I grew up listening to Leiber and Stoller music. They wrote such
simple, catchy songs that gave me and millions like me a zest for life. They
created basic, foot stomping music that just seem to make all my problems
and those of the world disappear. I used to lie in bed at night trying to
tune into Radio Luxemburg to hear Elvis and the latest songs from Leiber
and Stoller. What joy it must have given those two ‘kids’ Jerry
Leiber and Mike Stoller knowing that their music, their creativity, their
art was being heard all over the world and even by a little Jewish kid
living in the slums of East London trying to tune his transistor radio
into Radio Luxemburg. In those days in the 1950's there was no BBC Radio 1,
Capital Radio, commercial radio or pop stations.
What inspired Leiber and Stoller to write their wonderful songs? I
am sure it was not money but the desire of all great artists to be
recognised and appreciated by as wide an audience as possible for their creativity. What a
thrill it must have been when Elvis sang their songs, songs of two young
Jewish boys who loved black music and wanted it to be heard by a white
audience. Who better than Elvis to lead that quest. Leiber wrote the words
and Stoller the music and the world began to rock’ n’ roll. They have
given so much pleasure to so many millions of people but now, as perhaps a
swansong (they are both in their seventies), it seems they are trying to destroy
their own musical legacy by denying the world the joy of hearing their
songs from “Jailhouse Rock” performed on a London stage. Sadly, because of
EPE and Leiber and Stoller "Jailhouse Rock the Musical" will not include
the theme song "Jailhouse Rock" or any of their songs from the film.
Leiber and Stoller have sent out a worldwide Press Release on
PR Newswire condemning the producers of “Jailhouse Rock the Musical” for so
naming the Musical that does not include their songs, claiming it is
misleading the public. Ten years ago a lady
producer from Los Angeles, Rene Sheridan, invested her money in buying the
Stage Rights to “Jailhouse Rock” from MGM. The music industry is quite
bizarre and although she had the Stage Rights she did not have the Music
Rights. At a similar time a real twerp called Gary Hovey took over the
licensing of Elvis music at EPE. In our last Newsletter we explained Hovey
is Lisa Marie’s Uncle and apparently an ex-used car salesman. I believe he
replaced Jerry Schilling who had been doing a very good job for EPE. Hovey
refused Rene Sheridan permission to use the songs from “Jailhouse Rock”. It is not
as if EPE would not make potentially $millions from licensing the songs to
the Musical...so what type of business turns away $millions? Perhaps there
is no answer because Hovey is a megalomaniac. How do you stop a
megalomaniac? Every possible approach was made to Leiber and Stoller, MGM,
anyone connected with the rights to the film and the songs but for TEN years Hovey has
said NO, NO, NO!
What an honour it would have been for Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller to appear onstage in London on April 19th 2004 taking the deserved applause of thousands at the opening of this wonderful Musical that eventually will tour the world. They should be mensches and have the guts to tell Hovey he is a 'Jailhouse Schmuck', to get lost but, first release the songs to Rene for the Musical.
Songwriters all over the world write their music for the world to hear to and to deny millions of fans the pleasure to hear the song "Jailhouse Rock" in "Jailhouse Rock the Musical" is a disgrace. Leiber and Stoller should be truly ashamed of themselves. Perhaps they want history to remember them as "Lilo and Stitch" (the Disney cartoon that featured their songs). I and Elvis fans around the world will never forgive Leiber and Stoller for this musical blasphemy.
I have suggested to the Producers, who have tried so hard for ten years to obtain the rights to the songs from "Jailhouse Rock", to make a subtle change of name to the Musical to :
NOT QUITE JAILHOUSE ROCK the MUSICAL
Even without the song, "Jailhouse Rock", the Show has been receiving standing ovations in Plymouth and Manchester where it has been previewed prior to its arrival at the Piccadilly Theatre in London on March 26th 2004. We have heard from many fans who have seen the show that it is brilliant. The Musical will run for years and years but the sad thing is that Leiber and Stoller will get no credit from this wonderful theatrical production just contempt and anger....great songwriters, no guts!!
Definitions of words: twerp - silly, stupid person; mensch - mature, responsible person; schmuck - stupid, foolish person; chutzpah - unashamed self-confidence, impudence.
The ELVIS EXPRESS
Sadly, it is with much regret that I have to announce the "Elvis Express" magazine will cease production. Normally, small magazines close through financial reasons but in the case of the Elvis Express it is because Lee and Lana Dawson have had enough of all the personal attacks on them through hate mail and abusive phone calls. Lee and Lana have young children to protect and to put up with such abuse for so long just became too much for them.
I met Lee and Lana over three years ago and you could not meet more loyal or dedicated Elvis fans who have brought a breath of fresh air to the Elvis World in Britain. I persuaded Lee to make his fan club independent of Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc and just promote his club as he wanted without their harassment and intimidation. Month by month and year by year the Elvis Express has grown and I think it has become the best Elvis Fan Club in Britain. The Elvis Express magazine has grown from a simple photo copied newsletter to become more and more professional and now holds it own among the leading Elvis fan club publications in the world. Lee even has his own Radio Show on his website www.elvis-express.com . Importantly, all the hard work and dedication have been done to raise money for charity, not to line the pockets of the Dawson family.
