Tag Archives: Elvis

Six degrees of separation. Today: Elvis and Toi.

Kind of frustrated because I didn’t post anything related to Elvis’ birthday on Thursday. I still paid my tribute watching the great documentary Elvis: That’s the way it is, which I strongly recommend you, including lots of footage of the rehearsals previous to Vegas residency in 1970, and the actual shows, which were awesome.

I know it’s a bit late but I want to talk to you about Elvis, Toi and the Six degrees of separation theory anyway, and that’s what I’m gonna do right now.

Back in 1929 there was this Hungarian writer, Frigyes Karinthy who wrote a book of short stories titled ‘Everything is Different’. In one of these, he was telling about how the world was shrinking so to speak, as the human being was moving, emigrating, and establishing more connections and ties to other people than we used to do in the past. Somehow he was anticipating something which is completely fashionable nowadays, which are the social networks. But it wouldn’t be until 1967, when the researcher Stanley Milgram published the compilation of experiments related to the extension of social networks under a theory named “The Small World problem” through The Psychology Today, when it was demonstrated that the world was becoming increasingly connected. At some point in the 2000s, the concept of “Six Degrees of Separation” was born, to explain you’d be related to anyone in no more than six connections.

Well, this is a vague summary of what the unproven theory is about, but I guess you already knew about it.

I’m not sure if it would apply to deceased people, but in this case I like to think is valid too, especially considering Elvis and me coexisted on earth for less than 11 months.

So here is the thing.

Elvis, the king of rock n’ roll, who only left the States for the military service in Germany and few shows in Canada, and Toi, an average(a bit freak too) girl from Zaragoza, Spain, have only two degrees of separation.

How can it be possible?

Ha! A couple of years ago I discovered this picture by chance: Elvis and Torrebruno.

torrebruno and elvis

Many of you are wondering now how the fuck was Torrebruno. Rocco Walter Torrebruno was a little Italian showman, who settled in Spain, doing comedy, singing, working as hosts in many TV programs, and during a long period of time, he used to work for a circus and oriented his career as a child’s entertainer.

Apparently the picture was taken in Paris in 1959, at the Moulin Rouge, when Elvis went to salute the singer Nina Holloway, to her dressing-room, after a show, and Torrebruno happened to be there with his guitar.

I met Torrebruno in 1981 when he took me to stage to sing his hit “Rocky Carambola”, who was actually a chimpanzee. Si I sang with him and this little man gave me the single as a present.

toi carambola

Thus, I met Torrebruno, who had met the King 22 years earlier. Only 2 degrees, friends. So now I’ve just proved myself that the world is ridiculously small. How cool is that?

Hamilton Ventura

Hamilton Ventura, what a sexy name! It could work for an adventurer, a super hero or an actor. One of those names that, I don’t know, they just imply something classy, far from the standard.

hamilton ventura

Ventura is actually a wristwatch, and it was one of the first electric models in the world designed by the American industrial designer Richard Arbib in 1957 for the Hamilton Watch Company. Not only It was quite revolutionary for the mechanism but also for its non-traditional assimetrical design.

The first celebrity wearing one of these Ventura models was Elvis Presley, known for being a passionate for wristwatches, including Longines, Omega and Rolex. You can see his Blue Hawaii film poster with him wearing this watch. After him, the creator of one of  the most amazing tv series ever, The Twilight Zone, Rod Serling, was introducing the audience to the 5th dimension every week with his Hamilton Ventura. Stray Cats leader, Brian Setzer had one too, and it was part of the outfit of the Men in Black, Will Smith and Tommy Lee Jones.

hve

You realize when a design of an object is a work of art when it’s not affected by the passing of time, this is, it never gets old nor outdated. This is the case of Hamilton Ventura. It’s elegant, classy and timeless. In fact, the company has been releasing updated editions of the watch, but also recovering the classic models in limited adition, for the 50th anniversary of the first electric watch, and the 75th birthday anniversary of Elvis in 2009.

Most of my life I’ve been using wristwatches, since I was 6 and wanted to assimilate the concept of passing time. it’s been few years, since I got my right forearm tattooed with the lighthouse since I don’t wear watch, but I’ve been thinking of recovering that habit because as soon as the battery of the phone runs out, I’m totally confused not knowing what the time is.

