Friday, March 18, 2022

March 18 - G.I. Blues Exhibition

The Not Now record label announced the re-release of the LP 'G.I. Blues' with new cover-art, the vinyl for this re-issue is yellow. 

The backside of the LP noted "2021" as the release date, but the LP is not yet available. 

Side A: Tonight Is So Right For Love -  What's She Really Like - Frankfort Special - Wooden Heart - G. I. Blues

Side B: Pocketful Of Rainbows - Shoppin' Around - Big Boots - Didja' Ever - Blue Suede Shoes - Doin' The Best I Can.

Elvis Exhibition Down Under

Priscilla Presley says sharing the Elvis: Direct from Graceland exhibition with an Australian audience in Bendigo is a “dream come true”, while revealing it made her teary.

She travelled to Bendigo to open Elvis: Direct from Graceland at The Bendigo Art Gallery. The exhibition features around 300 authentic artifacts owned by Elvis Presley, including military uniforms, his 1976 Red Harley Davidson and an amazing array of his famous jumpsuits.

The director of the Bendigo Art Gallery, Jessica Bridgfoot, knew she needed “something big” to bring back the crowds after Victoria endured one of the world’s longest lockdowns.

Brainstorming started during lockdown in 2020 no one could think of a bigger name than Elvis Presley. And after two years of planning, Elvis’ former wife Priscilla Presley, also chairwoman of Elvis Presley Enterprises which runs Graceland, was in Australia to launch the new exhibition "Elvis: Direct from Graceland" which runs from March 19 2022 to July 17, 2022.

We had a wishlist of exhibitions we would love to do, particularly around celebrity fashion and style, when the pandemic hit we knew we would need something big to bring us out the other end,” Bridgfoot tells AFR Weekend. “We know there’s a huge Elvis fan base in Australia, obviously the Parkes festival and there’s a bit of a cult following, and we have had success before with these celebrity-focussed exhibitions.”

It is hard to think of a bigger cultural icon to channel a comeback than Elvis. His legendary 1968 Comeback Television Special relaunched his career and showcased his musical prowess, after his controversial manager, Colonel Tom Parker, steered him toward a line of low-quality films. Elvis’ all-black outfit from that performance is one of the 300 authentic artefacts on show at the exhibition which opens on Saturday having come direct from Graceland.

The suit he wore to sing 'If I Can Dream', the heartfelt finale to his ’68 Comeback Special, his first performance in almost a decade, after he tired of the Hollywood grind and moved to reignite his passion for live music.

Amazingly, it was the first time Priscilla had seen Elvis perform live. She saw him in a new light in that moment, and in the Las Vegas shows that followed. I became a fan,” she says. “I could not believe what I was seeing and it was like, ‘Oh my god’. This is what I loved about him ... it just was a beautiful sight – how he performed, how he moved, how comfortable he felt."

I was very, very proud of him. That was him. That was what he loved more than anything.”

And, in a little side room off the exhibition, a pile of books selected from Elvis’ bookshelf. Among them, Robert Kennedy’s profound analysis of the issues confronting 1960s America, To Seek a Newer World. And The Warren Report, the detailed official investigation into the assassination of JFK.

The comeback theme also resonates strongly with Priscilla Presley, who took charge of Presley’s estate which was on the verge of bankruptcy when Elvis passed away at the age of 42 from a combination of a heart condition and a reaction to prescription drugs. “One of the attorneys came up to me and said we are going to have to sell it,” Presley says at the launch of the exhibition on Friday. She is, at times, emotional. “Those were fighting words to me and forced me to roll up my sleeves because I said, we will never sell Graceland.”

Graceland has become the second most visited historic home after the White House and has had more than 23 million visitors, with Elvis enjoying another renaissance thanks to an upcoming Baz Luhrmann biopic. It is the latest in a long line of movies and documentaries about The King.

Graceland manager Angie Marchese says Luhrmann spent months at Graceland immersing himself in the singer’s life. Presley says that most of all, Elvis wanted to be remembered and urged people to look beyond the caricature. “There’s one recent book which makes fun of his jumpsuits, calling them Liberace suits,” she says. “I got a bit angry because this person didn’t know Elvis and why he had those suits, he wanted to please his audience, he wanted to give them something to take home.

The exhibition includes Elvis’ wedding tuxedo and Priscilla’s wedding dress, his daughter Lisa Marie’s baby clothes, two costumes from his ’68 Comeback Special and a bright red convertible 1960 MG from the movie Blue Hawaii, which Elvis owned.

There were a few things that we knew we wanted to secure if we were going to do the exhibition,” Bridgfoot says. “One of them was Priscilla’s wedding dress. We knew Australian fans would really want to see that and Elvis’ wedding tuxedo suit, so they were on the non-negotiable list, the Aloha from Hawaii suit and of course we wanted to make sure we had a really substantial array of jumpsuits.”

Amid the hundreds of items, small and large, unassuming and diamante-studded in the new Elvis exhibition at the Bendigo Art Gallery, a handful stopped Priscilla Presley in her tracks on her pre-opening private tour, sparking deep memories and emotions.

A set of bongos. A wedding dress. A crisp white suit. And an old, well-thumbed copy of The Prophet, a book of prose poems by Kahlil Gibran.

The bongos were her first Christmas present to Elvis: it was 1959 and 14-year-old Priscilla Beaulieu, the daughter of an air force captain, was falling in love with the 24-year-old singer, already a star, who had been drafted into the army and based in Germany.

She had scoured Wiesbaden for a present for the man who seemed to have everything he wanted, and settled on the $45 bongos (her father paid for them). “Bongos! Just what I always wanted,” Elvis said when he opened the present.

Italian Book

Diarkos  published the 456-page Italian book ‘Io, Elvis - La Parabola Immortale Di 'The King’ (I, Elvis - The Immortal Story Of 'The King'). The book details Elvis career and his lasting impact on the world around him . Accompanied by a solid bibliography, it contains rankings of rare and unobtainable records, lists of songs described through anecdotes and more.

(Source: Pascal Matteo / Elvis Club Berlin / Australian Financial Review / Sidney Morning Telegraph)