Holding Back The Years

By Dan SicilianoJan 26, 2004
Holding Back The Years
As I was listening to this bootleg Concert on CD, the first thing I noticed was the intensity of the drums. From the very first notes of See See Rider, you can hear the difference in this concert from all the others in 1976. This is due to the "new" drummer Elvis used in several of his concerts in the last two years of his life, the great Larrie Londin. Let's take a minute to learn about this lesser know member of Elvis' band. Larrie Londin, born in 1943, started playing the drums when he was 8 years old. Londin played on thousands of recording sessions in Nashville for such greats as Merle Haggard, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Barbara Mandrell, Crystal Gayle, Ronnie Milsap... the list goes on and on. It wasn't until 1976 that Elvis, after hearing Larrie's drumming, invited him to go on tour. Elvis was very impressed with Larrie's passion. In later years, Larrie spoke of his times with Elvis as the "highlight" of his career. Going back to March 23rd, 1976, Cincinnati, the CD "Holding Back The Years" is one of the best examples of Elvis’ and Larrie Londin's working relationships. You can tell Elvis was not entirely comfortable with Larrie. Not the way you might think, but the fact that Ronnie Tutt, Elvis' main drummer, knew his boss, and could follow him, his every move on stage. Here, in this concert, we almost have Elvis following Larrie as his intensity is clearly different than Tutt's. Just listen to the opening of See See Rider, after the 2001 theme ends, you can tell that something is different. There is a new energy in this concert. Elvis is clearly affected by this, as, on a few occasions he asks Larrie to "watch me". It is very important to note how the drummer can set the tempo for an entire song. As Elvis starts to sing "love me", he suddenly stops and tells the band "this is the slowest you've ever played this song", so they restart at a slightly faster pace. This was Larrie's doing! You can hear this type of thing all throughout the show, heavier beats of on the drums and slower versions of song, one who has listened to hundreds of Elvis concerts can clearly tell that something is different here. On a side note, it was Larrie who played with Elvis on his final appearance, June 26th, 1977. The concert is one of a hundred that were all to sadly the same in 1976. The songs, the lack of enthusiasm in Elvis were very evident. With few inspirational moments, Elvis managed to get thru the concert. He started to forget songs he sang many times before, very evident on this night. Elvis teases the crowd, has some fun, then the hour is up and it's time to go. One may ask, why a review of a concert during such a lackluster time in Elvis' career. It's not like it's Pittsburgh or something of that caliber. Well, i think that it's interesting and obvious to note that there is something very unusual in this concert, something that has a spark of a different sound we are not used to hearing during this timeframe...and it's Larrie Londin who makes it fun. This concert is definitely worth a listen. Elvis in 1976 is by far one of his "weakest" years, but it is still Elvis and with all the unreleased material the die hard fans have been exposed to in the last 8 years (thanks to Ernst), we love to hear things that sound different than what we are used to with Elvis. Most of the concerts we listen to, the music blends in with Elvis' voice. We don't hear it as a separate entity, but with Larrie Londin on the drums, we once again notice something we are not used to hearing. This makes the CC stand out as far as 1976 goes... Larrie Londin, who continued to play for the greats after Elvis' Passing, conducting drum "clinics" all over the country, played for Journey and Steve Perry and was named ACM's drummer of the year in 1984 and 1986. While conducting one of his clinics in April, 1992, Larrie suffered a heart attack. He lapsed into a coma and later died on August 24th. Larrie was 49 years old.
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Reactions