So, if you have approx. spare USD 700-1000, and feel like making me a present, one of these wonderful toys would be terrific. 🙂

ANOTHER AUGUST 16th…

On this day, all rock lovers should spend some time tributing The King. To be honest, except for #MyElvisWeek playing videos and listening to some of his wonderful tunes I hadn’t planned anything to write about here, been too busy at work and yesterday I was facing a quite curious hangover which only allowed me to watch movies. This evening though, I’ve been listening to On Stage and some of the CDs which belong to Elvis Live in Las Vegas, and now I’m ready to review the documentary Elvis By The Presleys.

 I don’t like Cilla acting as her widow. Their marriage wasn’t a happy one, and even though apparently they separated in a very civilized way, I don’t think of her as her truly widow. Of course, being the missus of Elvis wasn’t an easy task, especially thinking of his taste in women, his mood swings, his inseparable entourage, the substance abuse and his period in Hollywood doing movies, among many things, but just because she finally gave up on him, she shouldn’t act as the loving widow. But you know, leaving the obvious feelings behind, money talks…and at the end of the day, people like to think of the female figure always by his side.

Thus even though I’m not a huge fan of the documentary, always under the influence of Priscilla’s, the wonderful footage of home made videos, and other scenes are worth watching today.

elvis thinking

This is something I wanted to share with you. Few weeks ago I got overwhelmed by this shot. Elvis, so intense, thoughtful and deep and manly. He’s irresistible! No need to add this shot has become one of my personal favorite.

Wherever he is, I only hope he’s enjoying his way. Gone but never forgotten. God bless you Elvisico!

13 FACTS ABOUT THE KING

ELVIS

January 8th, one of my favorite celebration days as you already know. On this day long ago Elvis Presley, David Bowie and my granny were born. I love this date casualty, makes me happy, even though both Elvis and my grandma are no longer here.

I have to work, but my plan is to spend my spare time paying homage to The King, with music and probably watching one of his films, or a documentary.

Of course, a post related couldn’t be missed, thus this year I’ve thought of 13 facts about Elvis Presley, so you can know him better.

Enjoy!

1. November 1955, Sam Phillips sold Elvis‘ contract to RCA for USD 35000
2. Heartbreak Hotel, released in January 27th 1956, was the first Elvis single to sell over a million copies
Heartbreak Hotel
3. The NBC Elvis Special which turned to be his praised ’68 Comeback Special,  was initially planned to be a Christmas show
Elvis '68 Comeback
4. In Mogadishu, Somalia, it is illegal impersonating Elvis without a beard.
5. Elvis’ favorite aftershave: BRUT
6. Elvis Sandwich (aka Fool’s Gold Loaf) was stuffed with peanut butter and banana, (bacon and honey were optional)
peanut butter banana sandwich
7. In order to fulfill contractual obligation, Elvis released “Having Fun with Elvis on Stage” in 1974, which basically consisted on a compilation of jokes and speeches recorded from Elvis’ shows
8. After a big argument with Priscilla, Elvis caught the first flight to anywhere just to get away from her. First to Washington, then to LA, where Jerry Schilling came to pick him up. Elvis finally got the idea of  paying an unscheduled visit to Nixon at the White House, after wrote him a letter on a plane, in order to be made Federal Agent-at-Large” in the Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs and thus get this badge to add to his collection. He finally made it. I bet Nixon was flipping in the Oval Office.
Elvis meets Nixon
9. Elvis was black belt in Karate, and wanted to release a documentary to promote this discipline. He started practising in Germany and became passionate on this discipline. He thought a movie would support and encourage the practise of karate, but footage was never edited when Elvis was alive. However there’s a documentary, Gladiators, released 2-3 years ago, in an attempt to recover Elvis’ initial project. By the way, Priscilla, who also ended up practising karate left The King for their instructor.
Elvis and Ed Parker
10. Jailhouse Rock was the first video ever made in history.
Jailhouse Rock
11. Since he was very young, he suffered from chronic sleeping disorders and insomnia. His Army time in Germany got things worse, as due to manoeuvres, trainings and guards, he started taking pills (uppers and downers) beyond control.
12. The King hated fish. Ha! So do I.
13. Priscilla suggested Elvis to wear jumpsuits on stage so he would move freely withouth breaking pants. Liberace alse advised to make them flashy.
elvis pose

ELVIS, YOU ARE ALWAYS ON MY MIND

There’s never enough with Elvis here in Since My Baby Left Me. I’ve developed one of the strongest crushes on him in the past decade. I simply LOVE HIM, his voice, his music, the character, The King, the human being and his addictive personality. Impossible to get tired.

