A.M.O.P. PRESENTS: ELVIS_Somebody Love A Stranger (Volume 1)

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If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig the artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom

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Hello All! Hello World!

Not sure where this one came from really, but I woke up with an urge to make it. Perhaps it’s because I miss my grandmother, or perhaps it’s because I heard that the documentary Elvis Presley: The Searcher will debut on HBO in April, or maybe it’s just because I sometimes feel like a weirdo with a broken heart (which is what I was originally going to name this series of mixes); but whatever the reason hopefully this MixTape will help you hear why Elvis Presley’s voice could deliver to your old folks a new wet quiver and a reverberation in the guts. You should also be able to recognize that he surrounded himself with some of the finest musicians you will ever hear.

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A.M.O.P. Presents: ELVIS_Somebody Love A Stranger (Volume 1)
  • Way Down (1976)
  • Stranger In My Own Home Town (1969)
  • Medley: Mystery Train/Tiger Man [Live] (August 25, 1969)
  • One Night Of Sin (1957)
  • Trying To Get To You (1955)
  • My Baby Left Me (1956)
  • Milky White Way (1960)
  • I’m Left, You’re Right, She’s Gone (1955)
  • I Need Somebody To Lean On (1963)
  • She Thinks I Still Care (1976)
  • That’s Someone You Never Forget (1961)
  • Don’t (1957)
  • A Mess of Blues (1960)
  • Hound Dog [Live] (August 25, 1969)
  • Strung Out Speech (September 2, 1974)
  • Polk Salad Annie [Live] (February 19, 1970)
  • That’s All Right (Mama) (1954)
  • Stranger In My Own Home Town (July 24 – 1970 , Rehearsal)
  • Tomorrow Is A Long Time (1966)
  • Long Black Limousine (1969)
  • Don’t Think Twice It’s Alright (1971)
  • I Shall Be Released (1971)
  • Where Could I Go But to the Lord (1966)
  • Working on the building (1960)
  • Love Me Tender (1956)

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[Elvis I & II by Andy Warhol, 1963. The original images images of Elvis were taken from a publicity still for the 1960 movie Flaming Star. Based on the 1958 book Flaming Lance by Clair Huffaker, the western film had an original working title of Black Star.

[Elvis I & II by Andy Warhol, 1963. The original images of Elvis were taken from a publicity still for the 1960 movie Flaming Star. Based on the 1958 book Flaming Lance by Clair Huffaker, the western film had an original working title of Black Star and an accompanying Elvis song with the lyrics : Every man has a Black Star / A Black Star over his shoulder / There’s a lot of livin’ I gotta do / Give me time to make a few dreams come true, Black Star]

 Born January 8, 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis Aaron Presley, along with the figures of Marlon Brando and James Dean was part of what “Beat Generation” writer Jack Kerouac characterized as America’s New Trinity of Love.  Writing this in 1957 (the year On the Road was published) (and read here by the comedian Richard Lewis) Kerouac said:

“Love is sweeping the country.

“While wars and riots rage all around the world, in a vortex that resembles the dying Dinosaur Age of Violence, here within her sweeter shores America is producing a Revolution of Love. Three young men of exceptional masculine beauty and compassion and sadness have been upraised by its reaching hands.
[…]
“The Garden of Eden might come back in its pristine form. The old American Hero fought the Devil; the new American Hero knows that the Devil never existed except in the minds of anxiety. There will be no more tempting of the woman by the Devil and no banishment from the paradise on earth.
[…]
“There is the need all around to be recognized and adored by some other human being, the need all around for kindness, for the ideal of love which does not exclude cruelty but is all-embracing, non-assertive, simply lovely. Not necessarily the Dionysion orgy but the tender communion.”
[…]
Although I’ve still yet to read Peter Guralnick’s two-volume biography of Elvis Presley (Last Train to Memphis: The Rise of Elvis Presley in 1994, followed by Careless Love: The Unmaking of Elvis Presley in 1999), the finest writing about Elvis I’ve ever encountered is the obituary written by great American writer Lester Bangs for the Village Voice in August 1977. You can find that below and I highly recommend it.

