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Elvis Week 2000 "Summer Festival"

Elvis Week Report # 1 (August 10, 2000)

Hello All..
Just Got Back From A Fun Filled Day Of Activities And Elvis Shopping.
A Note Of Interest, In The Racquetball Room At Graceland They Have A Special Display This August For The Elvis Fans..
They Have A Display Of Suits, And Costumes Elvis Wore For The Film "That's The Way It Is" As Well As Some What Appears To Be Original Theatre Banners, And Posters From The Movie.
Will Keep Everyone Updated Every Evening With New Information On The "Going's On" Of This Elvis Week.. Photos To Follow As Soon As They're Developed.

Elvis Week Report # 2 (August 11, 2000)

Hello All! Here I Am Just Walking In The Door At 11PM!
A Rundown Of Some  Of The Events:

The Fan club Presidents Luncheon Occurred Today And Was A Vast Improvement
From January's Luncheon.
They Showed Some Clips From The New Movie ("Little Sister, Get Back" Among
Others) Todd Morgan Stated That The Release Has A High Probability Of Being
Shown In The Theatres In Early 2001!! The Video And DVD  Will Be Out In
January As Well. Running Time Will Be 97 Minutes, But The DVD Will Have 60
(Yes Sixty!) Extra Minutes!! They Also Found 65,000FT Of The Original
16Track Negatives.
This Will Definitely Be Fantastic!

Some Sad News To Report, Elvis The Concert, After The Next World Tour
(Ending Elvis Week 2001) Will Be The Final Time The Tour Goes On The Road.
It Will Play Australia Again For The Second Time, And Europe For The Third
Time.. They Will End With A "Bang" As For Elvis Week 2001 In August They
Will Have The COMPLETE Cast In An All Star Showing.. With Some Surprises??
After They Talked About The Video Release They Had A Rundown Of The New EPE
Website, Some Footage Of Lisa Marie Breaking Ground At The "Presley Place"
Among Some Other Things.

After The Luncheon It Was Off To The Conventions!! I Found That Some Vendors
Prices Dropped Dramatically, While Some Went Through The Roof!! Needless To
Say I Purchased About 20 Cd's, And Just About The Same Amount Of Vinyl Along
With The Regular Amount Of Elvis Week 2000 Memorabilia.

Also Ran Into Some Famous People In The Elvis World, And Also Friends Of
Mine.. Jacquline Ulmo, And Waltier From The Fantastic Fan club In Brazil (One
Of The Oldest Clubs There), Andrew Hearn Of "Essential Elvis", Bill Burk Of
The World Famous "Elvis World" Magazine, Laura Levin Who Just Published The
New Book 'Elvis And You' Which Is Highly Recomended,Jerry Osborne Who Is
Known Worldwide Among Fans For His Expertise In Elvis Record Collecting, And
Last But Not Least Henrik (I Knew Exactly Who You Are!). There Were So Many
People Who I Met Today It Is Really Mind Boggling, And It's Hard To Think Of
All Who I Met So I Apologize For The Ones Who I Didn't Mention

More News To Come Tomorrow, With A Rundown Of The New TTWII.

Elvis Week Report # 3 (August 12, 2000)

Well, My Head Was Extremely Fuzzy After Seeing Last Nights TTWII.. I Couldn't Even Know Where To Start Writing About It! But I Will Let You Read A Review Done By Ian Mackay Who Is A Very Talented Writer.. Do Not Worry There Will Be Some Very VERY Interesting Things About TTWII On My Page By Weeks End!
Onto The Review By Ian Mackay:

"Apologies for the confused commentary.   My mind is blown.   I no longer know
what's on the original movie, what's on the original ablum, what's on The Lost
Performances, what's on the new TTWII CD - nothing - my mind is a blank.
They look like new angles but they may not be - the whole movie looks totally
different.    Almost 100% of the songs are totally different.

Opening shots - MGM - Then Metro Goldwyn Mayer in dots - Cinemascope -
digitally remastered - surround sound - what a bloody sound.

Mystery Train - Vegas background, audience stills from Phoenix I think but
Vegas and into Tiger Man - James solo.   Audience shot of gorgeous blonde woman
that looks like Sandi Miller.   Loads of strobe.  Song ends - karate kick.
Screen goes black.

Then straight into the Ronnie jungle intro to the That's All Right concert
start except we're now into the roof shot of driving in to MGM - same pictures
I think but one shot from inside the car - walks in to the studio then we see
him coming in the door, shaking hands with the security guard - looks all new
to me.   Greets the camera, looks like God, talking to Charlie and Joe about
You Don't Have To Say You Love Me, looking at acetates.   Listening to The Next
Step Is Love - looking fab then - on comes the first of many explanatory titles
explaining the rehearsal and giving the date and place - in a modern typeface -
you'll love it - it tells people what's going on - what a bloody good idea!

