Conversations With Robin Page 5

April 7, 2010

 

Conversations With Robin

Page 5

Conversations betwen R.E. Prindle and Robin Mark

Concerning certain musical questions.

     Who me?

     I was born in Dixie

     In a boomer’s shack

     Just a half mile from the railroad tracks

     My daddy was a Fireman

      And my mama dear

     She was the only daughter of an engineer.

     I’m one of those who had to flee the South to escape the degrading slave economy.  Off to bloody Kansas where we fought the Slavers to make K a free State.  Of course after the war I fled Kansas, as who wouldn’t, for greener pastures.  Did you ever wonder why Baum told Dorothy You’re not in Kansas anymore?  What a drag it would be growing old in Kansas.

     Of course, I always remember the Song Of The South and Uncle Remus with great fondness being a sentimental Alabaman.  The real Alabama exists only as a figment of the imagination while the prewar Alabama is the dream.  The South shall rise again and trample the Puritan bastards.  You can feel it happening.

Nazis?  There never have been any American Nazis except in the imaginations of Communists or Jews.  In the twenties Communist became a dirty word but they had no counter name until the Fascists arose in reaction to the Commie finks.  Then in the late twenties, early thirties the Commies were able to polarize American society by calling former  ‘Red baiters’ Fascists.

     Calling Americans Nazis is a Jewish thing that arose in the late fifties and early sixties when Jews wanted to stigmatize persons they found objectionable.  Nobody in their right mind pays attention to this Jewish-Commie garbage.  Sorry to have so say this to you because I know how sensiteeve you are to Jewish criminations.

     But, if you will be archaic, a religious anachronism, there’s little that can be done about it.  Always best to be scientific and discard the useless past.

     What’s happening with Expecting Rain?  I checked the message boards but couldn’t find anything.  I’m not signed in.  Did you?

     Just remember one takes invective lightly.  I apparently blew them out with the Warhol thing but that’s an expected reaction.  Guilty of it myself when someone hits me with something new that turns out to be true no matter how preposterous sounding.  Give ’em time to digest and come around.  They will, they have to because I gave them some accurate history.

     As far as the UofO I know I’m guilty of heresy but Toynbee is a great master of history, per se, interpretation is something else.  By the way A Study Of History is not ‘a book’.  It’s a massive twelve volume, six thousand page masterwork.  I didn’t just pick up a few facts but in depth studies of what Toynbee considers civilizations, all the way from the Eskimos to the Chinese and all stops between over 10,000 years of history.  It’s an amazing product of one human mind.  Better than 3000 mikes of LSD for expanding the mind.  Hits about that hard too.

     The problem with Cal State was that as ex-high school teachers the ‘profs’ were used to dealing with immature sixteen year old minds.  By the time I got there I’d been in the service for three years, in the work place for four.  So, you know, a certain amount of incompatibility.  In other words, I had the abrasive personality they thought,  not them.  Besides I was pretty tightly wound back then.  Same way today, I see no reason to talk to anyone who sleepwalks.

     Another interesting story is that after Kennedy was shot, being in an ‘intellectual’ atmosphere I was going around saying that Robert was up next basing my opinion on the Gracchi of ancient Rome.  I don’t suppose any of those Bozos had ever heard of the Gracchi.  Anyway they turned me into the FBI and the next thing you know I’m talking to three- one, two, three- Agents.  Wanted to know how I knew about it like maybe I was one of a team of assassins.  I don’t think they’d ever heard of the Gracchi either.  Seemed kind of disappointed after my historical lecture.  Didn’t have to be so insulting though.  They called me I didn’t call them.

Second entry 3/07/10

OK Robin, I’m going to talk about Albert Goldman now and I don’t want you to come unglued.   The guy does seem to have some interesting facts, if they can be relied on.  What do you have on Parker’s setting Elvis up with the draft board?

     And then, Larry Geller.  Elvis’ regular hair dresser Overbite or Orifice or whatever can’t keep his appointment; Geller is sent over from Jay Sebring’s salon.  Sebring is Streisand’s hair dresser.  Are we making any connections yet?  Could Streisand have wanted to sack Elvis but not know how to go about it.  Too much of a condescension for her?  Did she want to corrupt him?  Anyway substituting Geller for Orifice is an obvious power play.  Sebring just told Orifice to take a hike, he was out.

     Why Geller?  He’s an esoteric who captures Presley’s mind with what an ignorant Goldman thinks is rubbish.  So Goldman, Streisand, Geller are Jews.  Sebring probably although I’ve never considered him.  So, whether you like it or not the Jew-Goy thing is operating.

     Now, Goldman constantly denigrates hillbillies, rednecks, Southern people  and the South in general.  Very irritating to an old hillbilly like me, dare I say Goldman is a bigot?  Let us then conclude that Goldman represents the attitude of at least the Hollywood Jews.  So, Geller is there to play with Elvis’ mind.  Take over, take charge.  I’ve been through this myself.

     According to Goldman Geller introduced Elvis to 24 esoteric titles among ‘hundreds’ of others that Elvis is said to have read while reading many of the 24 two or more times and making a 25th title The Impersonal Life his Bible.

     As it is I’ve read many of the 24, in fact, I’ve read nearly everything Goldman implies he had read implying he is one hell of an informed guy.   I’ve read the Golden Bough twice, all twelve volumes or whatever and some of those three times so  it may be said that I can walk in Goldman’s path.  I know what’s being said here.  Generally speaking this is a very good list of esoterica, classic but good.  Unlike the nut Goldman who doesn’t believe the Gnosis is religion, I know it is, but it is religion and you know my views on religion.  The Gnostics were a part of history and thus cannot be dismissed or ignored.  I find it hard to believe a hard partyer like Elvis had the patience to plow through Isis Unveiled and The Secret Doctrine by Madame B.  Each is 1500 large pages long and requires a historical background to put it in perspective.  Elvis couldn’t possibly have had that, nor did Geller.

     The Urantia Book is a massive, large page 2500 page mind scorcher than can double as science fiction. It is a really interesting scientific/religious volume but once again it requires real concentration and then some, but a real mind boggler.  Drugs and partying?  Well, we’re all different but such a reading regimen seems a stretch.

     And then the list contains some wonderful stuff by Manly Hall and his Philosophical Research Society.  You’re down there so you could drop into their book store and library.  Hall is a good writer and is as well versed as any in esoterica.  Short books, no problem for Elvis.

     Max Heindel is not so smooth but his Rosicrucian Society is terrific.  The Cosmo-Conception is worth reading and even think about.  His outfit is still down in Oceanside by San Diego is you want to drop in on them.  It would be worth it.  I’ll have to check out a couple items on the list like The Sacred Science Of Numbers.  Numerology is an important historical study.

     Over all a fine list of esoterica but I can’t believe Elvis actually read it all plus hundreds of others.  About the time Geller came into his life he was down to ten years or less remaining.  I can’t even believe that Geller had command of this stuff.  He couldn’t have been that old while at 50 pages a day some of these books take a couple months to read.   Seems like Geller was being provided titles by an organization like the ADL where scholars have organized all this stuff.  It’s just to unreal to believe Geller had even heard of all these titles, most of which are really obscure.

     I have to believe that something is wrong here.  Goldman is either just showing off his knowledge or he’s flat out lieing.

     Since this stuff is anathema to his Jewish sensibilities, the reason he objects is that the  books give no precedence, no pride of place to Judaism, in fact, tacitly dismiss Judaism, Goldman is probably putting Elvis down although inadvertantly paying him one hell of a compliment.  If Elvis could get through the Urantia Book he is one hell of a guy which is an inadvertant compliment to myself because I have.

     Anyway The Swami  chapter was very interesting.  Applying your Elvis erudition what do you think?

 

32 Responses to “Conversations With Robin Page 5”

  1. R M Says:

    Well, good question. Goldman was one of the first to find out about Geller, although there was a kind of tacky little book Geller had out earlier. It’s out of print and worthless: it’s been replaced by the larger volume. Larry covers up some of the wilder stuff that went on, for sure. Elvis’s parties were “pretty straight,” just because they had that eerie silence about them when the evening came to The Choice of the Girl(s). Elvis was thinking hard as to which one, and the others, were, as one told Hopkins – closer in time – “working.” They didn’t want’t to get stuck with Esposito of whomever. Larry Geller is Jewish only by ethnicity, not religion: he is a Christian, but his ideas are not, uh, typical. He believes that Jesus walked the Americas ten thousand years ago, or something. And a WHOLE LOTTA other oddish stuff. But I know that very smart people have been into this stuff, and Elvis was NOT dumb, and had the ability to read a lot. Hell, if you were doing those asinine movies, what would YOU do on the set? The other guys, most of whom, by the way, were Jewish by Elvis’s own choosing: after all, he lived in Memphis’s “Jewish Quarter” when he made his first records! And the end of high school. Rabbi Fruchter and his wife lived upstairs {they were just tenants: the kosher butcher owned the old place}, and the Presleys, who lacked a phone and other basics, were treated generously and graciously by the Fructers. He met “Hog Ears” whose uncle was Abe Fortas, he was Alan. He met Marty Lacker, who went to Humers; possibly so did “Hog Ears.” George Klein was PREZ of the senior class, most likely to be convicted of a felony {inside joke: to succeed, of course}, etc. and Lamar is a “secular” Jew, which means he doesn’t really do ANYTHING, but he IS Jewish. I think Schilling is half, but on the paternal side: his mom was Catholic, and he was raised by his father, whatever he was, as a Catholic, even though mom died when Jerry was a baby. Jerry never owned a home, nor did his dad, ’till Elvis bought him one. He made it clear that if he and Myrna divorced, that Jerry gets the house becaue Myrna had a house, and Jerry never did. See the Sweets were not southern: mostly Jersey “church sisters.” Which is worlds away from what Elvis grew up with in Tupelo in “that old sanctified church.” They grew up fine, well-financed churches, and you can tell the singing has a “refined” quality. When he started linining out a spiritual in an ancient way, they got totally lost. It’s not their tradition.
    You know that people in the U.S. CALL THEMSELVES “Nazis.” They have all this paraphanalia and such, and they salute and all that crap. C’mon: you know that. But so what, it has nothing to do with you.
    I wasn’t, by any means, calling you that! Please understand: I was making a point! That people can be easily labelled. Hell, that was Larry’s problem: the others were so jealous of him because Elvis wanted to LEARN, and he offered “books.” Elvis, it is little known, applied to UCLA, and they turned him down. Said he’d be a “distraction.” After his army hitch. And NO, I do NOT think Col. wrangled the Army hitch: the chance of Elvis being so close to the Netherlands is not something he would want to risk: in fact, this is how his family found him! On a photo of Elvis getting off a train after the hitch! “That’s our Dries,” they cried in excitement and confusion. They thought “Parker” was his patron or something. He did write a little after a while. It’s a complex story, and many believe he wanted him drafted. I don’t buy it for a minute. Sure he was smiling and pushing King Creole: he’s not gonna go around long-faced, hell, he’s gonna make a CARNIVAL of the thing, if possible. Elvis looks so murderous at breakfast that morning, that YOU THINK PARKER DID IT, but maybe Elvis thought so too. “What happens to me,” Elvis furiously told him, “IS NOT GONNA HAPPEN TO YOU!” I think people near Elvis fueled the idea that Parker set it up because he claimed to have GREAT POWERS in D.C., and to be “close” to Sen. Johnson. Which is bullshit, and speaking of Kansas and OZ, well, is very WIZARD of him. But you pull back the curtain, and the only connection is “Hog Ears” being Elvis’s friend before he ever heard of a “Parker.” I think Col. tried to wrangle his way close to Johnson through that connection: from Alan to Abe to Johnson, perhaps. Johnson had that mob scandal involving a different “Bobby”- a “Baker.” Big scandal and everything. See, when you have poor folks, esp. immigrants or migrants, you’re gonna have ganstas! And Elvis lived in a Jewish slum! I’ve seen the pictures of where he lived. It’s a total slum. Very poor. So they did what all poor people do: play the numbers, and hope to make the “BIG TIME” in the mob. Blacks did it, of course Italians, duh, and Mexicans started it as a prison gang, but it became quite real later. You name your immigrant or migrant group, and your gonna have gangs. White gangs exist aplenty, and racism is an EXCUSE: it’s all competition for the dope trade!
    Which is where our hairdressers come in! First guy is Sal, the Italian. No power, apparently {yeah, Orifice: hilarious!}. Sebring was the key man bringing in pot, hash, Acid {I believe “windowpane” is quite high quality, as it sounds}, and probably peyote and psylosybin, or however you spell it. All the hallucinagens. Probably horse, too. Dunno about that. Streisand was too young in ’64, just starting out, but she may have been a customer in the later sixities. I don’t know. She’s a New York girl: my dad got stiffed by the guy who discovered her. Wired practically the whole damn apartment complex, and the guy stiffed him. But I think he was afraid of him, so he didn’t make much of it. There were people you could demand your money from, and others who you couldn’t. Anyway, this guy discovers this young girl singer living in his building, and “discovers” her. I don’t know when she went out west, but this sounds early. If she was a customer after Larry was booted by Col. and the other guys, well, it’s moot. By late ’66, his days were numbered, and he was outta there by ’67. Mattered little, see, ’cause Elvis was going broke. The ranch was killing him, and he was stoned and out-of-touch, just spending on a speed trip or something. {Elvis would get his speed “under the counter” at various pharmacies out west: common practice. He did not do “legal” drugs, save the dental “Happies” he got, till Dr. Nick entered in ’66. So, then he’s paying for drugs all over the place, illegal sh-t, and semi-legal. Elvis started learning how to “play” dentists at the time, and later, he just robbed them. Would go into an office, and arrange for an “important call” to come in, so he could be in the office: this was witnessed a couple of times, and then he’d quickly clean the guy out of his dope. It’s amazing he didn’t get busted. He did it once in Nick’s presence, not thinking it would bug him, but Nick got scared, because he was an accessory to a street crime. So he flushed it ALL. In front of all the guys, AND VERNON. Elvis went ballistic when his crime was revealed, and grabbed a gun and shot a chair. Wait, wait. See, Elvis was a smart cookie, and despite his poor math grades {school means nothing, and today, the “Cal St.” system as I think you call it, the CSU is manned by Ph.D.’s who are paid peanuts and are trapped. I have a long story of what I tried to do, and I am not done. See, I know from experience that young people 16 to 19 are in pretty much the same jam: no education is really available. They show to classes to which they are refused entry. Show up a day later, and forget it. Takes ’em years to get out. But these younger prof.s are way better than the old guys who waltzed in during the ‘nam era. Whole other story, and your CSU is not mine. Mine is worse, and better, but in different ways. You WILL get quality professors, but they will be starving to death, and that’s never a good thing.
    Never mind, back to the whole “scene” that Dylan only hinted at, but about which I’m sure he knows MUCH. You know that Dennis Wilson was involved with Manson, of course? The Beach Boy. And other musical types, because Sebring had all the customers in So. Cal. who were either in music, or for that matter, Hollywood. If Streisand was involved with him in any way, then our “nice Jewish girl” was a dope addict!
    Stick that in your pipe and smoke it. {Well, don’t smoke.}
    Steve McQueen was the most famous “known” client, along with Dennis, etc. But the REALLY most famous client, was, of course, Elvis Presley. Thing is, Larry didn’t hook him up! Larry was young then, small fry, and a customer himself, who knew certain contacts in the ring to supply himself and his young wife with dope. He was four years younger than Elvis. He’d seen him in the very, very early days, and they’d met back then or something. Anyway, Elvis had contacts, because he was scared of contaminated street drugs, and Sebring’s stuff was known for its cleanliness, and that you only used a little to go a long way. Which is why they wondered, after Larry joined Elvis, why he was taking large amounts of “Acapulco Gold” to Memphis. So fresh, THEY had to dry it out themselves. The heat was on, hard: they felt that NO WAY was Elvis and his group just using what they were getting, both before and after Larry, but especially when a sort of “pipeline” seemed to exist, what they were USING. In other words, they accused them of teaming up and “trafficking” from the West to the South. “In The Ghetto,” indeed. Elvis did know, by name and territory, all the dealers in Memphis, at least in the ’70s. I’d bet he knew in the ’60s, as well. He was introduced to pot by Nick Adams, James Dean’s VERY close friend. Don’t believe it? Hell, corroboration is ON FILM: the “screen test” of Dean, Mineo, and Natalie. Natalie doesn’t know how to hold the joint, or that it is shared: they show her. Then they wrastle around for the test to show that they have good “camaraderie.” Everyone ignored the pot. I believe, after what I know AND saw, that the “accident” may well have been drug-related. Dean swerved at a very high speed to avoid the other driver. You or I would know not to do that. It was claimed that because he drove on racetracks, his instincts were “different.” BS!!!!! He was smart enough to know that if he swerved on a public street in swervy Cali. – lotta curves, that he would go over. And boy oh boy, did he ever. And he thus made it a “new rule”: if you wanna be a real icon, you better die before that “train” leaves the station. I think that Michael Jackson would have been dead by the very early ’00s, if not for getting busted. Somebody came up with the idea for that film, and then they more or less imprisoned HIM with this kid, and hey, if you leave the keys in the car, and the engine on . . . well, that’s what happened. Took years of his life, or rather, SAVED years of his life. He KNEW he had to die “before his time.” Once he turned the big Five-Oh, I think panic set in. “All aboard! Last call!” And he jumped on the train. Like Judy “accidentally” did. Or whomever. Down the line.
    Dylan “didn’t meet Death, because he didn’t want to meet Death.” You can Death, death, or you can call it “Elvis.” Dylan earlier said, on leaving the hospital after his close call in ’97, “thought I’d be seein’ Elvis!” So, that’s an easy one. The other stories are lies, and I can prove it. Easy. He not only WANTED to meet him, but “called every few months” with the express pupose of “trying to set up a meeting.” As far as Jerry knows, he later said, after he wrote his book, which he blanked out readers on Amazon after Bob’s statement, that “they never did meet . . .” but earlier, just before actually, I think, and certainly in the book, he said “I’ve learned never to say never” when it came to who wandered in and out of Elvis’s life. Well, sure, since he officially left in ’68! Only came back sporadically until almost ’72! And then left again. There is not positive way he could know what happened during the hight of the “comeback” time, and that is when all the stories date to. I mean, the “one song” in ’72 sounds like something got broken down. Destroyed is more like it. And it involved Johnston’s career, and a lot.
    But as for “that scene” he is NOT just referring to Elvis’s personal life! There really WAS a serious “scene” going on, and Elvis was actually target #1, because they thought he was doing “interstate” transport of relatively large quantities, and he started before Larry was “on board.” Some people made rumors that they were having “an affair” and not “reading and talking,” but I don’t believe it. Elvis was damn serious about “the books.” Lisa remembers stacks and stacks of books, and she said he had marginal notes all over ’em: he read theses books! His English grades weren’t so bad, but hell school means nothing. His hijacking of the “classes” in Germany show a young man who knew a hell of a lot, and even predicted the damn future! I mean, his “lootenet” – as the guy has Elvis pronouncing it – is still today knocked out by his intelligence. He says he had just never even THOUGHT of what Elvis was warning him about. He told him that if “some politician” wants to send “people all over the world gettin’ killed” so he can “look tough,” well, he said “most people I know don’t WANT any more of those Korean-type things.” At the time, it was a curiosity to Lt. Taylor, so he used it to compare it to “all-out” war, which is what they thought would happen. Elvis was hip to this, too! Before Dylan, I might add. There was a whole fight over “the phone tree.” All soldiers with families, who lived off-base, as Elvis soon did, HAD to have their number on the “phone tree” for two reasons: 1) to be called to action immediately, 2) for the safety of the families, so they could be moved to – well, you know: fallout shelters. Elvis obstinately refused, mostly because he’d have to keep changing the damn number. They said it was a worthy sacrifice: “don’t you worry about your family?” Elvis just told them that if there’s a war with the ruskies, we’d all be dead. End of story. Ain’t nothin’ to worry about. They finally accepted it. Because, hell, he was right. {I once lived in house that had one of them things: a fallout shelter. Cool place to sort of be alone with your thoughts, but too creepy. And it was an anacrhonism by ’69 when we lived there, so I didn’t even understand it at all. One thing you gotta understand, I was a kid during these exciting times. [some sarcasm re: times]}. Seriously, though, if Streisand went to Sebring’s studio, say in ’68 or ’69 or whatever, well then, like all the rest, she knew the score. The “hair” was a ruse for his real business, and all the “famous” customers knew it, and so to most of the not so famous.
    So, the feds were right to make the leap of logic that all of that dope coming from Sebring’s ring into Memphis might be not all be “used.” See, Vernon counted every penny, and the whole damn world who ever read one Elvis book knows that! If Elvis was spending on “unknown stuff” – totally unknown, and it didn’t add up, his father was gonna be on him like bees on honey. They were hurtin’ for money later on, but earlier, there WAS money. Still, Vernon counted every penny. If Elvis was gonna be spending big for this dope, he’d have to find a way of “balancing the books” so as to not have it show. Just pure logic, and Elvis was always nervous about his father asking too damn many questions. There could really be only one way to hide getting the dope to Memphis directly, with its attendant cost {and he must have been using quite frequently to not want to wait for going to make pictures: though Larry came on the scene when the pictures were more “quickie” pictures, and he was in Memphis more}. How DO you hide that unknown that costs so damn much? Later, it was “B-12 shots” which caused a Tsunami btw. father and son, and badge-fever. But earlier, Elvis had no way to hide the cost, because Vernon accounted for every damn thin dime. And this was BIG money, which he was making at the time. There really was only one way: Elvis knew the Memphis ghettos like any street kid, but perhaps better because of his musical interests as a kid, and because they moved around quite a bit. If, in the mid-’60s, drugs were coming hot and heavy into these areas, Elvis would have NO FEAR to go there. Larry would be afraid, sure. And that’s probably why Sal wanted out of the whole damn thing. He was in the same business! And he was Italian: but the joke was on him; he really was just a hair guy. By the way, Larry was terrible at hair! Elvis’s hair was always better when he wasn’t there! True fact. Just sprayed the hell out of it. He came back in ’72, when Elvis, doing it himself in New York {Patti Parry, another one of the group, and the only female, and guess what? She was also Jewish. Esposito knew her from Chicago . . . ominous music . . . then Sinatra singing in the background “My Kind of Town, Chicago is . . .”}, to finish, when Elvis doing it himself, turned his hair ORANGE! He desperately called for Larry, who poofed it up. And fixed the color. But otherwise, he was stinky at hair. Sorry.
    But Elvis told EVERYONE that he’d been interested in these sorts of “spiritual” matters “since I was a little boy.” It had a lot to do with his mother’s anger at the East Tupelo church that shunned her when they moved into town, near, and then with blacks. They refused invitations, which down South, is just NOT COOL, and she felt bitter, and hurt. They rarely went to Church in Memphis, but when he graduated, she wanted him to meet a white girl in the Assembly of God, just a couple blocks from East Trigg, the black church that he adored. These were different times: not MY south, which tried to put on a smiley face, but the real thing. And Gladys HAD to be concerned about exactly who he would eye! Just get the DELUXE ’68 special, and watch that part of the “Arena” shows, the stand-up shows, when he goes into a guitar jam to kill time while they set up for him to do something else for the show. And he I have described the scene before. It was the giant “ELVIS” button she was wearing! He really dug that, I think. “She likes me!” He was very insecure at that time. And boy did he come on to this young girl, who appeared excited but really kinda frightened. He’s nodding yes, but after she got to the INSIDE of his leg, her hand flutters away. And the girl is A MESS after it. Lies down on the stage after its over! And he came on to Darlene AFTER the show had concluded. Now, I think he really had been trying to “be good” to Priscilla, but he couldn’t. The “baby” thing was too much for him, ESPECIALLY so soon after the actual birth. The idea of a woman giving birth just terrified him and pushed him away. He’d be in bed, and take drugs to fall asleep before anything could happen! With his wife!
    Well, a year later, he was having sex with everybody – well, young females, and we’ll never know how many, and they’re having a party with music up in the Suite. Myrna was not so shy as the others, nor as religious, apparently. Elvis walked over to her: “do you want to dance?” You bet she did. Now, I don’t understand if she had a six-month old baby, did she have a husband? Who knows? Anyway, during the dance, this powerful shaking started: she thought it was HER, at first, but it was him: he had a look of sheer terror in his eyes. She still thinks that “I guess he never danced with a black girl before.” Perhaps. But he came on to Darlene, AND that young girl, without ANY problems. Just the last year. But if he felt something with Myrna {and Jerry eventually married her!} then, remember one thing that she wouldn’t even want to hear, because she’s protective of his “image” but he had a MAJOR, MAJOR hang-up! She had recently GIVEN BIRTH! White, black, purple, whatever, he damn well would SHAKE! He could not handle that, and scads of women know that. It’s just a stone fact: he had a problem. Priscilla kind of understands it today, but she did not back then. She thought she’d lost her attractiveness or something. Just couldn’t figure it out. Myrna attributes it to his coming from the old south, where such unions were against the law and damned dangerous to all involved. Even just a “dance.” But this was ’69, and the world really was different. And they were in Vegas. And HE asked for the dance. She said he looked so pitiful, she wanted to stop dancing and just grab him into her arms and comfort him! Now this doesn’t make sense! If he was uncomfortable with closeness to a black young lady, then why would she think she could hug him? Because she actually DID hug him often, right from the start. First thing he did was to kiss each of ’em on the mouth. Cissy, Whitney’s mom, fainted. Fell right off the stool! He helped her up and sorta pretended like it din’t happen at the same time. But she was NOT the only “mother” there: just older than them. Myrna was attractive, vivacious, humorous, all o’ that: he had to be attracted because he liked all that in chicks. And he initiated the dance: but I think if he bumped into her abdomen, he’d immediately recall that she’d just given birth. Instant freak-out, so much she just wanted to hold him tight and calm him down. I guess it was the miscarriage: all that blood. Or who knows what? I don’t beleive that standard wisdom that he slept in her bed too long. That was common amongst the very poor. They managed to grow up and make lotsa babies. Elvis couldn’t do that. He could only make one. And it ruined EVERYTHING! And here’s this interesting, intelligent, fun young woman who loves gospel music, and everything, but I guess he saw a lotta blood spurting around or something in his head. She just felt so BAD for him! Wanted to hold him. Like later, when they were in the stairwell, and she was comforting him. When her son was older: about 3 or so, he had a custom “baby TCB” necklace made up, diamonds and all. It’s too small for him now, but he’s always kept it in his jeans pocket, and still does. By that time, Jerry had shown an interest, and Elvis got Kathy as a “lovely parting gift.” {grin}
    I hope this answers most of your questions. It’s so damn convoluted. So complex. Makes Dylan look simple.
    Oh, about Bob. And that song “Changing of the Guards.” “I don’t need your organization.” Oh, man. We forgot! ABE! The joiner! He joined everything he could! “The King and the Queen of Swords”: shoot, his parents! Not him and Sara, no. It’s so dreamlike, that song, that it MUST go back in time! Way, way back.
    Bob wanted to “be alone.” He didn’t want to “join” every damn thing, which is what really repulsed him about the folkies more than anything. Bad memories. Everybody in lockstep. I didn’t want to be a “part” of virtually anything. All that crap was forced down his throat as a child, and he heard a flight of a dream coming forth from the radio: “I’m leavin’ town, now baby, . . .” Oh, yeah.
    Did Elvis want to “belong”? Well, at first, but when he realized what his mother realized long ago: that he wasn’t wanted anywhere, really, well he accepted aloneness.
    Believe me, Bob acts like the “Memphis Mafia” is foreign to him, but we know that Elvis gave him Lamar as gift for a while. He knew all about them. Warren Zevon sang, of Elvis, “he made a world, no bigger than your hand.” Well, the rest of the world was so damn mean to him! And it wasn’t all in his head! Only a few people reached out in kindness, and they didn’t even understand the depth of his problems. Or their complexity, some of which he couldn’t deal with either. He knew the guys were dependent on him. It wasn’t even a choice anymore. Publishers, demo singers, Nashville non-performing writers, all were dependent on him. And he wouldn’t put his own needs ahead of theirs. Hell, if he bought two large tape machines when he got out of the service, and Red took BOTH of them, well, what could he do? Red NEEDED them more . . .
    Never mind his own needs. Listen to the songs, as he tries to break out and speak his own mind . . . but he knows that would ruin some people. And he just could NOT!
    Oh, a thought: that record with the field holler . . . some of those people, just passing by must have thought they’d gone through the Twilight Zone! Heard Rod Serling’s voice! Thought they were in Vegas, and bam! They’re in the southern Miss. Delta, on Parchman Farm.
    OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
    Spooky.
    Robin
    P.S.: Hey, I know about multi-volume histories! Shoot. My point, which I let go of, was that instead of REAL books, of whatever configuration, they prefer “textbooks”: pieces of junk written by committee that are marketed like soap flakes. Big mothers! Weapons, man: you could hurt yourself or somebody with those damn “textbooks” and the cost like $75 smackeroos! I detest them. And I’ve NEVER used a testbank. NEVER. Why bother even being an educator at all? Do these people care? Those who submit to the “text” do not. Just a job.
    And a lousy one these days. I am trying my damndest to break down some of the barriers for both educators and young people. Because I didn’t give up my youth for nothin’! I won’t!
    We’re “producing knowledge” right here, even when disagreeing. In the texts, disagreement of any kind is generally frowned upon.
    Of course I haven’t signed on with Expecting Rain.
    I’m not a joiner
    ‘Gnight.

