Cyber Club


Newsletter 37

     www.elvisly-yours.com  

March 2006

      www.elvisly-yours.com



In this issue
:

  When you thought it couldn't get worse         VIVA LAS GRACELAND            Elvis Airport  

   Going down Memory Lane       Elvis' missing hair        Elvis playing cards

        Get your family and  friends to join the Elvisly Yours Cyber Club and please forward this Newsletter to them.


EPE now sells Elvis panties
after suing Elvisly Yours in 1985 for selling Elvis panties!!



Samples of EPE panties





Elvisly Yours knickers

In February 1985 Elvisly Yours received an order for Elvis panties from the USA. This was the only order ever received from America. Within a few days of placing the order the customer, a Jane Sasai, had received the order in the States. Little did we know that Jane worked for one of EPE's law firms and the "knickers" (as we call them in Britain) were to be the main basis of a lawsuit against Elvisly Yours Inc, Elvisly Yours Ltd and me, personally. EPE claimed we were demeaning the memory of Elvis Presley by marketing such a disgraceful product as Elvis ladies panties. 

The case was dragged on for 6.5 years by EPE and eventually in 1991, without trial, we lost in US Federal Court. Thus started one of the most powerful monopolies in the history of the USA, with total control by a private company (EPE) of the name, image and likeness of America's most famous star, Elvis Presley. Colonel Parker swore an affidavit that suggested I was some sort of pervert (it was recently discovered EPE licensed panties in 1956). I was hammered by EPE in further affidavits, depositions and legal arguments. At the first Appeal Hearing in 1987, in Cincinnati, the lead Judge visibly cringed when she heard I had the audacity to produce Elvis ladies underwear, inscribed with 'Are You Lonesome Tonight', 'It's Now or Never' and 'Love Me Tender'. Her name was Judge Kennedy and I wonder if she will be just as shocked by the latest antics of EPE.

The HYPOCRITES at EPE who sued me in 1985 in the USA for selling Elvis knickers are now marketing Elvis knickers themselves, except they now market them as "intimate ladies apparel". I was dragged through the US Courts for over six years, called all the names under the sun by EPE and their cronies, lost a landmark legal battle in US Federal Court and was forced out of the Elvis business in America for selling Elvis panties to an EPE legal secretary. To quote the common English slang to the two-faced gits at EPE…."knickers"!!! 

Perhaps I can reverse the US Federal Injunction against me selling Elvisly Yours products in America. It would be interesting to get a legal opinion from a US Intellectual Property lawyer. Perhaps we have such a lawyer subscribe to or receive this Newsletter.



Photo courtesy of Dennis Roberts


Charlie Official Portrait 1981


Charlie on stage having fun with Elvis

The Missing 
Memphis Mafia

For Elvis fans, Charlie Hodge was probably the most important member of the Memphis Mafia. If Elvis was the "King" in the Elvis World Charlie was the equivalent of a "Prince". 

When he died there were massive tributes to Charlie on the Internet from fans, fan clubs, family, friends and many members of the Memphis Mafia. You can read our tribute to Charlie on our website:
A tribute to Charlie Hodge

Charlie was with Elvis from the Army Days, lived at Graceland throughout the 1960's and until Elvis died. He was onstage by Elvis' side for the ' 68 Comeback and throughout the Concert years and until Elvis' death on the 16th August 1977. 

It was Charlie, with Joe Esposito, that announced the death of Elvis to the world's media from Baptist Memorial Hospital. 

The tributes from many of the Memphis Mafia were particularly glowing. Charlie seemed to be everyone's friend and he was suitably honoured but according to reports there was only one member of the Memphis Mafia who attended the funeral.

You only die once and one should show respect at a friend's death by attending their funeral whenever possible. 

There was only one funeral for Charlie so I am disappointed more of his friends from the 'Elvis circle' did not make it to Charlie's funeral to pay their respects. The sole person from the inner circle was Sonny West and he apparently gave a beautiful eulogy.  Others attending from the Elvis World were Jimmy Velvet, Patsy Anderson, Jerry Presley  and Kim Davis, Richard Davis' widow.