E singing along with himself un-miked to Bridge.    James and Ronnie digging it
- obviously acetates from the June sessions.   "These are the same guys etc."
Still singing along to You Don't Have To Say You Love Me - great hands at the
end.   Again into a restart of the song, still no mike - claps his hands (cool
as fuck) and singing along to himself.   Charlie pretends to tune up with John
and E picks up the mike - cuts.

Talking "we don't know these songs" etc.

That's All Right - not from the start with the towel on the stool - great
angles really shows him in with the band - tight.   Shakes like hell during a
James solo - gets a few screams from the Orpheum audience.   Totally different
angles and close-ups - great.   Mike falls down - what a surprise but it still
gets a few laughs.   Drops his guitar and tells us the mike just gave up.

Polk Salad arm movements, as before - into the split pants routine.

Then the first of a few fabby five seconds clips of Elvis and the guys eating -
speeded up film used to great effect.

Into How The Web Was Woven - as before at the piano.   John looking, not for
the first time, like he's confused and in awe at the same time.    Falls off
stool - surprise.

Straight into Little Sister/Get Back as per the CD.   Shocked the hell out of
me.   Again - great wide shot of the band - Jerry just looks so great - with
Charlie in it this time.   Great shot of his foot that got them screaming.

Into Words - rehearsal - just Glen - talking about the singers being retarded
when coming in - great close-ups.   Then into the full band with the mike - as
before but, again it looks like different angles - Ronnie finish with the bass
drum when he sits down - as before.

Walks out with Richard and Joe - it explains Joe as his "confidant" in the
titles.   On to the tandem (who's won the tandem then?"   Just E and Joe - same
shots I think but with My Baby Left me as backing (obvious where Ernst had his
hand in this - credited by Rick twice - he's carefully chosen some great
incidental music and no doubt much of the other stuff).   Through the door and
back into rehearsal - My Baby Left me continues - longer shots of E with
upturned glasses - finishes the song, throws his towel into the air and Ronnie
throws his stick backwards in unison.

So you may ask - where is Crying Time?   Well, here it comes - all standing
round the piano - Richard, Joe, Jerry, Charlie, E, John, all singing - Glen
playing - camera goes up over the piano lid.   James conducting - maybe Joe's
not singing.   Towel in the air again and E has a swig from a bottle as he
walks away.

Into Love Me on stool with towel and Elvis pretends to give the mike a blowjob
- screams again.   The look on his face - he knows what he's done.   Falls off
stool - surprise - and asks Ronnie if "we're on tempo".

Then a brilliant close-up, looking mean, moody and sexy - serious - talking to
Denis Sanders - I won't spoil the joke for you but it leads into a masterly
cut.

Ceiling shot from the Hilton suite and the Sweets, Millie and the Imperials
rehearsing You Don't Have To Say You Love Me.    Into Twenty Days and Twenty
Nights after some paper shuffling and - Felton!   Just sitting their smoking,
talking to the singers and doing his job- he just looks ace - in charge - it
explains his role on the titles and it's a real plus - at last people will know
what the fuck is going on - now we know how this masterpiece Elvis Vegas show
came together.

Charlie in harmony beside E - both reading the words- bit of a laugh and one of
them - E I think goes way off key.   Gets feedback - Imperials still look like
they've bought their glasses from the Pink Shops.   Terry Blackwood explained
to me afterwards that although he was 28 at the time, he kept getting stopped
in the casino for looking under 21 - he just looks like someone's wee brother
in for the day.

Again - I won't spoil this bit for you by describing the song fully but it's
Rick, the supreme cutter at work - he's turned what Sanders stuck together in a
half-arsed way into a thing of beauty showing professionals at work - you'll
love it and for me it's one of the highlights of the movie.

Another 5 second speeded-up clips of Vegas and the International and in walks E
through the door after completing LA rehearsals.   Shakes hands with Felton -
god I love that man and into the Gee Gee discussion with the Sweets.

Bridge rehearsal with the singers and it's now coming together - we get it now
- we know what's going on - the Rhythm section first, then with the vocalists
too - it makes sense at last although we get another well-placed explanation.
Elvis the Producer really coming to the fore here - he's in charge now much
more than before - much longer with E directing the band and singers - getting
frustrated, encouraging - showing the man at work - the main objective of the
Special Edition.   Really showing his dry sense of humor here and again, I
won't tell you the joke.   Big Moscheo sideburns in great close-up.   Bridge is
given its full time allotment - a lot more than before and rightly so - great
segment.

