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Cyber club   


       Newsletter


     sid@elvisly-yours.com

March 2004

 www.elvisly-yours.com


Leiber & Stoller...
great songwriters, no guts!

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!

The excuse now is EPE have their own Musical but they waited about eight years saying NO before they just copied, no stole, Rene’s idea. Rene is quite petite and Hovey thought he could intimidate her. She has had to endure harassment and verbal abuse from Hovey over the many years. By all accounts Hovey is just a very nasty bully but Rene, of small stature, has a big heart and has just pursued her dream to bring "Jailhouse Rock" to the stage. Stoller has said, in the press release, by using the name “Jailhouse Rock” it denies him the right to use his own title for his own musical… what chutzpah! Stoller has known for ten years Rene had the rights so what has he been playing at for the past 47 years since he wrote the song? Elvis will be turning in his grave knowing that Lieber and Stoller are denying the world the right to hear his music and see a staged version of "Jailhouse Rock". It is sad that they have also been intimidated by that bully Hovey. The timing of this disgraceful press release was just one week before the stage show opens in London yet Leiber and Stoller had been begged for ten years for the rights to the songs from Jailhouse Rock. It is a wicked and misguided attempt at sabotage that will backfire on them. The public are not idiots and everyone will ask what people deny the world the right to hear their music.

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.


Piccadilly Theatre

previews from March 26th
grand opening April 19th 2004

Tickets :  020 7369 1754
see map and directions

Songs you will hear in the Musical:
Blue Suede Shoes
Burning Love
Suspicious Minds
Are You Lonesome Tonight
Good Rockin' Tonight
A Fool Such As I
One Night
Pretty Little Angel Eyes
Big Rock Candy Mountain 
This Ole House
Always On My Mind
The Wonder of You
Memphis Tennessee
Tutti Frutti and 8 other songs 
which tell the story of rock and roll.


see details of Musical

 

 


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"

I am sure there are laws in Britain against displaying and promoting fake artifacts in Museums. I do not know why this Elvis Museum does not thoroughly research their exhibits before they display them and mislead the public. Apparently, the owner of this piece of jewellery has to remain anonymous...I wonder why ?

You have to be suspicious about an Elvis Museum that continues to promote the worst ever artwork of Elvis as their logo, after repeated complaints from Elvis fans.


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 sid@elvisly-yours.com .

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".


AN ELVIS MOMENT IN TIME...
July 5th 2004


In our last Cyber Newsletter we mentioned plans for an "Elvis Moment in Time" when Radio Stations all over the World will be encouraged to simultaneously play "That's All Right" on July 5th 2004. 

Have you contacted your local radio station wherever you live in the world? So far there has been no reaction from the organisers in Memphis to our request to help, probably under instructions from EPE to have nothing to do with Elvisly Yours, even though our help and publicity will encourage thousands of Elvis fans to go to Memphis. But, what do you expect from the megalomaniacs at EPE who actually threatened the world famous travel agents, Thomas Cook that they could not promote Tours taking members of the Elvisly Yours Fan Club to Memphis. Thomas Cook were planning to promote the Tours through 400 branches and after the threat cancelled the promotion and Memphis lost $millions. 

To kick ass and get the organizers to start promoting "Elvis Day 2004" email :  

aturner@mcvb.org   and/or    mary@mcvb.org .Tell them Sid sent you and they better start rocking & rolling!

If anyone has written to the above sponsors of an "Elvis Moment in Time" please let me know their response.


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A BAD ELVIS EXPERIENCE
 


Michael King, Dani, Juliette 
and Mark Leen      ©The Sun

After working for 16 hours a day, seven days a week for three months planning, marketing and promoting the "Elvis Experience" in Blackpool Elvisly Yours was cut out of the 2003 Show. All that work was done on the basis of trust that Elvisly Yours would benefit from the very hard work in 2002 for future years. We were to be partners in future "Elvis Experience" Shows in Blackpool and we even planned tours of the UK and Europe.

