Tuesday, February 21, 2023

Review Elvis Day By Day 2022 - 6

Elvis Presley biographer Paul Belard reviewed the 2022 edition of 'Elvis Day By Day'. This is the 6th review since the release of the book 1 month ago. 

First, let’s get what’s unwelcome about this release out of the way! I’m beginning to accumulate years and every time a new copy of this book arrives, it’s a reminder another one has been added to the pile. I know, nothing I can do about it; still, at my age, it can’t be ignored.

But this forlorn feeling disappears as soon as the package is unwrapped. Here we have a hefty volume, well over 400 pages, the largest of all the books published so far in this series. The color cover is attractive with an Elvis semi crouching on the stage in one of those poses he favored in the seventies. He holds the mike in his right hand, the left with fingers curled as if he wanted to grasp and hold on to the meaning of the song he was performing. Great picture!  

In the first pages, there is a detailed table of contents that is a real help in navigating the ocean of information overflowing from this book. 

The foreword is heartbreaking. It was written by Phil Gelormine who since sadly passed away in early February. Phil was a freelance photojournalist who worked on Billboard magazine. 

He reviewed Elvis' records, concerts and even the 'Aloha' TV special. His photos were featured in magazines, TV shows and Rolling Stone magazine. Phil was lucky to be in the audience at thirty-two of Elvis' performances. Along with his main collaborator, Dave Wolven, Phil attended Elvis' seventies personal movie sessions at the Memphian. 

When Elvis died, he began publishing the magazine Elvis World which ran for quite a few years. I subscribed to it and it was always a pleasure to read it. This foreword is a timely, albeit sorrowful, reminder of how great a fan Phil was. 

What follows is a seemingly endless list of events that happened in the Elvis world in 2022. Of course, the highlight was the release of the Baz Luhrmann's No. 1 award winning 'ELVIS' biopic and soundtrack. Its worldwide success was an immensely gratifying pleasure for us Elvis fans. A ten-page review does justice to this film which is destined to become a classic. Since the movie is in a way narrated by Tom Parker, Alanna Nash who wrote a book about Elvis’ manager updated it to coincide with the release of the movie. She was interviewed by Kees and Nigel Patterson of the Elvis information Network. It is an exhaustive and informative piece to which I had the privilege of being invited to add my two cents! 

Of course, every book, every vinyl, every CD released in 2022 is reviewed by Kees and others, often with original material. As an example, to support the release of the Volume 2 about Polish records released between 1966 and 1977 by Polish author Mariusz Ogielo, Kees and Nigel Patterson interviewed the author. It is a fascinating look at the way Elvis was ostracized in that country under the communist regime and the clever extremes the Polish fans went to to obtain his records. I was delighted to learn that Elvis has a star on the Avenue of Stars in Krakow.

The presentation is very well thought out. The text is laid out on two or three columns, making the read stress-free on the eyes. The pictures are sharp and easily blend with the writings on pages of different colors. I have published a series of books myself; I must say with a hint of envy that Kees’ books are a lot more attractive than mine. 

It is a reference book that does not need to be read in one sitting. One can pick a subject, randomly or intentionally. Kees’ books are ones that one will go back to regularly, if only to be reminded that Elvis’ legacy is not moribund. Their pages are proof that indeed it is alive and well. Elvis often said he was afraid that he would be forgotten. “They’re not going to remember me; I’ve never done anything lasting.” He may have left the stage in mid-song, but little did he know that his legend is forever encased in stone like King Arthur’s Excalibur sword.

Thank you for the kind words Paul, nice to read how you connected the various elements in the book as a whole. 

For more information on the book and previews please visit >>> Poplar Tunes webshop. The book is also available through >>> Amazon