  2. reprindle Says:

    Right. Streisand’s hair dresser was Jon something. I have a Streisand story. Several years ago I attended an Edgar Rice Burroughs convention in Fort Collins, Colorado- Colorado State.

    Denny Miller who played Tarzan for a season was in his usual place as guest of honor. After dinner he was supposed to present a speech; instead he led the room in ‘relaxation therapy.’ It may look like hypnotism he said but it’s actually relaxation therapy. In other words he hypnotized the entire room with the exception of myself.

    Turning the volume up while intoning in a steady soothing monotone he put the room in a trance. I realized what he was doing and turned my back on him. The suggestion he implanted was that Barbra Streisand was our guru whose directions we were to follow from Hollywood. She and the dead Steve Allen. Barbra Streisand! Barbra Streisand! I said to myself. What the hell? So, I’m real wary of Streisand. You can tell me what she’s up to.

    As for drugs in 1964, Streisand was in NYC, I presume, the home of the Dr. Feelgoods, Max Jacob and Dr. Robert among others. These guy were shooting up everyone with massive doses of amphetamines and B12 vitamin concoctions, Dylan included. I read where someone said that Dylan’s massive outflow of words during the period was the effect of speed. Maybe so. After ’66 I guess he’s been offf speed and his mind doesn’t work as fast.

    There is every reason to believe Streisand was also a partaker but that’s just supposition. But, you know, it’s almost certain she did use Acid, pot, cocaine and everything short of heroin although curiosity may have gotten her there too. Very difficult for me to think kindly of her after the Miller hypnotism act.

    Anyway, she would have been very envious of Elvis.

    Maybe it’s time to reconsider the Elvisploitation films. Goldman brings up the very interesting practice of cross-collateralization. The sixties was a period of collapse in Hollywood. Studios changed hands frequently as one after the other went bankrupt. If as Goldman says Presley movies were good for five mill or more each and they pressed him through three movies a year that means Elvis was, if not the top, a consistent top grosser for ten years. In other words he could be counted on to gross 15 to 20 million a year. That made him a profit center, the new milk cow boogie. A very valuable property indeed.

    Then, using his 15 to 20 per year as collateral the studios could borrow millions from banks as Goldman says to finance other ventures. As a provider of ready cash and a reliable audience the Studios then were able to produce as cheaply and as shoddily as possible while guaranteed a return on their investment. Of course they eventually sacrificed their star vehicle but it may be said that Presley kept Hollywood afloat during a very troubled period.

    Since they were in effect cannibalizing Elvis they to despise him as a schmuck to retain their own self respect. Who but a schmuck would allow himself to be used like that? Kind of the carny attitude, sort of answers what was in it for Parker, where you despise your customers because they play your rigged games eager to be conned. Thus the carny is a sharper dealing with fools. Who wouldn’t fleece a fool, hey? Isn’t that the Hollywood Elvis story?

  3. R M Says:

    No. That is NOT the “Elvis Story”! His mama didn’t raise no “fool” even if, in a computerize check of words and titles, it ranks second to “blue” or “blues” in his body of musical work. He DID give a “real” – or should I say, contemporay-style interview, once: in 1972, to the guys who made “Elvis On Tour.” Jerry was back full-time then, and he, for reasons only he knows, grabbed a chair, and sat backwards on it, or put his leg up, either one. He was looking straight at Elvis, literally behind the backs of the interviewers. Elvis does NOT slice up Parker, and I don’t think he wished to speak of the Army: besides, he’d already done so a long time ago. And when IN the Army, he finally did have a kind of “free space” where he unleashed opinions that completely oppose the view of him as “believing his schoolbooks” or whatever they usually say. He did not. Experience taught him a lot. He knew what it meant to be reviled and chased like a fugitive from a lynching. Interesting T. Williams’ re-write that became the film “The Fugitive Kind.” The play was called “Orpheus Descending.” The original was about a youthful poet; Williams gave up on his seriously deadlined work on “Sweet Bird of Youth” to re-write his play after a boatride with Hal Wallis. Wallis, at the time, and this was quite early, was convinced that they’d found a diamond in the rough, and that the boy had true genius that just needed some work. But Parker truly did intervene, here, as did commerce. And Elvis was freaked out over the whole Jailhouse Rock project because it reminded him that his father had been sent to Parchman Farm, and worked on what most observers called a “20th century slave plantation” complete with whippings, and worse, no way to leave because of the deep waters and snakes, and there guns at the ready. They also, in those times, made it a priority to treat the white {all of whom were poor tenant farmers, or else destitute young men} guys WORSE than the black guys, and everyone knew it. There have been interviews with black former prisoners who said what they did to the whites “was a terrible shame, it was”: I don’t have the name of the guy, and it didn’t relate to Vernon, directly, of course. Shoot, back then, he was utterly anonymous. They did have one “good” thing: families could visit every couple weeks, and they had a special brick “house” or a few rooms, where the prisoners, if married, could be alone with their wives, and visit with their children. So Elvis was THERE, and there are so many witnesses, it is the one thing no one questions because you can’t. As for its impact on him, on both Vernon and his little “baby”: he always wrote home, and would mention “the baby”: he kept track of every sniffle. Elvis knew his father had been taken away: for siz months prior, Vernon was in the Lee County Jail, because his own father refused to go his bail. No one knows, no biographer of any kind, anyway, knows if Elvis saw his father during that period of time. It was never even counted as “time served.” And no parole was considered. Because in treating the white guys so badly, it would go on their records every time they were lashed, etc.
    Vernon emerged from the experience permanently traumatized: he learned very well to fear any authority that reminded him of Orville Bean, the landowner who pressed the charges. All in all, Vernon made – tops – 8 bucks. But they put up food for the coming winter, and the famous “baby picture” on the album cover of “Elvis Country,” you can see in both the colorized enlargement, and in the real photo, that the baby is wearing a BRAND NEW pair of baby-overalls. So new, the straps go right up to the top. Good for years of wear, I guess. He did it for his wife and especially the baby that he truly, dearly loved. And you always hear how he had a “troubled relationship” with his son, which is crap. Elvis worried about his father throughout his childhood, mentioned the joy of buying him “some new suits” in 1957, because in some of his very first performances, Elvis wore one of his jackets: it was worn almost all the way through, completely ready fall to shreds. But it was his first time in a “Hillbilly Club,” instead of the Chicsa BASEMENT {important distinction: Dewey Phillips broadcast upstairs, in the ballroom, but is remembered coming down to check out the act, or at least there’s no other reason he’d come down: those at the Eagles’ Nest, who saw that very first “hillbilly club” performance remember Dewey introducing him, instead of the regular guy. He called him “the poor man’s Liberace,” and apparently hadn’t seen him walk in, because he wasn’t wearing his usual garish stuff, and people noticed that Dewey looked embarrassed when he came out in that gray coat. Elvis was trying to calculate his audience, but he went to far: he stood stock still, people rememeber “too still — unnaturally so” and looked like hell. He apparently had made his intentions known to Phillips, no matter how much they try to deny it today. That he was keen on a “blues” career. Or R&B, and here, he didn’t sing a “hillbilly” song, because really, he didn’t care all that much for ’em. He sang what he saw in a recent film: “That’s Amore” sung by Dino. He could have “shook it up,” but he thought it wrong for this audience. But still, he didn’t sing a standard “hillbilly song.” Because though he liked bluegrass and mountain music {esp. the Carters}, he detested “jukebox country.” Always. That’s why, at the very end of his brief life, he’s singing songs in DISCO time {sorry Albert, that you can’t read the basics of music, or were DEAF!}, and they appear on the COUNTRY charts. Which kinda pissed him off. The whole mid-seventies music scene pissed him off, because he felt like everything that EVERYBODY worked so hard for: him, Penniman, Berry, Lewis, yes – Bob Dylan, too, the best of the Brit groups, and he liked best the Dave Clark Five, that everything that had gone down in the past of value, was just . . . gone.
    He may have well been singing Dean Martin in a Country bar. In Disco time. Because that’s seemed like all the R&B that was selling in ’76 or thereabouts. A bad time had by all. The Jacksons were forced to make two albums for CBS, one of which was titled “Good Times”: Michael recorded the first of any songs he’d write himself: “Blues Away.” As in “you can’t take my blues away, no matter what you say.” Elvis would have concurred. Jackie Wilson was in a coma, and James Brown was also in limbo because the “new” funk was all about machines that weren’t HIS “new bag” for sure. Elvis sang some good funk on a supposed West tune: “If You Talk In Your Sleep” and it’s great, but in rehearsal and on stage, he realizes that Red had rhymed words with the same words and it seemed wrong, so he changed ’em right then and there. You bet he could “write” but he was “responsible” for all these people whose careers were going bye-bye. Typical of Elvis and how VERNON raised him! Beware authority, but be kind to those who are, as Elvis put so often, “oppressed.” But Vernon taught him great fear: the “group action nightmares” where once, he through a four-year-old Elvis out the window! Vernon dreamed their shack was on fire, and when he woke up, was mortified at the terrible thing he’d done. Well, well, well: he found out that both Gladys and Elvis had BOTH dreamed the little house was on fire! And there was NO fire! This was no longer “the birthplace”: they’d never live there again. It was used for storage for a long time, and for a long time simply went fallow. It wasn’t much to begin with. Goldman is right to call the freshening-up “foolish labors.” That I agree because you can’t see the poverty. They’ve stabalized it, painted, planted pretty things, etc.
    In the sixties, a woman asked to see it, and a resident drove her right there. She walked in {nobody cared, then}, and burst into tears. This was a “middle class” or working class young woman who had always been an Elvis fan since her teens. Like Bob or whomever. She had NO IDEA how bad it had been for them. The guy who drove her, I guess, didn’t have the heart to tell her that it was one of the nicer places they lived.
    The only place that was at all “decent” was on N. Green St. which was called “a respectable colored neighborhood.” They didn’t want tin shacks! They lived in a kind of “dogrun” two-family shack-house. But it was fairly well-built, and was painted nice so the neighbors wouldn’t consider having these pathetic families that Grandpa Bell took pity upon, making the neiborhood look like a total slum. Yeah, poor blacks lived there, but also ministers, nurses, doctors, etc. They did not live in fine brick homes, but they houses were clean, well re-inforced, and well-painted. The Presleys were certainly on the bottom of the neighborhood food chain: they lived opposite a vacant lot that was used a couple-three times a year for a BIG GOSPEL REVIVAL. The “old sanctified church” was NOT opposite their home, but close. Billy, very young at the time, remembers the constant singing bothering his sleep. The last year, he lived in the other side of the “dogrun.” Elvis was literally in hog heaven with that singing! “They were expecting him,” says a black Tupeloean, echoed by a white woman. I have two tapes of outtakes from “return to Tupelo.”
    One girl was a favority of Elvis’s, but I think she was from East Tupelo, and never did cross over the levee. He wanted to marry her, at age 11. I’ve seen a picture of them in East Tupelo: Elvis is about to bust the seems of his cotton suit. It no longer fit him at all, but it was Sunday.
    Vernon, after the experience at Parchman, and their refusal to grant him normal parole hauted him. Legally, to the day he died, he was on “indefinite” status with the state. Which meant that any crime committed there, and he’s in BIG trouble.
    So he taught his son to bow down to all authority, no matter how it hurt, no matter how it grieved him. They’d get ya! Vernon KNEW. And he made his young son KNOW.
    Why would anybody “ask permission” of ANYONE ELSE to condemn a murder? This happened in 1968 {two different books with corroboration all around}, in April. He told the Col. he thought it the right thing, being a Memphian, and having grown-up a literally stone’s throw from where King was killed, that he should at least call a press conference. The Col. said “remember Sam Cooke: keep your mouth SHUT!” And, as he was raised, when the Col. spoke, he listened. He’d break segregation laws, and do the damndest things, but if the Col. said “no” he bowed down. He stayed on the film in L.A. through the funeral, which he watched in another actor’s dressing room: a lady. She said he fell apart sobbing. Col. must have gotten wind of all this “nonsense” and got Priscilla to take him to Vegas to see Tom Jones! This happened, almost the same way, after Bobby was shot: “take him to see Tom Jones.”
    Well, once in ’69, before Elvis sang there, Jones noticed that Elvis was heavily into dope: it was very obvious in person. So he said: “It’s a shame the Beatles are breaking up; they were such a wonderful group.” Elvis goes, “yeah, happens.” Then Jones drops the big one: “must be those DRUGS that all the groups take, has to be the drugs.” Elvis’s jaw dropped. “Why? Why would that break up a group? Haven’t you ever . . . you know? What’s the big deal?” Jones simply said: “no, I haven’t.” Elvis wanted a trapdoor to open in the floor. Then he said “they keep me sane.” And he “forgave” Jones, but really he didn’t: in ’70, he lashed at him on stage, along with other “groups.” Why, he “outsold ’em all, put together; you can come to my house and see my gold records!” Totally out of character.
    Because his character was NEVER to boast! Always to bow down. Always to fear. And if it’s authority, well, REALLY FEAR. He just didn’t fear Sinatra, or he was off the rails with the dope. Man, he STOLE that car they promised to Frank! It was HIS; they had a deal. And Elvis “charmed them” out of it. The deal was that they show it around, but they promised it to Frank. Elvis told them, for those who don’t know, “if I’M driving, then people will REALLY see the care!” And he knew Frank would never get the car. Why they stiffed Frank, I dunno. Charm, I just don’t know. Maybe Elvis pulled a gun or something, or said he knew MORE REAL mafiosi than Frank, which may have been quite true. In any case, he stole that car.
    So, you see, “In The Ghetto” was PURE biography! Even if some of it happened AFTER the record came out. He bought guns, stole a car, didn’t get far. Then one “night” he “broke away” from it all. A crowed gathered ’round an angry young man, face down on the ground.” The gun had been in his pajama bottoms, but they were, as everyone embarrassingly knows, were around his ankles. So, that gun that he always kept in his pjs {true!}, would have been damn near his hand, but it had to be on the floor. A book had been tossed. Doesn’t matter what it was about. I ain’t gonna go there, but it sounds tame compared to today, real tame. But the whole scene was just like the song. Elvis lived in Southwest Memphis! At that time, and probably still, it is predominantly black and poor: the “subdivision” is quite small, and then held mostly Elvis’s relatives and suchlike. The rest of the area was poor, mostly black, with some white trailer-parks. Lotta barbecue joints before he died, and fast food, but much more fast food since he died, of course. His next-door neighbor was “Tuffy Muffler.” I was there, and I saw it. He was not in a genuine “suburb” no matter how much they had tried, earlier on. They wanted the land across the street, to chase blacks away: this was, I think in the early ’60s. Well, Elvis bought the land! His across the street neighbors lived in shotgun shacks like his birthplace. The older women remember him coming by after eating barbecue. Sometimes had his guitar with him. The young kids, the older of those, remember, while the younger ones have heard from Mama and Grandma. Mama and Grandma still love him, and express it freely. There’s a little ole rap crew from right there that made a rap-sample out of “In The Ghetto” and the Luke the Drifter quote as Elvis read it. It’s kinda touching: they’re not the most talented rappers, but their folks were Elvis’s neighbors, and Elvis saved their homes. And it was not forgotton.

    Greil Marcus hit his head or something around ’02, and was bitching that Elvis didn’t “march” in Memphis in April after King was shot! And that would take away from his “historical importance.” I felt a rage that I cannot describe! That man is double-dealing turncoat, and if Dylan had read that, which I doubt: it’s obscure, he’d probably gun one of his bikes toward the Bay Area, armed for Bear! Or at least, give him the same treatment he gave Weberman on that sidewalk. This much I know. Greil is one of those creepy people “you think you know” and then when all comes out, boy does it HURT! Mostly because I have been the fool! It was a long time ago, but I was the fool.
    So he writes this obscurity, and then finds out what really went on, but doesn’t apologize or anything. Just figures it’ll go away. And then praises “If I Can Dream” and what Steve and the others told him goes into it to: “he refuses the deaths.” Yeah, but you didn’t say that in that stupid rant! You don’t even know what he did ONE MONTH after the first sit-ins, in Tennessee, both: the sit-ins, and Elvis’s actions at Ellis Auditorium, and home at Graceland, on March 13. And it was in the damn paper! If you are look, my buddy, ole pal Greil for what you call “exemplary public acts,” you need not look to FRANCE! Look at Tennessee, and what Elvis Presley did just after the Army, when his career was in jeopardy. First he visits a black prisoner in Nashville for a private talk and a four-handed shake before he leaves. It made the papers too. Guralnick actually mentiones it, but ignores the history behind their relationship. But he also wanted to do it in public. And then, in Memphis, he zonked ’em! They made it sound as “nice” as they could, but they couldn’t, so they hoped it would be buried by future writers. They were right. But those deaf and “deaf and dumb” as it was called back then, kids from the black school in Arkansas {I looked up some of the history! Hell, I’d like to go to their museum in person, and tell them that well, “Elvis sent me.”} will NEVER forget him, and how they were given the royal treatment in his dining room, and how he asked so many questions.
    And they’ll never know about that in-law. “Why don’t you just go down there to Beale St. and LIVE WITH ‘EM!” He had no “Mama” anymore to knock her block off. He just took it.
    He made “Elvis is Back!” {I hope they used an exclamation. You never know.}
    And he sings a blues, he sings the words, especially the opener, with a sarcasm dripping with battery acid, but with a kind of joy, too. And no one imputes any “meaning” to them. Why Elvis is “dumb” so why even bother to think about his mind? Without a backstory, you’d never know anything.
    Overtly it’s about the Army, but what had gone already from Tennessee was segregated schools, and just one month before, lunch counters.
    “Well, so loooooooong. Oh, how I hate to see you go/
    well, SO LOOOOOOOOG, oh how I hate to see you go!
    “Well, the waythatIwillmiss you: child, I guess you’ll never know.”

