Well, not Elvis talking, of course, but me and Neal Umphred talking about him some more. Neal has posted our latest conversation–more free-ranging than the last–over at his place. You can find it here…Good stuff for any Elvis fan, or anyone interested in record-collecting stories and alternative histories generally…And isn’t that everyone (or at least everyone who visits this site!)…I should probably warn you that, though both Neal and I are huge Elvis fans, we do make a distinction between this:

and this…

And said difference (between the two sides of the first 45 Elvis/RCA released in the teeth of Beatlemania) is fairly significant to our conversation…So please give a listen and head on over.


  1. Loved the different perspective, and the relevance of a song called ‘It Hurts Me’…Elvis would concur and I have to say that I revisited your tome on the ‘Day Elvis Died’ and loved it, again! TCB! Clementine

  2. Enjoying your conversation with Neal (thanks for the introduction) and looking forward to more. “It Hurts Me” delivers! There is that Voice again, such an instrument and he knew how to use it.

    As you say, we will never know why or how Elvis let his music go unattended in the 60s. I suspect grief over the loss of his mother, and depression, were constant in his life during that period. It took a good ten years for the fog to lift for me.

    Oh those movies, may I suggest a visit to The Sheila Variations? (Again, thank you for the introduction). What she wrote about “Tickle Me” opened my eyes. It’s Camp! Of course, the critics couldn’t give him credit for any intelligence inside his performance. Sheila has much to say about E’s movies, worth reading.

    For sheer fun, I love the clip from “Fun In Acapulco” where he sings “Bossa Nova Baby” while dancing and playing the organ. Girls loved his movies for just that kind of scene.

  3. Well Sheila’s my blogging idol (one reason I name-dropped her over there)…but I don’t think Neal’s gonna be convinced on the movies. Seems he was scarred in youth! She opened my eyes on the movies as well, but I just haven’t seen enough of them to have any strong overriding opinion. I divide those I have seen into those I enjoyed (like Girl Happy and Viva Las Vegas) and those that made no impression at all (like Roustabout and Tickle Me)…I will do as Neal suggests though and watch them all in order at some point. I suspect I’ll come out somewhere between him and Sheila but in any case I look forward to the experience…Now all I need is time and money!

    Oh and I agree that the death of Elvis’ mother was a huge factor in the rest of his life and one that his critics have rarely understood on any level (and for any number of reasons)….Hmmm, might be a post in that.

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