ELVIS PRESLEY: New HBO documentary The Searcher airs Saturday
HBO debuts The Searcher, its highly anticipated three-hour documentary on Elvis Presley, on Saturday night. And even if you think you know everything about the King of Rock and Roll, we found three things that will surprise you:
Elvis was bored by performing in Las Vegas:
- According to Rolling Stone's review, "The audiences he was playing to in Vegas weren't exactly his kind of crowd. Former pianist Tony Brown recalls, 'The only people who could afford the upfront seats were the high rollers. Elvis needed connection with the audience, and [in] Vegas, it was a very reserved rich crowd dressed up for the Elvis show. It frustrated Elvis that he couldn't quite seem to get the mayhem going.'"
He doesn't get enough credit for being the first rock star to successfully mount a mid-career comeback:
- The late Tom Petty, one of many celebrities interviewed for the film, points out, "There is no road map at this point as to what a rock and roller does when he gets older... The Beatles had each other...and Elvis was totally alone. There was no one vaguely his equal; there was nobody he could bounce anything off of." And ex-wife Priscilla adds that in 1968, when taping the now-iconic Comeback Special, "he was struggling with what to do next...trying to figure out his purpose again."
Elvis was very involved in how his records were produced, especially early in his career:
- Bones Howe, who went on to become one of the top American producers of the '60s, says, "He was always a real organic part of the music...extremely animated when he sang, never stood still. And the [musicians] shifted right into that mode that Elvis was in. If something wasn't working right or it was too slow or too fast, they all looked to him and then he would move to the music. If the music was right, he was a show out there. He was a captivating person, and nobody made suggestions to Elvis."
MORE BIG 95 MUSIC NEWS: Friday, April 13th
ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME: 33rd annual induction ceremony is Saturday
The 33rd annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony takes place this Saturday in front of just over 6000 fans and VIPs in the Public Auditorium in Cleveland.
It will be the fifth time it has been held in the city that is home to the Hall of Fame and Museum. From here on out, the ceremony will be held in Cleveland every other year, which means it returns in 2020. Next year's ceremony will be back in New York for the 27th time. Los Angeles has hosted it twice.
Joining the more than 800 individual artists already enshrined are The Moody Blues, Dire Straits, The Cars, Bon Jovi, and the late Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
To be eligible for induction, artists had to release their first recording 25 years prior, so in this case, no later than 1992. Ballots were sent to an international voting body of more than 1000 artists, historians and members of the music industry.
Fans were also able to vote, and with 6.8 million votes cast, Bon Jovi came out on top with 1.2 million, followed by The Moody Blues, Dire Straits and The Cars. Nina Simone came in 10th and Sister Rosetta Tharpe was at 16.
The Moody Blues have been eligible since 1989, but this was their first nomination. They will be inducted by Ann Wilson of Heart and will perform four songs -- two by Justin Hayward and two by John Lodge. Founding members Mike Pinder and Denny Laine will also attend, but won't perform with the band. However, there is word that Laine may do his one hit with the band, "Go Now," on his own. When the Rock Hall announced the inductees in December, he was not included. It was only after Steve Van Zandt made a stink that Laine was recognized. Ray Thomas, who died in January, will be represented by his wife, Lee.
Dire Straits became eligible in 2003, but this was their first nomination. No one will be inducting them, and bad blood between some members has led singer and guitarist Mark Knopfler, his brother, guitarist David Knopfler, and drummer Pick Withers not to attend. Bassist John Illsley and keyboardists Alan Clark and Guy Fletcher are in Cleveland.
The Cars also became eligible in 2003 and were nominated two times before. They will perform with Weezerbassist Scott Shriner filling in for bassist-singer Ben Orr, who died of cancer in 2000. Cars singer and guitarist Ric Ocasek and Orr met in Cleveland, where Orr is from, before moving to Boston to form the band. They'll be inducted by Brandon Flowers of The Killers.
Nina Simone and Sister Rosetta Tharpe were first eligible in 1986 and these were their first nominations. Nina will be inducted by Mary J. Blige, while Lauryn Hill and Andra Day honor her in song. Nina died in 2003 at age 70. Sister Rosetta Tharpe will be recognized with the Early Influence award by Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, who will also perform.
Bon Jovi became eligible in 2008, and their only other nomination came in 2011. Howard Stern will induct them, and former members Richie Sambora and Alec John Such will perform with Jon Bon Jovi, David Bryan, Tico Torres and their longtime road bassist Hugh McDonald, who, while not an official member, is being inducted after someone whined about his being overlooked.
Some of this year's inductees will be at the Hall of Fame and Museum today (Friday) to officially open the 2018 inductee exhibit.
Saturday night, there will be a simulcast of the ceremony inside the Hall of Fame. Highlights will air on HBO on May 5th. The red carpet arrivals will stream live at RockHall.com, and on the Hall's Facebook and YouTube channels, from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. ET.
What does it take to pull off the ceremony? There are 200 volunteers, more than 20 trucks, over 350 lights, eight drum sets, seven bass rigs, 15 guitar rigs and 12 keyboards.