    Was he a fool to be used later, and to know it {and he actually read Wallis say this in a trade paper; Goldman is just copying out of the paper}, to be slammed around and feel so low? To bow his head and say “yessir” to his “massa”?
    No fool. But it was HIS reality. Other people might be escaping the past, but they were middle class, actually. The blacks, I mean, who did all that stuff, early on. College students! Very soon, Elvis would be rejected from UCLA. He was way underneath them, socially, but Jesse Jackson will NEVER understand this, and Greil Marcus doesn’t give a damn. He’s simply an ass. That Dylan misjudged him doesn’t surprise me: so did I. He’s a con artist. Not an artist.
    See, most of the “civil rights movement” which is what JFK tried to tell them, was MIDDLE CLASS! If you can’t AFFORD a hamburger, then what good is it to be allowed to eat one at a lunch counter. Elvis and his 14-year-old sweet white friend would “split an R-uh-C” cola after school sometimes. Because there was no “snack” waiting. Even with the other boy’s brother working for WELO. The station just started, and probably could barely pay him. No snack, not because – like Dylan, he “bad parents – he didn’t” but because there just wasn’t any. He lived for peanut butter. All his life: when he had some, he held it in HIS hand; not even Charlie could touch it! In the army, he burnt all the fingers on one hand, and got a pretty deep cut or “scratch” – is how Elvis put it, on the top because he’d come upon a peanut butter ration! He had been cooking their food on the jeep engine in the cold, when he found the ration, and dug in. Even after, he seemed euphoric: he had been complaining about the lack of peanut butter – seriously. Well, he seemed so distracted over the “find” that when he went back to cook, he touched the hottest part of the engine, and in jumping away, slashed his hand. The ignorant Lt. said, I’d better use sulphur: that’s your PLAYING HAND! Well, hell, guitarists and pianists, etc. play with BOTH HANDS! He knew NOTHING about music, and rarely listened to the radio, the guy. He was taught it wasn’t proper, so he didn’t really know much about Elvis except that he was famous, and later realized he played the guitar, ’cause he played and sang in the barracks every now and then.
    Peanut button in a little tin. Burned his finger pads: it took him a while to get his piano skills to where they had been, but soon they just got better and better. People razzed him for “chording” but that’s a gospel style. And he did more than that by ’71: by then he was indeed “accomplished” as many have pointed out. No one knows how or where he learned. He just watched at the “all night sings.” And used the piano in the music room at school, himself. And that’s all.
    But at the moment, the movement seemed bracing. Segregation hurt white kids, too, sometimes badly, as in Elvis’s case. He could have gone with friends, but he was forced to go with those who detested him, except, really for one boy. The other boy who was decent to him never saw him outside of school. The neighborhoo, ya know.
    So Elvis bought that land. He said “hello Memphis, good to be home!” to an all black audience in Memphis on March 13, 1960, then conducted the orchestra with a LIGHTED baton. I guess he wanted to be “part” of what he read about in the papers about “the sit-ins.” There’s a Wertheimer photo that is escruciating. Elvis seems in more distress than the woman who is standing! And it’s the exact same type counter! May have been that one, for all anyone knows.
    So, it seemed like maybe people were just gonna stop “putting other people down.” Of course, that didn’t happen.
    And they always seemed to be chasing him, for one reason or another. Yeah, he was wrong to get so involved in drugs, but he felt under siege. And he was. The file shows that. What he used to “escape” forced him to flee. Total Catch-22. Elvis was a minority hidden within a minority culture. There was “prejudice” and then a deeper thing: dire poverty. And Dylan was WRONG to think these were the “Klan.” It was the poor men of EAST Tupelo in ’36 who tried to rescue blacks in the “pond” where so many drowned. Not the working class whites, and not necessarily the “respectable” blacks. But Old Uncle Bell did at least take pity on those people living in alleys, and found a way to bring them to his land.
    And that old guy changed the world by changing a little boy’s world.
    Who was NOT a fool, but who was tormented all his life, and no one – sometimes even today – has much compassion.
    They still treat him like a joke, or a fool, or whatever.
    He was none of those things. He was a brave young man, trying to call on a strength his father warned against. That he couldn’t keep his strengths for very long when he found them is tragic, but he left us with what I think is a better world. Still f’d up, but we ain’t what we was, but we ain’t what we’re gonna be.
    One thing that I think is wonderful is that I can use this Internet thingy to talk to YOU, and those “protectors” of “right and wrong” or whatever they think themselves cannot stop me. You matter as much as anybody, as does your life and hurts and triumphs over adversity. I will not “put you down.” I might respecfully disagree, but I will no “put you down.” There’s a world of difference.
    And I feel respected here. I don’t feel that way on that “socialist” site – yeah, a real one, or certainly not the snobby Dylan fan club, who probably don’t know who Dylan really is, as a person. I’m not saying I do, but I think that his life is involved in his art, though I do not reduce one to the other. Most fan clubs will kick you around hard if you don’t tow their line. I never have.
    Welllllllll!
    Good night,
    Robin

  4. reprindle Says:

    Robin: This is the second time you’ve mentioned that someone is criticizing you for Converstations. Who is trying to stop you and why? What ‘protecters’ are right or wrong?

    As far as hard core fan sites go you have to take your lumps if you’re criticizing their hero. Goes without saying. You’re attacking their ego extension. Actually ER contribs seems to have an ambiguous attitude toward Dylan. How are they criticizing you?

    Clue me into what your last two paragraphs mean.

    Also I don’t understand why you seem to think I called Elvis a fool. I was talking about what his movies meant to the Studios. Say what.

  5. R M Says:

    I can’t believe it: I called Sam Bell’s grandfather “uncle Bell” instead of grandpa Bell. Does that make me a racist?
    I’d vote that in a way, it does, but not necessarily on a personal level, because it WAS unconscious: which means we are ALL conditioned by the society in which we have grown. Those orange boxes of rice with “Uncle Ben” on them. Finding out that Carl Perkins was NOT a tenant on the farm where an “uncle somebody” taught him the “blues” “at his knee.” Hell, it was his father’s farm! His property! Elvis’s father didn’t own much o’ nothin. Most people thought the record player was “his.” Well, in the sense of who really used it most of the time, yeah, but as “property,” it belonged to Rabbi Fructer, who realized the boy really needed it a hell of a lot more than he did. He had some cantorial recordings. How many times can you listen to those? Especially if you’re used to hearing it live? So, he knew that it’s better the boy downstairs should be able to play his “collection” – which at the time, was still quite small, but, as St. Peter said “well-chosen” or something that indicated his “good taste” according to St. Peter. Hell, if he wanted to listen to “How Much Is that Doggie in the Window?” which he didn’t, but if he did, well, how does St. Peter KNOW what he’s listening for? He only listened to “Blue Moon” to drive a stake through its happy little heart. Bob Shelton did have it correct: what Elvis did was simply this – he “brought the pop world from illusion to reality.” Everything was not just ducky in this country for most people. To listen to the entertainments of the time, you’d think so. The reality was 462 Alabama St., where “the kid with the sideburns” lived, in a tattered slum that seemed really, really nice to them. Apparently this was NOT common knowledge in the ’60s, or Jesse Jackson would not have written that column that he now wishes people would forget he ever wrote. It was “outrage” that a rich, pampered white millionaire, from the “white” side of the tracks {where exactly WAS that in downtown Memphis? Elvis lived very near where Dr. King died! And he lived, in actuality at the time, in a black ghetton area of Southwest Memphis. He never actually left, excepting the brief attempt at Audoban Dr. where they were run off.}. Mac Davis actually was raised in a working class environ that was worlds above the Presleys, and it was his idea. Elvis realized, while “the suits” worried about “his image” that THIS song was HIS OWN story, and Felton remembered him asking him, asking Felton: “what IS my image?” He soon found out that people knew the guy who made beach movies and other junk, but they absolutely didn’t know the boy snuck around Shake Rag in Tupelo, after his parents had fallen asleep, “late.” Of course, he LIVED in a black neighborhood, but he preferred the other one! The broken down slum where the blues thrived, although he also loved the spirituals and gospel music in his neighborhood, where the very next street is called “Church St.” – or it was. He later, in ’69, told the Sweets “how could I be comfortable on stage without some ‘Church Sisters.'” For whatever reasons, they did not find this strange. They seemed to KNOW him better than some of the musicians: while Johnny Cash, no friend, said he only needed his guitar {and not that “other stuff”: as he described Scotty and Bill and D.J. rather heartlessly – they were not things: they were people who helped make the show go on}, Ronnie Tutt thought he wasn’t good on any “instrument” excepting his voice, and this is patently false: you can use your eyes and ears, or listen to professional musicians, who have trouble replicating the sounds he made in ’68, even as they watch. They didn’t know that he had broken his right pinky three times {I saw the arch-shaped cast once!}, and I don’t know, but from photos, his left index finger is either “double-jointed” or he broke it so as to free up another finger. See, when he started out in ’69, and early ’70, he intended to play a lot of rhythm guitar, because he wasn’t sure of John Wilkinson, who played folk and classical and that sort of thing. He needed a strong rhythm guitarist, and Charlie was not the one: he put things in the wrong keys and stuff. He discovered, and you can see this in the photos {there’s a website with contact sheets from ’69, and I’m gonna try to find it; it’s the closest thing to film: I’d bet a real good digitizer guy or gal could take those sheets and MAKE film of them, if they were really good enough with THEIR “instruments”}. The eye contact is so very strong between him and “Johnny” as he called him, and even with James, although they go in both directions. Sometimes James stares at Elvis’s fingers, as Elvis eyes him up, sort of giving him cues, and with the younger fella, well, he just stares at Elvis’s fingers. I don’t think he was ever gonna get that driving sound, because years later, most muscians found it perplexing: what he was doing on the ’68 special and the HEAT it created, just isn’t in a “how to play” book. But I heard it on a recent Dylan record, an outtake, and I was like: “that’s the sound!” Dylan found someone who could do it, at least to an extent. He plays a rhythm/lead hybrid, which is what Elvis did on the special. But there are certain sounds that Campbell seems to have worked hard to capture. Hope he didn’t break his damn fingers to do it! But clearly, Dylan loved the sound, and searched for a guy who could do it. I guess it makes him feel comfortable, hearing those bass runs behind him. Like “he”‘s there or something. A “guardian angel.” When Rob Stoner criticized the “rhinestones” and the pink suits, garish belts, and the band UNIFORMS that Dylan was doing not long before Elvis’s death, he fired his ass. Then he promptly went into the studio and made Street Legal. Naturally, he did not have Jerry Scheff with him at the start, I’m sure: Jerry had a tour coming up. With Elvis. The musicians confirm what Dylan told Bob Shelton: he heard the knews in the studio, and promptly left. And he was gone for a week.
    The weirdest thing about this is that in one book about the “death carnival” that erupted, the ONLY celebrity “rumored” to be in Memphis, but without any corroboration that reporters trusted, was, of all people, BOB DYLAN! It rippled through the crowds, coming from all sides: “Dylan’s here!” Several reporters were aware that the rumor was going wild on Wednesday, but they could not find a way to confirm it, or frankly to deny it, but most reporters said it was “impossible.” Dylan was, of course, making an album!
    What they had no way of knowing then was that he had left the studio immediately on hearing the knews. It’s like he flipped out or something, from their point of view, and most go with what he told Shelton: that he had this nervous breakdown, and “didn’t talk to anyone for a week.” Which is a WONDERFUL cover for all those he didn’t talk to! IF THOSE FANS WERE RIGHT! Now, I’m skeptical. But Bob usually tells only partial truths. He did NOT talk to anyone who knew him for a week. That’s established and corroborated. It’s also strange. Where’s the cook or somebody leaving food by his bedroom door? And so on?
    But if he got on a private plane, and told them it was on the Q.T., and greased some palms heavily, he could well have snuck in. I know that James Brown was ESCORTED by the “Tennessee Identification {Something}” so the Dylan thing was NOT like that. This just rippled throughout the crowds, and there were a variety of different groups of people, but the rumor persisited, for the short time between Tuesday and Wednesday. One night, two girls were run over by a drunken driver, because the cops did NOT CLOSE THE HIGHWAY! The one really good and decent thing William Bratton can place on his career record is that when Michael Jackson followed his father-in-law into the great unknown, Bratton spent FOUR MILLION DOLLARS clearing the place out. Fans were warned continuously that the “best seat in the house is in front of your TV” and they mostly listened! He got a “bracelet system” going the night before; and he DID close up the freeways when Jackson’s {deep breath, sorry} hearse was on it. I swear, I woke up, and saw the “car” and instantaneously, “Long Black Limosine” jumped into my mind. I think I said it out loud: “Long Black Limosine.” I expected a different color or something, I guess.
    Point being: nobody died. Cost money, but nobody got run over or whatever could have happened. And they fired him for spending this money! He’s old enough to remember what happened to those two girls, and it being the fault of the cops not closing a MAJOR HIGHWAY with over 50,000 people in a confined space. He must have known that the chances of that happening again were slim, but he did not take ANY chances. And that’s good for the memories of those two girls.
    But, nevertheless, the little place was packed with ordinary people, and “Dylan’s here!” kept rippling through the crowd. No one else in the great rock world. No Lennon. No Macca. No Jagger. No Robert Plant, who was an acquaintance and fan, no George Harrison, no Lewis, or Perkins, or Cash, even! NONE of those people were mentioned at all. Sam Phillips watched the funeral from the sidewalk, from a distance, just briefly. And he did not serve as a pallbearer, which is digusting. In every way imaginable, he put that guy in that box, and robbed Vernon of his only child. But he didn’t lift him to his end. He should have demanded and begged, if that were even necessary. Just Ann Margaret flew in, who was an old girlfriend, and oddly, a curiosity-seeker: Burt Reynolds, from Florida. And, of course, James Brown, came quickly, and not sneakily. Jackie was in a coma: I think James felt that he HAD to come, if only for Jackie, who could not. Jackie’s hospital bills were paid up by Elvis, to the time of Elvis’s death. Even Lisa knew how close they were: her daddy and Jackie. So, when he died in early ’84, and NOBODY even mentioned him on the Grammies that year, she must have been fuming. Except for one person. Michael Jackson took the time to make a sweet tribute. “Jackie, wherever you are . . .” That after saying how he was missed so much and so forth. This HAD to reach Lisa in a deep and private place shared by father, daughter, and grandpa, who was long gone, too. Michael had called when Priscilla was making “Those Amazing Animals” or something, and he asked for permission to go out: just a date for ice cream, or the like. “She’s in school.” Came the reply. Lisa never knew ’till ’97, apparently. He didn’t call just when he “needed” her in ’93: he called way back. And when they DID marry, she talked of childhood phone calls to Memphis. And in a “Remember the Time,” he yowls “DO YOU REMEMBER, GIRL, TILL DAWN, YOU AND ME, ON THE PHONE, . . . IN SPAIN!” That was the clincher, and he admitted it was about her. When Elvis died, Michael was performing in Spain. She is not lying when she says it was love, period. More recently, she’s been more candid about her feelings, and how she can’t seem to get over it . . .
    Well, shoot, nobody seemed to care, then. Nobody, just about, CAME when he died! Or did ANYTHING. No celebrity has ever said they called, only Michael. And I believe that’s true. He was the only one to remember Jackie. And Elvis would have smiled at that, for sure.
    He had such love and compassion for people. He tried to teach her, but life made her so cynical. But she’s done pretty good, but not good enough: she’s allowed this cult to capture her. Again, a Keogh was “best man.” As if they’re always watching her. She went to England, and said she does not wish to come back. Everyone knows Travolta wants to leave. But nobody has ever left that I know of.

    Maybe Johnny Cash didn’t care to come over, but Michael called Lisa from Spain. Remember that the next time the media calls it “a sham.”

    And that’s all. Okay, there wasn’t much time, but still, James made it, and Ann-Margeret, and others flew: family and such. And the ONE rumored celebrity at the time: BOB DYLAN, who just walked right out of his session and “didn’t talk to anyone for a week.” We’ll never know. Lisa was too young. Just some musician he knew from Nashville . . . hell, would VERNON even know? Maybe not. But if he did, he kept his mouth shut, and then 20 months later, died.
    Almost thirty years later, someone said they thought Sammy Davis might have been there, but that is utterly false {he didn’t sneak about, for sure — not his way}, but at the time, his name was NEVER mentioned, not even once. Dylan’s name was – and often. And the reporters, the rock guys, told the people in the crowd, some of ’em, that it was “impossible” since Bob was out west or someplace “making an album.” They had no idea that he walked out immediately, as the musicians remember.
    And Jerry Scheff, left without a gig, well he called him. He played a lot of different instruments by then, and I’m sure that’s him on Saturday Night Live in like ’79, with the “Born Again” stuff. Playing lead guitar! My eyes are NOT playing tricks on me! Bob just wanted him at, literally, his right hand.
    Then he tells Shelton that he “had a breakdown” and thus went mute for a week. Maybe – with Bob, you just never know about the things he says: he did leave that studio, and did not talk to anyone who knew him for a week: that part is corroborated. But to leave in such a hurry? The musicians remember this clearly. And made sure to say that he spoke to “NO ONE” “for a week.” Convenient, is what it starts to sound like, don’t it? And so, while I have to remain skeptical, because there’s just no way to prove it at this time, he was FOR CERTAIN the ONLY name “rumored to be here” at that time and place. And people got kinda excited because of so few celebrities who were there. Almost none.

    What do you think? This is the guy who sang “Goin’ To Acapulco”! Who screamed and moaned and was totally ripping himself apart on that song. Few singers have communicated actual pain as he did on that performance. And to keep it out of the bootleggers hands, and to keep “The Band” guys quiet for EIGHT YEARS, “not even a rumor,” pouted Greil in ’75, as if HE should have been let in on it because he was, well, “special.” He was not, and he sounded pissed off. He knew then that Bob CONTROLLED the bootleg trade, and so, possibly did most of the bootlegged artists. “My Baby’s Gone” was finally liberated from RCA’s vaults – or Singletons’s. Never released “officially” ’till the ’80s! Somehow, somehow, Elvis not only got that out, but got out the “chatter.” It was not “idle chatter.” You know what was said. Scotty, overwhelmed by the performance {and it was that song, not “Kentucky”: on the latter, Sam slams the door and yells “fine, man, fine! That a POP SONG now, ‘nearly bout!”} After that take of Elvis’s blues, which he wrote at the mike, disgusted with the song he was handed to sing, and too young to know he would forever be forced to sing what they gave him, first with force, then with guilt. After that take, Scotty, “so quiet” was pretty noisy! “Too much Vaseline! I had it too!” he enthused. Elvis goes “huh, wha . . .?” Scotty is pissed, now, as Sam observes the gulf between the young fellows: So Scotty goes “whee, wheeeee, wheeeee.” Elvis is still in a “wha?” state of mind. Scotty finally decides to use language he’ll understand. “Whoa, n—er; DAMN N—er!” Elvis does not respond directly at all. Frankly, his embarrassment rattles through the years. Somebody said “we were jammin’ like crazy!” Elvis goes “You ain’t just a’woofin’!” He turned the tables on them, using black slang, rather obscure: you really had to look that one up. Well, Elvis didn’t. “Woofin'” back then meant B.S.’ing, “hyperbole” if you want the “standard written English” translation.
    “You are not using hyperbole.” {LMAO!}
    Elvis: “Man, we was really hittin’ it!”
    Various bangs, and the record moves on.
    But there it was: the words few have used, right there in that studio. Elvis knew EXACTLY what he was doing. And if he didn’t, he did then, for sure. On the other side, Jerry Lee speaks of hell, damnation, and “Great Balls of Fire.” While Sam tries to “reason” with him. It’s wild. I’ve played THAT argument to classes, but not the words on the other side. They can find that for themselves, and I tell ’em there’s some really ROUGH stuff on the other side that may REALLY offend a lot of people, but if they want to hear it, I’ll let ’em in another venue.
    Did Elvis do this? It was about 1970. He COULD have, I guess, but a lot is stored in New York, and later they put stuff in a Kansas grain silo! I thought that was a joke, but it was not.
    I believe that Elvis liberated this, and maybe it took Jerry Lee a few years to hear HIS argument – though it shouldn’t offend anyone: he’s pure as a Disney character, shoot. But for some reason, he roared up to Graceland in ’76, gun waving. Wonder if he felt that this was too intimate, despite that it does not reflect badly on him, but maybe tones down his “wild” image. Very possible. The tapes were given in Elvis’s portfolio, mostly, I think. Or he ransacked some, later. Who knows. But I know Dylan controlled the boots, so why not Elvis? Perhaps *someone* told him how. He knew he was being bootlegged, and he was always one of the most bootlegged artists, even before his death. After, it was the biggest tidal wave ever. I got in on it, before the cops came down one August “tribute week” and made all kinds of arrests. Now, with the ‘net, the biz is thriving. “BMG” or Sony, or whomever they are, came up with Follow That Dream Records, a “legal bootleg label” to stop the flow. But they could not. “Cut Me And I Bleed” is probably the winner. And the “Prisoner’s Song” does not contain a “racist” line: black people generally have little or almost no body hair! He was talking about a REAL RACOON, the type he would have been terrified by in Tupelo as a child. These people are idiots. What’s worse is the sexual violence of the next words, which I cannot repeat, because I can sorta guess what it means, but not exactly, but enough. Let’s just say “the man in the moon” FELT like “a prisoner” in a REAL PRISON. Where would Elvis learn this most horrifying pornogrhaphic expression of sexual violence BETWEEN MALES? His father was an ex-con, and very pretty at 22. That’s where. Used the language as a defense mechanism to hide his worst traumas. And Greil claims Dundy made “too much” of it! So what if the “failed sharecropper” {!!!!!} worked on a chain gang utterly unjustly: he was nothin’ anyway. He had the nerve to bat around Goldman, but never looked at the man in his own mirror.
    Also, there may be another way he learned it, but I don’t want to think too much about it. All I know is that Vernon looked FOR YEARS for a boarding house in Memphis, but none took children. “They would close the door.” He would explain “I just have the one little boy: he’s no trouble to anyone . . .” And they would close the door.
    He finally found one on “Washinton St.” That’s also the name of the “ghetto” street in “Change of Habit” made when the record was hitting the stores. {He calls the dead black friend who had lived there “Cal”: in Memphis, one of his running buddies at WDIA was Calvin Newborn, Phineas’s son. Maybe Elvis figured that people would investigate? Nope, they did not. They did not know that he was really singing of himself in that song – and the film is a feature length music video for it, even if Mac had seen a CBS documentary about Chicago, and wrote about that. Elvis did not SING about THAT: he sang about himself, his experiences, his worries now and about the near future, and the nightmares he used to have in Hollywood Hotel rooms about Gladys crying over his coffin. {Intriguing that at this time, he heard a rough cut of “Don’t Cry, Daddy” and said “I’m gonna sing that for my Daddy”: when you picture the scene, because Vernon was THERE when he made the final “repair vocal” – just him and his Daddy, with Chips on the board. Very intimately telling his Daddy “please don’t cry.” When he knew he would be releasing “In The Ghetton” with the hook “And his Mama Cries.” So, “don’t cry, daddy; daddy, PLEASE do-ow-own’t cry.” Right to his face.

    He told lots of people about how Junior saved him at the time, but the first person was his troubled cousin Junior. As I once said, perhaps quite out of its context, Elvis nearly “sleepwalked” to death from the 12th floor of a 20 story Hollywood hotel. A lifelong sleepwalker, Junior knew this was his MAIN JOB, and he heard the rustle, the woosh of air, and got his feet! In a tackle. He was almost gone. At 22. He knew that Junior was aware that he sleepwalked, so if he really wanted to just walk out that window AWAKE, he could just pretend he had been sleeping. Terrible dream! And all of that. But he DID have these dreams often. She told him “you won’t make 30.” He showed everyone, boy! He made 40! And that was about it. She had said “you’re burning yourself up.” This fueled his dreams, and the whole experience of that film was unpleasant. He cried to a minister when he got home, which he never did any other time that I know of; he went to Shelley Winter’s house, and cried to her {ironically, she played Gladys in the Dick Clark film of ’79}, and she told him “honey, call your mother!” He did. She told him: “do what the Col. says.” Now, Gladys hated the Col. always. Why did she refuse her son when he needed her to talk to? And send him to his “keeper”? Rage, I guess. She figured “you picked him, young man, so you made that bed you’re sleepin’ in,” as a later song would go. And that bed was one he almost walked to his death from. Dunno if it was before or after the phone call. All I know is that Junior said, according to Elvis, that “Aunt Gladys would have killed me for sure!” And he was right. But she, and everyone, knew Junior was a madman, and worried so for her son. And damn, they drafted him: they got him. I guess she thought, despite the “cold war” that he’d end up like Junior and die very young, shellshocked. Well, the Army was only one among constant shell-shocks. But, in a kind of a way, she was right. They took away so much of his spirit, that “I am just a puppet on a string, and you can do most anything with me.” Whoever wrote that “song” was a sadist. And he let himself experience masochism. But there were those who cared: “The whole town is talking, they’re calling you a fool, for listening to his same old lies . . .” from “It Hurts Me.”
    Dylan later sang, and this is not the same in the blues Marcus accuses him of “stealing” that “when things go wrong, so wrong with you, it hurts ME, too.” That Greil didn’t remember the Bob Johnston song, or didn’t know that “Joy Byers” was usually Bob Johnston, when he SHOULD have, as a reporter, known this, and thus knew about the OTHER song, and put a simple little puzzle together, rather than ranting on about “stealing the blues” and such. Dylan calls on like four songs: “His Hand in Mine,” “Big Boss Man,” “Baby, Let’s Play House” – and oh, “It Hurts Me,” too, of course. He knew Elvis would be listening: Charlie and others said frequently in later years that Elvis “just about wore out” Nashville Skyline. {Maybe it was, to him, a “self-help” manual for a “happy marriage”: who knows?} Maybe not the best of choices, but he sure got his attention, and so you KNOW he listened to “Self-Portrait” with all the allusions to HIM on it! So, to hear this song, even if he knew the old blues, which is quite different, by the way, had to mean a lot.
    But there was no formal recording session. Just an apocryphal jam from very early May, 71, and one apocryphal song from ’72.
    Bob Johston calls this situation his “biggest regret” of his career.
    Robin

  6. reprindle Says:

    Well, Albert Goldman. As a biography of Elvis the book is a complete waste. Goldman’s obsessions prevent him from seeing his subject in the round but the successes of Elvis mirror Goldman’s desires so that while he mocks and sneers he finally becomes enamored of this avatar of his desires.