 

[Tupelo, Mississippi - Sep. 26, 1956, photo by Marshutz Stanley]

[Tupelo, Mississippi – Sep. 26, 1956, photo by Marshutz Stanley]

Where Were You When Elvis Died? (How Long Will We Care?) (and Robert Johnson, too):
By Lester Bangs
Village Voice, August 29, 1977
 
Where were you when Elvis died? What were you doing and what did it give you an excuse to do with the rest of your day? That’s what we’ll be talking about in the future when we remember this grand occasion. Like Pearl Harbor or JFK’s assassination, it boiled down to individual reminiscences, which is perhaps as it should be, because in spite of his greatness, etc., etc., Elvis had left us each alone as he was; I mean, he wasn’t exactly a Man of the People anymore, if you get my drift. If you don’t I will drift even further, away from Elvis into contemplation of why all our public heroes seem to reinforce our own solitude. 
 
The ultimate sin of any performer is contempt for the audience. Those who indulge in it will ultimately reap the scorn of those they’ve dumped on, whether they live forever like Andy Paleface Warhol or die fashionably early like Lenny Bruce, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, Charlie Parker, Billie Holiday. The two things that distinguish those deaths from Elvis’s (he and they having drug habits vaguely in common) were that all of them died on the outside looking in and none of them took their audience for granted. Which is why it’s just a little bit harder for me to see Elvis as a tragic figure; I see him as being more like the Pentagon, a giant armored institution nobody knows anything about except that its power is legendary. 
 
Obviously we all liked Elvis better than the Pentagon, but look at what a paltry statement that is. In the end, Elvis’s scorn for his fans as manifested in “new” albums full of previously released material and one new song to make sure all us suckers would buy it was mirrored in the scorn we all secretly or not so secretly felt for a man who came closer to godhood than Carlos Castaneda until military conscription tamed and revealed him for the dumb lackey he always was in the first place. And ever since, for almost two decades now, we’ve been waiting for him to get wild again, fools that we are, and he probably knew better than any of us in his heart of hearts that it was never gonna happen again, his heart of hearts so obviously not being our collective heart of hearts, he being so obviously just some poor dumb Southern boy with a Big Daddy manager to screen the world for him and filter out anything which might erode his status as big strapping baby bringing home the bucks, and finally being sort of perversely celebrated at least by rock critics for his utter contempt for whoever cared about him. 
 
And Elvis was perverse; only a true pervert could put out something like “Having Fun with Elvis On Stage”, that album released three or so years back which consisted entirely of between-song onstage patter so redundant it would make both Willy Burroughs and Gert Stein blush. Elvis was into marketing boredom when Andy Warhol was still doing shoe ads, but Elvis’s sin was his failure to realize that his fans were not perverse – they loved him without qualification, no matter what he dumped on them they loyally lapped it up, and that’s why I feel a hell of a lot sorrier for all those poor jerks than for Elvis himself. I mean, who’s left they can stand all night in the rain for? Nobody, and the true tragedy is the tragedy of an entire generation which refuses to give up its adolescence even as it feels its menopausal paunch begin to blossom and its hair recede over the horizon – along with Elvis and everything else they once thought they believed in. Will they care in five years what he’s been doing for the last twenty? 
 
Sure, Elvis’s death is a relatively minor ironic variant on the future-shock mazurka, and perhaps the most significant thing about Elvis’s exit is that the entire history of the seventies has been retreads and brutal demystification; three of Elvis’s ex-bodyguards recently got together with this hacker from the New York Post and whipped up a book which dosed us with all the dirt we’d yearned for for so long. Elvis was the last of our sacred cows to be publicly mutilated; everybody knows Keith Richard likes his junk, but when Elvis went onstage in a stupor nobody breathed a hint of “Quaalude….” In a way, this was both good and bad, good because Elvis wasn’t encouraging other people to think it was cool to be a walking Physicians’ Desk Reference, bad because Elvis stood for that Nixonian Secrecy-as-Virtue which was passed off as the essence of Americanism for a few years there. In a sense he could be seen not only as a phenomenon that exploded in the fifties to help shape the psychic jailbreak of the sixties but ultimately as a perfect cultural expression of what the Nixon years were all about. Not that he prospered more then, but that his passion for the privacy of potentates allowed him to get away with almost literal murder, certainly with the symbolic rape of his fans, meaning that we might all do better to think about waving good-bye with one upraised finger. 
 
