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INTERVIEW WITH ELVIS PRESLEY - 27 FEBRUARY 1970

   

Location: Houston, Texas.
Event: Press Conference:

 

Watch the  movie with the complete interview:



Elvis, how do you like Houston?
Nice. I like it, boy. Quite a lot of space.

What made you decide to come to Texas?
To tell you the truth, I started out here in Texas. I think that the first shows that I worked was down here around Houston, and all over Texas.

Do you remember what locations you worked at in Texas?

I worked Houston, I worked Corpus Christi, every little town here, Longview, man, you name it, I've been there. Really, I've been all over Texas.

What do you think of Texas?
I like it. I like it. Really enjoy it.

Elvis, can you give us - I understand with all the big engagements like Las Vegas, etc. - the reasons why you selected the Livestock Show and Rodeo this year?

Well, they asked me to do it, and I was anxious to do some live appearances. I haven't... it'd been a long time since I'd been on stage in front of anybody live, and I was anxious to do some live appearances and I thought it would be a good opportunity to get in front of the people.

Have you ever seen the inside of the (Astro) Dome before?
Never have. It scares the (laughs)... it's a big place, man.

You've been known in the past as the King of Rock'n'Roll. Do you think your style has changed now from the days when you were king, or do you consider that still your style?
I think the overall thing has improved. The overall sound has improved, I mean. But I think... it's according to the songs. It's just according to the songs.

Did your stage presentation still (stay) the same way it was, or did you improve on that?
I just do whatever I feel... on stage. I always did that.

Are you gonna keep making films?
I hope to (laughs).

What kind?
Well, I'd like to make better films.

What do you mean by better?
Well, better than the ones I made before. (Coughs) Excuse me, I can't take this fresh air, I'm used to the garbage can at the International Hotel, man (laughs). If I can't smell some garbage, I don't feel at home, man. I'll tell ya (laughs).

Do you have any films im the making right now, or any plans?
No, there's nothing in... as far as I know of... is there, Colonel? Anything in the workings?

(Tom Parker) I can't commit myself.
An eight-millimiter Walt Disney special we're doing next year, I think. I don't know.

(Tom Parker) We're shooting some now.

When you look at your opportunity to go and try and fill up the Astrodome?
Well, it'll be the type stuff that I do. It's a mixture of things. It's a little rock, a little country western.

Is that the same thing you do at the International Hotel?
Yeah, it's the same type of thing. A lot of different type of songs. So I just hope I can put on a good show, mainly.

What ever happened to the Jordanaires?
I can't get'em out of Nashville. Man, they got stuck in Nashville and (laughs) they make so much money... they do so well in Nashville... you can't get'em out of there.

Do you have any thoughts about the rising interest in country music?
I think it's fantastic. You see, country music was always a part of the influence on my type of music anyway. It's a combination of country music and gospel and rhythm and blues all combined. That's what it really was. As a child, I was influenced by all of that.

Do you consider yourself basically a country music singer then?
I would hate to say strictly country because of the fact that I liked all different types of music when I was a child. Of course  the Grand Ole Opry is the first thing I ever heard, probably. But I liked the blues and I liked the gospel music... gospel quartets, and all that.

Do you ever pull out any of those old records from the Sun label and listen to them at all?
(Laughs) They sound funny, boy. (Laughs) They got a lot of echo on 'em, man, I'll tell ya. That's what I mean, I think the overall sound has improved today.

Would you think there's more gimmicks today than there was, say, fifteen years ago?
There's probably more gimmicks but I think that the engineers have improved and I think that they techniques have improved... the overall recording.

Consideration of further reevaluation of your career to get you back in front of live audiences again?
(Elvis looks understandably confused, considering this goofy question).

In other words, you were available to the public only in films.
Yeah.

For a long period of time.
I think the most important thing is the inspiration that I got from a live audience. I was missing that.

Was it rough at the International? Was there a strain on you after not being out in front of an audience?
It was tough, but I enjoyed it. I did some... I enjoyed it... like I know I'm gonna enjoy it here because it's a live audience and that makes a world of difference.

Let me ask you one thing, what's your father up to?
He's around here somewhere, ask him. I don't know. Daddy, what are you up to?

Elvis, there's evidence of start...
(Tom Parker) I'd like to introduce Elvis' father, Mr. Vernon Presley. Could he come right here and sit down? Vernon, don't sign nothing unless I check it over.
(Vernon Presley) I can't write... I never sign nothing.
(Laugher).

(Cougs again). It's this fresh air, man.

Elvis, there's quite an evidence of sartorial splendour. Does this indicate that the...
Of what? (Laughs). What?

The attire is not one that we are familiar in seeing you in.
It was taken from a karate suit... just a regular karate-type outfit (a gi).
(Siren can be heard). Are they comin' to get me? Is that it? (Laughs).

I mean does this indicate that with your type dress and everything now, that you're changing a little bit of style, perhaps, in deference to what you did a few years ago?
I don't know. I think that you'd have to see the show. It's difficult to tell. I don't feel any different. I don't think the dress has that much to do with it. I got the idea from a karate suit because I studied karate for a long time, and I had'em made up a couple suits like it.

What do you do for relaxation? You said you study...
Karate! (Laughs). If you can relax doin'n this (swinging his hands), I don't know. No, I read a lot and go horseback riding and stuff like that.

Do you still live principally in...
Memphis! (Laughs). About half the time... half the time, yeah. Half the time in L.A.

In the show you have planned for the Dome, do you plan any of the old, old songs... some of the first ones?
I'd like to...

Any special ones?
... Try out a couple of'em... just to see if they work.

How big is your band with you, Elvis?
It's a big (one)... fantastic.

Elvis, let me pin this on you. This is your official badge, and we got another... didn't wanna put your name... not that people didn't know who you were, but we's afraid they be tryin' to take it off of you for a souvenir. Pin that on ya. Mr. (Vernon) Presley, it's a real pleasure to have you don't here with your son. We think we're gonna set all kinds of records down here.
I hope so. I hope I can give'em a good show. That's the most important thing.

No question about that. You sure will.
If I can give'em a good show, I'll feel like I've done something, man.

You will. What's the biggest live crowd you've ever performed for?
If I'm not mistaken, it was in Vancouver, Canada, wasn't it, Colonel?

(Tom Parker) The Cotton Bowl.
In the Cotton Bowl, in Dallas. Ah, it was about twenty-five thousand, I guess.

Would you like to do more songs about people going from poverty to the land of plenty?
I think so, if it's the right type of song. I think so, if it's the right type of material.

You've already made a couple of songs.
Yes, I have.

Like In The Ghetto.
I did In The Ghetto. I don't know. I wouldn't like to do all that type of stuff. In other words, I wouldn't like for everything to be a message, 'cause I think there's still entertainment to be considered.


Source: LP Elvis Speaks to You - Book Elvis Word For Word, by Jerry Osborne.

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