    Oh yes, Elvis came from the lowest stratum of White people, the barely human hillbilly, the despicable redneck, the contemptible White Trash, the despised other; but God gave him what Goldman, one of the Chosen, a Golden Jew, desired, indeed what God had promised him. In the end Elvis becomes a god for Goldman. The ineffable, the unreachable.

    Oh yes, Jewish men like George Soros obtain nearly everything Elvis had, even moreso perhaps. Elvis never really had money, he went through it while Soros, Rothschild and others actually amassed wealth, more money than they can ever hope to spend.

    Oh yes, Soros can have, and probably does have, shiksas by the dozen. He can indulge his sense of manly virtue and power by presenting them with valuable gifts as he dismisses them. But, for Goldman, Soros and so many others even if they attain a status well beyond Elvis there is that stain on their escutcheon that nothing can remove-they remain Jewish.

    They are still the second born, the little brother who can never usurp the prerogatives of the big brother no matter how hard he tries or what he does. They can never attain that lordly presence, the confident walk of the first born. Being second means just that, being second, never being able to be first. One’s entire manhood was strangled in the cradle, nay, even the womb, perhaps in one’s very genes.

    Thus, Goldman’s book becomes a novel of what he has been denied, even more it becomes a hymn of praise. While Goldman’s prose denigrates Elvis for the very attributes that Goldman envies- the countless shiksas, the drugs, the command over other men, his underlings is all that Goldman sees. More, and redeemingly in his eyes, Elvis always saw the beauty of Jewish men, surrounding himself with them. It wasn’t the shiksas, there is no indications Elvis had Jewish women. No Barbi Bentons.

    By the end Goldman is practically bathing in Elvis’ aura.

    Las Vegas. But like the snake in Eden, like the elder brother, Cain, there is Colonel Parker the evil hypnotist. The ‘anti-Semite’ exploiting his charge. Goldman, wisely I think, devotes nearly as many pages of his book to Parker as he does to Presley. He seems to understand Parker better than he does Elvis.

    Goldman might have served posterity better with Parker as his central figure with Elvis as his hypnotized puppet. That seems to be Goldman’s conclusion. Oddly enough way back in the fifties and early sixties that was the consensus of opinion. Without thinking about it I guess I must have accepted it. So the story of Elvis and the Colonel becomes a Greek tragedy where the evil Wizard captures the soul of Prince Charming and makes him dance to his tune.

    On that basis I think Goldman wrote a great book. Not a great biography of Elvis but a sort of extra Biblical story to be included in the Old Testament. Elvis and the Wizard a cautionary tale as seen through the eyes of Abel who saw the rewards that thould have been his inexplicably go to Cain. A story frustrating enough to try the patience of Job.

  7. R M Says:

    Well, first let me answer the small post: look, this is your quote, right?

    —————-
    “Kind of the carny attitude, sort of answers what was in it for Parker, where you despise your customers because they play your rigged games eager to be conned. Thus the carny is a sharper dealing with fools. Who wouldn’t fleece a fool, hey? Isn’t that the Hollywood Elvis story?”
    ————-
    I guess I just didn’t get the meaning or something.
    Well, I saw them MENTION my NAME — well, my “handle” on Expecting . . . and that pissed me off! I don’t like being disrespected by people who don’t know me AT ALL. That’s all. Just my easily wounded nature, I guess. I don’t like that they see me as a “dupe” or something. Look, if conversation is stifled, as calling me by name suggests, or how it made me feel, then knowledge is suppressed as well. Knowledge is produced by people interacting with one another in a respectful way, but not necessarily agreeing on certain things. Actually I would probably be interested in such a site, but not now.
    Dylan doesn’t go for that sort of “fandom” in any case, or maybe when he was very young. But once he got stung over and over again, he had no real use for it. It was, of course, comforting to have critics who weren’t like that guy who asked “how many singers would you say toil in the same musical fields as you?” or something, and then clarified, by asking how many “protest singers” there were! He said “136” – “no – 137.” Only answer. I remembered that comment when I re-read the Variety headline about “In The Ghetton,” which read “Presley Sings First Protest Song.” Incorrect, but hilarious, since anyone who remembered Dylan’s answer would say: “138!!!!!!!” Gotta keep the count straight. So, yeah, why wouldn’t he “like” Marcus at first? Shoot, I liked “Mystery Train,” but I was a fool and very ignorant, too. But I was also very young. He revealed himself to me, and while it hurt bad, it was like I found MYSELF. I hope Dylan can do that, or has. He gave that interview in RS to one of their newer guys: the ones they don’t have to pay or think about, really. And Dylan was, I think, testing him. To see if he had ANY glimmer or spark of imagination when listening to someone as notoriously vague, and sometimes “lying” – or “denying” is really what Bob is good at. And the guy just buys whatever he says at face value, and doesn’t even check it out! I mean, he named names, and he didn’t speak to someone like Schilling, whose spoken of the phone calls, or Dylan’s intentions AT THAT TIME, or Bob’s weird, superweird placing the year “1968” in like a different plane of existence. It’s so . . . Dylan of him! He can lie, but if he says “he didn’t really come back until, what it was? 1968?” {As if he didn’t know.} If he “really came back” as the “Elvis I wanted to meet,” well, that sorta changes everything, doesn’t it. But it’s a lie: he DID want to meet him, and the fact that Elvis gave him Lamar and a limo – well, at least the use of it – in ’66, shows that he DID “want to” connect with him, AND DID! I mean, hell, he could have hired him a professional bodyguard, but he chose to “give him Lamar.” That’s on a way more personal level. And then a Triumph motorcycle just sorta shows up over the holidays, birthday season in ’66, almost at the same time. You just couldn’t give Elvis ANYTHING! It was a “650,” which means nothing to me, except that it is bigger than the accident bike is all I know. Elvis was real jazzed: “fast little bike!” And decided that the other guys had to have one! Marty got a little car, as you know.
    The point is that Dylan leaves ALL of that out. And it’s absolutely true: it is corroborated. As to what became of the limo, which was NOT Lamar’s car, as Kooper thought, no one knows. As I said, Dylan was delivered in comfort to that “celeb clinic” when he had the accident. We’ll never know.
    I do know that Elvis’s father heard about the accident, and actually told his grown son to ride his bikes, Harleys, mostly! on THE DRIVEWAY! That’s how “troubled” their realtionship was {eyes rolling}.
    I guess you forgot the emoticon-type thing, and I took what you said wrong. Don’t sweat it.
    Now, I’ll read the other piece.
    Robin

  8. R M Says:

    Oh, I never knew what you meant about “Alabama,” really. It was no “figment” of MY imagination: I spent over 4 years there – including the summer “introduction” thing they did, where they tested you, showed you around, you stayed in a dorm, talked, etc. etc. They explained “in loco parentis” to us, which was still law in ‘bama. This meant, they said, and many of us, if not most, were still just 17, that prior to 21, we had to accept the school as our “parent-substitute” and that’s why they could lock the dorm at 4 AM, so we’d have to come back before then, and no males upstairs, or they’d have lockdowns, which they did. By the time I left, the kids were demanding co-ed dorms; I think they soon got them. I know they do now. I think they were lying to us at the time, by the way. Once we were 18, I don’t think they had the right to lock the dorm on us! Shoot, I’d be out ’till 3 AM, and have to race back or fear turning into a pumpkin. {My folks have always been protective, my real ones, I mean, and I always called when I got back in. They would have worried if I didn’t call. One time, after spending the night in a local diner with my boyfriend, I came “home” and called, and when I hung up, I called him again, and we talked. Mostly about whether “losing streak” in “I Can’t Get No . . .” meant the girl was on her time of the month, and how come I don’t tell him every time I am? And various song lyrics of a Jr. High level of intrigue. Same stuff we went on about in high school. Silly stuff, mostly music that came before our time, when we were too little. Well, my folks, in Atlanta, told the operator to “break in” ’cause they had “an emergency” – being that they couldn’t call me back! Well, she did it! But first, she told them: I guess they asked, that we were talking about rock ‘n’ roll songs. I can’t believe they asked! {sigh} Well, sho’ ’nuff, they broke in. I told ’em to cut it out: is there an “emergency”? “No, we just couldn’t understand how you could talk, talk, talk in that diner ’till 3 AM, and then when you got back, you pick up the phone and talk again! And it was about nonsense.” I was REAL offended that they said it was about “nonsense,” since I considered myself a “rock critic” at the time, and I knew they asked what she heard. Just forgive my youth, ok. As for them, they should not have done that. But I forgive ’em, of course my mom, and my dad too, though he’s very much alive [knock wood with my luck].}
    Shoot, I’d often stay up all night other times, listening to, and talking on the phone to, the local country DJ, telling him what songs were hits, and which were dogs. He was quite young, and we had something going, I thought. But it never quite blossomed enough.
    But I was up ’till 5 AM, when the “hair dryers started up”: all these “Southern Belles” going to class with fancy dresses and tons of make-up, and oceans of perfume – you’d CHOKE in the elevators, I swear! I’d wake up at 7, jump in the abandoned showers, brush, fix my hair without much ado, and jump into jeans and a rock T-shirt – you know, something I got from a concert, usually, for free, sneakers, and with my patched blue jeans, get on my bike {not motorized!}, and whiz to class. That “State and Local Govt.” class I had to take usually gave me more time to sleep. {grin} Then, I’d go back to the dorm, which had the best food in the WHOLE TOWN – Tuscaloosa, and be literally in “hog heaven”: eggs cooked to order, the best biscuits imaginable and burning hot from the oven, bacon, hash browns, cinnamon toast, juice, coffee, and yeah, red eye gravy. But I always said “no grits.” Even if they knew you, they’d try: “oh, you have give them some TIME, chile!” And I was like, I did. No Grits.
    Anyway, I’d carry my feast out to eat, enjoy, and then go upstairs and wrap the phone in a towel, and put it in a drawer so I wouldn’t be disturbed, and sleep ’till afternoon classes and usually working in the record shop downtown. Yeah, we called it “downtown.” Wasn’t but like a mile, I guess, if that.
    It sure was pretty in the springtime, especially after they closed the smelly paper mill. Just gorgeous, but the flowers had bees. Fine on a bike: you always go straight, of course. But I gave up “jogging” earlier on: no only were dogs chasing me, and then bees, but I found out certain boys were ogling from THEIR dorm windows, and it scared me: I didn’t know these people. So I stopped. Got plenty of exercise with flag football {I started playing the very “rough touch” we did in high school for the Powder Puff [girls] season, but they objected for legal reasons}, basketball, softball {which made me mad, cause I was good at throwing a real baseball, but what the hell, it was ok}: you know, intramurals. I was “sports chairman” of my dorm!
    And you only had to pick just ONE math OR Science course! I picked “Biology for Non-Majors.” And as a real grown-up, learned to program computers. School don’t matter in that sense: what matters is the interaction, the sense that you’ve mastered something: that, if necessary, you could fill in for the prof.! I learned that in American Studies in my senior year: I was a heavy, heavy duty Elvis fan by then, and I studied everything about the south in which I was living. About the sharecropping system: I mean, I knew, because I remember early on being shocked at the stupid phrase of Greil’s “failed sharecroppers.” Show me a “successful” one! Silly and ignorant, but I ignored it, which I should not have. Anyway, I was really digging in, and the teachers were telling shallow stories about musicians in classes about American musicology: about Gram Parsons and Joshua Tree, and that stuff. I thought, yeah fine gossip and all that, but what about AMERICAN STUDIES! What about this place where we are sitting at this very moment? The confusingly-named “black belt” of Alabama {“black” refers to the black earth that grows nearly everything, not people}!? Why weren’t we talking about how this “American Music” came to be, right here, practically? I realized these prof.’s were fraudulent, and I could do better. But I had no intentions at the time of going to grad school. My folks insisted: “you need something to fall back on.”
    Yeah, fall back all right. The system is so f’d, you cannot imagine.
    But never mind. Alabama was certainly quite real to me, except that they acted like the “bad stuff” happened a hundred years ago, and as a kid, you feel that way, anyway.
    I sure learned to make and love buscuits!
    ———–
    Ok. About the Goldman book. First of all, Albert, as most people knew at the time, “liked” guys, not “shicksas” or ANY kind of woman! The truth, Ruth, is what it was. Hey, he’s DEAD, and I can say any damn thing I want about him, as he did about DEAD people who were defenseless. And Elvis DID go with, or at times, TRY to go with Jewish girls or women! He wouldn’t leave Debra Paget alone! I had thought he lied to her, when I first read it a long, long time ago, when she finally said: “kid, listen: you’re a son of the south and all that, and I’m Jewish, so forget it!” Elvis said: “I’m part Jewish!” She didn’t believe him, and felt like she’d never get rid of the little pest: he was only 21, and she was dating HOWARD HUGHES at the time. His other hair person was Patti Parry, and Esposito says “nothing sexual” was going on between them, but then, she was close to Esposito first, so I guess he wants to believe that. Basically, Elvis looked for “his mama” in females, generally: dark hair, definitely, but he’d go for blue eyes if nec. If they didn’t have black or dark hair, he’d try to get ’em to dye it! You know that. And Alana Nash is lying about him not flirting with black girls or women, and I have the evidence on tape, plus the testimony of one of the greatest singers who ever lived: Darlene Love, who was dating Bill Medley at the time, and also felt that if she took him up on it, she’d be “committing adultery” ’cause he was married. Nevertheless, she was attracted, of course: “ooooh, sexy, sexy little Teddy Bear! Oh, we better not talk too much about that in this interview.” {You could tell he was smitten: “Darlene is Wonderful,” he crooned, just for the hell of it.} Yeah, because it’s in the book. And will be in the film! Spector should go to prison for ruining her career. One person called her “the most overqualified ‘back-up’ singer EVER.” I think she may have been the best female singer ever; I like her MUCH better than Aretha. And Elvis didn’t like women to flirt with him; he liked to do the flirting! I mean, as a kid, he got dumped all the time: so now he wanted to be in charged. He still got dumped all the time. He came on to Streisand! In ’69. Until, I guess, he found out she had the rep of a “diva”-type, and he didn’t want that sort of thing from women.
    And HE was truly beautiful. I have heard or read about 3 dozen STRAIGHT MEN say they were taken with or even aroused by, his beauty, especially from mid-’68 through August ’70. So Goldman, no matter his bitching, female canine that he was, HAD to be taken with him! And victorious when the drugs destroyed his beauty. In the ’60s, you’ll notice, Elvis took on a creey “doll-like” appearance, but as the sixties drew to a close, his true beauty emerged: not the lovely, yet doughy, child of the fifties, but the truly beautiful young man who practically made people of both sexes, no matter their orientation, nearly pass out. God, me and the girls in the dorm, after he died, would watch Change of Habit, and be practically on the floor! Sort of panting or something: he was so much more beautiful than anything we’d ever seen! Michaelangelo’s David had nothin’ on ’69 Elvis! In ’68, he still had a very childlike quality, and still had some zits! You can see them on the “Deluxe” version of the special on DVD. And he seemed so like a child, a shy, frightened child. When Darlene said “little” that is how it feels. Other woman saw that in him at the time: how he seemed so “sweet” and “frightened.” One scene from the “It Hurts Me”/”Big Boss Man” Karate segment is telling. He’s really going: jumping four feet in the air, landing on his back, and then summersalting. The choreographer asks him if he’d carry one of “the boys” – the male dancers off, and he complies, of course. Says “couldn’t hurt any more than it already does.” But after the first time, the guy thanks him, and the guy: this little gay choreographer speaks to him gingerly, as if to a frightened little child: “that – was – very nice of you . . . ” in sort of slow way, like you’d talk to a seven-year-old. Elvis is not insulted at all: he doesn’t even say “don’t mention it” or whatever. His hands are in his back pockets or therabouts, and he he laughs a whispered embarrassed, “blushing” laugh while managing a “uh, yeah, uh.” And he sort whispery-giggles some more, but not a loud giggle, a blushing one, and you realize WHY the guy spoke to him in that tone. This was the day of the first night of the live shows. Elvis was so scared, he was ready to run away. The karate thing: I think Steve just wanted him to get some hard physical stuff done so as to get out some of the butterflies. It did not work. But to hear that guy “that – was – very – nice of you . . .” so gingerly, and Elvis acts like a very shy child, and can’t really verbalize a response: just a whispery laugh that sounds “blushing.” And barely some meaningless words: “uh, yeah, uh-huh” with a shy smile. {He’s so tanned, that you probably couldn’t see him blush, I guess.} The guy WAS really talking to a little frightened boy! In ’69, those so-called “B-12 shots” loosened his tongue! But the dirty jokes are mostly pretty Jr. High. And they are CONSTANT! He sounds like a kid, but now like a teen, maybe 20. No more. The music was wild in the beginning: ’68, of course, but also in ’69: I have more stuff! Very powerful. I don’t know if he knew how powerful it was! And that he didn’t need to act so immature. But he just couldn’t help it. His development was stunted by the battering in Hollywood: to have your most cherished dream, one that you worked hard for years, secretly perfecting by watching as many pictures – for free – as you could, to have it turned into a bad joke. How it must have hurt. He knew King Creole was the best, but he did well in “Flaming Star.” Brando, the “political” actor of the ’70s? He turned it down! He denied it was the reason, but at the time, the people on the picture were told that he wanted to avoid “the politics” because of the situation in the country at the time. What hypocrisy! Elvis grabbed it! He wasn’t as “alive” I would say as in King Creole, but he was very, very good: he was on a constant slow burn, and it’s in the script that he doesn’t talk much, but when he does . . .
    The smile on his face when his film “mother” “checks his knuckles” is now clear: his own mother did that all the time; Wertheimer even got off a shot of it once! Whereas before it bugged him, in ’60, he would have given anything for her to do anything at all.
    He got an award from the Los Angeles Tribal Council for the part that Brando didn’t want, and Elvis seemed very, very happy. It’s a lie that it “flopped,” and there’s a book about several special motion pictures of the early ’60s – I think that’s the theme, because the picture did great with teens. Should have made Col. happy, but . . . the teens were black.
    His “serious” career, regardless of that one other picture from ’61, when he got drunk a lot on the set, for real, WAS OVER.
    That article in the Memphis Press-Schimitar must have gotten around or something: I talked to someone about it who is in a position to speculate knowledgably, but I cannot say right now, and this person thinks they targeted him for revenge for what he did on March 13 in Memphis. Not to mention that hot potato picture. They signed him all up in contracts, and just destroyed him.
    How he came back in a damn miracle. Thank God for Steve Binder. He knows what a wonderful thing he did, but he’d like to think he had a career other than that. At one Elvis event about 2 or 3 years ago, he was seated next to Priscilla. Now, she wasn’t happy at that time about him moving in and “camping out” but she told Steve “Steve, I want you to know something: you saved his life. Never forget that.” And he won’t. That he only had nine years to live is hurtful, but he had SOME good times, so Steve should feel like he did a great, great thing.
    Elvis liked girls, period. He really didn’t care that much what the hell they were. But yeah, if they reminded him of his mother, well, it was “a draw.” But he’d go for whomever.
    One thing he could not tolerate, for reasons he did not understand, was a woman who had given birth: especially recently. It was a deadly hang-up.
    He needed help for his speech impediment, and he needed help for his shyness and immaturity that was born of the shyness, and most of all, he needed help with the “birth” situation.
    Drugs were only a symptom, and they really didn’t help that much.
    Sadder still, I keep thinking of how few rock people got off their duffs, stopped whatever they were doing, and came to the funeral. Few, hell. We only know for sure about James Brown. “Dylan” is/was only a rumor. At least he stopped working for a week. What he DID do, we’ll never know.
    But he sure is a sneaky little stinker! That’s for sure.
    Robin

  9. reprindle Says:

    You don’t understand the paragraph you quoted? Well, there’s a disparity in age and experience here. I don’t have your timeline but what I’ve been able to piece together is that you were very young when Thriller hit, perhaps just starting your teens. So in ’77 when Presley died you were from 15-17 only coming out into the world from a very troubled childhood at the beginning of the eighties. You must have gotten your PhD in the late eighties or so.

    So what you lived as lyrics, what are the ephemera that fill your mind are much different than mine. Besides I’m from the North. I have only a sentimental attachment to Dixie and Alabam’. I have no passion to enrich my life by actually visiting the place. I am a sentimental Southerner but a genuine hillbilly, my father’s folks coming down from the hills to Bowling Green.

    A couple two or three pieces of ephemera that form the basis of my psychology are Phil Harris’ That’s What I Like About The South and this tune by Jack Yellin:

    Hello there stranger how do you do
    There’s something I’d like to say to you
    You seem surprised I recognize
    I’m no detective but I just surmise

    You’re from the place I’m longin’ to be
    Your smilin’ face just seems to say to me
    You’re from my homeland my sunny homeland
    tell me, can it be?

    Are you from Dixie I say from Dixie where the fields of cotton beckon to me
    I’m glad to see you, tell me, I’ll be you and the friend I’m longin’ to see
    Are you from Alabam’, Tennesee or Caroline
    Any place below that Mason Dixon Line.
    Are you from Dixie, I say from Dixie ’cause I’m from Dixie too.

    It was back in old ’89
    When I first crossed that Mason Dixon Line
    Gee, but I long to return again
    To those good folks I left behind

    My home was way down in ol’ Alabam’
    On a plantation near Birmingham
    And there’s one thing certain I’m surely flirtin’ With those southbound trains.

    Sounds real authentic don’t it? Yellin was a Jew from Lithuania who arrived on these favored shores about 1903 at the age of five. By 1915 the time Birth Of A Nation was released he was writing lyics like Dixie. Phenomenal transformation what? While Yellin isn’t as well remembered as Irving Berlin he wrote better songs and quite a few of really important songs from the twenties too.

    And then of course there’s Alabammy Bound that I learned from Lonnie Donegan. I always thought it was a genuine folk song but it turns out that it was written in 1909 probably by another Jew. Phil Harris was Jewish too by the way. So you see how much of my personal culture has been filtered through the minds of Jews. Does that make me Jewish? Let’s just Say I have as much right to call myself Jewish as any Jew.

    I’m Alabammy bound,
    I’m Alabammy bound,
    If this train don’t stop and turn around
    I’m Alabammy bound.

    Yeah, the preacher preach
    He pass his hat around
    Sayin’ Brothers and Sisters
    Leave your money to me
    I’m Alabammy bound. etc.

    And finally there’s the song that Cowboy Copas wrote and save his career: I’m on my way to Alabam’.

    So that’s me, Dixie and Alabam’. I consider myself more a Southerner than a Northerner but I lack actual Southern culture. Everything I got I got from those little radios. Doesn’t change anything.

    Back to your quote. Elvis sang: You may go to college, you may go to school but don’t you be nobody’s fool. Check that against Leroy Van Dyke’s The Auctioneer. Auctioneering is another kind of con. Going to Auctioneer school makes you sharper than the fools you deal with. It’s all a con.

    Avoiding being a fool is a serious problem in anyone’s life. No one wants to be someone else’s dupe but that’s exactly what Elvis was. He was Parker’s fool. Baffled everyone. Parker was a carny. Carnys fleece fools with their fixed games. Even if you offered a carny a fool proof no lose honest game he would still fix it because his identity comes from feeling superior by considering everyone else a fool and demonstrates that truth by fixing games they think no one sees through.

    I had heard the story of Parker’s hypnotism but if what Goldman says is true Parker was frightening and truly criminal. If he hypnotized the Guys to crawl around his office on all fours in imitation of animals during office hours he was truly evil.

    If he did hypnotize Elvis then Elvis was no fool and he was not responsible for his actions. His career then has to be viewed as a manipulated marionnette who was unable to resist his manager’s will. Elvis must have been in constant reaction to Parker’s impositions.

    It make me sick to my stomach to even think of this. But then I told you my Denny Miller-Barbra Streisand story. Crime is the natural state of man. One must learn to arm and armor oneself as quickly as possible.

