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Discussion in 'Bassists [BG]' started by mtman1, Oct 14, 2010.
Thank you....Thank you very much.
Classic pic. Thanks for sharing
Bet that P-bass would be worth some major coin....
Elvis is the only dude on Earth who will always be cool. How cool would it be to be able to say, "I started rock n roll"?
Cool pic, indeed but Elvis most certainly did not start Rock n Roll
Well it would be if it were true. See
for more background info. I used to think "Rocket 88" was the first, but there were others that preceded it.
I'd argue that many others like Ray Charles, Chuck Berry, etc. had equal or more influence then Elvis in starting rock n roll...but that's just my opinion.
Cool pic though.
Elvis didn't start Rock and Roll, but is largely responsible for Rock and Roll as we know it.
In John Lennons words:
"We'd tried to meet Elvis during our first tour of the States in 1964, but couldn't make it because of his commitments and ours. But when we came in the summer of 1965 we found we'd be in Hollywood at the same time Elvis was filming there.
And that's how we met Elvis on the night of Friday, August 27, 1965. It still took three days of planning to set up the get together in Elvis's house--which we hoped would be a secret. But the fans and the press still got wind of it and were there in their hundreds trying to get in, and although we
were used to crowds, the thought of Elvis and the Beatles being together at one time just blew the minds of some of the people.
Anyhow, Elvis was inside waiting to greet us. He looked great in black slacks, a red shirt and close fitting black jerkin. He said hello in his quietly spoken way and led us into this huge circular room. We were joined by some his staff as well as Colonel Parker and Brian Epstein.
I know Paul, George, and Ringo were feeling as nervous as I was. This was the guy we had all idolized for years--from way back when were just starting out in Liverpool. He was a legend in his own lifetime, and it's never easy meeting a legend in his own lifetime.
However, Elvis tried to make us feel at home. He sat - Paul and me on one side of him and Ringo on the other. George sat cross-legged on the floor. A huge color television was on in the middle of the room with the sound off, while a record player was playing the latest tunes. We could have just walked in on an average Elvis-at-home evening. Elvis obviously liked to treat everybody he met the same, whoever they were. He finally broke the silence that had fallen over the room.
"Look, guys," he said, "if you're just going to sit there and stare at me, I'm going to bed." He smiled, and we all laughed. "Let's talk a bit, huh?" he went on. ``And then maybe play and sing a bit?"
That's just what we all wanted to do, and you could feel the tension in the room begin to ease. One of Elvis's staff brought us drinks, but while we all drank scotch-and coke or bourbon-and-Seven Up, Elvis only had Seven Up.
He didn't touch any of the cigarettes that were offered around, either. After a bit Elvis said, "Somebody bring in the guitars." Again one of his men jumped up, and within moments three electric guitars had been plugged into the amplifiers in the room.
Elvis took a bass guitar, and I took a rhythm guitar. Elvis obviously wasn't that familiar with his instrument, so Paul gave him some instructions.
"Here's how I play the bass," he said, strumming a few chords. ``It's not too good, but I'm practicing."
George was busy looking over his instrument, and it was a few minutes before he joined in. If I remember correctly, it was Cilla Black's hit record "You're My World" that we first got off together.
After that I said, "This beats talking, doesn't it"--and we had at last found a way of communicating through music.
Only Ringo looked a bit down. He could only watch us and drum on the side of his chair.
"Too bad we left the drums in Memphis", Elvis said, as if trying to console him.
After a while, Paul put down his guitar and went over to the large white grand piano that stood in a corner by the bar. He began to pick out some notes and we got into one of the Shadows tunes.
While all this was going on, Brian and the Colonel sat chatting at the back of the room. Then they went out into the games room to play some roulette. I think Brian won a bit, and the Colonel lost a little.
Playing the instruments certainly helped us feel at ease with Elvis. After about an hour we stopped and began to talk about the thing we all knew best --entertaining. In particular, the experiences we'd all had on tour.