Cell0_Welh0 (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 23, 2004report abuse
Maybe one of the best soundboard record ever! It sounds great in my radio. Best performances are See See Rider (drums), Let Me Be There, You Gave Me A Mountain and Polk Salad Annie. The only bad thing is that Elvis doesn't look very great, but that man still ROCKS!!!
andrewmartinbarber (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2004
Invisible because there was speculation about people and bootlegs
James69 (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2004
Invisible because there was no relation to the article
andrewmartinbarber (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2004
Invisible because there was speculation about people and bootlegs
Patrick68 (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2004
Invisible because there was speculation about people and bootlegs
andrewmartinbarber (profilecontact) wrote on Feb 1, 2004
Invisible because there was speculation about people and bootlegs
TCB fan (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 30, 2004report abuse
To my suprise I read a lot of positive reactions on this cd. Well let's say this, the sound is great on this cd and the band is fantastic! But I can not say that Elvis was in a good shape in this concert. But he still had some great moments in 1976. We could never forget the december concerts of that year. So Elvis was also the king in 1976 as he always will be.
Erlend, Norway (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 30, 2004report abuse
Ah, so nice to read all the positive reactions! Not always the case on this site because of us, the spoiled Elvis-fans. But thanks to a very well written article by Dan Siciliano, we are inspired to take the CD out of our shelves and re-listen to it. I was certenly inspired! And what a fulfilling experience it was. Thank you Dan! And then I see all these posive reactions on this concert from a "low" year 1976 was. I love you all dear Elvis-fans!
James69 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2004report abuse
Matt W, thanks. That's what I thought they did, it does add a certain touch to the sound. I could take many more unreleased concerts like that.
Matt W (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 29, 2004report abuse
James69, when listening to the DAE/Luxor releases (same people) I notice that they have added a touch of reverb to the recording. I also noticed that its a stereo reverb and that its the same on all the DAE/Luxor releases I have. It's not obtrusive or greatly noticeable but it is there.
James69 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2004report abuse
I wish the "diamond" label would start releasing more cd's...Unless the ones they released back in 95 where the only ones they had? Each one was superb in sound compared to other soundboards, but maybe the Diamond people played around with the sound? What ever reason it was, this cd and all others by Diamond sound darn good. Does anyone know if the Diamond people who ever they were, played with the sound??
JessielovesElvis (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2004report abuse
A friend of mine burned this bootleg on cd for me, and I loved it. For 1976 Elvis sounded pretty good. Now I realize that NOT every show in 1976 was like this. But this show has energy, and Larry Londin is I think a big part of it, even though he does not follow Elvis like Ronnie Tutt used to do so well.
Stacey75 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2004report abuse
Dan, terrific review, and glad you wrote it, it made me listen to this cd for the first time in years! I really love it. Larry Londin is fabulous. Actually all the "Diamond" label cd's that where released in 1995 are very good in sound.
James2774 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2004report abuse
Thanks Dan, I thought this to be a very informative article, never mind the slight errors. Good job!
jeremytcb (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2004report abuse
A review of one of my favorite imports...one of the first I bought and still one of the best. Elvis is a lot of fun in this show and there are some true highlights for 1976. Larry rocks - he is a big reason why this CD is a favorite. I agree that this is a great America the Beautiful, much better than what was put out as a single by BMG.
Dan (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 28, 2004report abuse
Boy, you guys are good! I can't get anything right in this review. Yes it is spelled Londin, and the date of the last concert was in fact June 26th, 1977 as we all know! It must have been late when i wrote this. Sorry guys! I should have proof read the article! I love this. Elvis Fans are the best! Dan Siciliano (hey, i spelled my name right!)

ElvisNews: we corrected these typos
gribz (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2004report abuse
Ronnie Tutt is the greatest in my opinion, but I remember hearing some interesting fills and dynamic changes, when I heard a couple of live bootlegs featuring Larry Londin.. He certainly was a famous and well respected session and live drummer.
Patrick68 (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2004report abuse
I agree, great bootleg. I had not listened to it in a while, but after reading Dan's review, I put it in the cd player, and yes Larrie Londin sounds great. I have many country cd's of George Jones, Vince Gill, and others, and Larrie plays drums on them. Too bad FTD can't release this, or maybe this will motivate them to do it??
Eivind (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2004report abuse
Yeah, love this show as well. Not so much for Elvis rather sloppy performances, but because of the obvious good spirit upon stage and the great band behind our man! Both the presence of David Briggs, Shane Kiester and last but by no means last, Larry (and it's Londin, not London). Great drummer, and very different to Tutt who had developed an almost symbiotic relationship with E on stage. It' s a show with a few high lights and lot's of fun. One of the few soundboards I still listen to once in a while. Got great sound as well.
Marco Aurelio (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2004report abuse
I was reading the primmary reaction By: Dan Siciliano, January 26, 2004. I´m sorry but Elvis is great in this concert. When it was written that Elvis had a lack of enthusiasm, I could not believe. It´s one of the best concerts in 1976. with the bootleg Steamrolling Charlotte and New Years´Eve and MANY others. His interpretation for Let Me Be There is very nice too. (OK, Elvis forgot the lyrics to And I Love You So, but that usually happens, I Think). Great CD, and a great concert in my opinion. Larrie London is great too, but I do prefer Ronnie Tutt.
Dan (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2004report abuse
Hi! Yes, i slipped on the date. Everyone knows that Elvis' final concert was indeed June 26th, 1977. It was a typo..sorry! Interestingly enough, when i fist heard Larrie London, On the bootleg "The Last Farewell", i thought the tape might be playing at the wrong speed. I later found out it was a different drummer, Larrie London, whom Elvis introduced as "he's about the size of London".
Matt W (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2004report abuse
I remember getting this when it came out and noticing the drumming, a nice change (although Ronnie is pure genius). This show also contains in my opinion the best version of America The Beautiful with Elvis' vocal soaring at the conclusion.
Null (profilecontact) wrote on Jan 27, 2004report abuse
Hi! I'll sure get a hold of this one too! Please note that the final Elvis' appearance was on June 26th,1977 and not 21st...And it was in Indianapolis, Indiana. I just wanted to share this!

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