The producer, Michael Welch of a company called Jamcat Music Ltd, had made exactly the same promise to many people associated with the Show and like fools we all believed him. Michael King put on a great performance at the Show and he was persuaded to share in the profits as was the Musical Director Yoev Romem. Even though Michael King sang his heart out and helped get massive publicity for the show with photo calls at the Elvis Wedding of the Century he did not get paid a penny. Even though I saved Welch a small fortune in fees through all my connections with David Stanley, Mark Leen, Johnny Earle and saved further costs for the expenses of the wedding couple in Las Vegas I was told he had no money left to pay for the wedding couple to fly Vegas. 

We had six film crews, five radio stations and twenty press photographers covering the wedding and cancellation would have been a disaster so I lent Welch the money to pay for the airfares.

The problem with con artists is that they are so good at their profession you really believe them and sadly I believed Welch. I was going to help him build the "Elvis Experience" for the future and we would all share in future profits and make it the best Elvis Show in Europe. When he told me he had lost £16,000.00 on the "Elvis Experience" 2002 I believed him and agreed to withhold payment for the airfares and other expenses until the next show. He had even stayed in our home after the Event in late August when we planned the future of the "Elvis Experience".

I have now sued Jamcat Music Ltd for repayment of the airfares and other expenses and the trial is set for June 4th 2004. Michael King performed in the 2003 show and had a contract to be paid a good fee for his performances at the "Elvis Experience 2003". Sadly, Michael was cheated and never paid and has now instructed a law firm to sue Jamcat Music Ltd. Believe it or not Welch has claimed that Michael King's performance was not of a high enough standard. What an insult to a great British tribute artist ! I hope Michael can also sue Jamcat Music Ltd for slander as well as breach of contract.

Sadly, I never heard from Juliette and Dani, the wedding couple, even though they had promised to send me all the film footage of their amazing weddings in Blackpool and Las Vegas on August 16th 2002. In fact, Dani was a friend of Welch who had even persuaded him to enter the Wedding Competition. Juliette and Dani did not know at the time that Welch was cruel enough to cancel their wedding if I would not have lent him the money for the airfares. 

If any reader has film of the "Elvis Wedding of the Century" I would love to see a video copy because to this day I have never seen any film of the event I organised and which achieved worldwide TV coverage. 

On behalf of Elvisly Yours, Michael King, Yoev Romem, Paul Smith and anyone else Welch has cheated I would ask you NOT to book tickets for the "Elvis Experience" 2004 in Blackpool.

READ Michael King's account of his BAD ELVIS EXPERIENCE with Welch. Michael King is also suing Jamcat Music Ltd.


GOING DOWN MEMORY LANE

The Russian Elvis, Rafik

In our last Cyber Newsletter I had explained how the Russian Elvis, Rafik, had to sing "Love Me Tender" to an ensemble of immigration officers at Boston Logan Airport before they would stamp his passport to gain entry to the USA for our club tour in October 1991. They all clapped and cheered him on his way into America but sadly his reception at Gatwick Airport, London on his return from the States was hardly welcoming... it was trouble! The words from  'Trouble' could not have been more appropriate, 'if you are looking  for trouble, you've come to the right place'

Rafik had a one entry visa to come to Britain but in those days it was very difficult getting flights to and from St Petersburg. Our Immigration usually allow 24 hours stay over for people in transit through the UK. There was no way that I could get connections for Rafik in a 24  hour period, only for 48 hours. This meant Rafik would have no visa to get back into the UK. No problem, I would simply contact the British Consulate in Atlanta while Rafik was in Memphis and get a new visa for him. I was advised by a helpful member of the Atlanta Consul that my request was impossible. I should depend on the goodwill and humour of an Immigration Officer at Gatwick Airport. He advised Rafik to dress up looking like Elvis and hope that on entry to the UK  Immigration would be good humoured and reasonable knowing he had tickets for Russia in 48 hours and under my surety they would allow him entry to the UK.

I went through Immigration with Rafik, explained the situation but all hell broke loose. Sadly, we were met by a real 'jobs-worth' officer who had no sense of humour. He was just like on of the characters you see on the BBC programme 'Airport', a cold, hard nosed bureaucrat who immediately called his superior officers. They rejected my explanation and we had to wait for a Russian interpreter who turned up four hours later. 