Cattle Call follows and what a scream this is with the Sweets joining in as a
unit.    Takes a drink and announces he's going to Yodel.   Into The Happy
Yodeller, I think and Ronnie and James get into the speeded-up version - what a
scream this is.

Santa Claus is back in Town from the new CD with screwed up words although he's
reading them - in July?    Sexy as hell - you'll love the close-ups.   "If you
don't behave your goddam self, your Santa Claus just ain't gonna be hanging
round" as the camera pans to John looking utterly confused again.   Glen great
work, sounding like a bluesman and then into a classic shot of James looking
equally confused.   Ronnie is the only one who looks like he knows what he's
doing "You be a good little girl this year" - ends on Glen.

No gap - into Words and then another masterly cut and we're on the stage of the
International with an explanation of the fat people sitting in the front row.
 Starts Mary In The Morning - two false starts now - "Kill that blower or blow
that killer - whatever" showing us the new risqué Elvis Presley.   Screaming
Eagle, You Can't Use those words and then a real classic E - "You can't say big
ass on this film" - hilarious.   Lamar behave like a big ass.    Funny, no
name-check for Joe G as he comes into shot - a major omission I think.
"Missed a chord" as the song ends in the showroom roof.

Another rapid-fire segment builds up the excitement with his name up, hotel
scenes including the switchboard and the one-second we have left of the
Luxembourg Convention - the girl coming off the bus with the EP pants - strange
that was left in as it's totally out of context now.    Dressing room,
telegrams (wires) segment and big exposure given to George Klein sitting beside
Sonny.   Another rapid-fire segment of the queues (lines) past the slots.
Another highlight - Elvis picks his nose!   Mascara everywhere - another
rapid-fire segment - building up the tension.

Juliet Prowse, Xavier Cugat and his wife still get their full time.   Dale
Robertson, crowd scenes, lots of hats, jazzy music and into the fringe suit.
"Straight vodka man", George Hamilton looking cool, Cary Grant, E starts
walking with Richard, Sonny, George and Felton.   "No room in the inn" speech
from Emilio, great scenes from the walk, Sammy Davis Junior, talking to Charlie
- the lights dim in the showroom and the side shot of E - total darkness and
then we see him from all angles walking on to the stage.   Great balcony shot,
audience shot, puffs cheeks out, more audience, looking more like On Tour shots
and then bang - into That's All Right.

Long shots, close-ups, audience shots, great balcony shot, Imperials, James and
Elvis, audience and the great ending.   Explanation given that it was filmed
over six shows.

Feedback then what looks like a flash of lightning but it's a mark on the film.
  Great Concha pose with guitar - blows at the mike, strums guitar, clears
throat twice - into I Got A Woman - from the CD (I was wrong earlier when I
said it wasn't).   That full upward body shot and the screams from the women.
Really close, huge sideburns brief audience.   Ronnie working his ass off -
shot from the back of E.   Full power now.   Great movements - shakes the mike,
bent over pose for the exciting as hell ending.   Jerry looks impressed - what
a killer start - audience.

For some reason, he's stretched the mike stand and he can't reach it - funny.
On to the Hound Dog pre-song banter - gets his fringes away from his balls with
much hilarity, looks down, looks up and again - great side shot.   Still
leaning over and into the song with the band really kicking, as per the CD but
dialog is less here and no Farther Along.   Great body and mike stand shaking -
points to James to get the spotlight for the solo.   Starts the song in the
Concha and finishes it in the Chain suit!

Out of the chain suit now for the Sullivan "sumbitch" story - I always wondered
what Ger Rijff's poster in From The Waist Up was about.      Elvis explains
that the movie is to be called "Elvis loses his excess".   Then asks James for
"an E, a G, an F or a D, a B-Flat (Fat) Minor plus one".   Then does something
totally obscene with the mike stand.

Heartbreak Hotel showing some sexy women getting into it in the audience,
'solos' with James.   Really interesting cutting here - when E starts singing,
the camera stays with James - just for a second but what a change in attitude
from the original.   Again, long shots and close-ups - starts laughing because
he forgets the words?   Finishes on E and Jerry and then the showroom ("that's
all").

"I made a movie" gets wee guitar - a new little guitar!    "Y'all listen to me
- Ah'm good" as per the CD.     Toreador, full belt, "who dat was wit' you on
the floor?"   Starts Love Me Tender on the little guitar with James in perfect
sync and throws the wee one to Charlie and.    Lots and lots of kissing.   Long
shots, audience shots, Shot from the back by the camera behind the band - sees
it and walks towards it, turning back before he gets there.    You've seen the
still shot with E kneeling down and the MGM crew behind him?   Well here we see
what they got through their viewfinder.   Hilarious - I'll spoil this one for
you - shakes a man's hand and then bends down to kiss him and then apologizes.

