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Old 01-11-2020, 03:32 PM
Mike Mabes is online now
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when did you become an Elvis fan?


Inspired by the thread about Elvis dying and was it a surprise.

I was born in 1962 so I was almost 15 when he died. Heard the news on TV, went to tell my Mom who was a big Elvis fan. She didn't believe me at first.

Now at that time, I of course had heard some of his songs on the radio, but to me he was just a fat guy in a white jumpsuit in Vegas. "King of Rock and Roll?"

Then in 1983 or so, HBO showed "One Night With You" which showed all of the songs that were recorded for the 68 Comeback Special, most which did not make the TV show. And Elvis comes out in that black leather suit, with a face like a Greek God, and does all of his classic songs. And they souded, I am sure, just like they would have sounded to someone listening on the radio in 1956.

And I got it.

A couple of quotes-

John Lennon. "Before there was Elvis, there was nothing" Well not quite, John. Elvis did not invent rock and roll, and anyone who says he did doesn't know what the hell he is talking about. But anyone who says Elvis just stole from the blues also doesn't know what the hell he is talking about. Elvis took the blues, and gospel, and country, and blended them into something new.

Christian Slater, in True Romance. "I'm not gay, but if I had to fuck a guy, I would fuck Elvis." No qualifications.
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Old 01-11-2020, 07:56 PM
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I was born in '82. We visited Graceland on Spring Break when I was 14 or 15 years old. I became a fan then. Ironically, the first song I remember hearing Elvis sing was a cover of Neil Diamond's "Sweet Caroline".

My sister, "cousin", and I spent a few minutes singing "Hound Dog". "You ain't nothin' but a [noun], [verb]ing all the time. Well, you ain't never [done something], and you ain't no friend of mine." Drove the grown-ups nuts.
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:13 PM
Just Asking Questions is offline
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Not so far....
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Old 01-11-2020, 08:56 PM
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When? Probably after hearing I Want to be Free (Like a Bird in a Tree), a favorite song for those of us involuntarily exiled to boarding school. Going "over the wall" was our constant dream. But I was never a fanboi. I bought no Elvis records. I don't recall Wolfman Jack playing Elvis. By the time the Beatles arrived, Elvis seemed... old school. Manicured. Formulaic. Almost Pat Boone.

BYW Elvis didn't steal blues or R&B riffs and certainly didn't steal Hound Dog from Willa Mae Thornton, who sang that song, written by two Jewish New Jersey kids, very unlike Elvis. I know this wasn't brought up here but the notion circulates.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:18 PM
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Never bought his records but I like charro the western he made with victor french.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:49 PM
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I became a fan of Elvis, The King, when I was in 5th or 6th grade. (1980ish) I asked for Christmas presents that I thought would piss off my parents. Although I had little desire to actually hear Elvis or Kiss records, that's what I asked for. My parents, not being morons, got me Elvis records. The records opened my eyes to the whole world of Rock and Roll.
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Old 01-11-2020, 10:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Just Asking Questions View Post
Not so far....
Not to threadshit, but yeah. This. Although to be fair, Iím rarely enthralled by vocal prowess.

Iím totally impressed by Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison, the Beach Boys, the Everly Brothers, and many other pre-Beatles artists, but with Elvis I just listen and shrug. Even the early stuff like Mystery Train and Hound Dog. Little Sister ainít bad. By the time 1965 rolled around he was making hokey movies, singing dumb songs, and seemed under his managerís thumb. In the 1970s he was a Nixon fan, and a J. Edgar Hoover fan.

Shrug.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:24 PM
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I was only vaguely aware of Elvis growing up, from hearing his songs on the radio occasionally, but none of them grabbed me. I have to admit it really wasn't until the comedy improv show Whose Line Is It Anyway? used "Burning Love" as background music for one sketch that I really took an interest in him (and it's still my favorite song of his). A few years later I saw a great museum exhibit of B&W photos from early in Elvis's career, and that further drew me in. Now I like Elvis a lot.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:35 PM
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I got into oldies radio during high school, waking to these guys every morning.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:52 PM
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I always knew who is was whilegrowing up but didn’t really start to appreciate Elvis until I got swept up in the Rockabilly revival of the early 1980s and took a deep dive into the Sun Records catalog. One of my favorite albums in High School was an early version of the Million Dollar Quartet album. The cover showed Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, and Jerry Lee Lewis looking over the shoulder of a whited out figure at the piano who was obviously Elvis, but for some contractural reason he couldn’t be credited on the record.
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  #11  
Old 01-12-2020, 10:57 AM
Just Asking Questions is offline
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Originally Posted by Baal Houtham View Post
Not to threadshit, ...
I hope all know that my comment isn't threadshitting. The OP was not prefaced that only fans need post.

I didn't say anything bad about the King. Just not a fan.

Last edited by Just Asking Questions; 01-12-2020 at 10:58 AM.
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:05 AM
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Right after my older sister took me with her to see "Girls! Girls! Girls!" back in '62.
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Old 01-12-2020, 11:30 AM
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I grew up with Elvis always playing in the house (my mom was a big fan), so I can't ever remember not being an Elvis fan myself.
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Old 01-12-2020, 12:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Mabes View Post
Inspired by the thread about Elvis dying and was it a surprise.

