The show 'An Evening with Elvis' Friends and Original Musicians' will be doing 14 concerts in Sweden, Finland and Holland in a couple of weeks. The show includes Elvis' 'On Stage' drummer BOB LANNING, as well as his 70s bodyguard DAVE HEBLER.
The production crew behind the show has now added another name, percussionist EDDIE GRAHAM, who played percussion for Elvis at almost 200 Vegas shows in 1969 - 1972. Eddie remembers Elvis as a gifted entertainer who always gave his best, and who was kind and generous towards the people he worked with. You can hear Eddie's percussion (Elvis sometimes called it 'kettle drums') on albums like 'On Stage' and 'That's The Way It Is'. You can even see Eddie in the movie a couple of times, for instance in the Vegas rehearsal sequences. In the clip below, an outtake from TTWII, you can see Elvis introduce Eddie:
Looking back at his association with Elvis today, Graham says: "I come from a Jazz background, and when Elvis started making headlines I was not interested in the "new" rock n' roll. I was not a fan. I didn't see what the fuss was about Elvis shaking his hips. Then later, when I was asked to step in and play Elvis' show in Las Vegas, I got a totally different perspective. I realized his talent and his connection to black Southern Gospel music. Man, it was an epiphany. Watching him work and his effortless singing gave me a respect for him that I didn't share with other "rockers" of the day. Little Richard and the likes to me were all show and short on talent. Elvis was just the opposite. By the way, I was NOT initially a fan of the Beatles. Remember, I was playing pure Jazz at the time. Now I have broadened my tastes and realize the contributions of these groundbreaking artists".
This tour marks Eddie's first appearance at Elvis shows in Europe. For more info, please visit: www.elvisnews.dk