Now here we have it - the walkabout - unreal - right across the showroom behind
the first level of booths and the camera is there every step of the way.
Outrageous, stunning, breathtaking, beats the Queen Mother on a walkabout any
day.   Mafia everywhere trying to protect him - surreal - absolutely weird.
Back on stage - knows how fast to walk so that when Charlie hands him the mike
he 's straight back into the song without missing a beat.   Apologizes to the
balcony this time.   Long side shots and still kissing.   Four and a half
minute LMT!

"You 'bout ready?" to the band and then stops James on Can't Stop Loving You.
Gets into it and belts it out.   A camera on a dolly at the side starts
panning, leaning backwards and another pan (if vertical is a pan), this time
going right up his body again.   From behind James now and then the Imperials.
  Great arm movements - I've not seen this before (or have I?).    Stares
straight at the camera and a powerhouse ending.

From the Concha, he's now in the Chain suit, asks for a time-out and gets
presented with a painting that he thinks "looks like Engelbert Humperdink,
autographs the woman's painting after she asks him to then forgets to giver pen
back and keeps the painting, after autographing it and asking if he could keep
it - she must have been confused - must look up at the house and see if it's
there.   Turns down another request for an autograph.

Says he's just done a Country and Western ablum and introduces Just Pretend!
Doesn't even know his own ablums.    Jazzy Lost Performances version but I'm
sure the angles are quite different.   "Come on man".   If this isn't one of
the best songs E ever recorded then tell me why - great side shots with the
Sweets in the background for the final build-up.   Amazing right-hand (E's
right hand) shot to finish.
 

No Walk A Mile - no I Just Can't Help Believing - what?  TTWII without I Just
Can't Help Believing, no Sweet Caroline?

Blank screen and then the full works for the red ladder Wonder OF You.
Superimposition of two E's - one in the Center and one on our left - great shot
- now please tell me the shot isn't on The Lost Performances.   I can't check
so far from home.   Where is home?   I digress.    James and Elvis- what a team
on this song - no surprise it was #1 for six weeks in the UK where it just blew
us away - imagine if we'd had the bloody video to promote it - it's not too
late BMG!   What's going to be the fucking single release to go with the
Video/DVD in January?   Come on - get working - this guy could have another #1
- brilliant performance.

Showroom pan and over to God in red ladder suit for In The Ghetto.   Just you
dare try to tell me that "he'll grow to be an angry young man some day" in this
version isn't one of the best moments in Elvis' career - still wipes me out
when I see it - the man really doing a brilliant song justice.       Two Elvis'
again, then dissolving to one.   Elvis, then Elvis and the Sweets then two of
Elvis plus the Sweets - great montage.   Oh shit - he turns sideways at the end
and just looks at us - he's so beautiful, he's scary.    An editing
masterpiece.

Blank screen, our favorite grooving audience member and Patch It Up kicks in.
Two gals digging it in a booth on their own - wonder how much they tipped for
that?   Still holding his piece of fringe - I've never known what it was - he
starts to go to work - what a mover.   Back to our fave cool audience member
but this we see he's got Jerry Garcia sitting behind him.   The next 30 seconds
of movie footage is just brilliant - really showing people at the top of their
form - and that includes Rick, Ronnie the Sweets and E.   Now everyone can see
that Tutt is the best drummer in the world.   What a mover E is - pure
excitement.

On comes a towel from the audience and no wonder.    The next women's highlight
is second only to The Walls Have Ears - puts one leg up on Ronnie's drum riser
and the tight suit becomes even tighter.   Wish my butt looked that good.
Perhaps I'll film it.    You've Lost That Loving Feeling starts in the classic
fashion with the blue light, the Imperials, Jerry's bass and then bang - here
he comes out of the dark.   Still forgets the words, after 30 years!   Sweets,
Millie and Imperials given a lot of time on screen and rightly so for this one.
  You know the screams are going to come when he gets down on his knees and
it's a great combination of shots to emphasize it.   Shit - just look at the
choreography from the backing singers on 'Don't, Don't - Imperials go one
shoulder and the Sweets go the other way - very classy - who the hell thought
that one up - a great catch by Rick.   Sheer power ending, not repeated as in
the CD, amplified by, again, great cutting.