"Some funny things happen to you on the road, don't they?" Elvis smiled. "I remember once in Vancouver we'd only done a number or two when some of the fans rushed the stage. It was lucky the guys and I got off in time. They tipped the whole damn rostrum over!"
Paul immediately followed up Elvis's words. "Yes, we've had some crazy experiences, too. I remember one fellow rushed on stage when were performing and pulled the leads out of the amplifiers. Then he turned to me and said, "One move and you're dead."
Elvis replied, ``Yeah, it can be pretty scaring at times. "I chipped in. "But you're on your own, I said. "At least we've got each other up there. If somebody pushed me on stage and said, "You're on your own, like they do with you, I don't know how I'd cope."
The conversation then moved on to the problem of flying, which Elvis admitted could bother him.
"I once took off from Atlanta, Georgia, in a small two-engined plane," he recalled, "and one of the engines failed. Boy, was I scared! I really thought my number was up. We had to take everything that was sharp out of our pockets and rest our heads on pillows between our knees. When we finally got down safely, the pilot was soaking with sweat, although there was snow
on the ground outside."
George told Elvis a similar story about when he had been flying from Liverpool and the window beside him had suddenly sprung open.
"Yeah," agreed Elvis again."We pay the price for fame with our nerves don't we!"
I also remember I talked to him about cars. Everyone knew how much he loved them, and he'd just got himself a Rolls-Royce Phantom Five.
"Snap!" I told him. "I saw it outside. Mine is just the same except I've had all the chrome bits painted black."
It was 2 AM when we finally quit. Elvis had been a great host and gave all of us a complete set of his records. It was a night none of us would forget.
As we were about to leave, Paul said, "Elvis, we'd like you and the other guys to come up to the place where we are staying tomorrow night."
"Well, I'll see," Elvis replied. "I don't know whether I can make it or not. But thanks all the same."
He smiled and shook our hands. We never saw him again. It was Elvis's sense of humor that stuck in my mind. He liked to laugh and make others laugh, too. Which was why I put on a Peter Sellers voice again as we walked out of the door and said,
"Tanks for ze music, Elvis--and long live ze King!"
I'm pretty sure that bass is hanging in the Music HOF in Cleveland.
When The Beatles visited Graceland, Elvis took them to his music room, pulled out and played a Fender bass for a jam session.
EDIT: Stickplayer beat me to it, and much more elaborately!
Read above - John Lennon's story of meeting the King with the bass.
He 'suggests' that McCartney may have even played this bass.
Last I was in Memphis that bass was on display at Graceland. Around 2001.
God Bless, Ray
You must have missed the EDIT in my post. I acknowledged your post. I'll do so again. Well done.
The meeting wasn't at graceland, it was in hollywood, as the post states. Also, left out of this post but noted in the Beatles Anthology doc, is that the Beatles were disappointed to learn some time not long after their meeting, that Elvis had somehow tried to quietly petition the gov't to keep the Beatles out of the country.
On the subject of Elvis starting rock-n-roll, I think Chuck D has the best word.
Elvis took a very serious role in developing and performing his music. If you listen to Live at Madison Square Garden, it's pretty clear that he understood the power and the role of the bass very well. I think he had a lot of respect for the instrument.
Regarding his role in rock n' roll, I think he was a major force in popularizing it.
Much the same when Leo Fender took Paul Tutmark's fretted electric bass and popularized it. Surprise, Leo didn't actually invent the electric bass!
Or when Henry Ford popularized the automobile which was already in existence.
Pfft. No mention of The Treniers on that page. The were the first band to call their music Rock and Roll.
Cool photo of Elvis though........
Here is a really cool Elvis/McCartney connection. Very cool to see Paul awestruck.
TCB in a flash
I am always tickled when people post a link to wikipedia like its the Gospel. Anyone can post or edit wiki, that's why it's a joke.