The Rock ‘n’ Roll Years, Volume One

Apr 7, 2003
The Rock ‘n’ Roll Years, Volume One
After a one and a half year wait there is another book by Ger Rijff. Let’s see if it was worth the waiting. Design What can we say? “The lay-out is astonishing” is about all we can come up with. This book is exactly what you expect of Ger Rijff and his team (Ecco Fatto! & Jean Paul Commandeur), it’s a real treat for the eye. We are sure we will pick it up over and over again, just to enjoy the well balanced overview of photos and memorabilia. Some of the pages are almost gloomy, breathing the age of the material and next you have very fresh pages, with bright colours, underlining the freshness Elvis (of the fifties) still has after 50 years. Like no one else Ger Rijff knows how to prevent a boring effect in his work. The only objection we can come up with is that this issue is not a hard-cover one, like its predecessor “The Hottest Thing That’s Cool” was. A jewel like this deserves that finishing touch, it would certainly justify a higher price. Content The book is divided in three main sections: “Local Boy Makes Big”, “Rockin’ The Nation!” and “Hollywood, Here I Come!”. Roughly the reader can recognize these sections, but it is hard to tell when (especially) the second and third start exactly. In the first section Rijff focuses on the rise of Elvis, with rare pictures, known pictures and great memorabilia (like the invoice of Elvis’ second acetate, “I’ll Never Stand In Your Way”). In this chapter there also is shown that Memphis Press Scimitar took more than one picture in July 1954, although it is not really for the first time, since both pictures were published before at least once (in “Day by Day” and “Last Train To Memphis”). More memorabilia, like several pressings of singles, magazine covers, letters and programs are shown throughout the book. Of course very interesting, but they “only” decorate the main content, marvelous pictures of Elvis, both known and unknown. One can never get enough of the pictures in pink shirt down-town Memphis or enough pictures of the Love Me Tender sessions. All this eye candy is completed with text by Trevor Cajiao, taken from old issues of “The Man And His Music” and “Now Dig This”, telling beforehand that it is an interesting read too. Together with the often funny comments going with the pictures, the written words give a finishing touch to another marvelous Ger Rijff production. The first 500 copies of the book include a CD with partly unreleased interviews from the 50’s and 70’s. Conclusion Memorabilia, known and unknown pictures gathered by Ger Rijff and text by Trevor Cajiao are ingredients for a delicious Elvis-cake that probably no cook can spoil. Elvis Unlimited took care of serving this candy of which we can’t get enough! Hopefully the next course will be served soon!
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