Did Joe Tunzi's JAT Publishing go into the restaurant business? It may appear so as he published an oversize menu. Fortunately for us fans, it contained a CD.
The main part of this release is of-course the design. I don't own an original Vegas menu from an Elvis Presley engagement, but thanks to this commemorative re-print of the July 31, 1969 Las Vegas Menu I know what a lot of collectors are talking about.
This is the menu that was used for Elvis Presley’s first Las Vegas engagement in 1969 at the International Hotel, now The Las Vegas Hilton. The cover has a die cut hole through which a color photo of Elvis can be seen.
Among collectors it is the “Holy Grail” of Elvis Presley menus as it is the hardest to find and therefore the most sought after. Originals are valued at around $1200. Below is an image of an original Las Vegas menu. This one is different from the Tunzi re-print.
Personally I think it is an original idea to use this format as the cover of a CD; it is a nice collectible if you are into this stuff. It beats interview CDs in a plain and simple cardboard or jewel case package. Personally I would have stuck to the size of a Follow That Dream Classic Album release as I have no idea where to fit this release in my CD cabinet ... Joe Tunzi did forget one thing while designing this package, the tracklisting.
The design is nominated for the 2009 Printers / Concept Awards.
The menu is as a matter of fact the sleeve for the CD "After Midnight", containing many celebrity interviews recorded after the much celebrated July 31 V.I.P. Show. The interviews are with - famous - people attending the return of Elvis to live performances; entertainers actors, actresses and International Hotel management. It is fun to hear both the build-up of excitement for the show to come or the excitement of a reporter sharing his experiences in a radio interview on the other side of the US. How I wish I could have been there, but I guess I'm not the only Elvis Presley fan who wished a time-machine was available.
In between these audio fragments we get several commercials for "Elvis: That's The Way It Is". Although nice to hear the many commercials they don't entirely fit the '69 packager. As the plans for the film were still in the making or did not even exist. If only I would say ...
Joe Tunzi came up with a nice package for a fun release, fun for the fans who are into this stuff. Personally I would have preferred to hear these interviews as part of a Follow That Dream re-issue of a concert from this engagement. It would complete a concert release nicely.
We received this picture of a real menu inside, autographed by Perry Como, Jerry Lewis, Paul Anka, Carol Channing, Rouvaun, Henry Mancini, Hugo Montenegro and Wayne Newton. The inside of this menu differs from the printing inside the Tunzi re-issue.