With evangelical zeal, I talk about it, watch No Regrets - Dark Half - Chapterz on YouTube, and share it via social media. He was thirty-three, a new dad, and unbeknownst to all, even himself, he was at the peak of his powers. Part of the thrill of viewing the footage is watching fit, glistening Elvis realize this while the cameras roll.
The clownish, Falstaffian Elvis persona is nowhere in sight; the overweight, druggy, ludicrously caped and jump-suited 70s-era Fat Elvis Presley - The Real Elvis favored by the media, so prominent in the collective memory of the general public, does not yet exist. Soon after it aired, Elvis would take his newfound energy and renewed confidence, and spend it well.
At the behest of his controversial manager, Colonel Tom Parker, aka the Colonel, Elvis had not performed live sincea year after he was discharged from the U. Elvis and his peers had fallen, sometimes spectacularly, from the public Elvis Presley - The Real Elvis . These incidents — all within twenty-four months of one another — seemed to comprise the cacophonous death knell of a musical form that had only just gotten its wings.
Thus, Elvis spent most of the 60s in Hollywood, starring in increasingly uninspired song-and-dance movies Elvis Presley - The Real Elvis thirty-one scripted films in all — with mostly lame soundtrack albums, from which he made a sizable fortune, both for himself and the Colonel. During this time, of course, JFK happened, the Beatles happened, the Rolling Stones happened, the counterculture, psychedelia and Motown happened, and Elvis, although surrounded by one of the most notorious groups of sycophants Elvis Presley - The Real Elvis — the co-called Memphis Mafia — slipped ever more into depression, addiction to pharmaceuticals, and a creeping sense of his increasing irrelevance.
He lost his mojo. Although his decisions hurt Elvis as often as they helped him, the Colonel deserves credit for the idea of a TV special. The Colonel originally objected to the no-Christmas-carols development, and Elvis was terrified of failing and looking like a has-been, but Binder, who was close in age to Elvis, won the rocker over and, crucially, emboldened him to stand up to the Colonel. Elvis worked with Binder to show the world what he could really do, what he was about.
The assassinations of Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King had deeply affected Elvis he strongly suspected conspiracies. While he wanted to project his heretofore slumbering rock god self, he also wanted to infuse the proceedings with messages of racial harmony, anguish over loss, and above all, a shimmering hope.
The Colonel was not happy about any of that. But Elvis and Binder were determined and adamant, and they won the day. This segment is raw, somewhat lo fi, even occasionally punky. Here more than anywhere else, Elvis often seems possessed, yet controlled just enough, tapped in to a fount of spirit and soul, invoking a carnal essence that hangs about the small studio space like an entity, drawing open multiple mouths and teasing lips into astonished, toothy grins.
Elvis glistens with sweat, and thrashes at his guitar as if in a roadhouse. During breaks in rehearsals, Elvis took out his guitar and started messing around with Toe Jam - Faze-O - Riding High buddies, laughing and singing and carrying on. Binder recognized the power in the moment and invited a studio audience to come watch Elvis shoot the breeze and jam.
What a hoot! What happened? Two words: drugs and divorce. All of this ruined his physical and mental health. Elvis wanted it, too, but the Colonel insisted on a huge sum of money, and top billing over Streisand, so the part instead went to Kris Kristofferson, and the movie was a massive hit.
The next year, Elvis died of heart failure at his home in Graceland. The true Elvis was energetic and powerful -- a rock God Show Comments. Trending Articles. Buy Now, Pay Later. Already a Subscriber? Log In Here. Please sign in with Facebook or Google below:. If you have an older Salon account, please enter your username and password below: Bound To Doom - No Man Eyes - Cosmogony in. Log Out.