It seems little was done by EPE to honour Charlie other than a mention on their website. Lisa and Priscilla should have attended the funeral. 

Lisa grew up as a child with Charlie around every day at Graceland and Priscilla knew Charlie for 45 years. 

If Bob Sillerman would have wanted to endear himself to Elvis fans he also could have attended the funeral because Charlie was the equivalent of "Elvis Royalty".


VIVA LAS GRACELAND

Most fans would have now heard of Bob Sillerman's plans to turn the Graceland area into a theme park and open an Elvis themed Casino in Las Vegas. There has also been talk of taking Elvis around the world. 

In August 1982 when I was exclusively supplying EPE with British made Elvis souvenirs to sell at Graceland after it opened to the public I had a meeting with Soden and Ken Brixey. I proposed EPE should tour a Graceland Exhibition around the world when business was slow in the winter months. Elvisly Yours would help with marketing and PR and supply Elvis memorabilia. Ken loved the idea but 24 years later Soden has still done nothing to promote Elvis worldwide. He is too lazy, does not care about Elvis and has made so much money for himself staying in Memphis as CEO of EPE. Ken was the marketing manager of Graceland and I had formed a good working relationship with Ken and his associate Twyla Dixon, the curator at Graceland. It has always been my greatest regret that two hard working, highly imaginative and conscientious staff who were for all intensive purposes running Graceland at the time were fired by Soden and then it was downhill all the way. Soden should have been fired and not Ken and Twyla. The Elvis World would have been a much happier place and EPE so much more responsive to the needs of the fans, the fan clubs, Elvis' family and friends. Those were the good old days when EPE was friendly and caring about Elvis and his memory and were willing to listen to people in the Elvis World.

Now, after all these years Bob Sillerman has woken up to the neglect of EPE in the world and has realised the idea I suggested in 1982 should have been acted upon. A touring Graceland Exhibition would not only be very profitable in itself but would be the ideal vehicle to promote trips to Memphis and Graceland and of course, Las Vegas when the Elvis Presley Casino is eventually opened.

It has always amazed me how lacking in imagination EPE has been since Jack fired Ken Brixey and Twyla Dixon; no reason has ever been adequately explained for their dismissal. I have not been to Memphis in twelve years but I am sure the area in the Graceland vicinity is just as derelict now as it was then. Instead of visitors seeing Graceland and then taking in lots of other local events, shopping and entertainment EPE has consistently destroyed future growth of the area by threatening local business that wanted to have any hint of an Elvis theme. There was a great club opposite Graceland with Dennis Wise performing Elvis Shows encouraging fans to stay in the vicinity, but as soon as he could Soden padlocked the doors and kicked out the owners. Dennis and his wife put on one of the best Elvis tribute shows I have seen and also helped us to raise money for charity to take handicapped Elvis fans to Graceland. On one fund-raising night with Patsy Presley at Dennis' Elvis Club we raised over $4,000.00. Patsy had kindly donated several Elvis artefacts for the auction, including a champagne glass from the wedding of Elvis and Priscilla. For all these years EPE should have been working with local business instead of harassing and intimidating them. The Better Business Bureau in Memphis has always had a very poor rating for EPE but hopefully that will now change as Bob Sillerman puts out a hand of friendship to Memphis business. He has got a mountain to climb and I hope he realises how much damage has been done in the past by previous management at EPE.

I have yet to see Bob Sillerman put out a hand to Elvis fans and fan clubs, instead we have Elvis rubber ducks, Elvis rubber masks, tacky jumpsuits, Elvis panties and eviction of the last two remaining independent Elvis stores in the immediate Graceland vicinity. Also, there is the hidden threat to Elvis Tribute Artists in the USA. EPE can use a silly law in the USA called the "Right of Publicity". This law passed secretly one night in Tennessee without public debate protects the rights of dead stars and their heirs to stop others using their name, image and likeness and that includes impersonating Elvis Presley. In the UK it seems Judges care more for the Rights of the People instead of a handful of dead stars, their relatives and thousands of lawyers. The closing statement in the Judgement by an eminent UK Appeal Court Judge in my case against EPE March 12th 1999 in the UK Court of Appeals was as follows:

There should be no a priori assumption that only a celebrity or his successors may ever market (or licence the marketing of) his own character. Monopolies should not be so readily created. 