I cannot understand how one man, Elvis Presley, has brought so much love into the world but at the same time he attracts a small minority of mindless morons who generate so much hate against true Elvis fans and fan clubs. Why do some 'so-called' Elvis fans believe that they are right, they are the righteous fans and people like Lee and Lana should be showered with abuse. I have had 25 years of abuse at the hands of members of the so called "Official" Elvis Fan Club of Great Britain. I started Elvisly Yours to raise money to build a life size bronze statue of Elvis. Since fans would not donate money I made and sold Elvis memorabilia and my first item was a bust of Elvis. I could only afford tiny ads in papers like "Melody Maker" and with the orders I got letters from fans asking to join the Elvis Fan Club. I sent all these letters to the fan club in Leicester. One week later instead of a thank you I received a letter from a law firm with a threat to sue me unless I stopped selling my Elvis busts. I believe, Todd Slaughter alerted the law firm and I have had 25 years of grief from him and his cronies ever since. I was considered competition and a threat to Slaughter who wanted a monopoly of the Elvis business in Britain and he has tried to blacken my name ever since. Now, I believe the same has happened to Lee and the Elvis Express. Lee has been selling CDs, DVDs and videos at prices mostly well below that of Slaughter and other fan clubs. He has had some evil and wicked hate mail from "official" fans and he has had enough.
Members of Slaughter's Fan Club should question why no accounts are ever shown for his Elvis Fan Club, why there are no annual elections to vote for officers of the Club? What happens to the profits from the sale of records, books, videos, CDs and why does the fan club not receive the profits from the trips to Memphis and the Elvis Holidays at Holiday Camps? Slaughter has made £millions from his business ventures in the Elvis World yet claims his fan club is non-profit making. Just look at the 2002 trip to Memphis for the 25th Anniversary? Over 1000 fans booked at really extortionate prices and £hundreds of thousands were made from just one tour to Memphis. Memphis is very cheap for hotels and booking over 1000 airline seats gives you large discounts so why did fans have to pay so much for one week, even if it was the 25th Anniversary? Elvisly Yours used to run trips to Memphis and my family is in the travel business so I know what obscene profits were made from all the fans who booked with Slaughters Fan Club. By the way, the name of the fan club is owned by Slaughters company Heanor Record Centre : "The Elvis Presley Fan Club of Great Britain (EPFC). EPFC is a trading name of HRC Ltd." This information was taken off the records of his accounts at Companies House. In fact, HRC Ltd is the trading name of Huntingdon Research Centre Ltd. This is the establishment that has killed millions of animals for experiments. How can a fan club that is non-profit making and for which there have been no accounts shown or elections held for its officers transfer the name of that club to a limited company ? I am not a lawyer but perhaps some lawyer who reads this can shed light on this question and ask what are penalties for passing off your company as another (Heanor Record Centre Ltd for HRC Ltd)?
Lee and Lana are down but not out. I am delighted to hear they will continue to promote their wonderful shows in Brighton and will keep their website and Radio Station going. Elvisly Yours are proud to announce two superb shows produced by the Elvis Express Fan Club in June with Doug Church and in August with special guest John Wilkinson. I have been told by many fans that saw his performance in Blackpool Doug Church was brilliant and one of the best Elvis Tribute Artists in the World. It is a major coup for Lee and Lana to get John Wilkinson to be their guest at their 27th Anniversary Convention at the Hilton Hotel in Brighton. Last years' August Convention was fabulous and I am sure this years event will be even better with John Wilkinson.
SUSPICIOUS PRINTS OF ELVIS MUSEUM
Elvisly Yours had "Suspicious Minds" about the press release from the notorious new Elvis Museum in Liverpool called "Fingerprints of Elvis" about an item of jewellery they are exhibiting called the "Partners Cross". They claim it is insured for £1 million and Elvis gave one to Priscilla and one he kept himself...
We have asked a friend to approach Lowell Hays, Elvis' Memphis jeweller to ask if the "partners cross" now on display at the Museum was genuine. When Lowell, who made most of Elvis jewellery in Memphis, saw the press release from the Museum his response was one word, "absurd"...The Museum press release stated : "The cross was perhaps the closest material item to Elvis' heart one of just two crosses he had made for Priscilla and himself. Even after their traumatic break-up the 'King' always treasured his cross and kept it close by his side he couldn't bear to be parted from it. He must have gained some comfort for his broken heart from it in the difficult latter days of his life."
Previously, we had received quotes from close associates of Elvis. Larry Geller said, "The 'Partners Cross' is pure, unadulterated BS! No way! Sid, when it was over, it was so over". Marty Lacker said, "It isn't true, once Priscilla was gone, she was gone and Elvis did not want to get back together"
Why don't Elvis fans in America unite to fight EPE ?
I started a campaign in the last Cyber Newsletter and on our website to get fans in America to unite and fight Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc but the response has been pathetic. I had previously had a number of fans and clubs writing to me saying they were so fed up with EPE they wanted to fight back. It seems fans are willing to moan and groan but actions speak louder than words and so far no US Elvis fan or fan club is willing to start to fight. In England and Europe many Elvis fan clubs ignore all the BS from EPE and just get on with their own thing promoting Elvis as they wish...why can't American Elvis fans adopt the same tactics? ...answers on an email to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Fans and fan clubs must write to their legislators in Congress and the Senate, contact the local and national media and unite together to fight EPE. It needs total commitment, hard work, guts, teamwork and it would help to have friendly anti-trust and trade mark lawyers sympathetic to the cause for the fight ahead.
I would be happy to act as a catalyst and mentor to help fans and fan clubs unite Elvis fans in America who really love Elvis and do NOT care about getting invited to the President's Lunch by EPE during Elvis Week. But, it is the dedicated American fans who must take this battle to them. I cannot fight the battle for you. Regard it as a Revolutionary "War of Elvis Independence".
includes a thesis by Sid Shaw, DisGraceland and 21 more papers by experts in the Elvis World
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