The 3rd book in Erik Lorentzen's The Elvis Files series is volume 4 and handles 1965-1968. Is it as attractive as the first two parts that were issued?
The massive book count 569 pages, including some page-sized ads. Just like the previous volume it handles the movies in depth. This information is decorated with tons of pictures. Thumbing through the book is a delight by itself.
The book starts with some publicity shots and a part adapted from Fortas’ book From Memphis To Hollywood before it’s time to go on with the immortal Harum Scarum. Of course many pictures of the set, the movie and some publicity shots. There are some candids included from the time the movie was made. Talking about candids… this book contains many of them. Those impromptu moments always have something special.
Frankie and Johnny and Paradise, Hawaiian Style are next. The header by Piers Beagly “The Beatles were recording Rubber Soul, Bob Dylan was writing Like a Rolling Stone, and Elvis was singing Queenie Wahine’s Papaya” says it all! The articles from the magazines at the time weren’t too positive either, why didn’t he get awake earlier? It’s the death of Bill Black is the main referrer to better times…
1966 starts with some candids in the snow at Graceland before continuing the movie-years with Spinout. Double Trouble and Easy Come, Easy Go (contender for the title worst Elvis movie) follow. Clambake is the first 1967 movie, with quite some wardrobe shots making it more or less funny. Then it’s time for the wedding and honeymoon, with tons of more or less known pictures. Speedway has a bit extra because of Nancy Sinatra’s presence. Stay Away, Joe closes 1967.
Before going on with the movies, a baby was born in 1968 and of course the book covers the birth of Lisa-Marie thoroughly. Live a Little, Love a Little precedes the famous visit to Tom Jones in April and the Hawaii holiday in May. Then it is time for the comeback… publicity shots, pics from the recording sessions, press conference, rehearsals and of course the special itself… they’re all there! Next to the great pictures (unfortunately they differ in quality) it is fun to read the positive press about it!
Then it’s time for a quite different Elvis… the bearded one! Charro gets quite some coverage and there are even nude pics included! “Maffia” Elvis closes the movies with The Trouble With Girls, before the book finally finishes with another pile of candid moments.
This volume carries quite some candid pictures, which I happen to like, but because of the nature the quality is not as good as movie stills or publicity shots. To some that may be a minor, but to me those shots make Elvis more human and less God-like. It’s amazing how much time that man took for his fans!