The UK High Court and Court of Appeals believed a monopoly, such as that held in the USA by EPE, is against the public good and should be stopped. In London alone there are six Elvis themed restaurants yet in the whole of the USA there is not even one Elvis Restaurant. Because of pathetic marketing EPE could not even run an Elvis themed Restaurant in Memphis and it had to close for lack of business. With 600,000 plus visitors a year going to Graceland it really did not take much marketing skill to transport just a fraction of those visitors to have lunch and/or dinner downtown to Beale Street.



Elvis Bobble Head


Elvis rubber mask

Elvis Presley rubber
duck
Elvis rubber duck

 

Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse…

…EPE have launched Elvis Bobble Heads !! 

First we had the Elvis Rubber Ducks, closely followed by Elvis Rubber masks, then came tacky Elvis jumpsuits, then Elvis ladies panties (after suing us for selling panties in 1985) and now the latest licensed Elvis product launched by EPE are Elvis bobble heads. 

Bobble heads are those ghastly items that sit in the back of a car or dashboard, usually a dog or cat and their head bobbles. 

EPE are so proud of their latest licensed product it was launched on the homepage of their official website.

I cringe at wondering what the next wonderful product will be from the "official" company protecting the name, image and likeness of the world's greatest star. 

Can you imagine Princess Diana bobble heads, or Nelson Mandela rubber masks or what about Queen Elizabeth rubber ducks? 

In historical importance Elvis is up there among the great names in history and he deserves more respect than is being shown by EPE.

How low will the licensing department of EPE stoop to make a buck? 

When Elvis fans are crying out all over the world for more concert footage, more concert audio, more rare material from the vaults and out-takes of films, what the hell are EPE doing? They are degrading and demeaning Elvis Presley and his memory.



£59.00
 p&p £5.00 p&p, £7.00 Eu, £12.50 world


Elvis' Missing Hair

Elvisly Yours has obtained possession of beautiful framed prints that should have included a strand of Elvis' hair. 

The product was being auctioned on the Auction World TV Channel for £300.00 each, we have been advised, before the company went bankrupt. 

Each frame measures 18ins x 12ins (56cm x 32cm), has a wide black polished wood frame, with Perspex and weighs 2kgs with the protective mailing carton. 

We cannot find the strand of hair or the certificate of authenticity and consequently the price we can offer you is only £59.00 plus postage and packing. 

We knew when we bought the stock the certificate of authenticity went missing with the liquidation of the company but we still expected to find the strand of Elvis' hair. Everything arrived carefully packed and in outer cartons but on testing many frames none included the hair. 

This is bizarre, because it would have been very expensive and time wasting to take apart the carton, outer packaging and frame to place one strand of Elvis hair in the middle of the replica gold disc.


Investigations are ongoing to find the missing hair. This makes this product one of the most unusual and unique items of Elvis memorabilia ever produced...framed Elvis hair that has disappeared???

Publicity for the framed hair stated:

This is an authenticated tiny strand of Elvis's hair. Originally acquired from Thomas B. Morgan, Jr. on Sept 17 2002. He was a close friend of Homer 'Gill' Gilleland until Mr. Gillelland's death his death in 1995. Homer was Elvis's hairdresser for many years going on tour with him and working with him from the late 50's until his death in 1977 and he had many gifts from his friendship with Elvis and Vernon Presley. One of Homer's prize posessions was a bag of Elvis's hair clippings he had saved over the years from cutting Elvis's hair. These clippings were later given to Mr. Morgan.