  10. R M Says:

    Most important things first, then I’ll tweak the timeline a little {you got SOOO close, but you forgot when “Thriller” happened because Michael Jackson had TWO TOTALLY separate careers: one as a young child with that soaring child’s soprano, and one as an adult contratenor who nevertheless could swoop into a low moan that seemed to come straight outta the Delta. On account of his childhood exposure to the likes of Jackie Wilson and such. See, when I was a child, and my life had no center of gravity at ALL, I knew I could turn on that TV, and this young kid would BE THERE! My uncle died in 1973, ironically at age 50, when Michael OD’d. My uncle smoked himself to death, and I saw the cartons of cigs to prove it: no room for clothes, since all the drawers in his bedroom were filled with cartons of Marlboro or something. Well, that was the year Michael sang “Ben” at the Oscars. Also the year Brando pulled that ridiculous stunt, that I now know is pure hypocrisy. I was in my Uncle’s house, having flown up from Atlanta with my folks: I was still a kid, of course, but I was a bit older than my doomed young cousin Rhonda, who later died at 20 or a heart malfunction. My dad had to take the old dog to be put down, because of arthritis and his “pops”: my uncle had died and nobody wanted the old pooch. He used to be scary when I was a tot, but by then he was pathetic. My dad made the mistake of saying what he’d had to do, and my poor little sweet cousin burst into tears. I was dispatched to comfort her. She quickly became embarrassed, and was so mature for one so young and in deep trouble herself: she had to know she would not live very long. Middle aged at 10 is what she had been, dammit. So we were there for the week, and while the adults mourned downstairs, aided by MUCH booze – well, not my parents, but some of ’em, my cousin had been taken home with her brother, and my other cousins were older, and so I just didn’t fit in at all. I went upstairs to watch the Oscars. And amid all that tragedy {shoot, it was the first time I’d ever seen a dead body: I started to faint! I never want to smell those “salts” in my life! Never, ever again will I ever let ’em do that to me. Anyway, the whole thing was traumatic in many ways, and when I went upstairs to my Uncle’s bedroom {his wife had previously run off with a neighbor: life in the blue-collar ‘burbs}, and sho’ nuff, THERE HE WAS!!! To cheer in my lonliness and confusion. This kid singing a love song so passionately to a RAT! I mean, it like sealed it for me: Michael would always BE THERE, no matter WHERE I was, or what was going on. “Thriller,” ten years on, was icing on the cake! Yeah, I was somewhat younger than him – nothing to write home about, though. Everyone from 2-28, I gaged, was caught in the swirl of the magic carpet. It was, hell, damn FUN! But he wasn’t that same kid anymore. But I felt a lot like him: he was shy, afraid of the freeways, pretty friendless . . . I could really relate. He’d changed, sure, but still, by God, he was THERE! After “Thriller” I met a lot of fans, well, that’s another story. I thought he’d always be there throughout my life: as a kind of light in the darkness, always. And then BAM! In ’93, they first raided Neverland. And on it went ’till the end. I’m not ashamed to say I screamed in horror when CNN “called it.” I was on the phone wih another fan, and we were both in wails of greif. He attracted a lot of people who had rough lives, which is interesting.
    Enough. I don’t want to think about it anymore. You got it just about right on other counts.
    I am a true “transplanted Yankee,” but I was a kid, see? So, I picked up the accent, the love of the food, the music, the FEEL of the culture. And one day, in I think it was ’73, Elvis had played either Atlanta or Auburn, and this girl had seen the show. We were in “the old girls’ lounge” which was to be destroyed by “the new lounge” which had great hamburgers! Anyway, the girls she knew: she was a snobby one: a “passive-aggressive bully” who would look RIGHT THROUGH YOU as if you did not exist, and to her, I didn’t. Like I was an insect or something. They made sure you felt it: trust me on this. Girls have a variety of styles of hurting other kids: not necessarily as violent {although in like 6th grade, I got beat up by a gang of about 6 or 7 girls, on a continuous basis, and when my mom saw the bruises, and went to complain, they said “it’s a part of growing up: they have to work it out for themselves.” I was removed from school until we briefly moved back to NY, well, Long Island. I was soon uprooted once more, back down south. Anyway, I soon ended up in Atlanta. And stayed in the deep south almost ’till I was 22. So “Thriller” happened shortly therafter! But I was a stone, hard Elvis fan! You can be both, shoot. I only learned later that they had met, and especially that he sent Jerry and Myrna, and told Myrna to introduce Lisa to Michael, to explain “he’s the kid in the cartoon you like” but that kids grow, as you are growing, but he’s not grown yet, but someday you’ll BOTH be grown. Ladeeda. Myrna did it, with Jerry by her side. Michael was like “out-of-it” by that age, already, and thought the two of them were “security.” {eyes rolling} He wouldn’t have known what a “gospel singer” is, anyhow. Jehovah’s Witness, you know. But Lisa knew them both: they were as close as family, and Myrna was dear to Lisa, especially as a child. Elvis, to her by that time, was like Jerry’s brother, really, that’s how she still sees it. Myrna was the only one of his performing troupe to go literally crazy when they told them. They got them off the plane in like Utah or someplace, and the guy said, “everybody MUST get off, because I can only say this once.” Myrna was annoyed at having to deplane: she said later “I had blinders on, or something.” To be so shocked. But she started not only sobbing, but shouting and running, RIGHT IN FRONT OF AIRPLANES! They got a doctor from the airport, who sedated her for her own safety, and she went to her mother’s home for a while. She was totally a wreck. Her mother said: “he wasn’t actually ‘family,’ Myrna; why are you like this?” Myrna tried to explain, but there was no way. See, in the very beginning, you can SEE, even in That’s The Way It Is, that SHE was treated differently by Elvis: he focused on her, played all his little pranks, and the conversation was mostly with her. She’s the one with the “long hair” in the film. And she certainly was smitten. Right in the beginning: ’69, he did that “do you want to dance” thing that had him shaking all over. And his eyes danced with terror. We’ll never really know, but I have the evidence that it was surely not because of her melanin count. She had recently given birth, and it’s just a fact: you can ask Priscilla or any number of females: he had a serious psychological problem. He didn’t see Priscilla give birth or anything! It wasn’t that. It was something in his HEAD: some kind of memory. I’m not sure it’s necessarily related to the trauma when he was 7. That could be: he blood on him and everything. But I’ve read the complete works of Freud, and much psychoanalysis: I did 1/3 of my orals on Freud and psychoanalysis. I re-analyzed the famous “Five Cases.” And said why I thought the “Rat Man” was the only one cured. I still believe I’m right. It’s seems so obvious, shoot.
    But I know my stuff in that department. And a problem doesn’t have to be “obvious” in its cause. I totally reject the “sleeping together” mythology. That’s pretty standard among the southern poor, the very poor. Could be what happened when he was 7. But what concerns me are those boarding houses when he was still a very small 13, and all those creeps in the building. Vernon had been warned, and of anybody, he should have understood! He was an ex-con! And he’s putting his curious, risk-taking-by-nature ‘tween in such a dangerous environment. What if he told only his mother? And she blamed him? That was SOOOOO typical before, oh, the ’80s, shoot. Marilyn Monroe was in a similar boarding house, and an aunt or somebody, slapped her when she said one of the single male boarders had assualted her, if you get my drift. We know now that boys are AT LEAST in as much danger as girls from this kind of abuse: out-of-family, I mean, from the stats, first pointed out by Nicholas Groth, and then by almost every other study. And Elvis, being a ‘tween, would actually be in MORE danger than little Billy! Because that’s the age. Duh, I studied a certain popular singer with a BIIIIIIGGGGGGG problem! Initials, M.J. And I am NOT stupid: I loved the guy, but I did not love his conduct, or condone it in any way. He just didn’t know what the hell he was doing because of what that monster of a father did to him: since his, well, death, we know even MORE, and it was worse than anything La Toya ever told! I can’t even write it.
    But I am qualified to know that a smallish 13-year-old from the countryside, who was surrounded by protection where he lived in the N. Green St. area: where every adult was considered a “parent” or at least would do an “assist.” When that old guy caught Elvis sneaking around the juke joints “late,” you better believe he dragged him to his mama!
    Memphis was quite different. I can’t find anywhere that he had a stutter in Tupelo, and on arrival, had a shouting match with the music teacher: “you just don’t appreciate my style of singin’!” So she said: “bring your guitar and really show me, then.” Then she put him down with “you’re right. I DON’T appreciate you’re style of singing!” The little man-child said he “failed music” but the record does not reflect it! At some point, according to Gladys’s sister Lilian, who had NO reason to lie, said he was moved over to The Christine School, and one book has some information to support this: it was torn down since “Special Ed.” programs began in the ’60s. So, it was a “special Ed.” arm of Humes! That’s why the report card doesn’t mention it: it wouldn’t be good for a young kid’s record, and it wasn’t held against ’em, like they do today. But she said it was only for a period of time. Not that long. I don’t think his argument with the music teacher was the reason: he showed spunk is all. Soon, he had “spunk,” but he couldn’t talk: he used his fists! The Tupelo Elvis didn’t like fighting at all! This is established fact. So, something “silenced” him. And THAT would be a REAL reason for a “special” program – for a while. I’ve real Maya Angelou’s “I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings”: an assault of an intimate nature when she was a girl silenced her for several years, but she then learned to speak with the faux-fancy accent. “Caged Bird Sings.” Ain’t that Elvis? After all?
    Parker saw a trouble boy from a very poor family with problems, which goes along with their station in life. HE DIDN’T HAVE TO HYPNOTIZE ELVIS; ALL HE HAD TO DO WAS FRIGHTEN HIM! His father was an ex-con {Fraud! A few bucks worth, but who would care about the difference. His mother was an alcoholic: for a woman in the fifties, this was considered SHAME! Also happened IN MEMPHIS. They stayed in some horrible places. And if something bad happened to her little boy, you bet she’d drink! But it was a “Terrible, Shameful, Secret.” And Elvis ALWAYS was using drugs, as soon as he started singing, and that’s pretty much acknowledged now, except by the True Believers. And he got into some trouble, undoubtedly involving his fists, as a teen: one incident we know about. Gov. Clement’s son will TELL YOU the consequences: in the fifties, Parker knew because he got all the files on the Presleys out of the state’s vaults somehow. Clement elbowed him at the ’57 soiree that Elvis kept hid, except for the tux, which people tell diff. stories about, but the truth is he was going to the Gov.’s Mansion, where Bragg and group were also performing. It was a BIG thing, but a “quite” thing, too. He sang “Jailhouse Rock” with the Prisonnaires! Had a ball. But Bragg heard the Gov.’s “joking elbowing” of the Col.: “**I** should have discovered him!” Bragg went over to Elvis and asked what on Earth was THAT remark all about? Elvis said something about a “part-time” thing on a highway trash pick-up crew one summer. Bragg didn’t want to pry any further. But the author of the book didn’t let it rest: he confronted Clement’s son. He told him it was absolutely true, although he didn’t know why. And it WAS “part-time.” He was permitted to work for money, too, as it was desperately needed.
    Elvis once said that when he was very young, he “had a hard way to go.” He wasn’t just talking about ’55! And in about ’56, he passed out cold for the SECOND TIME in two years: it’s even in the Dick Clark film, but attributed to “exhaustion,” a malady only entertainers suffer from, as I understand it. {grim grin}
    But first, he told the Carter sisters, who paid the bill in ’55: the hospital bill, that he wasn’t “really” sick the night before at all: “I was just sweet on Anita, and I wanted to be in her arms.” Helen Carter, in their book, sounds like she bought it! Or she’s covering for him, too. Hell, there was a damn bill! And a night stay!
    Happened again the next time, but this time, right in front of Bill Black. {Was he the notorious “snitch” who West mentioned on that old Mike Douglas show? The one who got Elvis in trouble with Mama? Who threw an iron at him? Elvis was furious at whoever it was who called Sam Phillips and said “he’s too young for this: you’d better have a talk with his Daddy.” Which Phillips dutifully did. Elvis was PISSED OFF. The dedicated Elfans refuse to believe the long-held story that on this trip to the hospital, his stomach was pumped. Since, it happened the year before, too, it sure corroborates it, plus Bill told reporters, and it’s in St. Peter’s book! that Elvis just “went down.” Out cold: boom! As to what happened in the hospital, well, in ’55, no one said his stomach was pumped. I don’t know. People were saying all kindsa things about him, but his use of uppers is agreed upon among reporters today, pretty much. Well, St. Peter, I dunno. But others, absolutely. Virtually ALL others. It sounds like he “crashed.” Twice. Once per year. He started gaining weight through ’56. I think he stopped for a while because maybe he caught holy hell for the incident. Just look at the pictures. Skinny in ’55, in very early ’56 {and I saw a rare look at the VERY first performance of “Heartbreak Hotel” with that awful solo by a Dorsey Bro. and Elvis is WAY skinner than he would be just a little while later.
    Then, in ’57, when he got “miserable” on Jailhouse Rock, and after, well, he’s skinny again! After the draft notice, he got almost a little belly on King Creole! And when he had to get nearly naked on camera at the induction into the Army. He was pudgy, a bit. It’s like you can see his weight starting to see-saw, even back then, in the “terminal acne” days.
    Of course, when he got back from the army, he became a stick figure. Worse on that Sinatra Timex thing than when he first got home! He was gobbling those things like candy! He was so skinny, he’d almost give – never mind Sinatra – Michael Jackson a run for his money! The tux they’d made was falling off of him!!!!!! He gained a little for “Flaming Star,” but in the first couple of years, was pretty skinny: too skinny. Not like the gaunt figure on the Sinatra show, or when he opened in Vegas on July 31, 1969, when he looked truly GAUNT, and not like on the ’68 special, when he was trim, but healthy. Steve was TOTALLY in charge of that show, and if he saw him not eating, he would have put slammin’ foot down as to what in hell was goin’ on! He said he saw NO drug abuse on set, but he didn’t mention that Elvis says, plainly, on June 30, the last day, that he got stinkin’ drunk the night before, and Steve sounded furious {and Steve had a hard time sounding furious: he’s one of the most mild-mannered “dictator-directors” you could imagine, but when he heard the word “drunk,” he lost it: told the female dancer, after he said “GREAT! JUST TERRIFIC!” at what Elvis had said, he told the dancer to “move to your right.” Well, if she did, she’d cross a “double yellow line” on a faux “highway” which everybody laughed at. Steve, still collecting himself, said “to your left.” The black guy who can do Karate, and is BUILT, that dancer, says “PLEASE, don’t anybody say DRUNK!” These people had to work with Steve after that day! Elvis was done. They didn’t appreciate getting him upset, or him asking them if THEY “led him astray” which is ridiculous, of course. Another dancer answered Elvis: “well, you won’t get drunk again.” Elvis retorts: “yeah, you’re right, it scared me.” He got drunk again: even told the filmmakers on That’s The WAY IT IS: “Straight Vodka: good for ya!” After he took a big gulp of what appeared to be firewater the way he winced and clenched his teeth.
    Was Elvis a “fool”: of course not. See, he knew he was being a “fool,” and that kinda cancels it out! “I would get physically ill! I would get violently ill!” he said of the worst of the film years. This, in ’72, with Schilling staring at him. Elvis and Vernon didn’t HAVE to be “hypnotized.” He had them with cold fear. They felt like the lowest trash: Elvis felt himself a “squirrel, just outta the trees.” A rodent. Lower than the lowest. And in that pornographic language he used on “The Prisoner’s Song” {apt, perhaps}, a rodent get vengeance! A raccoon sexually assaults “the man in the moon.” In some way: I don’t know what his expression means: does it mean the “s” word for an unnatural act? Or is he talking about something that grows on stalks, and that some people make into pipes? Smokinig pipes. ???????? Something to do with “corn.” I will not say the rest of the word. Yuck. Think of hairdresser Sal’s last name. That about does it. That’s what the rodent is gonna do to the man in the moon. Where the hell did he learn something this vile? Was it Vernon’s experiences at Parchman, or, more horrifyingly, perhaps his own? HE, after all, calls himself a rodent.
    The sad part of that session was that Jerry Reed, and some of the other musicians refused to work with him again. He seemed like an out-of-control “wayward youth” and they wanted no part of it. Priscilla was VERY pregnant at the time, interestingly enough. And the week his child is born, his father has the muscle to get him to sign over “durable power of attorney” meaning that legally, Vernon IS Elvis, in every legal sense. He could have locked him up at will for the dope situation.
    So, if you want to know what Elvis and Vernon were fighting over, well, it was Vernon’s power, and Elvis’s deeper descent into drugs just after Jimi/Janis. No matter what story Priscilla comes up with, and it’s been more than one. Did he threaten to DO IT? To actually lock him up, after O’Grady’s first report? Whatever happened after Priscilla left, and no one can know because they both died, whatever happened was profoundly humiliating to Elvis, and made him feel powerless. So he crashed the White House. I always thought, because Priscilla got physically frightened, and felt in danger, that Vernon just hauled off and smacked him, but I think it may have been a lot worse than that. He was used to his mother doing that: I don’t think he would react so madly. I think Vernon said “you’ve had it, boy: I’m NOT gonna let you go out like those two other rock ‘n’ roll people! Your time is UP! YOU ARE GOING TO THE SCRIPPS CLINIC whether you like it or not!” O’Grady had advised that all along, by the way. It was NOT a nice place, and Betty Ford thought her idea of a more humane setting would be more helpful. And the rest of that is history. Part of her decision, I think, is that Elvis’s father had no “humane” place at the time to put his son. In ’70, Scripps was more like a prison. Got better, and better after Betty, sure, but back then, it was NOT good at all.
    I think Elvis panicked. You can see the redness in his eyes: he wasn’t just crying over a silly badge. He was desperate and needed “protection.” He was very dissapointed with the badge he DID get, but he learned to live with it, and kinda pretend it was the real thing. Always kept it on the bed in hotels/motels, just in case. He could flash it. Thought that would protect him.
    So, no, “hypnotism” was not necessary. The Col. had enough blackmail to ride his back for a long, long, long time.
    What the Presley’s didn’t know, is that Col. had the biggest secrets of all.
    Besides, Elvis was too ornery to hypnotize, especially if he knew the Col. played these games. Shoot, I think Charlie would bark like a dog WITHOUT hypnotism: he was pathetic. And Lamar was not afraid of the Col. He stared him down more than once: the guy was 300 pounds! Much younger than the Col., then, of course. “The Great Speckled Bird.” He may be a big mouth, but he could take care of himself, and others. That’s why Elvis gave Lamar to Bob Dylan and his two buddies. If they needed protection, he could do it.
    But no one could protect Elvis from his own father, except that the Col. was always mixing in where HE DID NOT BELONG. Vernon was so afraid of him. If only, he’d fired him and Nick, just did it, and let Elvis get knocked out on a large bottle of cough syrup {so popular at that time, and Elvis did it all the time, almost killing himself and a girl in ’71}, and then just spirit him away to San Diego. Rough as it was then.
    Elvis, as a teen, despite or because of his speech problem, did turn into a “bad” kid: the music saved him. He did things he knew were wrong and/or foolish. And as a young man in a time of wild behavior vs. govt. crackdown, well, he should have been stopped for his own good. He pulled hustles all his life because he WAS a street kid, but the Nixon thing was shameful: not for Elvis, necessarily, but for Nixon, who could see that this young man was, as he later called him “a junkie” and yet he gave him some of what he wanted and gave him a sense of invincibility. When he came back with that silly thing, Vernon felt “trumped.” So he did not act then, or even in ’73. By the last couple years, it was a lost cause.
    All anyone one can say, even about themselves, after these 3 decades or so: “I can’t believe it! I can’t believe I’m alive! But it doesn’t seem right. OH! WHERE ARE YOU TONIGHT?!”
    That ends the album: a totally unrelated cry of pain, sadness, survivor guilt: Dylan captured what everyone SHOULD have felt at the time, but what most did not feel. All that crap about “guess my youth is over” and all that jazz. No concern for the human being whose life got flushed down the drain.
    I don’t care what anyone says about Bob: he cared in ’67, when Elvis was going insane over those damn films, and he cared when the end came, deeply: walked right out of the studio, without A WORD! The musicians all agree!
    I guess he was angry, but at who? He didn’t really know. Just angry, hurt, every emotion. HIS whole life was saved because of that “mute” kid from Memphis {I’m quote Elvis’s classmates, who routinely call him “mute” and Sam Phillips, who said “hell, he couldn’t even TALK!”}, and now he just dropped dead with a little girl, and a relatively young “grandpa” who would die soon after his son, and Elvis’s grandma, who would die after HER son. Like dominoes. She, at least, had a full life. Elvis had a youth. He didn’t have a maturity, much less an “elderly” period or whatever you want to call it. He had the first two decades of adulthood. And even that, most of the end was muddled, totally. He was gone by the time he walked into the Oval Office. Just 35 years old, and so frightened and confused.
    No. The Col. didn’t need “hypnotism.” He had found a troubled family who happened to have a teenager, then, who was a genius. It was the perfect “mark” for a devil. Not just a carny; a DEVIL!
    So, yeah, when Lisa reached out to to a guy Myrna introduced her to, who called her from Spain in her hour of deepest darkness, she did it out of sheer love and compassion. And when the rubber met the road at his “real” funeral, the private one, she was the one who grabbed a sobbing mother in her arms.
    So, Elvis wasn’t the greatest father, but he wasn’t the worst.
    Trouble is, she’s the same age as he was when he went: and the first song she’s written since MJ’s death is called “Weary.” She’s weary of all that death. “Oh! WHERE ARE YOU TONIGHT!” How often she must have said those words over the past three decades.
    Robin
    P.S. — I may have “missed” the sixties in a real sense, but I know how important that era remains. To all our histories. Even if I AM a southerner, and you just feel like one. {At least visit for the food!}

  11. reprindle Says:

    The Presley thing is becoming very complex. I stumbled on some Australian Presley site that had a couple video interviews with Parker and a video lecture by Guralnik on Parker.

    I could hardly believe Guralnik’s take on Parker. He seemed to take Parker at face value while ignoring any negative comment about him.

    Are you familiar with the site and have you seen the videos?

  12. reprindle Says:

    I can’t tell you how disturbed I am by Goldman’s Elvis. Not because of Goldman who, no matter what his early intentions might have been, became gradually overwhelmed by the magnitude of the defrauding of Elvis but by the evidence he is inadvertantly giving of the crime of Parker and all involved.

    I can only reconcile Guralnik’s version of Parker by collusion, hypnotism of Guralnik himself, or some nefarious plan of Guralnik’s own.

    I think it quite possible that Parker did arrange the induction of Elvis into the army. If the judge of the estate in Memphis actually accused Parker and RCA of collusion to defraud Presley then it is probable that Parker wanted Elvis out of the country to arrange the subsequent abuse of the young innocent both at RCA and in Hollywood.

    As Parker was a hypnotist the wildest conjectures concerning he and Presley may be true. Quite possible Parker suggested in hypnotic trance that Presley become reliant on drugs, especially the hypnotics. This would reduce Presley’s ability to resist Parker. All I can say is that there is something very wrong here and the judge in Memphis spotted it. I would say that that is the starting point for unraveling the mystery.

    I feel so awful that it might as well be the day Elvis died, or should I say, was murdered. Lennon is probably right. Parker must be the epitome of evil.

  13. reprindle Says:

    Oh, c’mon Robin. Fear of what? Flying? What fear? Getting drafted again. That’s a real one, terrified me for years. I’ve go stories on that one. Was Elvis afraid Parker would reveal he once wet the bed? What?