For the second year, I feel the need to write few lines in order to commemorate the 35th anniversary of his death. It’s not a happy date, but it’s important enough as to have the most legitimate excuse for listening to some of his albums, watch some movies and perhaps some documentaries.  In fact the day has started with the ’68 Comeback Special in CD.

35 years and Elvis is still alive in our hearts. There hasn’t been such a powerful character as him, and of course there hasn’t been any replacement, not even Michael Jackson played on the same league. The Tupelo guy was over the top.

As I commented a year ago, it’s weird and surprising to feel sympathetic towards someone I never got to know. I live in the same world Elvis did for less than a year, and wasn’t conscious when he passed away, however every August 16th I have to remember.

Many articles, biographies, statements coming from members of his entourage, acquaintances and relatives, documentaries have made Elvis came out of the closet to public analysis, becoming an icon far beyond his fabulous appearance, and the greatness of the American dream he managed to accomplish, from rags to riches.

Elvis is, or better said, was, a human being after all, and many of us feel him closer to our livings. He was moody, insecure, low self-esteemed sometimes, generous, tender, hard worker, responsible, carefree, fussy, erratic, charming, focused, cheater, grateful, humble, proud… He wasn’t a happy-go-lucky man. Elvis suffered.  Gladys’ loss was something he was never able to overcome, and this left a mark on him for good.

It’s surprising the reaction of people remembering The King. Even media has covered the anniversary, however, as a musical journalist I follow on Twitter has said, it’s sad the great majority only thinks of him as the rockstar, the kitsch jumpsuits, the swinging of the hips, and the drugs abuse .

The cultural phenomenon Elvis meant worldwide, and his musical legacy, are out of question. He brought black gospel to world, and was a pioneer in new sounds and musical styles. Always in a quest for quality in compositions, because he just wanted the best for his audience.

But hey! I just wanted to write a few lines, didn’t aim to write a statement defending what Elvis means to me. He just means a lot to me, in fact, he’s the embodiment of my passion for music, subjective, passionate and sometimes irrational and excessive. I love Elvis the same way I love and respect music. With all my heart.

YOU MAY HAVE GONE, BUT I WON’T EVER FORGET YOU

How can you mourn someone you didn’t even know personally or died even before you were born? How can you remember  dates of birth of famous artists too?

Most of people find this very ridiculous, and because I write down on the calendar the birthdays of Harrison Ford, Duff McKagan, Ryan Adams or Glenn Danzig, I’m considered a freak.

Such a stupid thing helps memories to last, and people who contribute to something, in any way, should be remembered, or at least that’s what I think. An average day can cheer you up just because it’s Axl’s birthday, I find it kind of magic. You can pay tribute if you feel like.

I’ve been celebrating Elvis Presley’s birthday and death anniversaries for some years now. No major stuff is required, just watch a DVD, or listen to some records, or just play a couple of YouTube live performances is enough.

I already told you I love Elvis, right?

Well, thinking that a hot morning 16th of August Elvis passed away is not a happy thing to remember, I know, but makes today a special day. It’s been 34 years now. Most of my life Elvis has been a legend, but the more I’ve dived into his work and his private life, the more I feel close to The King, thus in my way, I’ll pay tribute to his memory once again.

Haven’t quite decided what to do this year. I can play the 5 CD’s of the complete 60’s masters pending to be listened, or watch some DVD. What I know for sure, is that tomorrow will be one of these Elvis days, from the minute I stand by my feet in the morning, till the moment I crash on my bed. Anyone wants to join me? Be my guest!

God bless the day I found you, Elvis!

CALM AFTER THE STORM

Today it’s my first Saturday with absolutely no plans at all in months, I swear. It’s strange, but at the same time I really had the need for relaxing and chilling out a bit, or at least, my body is giving me clear signs of exhaustion. My mind is perfect, though and my pocket is broke, as usual.