The strand is placed within a small gold record with a photo of Elvis above, all framed within a wide black frame. The back of the picture has a printed page with all the authentication. This includes verification from Thomas B. Morgan to the hair's source. Mr. Morgan was also personally acquainted with Elvis, serving as an admin asst. to Sheriff Gene Berksdale, Sheriff of Shelby County and Memphis. He was involved in commissioning Elvis as a Special Deputy and he visited Graceland on Aug 15, 1977 to deliver Sheriff's Dept jumpsuits. The following day Elvis died.


Will George Best Airport, Belfast encourage Memphis 
to name 'Elvis Presley Airport'?

The simple answer to this hypothetical question is NO!!!

BELFAST City Airport is to be renamed George Best Airport. A ceremony unveiling the new signage has been planned for 22d May 2006, on what would have been Best's 60th birthday. The former Manchester United and Northern Ireland international footballer died last November. 

Brian Ambrose, the airport's chief executive, said: "George Best was the finest footballer Northern Ireland has ever produced and one of the greatest footballers to grace the world stage. We believe renaming the airport after George is a fitting and permanent tribute to his football brilliance." 

George Best more than anyone united the Protestant and Catholic communities. But a poll by a local radio station found 48 per cent of city residents opposed to the move. Even though Barbara McNarry, Best's sister, spoke of her pride at the honour, she accepted that others had reservations. But she was taken aback by the ferocity of some of those opposed to the renaming. There will be those that looked at Best's failings as an alcoholic but all genius has its dark side and it is for his football genius George will be remembered and not his personal problems.

George's sister said, "We fully understand that there are people who perhaps don't agree with it. But there's nothing more that the family can do. If the family have been honoured in this way, I don't know what on earth we are expected to do but accept it very gratefully."

Belfast will have George Best Airport. In Liverpool the airport has been renamed "John Lennon Airport" so it seems logical that Memphis should rename its airport after Elvis Presley. But there is no logic when it comes to politics in Memphis. Black leaders may justifiably argue the airport should be renamed after "Martin Luther King" since he was assassinated in Memphis. Others will argue for "W.C. Handy Airport", the father of the blues. I don't know how many rows I had with Memphians who do not care for Elvis or appreciate what he has done for the city of Memphis. 

I clearly remember in the late 1980's the Jaycees had a Halloween display in a Memphis shop window of a "dead Elvis" with backdrops of a toilet seat, gunge coming out of Elvis' face and body, pills on the floor, half-eaten peanut butter sandwiches and hamburgers scattered around. One of Elvis' greatest honours and one he most cherished was receiving the Jaycees Award for one of the top 10 American citizens. The city did nothing to condemn this outrage nor did EPE take legal action. Most Memphians really do not care enough for Elvis and only a small percentage have ever visited Graceland. If anything, they resent the mass of tourists that come to their city because of Elvis Presley. I have been to Memphis 52 times from England and had an apartment in the city for three years so I have a very wide experience of the opinions of Memphians.

The only thing Memphis has really done to honour Elvis is to name a street after him and that was during his lifetime. Also, there is the Elvis Presley Trauma Center but they have actually been threatened legally by EPE. I am sure any major efforts to use the name Elvis Presley have been thwarted in the past by EPE management who would want $$$$$$$$$. So I am afraid the noble efforts of Maurice Colgan of Ireland to realise his dream and campaign for "Elvis Presley Airport, Memphis" will have to continue for many more years.


Another superb product from Elvisly Yours




Front and back of the new Elvis card pack


 

Elvis playing cards £9.95 for 2 packs
 p&p £1.00 p&p, £2.00 Eu, £3.00 world

 
RCA Calendar card

 

While EPE is launching more and more demeaning products featuring grotesque images and caricatures of Elvis we are planning to launch quality memorabilia using the best photographs and art work of Elvis Presley.

We would now like to introduce the finest Elvis Presley playing cards in the world. There are 58 different photos of Elvis with each pack. There are 52 suit cards and 4 jokers in each pack and the back and front cover. 

