Elvis Presley: “The King meets The Beatles”
“There is a season for everything, patience will reward you and reveal all answers to your questions.’ Elvis
“To judge a man by his weakest link or deed is like judging the power of the ocean by one wave”. Elvis
Sleep on, you haven’t heard a word
Perhaps it’s just as well
Why spoil your little dreams
Why put you through the hell
Life is no fairytale
As one day you will know
But now you’re just a child
I’ll stay here and watch you grow
Elvis Meets the Beatles
They walked up to Elvis and were introduced, and Elvis sits down on the chair. The Beatles all sit down on the floor right in front of Elvis, in a semi-circle, and they look up and they are just gaping & staring at him.
There’s this dead silence in the room until Elvis says, ‘Well, what-the-hell, if you guys aren’t going to talk to me I’m going to my bedroom’. And then everyone started to laugh and that broke the ice.
“When I first heard ‘Heartbreak Hotel’, I could hardly make out what was being said. It was just the experience of hearing it and having my hair stand on end. We’d never heard American voices singing like that. They’d always sung like Sinatra or enunciated very well. Suddenly, there’s this hillbilly hiccuping on tape echo and all this bluesy background going on. And we didn’t know what the hell Presley was singing about, or Little Richard or Chuck Berry. It took a long time to work out what was going on.” John Lennon
“Once upon a time, all we knew about Elvis was that he sang like a motherfucker; and that was all that mattered; you know, when you gas up and you go to pay inside the gas station and you hear Elvis singing Surrender, (1961), you know that the mystery of that guy, was everything; the voice, and the mystery, and the not knowing; and I think the great thing about anything that you hear over the waves is, you don’t want to know too much, you know?” Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin
“When I was a child, ladies and gentlemen, I was a dreamer. I read comic books, and I was the hero of the comic book. I saw movies, and I was the hero in the movie. So every dream I ever dreamed, has come true a hundred times…” Elvis
“The first time that I appeared on stage, it scared me to death. I really didn’t know what all the yelling was about”. I didn’t realize that my body was moving. It’s a natural thing to me. So to the manager backstage I said, “What’d I do? What’d I do?” And he said, “Whatever it is, go back and do it again.” Elvis
“live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage. It’s my favorite part of the business — live concerts”. Elvis
“Along with the rest of “Deep Purple”, I once had the chance to meet Elvis. For a young singer like me, he was an absolute inspiration. I soaked up what he did like blotting paper. It’s the same as being in school — you learn by copying the maestro. His personality was also extremely endearing, his interviews were very self-effacing (and), he came over as gentle and was generous in his praise of others. He had a natural, technical ability, but there was something in the humanity of his voice, and his delivery. Those early records at the Sun Records label are still incredible and the reason is simple: he was the greatest singer that ever lived.” Ian Gillan, of Deep Purple
“I discovered the blues in a funny kind of a way, from the age of seven when I was listening to my father’s war-time collection of big band jazz. It had that thing about it – I didn’t really know what it was –, that set the pulse racing a bit; and then I heard echoes of it again, with early Elvis Presley.” Ian Anderson,of Jethro Tull
Even in his laziest moments, Presley was a master of intonation and phrasing, delivering his rich baritone with a disarming naturalness. And when he caught a spark from his great T.C.B. Band, Presley could still out-sing anyone in American pop. You can hear it here on inspired versions of Muddy Waters’ “Got My Mojo Working” (1971), Wayne Carson’s “Always on My Mind”(1972), Chuck Berry’s “Promised Land” (1975), McCartney’s “Lady Madonna” (1970), Percy Mayfield’s “Stranger in My Own Hometown”(1969), Dennis Linde’s “Burning Love” (1972) and Joe South’s “Walk a Mile in My Shoes” (1970).
“I spoke to over 140 songwriters whose work Presley recorded, and most remarked about his uncanny ability to capture the essence and make it his own; like a musical geneticist, he drew from every strand of DNA in a songwriter’s work, which ultimately helped shape his own distinctive personal interpretation; just listen to the wide stylistic swath of genre-hopping material he recorded during his career – from Junior Parker’s amphetamine-paced rockabilly classic “Mystery Train” and the poppin-perfect panache of Otis Blackwell’s “All shook up”, to the down and dirty blues swagger of “Reconsider baby” and the operatic grandeur of “It’s now or never”-; and then there were more controversial and socially conscious anthems (“If I can dream” and “In the ghetto”), and introspective 70’s fare like “Separate ways” and “Always on my my mind”; right away, you can hear the breath of a master stylist who breathed new life into every song he cut” Author Ken Sharp, in the introduction to his book, “Writing for the King: The songs and writers behind them”,