Elvis turned out to be pretty square in the end, didn't he? I was listening to the newly restored version of Elvis: That's The Way It Is on the TV in the background this morning while I worked. It was Elvis at about the age that I am now, getting ready for his first shows in Vegas. He looked good, but, he wasn't the rebellious 50's rocker people seemed to want to remember; he was a square... in a jump suit and big old mutton chops.
Old E. still had something going on back in '70. He looked like he was in great shape. It must have been all the karate. Maybe he was popping some benzedrine on the side and it was helping to keep him thin. His voice sounded good too. The talent was there, and the jumpsuits, while weird, had not yet gotten too cartoonish. Then again, hey, it was the '70's. Who is to say whether or not jumpsuits were weird or not in a decade that brought Pet Rocks.
Yet, one can see where Michael Jackson may be headed when you see Elvis from film in '70. Shamefully, while Elvis had the voice and the talent, he didn't seem to respect the music on stage. People were coming to see him, Elvis the King, Elvis the Star, not to hear him sing the songs (except those early hits that made him The King). After all, did we really need to hear The King sing "Bridge Over Troubled Water" with an 8 piece band and 10 backup singers?
I think not. The year 1970 was an excellent year for music with an edge... Led Zepplin was on their way up, the Rolling Stones arguably making some of their best stuff... and Iggy Pop, Lou Reed, and Alice Cooper were warming up to take the stage a little ways down the road. In the midst of this, Elvis sounded more like Frank Sinatra than "the King of Rock'n'Roll".
on 2004-01-08 at 10:16 p.m.
The Wayback Machine - To Infinity And Beyond