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 Post subject: Interview with Tony Brown
PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:16 pm 
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Interview with Tony Brown
By: Elvis Australia - Feb 3, 2006
Source: Elvis World Japan
(excerpts only)



Quote:
Tony first met Elvis in 1969 at the International Hotel through J.D Sumner. He later became a member of Voice and in March 1975 played piano on Elvis' recording of 'Bringing it Back'. On 21st April 1976, Tony permanently replaced Glen D. Today Tony holds a key-job in the record industry as now president of MCA-Nashville.

Q : Tell us when you first met Elvis.

A : First time I met Elvis was in 1969, it was his return to Las Vegas. International Hotel. The opening night, I was playing piano for a group called the Stamps Quartet, JD Sumner and the Stamps Quartet. So, everyone had been invited to the opening night and JD was one of those people. We were a gospel group so he arranged our schedule so that our schedule ended up in Las Vegas so he could go to the show. Of course we were all bummed out that we couldn't go to the show, but he did do one thing. He said, "After the show, we'll draw straws and one of you can go backstage and meet Elvis." And I won. So, I went backstage and met Elvis after the show.

And, it was a moment I'll never forget. It was like seeing, I mean knowing he was the superstar celebrity that he was, back in those days I was basically playing in the church. He was bigger, bigger than life. And when I met him, it was like seeing the most beautiful human being. It was like he was the most perfect specimen of a human being I'd ever seen. I was totally just bowled over with his charisma and everything. I will never forget it. And it really stuck with me I think. To this day I will never forget that night. Walking in the door and actually seeing Elvis Presley standing there in front of me. It was like seeing Adonis or something, I don't know.

And just the excitement in the room of when he finally is in the building. You know, the cool thing about Elvis was not that he's in the room. You hear this, He's in the building. And you start like getting these chill bumps.

He's in the building. He's coming in the room. He's in the room, there he is. And, I mean, I'm not exaggerating.

It's really something. I've always been a bit star struck. Even to this day, being the president of MCA records, I am still awe struck by a star. You know, actors and, politicians and recording artists and such. So, but back then, the awestruck was at such a high level that I would almost faint when I would see someone like him walk into the room. But, I will never regret saying that I felt that way about seeing Elvis Presley because I bet if you ask anyone who worked with him, even close to him, probably still felt that way every day when they worked around him.

Q : You seem to feel him, even if you didn't see him.

A : Right. Right. In fact, that's exactly right. And I think sometimes he even would let you know that, you know, he was a sort of a, I think he was on a different plane than we were. I think he was a higher, a higher plane. He was an interesting man. I will say that.

Q : I noticed a couple books that were gifts from Elvis.

A : Yeah we were with Voice, we would go to Palm Springs a lot. That's where we seemed to spend most of our time with him and we'd go to the house and he'd want to sing some gospel songs and we'd get around the piano and sing.

And then, he'd want to read the Bible and we'd read the Bible and, one night he was reading from The Impersonal Life back here. And he asked did anyone have one of those. And of course nobody had one of those. I didn't know what it was. So we all jumped in the car and we, let's see there was maybe 15 people. So got our little enterage of cars and drove down to a store in Palm Springs until we found a bookstore that actually had 15 copies of The Impersonal Life so we could buy them. And also there was another book he wanted us to get called The Way Out. So we all bought those books that night we came back to the house and was reading those things.

Q And that was one of his favorite books and he signed it?

A : He sure did. He signed it and, inside the first page he made us write, I deny. We were sitting on the floor in Palm Springs reading, I think The Impersonal Life or The Way Out. And he asked us to, he said, "Everyone put a piece of jade, paste it to your forehead. I want you to see your aura." Well, once again, nobody owned any jade.

In the cars. Down to the jewelry store. And, I mean, he was just, getting around Elvis Presley was a exciting time. You know? I mean interesting, exciting, surreal, but, I must admit, it was inspiring, you know?

Q : So there was really a spiritual side to Elvis?

A : Big time. That's the reason, that's the strangest thing about me, where I sit today because I was raised in the church, my dad was an evangelist. I never even, I thought I would end up being in the biggest gospel group and that would be my entertainment kind of a job. And never intended to get into this secular style of music. But working for Elvis which came through being in gospel groups and being associated with DJ Sumner, got me into the secular side of music. And being with Elvis opened the doors to playing with after Elvis, other artists like

Emmylou Harris, which led me to meet people that got me a job with RCA Victor after Elvis passed. And now with MCA for 17 years, but it all started back there. It was a spiritual kind of beginning and Elvis was an Assembly of God guy. That's where he went to church. I was raised Baptist, but he was raised Assembly of God. But he was very spiritual and he took it very serious, you know. And I totally related to him and, I think that's the thing that people, the masses, got from him. He communicated to the masses not only because he was a sexy rocking kind of guy, but he really communicated with his spirituality. They connected with him.

Q : Where were you when you found out he had passed away?

A : At the airport. We were at the airport waiting for the show plane to arrive from... It started from Los Angeles, picked up the horn players in Las Vegas. They would stop in Nashville and pick up the rest of us, Bobby Ogden, myself and the Stamps Quartet and several other people. We were at the airport at a private terminal waiting for the show plane to arrive. And it was a beautiful day. The sun was shining, just gorgeous, chatting.