I was born in 1962 .....
..... to me he was just a fat guy in a white jumpsuit in Vegas. "King of Rock and Roll?"......
I'm a little older than you , and I know exactly what you mean. We grew up when Elvis was at his very worst - to me, at say 18 or 19, it was unimaginable that he had ever been good. We were listening to The Clash, and Elvis was a fat irrelevance.

I must have learned about the good stuff in my mid 30's. I've told this story before but it's a goodie - I was visiting colleagues in Belgium, and a few of us from the office went out to lunch together, and for some reason I got into an argument with my colleague M about Elvis. I should point out that as she was based in the Belgian office I did not know her very well. Basically my position was that Elvis was good, and she should listen to the early stuff, and the only reason she didn't like him was that she was probably much the same age as me and had the same experience of Elvis when she was growing up. This led to us comparing ages, and it turns out..... we were born on the same day.

Hell of a way to win an argument.

j
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:22 PM
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Born in '82, grew up indoctrinated because of my grandma. Fell out of love by puberty, then rediscovered the music in my 30's.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:33 PM
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As soon as his songs hit the radio in about 1956. He was a huge part of the infant rock/rockabilly genre. The music was mesmerizing and stirring for an audience that had never heard anything like it before. He was also able to take his talents to the big screen. His movies were not always good, but he was almost always watchable. I remember a girl I was fond of in the 4th grade standing outside the theater after "Love Me Tender" was over, weeping uncontrollably because she missed out on the pictures of Elvis being handed out. While many parents weren't happy with the guy, Elvis was a major force in music trends and most kids couldn't help but be fans.
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Old 01-12-2020, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baal Houtham View Post
Not to threadshit, but yeah. This. Although to be fair, I’m rarely enthralled by vocal prowess.

I’m totally impressed by Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison, the Beach Boys, the Everly Brothers, and many other pre-Beatles artists, but with Elvis I just listen and shrug. Even the early stuff like Mystery Train and Hound Dog. Little Sister ain’t bad. By the time 1965 rolled around he was making hokey movies, singing dumb songs, and seemed under his manager’s thumb. In the 1970s he was a Nixon fan, and a J. Edgar Hoover fan.

Shrug.
I'm kind of in this camp. But like a number of other bands I could name, I do absolutely love the live performances that Mabes mentions. There is something about seeing the "whole package", as well as just listening to the songs, that makes them so fucking good.

Last edited by Fiddle Peghead; 01-12-2020 at 01:38 PM.
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Old 01-12-2020, 03:06 PM
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When he appeared on national TV singing Hound Dog. And then later the adults complaining about the young guys in town wearing sideburns. Of course that just made it all so much better.
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Old 01-12-2020, 04:22 PM
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When I was growing up, The pop-culture image of Elvis was a caricature, with huge sideburns and sequined jumpsuits, looking like a poor man's Liberace. I ignored his music.

When I was in college, Cheap Trick released their cover of "Don't Be Cruel". I was surprised that I liked it.

When I was in my thirties, I worked for a company where the lobby music had several Elvis songs in rotation. "Devil in Disguise", "Can't Help Falling in Love", and "Kentucky Rain". I was surprised that I liked them all.

A couple of years ago, I finally got around to watching Lilo and Stitch. I finally had to admit that I like Elvis.
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Old 01-12-2020, 07:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baal Houtham View Post
Not to threadshit, but yeah. This. Although to be fair, Iím rarely enthralled by vocal prowess.

Iím totally impressed by Buddy Holly, Chuck Berry, Roy Orbison, the Beach Boys, the Everly Brothers, and many other pre-Beatles artists, but with Elvis I just listen and shrug.
Most of those didn't aspire to be opera singers. Elvis and Orbison did. Mario Lanza was their hero, but neither rocker quite had the pipes for it.

Quote:
By the time 1965 rolled around he was making hokey movies, singing dumb songs, and seemed under his managerís thumb.
That was his downfall. Col Parker, his illegal-immigrant manager, had Elvis make money, not art. I'll paraphrase Freewheelin' Franklin: "Art will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no art." (But don't ask me to defend that.)
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:52 AM
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I was in high school when "Heartbreak Hotel" was released and we were all blown away by it. But I cooled very quickly when he went on with stuff like "Hound Dog" and "Don't Be Cruel", never thought of mysel as a "fan". But hist last few songs were pretty nice ballads, "Suspicious minds", "In the Ghettu", and the man was a good talented singer.
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Old 01-13-2020, 04:56 PM
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2003. My girlfriend was a huge fan and played one of his singles compilations that came out at that time. I was surprised at just how much I liked them. Before that he'd been kind of in the background for me.
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Old 01-13-2020, 05:10 PM
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I was a teenager when Elvis arrived on the music scene. I was an early fan, but as he was elevated to Demigod status I lost interest. I still like his earliest work, though, and "I Want You, I Need You, I Love You" is still one of my favorites of his. By the time he was a star, I was already on into others, mostly in Folk and Jazz. However, the women in my life were more in love with Elvis than with me. Sorta sucked!

I thought he was a piss-poor actor!
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