Rumours have been floating around for quite a while that Jerry Scheff wanted to get out of the European TCB Band 'Elvis The Concert' tour.
A recent announcement now informs us that he has now been replaced by bassist Nathan East. This is shocking news as the TCB Band looses one of its key members. Elvis bass-player Duke Bardwell had also been considered for the position.
Nathan East does however have a great reputation since he has worked with the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Herbie Hancock, Elton John, Anita Baker, B.B. King and Quincy Jones - along with performing at the Barack Obama Inaugural Celebration Concert "We Are One" at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C.
If you are in Memphis for Elvis Week make sure you get to the "Elvis 69" show to see the original TCB band together live on stage - surely not for the last time (Picture from ElvisMatters.com)
Update August 19:
An e-mail from Stig Edgren, the producer of 'Elvis In Concert' to Brian Quinn:
The decision to use Nathan East on the upcoming tour was largely mine, after Jerry made it clear he longer wished to work on ETC after the tour of Australia in 2006 and the 30th Anniversary show. Both Duke and Emory were suggested, but with the permission of the estate, I wanted to open up this ‘honor’ to play with Elvis to others who proved themselves in other arenas. Nathan is one of the finest bass players in the world, playing alongside Eric Clapton for years, among many others. I am sure the fans will love watching him, and the other TCB players are also looking forward to playing with him.
I just got back from a long holiday and I was so happy to read that you are back! Fantastic. I bookmarked you again. Though this news item saddens me a little, I am also realising that at this function we get Elvis big size and that is what it is all about. So let's give others a chance to contribute to the great legacy.
I think Duke can be good choice, if they will decide to hire him. Personally I do not think too much about recent Jerry's playing and speaking about TCB band itself, I have feeling that David Briggs was not that harsh when he judged Elvis musicians in an old interview... there are many bands incomparably better than recent TCB money machine.
Don't forget that Nathan East also played along with Eric Clapton and actually is a great bass player. Jerry is a very wise man and though it's a pity that he has left I have no dubt that he had a serious reason to do it. I wish him the very best and hope to see him again in the Elvis-related events.
Don't care how good this guy is or who he's played with, he never played with Elvis. That was the whole point of the Elvis Concerts tours to me.
I don't think Jerry is quitting the TCB-band for good . Probably ( and hopefully ) it's just for the European Tour only. He has without any doubt his reasons, but let's hope I'm right, and he'll be part of the band again in the near future. Always El.
When I wrote " in the near future" I should have written " after the European Tour". Always El.
Too bad really, it isn´t the same without Jerry. No, Nathan East has not played with Elvis but he is obviously a great musician. Let´s give him a chance and see how it turns out
The choice should have been Duke Bardwell...he played with Elvis for Pete's sake...isn't this what is cool about these shows, seeing Elvis' band playing with him again? You choose someone not connected to Elvis at all over a guy who played lots of shows with him? Makes no sense...
Also, this could give Duke a chance to feel more appreciated (like his reception at recent fan events has) then he did when he played with Elvis - don't want to get into all of that, but most of you know what I am talking about.
Well, I got bored by the concept anyway by now... but had I bought tickets for the show in Rotterdam, I would have been quite pissed. I enjoy Nathan often on one of my many Clapton DVDs... but he isn't part of the TCB band...
When I bought my tickets, I was informed that this show would feature the TCB band. I didn't expect to buy my tickets then have an original member of the band to drop out, especially as when tickets went on sale, there were no announcments suggesting that any of the existing members would not be playing. Last time it was Ronnie Tutt. I have met Jerry Scheff on many occasions. He's a really nice bloke, but not impressed by this Jerry. Is anyone else dropping out. Is there a reduction in tickets fees? What about including Duke Bardwell. I believe he touring on his own at the moment.
Well I bought the ticket and I am pissed off...What's the reason anyway ? Does it have to do with his health ?
I have just received the following e-mail from Stig Edgren, the producer of 'Elvis In Concert':
Dear Brian: The decision to use Nathan East on the upcoming tour was largely mine, after Jerry made it clear he longer wished to work on ETC after the tour of Australia in 2006 and the 30th Anniversary show. Both Duke and Emory were suggested, but with the permission of the estate, I wanted to open up this ‘honor’ to play with Elvis to others who proved themselves in other arenas. Nathan is one of the finest bass players in the world, playing alongside Eric Clapton for years, among many others. I am sure the fans will love watching him, and the other TCB players are also looking forward to playing with him. Kind regards, Stig Edgren
Hi Brian, the decision made by Stig Edgren is, in MHO, regretful . The only bass player who should have been given the job is ,without any doubt, Duke Bardwell . The guy played a lot of concerts with Elvis . I have nothing against Nathan East, and he is probably a very good musician, but he didn't play in Elvis' band . Stating that he (Stig Edgrin), wanted to open up to others the "honor" of playing with (a virtual) Elvis is besides the question. The members of the TCB-band are all living legends and the fans want to see and hear the originals, so Duke would have been the right susbstitute. Period ! As for Jerry, I'm sure he will be part of the band after the European Tour is over. Always El.
They should just add bass to the click track and forget about replacing Jerry with someone who never played with Elvis. Wilkinson doesn't play - and John Mayer isn't playing rythm guitar in his place! Don't miss an opportunity here! They should just license the footage and the click track to bands cross the globe that want to play with Elvis...
East is great! However, I fear Elvis´genuine sound looses a bit more of its essence with Scheff´s leaving. But Jerry has the right to give up. It has been a long time that Elvis has left the building. Jerry has the right to improve his own carreer or just do whatever he wants, more freely. Good luck to Nathan!
the only reason jerry would leave something like this is if he is not feeling well. someday we have to take in consdieration that none of these guys are gonna be with the tcb band forever
Maybe Jerry just got bored with the whole thing. Perhaps he wants to do more creative work. Or maybe age is kreeping up on him.
I'm gutted Jery isn't perorming! I'm going to this show twice in two days in London and I would have loved to have seen him. They shouldn't have replaced him with someone who never even played in Elvis's band...I haven't paid all that money for the tickets to see Nathan East (who I'm sure is a fine musician), I payed to see Elvis on the screen, with backing music and vocals by his former group and singers!! If anyone was going to replace Jerry, it should have been Duke Bardwell.