As soon that the fan world learned that ‘Johnny B Goode’ was replaced by ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ on the opening credits of ‘Elvis On Tour’, hundreds of reactions where written on various message boards. Lots of fans are blaming Warner or EPE (who don’t even own the On Tour footage) for not doing a good job on this release.
Tom Lucas, VP Marketing manager of Warner USA, explains: The moment Warner decided to release a restored version for ‘Elvis On Tour’, they contacted all the composers and publishers for the songs that are included in the movie. In case of ‘Johnny B Goode’, they never received any reaction from composer Chuck Burry or his publisher.
Warner tried to contact them for a very long time, but never received any reply or contract. It is not the case that Warner did not want to pay enough money to include the song, they simply did not receive an offer to pay for it.
Warner had two options left: forget the whole project and put it back in the vault, or release it with another intro. The fact that they choose ‘Don’t Be Cruel’ and the editing that was used on it, is food for another discussion. Although the opening (only 87sec!) is altered, we still are very happy that we can enjoy the rest of the movie in great quality!