into his listener’s faces. Man, that thing can PEEL PAINT off a wall! He went kinda insane in the NY studio. All the anger at Steve Allen, I guess too. Oh, and Binder lied about his age! He was only about a year younger than Elvis, if that. But he worked for Allen right out of college! EP would have walked right out the door, first thing. He HATED that man. Nursed his hatred over the years, and he rarely hated ANYBODY, really. Well, ok, Robert Goulet: the guy he first “shot” in the TV. His mouth was wide open doing “Camelot” and it was irresistable. You gotta admit! Boom: right in the mouth! Ha!
    But, mostly, he tried to show compassion for just about every human he ran into. Really. In those old interviews Lisa and MJ gave in the ’90s, they would talk on the phone ’till dawn! She was this little kid! Elvis was totally cool about it. Or as MJ put it, in his way, “her father would let his daughter . . .” or “her father would take his daughter to see us” and on like that. Odd way of putting something, but I’ve heard it at other times. Anyway, can you imagine the scene? She’s like 8, and on the phone in the wee hours, and Daddy sticks his head in her door and asks who’s on the phone, and she goes “oh, it’s just Mike” and EP is like “oh, ok.” Hey, that’s rock ‘n’ roll, I guess. But it was innocent, then. And she’s VERY adamant now that they damn well had the “marriage” part of the marriage, and anybody who wants to question it is gonna get their head handed to them. Is all I can say. She was livid was rage at the press, disgusted with herself for not living up to what she thought her dad wanted of her, I guess, and just as she put it in HER way, “gutted.” That means, really, empty inside. Would YOU want to be the current husband? She set herself up to be alone, and sort of buried alive in grief. Why? I dunno. Neglect, I guess. She was NEVER that “lucky little girl” her father spoke of the night she was born. See, it’s like this: “you may have a Pink Cadillac, but dontcha be nobody’s fool.” And she knows that a lot of people from that organization were pulling her in all directions like taffy, and NOW she saw that thin little body on the gurney, and just went bonkers. That organization wants her money, and they wanted his money, and that was why they pulled her out of it: they do use some serious techniques. But there are those who have left them, and it’s things like this: a death, for instance, that sometimes causes some of the “members” to leave. She must be SO mixed up. And torn up. Because basically she wants to be the good person her father wanted her to be. And when she talks of “her biggest failure to date” you know WHO she feels she failed. Not just the guy who just died, but the guy who raised her to do one thing above all others: “care.” He talked about it insesantly {sp?}. Especially to her.
    I feel so sad for someone wanted to do good for someone in trouble: in every area of life. And who, she said she “loved desperately.” If you’re gonna love, I guess that’s how you should. Maybe not.
    We’ll discuss that on the new board.
    G’night,
    Robin

  59. RM Says:

    R.E., what the heck happened to Conversations With Robin 3????????

    Urgent reponse required: I believe you have my e-mail, but also put it on this board.

    What happened?
    It was just getting interesting with “Tears of Rage,” and I located the Biblical reference to the word “Daughter.” Did you get a notice from the Bobster himself?
    Robin
    URGENT

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