The 4 suits represent different eras of Elvis' life. For Hearts there are photos from the 1950's, Clubs has the Movie years, for Diamonds the '68 Comeback and Change of Habit period and Spades the 70's and Vegas era. 

We will also be framing the entire collection and selling the cards as beautiful framed memorabilia like the framed old cigarette and bubblegum cards.

We recommend fans should buy two packs, one to use, the other to keep, still shrink wrapped and in mint condition. 

The playing cards will be in stock in Britain in about four weeks but you can NOW pre-order two packs and receive a special gift for pre-ordering - an original RCA card with the 1979 calendar. 

These were produced in limited quantities and given to the birthplace at Tupelo for distribution to Elvis fans. I managed to acquire the last remaining calendar cards, highly collectible. 

 


Graceland Designated 
National Historic Landmark

March 27th 206 at 10am Graceland will be designated a "National Historic Landmark". This is yet another great honour for Elvis Presley and long overdue. I have no idea why it has taken almost 29 years since Elvis died to grant Graceland that status. I cannot think of any other individual in American history who has encouraged more positive publicity for the USA and its music and culture or encouraged more people to visit America and spend their hard earned money. Perhaps some of our American friends could explain the long delay in bestowing this honour on Graceland. If you check this link : Sec. 65.4 National Historic Landmark criteria you will find the US Government criteria for choosing a "National Historic Landmark". Elvis' home Graceland certainly fulfils much of the criteria so why the 29 year wait ?

According to the official website: www.cr.nps.gov/nhl/ National Historic Landmarks are nationally significant historic places designated by the Secretary of the Interior because they possess exceptional value or quality in illustrating or interpreting the heritage of the United States. Today, fewer than 2,500 historic places bear this national distinction. Working with citizens throughout the nation, the National Historic Landmarks Program draws upon the expertise of National Park Service staff who work to nominate new landmarks and provide assistance to existing landmarks. 

Graceland will become the fourth National Historic landmark in Shelby County joining Sun Studio, Beale Street and Chucalissa Indian village. In America other NHLs include the White House, Mt Vernon (George Washington's home), Empire State Building, Brooklyn Bridge, Smithsonian Institution Building, Alcatraz, San Francisco Cable Cars, Hoover Dam etc.


These are the favourite t-shirts chosen by fans from our last Newsletter


'
Elvis the King' t-shirt
£11.95
(p&p £1.50)
ORDER NOW


''Elvis Lives in our Hearts' t-shirt
£11.95
(p&p £1.50)
ORDER NOW

NEW ELVIS PILLOWCASE

 


D20. Elvis pillowcase  £8.95
p&p UK £1.50, Eu £3.00, Ov £4.50
 


ELVIS SUNGLASSES



Elvis sunglasses GOLD
£8.95

p&p UK £1.00, Eu £2.00,  
Ov £3.00







Elvis sunglasses SILVER
£8.95

p&p UK £1.00, Eu £2.00,  
Ov £3.00


ELVISLY YOURS Competition Winner

The winner of the Elvisly Yours monthly draw is Eric de Vette of Holland.
He receives a pack of the NEW Elvis playing cards when in stock.


GOING DOWN MEMORY LANE

Taking handicapped Elvis fans to Graceland

Each year from 1983 Elvisly Yours would raise money to take a handicapped Elvis fan with a relative to visit Graceland. Over the years we had all sorts of fund-raising ideas. Some fans went on sponsored walks like Aaron Richie and members of the "Strictly Elvis Fan Club" in Southampton. Some fan clubs held discos, did sponsored runs, organised auctions and raffles and Elvisly Yours sold Elvis birthday cake, signed Elvisly Yours Elvis cheques, ran conventions and sold memorabilia. Sadly, we never made enough from the fund-raising by fans in Britain so we had to supplement the costs of tickets, hotels, food, expenses and pocket money with cash from Elvisly Yours to pay all the expenses.

