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Elvis: Vegas ‘69

By ElvisNews.com/ Kees, August 06, 2009 | Book

Finally a book on the triumphant "'69 Comeback; 208 pages filled with text and photos telling the entire story behind what led to Elvis' miraculous artistic and creative rebirth. Does it meet the high expectations and does it tell the definitive story on this chapter of Elvis Presley's career?

Design

The hardcover book holds 200 pages filled with many images, memorabilia, artifacts and stories from those lucky ones to have either been there or who were part of the preparations or aftermath. It is nicely designed and well balanced which makes it easy for a relaxed read yet tempting on the eye to read it from back to back.

 

Content

The book is divided in several chapters placing Elvis’ triumphant return to live performances in the right historical perspective. From the aftermath of his declining film career, the ’68 Comeback to Television, the ’69 Comeback to live performing and the Las Vegas aftermath. The chapter on Elvis’ first steps in Sin City back in the fifties completes the book. Besides our man, the show, the hype and promotion of our man are documented in this book. Looking at the promotional material it never seizes to amaze me that The Colonel never got it right using images of our man which fit the actual release. Although I can understand the use of images from the successful ’68 comeback there is no reason not to use more recent material. Just look at the “Elvis In Person” album, why a shot from the “’68 Comeback” and not the “’69 Comeback”?

The main focus is of course the triumphant return to live performing at the International in Las Vegas. I’ve seen a lot of photos of this event, but never presented so well as in this book; a lot of color images in the correct sequence and historical context. Before reading the text I browsed through the pictures several times.Yes, there is some image overlap with Joe Tunzi's book, but there's not that many good '69 live shots in existence. This book contains 150 stunning full color and black and white images.

The text itself is well written. Of course we already knew Ken Sharp could write, he wrote the Follow that Dream book “Writing For The King”, but here he found a new way to present the many interviews he did for this book.
Although the main story is told using quotes from first-hand accounts from those who were there, both on stage, behind the stage or in the audience Ken created an atmosphere like you are standing around with friends having a beer looking back at the concert you just witnessed together. And be honest who wouldn’t like to be part of the celebrity after show party chatting with the celebrities as they were your day-time friends. Very well done.

Reading the book you'll go behind closed doors with Elvis and the band in pre-show rehearsals and revel in the excitement and anticipation of the preparations for opening night, the night itself and the aftermath.

Conclusion

This is one of the must have Elvis books for both the great photos of Elvis Presley as the well written content to place those images in the right historical perspective through the words of those who were lucky enough to be there. It is straight up there with Alfred Wertheimers “Elvis At 21” my favorite Elvis Presley book.

Greg Nolan wrote on August 06, 2009
Well said -and welcome back, Kees and ElvisNews! A must-have! I will try to buy it soon. Ken Sharp is the new Ernst Jorgensen - an uber-fan, if you will....
sitdown68 wrote on August 06, 2009
this is surely an essential release. photographywise as music historywise.
pasa-ryu wrote on August 07, 2009
i have to admite,it does look a must have elvis book?-i will order my copy and see for myself!!(he looked so fit,slim and electric didn't he in 1969??..even tom parker was impressed so much at the 1969 las vegas 'opening show' that he supposedly cried??)
djm wrote on August 07, 2009
its worth every penny or cent. easily one of the best books ever. for me better than 68 at 40. the lay out of the book is perfect, very readable and the photos just amazing. elvis at his best. get it while you can.
theoldscudder wrote on August 08, 2009
Just bought this. I hope it's as good as the reviews.
Ruthie wrote on August 09, 2009
My boy, my boy, remind me to get this book!
theoldscudder wrote on August 12, 2009
Just received my copy. I would highly recommend this. A quality item. Well written & informative.
Paul Sweeney wrote on August 13, 2009
An essential release that should be on every Elvis book shelf - Ken Sharp has done a great job.
Steve V wrote on August 14, 2009
Forget the FTDs, countless soundboards, re-releases, etc, this is hands down the best product of the year and one I would call essential for your collection. Just like Binder's book was last year, this book needs to be in your collection if you dig quality products.
Greg Nolan wrote on August 16, 2009
Some rare praise from the jaded Steve V...! But I agree it's a must!
JerryNodak wrote on September 04, 2009
Okay, it's a great book. But where/how can you buy it?
schemies wrote on September 09, 2009
Good question, JerryNodak ! Can somebody post the ISBN number, please!