I got the news of Elvis’s death while drinking beer with a friend and fellow music journalist on his fire escape on 21st Street in Chelsea. Chelsea is a good neighborhood; in spite of the fact that the insane woman who lives upstairs keeps him awake all night every night with her rants at no one, my friend stays there because he likes the sense of community within diversity in that neighborhood: old-time card-carrying Communists live in his building alongside people of every persuasion popularly lumped as “ethnic.” When we heard about Elvis we knew a wake was in order, so I went out to the deli for a case of beer. As I left the building I passed some Latin guys hanging out by the front door. “Heard the news? Elvis is dead!” I told them. They looked at me with contemptuous indifference. So What. Maybe if I had told them Donna Summer was dead I might have gotten a reaction; I do recall walking in this neighborhood wearing a T-shirt that said “Disco Sucks” with a vast unamused muttering in my wake, which only goes to show that not for everyone was Elvis the still-reigning King of Rock ‘n’ Roll, in fact not for everyone is rock ‘n’ roll the still-reigning music. By now, each citizen has found his own little obsessive corner to blast his brain in: as the sixties were supremely narcissistic, solipsism’s what the seventies have been about, and nowhere is this better demonstrated than in the world of “pop” music. And Elvis may have been the greatest solipsist of all. 
 
I asked for two six-packs at the deli and told the guy behind the counter the news. He looked fifty years old, greying, big belly, life still in his eyes, and he said: “Sh.it, that’s too bad. I guess our only hope now is if the Beatles get back together.” 
 
Fifty years old. 
 
I told him I thought that would be the biggest anticlimax in history and that the best thing the Stones could do now would be to break up and spare us all further embarrassments. 
 
He laughed, and gave me directions to a meat market down the street. There I asked the counterman the same question I had been asking everyone. He was in his fifties too, and he said, “You know what? I don’t care that bastard’s dead. I took my wife to see him in Vegas in ’73, we paid fourteen dollars a ticket, and he came out and sang for twenty minutes. Then he fell down. Then he stood up and sang a couple more songs, then he fell down again. Finally he said, ‘well, sh.it, I might as well sing sitting as standing.’ So he squatted on the stage and asked the band what song they wanted to do next, but before they could answer he was complaining about the lights. ‘They’re too bright,’ he says. ‘They hurt my eyes. Put ’em out or I don’t sing a note.’ So they do. So me and my wife are sitting in total blackness listening to this guy sing songs we knew and loved, and I ain’t just talking about his old goddam songs, but he totally butchered all of ’em. Fu.ck him. I’m not saying I’m glad he’s dead, but I know one thing: I got taken when I went to see Elvis Presley.” 
 
I got taken too the one time I saw Elvis, but in a totally different way. It was the autumn of 1971, and two tickets to an Elvis show turned up at the offices of Creem magazine, where I was then employed. It was decided that those staff members who had never had the privilege of witnessing Elvis should get the tickets, which was how me and art director Charlie Auringer ended up in nearly the front row of the biggest arena in Detroit. Earlier Charlie had said, “Do you realize how much we could get if we sold these fu.cking things?” I didn’t, but how precious they were became totally clear the instant Elvis sauntered onto the stage. He was the only male performer I have ever seen to whom I responded sexually; it wasn’t real arousal, rather an erection of the heart, when I looked at him I went mad with desire and envy and worship and self-projection. I mean, Mick Jagger, whom I saw as far back as 1964 and twice in ’65, never even came close. 
 