We worked closely with Mencap, a famous British charity for Down Syndrome children and adults. Most years we had Mencap chose a lucky fan on recommendation from their branches up and down the country. One year we had a boy from PHAB, John Kelly who had a great voice and could play the guitar brilliantly, even though he was badly crippled in his hands and he sang like a young Rod Stewart. In 1986, the British TV programme "Surprise, Surprise" filmed us in London presenting the tickets to two handicapped fans and again in Memphis when we visited Graceland. Mencap chose John Rowan and his sister to travel to Memphis and John was quite unique even though he was Down Syndrome. He had been brought up as normally as possible and could hold a very intelligent conversation and was a real ladies' man. He was very free with his hands with the girls and even though he was suffering from Down Syndrome it did not stop him pinching the occasional female bum (butt). He always got away with it because just as the lady would think about a quick slap there was John with his innocent smile, looking like an angel. The other boy was John Tompkins from Manchester who was accompanied by his brother.

For many years aunt Lorraine would meet the Elvisly Yours fan club members at Memphis airport hand them a red rose and welcome with a kiss to Memphis. 

After Aunt Loraine died in October1988 we made our charity appeal international and raised money in her memory to take overseas fans to visit Graceland. 

We found the biggest rock 'n' roll fan in the then Soviet Union and took him to visit Graceland in 1989. The story became the one of the biggest stories of the day in the USA on October 16th 1989, the first Soviet citizen to get a visa for the USA just to visit Graceland. We made every TV and Radio station news broadcast in the States. It all started at about 5.00am in the morning when I got a call from a radio station DJ in Phoenix asking to speak to the Soviet Elvis fan. I asked how he knew we were in America and how he got my name and number of the hotel in Memphis. He told me it was the no.1 story in the States that day and was all over the wires in America and the world. The rest of the day was manic with the telephone going all morning, continuously. Remember there were no mobile (cell) phones in those days so it was call after call in my room or lobby. 

EPE were pulling their hair out because they were completely in the dark. Since I was in litigation with EPE I had intention to inform them of my plans to take the Soviet Elvis fan to visit Graceland. The media were phoning Graceland asking for our itinerary and when we would get to Graceland and of course they knew nothing so they looked like idiots. Instead of working with me they had dragged me through the US Federal Courts suing me and my company. 


Elvisly Yours cheque 

 



Aaron Richie, Strictly Elvis fan club members, John Rowan & John Tompkins, Bob Carolgees of "Surprise, Surprise"




Aunt Loraine at airport to meet our fans



Eventually, more and more media tracked me down at the Quality Inn Hotel on Elvis Presley Blvd and we arranged to meet the TV, radio and press at the gates of Graceland at 11am. There were five TV crews following our every move and publicity went worldwide. The local newspaper in Memphis did not even mention me by name and Elvisly Yours for arranging this unique story. It was if the Soviet fan arrived by magic. But there was a large photo of him kneeling in front of the cross by the gravesite with his back to the camera wearing an Elvis jacket with Elvisly Yours emblazoned large across the jacket. I had to pay to get us all in, not just Kolya but I had a group of fans including a Down Syndrome fan, Neil Williams and John Kelly from PHAB, plus Neil's mother and a friend of John's. I had even got my lawyer to phone Graceland and ask them to at least offer free tickets to the handicapped fans and the Soviet fan and I would pay my own ticket, but they refused. They did give us free tickets for another day but the damage was already done and their meanness confirmed. Graceland got $millions of free publicity as a result of my PR efforts but they would not give a free ticket to the Elvis fan from the Soviet Union and two handicapped fans on the day that it mattered. What would Elvis have thought of EPE ?The demands from the media increased and we had calls from the David Letterman Show that I turned down and Good Morning America. But, I had to look after another 120 Elvis fans besides the Soviet fan that had also gone on the trip, including Paul Chan the owner of the world's first Elvis Presley Chinese Restaurant. I think most fans liked all the attention our group was getting but some fans complained. It was all great publicity for Elvis and the media loved the story. Such a simple idea to honour Elvis' memory became one of the biggest news stories one day in America and made the front page of many papers around the world. Everywhere we went in Memphis cars would honk their horns. If we went into bars, like Rum Boogie on Beale Street strangers would come up and buy a vodka for the Soviet fan and at one time eight (yes eight vodkas) were lined up for him and me each with a hug and welcome to America. The cold war was only just thawing after Gorbachev started Glasnost so it was rare to see anyone from the "enemy" in the States.  We called the campaign "Presleynost" and it was so much fun. We went on to Vegas and the publicity started all over again and we did PR with John Stewart, the producer and owner of the show "Legends in Concert". The Soviet Fan went on stage and sang "Memphis Tennessee" with a full orchestra behind him…he was in heaven. The next morning when he went down to breakfast he saw lobster was on the menu and asked for this rare delicacy (in Russia) and the chef said only if he sang "Memphis, Tennessee". 