Enough of the Concha - let's get back into the Chain Suit for Polk Salad and
this still got screams in the Orpheum.   Great, brief, carefully-chosen
audience shot showing stationary guys stationary in front of a girl working up
a sweat to the beat.   Millie still can't clap in time.   Another classic E
moment - maybe it's just me but for 25 years, I've thought that when he says
"but they did all right" and moves his eyes, he's really getting down to work.
  Rick really did a great job recognizing what an excellent job had been done
on the original and left this classic as it was.   Here she comes again - that
woman at the back, clapping in time.   Still needs the piece of paper to
remember the words.    Still zooming out and in on the first 'sock a littles'
still pointing at James but "you're right, you're right" from a different angle
if I'm not mistaken.   Still a great ending but for some reason it's even more
exciting - maybe I've missed something and there's new angles.

Reel change at the end of the song and skillfully done with a shot of the stage
from E's left hand side in front - never seen that angle before.   Audience and
we're back to the Concha with E starting another kissing spree.   "Come here
little girl" "Oh what's the matter?" he asks to this gibbering wreck of a
gorgeous girl with hair like Ann Moses "kiss me" she yells and he takes his
time about it.   The next one is even better - "wanna get serious or just play
a little?" he asks - "yes" comes the sexy voice reply before he even finishes
and she pulls him down on to her and they get serious.

One Night - the way it should be sung - with a cup of Gatorade in your hand for
the first 30 seconds - now when you listen to the CD and he's a bit slow in
with "I need your sweet helping hand" - you know it's because he was drinking!
 You've never seen him move like this - jerks backwards in steps after I Ain't
Never - like he's had an electric shock - it got them going at the Orpheum in a
big way.   "Is what I'm now praying for you…." with great hand actions.   So
much more exciting than the original and that's saying something.

Don't Be Cruel still as bad as ever - after "kick your …" we see that mother
(who likes a lot of action) still makes it to the screen - she must be about
110 now.   Charlie and Ronnie playing for their lives, more Charlie, more
Sweets, more frantic audience.   Mercifully short then an audience shot.

Into White Suede Shoes and back to the Chain suit.   James and Ronnie Rocking
and then the gorgeous blond again.   Even the movements can't help the tired
song - you can't kick this motherfucker.   Into All Shook Up and the only
highlight being a gorgeous brunette.   When you think there's no Sweet Caroline
and no I Just Can't Help Believing, it seems such a waste to include this
low-key stuff.

A quick change of suits back to the Concha - a great turn on the spot and he's
into You Don't To Say You Love Me.   Side shots of the band and E clearly show
Charlie standing way behind Jerry with his music stand.   Forgets the words of
course but moves a lot and ends with the shaky hands that I could never
perfect.

After a drink of water calls for "Suspicious Minds".    This is one song I am
not going to spoil for you and I hope others don't describe it to you - it is
without doubt the highlight of the show and you should see it as a virgin - no
clips just see the real thing on January 8th - god what a long wait.   Six
minutes of heaven.   "shove it up your nose indeed".   George Hamilton really
into it in a big way.   Shit, it's just so good. I've always thought we got
the short end of the stick by not getting the '69 SM on film but no after this one.
Just when you thought it was ending, here he comes again, thrusting, pushing,
like a gazelle, like a viper.   It goes black, the lighting guy is slow and
suddenly from being down on the floor, he's Mercury, right hand in the air.

You know it's coming and you hate it - he points at Glen with his right hand.
All the lights on.   Smiles everywhere , a cheeky one as he goes into a ballet
movement - power, power, power to the end - same shot from behind - back to
close up - twirls right round, shaking all the way, arms out.   On one knee -
here comes the curtain - we get a long shot from the audience of the stage then
suddenly a close-up of E as the curtain drops over his face - is he finished?
No, he lifts the curtain just one last time and he's gone from the audience but
not from us.   Behind the curtain - a towel, a wave to the band - the classic
OK sign from another angle - Richard, Sonny, Joe and - the Colonel - come to
meet him and walk him off followed by Charlie and the Sweets.- he walks
straight at us.

Elvis - That's The Way It Was - a film by Denis Sanders..

Credits roll on the right of the screen with E singing Are You Lonesome Tonight
(baldhead) on the stool with his Gretsch."
Ian Mackay

Elvis Week Report # 4 (August 13,14,15,16, 2000)
There Will Not Be Much To Report In The Next
Couple Of Days Except The Turnout Of The Vigil Etc.
It Is Now Time For Me To Work On The Multimedia Sections Of The "Elvis Week 2k" Section
I Know Many Of You Will Be Pleased! :) With Many Pictures, Real Audio And Video.

Jordan

 

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