And all of the sudden, this storm came up, I mean, out of nowhere. We're talking like gale force winds. And the planes were shaking. And in walks these about four or five guys from the National Guard, which the National Guard terminal was next door if you've been to the Nashville Airport. These guys walk into the same terminal that we were in. So, the rain starts pounding the runway. And the winds blowing, and it's kind of weird. And I overhear this guy -- this National Guard guy on the phone. Before we had cellular phones, they had mobile phones, you know.

And I heard him say, "How did it happen? Are you sure it was Mr. Presley?" And then Felton Jarvis came over and said, "Tours off. Go home. We'll call you. We'll give you an update." And my first thought was that Vernon Presley had passed away. So, needless to say, I'm puzzled. So, I go get in my car. The storm has sort of subsided by then.

I get in my car, and I'm driving down Riley Parkway. And on the news, it says that Elvis had been found in his home. They think he's dead. And he's on the way to the hospital. So, by the time I got home, they said they verified that he had passed away. That's how I found out. And I went to Julienne's Restaurant and got drunk. Just blew my mind, you know. So, it was a strange ending. But it is kind of weird, you hear those stories about supernatural powers that, it was this beautiful day. And this storm came up, and I heard that. It's like it's kind of a strange thing, surreal kind of deal. But I'm not surprised. After being around Elvis for all those years, that when he entered heavens gates that maybe it shook the town up there.


for full article from Elvis Australia:

http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/interview_tony_brown.shtml



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Maia Nartoomid, author of Blue Star Love (Elvis Book)
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 Post subject: T. Brown
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 2:04 pm 
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Thank you Maia for alerting us to that interview-it's great to read that someone who didn't know Elvis, but who got to be there, work with him and get to know him first through observation and then personal contact, singing with him, on tour, at home and everywhere, has such insight and such a real awakening to Elvis, the inner man as well as the entertainer. So many of those around him didn't get it-maybe because someof them knew him when he was a kid etc; but they didn't get it ever-blinded by the "glitter" and "glory" that came with being his friend and living around him? Probably. But Mr. Brown saw through it all, realized and can explain his feelings so well. Those are the people that need to come forth-and they are now, after all this time-thankfully. There are some coming out from some of the people from movies-I certainly hope they too, get it and got it when they worked with him. And won't be bitter about those days because their careers have gone belly up since. Somehow, it seems like things are changing and people will crawl out of the woodwork finally. I wish I had known how to express more of that spiritual side of him-but I am not a writer really, I like to write, but I don't have the aiblity to put things into words like Mr. Brown and especially like Maia who is great at that. That's why I liked using the Interview where Elvis himself is telling things-he knew how to tell a story and express real feelings and he "relived" the experience so it came out "real". Thanks again. as usual I talk too much!
Wanda



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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 6:16 pm 
Jewel in the Lotus
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Hi friends,
In those site Elvis world japan,you can read more interviews with people who was lucky enough to work with him..Yes as you said Wanda,it's a great pleasure when someone sees the inner Elvis,the true person,this is for everyone's good..I watched THE DVD called He Touched Me :The Gospel Music of Elvis Presley..and there also Tony Brown,J.Moscheo and some other musicians and singers talking about him and his spiritual personality..I hope in the future, more people will see who he really was..and Wanda please go on talking with us,you never talk too much,you even can't because those memories of yours are very prescious for all of us..Love y'all.. :D
Zey


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PostPosted: Tue Jul 25, 2006 9:00 am 
Jewel in the Lotus

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Very glad, that you "revived" that interview with Tony Brown!!!Otherwise I would have missed it and such genuine interviews no real Elvis fan should miss!!! :D



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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Sep 19, 2007 9:32 pm 
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Thank you so much dearest Maia for posting this wonderful interview with Tony Brown. :D I just now came across this so I also thank sweet Sue-Lenora for bringing it back again by posting to it. :D Oh and I also agree with you 1000% Sue with what you said to our dear Wanda about how she can never talk too much to us about our wonderful guy! :wink: :P :D


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PostPosted: Sat Sep 22, 2007 7:38 pm 
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Rainbow Light wrote:
:D :D :P

Whatever Wanda cares to share about Elvis in her special, caring, open and honest way with us, is always appreciated and cherished here at the ELC forum - sure hope she knows that! :D


AMEN my dear friend!! :D :D


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Tony Brown
PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2009 12:41 pm 
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Great interview - thanks for bringing it back :) It has put me on the trail of a new book to read - 'The Way Out' by Joseph Benner (same author as The Impersonal Life which I already have). I have read a couple of reviews for 'The Way Out' and it looks like it's a 'keeper'. Just have to find a copy now........... :D


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Tony Brown
PostPosted: Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:16 pm 
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Thanks for the tip about Amazon :D I tried Abe Books but no success . I'll let you know how I get on with my search.


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 Post subject: Re: Interview with Tony Brown
PostPosted: Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:41 pm 
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Hi, Just to let you know I got a copy of 'The Way Out' by Joseph Benner from The Saint Bookstore. It just arrived today so I haven't had a chance to do anything apart from flick through it - looks good. There is a chapter named 'Use Money Fearlessly' - Elvis came to mind immediately!!!


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