The Soviet fan came to England with just a few shirts, socks, a pair of trousers and a book he had produced by hand that was a work of art and very large telling the history of rock 'n' roll in the Soviet Union. It was beautiful and something he actually presented to me as a thank you for arranging the trip to Britain and America. The Soviet fan left America with about 50 albums, 30 t-shirts, 20 Elvis videos, untold quantities of jeans and shirts and gifts given to him by American fans. He had 87 kgs of excess baggage and when he left for Russian from London Airport they wanted to charge him £hundreds in extra baggage charges. I called a manager and told her the Soviet fan was in fact the "Rock 'n' Roll" Ambassador for the Soviet Union and showed her all the press cuttings and she escorted him to the plane and put him in first class. There was no charge for the baggage. His name was Kolya Vasin and he became a complete pain in the arse (ass). Rather than being grateful for all that we had done for him he became more and more demanding. He was actually swearing about me to Maureen because we when arrived back in London I would not take him immediately to buy a video player. I took him later that day but everything had to be immediate with Kolya, the new Soviet Superstar. That evening he asked us to invite Russian friends of his to our apartment for a party. He asked if a friend could borrow the book on the history of Soviet Rock 'n' Roll he had presented to me. I never saw that book again and learned a year later he got one of his friends to take it back to him in Russia…what a shit !! 

In 1980 we tried to take the Russian Elvis to Memphis but the US State Department refused and it took a whole year to get the visa for Rafik to go to Memphis. For me, Rafik still has the best voice of any Elvis Tribute Artist I have ever seen or heard. He is a trained opera singer and has a wonderful voice that can reach such high notes. The story of Rafik's visit to Memphis has been told in previous Newsletters. I tried to contact Rafik again some years ago but could not find him. I still have the original tapes of all the "Presleystroika" concerts he gave in Russia and DAT copies of the best of Rafik. He hardly knew a word of English but learnt the songs phonetically with the words written in Russian as they sounded. 

When he sang "My Way" I always remember instead of singing "…I took the blows and did it my way…" he sang "…I took the blues and did it my way…". The expression "took the blows" is colloquial and listening with a Russian ear it must make more sense to sing "took the blues".


Harold Loyd, Kolya, Sid, Dean and John by 
Graceland steps



Kolya Vasin in prayer by the Presley Cross with John Kelly in background (photo by Commercial Appeal)

 