  14. RM Says:

    FEAR: what may seem “ridiculous” to you and me, was absolutely the most real thing in the world to Elvis and Vernon. I shall list.
    No “betwetting” – at least until he was so stoned that he actually did and bragged on it: “all she had was this LITTLE TINY part to sleep on, but she didn’t want to tell me! Hell, we were both stoned on pot, but I guess I did a little more . . . ” He BRAGGED on that one. So we’ll pass.
    The serious fears:
    I suppose NUMBER ONE has to be “YOUR MOTHER WAS A DRUNK!” This terrified Elvis, ’cause he couldn’t deal with it: in women, they used to call it “dipsomania” because of “secret dips.” It was “shameful” for young boy or young man for people to know his mother had a drinking problem. Because back then, it was “SHAME”! Especially for women.
    2. Vernon was on a chain gang for FRAUD. Would the fifties, or even 70s public understand? I don’t know. A CHAIN GANG. This always made them feel “low” but when fame struck, they really kinda panicked, especially because YOU KNOW that the Col. made it his business to dig up EVERYTHING. And threaten them with it. Elvis was repeated accused of “formenting juvenile delinquency.” His father being an ex-chain gang member was NOT helpful, and he always taunted them with the cardboard props from “Jailhouse Rock.” You REALLY should read a copy of Elaiin Dundy’s book. She’s like about 90 now, with a bit of Parkinson’s, but she’s still a pistol of an ole gal! She HELPED ME with my autobiograph. She said I should go to Gary, Indiana, but I chose his mother’s roots in East Alabama, which was very interesting to me. Because his mother was the one who let the horrible stuff happen, wouldn’t get divorced, officially, and still won’t. I felt I needed to understand HER. Eventually, she agreed. I spoke to some interesting people, and an old lady ran us off, saying: “we’ll all get sued!” Now, I knew that they had serious secrets. It went on from there. She’s a nice lady, and smart.
    And SHE, so far, wrote the best Elvis book! The situation with Vernon is more or less CENTRAL the way she sees it. And she was all over Tupelo, so perhaps she knows how much it meant TO THEM.
    3) Gov. Clement, Johnny Bragg, Col., of course, and most significantly today, Clement’s SON, all said Elvis got into some juvie trouble, and was assigned to a clean-up crew on the highway: 78/Poplar. I guess it was the time he beat the crap out of the other usher. If MY kid came home beat up that bad by another boy, I think I would call the cops. And this is apparently what happened. Chet Flippo was hired to do an “authorized” text to a coffee table book on Graceland in the ’80s. He OPENED the book with this already known story, but wondered why no movied EVER mentions it. He thought the scent poignent of Elvis out in the cold, his “uniform” as an movie usher taken away. Priscilla HAD A COW! Pulled the book. I have a copy! Yahoo! But the vehemance of her reaction says that this incident always incited fear. After all, he was supposed to be “causing juvenile delinquency” but the image was “straight, clean, life”: no smokeing, drinking, or anothing.
    “Bossa Nova Baby” was a hit song, and had the line “drink, drink, drink, oh fiddle-dee-dink, I can dance with a drink in my hand!” It was cut out. His image had to be, at least until the late ’60s, and even then, they were careful, pristine! The Beatles came with a great variety of “smokes.” Elvis LOVED his cigarillos, of course, but he had to say “no thanks” ’cause Col. was THERE, as was there keeper. Dylan sang, in Goin’ To Acapulco,” “If someone offers me a JOKE, I just say “no thanks.” Then, oddly, “I tried to tell it like it is, and keep away from PRANKS.” Makes no sense at first. Elvis loved prankes and jokes. So, what was he doing? Easy, you just replace Joke with Toke, and PRanks, with Tanks, both the letter “T” and now it makes perfect sense. Why do it like this? Well, to keep it a BIT of a parlor game, at least a little. But he then refused to unleash the song, even to the bootleggers. What is the significance of the letter “T”: I don’t know! I have wondered about the CHOICE of the “Elvis Film”: “Fun in Acapulco.” And then I realized that it could have another layer of meaning: the film, of course, but also, “Acapulco Gold”: NO ONE IN THE PUBLIC knew there had been a bust at Graceland in ’64! Over “Acapulco Gold” through the Sebring Ring. This was ’67, only just 3 years hence, and Jerry said Dylan called “every few months.” So, clearly, he found out about the bust, and maybe even the “Jesus Hoax” that followed, as they were still going after him. In fact, I think it proves that Dylan knew some of Elvis’s then-darkest personal “secrets”: that he was JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE, but pretended otherwise. He smooked pot, dropped Acid, gulped pep pills like crazy {Gram Parsong’s Grievous Angel” from 74! Well, I think Dylan knew much earlier. Oh, and those “happies”: the pain pills from dentists. Before Nick, that’s all he indulged in narcotics, as far as I know. But by ’67, Elvis had his “I’ll copy Dylan and have an ‘accident'” already, and was taking HARD STUFF through Nick. And there was NO “scheduled drugs” yet! That came in late ’70, and soonafter, Elvis crashed the White House, in search of his Holy Grail Badge. But in ’67, he was already becoming a hard-core narcotics addict, and it was SO EASY. If Bob knew about the pep pills, the pot busts, one of which was a set-up {and you KNOW Elvis set the damn thing up!} of the cops: “maybe it’ll teach those cops something.” On the ’68 special, for some reason, between imitating “Wolfman Jack,” he goes “oink, oink, oink,” which was a hippy rallying cry, of course. Another time, he was shooting the bull with the black Karate dude, and the LEAD choreographer: the one who did “the dance of greif” that you have probably seen many times before the “Gospel Medley” Elvis goes “LOUD AND PROUd!” as if HE were black, which is, of course insane, but he had his moments, always. But “oink, oink, oink.”: hell, there were tee-shirts back then with that on it! Elvis, before John O’Grady, generally was terrified of cops, but put as many as he could in his pocket. He never seemed sure yet, though. That he had “conrold.” And he was wrong, ’cause he had no control: in the mid-70s, he almost got stung. And I don’t mean the song.
    What else: DRUGS!!!!!!!!! That girl he almost killed with the cough medicine. The incident with the dead Japanese Garderner for which Richard was fired. And Elvis was whisked out of state before the ambulence even came!
    God! Elvis lived in FEAR! And the Col. saw how terrified Vernon was of his own shadow, and he undoutedly pushed him HARD. Vernon took control of Elvis, legall, the week Lisa was born. At that time, the Gardener’s family was probably suing, and Vernon had to handle to the legal details and signatures, and such. And he wanted more knowledge and control of his son’s life from the late ’66 “accident” onward. By early ’68, when he took control, Elvis was just about BROKE. And under siege. And the wife was not told, ever, about the state of the finances for fear of losing her at that time. She didn’t know anything ’till after his death about the money. Vernon kept her out of it, and she was usually pretty cheap, anyway. But she DID manage to purchase a $400,000 house in the hills in Cali., shortly before the baby was born, and before Vernon had legal control. Elvis was getting little income from the films, and NONE, practically from records, and she does THIS! She didn’t know.
    In Dec., ’67 in when Johnny Bragg remembers the strange mororbike visit to his Granny’s house, where he was on parole. He finally had money in the bank from his early records! Elvis knew this. It’s so easy to read between the lines, it’s ridiculous. He said Elvis “used to be so generous.” Now, HE was the one complaining about “moochers” at him, and how he wanted to “shoot them” and it’s clear he was hitting up for a loan. And I think he got it. In ’71, he told Escott that he needed to see Elvis about “a loan.” Escott thought he just wanted it for no good reason. Hell, he just wanted his money BACK, now that Elvis was back in the black. Elvis was, I guess, embarrassed, and avoided him, which he never did before, and Johnny never asked for money before: in fact he turned down the offer of a lawyer and all whatnot in ’60! It’s clear why Elvis went to Nashville to see his old friend from the earliest days at Sun: he was ashamed at Christmastime. A baby was on the way. And he was swimming in red ink. The staff was thinned way out. And I think he had problems with Christmas, which was always a time for him to “play Santa” with EVERYONE, but in ’67, he didn’t have that Christmas cash. I wonder how many people he hit up! May explain the lack of people at his funeral! How could he even want to remember that embarrassing time.
    James Brown either was not “hit up” or he didn’t care: Jackie would have given him anything, and later, Elvis LITERALLY gave Jackie the shirt off his back, and I got the pictures to prove it!
    That “matching outfit” his cousin made for him and Sheila Ryan. Elvis gave his to Jackie. He had little more than a year to live, but no one knew, least of all Jackie.
    And Jackie would not have asked for ANYTHING back! Not with Elvis. If ever two men could “love” each other, non-sexually, this was a “love thing.” Like brothers. Not “soul brothers”: the real kind.
    Johnny, oh the other hand, needed that money back: I don’t think he wanted to bug him, but he expected that he’d pay him back. He didn’t understand how humiliated it made him feel. Frankie would have given Elvis whatever he needed: he was always VERY generous, but he’d never let you forget it, either. It wasn’t about the monetary value of the car: Sinatra could care less. It was that a deal was made with the company, Elvis knew it, and somehow got the damn car. There can be no other way to look at it: he stole it! For the joy of doing so! And Frank gave him a kick in the ass by destroying the car. He did not “want” it: he wanted him to know that you don’t do stuff like that to people. By that time, Sinatra felt very “fatherly” toward Elvis, and took great interest in his doings. “Softly As I Leave You” terrified him, and he brought the writer/translator with him to a show to sit there and shake his head “no” when Elvis was saying “a true story.” Hey, it’s cool to make up something: that’s called songwriting, but to pretend it was actually true when it wasn’t, and it was so morbid as to be frightening, well, it scared Frank: he knew Elvis was thinking of dying in ’74.
    No one really knew how close to death he was in ’67 and ’68. Well, not many. Priscilla knew. And clarly, from those songs, Dylan knew. “And life is brief.” He had enough contact, through whatever means, to know, in ’67, that Elvis was near death. He wouldn’t even release “Acapulco”! He knew.
    Steve Binder made a miracle happen. And Priscilla has told him so.
    But secrets, oh God, once one got stale, Elvis would get in another chunk of trouble, and the Col. had this unending supply, it seemed. Drove his father nuts. He tried to wrest conrol, but that was impossible, really. One of the “traitors” said, simply, about “protecting him,”: “his father couldn’t do it.” Which means he tried and failed.
    Fro the Col., it was all good, good, good. From the Presley’s point of view, it was terrifying, if not necessarily for Elvis, who got more and more out of control, than for Vernon, who was always scared.
    Get the FIRST Wertheimer book: I think ’79: in it, you’ll see Vernon in the pool: Elvis kept pushing him. It’s a horrible scene: his back is against the pool, which has not much water, his fists are tight, his thumbs sticking down, stiffly. He looks mortified. HIS BACK! He rarely went shirtless. And this camera guy kept snapping away. Parchman Farm: the lash of the “20th Century Slave Plantation.” It’s a matter of historical record, and Dundy speaks of it. I think others, too. Not St. Peter, of course.
    All of these these things may seem like no big deal to us. But to them, it all hovered like a cloud. Gladys’s illness, was I think, stoked by her fears. Fear of discovery, of so many things. Things that don’t seem so big, but were, to them.
    Like Elvis said: “you never walked in that man’s shoes, or saw things through his eyes.”
    Even without this knowledge, I remember in school, after Elvis died, but before Vernon did, at dinner time, sitting with the chatting girls, and not listening: I was thinking of that man in Tennessee who was quoted ’round the world: “my baby’s dead, my baby’s dead” over and over.
    When he died, I felt mixed emotions: it was said as he was just 63, and just turned 63: much too young to DIE, but I also realized that his torment was over. I don’t know why, but it his me so very hard. He’d lost his only baby who had survived birth. This meant so MUCH to him! When he looked at Elvis, he never saw a child, or a teen, or a young man who should have become a GROWN MAN, for real, but never quite could manage it: he always saw the baby he left in Tupelo when he went to Parchman. That’s all he ever saw.
    Maybe he was partly to blame for trying so hard to “take control” and trying so hard to “protect” him and failing. I don’t think either parent EVER let him try to grow up. Gladys can be somewhat forgiven: he was only 23. But Vernon should have demanded that he GROW UP and face the consequences.
    It was those consequences he feared. In the end, it all failed: he died because he had never been raised to live. He was always treated like a baby, and he was happy to oblige. “Daddy” handled everything; daddy even owned Graceland ’till the day HE died. Always, he had the deed. Priscilla, when she asked for more child support, had to deal with Vernon! And she said she had no idea of the financial situation. Sometimes Elvis like to pretend that the money was “his” but legally, it never really was.
    They suffocated him, I guess. They loved him so much that he had no room to grow. No place to fall on his face. When it came to that with “the Bodyguard Book” it killed him. This was something no one could answer for, but himself. And he had no clue as to how.
    Priscilla should have found a good marriage couselor, and taken it from there. She didn’t need any help, but he sure did.
    Steve told him “I don’t think your strong enough” when Elvis said he wasn’t gonna let the Col. run him around anymore. He was gonna make his own decisions. Steve figured he really had nothing to lose: “I hate to say this, but to be honest with you, I don’t think you’re strong enough.”
    Was he ever right.
    Fear, especially if someone USES it against you, can cripple. Vernon was the chief cripple, and it caused him to try to over-protect his son. From everything. And he was never the “tough” one: he was a very gentle man. But, by the late ’60s, 1970, he was starting to lose some of that “gentleness” with Elvis.
    He maybe should have told Priscilla that the ball was in HER court, and his son’s. Ne never should have drawn up those legal documents, freeing Elvis of responsibility almost totally. And allowing him to remain a helpless infant: legally, and in every sense.
    I guess Elvis died of love.
    It’s not something his daughter could ever understand, because she was too close to it all. And she saw someone she loved die of brutality and NO love.
    She must be confused as hell. In her latest song, she’s just “Weary.”
    It’s a line you’ll hear on “Street Legal,” oddly: maybe she heard some strange man, some musicican or somebody, she would have thuogh, say “I’m weary.” Near Daddy’s body. She rarely left it the whole time. “Hello little girl: I have a son who is two years older than you. His Name is Jesse, like your late uncle.”
    Naw, we’ll never know. Never. But it sure is possible. And his son IS “Jesse Byron Dylan” born January 6, 1966. Yes, two days short of Elvis’s and Jesse Garon’s birthday! Wonder if he told Sara: “aw, coudln’t you wait two lousy days!” That, is not only possible, it’s probable.
    All we know for sure is that he grabbed that sweatshirt, and left the studio without a word. That’s all we know.
    And Elvis died of love. There’s a song like that it’s old mountain music. Ancient. Carter Family material, I know.
    “What’s to fear?” All depends on the person or persons.
    Robin

  15. RM Says:

    I don’t know why I said “autobiogaphy” when I mean dissertation! Holy Freud!
    Robin

  16. RM Says:

    I’m on a diff. computer, and the fonts are so small, no matter what I do. That’s why so many errors. I can’t SEE!
    Robin

  17. RM Says:

    You’re right about Guralnick: instead of referring to Parker, like outsiders do, as THE Col., he speaks as a close insider, almost doesn’t realize it, is how it looks, and says “Col.” as though it were HIS NAME, which is how they referred to him.
    Well, Elvis usually called him “the old fat {bad word}.”
    Robin
    VERY bad word, ok?

  18. RM Says:

    I’ve seen Guralnick many times talking about the situation, and he just DOESN’T see it for what it was! The whole “Hill and Range” thing was no for Elvis’s good AT ALL! It was to stope his growth as an artist, and make him more dependent. None of it makes sense: here’s a guy who digs Sellers and Monty Python, and has a hip, cool sense of humor, knows like every song anybody ever heard of, and Guralnick and OTHERS think that he “couldn’t” write, rather than that he WOULDN’T See, the song plugger gets a big piece, as do the Auerbaachs, one of whom is real friendly with Col. Elvis HAS NO PLUGGER of his own! His name is kept out of BMI, and when the Cole Porter snaffoo comes, and don’t believe West, he’s a damned liar, and Priscilla will tell you! Elvis came in witht the record, saying, proudly that he wrote new words to “Begin the Beguine” and she listens and says “I like your rock ‘n’ roll songs better.” It’s kinda “Itallianate” type thing, but the lyrics are ascinating, not “murky” as St. Peter says, anyway, ‘cilla says he promtly had a TANTRUM! Ripped down the drapes, tore the bedspread, everything. It had personal meaning to him, and I think I finally understand it. I don’t want to go into it here. Not the point. The point is she KNOWS he wrote it cause he had a freak-out when she said that! And it wasn’t the song, it was genre: she wanted “more fun” in a song, less drama. He didn’t understand, and always took things so hard. Nobody ever believes West anyway: Johnny Christofer remembers times when Red would try to steal from HIM, or say he did the thing, etc. It was his way. But forget that, we know his reaction. So we know the truth. In fact, the “Softly” introl is fascinating and creative: it has the rare “slient rhyme.” Only really bada– songsmiths can pull this off well, and Elvis does it easy. Even jokes about it once.
    He certainly had the chops, but they had him in a vice. Phillips was overwhelmed by the speech impediment and figured he was “distrubed” or something, and STILL, he turned out some really creative things, including the great “My Baby’s Gone” original blues, that he did in anger at the crappy Campblel’s Soup jingle Sam was forcing him to record.
    They were acting as a band! SCotty knew a blues riff to use, and followed Elvis’s chord changes on his low-miked rhythm guitar: Elvis wanted it that way for some reason. I don’t hear much of Bill at all. Very austere, and very BLUES.
    As same wrote on the label: “My Baby’s Gone” Elvis Presley. Blues. COLD!
    Old slang for “cold, man!” It meant extremely accomplished: excellence.
    He made Dewey pull it.
    And forced Elvis to do the jukebox hillbilly tune with the Soup melody. Elvis had just barely turned 20, if that. He was, in some ways, AHEAD, age-wise, of Dylan, in prowess by that time. All he needed was A LITTLE support. But Phillips cut a deal with Arnold Shaw for the jukeobx song. And he really was confused by Elvis’s difficulty in speaking that hapened a lot. He thought he was “mute” and thus “dumb” and had no idea that this Did NOT reflect on his intelligence. When Elvis started to talk back, he called it “impudence.”
    Other people would use the word “uppity.” Which is what Massa Phillips from the Plantation MEANT. But he was nothing compared to Parker. He fell in line with Parker too!
    If not actual “hypnotism,” he was overtyly, obviously “evil” and dangerous, and a LOT of people feared Parker! This is established fact. Bordering on the hypnotic.
    Why is Bob so frightened of the “You Tube” fun stuff with “Gypsy”? Or is lying about what happened in the early to mid-sixties? I think maybe he MET the creep, and Parker played his “YOU WILL AlWAYS FEAR ME” game ON HIM! Nobody was immune to Parker’s ways, unless they just refused to believe he was anything at all. Steve Binder was not afraid of him. He banished Steve from Elvis’s life, in an almost brutal way. Col., because he couldn’t control him, made sure that he never got near him again.
    Steve sould have REALLY helped him! He needed guidance: of that there is no doubt, at first, and then, when things got cleared up, he needed to fly on his own.
    Elvis had an opposite effect on people: they wanted to “be mama” for him. To hug him, hold him, protect him. Like an INSTINCT. Col. had found his PERFECT victims in this family. Uh, THE Col. See, I did it too!
    Robin

  19. R M Says:

    I spent an HOUR trying to connect to the ‘net tonight, and I am more P.O.’d than what sent me up here!
    But you are so right: hypocrisy is the real enemy, not any particular political position. Hell, political positions change in people throughout their lives: a committment to not being a hypocrite, though, NEVER changes. I mean, Bobby Kennedy switched from “right” to “left” literally in a matter of SECONDS, due to an “almost-fist-fight” – I needn’t go into detail, but the thing is, his CHARACTER NEVER changed, because he was never a hypocrite, but always did what he thought was right, whether it was or not.
    Bill Maher, on the other hand is a hypocrite. All of a sudden, he made himself a music critic! Slashing BOTH Mickey Newbury, whose idea it was, and Elvis Presley, who turned into a major, and symphonic, work of art, into an equivalence with the “tea-baggers” and that silly woman from Alaska!
    Now, wait just a minute! “I wish I was in the land of cotton” he says, is said ONLY by those “who didn’t have to pick it.” B.S.!!!!!!!! Elvis was practically BORN in a cotton field, and his mother picked on a farm when he was IN HIGH SCHOOL: near the end of high school! I don’t know about Newbury, but Elvis sings this very complex and searing work of art {“American Trilogy” – which is every bit a symphony as any created by any “serious” or “classical” composer} with a very complex purpose that I don’t think Maher has the intelligence to comprehend. Nor the bitter experience of being trapped between worlds, several worlds, and getting hurt BY ALL OF THEM. Still, Lincoln emerges the hero, but without “I wish I was in the land of cotton . . . for Dixieland is where I was born, early Lord, one frosty morn” in a shotgun shack, his birth, and the death of his brother, paid for “by the welfare.” Who the Devil is this suburban poser to critize a song lyric he cannot begin to understand? By the way, Lincoln considered “Dixie” one of his favorite tunes: folk tunes, I guess. But his “Battle Hymn” derived from “John Brown’s Body” is the “winner” in the song {not necessarily in Newbury’s little try-out, btw}, and the whole thing is anchored by a doubly tragic little slave lyric that has since applied to the singer-arranger, himself! “Hush, little baby, don’t you cryyyyyyyy . . . you knooooooowwwwww your daddy’s bound to die. But alllllllllll my trials, Lord, will soooon be oh-over.” Which was always the highlight, anyway, because people realized they were witnessing truth. And frightening though it way, it was amazing and courageous, all the way through.
    As a baby, he bumped through the fields, surrounded by cotton-bolls. As an older teen, he roiled in rage at his mother taking that truck over the bridge, to pick. While he decided how to hustle himself into the music biz, which is one of the few hustles the poor even HAVE. Entertainment, sports, crime. That’s basically IT. And he new it. Eventually, “entertainment” took a back seat to crime, anyway.
    If he’d ever had listened to what some people say is the BEST album of THE SIXTIES – and that’s something – “From Elvis In Memphis,” he’d maybe have A LITTLE comprehension of what it means to have every dream you ever dreamed held out to you, and then shattered. As Dylan once sang “like the gla-a-a-ssssssss.” {The prashing is too complex for me to put down, as I can’t put musical notation here.}
    Lots of things shattered, for so many people, and they still do. You don’t tar people with one brush to understand them! You talk to ’em, and try to find out why they’ve grasped on to whatever seems like “hope” to them.
    Shoot, Elvis sang Hank Snow’s “ode to Wallace” sarcastically on an outtake, actually hoping for it to make the album {no way was RCA going THAT far with him}: “that big BAD whistle, HE blew and blew/say hello to the southland, we’re coming to you”: he sang with much bitterness on that take, but it fit the album: RCA just would not go with it. He read all right: he read that many of the “Bobby voters” had swung to Wallace! And though he undoudtedly understood the people: some were related to him, or were by marriage, it galled him, nevertheless. Later, after the shooting, he smiled down to him, quite condescendingly, but decently: following Lincon’s dictum: “with malice toward NONE, and charity toward all.” “Charity” is quite misunderstood. It means “love” but a different kind: the kid that doesn’t want anything back, that loves because it is RIGHT TO LOVE, instead of hate.
    All of this would bore the hell out of oh so cynical Maher. Which is why he’ll never get any further than a cheap comedy show, with politics as its topic.
    “Charity toward all” is what George Lopez did, in giving his spot to Conan. The white dude got a lot of money, most of which will go to other people, and Lopez knows the showbiz drill. And his career was over by what NBC did, so he stepped in and risked his own career for another person. Chris Rock made jokes, but you could tell he had admiration for a man who would show this kind of “love” for another human being. He knew HE wouldn’t have done it! But that’s what makes it cool.
    Would Maher comprehend such an action.
    Get real. No way.
    Elvis would. He did things like that all his life. Put himself in jeopardy for the sake of others.
    That’s why I need the world to know his art and his intelligence, and the truth of it. It may take a bit of time, a bit longer, but I’m gonna do it right. Because you can make a big mistake if you’re not careful.
    I can see on this computer, but that doesn’t make my spelling any better. Well, maybe a bit. {grin}
    Off my chest.
    Robin

  20. RM Says:

    A number of posts seem missing. Even my explanation of being “wiped out” was wiped out!
    Anyway, maybe for the best: gotta save the best stuff for the project, but this system is weird.

    Robin

  21. RM Says:

    Well, while I’m here, and until I can find the more recent posts, if they exist anymore. I don’t like the new system(s); I like the old USENET and people’s own sites with automated posting. This is a behemoth, and things get confused. I know you wouldn’t have wanted to wipe out all I said! You know I worked hard on it all.
    Anyway. About the peanut butter in the Army: sweet story. I’ll just continue. So he burnt all his fingers and slashed his hand, and was absolutely euphoric! After eating a peanut butter ration. A lousy little tin of peanut butter. It caused him to be so deliriously happy that he almost lost the ability to play any instruments! He was in bliss. Well, the guy with the most power, Sgt. Jones, who was only told the story by the other guy, was seemingly very moved, emotionally. This was NOT “special treatment” because the guy was famous. He just couldn’t believe ANYONE could get THAT euphoric over PEANUT BUTTER! It just touched him in a deep place, I guess, and so he did something he probably shouldn’t have. But he couldn’t help it. The next shipment that came in had BOXES AND BOXES of peanut butter tins! And everyone knew who they were for. I don’t think anyone understood, really. But that made it even more moving to them. On a gut level, Jones knew, just knew that this kid must have come from virtual starvation, if this was SO important to him. He had to do it.
    Just a small good deed that few will ever know about, I guess. And it wasn’t because he was a star: just the opposite. It was because he was from the lowest depths of society that “peanut butter” still mattered so very much, and Jones understood. The other guy didn’t really ssem to get it. Maybe a little, but not much. But the other fellow was a little more “on the case” you might say, and sort of understood. If something so small would cause someone to risk their whole career, then by god, order CASES of it!! Jones must have figured that he earned it. It wasn’t caviar, after all.
    Robin
    P.S. — What happened to all those posts?