I could not even say goodbye to the other 120 Elvis fans who had made the trip to Memphis. It was red tape gone mad! Poor Rafik was only allowed entry into the UK on condition he agreed to sign a form stating he was to be deported from the UK and had to surrender his passport. If he did not turn up at the airport at the specified time an arrest warrant would be issued for him . 

There was to be no singing of Elvis songs at the Airport to gain re-entry to the UK. I thought "you ain't nothing but a hound dog" would have been quite appropriate in the circumstances. After waiting five and a half hours we finally got through immigration and Rafik stayed that extra day in the UK before he went back home. I have since tried to make contact with Rafik, without success. He has one of the most powerful voices in the world. He learned Elvis songs phonetically because he spoke little English.

Harold Loyd, Elvis first cousin

Harold Loyd was a genuinely nice person who was a first cousin of Elvis and worked at the Gate for years during Elvis' life and after Elvis died. When EPE took over the running of Graceland Harold was treated abysmally by the EPE management.

In 1984 I invited Harold to Britain and he toured the country with a series of Elvisly Yours Conventions, talking to the fans about his life with Elvis and acting as a Judge for our best British Elvis Competition. We had heats in Glasgow, Cardiff and Manchester. Harold was a simple, good ol' Southern boy and I tried to impress him by taking him to fine restaurants in London. He never said much about the food but never complained. After a week of fine dining we were short on time and I said we would have to have lunch at MacDonald's. During and after the meal he kept on saying..."this is real food". I could have saved myself a fortune by taking Harold to MacDonald's every day instead of expensive fancy restaurants. 

Saved by the statue of Elvis

On the way back from Scotland after the show with Harold at the Albany Hotel in Glasgow I was driving through the lowlands. 

I had rented a five ton truck with a tachograph and the lowlands are a very bleak area. I was in the middle of nowhere; just heather, sheep and hills when all of a sudden a police car appeared out of the mist with lights flashing and siren blaring. I pulled over and the policeman demanded to see the tachograph. I didn't even know the vehicle had such a device which records aspects of the driving. He checked the truck over and said "this truck is unsafe and you will have to leave it here and get it towed to a garage".

 I said I can't do that, Elvis is in the back". The policeman got very angry and shouted, "what do you mean, Elvis is in the back?"

I went to the back of the truck and opened up and there was our life size bronze statue of Elvis Presley standing in all its glory, all tied up for safety. 

The policeman was shocked and then a huge smile came over his face as he said, "my wife loves Elvis Presley and she won't believe this story". I gave him a copy of an old Elvisly Yours magazine as a memento that I signed to his wife and he immediately let me go on my way back to London. 

Has Elvis ever saved you from an awkward situation....?     Just let me know and the best stories will be published in future Cyber Newsletters, 
sid@elvisly-yours.com
 

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Rafik at Smolny Cathedral, 
St Petersburg, with two pretty showgirls

 




Rafik visiting the Houses of Parliament
as guest of Austin Mitchell MP


Rafik, Austin and singing policeman

Harold Loyd with Sid onstage 
at Glasgow Convention, 1985


Statue outside Buckingham Palace 
involving another Police incident


I could not resist this photo with Elvis' wonderful Aunt Lorraine, Beth Pease
and me at a Halloween party in Memphis 
(eat you heart out, Jordan)


includes a thesis by Sid Shaw, DisGraceland and 21 more papers by experts in the Elvis World 
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Bags measure 16ins x 18ins


A.


B.


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BUST OF ELVIS
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Marble bust of Elvis
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 Elvisly Yours Calendar




2004
Elvisly Yours Calendar
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BASEBALL HAT

This hat is not licensed 
by Graceland

Just a few dozen were made in 1987 and recently discovered in our warehouse. They are a real collectors item, for Elvis Week.

£10.00 each (£1 p&p)



ELVISLY YOURS Competition Winner
 

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Tiaa wins a signed copy of the book Rare Elvis, Volume One

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