Rafik, Russian Elvis & dancers

The day I gave a live interview from Graceland

It was August 1987 and the ruling from the US Appeals Court had just come down from Cincinnati that there was an injunction against me selling Elvis souvenirs in the USA. This reversed an earlier ruling from the lower court in 1985 that I had not infringed the trade marks and rights of publicity of Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc. Fans who went to Memphis for the 10th Anniversary of Elvis death will remember it was like Fort Knox. The whole area owned by EPE had been fenced off and there were what seemed like hundreds of security guards everywhere. If a newspaper, radio or TV journalist came up to you to do an interview, suddenly security guards appeared if you were in the Gulag Graceland barricaded area and it was very intimidating.  Most interviews were done outside the fenced area. But, inside Gulag Graceland there was a radio station set up doing live shows from the Graceland staging area where you boarded the bus. I only had two real friends from the Elvis circle in Memphis who supported me through all the years I was in litigation with EPE and that was Aunt Loraine and Jim Kingsley. Jim had been invited to do a live interview on the night of the candlelight service. He managed to sneak me and I did a ten minute live radio interview as well from Graceland. I was expecting any minute during the interview to be arrested by EPE storm troopers but I think to this day EPE probably did not know I did a live interview. Jim was a great guy and we always met on my trips to Memphis. He had wonderful stories of Elvis and his time as president of the Stuntmen Association in America. 

Through Jim I met his twin brother who has a down syndrome son, a Special Olympics Champion. His brother is a close friend of Becky Yancy, Elvis' secretary and they would all come to our hotel to meet the British fans on Elvisly Yours trips.  We always raised money for Memphis Special Olympics on our tours to Memphis. Sadly, Jim took his own life when his Elvis fan bride of less than two weeks suddenly left him and her 16 years old daughter and ran off with the drummer of a local group. Jim was one of the nicest people you could meet and it was such a loss. 

The "wife" refused to give Jim's Elvis possessions to the family when he died. He had the hat that Elvis had worn in Charro and Jim told me he would never sell anything that Elvis gave him because it meant so much to him, he would rather starve than part with such wonderful possessions.

A photo I could not resist for Memory Lane

As I go down Memory Lane for each Newsletter, I find great photos of the past experiences in the Elvis World. I could not resist this photo of Larry Geller with Diane and Ray Hill taken January 7,1984. Perhaps fans would like to suggest what Larry  was thinking or saying at the time. Sadly, Diana Hill died a few years ago. Diana and Ray always supported our fundraising at Elvisly Yours for handicapped fans to go to Memphis and raised £1,000 to build the Elvisly Yours statue.






Jimmy Kingsley, Sid Shaw, Richard Davis







Aunt Lorraine, Bill (her partner) and Sid Shaw 









Great photo of Larry Geller with Diana & Ray Hill


SYMPOSIUM on ELVIS PRESLEY  
includes a thesis by Sid Shaw, DisGraceland and 21 more papers by experts in the Elvis World 
 
Please inform us if you change your email address

Visit the Elvisly Yours website 




For all the latest news in the Elvis World...just click !


ELVIS
 MOUSEMAT
 
(and noteholder)


Elvis computer mousemat & note holder/bookmark
£6.95
p&p UK £1.50, Eu £3.00, Ov £4.50
 

SALE
Porthcawl ELVIS
 T-SHIRT


Elvis Festival in Porthcawl
Official t-shirt 

Sale price £9.95 
p&p UK £1.50, Eu £3.00, Ov £4.50
 


Elvis A King Forever 
autographed copy,
available online for the fans from USA


Elvis A King Forever
£16.95
p/p
UK £2.50, Eu £5.00,Ov £7.50


Remember, each month a member of the Elvisly Yours Cyber Club is drawn at random to win an Elvis memorabilia prize from our catalogue. Get your family and friends to join our FREE Elvis Presley Club. 

They can simply join ONLINE at www.elvisly-yours.com


You must visit 
The Elvisly Yours shop!

We are open 7 days a week 10.30am-6.30pm

next door to the London Beatles Store open 8 days a week

How to find us:
233 Baker Street, London NW1 6XE
tel: 020 7486 2005 

We are just 100 yards north of Baker Street Station at the top end of Baker Street near Regent's Park, plenty of parking in side streets or Regent's Park if driving.

COPY & PRINT THIS AD  & GET A FREE POSTER
WHEN YOU COME TO THE SHOP



Baker Street Tube Station ->


Elvisly Yours,

Sid Shaw
www.elvisly-yours.com
 

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Copyright (c) Elvisly Yours 2006

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to info2@elvisly-yours.com with REMOVE in subject line.