Growing Up With Elvis In Britain
Source: Nigel Goodall
June 4, 2010 - 5:05:03 AM
Goodall, an ardent fan since he was 12 years old, will present his book in the spirit of the excitement that was present just six months before he was a teenager from having to queue up to buy Elvis' latest record to bunking off school to go and see his latest movie, and from secretly swapping Elvis bubblegum cards in the school playground to sneaking Elvis Monthly into the classroom to read under his desk and in between lessons.
Spanning five years of Presley, the book will offer a chance for every Elvis fan and reader to reminisce or discover what it was like to be an Elvis fan in Britain in the 1960s - from both the fan perspective and that of Elvis' career. It will also offer up an insightful recounting of the British pop scene at the time, and how Elvis maintained his place as the top pop star in Britain with a string of movies that were mostly built around a largely archetype formula of exotic locations, songs and girls.
From the moment the author went to see Elvis' tenth film, Kid Galahad, and despite not knowing much about who Elvis really was, he left the cinema enough of a Presley fan to know when he grew up, that is who he wanted to be like. His enthusiasm remained at that level until 1967, when disillusioned and disenchanted by both the music and films that Elvis was churning out, and even more so, incensed that Elvis would appear in a movie set in Britain that he did not even come over to film, the author sold his original record collection at a price next to nothing. Little did he know that just one year later he would be rebuilding his collection as he and most other fans in Britain, reeled in the glory of Elvis' comeback. But back in 1962, after queuing up for over an hour to get in to see his first Elvis movie, and sitting through the film amidst hundreds of screaming and hysterical girls, he turned up his shirt collar like Elvis, rushed to the local record store to purchase the 45rpm EP of the films soundtrack, went home, played the disc over and over on his sisters Elizabethan mono record player, and announced to his horrified parents, that he wanted to go and work for Elvis when he left school.
Over the next five years the author continued with his obsession to never miss one of Elvis' movies, even if it meant traveling over 50 miles to see it, and never to miss purchasing any one of Elvis' latest records whether single, EP or album, no matter how good or bad they were. Neither did he miss scouting the New Musical Express each week to look for the latest news of Elvis' record and film releases, entering competitions to win some of Elvis' wardrobe from his movies, and the inevitable, impossible, headline that Elvis was coming to Britain to appear at the New Musical Express Poll Winners Concert at the Empire Pool in Wembley.
It was only when he watched Double Trouble alone in a cinema, and seeing Elvis sing Old MacDonald on the back of pickup truck loaded with chickens, that he knew he had seen and heard enough, and decided, there and then, it was time to catch up with the musical leanings of his peers, and indeed, the rest of Britain.
From a list that included the Stones, the Beach Boys and the Who, it was, of course, the Beatles, who had proved themselves to be the only realistic claimants to Elvis' crown just one year after Elvis scored four consecutive number ones, had three movies playing on more or less every screen in the country and had released almost 40 new songs on albums, EPs and singles.
Growing Up With Elvis In Britain will offer a personal account of how the author was swept along on a journey by the sounds and images of Elvis during the 1960s. Drenched in humour, passion and musical history, the book will also examine how Elvis rode the storm of Beatlemania - and survived the onslaught during a decade that threw up some of the biggest frustrations and pitfalls of Elvis' career.
The authors idea for this book will be to get away from the standard, run-of-the-mill, bog-standard biography of Elvis. This wont be just another re-telling of Elvis, but a story of Elvis that covers new ground, not before examined in such depth. Covering five years of Presleys career from 1962 onwards, the book will be the unique story of Elvis from the other side of the coin, the fans perspective, and for the first time, to intermingle a fans obsession for Elvis with Elvis's career, insomuch as they are related to the enormous influence that Elvis generated, even during a time when his career was described as having lost its sparkle.
It will be the first time a book on Elvis would offer an explanation on how a fans fanaticism paralleled Elvis' own fanatical frustrations towards the same films that were now packing teenagers into hundred of cinemas across Britain, and will reveal information about the 1963 abandoned tour, cancelled film and lost album.
Often regarded as one of the leanest periods of Presleys career, it was probably the most productive. With most of his time devoted to churning out three films and movie soundtracks a year, it is said that his recording career had become increasingly lacklustre, and yet, it was a period that turned out some of his biggest hits, and a period that is so often overlooked and dismissed, this book will set out to readdress that omission.
Set to premiere in the winter of 2010 at over 240 global retail outlets and libraries, this exclusive eBook and MP3 audiobook will illustrate the lasting impression Elvis left on the author and millions of other fans in Britain. It would also be the first to recapture the excitement of what it was really like to see Elvis on the big screen in the early 60s amidst complete and total frenzy inside a cinema, where girls were literally screaming, standing up and pulling their hair out every time Elvis was on screen, sang a song, or jiggled a little.
This book will be the authors labour of love interpretation of what it was like to be a fan at the time, and also to recapture what it was about vinyl that made owning a record so magical, especially an Elvis one, what cinema meant to the Elvis fan, how the pirate radio ships of the 60s helped Elvis through Beatlemania, and what Tin Pan Alley in Londons Denmark Street did for Elvis, from when the author worked for one of Elvis' music publishing companies in the same year that Love Letters was a top ten hit. The appeal of this book would be in its originality to examine a much overlooked period of Elvis Presley from a not yet written perspective. Part autobiographical, part critique, part history, part confessional, part ultimate book of Elvis' Hollywood years, Growing Up With Elvis In Britain would provide a timely reminder of what it was like to be a fan at the time, and for those not around between 1962 and 1967, it will serve as the perfect introduction to what they missed.
About the Author: Nigel Goodall is a British-born author with more than 20 books on the movie and pop world to his credit. He has written about some of the biggest names in showbusiness including Elton John, Kylie Minogue, Ray Winstone, Johnny Depp and Winona Ryder, which combined, have sold over a million copies and won him a literary prize nomination. Formerly a graphic designer with over 300 record sleeves to his name, a brief spell as a pop manager, voice-over artist and disc jockey, and the co-producer of the syndicated 1978 Elvis Gospel radio special, he has also contributed to various album, video and television projects for over a decade, including most recently, the A&E Biographies of Demi Moore and Christian Slater. Nigel, who first wrote about Elvis for a school essay soon after he had seen Kid Galahad in 1962, lives in Sussex, England, from where he travels occasionally to New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles for research and author interviews.
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