  22. RM Says:

    I don’t really know what to do! I cannot find posts between April 16, 2010 and April 27. It has important stuff on it: I can remove that stuff if you wish, but I would like to know what happened to it all. I am working on a project, and probably doing too much in public anyway, especially the trackng down of “Mr. Anonymous,” but I would like to know where that stuff is. Please. I know you kinda put Yoko stuff on another page, but I lost my stuff! It starts on the 28, your new stuff, and I lost every thing from the second part of April, and I have be careful with it, and I need it.
    In any case, whatever this system did, whatever I wrote, by the copyright system is automatically copyrighted by the author of the posts. I wouldn’t worry about that, but if I cannot show that I wrote them . . .
    I’m not saying you wanted them; of course not, but I don’t like that they’re floating around somewhere, that’s all. Where I cannot find them. My bad. I should have not posted a lot of it. I’ll be more careful from now on, but can you tell me where my posts are? Please.
    Robin

  23. RM Says:

    I’ve looked and looked and looked: all those posts are NOWHERE! If they are somewhere, cue me in!
    Please,
    Robin

  24. reprindle Says:

    Robin: In removing a post from Ray I accidentally clicked author and I guess a whole page was removed.

    Ray is a homosexual and is intent on giving me a hard time. He sends me endless emails telling me he’s going to be stone in my shoe, etc.

    I have tried to be kind to him but he always takes it as an invitation to continue his harassment. His intent is to burn off the Conversations.

    If he is actually a member of some Dylan Mafia as he claims Dylan should be ashamed of employing such lame people.

    Ignore him if he gets a comment on temporarily.

    I have your posts on emails but mine are probably lost unless you know of a way to recover them.

    I’ll get back to you tomorrow.

  25. RM Says:

    So I got caught in a firefight? Well, I’m gonna check the e-mail, and hope I can rescue some of it. But jeez, I don’t care of the guy is hot for TREES, I was just looking for feedback, from you, from someone else, whoever – as long as they knew music – regarding my theory. I wouldn’t want the whole ‘net to be aware of it, so I think that’s for the best, but man, I was sweatin’ because I thought I had composed it well, and was going to copy and paste into several Word docs that I’m preparing: see, my other stuff I write by hand. It’s an old thing with me: the writing seems to flow better with a fountain pen, especially a Schaffer {sp?}: the one with the white dot on the clip. Parkers can give you writer’s cramp, but they’re usually smaller and much more affordable. Still, I have a nice Schaffer {and tried others in stores – all good}, and it’s really the best, especially with either black or Levenger’s new “Hunter” green ink – Parker’s cartridges are larger, and the color is swell, but the pen gets uncomfortable after a while. And they can break, too. I’m kind of a handwriting afficianado.
    Anyway, you gotta keyboard these days. And I’ve started the process, and I’ve moved a lot of what I feel good about that I’ve written here {and elsewhere}, but I was hoping for a bit of feedback, because while I don’t think the theory is “out there,” some publisher might. So I was hoping for feedback. Like I said, I don’t care if Ray or whomever has a thing for gladioloas! He seems to know music, and that’s another “judge” of my theory. As for the “sweet” stuff like when Steve Binder {it’s ON the DVDs, so anybody can hear it for themselves} says “regular people love you, El.,” well, I just hoped that anyone reading that might be moved to turn their sound up, or wear headphones when watching the “Deluxe” ’68 special, so you can hear ALL the repartee, and kinda figure out what was going on that last day of taping the special. It’s fascinating. I am not interested in the squabbling, don’t care if Bob has Lt.s’ going around patroling the ‘net or what. Any of that is possible, because Bob IS a control freak, but we’ve sure said a lot, and I don’t think Bob has stopped us yet. I mean, I pointedly said that what he said in Rolling Stone last year is in direct conflict with Jerry Schilling, who nevertheless says that as far as he can know, they never met, but FOR SURE, Bob called the house “every few months” during the exact time-frame Bob said he “didn’t want to go” with the express purpose of “setting up a meeting.” Look, if Parker WANTED a meeting, and Jerry was talking to Bob without Elvis’s knowledge about WHO ELVIS SHOULD OR SHOULD NOT MEET {which sounds like a Parker thing}, if Parker wanted a meeting, there would have been one, period. Like with the Beatles. Which, incidentally, ruined the whole thing for Elvis, who met many, many people in the business at any given time. Ringo once said that in ’69-the early ’70s, he kept “bumping into Elvis.” So it wasn’t hard at all! If Jerry is trying to say that a star of that magnitude was talking only to HIM, well, that’s stretching the truth, or at least it’s avoiding the obvious: he was evesdropping! This would be more in line with what the guys would get up up to. Clearly, no “intemediary” would have been used if Elvis wanted Jerry to talk directly to Bob! Or vice-versa, for that matter. The only reason “a girl” was involved was specifically so Jerry could and would absent himself from the interation! Doesn’t take a genius to figure that one out. And it couldn’t have been an “accident” that she got the number because Elvis’s special number(s) were only given by him to particular and very trusted people: not just some “friend” who he LATER claimed was “platonic”: the book does not say this. Whoever it was probably got in touch and told him to change it in interviews so she wouldn’t look like, well, you know: a working gal, as they used to say. Or groupie. Whatever. Elvis and the guys RARELY met ANY “platonic” female “friends.” Look, if they want to say Patti Parry was “platonic” sure, give her the benefit of the doubt. But it would be highly unusual. As for anyone else, and by the way, Esposito says she was the ONLY “member” of the group who was female, which doesn’t say much for the “friend” of whom Jerry speaks. How could she “know” BOTH of them – Elvis and Dylan, and still be “platonic”: think about it. That seems ridiculous, epecially in the ’64-66 time frame . . .
    My point is that clearly, whether Jerry was supposed to be on the phone or not, Bob called “every few months” specifically “trying to set up a meeting.” We should consider tours in the way, too. And then Bob’s accident, followed by Elvis’s accident! So we’re talking about a limited time window. And after Bob recovered, he really did stay around Woodstock, it seems, though phone calls are not only possible, but probable. At this time, though, “a meeting” would really not be possible: Bob was firmly planted up there, and Elvis had a phobia about New York ever since Steve Allen: “they won’t like me there.” And I think he meant in general; that one night was extremely traumatic, especially when “Mr. Sullivan” symbollically castrated him afterwards. In his memory, interestingly, he sees Steve Allen as his final stop in New York! It was that traumatic. Even the photographer, Werthheimer, seemed to dislike the guy, a lot. Talked about Allen wearing this giant white cowboy hat as if to pump up his own importance. Wertheimer speaks of “middlebrow” and all of that: he saw himself as a “taste-maker.” So Bob wasn’t leaving Woodstock after the accident, or really, the tour, and Elvis was not coming near New York: I doubt he’d give a whole lot of thought to “upstate” being very different and small-townish compared to what he’d experienced. He perplexed, at first, by guys’ whose only job was to hand out towels in the bathrooms! And he had to pay them for it! Then it was a line in “King Creole” about New Orleans, so I guess he was used to the concept by then, but at first it seemed very weird.
    So we’re only talking about ’64-’65. And if he’s talking about the Beatles’ meeting, well, George was talking about it MUCH later, and he was outside by the pool, smoking weed with Larry. Lennon made the air too thick with his pushy attitude about what Elvis “should” record, or what they “wanted” from him. Funny that the next day, he said he’d wished he’d told him how much he meant to him, “but I lacked the courage.” Huh? But you HAD the “courage” to basically order him to record music according to your tastes? That’s beyond courage: it’s called “gall.” But in the early days, Lennon could be a jerk, and often, in initial meetings, spoiled for fights. His problem. Elvis didn’t want to worry about other people’s hangups like that.
    But judging by his clear admiration for Dylan: {you just HAVE TO hear his “I Shall Be Released” choruses, followed by “Dylan!” I cannot tell you what it sounded like, except to say it was a firm and final answer to an unasked question. And he KNEW those musicians knew the song! Absolutely. He was telling them what he really FELT: that was answer to the unasked question. Hell, the performance itself ought to have been enough. He was doing this crappy song: “It’s Only Love” {I got that wrong in another post: “I’m Leavin'” is not bad at all, though it’s not Dylan}, and he can’t seem to catch the melody {because, really, the song didn’t have one . . . it was really bad}: eventually he was asking the backup singers, the gospel guys to sing it, so he could get a handle on it. It was terribly unmelodic. He hated it. But the publishers wanted it recorded, and he knew it. He’d already broken his vow to Steve in a number of ways, but this was like the ultimate. A really crappy “song.” Hell, it barely WAS a song, but he was being made to do it, as if he were doing a film. Very upset, and then a beam of light entered the studio: “I see my . . .” changes keys, “I see my light come shining, from the west unto the east/Any day now, any day now/I Shall Be Realeased” – whispers a rhythm: “chuka, chuka” – then again, “I see my light come shining, from the west unto the east/Any day now, any day now/I Shall Be Released.” Then, after James guitar sort of settles it, he goes, softly, but very firmly: “Dylan!” Not shouting. Not hard, but firmly “anwering” an unasked question with what *I* first called – before I read Greil say it, “finality.” That IS the only word; that’s true. I remember the first time I heard the choruses: I LITERALLY got chills! I couldn’t believe how it seemed to echo so beautifully in that studio! Acapella. James comes in, only at the end. And Greil is wrong: “the band” was not intending to start in on the song; James knew it was over, and just added a little, gentle coda. No one expected what came next: “Dylan!” With the emphasis, as is normal for southerners, on the first syllable, and why most people hear it as an “answer” to a question. But it’s really just a bit like “INsurance,” or “UMbrella” – but not quite that surprising to “Yankees.” Because he said it with a gentle firmness. Notice how sometimes Dylan is introduced as Bob Dylaaaan!” Well, a southerner would NEVER do that. And I think that’s what confuses most listeners, even an ole “transplanted Yankee” like myself. Because it isn’t strongly southern, but it’s just there. Like, in ’66, just before the accident, Bob DYlan needed INsurance. {grin} Interestng, musically, that accent can interfere with meaning, ain’t it?
    But there’s no confusion about “regular people love you, El.” That’s mighty clear. Boy, it had been a rough day: in the morning he announces that he’d really tied one on the night before, then when Steven gathered himself in the next segment, and asks “how are you doing?” – I think that’s the quote, but it might be a bit diff., but not much, and Elvis says, and this IS exact: “just startin’ to wake up.” I think “fine” would have worked better. Then he transforms {he had to have either taken something, or in light of all the laughter, some of it only answered by Charlie, who’d laugh at ANYTHING he said, one suspects he had a little toke to take the edge off and give himself a little better feeling. He’s imitating “Wolfman Jack” and telling about the “all-lady topless band . . . yeah, they got ’em – in Vegas. “The Lady Birds” and then belly laugh, and then “Mah fellah Uhmurcuns” – LBJ impersonation, and good, too. And somewhere in there “oink, oink, oink” and finally, Steve pushes the button “there’s a live mike out there! Remember. The applause, the ‘tinkling of Tanya’ [a belly dancer with a tinckling thing in her navel], and [STRONG VOICE, heard over Elvis’s loud laugh about Tanya!] THE GODDAMITS!” So what does Elvis do? He continues to tap on the mike, slap it on his thigh, and then, after Steve said that about “the goddammits!” he gets into an adolescent pouty mood, and strikes the mike HARD a few times and says “that don’t bother you too much, Steve?” Not laughing, either. Steve does not answer.
    They take a break, which is announced {if my memory serves me well}, and the big opening number is set up, with nearly 100 dancers on a “Jailhouse Rock” type set, each “boy” – as they called them – with a prop guitar, and Elvis gets one take in, and blows it, and goes “GODDAMMIT!” Steve pushes button, “pardon me, Elvis?” But the tape is CUT, right there! You can see it clearly: cut. And in the booklet, as elsewhere, you see only still photos of the set: Elvis is casually leaning his fingers and hands over the guitar, but he’s looking away. Because Steve, who is a good couple inches or more taller than him, has his hands on his hips, is right in his face, leaning forward a bit, and has his mouth wide open – Elvis, if he’d have been looking, could’ve seen his tonsils. And like a kid, Elvis is averting his gaze, like “I can’t hear you.” Next still is Steve, Elvis right there, looking to his right, and pointing his big right index finger at somebody – arm outstretched, and he’s saying something, strongly. Probably just Charlie, laughing, and that was not the time.
    But from what you hear later, if you’re paying close attention, something got worked out. I guess they went off-set for a bit or something, because what Steve says seems like a response to something personal. “Regular people love you, El.” Without a doubt, that was what had been bothering him about the “great reception” of the four live shows: he thought the entire audience was handpicked: all fans, family, superfans, etc. Like it was all “fixed.” Enough to make anyone go out and get drunk if they thought of it! Hell, Elvis handed out tickets HIMSELF, at the gate to his house in Cali.: just handing out tickets, in early to mid-June. But in weird twist of fate, which Elvis knew nothing about, the Col. “forgot” to give out HIS share of the tickets, and it was ENORMOUS! The place wouldn’ve been half empty! They had quite a crisis, but they went on the air with radio spots “see Elvis Presley perform LIVE, first time in 8 years! NBC Studios, Burbank, FREE!” – a slight exaggeration about the number of years: it was 7, or actually, he hadn’t performed live in 6 straight years: ’62 to ’67: all in how you wanna look at it; still a long dry spell for music at that time. And they got quite a few from that, and then closer to showtime, they still weren’t completely full, so they just went across the street to the Bob’s Big Boy, free tickets in hand, and told ’em to put down that ice-cream cake and come on over! And they did. And the applause was REAL: from “regular people.” The last thing they wanted to do before the shows was to tell Elvis that the tickets hadn’t been distributed! And they never DID tell him, I guess, until that splice in the film, when Steve must have asked him “what’s going on with you today?” And clearly, it was the imagined lack of “regular people” in the audience, so he really didn’t know if he’d gone over or not, and thus didn’t know if they SHOW would go over! Time for chemicals of all sorts! I guess Steve told him what the Col. did, but in a weird way, it worked out for the best. The audience wasn’t “fixed.” They were mostly “regular people,” after all. I do not know if he told him WHO had neglected to hand out all those tickets, or caused them to become frantic. But those people at “Bob’s Big Boy” just got right up, laid they’re money on their tables, and just grabbed a ticket and flew across the street! “Regular people.” Sure, the Col. did this on purpose: he WANTED, for whatever reason, to HURT Elvis: he knew that they could “fake it” with the technology – it wouldn’t hurt the show; only Elvis himself would be hurt if those seats were empty. The Col.’s cruelty knew no bounds. I still think, that in a weird way, it affects certain people with whom he worked, or who met him, or whatever, even today: from beyond the grave. I’m serious. His eyes would change color when he was in a rage, and I’ve heard of this phenomenon with a number of very dangerous, violent people. He had blue eyes that turned steel gray at times. Scared the water out of some people.
    But in a twist of fate, his “mean trick” actually HELPED! Because it forced them to entice “regular people” to the shows! And Elvis, for the rest of the taping, did everything he was supposed to, did his absolute best, to the point where in the next taped take, after the splice, he wanted to curse, but instead he whipped that cord and growled-screeched. But said nothing. Very frustrated at another blown take, with is to be expected: he knew that. But he wasn’t used to not being able to curse! On a television show set, at that time, I guess, they were very careful about that: they didn’t want one to accidentally get through and ruin a great take, or worse, accidentally get on the air! At that time, ’68, that would mean disaster! Sponsor goin’ nuts, network, etc. They’d have to re-do it at the very last minute, etc. Better to establish ground rules, I guess such directors figured. But Elvis was NOT used to this. In any case, he complied, was very frustrated, so Steve said “regular people love you, El.”
    He was that fragile. In the 50s, with all those nasty comments and reviews about his “vulgarity,” he took it with NO apologies! And got even MORE “vulgar” in ’57: I knew about the “Nipper incident” long before Nash, or Byron Raphael {who was NOT in front of him: the pictures make that plain – it was the Col. himself, just as Dundy said, who kept Nipper “in play.” Elvis was, by then furious about the draft: hew KNEW it was coming, because he kept checking: his mother kept wanting to know. By the time of the Pan Pacific concert, he knew. In fact, right after all that hubbub, the Col. discussed with him what “branch” might be best, since it was going to happen, anyway. By that time, all the papers were buzzing about it, and if he tried to get a 4-F {and I’ve spoken to some people about it, and they’ve said that if his stutter was very bad, AND unpredictable, AND enhanced by stress – or whatever they called “stress” in ’57, well, there are cases where guys got 4-F’s for that, and if a stutter/stammer were the only symptom of shell-shock, but interfered with a person’s line of work, they deserved, and were classified as disabled. But only if the service CAUSED it: if it was there before, and a doctor could show evidence, or several, guys have gotten 4-F’s. Unfortunately, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder did not “exist” yet – and yes, there really are a few people who really area afflicted, though it is probably the most overdiagnosed “illness” of all time, but if it DID exist then, and was significantly noticiable and could interfere with one’s duties, guys have gotten 4-F’s for that, but it’s rare. Elvis undoudtedly, as I see it, with his ability to be so very quickly bored, almost surely was a legitimate case. I’m not talking about Red West’s comments re songwriting, because he wants credit for EVERYTHING from EVERYONE he ever worked with, but there are others who have commented on how hard it was at times, especially as time went on, for him to just sit still and concentrate. In ’57-58, I don’t think it was that bad, but later on, he often couldn’t keep concentration, and if bored, would just give up. I can hear on the American Sound sessions in early ’69: he gives himself ONE take on the piano, then gives up. “I can’t play this piano to save my life.” It was an electric piano, and he was used to “real thing” and the knobs and such annoyed him, so he just gave up: “can somebody else take the lead on this?” And Reggie Young zooms in immediately with his guitar. He was going to make it a piano lead because the song’s structure was not unlike some of the stuff he did on the special, but just on piano. On the take he did, he did fine, but he seems to be holding back, as if his fingers froze up somewhat. I can hear that on guitar at times: those “frozen fingers”: a lack of looseness that made the TV special so wonderful, and that made those rehearsals that have been released so incendiary! Utterly relaxed. And hey, Ray, if you want to “sneak in” I’ll get my info from wherever – like I said, my e-mail is on yahoo, you know my first name, the last starts with m, obviously. Ok, ok,{ark clearing throat, that’s all I’m doin’, ark}. You know e-mail is generally lower case. If you know guitar: what is going on on “Danny Boy,” and WHO is doing it: I’m almost certain it’s Elvis because he “sings” Charlie to the right key, which suggests strongly that he’s playing and having to really pay attention {hah! so he could! Yeah, when totally relaxed, which was rare. If you know, R.E., fine. If you know someone who knows . . . I just want to know WHO is playing and how they’re making that sound. It sounds like single string acoustic! Where you’d bat the string back and forth with great speed, to keep the string from decaying, but not being electric, it does decay. But it COULD be Scotty’s electric, or accoustic, for that matter – although Elvis’s sung reproach to Charlie sounds like he knows exactly how high he’s going with the tune in about the next couple verses – he goes quite a bit higher than he could sing, especially with his voice ripped up from all that raw singing: “If I Can Dream” in the studio, and those gospel shouters really tore his voice apart: also the “Trouble/Guitar Man” live takes on tape, as well as in the studio also ripped up his voice plenty: he could NOT have sung “Any Day Now” the way he did the following winter, that’s for sure. But he does a high “Danny Boy” on just guitar, or somebody does, and this style seems unusual. I can see him doing something similar on the video-taped segments, but I cannot be sure – somebody, HELP! I really want to know this}. I cannot find it in any of Esposito’s mostly useless memoirs. Maybe it’s there somewhere, but I can’t find it.}
    Ok. Look, I usually pride myself on bringing people to a “truce” of some sort, but I guess it just ain’t gonna work here. And I AM good at it: but usually my students are a bit younger. I mean, I’ve taught from 5 to 88, but mostly from 12 to 35, with the majority from 16 to 24. A lot of kids got “skipped” a grade – if they were lucky, but for whatever reason, did not get a scholarship, or they wished to go to a CSU school, because the teaching really IS better, generally: lotta Ph.D.’s there nowadays because of the long-standing crunch. I know some people who have nerves of steel, and who have somehow pushed themselves in, but you know what? Most of these are denied tenure, but cannot be let go! So they have “tenure in purgatory!” Some have gone to court. “Won.” But they won nothing because they are very lonely at work. So I have tried something different: I can see what the real problems are, and I have lasered at them, while at the same time offering deserving faculty what they deserve. Unfortunately, the economy was tanking even before ’08, and then it down it went, so times are hard, and we are struggling. i know, R.E., you probably do not listen to MLK’s sermons for pleasure, as I do, or for any other reasons – and that is your right, but I do. “Never stop building your temple.” And despite the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, that’s exactly what I continue to do. I just wish that things would get better, A LOT better, much faster, and then that “temple” wouldn’t be such a struggle.
    You learn a lot about people, though, in times like these: I don’t mean necessarily the young people or their families {the under 18s come with “fammilies attached” which is a drag, since at about 16, they’re very little diff. from 18-19. In fact, when they first get into a University setting, they often go wild. My point is that in a University, there are many 16-year-olds in the fall, because they’re a year ahead, and have a fall b’day . . . So that’s the general range. 16-24, but today, a LOT of people are “going back” after 25, or after 30, or 35, or even after 40. Not many after 45, until they reach “senior” status. But I’ve had ’em just about all ages. And if a tiff breaks out, I can only think of one time when I couldn’t settle it, and one of the {both female}pugilists was 35! And made a BIG deal out of it, as if she were “old and wise” which is silly.
    I usually settle it. I LIKE to settle things between people.
    I don’t know whether Dylan has a “Dylan Mafia” but he has “true believers” for sure, which is the same thing, anyway. I do know he is a control freak, and he knows it too. Talk about “play{ing} games with {people’s} heads!” Good gawd, Bob! If Elvis scared you in that sense, then either he was much more of a sharpie than even I think he was, or YOU, Bob, are afraid of people on your own level, or perhaps above it.
    And it’s like that actress told Elvis, who was angered by her caution: “don’t be afraid to be around people who you can learn from.” In other words, she was speaking directly about “the guys” and she said so, both to him, and in the interview: she told him that they were not on his intellectual level, and that they were jealously pulling him down, and this could only lead to no good at all. Then she made that statement. I don’t think she even SAID “intellectuals” but he thought so, and said “I don’t need to be surrounded by intellectuals, and I don’t need YOU!” I mean, the actress: I think I know which one, but I won’t guess if don’t know, because she really got serious. She knew these clowns were mostly blood-suckers. “Vampires” as Lisa calls them, whether about her late father, or her late husband. “They seemed to magnetize around him.” She could have been talking about either one. She knew the drill, which is why she jumped into MJ’s life at the deep end, you might say. She saw it! It was so easy to see, for her. You know the old song: I’ll do a gender flip: “I want a guy, just like the guy who married dear old Mom.” {Sorry, Priscilla, but you ARE getting older . . . but that botox, and that collegen looks ridiculous! It goes away, though, if you let it.} Diane Sawyer suggested this to her {I believe Sawyer found some still of Elvis with that haircut she got MJ to use: what do they call it? A “Prince Valiant” – naw, the one where the hair is short in the back, but split in the front, like in the high actions sequences of either “Flaming Star” or “Live a Little, Love A Little”: you’d do better to watch “Flaming Star,” ok?! Anyway, like Elvis wanted Priscilla to look like HIS “ghost”: his mother, Lisa was trying to turn him into looking like HER “ghost” in appearanc: her father. You know the video where she’s naked? His hair in that is just like Elvis’s in “Flaming Star”: but Elvis has WAY darker skin. {grin: I CAN grin by now, I think} It’s TOO obvious, and I believe that Sawyer got a photo, and another photo, where you can see it.
    No one can ever compete with a “ghost.” That’s all her mother had to explain to her, if she had any sense at all. No woman has EVER “saved” a man, yet! And she still thinks that it was HER “failure.” She’s in that cult, and she’s learned nothing about real life: that a woman cannot “save” a drowning man, just by bein’ his gal. Yeah, if you’re a shrink, and that’s your relationship: shrink to patient, well that’s different. But in a real relationship, you are NOT going to save anybody.
    Funny, though, that it’s usually the guys that have the problems, and the women who try to do the “saving.” This happens ALL THE TIME. No foolin’!
    I don’t mean to insult any guys, because many know they must save themselves, but it happens a lot. And the reverse does happen, it’s just not so common. There really IS a “maternal instinct” thing. Listen to “Diamonds and Rust.” Underneath the anger is still a lot of love. Can’t be helped. She’s admitted that. “Where are you calling from?” He answers: “A booth in the midwest.” About the most desolate couplet in song. Period. And it could only come from a deep place: that place where love is.
    People who sometimes think they are so different are probably reacting only to superficialities. That’s my view. I’d like to think we can somehow get along with one another.
    “Understanding solves all problems.” And with people who are sincere, I beleive this to be true.
    I wouldn’t be here if I dind’t get the right vibe: a vibe quite beyond words that “shock” by their very nature. If I can see beyond that, and I think I usually can, I feel that understanding can come about. I like to ignore the superficialities.
    Maybe I AM still an idealist: a guy told me that I was, once, and that I would soon lose it. I told him that if i am, I hoped that I would not lose it. If that’s part of me, and it’s a good part, I don’t want to lose it. It’s like losing hope.
    Thanks for getting my stuff to my e-mail: I’ll have to check, but I feel pretty certain it’s there. But this system is touchy: very is to get “wiped out.” You think he’s trying to “troll” as it was once called. But the act of the “troll” really can be in the eye of the beholder. Then again, I don’t know everything about it. Just be careful about saying stuff in public. And, like I said, I could care less if he likes trees, so long as this discussion is somehow enriched. {I have my limits, of course: don’t go messin’ w/kids, that’s all. And in some cases, if you know a lot about such a person as even that, you can have a loving heart.}
    And they’re both going: “mush, mush, mush”: girls are mushy!
    Maybe. But it was the contrast between the “tough” and the “tender” that fascinated Warhol in his Elvis pics.
    More later.
    Good night all, and may “Elvis” {giggle} “bless us, every one.” {Well, he’s more interesting than that “Tiny Tim”! The original or the sixtiess weird dude.}
    Robin
    P.S. — If you have the “Deluxe” ’68 set, you can hear the audience ROAR with both laughter and a kind of “whoa, he’s hip!” when Elvis starts singing “Tiptoe Thru The Tulips . . .” in falsetto.
    In that moment, you realize how much he wanted to be loved. “They can see I AM just like them! They love me! Uh, I think.”