Saturday has started bittersweet. Agnès and Kiko have departed to Madrid this morning, to start their new life together. Crossed feelings were mixed. It’s true you can stay perfectly in touch with anyone anywhere thanks to technologies and all the stuff, but lately, my sista and I were spending most weekends together and have had so much fun…I’m really gonna miss her in this way, going out, getting drunk, laughing and joking, our gossip times…everything. On the other hand I feel very proud of being the one who introduced them to each other, and in some way, feel very attached to this new couple. They’re both very good friends of mine, have been very supportive with me in rough times and I just wish them the best.

Right before my fav couple left, I started playing Elvis 70’s box, Walk a Mile In My Shoes. I’m not good at farewells and had promised myself not to cry so Agnès could make the trip as much relaxed as possible. It’s been tough to endure, but guess I just dropped a couple of subtle tears so don’t think she’s even noticed them. Despite the drama avoided, I think I’m very good at soundtracks and I’ll always remember this moment, with Elvis singing I’m leaving (I swear!!), giving each other a never ending hug that eventually had to come to an end. Aaaah, man! I’m missing these great times already, no matter I know for sure we’re staying constantly in touch and will all make great effort to see each other as often as we can afford.

It’s been after all this, I’ve decided to stay home, not doing anything in particular but listening the 5 CD’s of the box (I’ll talk about it later), and recalling the set list of songs I played yesterday at the session shared with DJ Nando at Outsiders Rock Bar.

And yes, once again last night was a blast, not only because at the end of the day, thinking about it, DJ’n for pleasure means drinks for free while listening to the music I really love. Ain’t that great? I love it!

Good friends by my side encourage me to play the best tunes I can, trying to please everyone, and I think I did, according to the reaction of my “crew”, which seemed to be delighted.

Once this said, here it is the list of what I played last night, divided into 3 parts, because Nando had his time focusing on more hard rock stuff. For the first time in my life, I didn’t play any Guns N’ Roses song, and don’t know if anyone realized about it. No regrets though.

 

PART I
MAD SEASON WAKE UP
NEIL YOUNG DON’T LET IT BRING YOU DOWN
MIDLAKE YOUNG BRIDE
RON WOOD I CAN FEEL THE FIRE
JONNY KAPLAN & THE LAZY STARS GREASY SPOON
IZZY STRADLIN MEMPHIS TENNESSEE
THE JAM TOWN CALLED MALICE
CHEAP TRICK HE’S A WHORE
BIG STAR IN THE STREET
THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM BRING IT ON
SCREAMING TREES ALL I KNOW
URGE OVERKILL ROCK & ROLL SUBMARINE
LOADED SICK
PART II
KISS DO YOU LOVE ME
THE DONNAS IT’S ON THE ROCKS
DANKO JONES LOVERCALL
DANZIG TWIST OF CAIN
SOUNDGARDEN RUSTY CAGE
N.W.A. 100 MILES AND RUNNIN’
FUN LOVIN’ CRIMINALS LOVE UNLIMITED
CORROSION OF CONFORMITY SEÑOR LIMPIO
SLO BURN JULY
FU MANCHU CALIFORNIA CROSSING
QUEENS OF THE STONE AGE FIRST IT GIVETH
GLUECIFER EASY LIVING
SUPERSHIT 666 CRANK IT UP
DEMOLITION 23 HAMMERSMITH PALAIS
PART III &  CLOSING
THE WILDHEARTS SUCKERPUNCH
TOILET BOYS ROCK N’ ROLL WHORE
BACKYARD BABIES BOMBED (OUT OF MY MIND)
THE HELLACOPTERS WHERE THE ACTION IS
ELVIS AN AMERICAN TRILOGY

 

I’ve created a playlist on Spotify, in case you want to listen to the songs. Hope you like it!

I really want to thank the guys at the Outsiders, Carlos, Caco and Sandra, for allowing me making noise from time to time, and making me feel so welcome and cared for. You guys rock!

Thus, this was the starting of my Widow Anniversay Weekend, not bad, huh? Today I’m wasted, tomorrow I have plans already with some friends. Really, I can’t complain of the life I’m living, even less of the friends I have. Once again, despite much shit we have to swallow sometimes, I do reckon Life is great!