There was Elvis, dressed up in this ridiculous white suit which looked like some studded Arthurian castle, and he was too fat, and the buckle on his belt was as big as your head except that your head is not made of solid gold, and any lesser man would have been the spittin’ image of a Neil Diamond damfool in such a getup, but on Elvis it fit. What didn’t? No matter how lousy his records ever got, no matter how intently he pursued mediocrity, there was still some hint, some flash left over from the days when…well, I wasn’t there, so I won’t presume to comment. But I will say this: Elvis Presley was the man who brought overt blatant vulgar sexual frenzy to the popular arts in America (and thereby to the nation itself, since putting “popular arts” and “America” in the same sentence seems almost redundant). It has been said that he was the first white to sing like a black person, which is untrue in terms of hard facts but totally true in terms of cultural impact. But what’s more crucial is that when Elvis started wiggling his hips and Ed Sullivan refused to show it, the entire country went into a paroxysm of sexual frustration leading to abiding discontent which culminated in the explosion of psychedelic-militant folklore which was the sixties. 
 
I mean, don’t tell me about Lenny Bruce, man – Lenny Bruce said dirty words in public and obtained a kind of consensual martyrdom. Plus which Lenny Bruce was hip, too goddam hip if you ask me, which was his undoing, whereas Elvis was not hip at all, Elvis was a goddam truck driver who worshipped his mother and would never say sh.it or fu.ck around her, and Elvis alerted America to the fact that it had a groin with imperatives that had been stifled. Lenny Bruce demonstrated how far you could push a society as repressed as ours and how much you could get away with, but Elvis kicked “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window” out the window and replaced it with “Let’s fu.ck.” The rest of us are still reeling from the impact. Sexual chaos reigns currently, but out of chaos may flow true understanding and harmony, and either way Elvis almost singlehandedly opened the floodgates. That night in Detroit, a night I will never forget, he had but to ever so slightly move one shoulder muscle, not even a shrug, and the girls in the gallery hit by its ray screamed, fainted, howled in heat. Literally, every time this man moved any part of his body the slightest centimeter, tens or tens of thousands of people went berserk. Not Sinatra, not Jagger, not the Beatles, nobody you can come up with ever elicited such hysteria among so many. And this after a decade and a half of crappy records, of making a point of not trying. 
 
If love truly is going out of fashion forever, which I do not believe, then along with our nurtured indifference to each other will be an even more contemptuous indifference to each others’ objects of reverence. I thought it was Iggy Stooge, you thought it was Joni Mitchell or whoever else seemed to speak for your own private, entirely circumscribed situation’s many pains and few ecstasies. We will continue to fragment in this manner, because solipsism holds all the cards at present; it is a king whose domain engulfs even Elvis’s. But I can guarantee you one thing: we will never again agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis. So I won’t bother saying good-bye to his corpse. I will say good-bye to you.

[Photo by Al Wertheimer, Segregated Lunch Counter: Elvis Presley waits for his bacon and eggs at the railroad station lunch counter while a black woman waits for her sandwich, Chatanooga, Tennessee, 1956]

[Photo by Al WertheimerSegregated Lunch Counter: Elvis Presley waits for his bacon and eggs at the railroad station lunch counter while a black woman waits for her sandwich, Chatanooga, Tennessee, 1956]

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___________________))))))))))))))))

All the best to you and yours!—  –   ————-______-________ ->BOBBY CALERO[—+=-_________________

If you dig the mix then please feel free to pass & post it along; if you dig the artist then please support them and go out and pick up some of their stuff. Oh, If you dig the blog overall there’s always the “FOLLOW BLOG VIA EMAIL” button somewhere down at the bottom

 

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2 thoughts on “A.M.O.P. PRESENTS: ELVIS_Somebody Love A Stranger (Volume 1)

  1. Nick says:

    great post, with great dueling commentaries on the “meaning” of Elvis. Elvis as cipher for the big, nasty American id – a libertine race car with police escort, a pill-popping easy chair with built-in toilet seat.

  2. […] not sure where this one (and Volume One) came from really, but I woke up with an urge to make it. Perhaps it’s because I miss my […]

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