  26. reprindle Says:

    OK, then, Ray’s your man. I’ve enjoyed talking to you for the last few years. You’ve been a help in prompting me in the organization of my thoughts but all good thing must come to an end. Good luck with Ray.

  27. RM Says:

    As Ray Charles would say “What’d I Say?” I don’t get it. I just said I wanted to hope for harmony, but it didn’t seem like it was happening, so I kind of gave up ON HIM! Did you not notice? And then I felt bad that it wasn’t possible, but I sometimes it just isn’t.
    So you’re kicking me off your board? Ok. I don’t quite know WHAT it was that I said, but if that’s what you want, ok. I guess it was that I tried to sneak out my e-mail so that the general public wouldn’t see it, but just for musical issues with someone who seemed to know that musical area: I find your insights almost always intriguing, and I do NOT like preaching to the “converted” – not that I’m interested in converting anyone: I wouldn’t want you to stop being you! Oh, maybe I see. Maybe that is what you felt I was asking. I dunno. But I wasn’t. I didn’t mean like “harmony” in that you agreed with him, or whatever, or even that you wanted to talk to him anymore: I mean, I hoped – ’cause I sensed that he wanted to reach out to you, or you him, I just don’t know. I mean, this wasn’t my fight: I accept you as you are. I am not trying to change you in any way. I just wanted to the fighting to stop. A kind of you guys “agree to disagree” type thing, knowing you’ll never be on the same page, but maybe you’ll get something out of interacting. I should not have butted in: and for that I am sorry. But since this is your blog, I am, of course, basically sorry to you, R.E., because you have been so open and kind enough to me over a LONG time, and have let me speak my mind. I wasn’t trying to stop you from saying anything! Or taking sides. Quite the opposite, I felt. I was just saying that the whole contemporary politics thing is not my interest here, but music and Dylan, and what drives him. And really, YOU helped me realize that I had a project on my hands more than anything or anyone. And you freely assisted me! It is your blog, and you are dismissing me, so ok. I have cried enough tears about other things, that I will be ok. Not to worry. But I was going to say some significant musical things tonight, that were directly about Bob and how he came to be, musically, but I guess I offended so terribly, that you do not want to hear what that was. It had to do with particular influences, and what makes him so much more different than a “Lennon,” say, than Elvis, who is an American, just 6 years apart, as well as other differences that are a little more significant – but the things in common are much MORE significant. Much stronger than Lennon, who in my view, only contributed a bit in comparison to these American artists. Lennon once said something Bob would find absurd: you know: “before E., there was nothing.” NOTHING! Which is absurd, and dimishes the acheivements of both men, terribly – not to mention all of those “nothings” who helped inspire Bob, without whom the Beatles would be just a little “craze.” Lennon’s utter ignorance of American music, that is. But forget it; if you’re not interested in what I was about to “list” – and differentiate, so as we’d maybe understand Bob better, then forget it. I really wanted to dig in tonight: to Bob. I guess I said something unforgivable. I’ve been kicked off a far worse list for truly ridiculous reasons: one guy on a cultural studies list didn’t like a discussion of the significance of the Beatles, American-off-shoots, etc., when George Harrison died. And several people, both on and off-list, were unhappy at his death, and for THAT reason, the expression of mourning George, he said maybe I shouldn’t come around anymore because, and he wasn’t clear, I was sending him e-mails about matters impertinent to the list – like George’s death and what it meant or might mean, and this annoyed the guy, and besides, he was a “big-shot” or so he thought, and I was more or less nothing to him – and he let me know that’s what he thought, so I told him that I was busy anyway: my dad had a quintuple by-pass that I had to deal with the following week, and since I’d be away for awhile anyway, I would not darken his digital doorstep any longer. And I’ve never posted to that list again. I didn’t need that at the time, but que sera sera.

    This seems very different: you seem hurt by something I did, and I still don’t really know what it is.

    You missed Larry King tonight: they were “scientists” and it was astonishing that they didn’t understand what happened on the “famous” “wow”-moment in astronomy, where they actually thought they’d made “first contact” with someone from “out there.” I KNOW that they didn’t because, unlike scientists hidden in a lab, I lived in the world, and noticed the DATE of their “wow” when the “white noise band” of the radio showed “a pattern” which, they thought, could indicate a message “from out there.” It was, of course, impossible: the nearest intelligent life possible, outside of earth, and like Hawking said, he wasn’t so sure about us, {not very funny tonight, because one of us did something wrong . . . and I think it’s me, but I wish I knew what exactly} is much too far away for a radio signal, and besides, now we know that such “radio” as we had in 1977 was feeble compared to quantumn computing, so it WAS NOT “from out there.” For certain. It was the date. I know why the guy saw a “pattern” interrupting his white noise band: the date was August 16, 1977. There was, of course, no internet to speak of, yet. Technology was limited to those very “radio waves” and the telephone system, as well as CB, and HAM radio set-ups, and short-wave – and ticker-tape, which then fed back into the radio waves! Very primitive, and so, with what we know now about WHERE such beings COULD possibly exist, radio waves would never make it here, or if “they” could travel such distances, they certainly would not use them: they’d use quantumn computing, which is instant, and does not involve radio waves at all. And we STILL cannot receive it. And yet, they did NOT recognize August 16, 1977! I was going to excitedly tell you – and whomever might be listening, that it came from right here on this planet because of the date! And why the radio got all f’d up! “August 16, 1977.” It hit like a ton of bricks. No Internet for regular folk, of course. They were jerry-rigging {sp?} phone switchboards and tying {sp?} them in to radio stations of all kinds, any kind. From large wattage stations to overloaded CBs to every kind of radio you can think of. With jammed, overloaded signals, they did whatever they could: it was planet-wide! Kind of a duct-tape internet or ‘nets were formed briefly on that day. Most just wanted to know “is it true?” So if there was “a pattern”: that solved it. It was US – humans, people. Who cared so much about about a songbird-human that they screwed up radio systems just about everywhere. A tribute to our OWN humanity, and ability to love without inhibition, and not caring what anybody thought: not caring if they made fun of you. People overloaded those lines all over the planet because they HAD to, for reasons still not well understood. They were putting cables and wires where they didn’t “normally belong”: my dad was originally in radio and telephone wiring, etc. So, he understood when I read out of a book on what happened that day. Everyone was trying to COMMUNICATE, any way they could, but normal communication was disrupted, and technology was primitive by our standards, so they tried ANYTHING. Clearly the “wow moment” came about because of all the cross-wiring and overloading and jamming and etc. It was August, 16, 1977. They never detected such a disturbance on the white noise frequency before or since. It was the day Elvis died. The day Bob walked out of that studio, wordlessly.

    One of the very few days when the music really did die for so many. Or at least “die-out.” And their precious “special” frequency detected “a pattern” because wires were crossing all over the place, and disrupting the usual peace of that band. In other words, the urge to communicate feelings of love, loss, anger, confusion, and the need to “know” – desperately, actually interrupted what they now call “the cosmic background radiation from the Big Bang” as it is perceived through radio frequency on earth: on the ‘white noise’ band on anyone’s dial. To me, that’s a way bigger “wow” than little green men, or whatever. It speaks to our humanity, our unlimited capacity to love. And to share loss. And to share joy, too, though thought lost. And for some, it WAS lost.

    I guess it follows. I won’t be back, if I come here tomorrow and see that you do not wish me back: I have nothing against you. I do not fear or dislike you as you have said nothing, in my view, that should cause that, even if we disagree on some things. In fact, I felt like I got a “vibe” from you that told me I should be here. Did you think I meant Ray, when I talked about that vibe? I meant YOU, R.E. Something touched you, deep inside, the day Bob took that motorbike ride, and soon before, I guess.
    But if you wish THIS music to die. OK. I am sad, though. Because I wasn’t “picking” between you guys. I just have this kind of urge to try to get past what appear to me to be superficialities: like I said, I don’t know what really went down in your e-mails with him, and it’s none of my business, of course. Maybe he is, for all I know, a “troll” to this discussion.

    If it stops, he wins. That’s what it means to “troll” a group. In the old USENET parlance: for someone to come in to stop the group from what it is doing – even if it is just a conversation between us. Or trying to do: which in this case, is trying to find the questions, if not the answers to certain “musical questions.” Important ones, I think. Maybe you dig Lennon more than I do: that’s cool, but I see major distinctions that are musicially and historically significant. I don’t think that’s it.
    All I wanted re: the e-mail, was just to get some feedback from someone who seemed to know about the music out of which Bob Dylan sprang. Is my theory that Sam was hustled nutso? Or is it logical? Did Greil get it ass-backwards? I think so, but I could be wrong. Perhaps Ray is “nice” but you are my friend, and interesting in different kinds of ways: you’ve had quite a life. To see how such a tough life intersected with Bob’s songs was almost magical, I thought. But I had to go pretty deep, which sent me on a journey that will go under hard cover, and I will certainly thank you. But I hate to see it end this way. As for your opinions on “other” matters, well, it wasn’t something I wanted to argue about. I’m sick of “politics” and that sort of thing. And you have been so kind and really helpful to me.

    On the other hand, I will not “beg,” for sure.
    If you change your mind, or maybe think that you got me wrong {if, in an e-mail, he disclosed something said in confidence with you, or, for that matter, anybody {!}, I would terminate all contact immediately, because that would be the WORST, most unethical internet conduct, and I do not think for a minute that you’ve done that to anyone – or you wouldn’t be upset {whatever you have said, I was pretty sure it was a kind of “baiting”: I felt certain you know the rules, and you’ve always been ethically straight-arrow to me} – is THAT what you thought I wanted to do? To know your private conversations with him? Do you think THAT of me? Do you think I lack basic ‘net ethics? I guess so. I just want feedback on my ideas, and just tossing them in the open – well, I think I did too much of that. At least recently, and was kind of glad it got erased. The first night, I was shocked. Of course, I knew you didn’t want them! Hell, they were out there in the public! I wouldn’t have posted them here, with you, if I didn’t feel that comfort zone. It’s other people I worry about: rock critics, “experts” in Elvology or Dylanology, or whatever . . . or even “musicology.” I don’t want THEM to have this now, even though it’s surely mine, and shoot, you put them on my e-mail. I guess I showed doubt, and I agree that would insult ME, if the shoe were on the other foot. I just freaked when it disappeared, but I wanted you to know that I WAS NOT freaked about *that*! I shouldn’t have even mentioned it, even to let you know that I trust you, unequivocally, because you are my friend, for one thing. {I’m not sure what the ‘net ethics are regarding true “troll”ing: you may have a right to let others be warned, if he’s a “true believer” fan who doesn’t want us to explore what Bob has said – perhaps even known to Bob, himself – we don’t know: but we know “true believers” and they can be quite scary at times – don’t know about the Dylan ones. They may be HARMLESS compared to some others. I have no way of knowing.

    {I’ll tell ya this: since MJ is no longer with us, I found out about a plot of some fans across The Pond who were going to actually MURDER someone in the mid-90s and another fan had talked them out of it, thank God. I found out afterwards. Another fan held a man hostage. I’m serious; you can look it up. I mean, never mind what you call ’em; some “true believers” in my experience, can be capable of almost anything. That, I understand. I have NO IDEA if that’s his thing. I doubt it, but I have no idea. So “warning” – if you didn’t feel safe, well that’s not an ethics violation. Just makes me stupid, or whatever.}

    We’ve established a friendship over a period of time, I thought. But I guess, in seeing the posts vanish, I got freaked, and maybe some paranoia DID creep in, unconsciously, but I swear to you it wasn’t a personal thing, if you want to know. If you give a damn about it anymore. But I thought it was floating around this “blogging” system and ending up in a “puppies” blog or whatever, and one of the “puppy-people” might also be a writer with an interest in American music . . . I honestly was thinking all kinds of thoughts like that, ’cause I don’t know how it works: I’m old school Internet. But you? No way. It’s just that if I know where it is, and Mr. Puppy-Musicologist decided to use my theory, well, there would be a way to show that it came from our discussion – and not from Mr. Puppy-Music!
    You helped me to open my mind to possibilities! But, as I said, no begging, just explanation. If I hurt your feelings, I apologize. You sure hurt mine tonight; I’m confused, and I’m crying: this mattered to me. Doesn’t matter, I cry every night, anyway, for a different reason. Don’t make no difference what the hell I’m cryin’ about, I guess. And I shouldn’t, but like Bob said, “that’s just the way that I am.” Don’t sweat it.}

    If you wish to accept my apology, but without my “begging” — because I am NOT, and I WILL not: only if you see that you got me wrong, and let me know – and YOU certainly aren’t doing any begging: you’ve already kicked me out. This is farewell.

    I’m just saying that if you thought I didn’t trust you, or that I would pry into private correspondences between other people, then you’ve got me wrong. And I want you to know that. If you wish to welcome me back, with the understanding that I trust you, did not “pick his side” nor would I EVER pry into your private tussle with him, then I will try to swallow my pride and take the high road. And I would come back, if you said you realized these things about me.

    You certainly needn’t apologize to me: you’ve done nothing wrong. You may have misunderstood, but you’ve done nothing wrong. I just don’t think that I do because I don’t know that I did somethng that bad – I guess I’m missing something: it was shocking that night, but I certainly did not think you wanted to “take” anything from me, if that’s what you thought. I was worried about this system, which I do not comprehend. And I did not “take sides.” I want no part of the thing! I’m not into that. You have been kind to me, and I really don’t even know this guy – he’s said bad things about you, and that was out of order – I mean, a while back.
    I just wanted “feedback” – and it’s hard to come by. He seemed like he understood the music scene, and that he might be trustworthy: oh, gosh: that’s IT! As EP would say: GODDAMMIT! That someone I hardly know, and I assume him trustworthy!

    Oh, God! For that, I apologize. I was wrong, and won’t be chatting with either of you again, because I was wrong.

    But I feel so bad, “just like a ballgame on a rainy day.” I ain’t “expecting rain”: it’s already been raining for some time now. Both in my personal life, and “raining in my heart.” And I made a mistake: a DUMB one: especially since I should understand fans! I hardly know this person, and I assumed him trustworthy. This was stupid, but I did not “pick him” over you! I just did something stupid to myself! As if I just entered an Elvis chatroom and unleashed my theory! Can you imagine? The lynch mob would be out! Yet one of ’em would swipe it! Which means all the formal education in the world doesn’t stop {me} from being an idiot!
    I meant no harm. I thought you knew me. That if I were to make such a mistake, you’d tell me off, with the assumption – which is true, ’cause it just hit me{!} – that this person that I don’t even know, haven’t corresponded with at all, is somehow “trustworthy.” Like I said, I got caught in a firefight. And sometimes, that ends badly.
    I apologize for that. But what I did, even without realizing it, is without a doubt, unforgivable; I understand that. That’s just plain reason: a “reason” I lacked.

    It’s better I just leave you with what I saw on TV tonight, and sign off. You have no reason to forgive me. And I’m not asking, ’cause it’s not deserved. I would, I guess feel pretty bad if the shoe were on the other foot. Only, I would ask you if you understood what you did, if you did it, instead of me. I mean, sure, I should have, but it’s late, and I’m dog tired, and I have a lot of personal stuff going on. So I am sorry for not treating you as a friend should. And thus ending the friendship. I’ve always believed friendship was a powerful thing. And it is, but I did something incredibly dumb and hurtful.
    I liked it here. It was fun.
    But I am not Bob, I cannot just say “farewell, and not give a damn.” Fine for him. But I say farewell, and I DO give a damn.
    It’s unfortunate that a misunstanding should end a friendship. Happens.
    So, farewell.
    Bye,
    Robin
    P.S. — I’ll check in, but I don’t think I should be forgiven. Or maybe I did something ELSE! And I don’t want to put you in that position. You don’t need me, but you really helped me a lot, and I thank you with my whole heart.
    So, with much regret, I guess this is farewell. It has to be, right? Yeah, it does. I was a real jerk to butt in, and in the midst of this very serious fight, assume that someone I not only do not know, but WOULD not even know existed if NOT for your friendship.
    *I* am the one who is not trustworthy, if only for being an idiot.
    If I’ve offended both of you now, most especially R.E., because I’ve known you quite some time, well, that’s how it will have to be. But I would never do anything unethical like prying into your tussle, or even THINK that you would “want” anything from me except company for ideas. Of that, I am not guilty: if that was misunderstood, I would hope you’d forgive me. But for assuming your adversary’s “trustworthiness” when I know nothing, well, that makes me a jerk. And I won’t be a jerk here anymore. I have worn out my welcome.
    So, with love in my heart, fare well, my friend.
    All the best,
    Robin
    P.S. — I only ask this: copy, paste, and print. So you can see where maybe I “got it” about what I did. It took me a while. I’m not getting much sleep lately. It’s not this: it’s everything. I cry every night, still. It’s not like in the books. It’s different for everybody. But I’m ok. Not to worry, and I mean that.

  28. RM Says:

    Oh, jeez. Was it about “Danny Boy”? That I thought he knew guitar better? Gosh, if so, I’m really, really, really sorry.

    Same standards, though. I don’t know if this guy is being a “troll” to this discussion. So that’s that. I am A JERK.
    And if I insulted your musical abilities, good god, I’m so sorry!
    RM

  29. RM Says:

    Just re-read your posts: I was right. I am Judas Iscariot.
    Rm

  30. RM Says:

    Dear R.E.,

    I wasn’t being sarcastic in that last post: I realize that without “emoticons” to indicate that I MEAN IT that I’m Judas, you might think that. Not so.
    You have been by my side through the worst time of my life. Other scary things have happened, that I haven’t told about. As for any other persons in my life, everything turned out ok, hopefully, for the duration.
    It’s like in – what song? “Drifter’s Escape” or something? “You don’t even know-ow-ow what it is that you done wrong.” Or something like that. And I don’t know what I done wrong, exactly. I mean, I think I do, but I’m not sure because I did several wrong things! The ‘net can be a freaky place, and you should only trust those who have been friends for “years” literally. You helped me through my own personal Katrina or Camile, or whatever. Worse, much worse than that. I thought I would die, surely, and some of my friends tended to avoid me, because it scares them or something. There was one in particular who, in Bob’s verse, “left me standin’ in the doorway cryin’, sufferin’ like a fool” while you gave me “shelter from the storm.” You don’t think that means more to me than an urge to understand a guitar lick? Yes, I should have assumed, as well, that you are an excellent judge of such matters: he seemed, I dunno, musical in some way . . . just a sense: and so stupid of me. I don’t know him at all, and you spilled a lot of guts to me. He didn’t deserve my screwy idea of “equality of opinion” or whatever my swimmy head was thinking. I am a programmer, for krissakes, among other things! I’ve been on the ‘net since like ’95, and got into usenet pretty heavy in ’96. Computer stuff. I got things mixed up, because this “blogging” is new to me. See, in USENET, people just enter, and everybody follows certain rules, yada, yada, yada. But yeah, if someone seems to be pulling a “troll” – and I have no idea what really went down between you two, so I should only have trusted someone who welcomed me so graciously! But I’m just not thinkin’ straight, lately. I mean, if I knew what the guy was about, really, but I don’t. And I didn’t understand the depth of feeling at all. I guess sometimes I live in a “Hawaii of the head” too. “let’s all hold hands and play nice.” In the real world, and this IS a real world, no matter what they say, it ain’t like that. I was trying to be nice to everybody without any knowledge of what was going down. And without remembering who has been so generous and caring.
    I am not asking anything of you. I don’t deserve to come back; I know that. It’s just that: could I please know what I did wrong? I mean, I think I know, but I can’t be sure. {God, we’re doing some kind of Dylan transference, or something.} I just want to know.
    And whatever it was, I apologize. You have been a good friend. I just wish you would have let me know, so I could at least explain. I don’t have to come back to the way things were at all. After today’s date, and I’m gone: it seems that’s how it has to be. I just wish I knew exactly what it was that I did.
    And I want you to know that I value our friendship, and all the kindness you’ve shown. I am not begging. I’ll live just fine. I’ll learn from this. It’s just a shame it had to end in such a way. I’d just like to know why what I did was so terrible that you want nothing to do with me. I realize I was backstabbing . . . but I only realize it now. IF that is what you’re upset about, and I think I’m right. I just want to know. Main thing is: I lost your trust.
    And I’ve never “betrayed” anyone before, and certainly not knowingly. Never. When I was a reporter, and they asked for “off the record,” it WAS off the record, for absolute sure. I try to do the right things by people, especially those who’ve done right by me. This is a difficult time for reasons that aren’t worth going into right now. But it’s been hard, and maybe I’m just blinded and can’t see it. So if you could tell me. If I was stupid enough to make you feel this way, then I’m stupid enough not to know why. In a nutshell. You can be “book smart,” have silly degrees, etc. and still not figure out simple human relations.
    And I know I f’d up, but I don’t know exactly what I did for sure.
    You don’t owe me an explanation, or anything, but I’d sure like to know. Right out here in the open. I don’t care. Hell, I didn’t check the e-mail: I KNOW it’s there. I can probably send a screen shot to prove that.
    And to HELL with damn “Danny Boy”! I just wanted to know: I figured maybe OTHERS are lurking: “lurking” – another old USENET term. Not a bad thing. You’re supposed to! And if the discussion doesn’t suit you, you’re supposed to go away. Ray didn’t like what you were saying, wanted you to stop saying it, and that’s not how the game used to be played. If you don’t dig the group, don’t join in. I come from a standpoint where it’s ok to totally speak your mind out. If I don’t dig it, I don’t join in. You can see that.
    But, right away, I knew you had a “B.S.” meter that was pretty good — with the Red Wing thing, and it’s IMPORTANCE! That the others won’t even touch. Here, he’s handing you the “reasons” on a silver platter, but they won’t take a bite. You were different: you listened. And you knew about that boy who cried “wolf.” That was Bob. And we’d found something he’d used his other “make-believes” to hide, and still is in the habit.
    Well, whatever. I wish it were not all ruined, but I guess it is. I just wish I knew, and if you want to know if I feel bad, I do. I’m sorry I made you feel so bad.
    Bye.
    Robin

  31. RM Says:

    I came back to check. You never told me why. Maybe this wasn’t just about my mangled interference in your tussle with Ray. Or a “betrayal” on my part, even. Maybe you’re just sick of me. I’m different: my views are just too different. I was open to your points of view, or accepting you as you are. Maybe I never did belong here. Because I only asked one thing: that you tell me what was so terrible, that after years, you’d just say: “go away.”
    I may never know. You won’t tell me.
    Good Bye, then.
    Robin

  32. reprindle Says:

    Robin: The thing you’ve done is to encourage that worthless fag, Rag. He’s a homosexual, a faggot. All he wants is to put his finger in my eye, fuck over another man to prove he exists. That’s it. I’ve been deleting his obnoxious posts and emails for as long as we’ve been corresponding.

    Then he found our correspondence and decided to burn the site. Like Parker he’s a nobody who needs a somebody to be an anybody. He has no identity of his own.

    I asked you to discourage or ignore him and instead you act like he and I are bickering buddies. That’s it. Figure it out.

    I can’t get rid of the prick but I am certainly not going to tolerate him by your letting him insincuate himself into our conversation. That’s it.

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