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 Post subject: New Jerry Schilling Interview
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 5:28 pm 
http://www.elvis.com.au/presley/interview_jerry_schilling.shtml


Excerpts:

Ken Sharp: Why did you hold out so long to do a book?

Jerry Schilling: There was a long period of time after Elvis passed away; professionally or publicly, I didn't talk about Elvis. I tried to go on with my life professionally. There was no way I could ever make up for the loss of Elvis personally.

...

Ken Sharp: Speaking of 'How Great Thou Art'. you have strong memories of that recording session.

Jerry Schilling: When I saw him record 'How Great Thou Art', it was unbelievable. Everybody would be off playing cards, but I was fascinated by the recording process. I liked to hear the musicians tune up; I liked hearing the people in the control room. I liked Elvis giving direction; 'I hear this here, and I want the voices here'. When Elvis got down with recording 'How Great Thou Art', he knew it was special. It almost took the life out of him, and when he was done, he looked ghost white. Then he just kind of looked up, and he knew he had done something great.

...

Ken Sharp: In that interview, Elvis speaks about how doing the movies was making him 'physically ill'. Why couldn't Elvis have said, 'Enough, I'm not doing these crappy songs or these crappy films'?

Jerry Schilling: Some big-name stars who I've spoken to have said similar things to me: 'Jerry, he was Elvis Presley. He could do what he wanted to do'. I was there when he protested that he wasn't gonna do a film. He was told if he didn't honor these contracts he couldn't do anything. The Colonel had a network, and he controlled the record company. He controlled the studios when it came to Elvis product. He controlled the agency, and don't forget, the same thing happened on the road.

...

Ken Sharp: When Elvis returned to the stage in Las Vegas in 1969, how had he changed as a live performer?

Jerry Schilling: I'd said earlier that I loved the raw Elvis of the '50s, but I'd also have to say from the '68 Comeback Special to the first couple of engagements in Vegas, the first couple of years, that's where he was at his greatest. He looked the best, he sounded the best and, unlike the shows he did after he came out of the Army in 1961, he was showing off his animalistic rebelness. So, he had it all. He took it to the next level when he did 'If I Can Dream'. That song is Elvis.

...

Ken Sharp: Discuss how the material Elvis chose to record in the '70s took on an autobiographical slant with songs like 'Separate Ways'. 'Always On My Mind'. 'It's Over' and 'Pieces Of My Life'.

Jerry Schilling: He was going through a really rough period on a lot of fronts. The road had taken a toll on all of us and our marriages. That bothered Elvis. Basically, he was a one-on-one relationship guy. He was a family guy — of course, with every temptation in the world.

He always thought that at age 40 it was gonna be all over for him. He didn't want to be 40. So, here he was approaching 40. Creatively speaking, he hadn't had a hit record in a few years. He was doing songs like 'Softly As I Leave You'. a narrative thing by Charles Boyer. Red West wrote 'Separate Ways' (Ed note: the song was co-written by Richard Mainegra). Joe Esposito, myself and Elvis were all going through a divorce at pretty much exactly the same time. I'll never forget that after Elvis recorded 'Separate Ways' he brought Joe and I in, and we listened to the song for three hours in the studio. He'd just looked up and shake his head. 'You guys wanna hear it again?' And we'd play it and play it. It was a real sad time. Songs like 'Separate Ways' and 'You Gave Me A Mountain' were very reflective of his life. He wasn't getting any hit material anyway. I think he just kind of sang about his life.





Ingrid


  
 
 Post subject:
PostPosted: Mon Jan 21, 2008 11:14 pm 
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Thank you so much Ingrid for posting the link to that great interview Jerry did, and also for posting some of the excerpts from the interview here for us to enjoy as well. :D


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 7:43 am 
Jewel in the Lotus
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Thanks Ingrid for posting the excerpt. :D

Quote:
He was told if he didn't honor these contracts he couldn't do anything. The Colonel had a network, and he controlled the record company. He controlled the studios when it came to Elvis product. He controlled the agency, and don't forget, the same thing happened on the road.
How suffocating this control must have been for Elvis. He must have felt trapped and internalized the frustation, eating away his insides. But to his credit Elvis never grew bitter . . .

Quote:
Basically, he was a one-on-one relationship guy. He was a family guy — of course, with every temptation in the world.
I like Jerry's analysis here. He seems to have a decent understanding of Elvis the man.

Quote:
He wasn't getting any hit material anyway.
Why wasn't he getting any hit material? Was it Parker's high songwriter % demands? More songwriters singing their material? The MM keeping Elvis more isolated? Perhaps all three.



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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:51 pm 
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Yes he has dear Sue and that definitely is, as you said, to his credit. :D :wink:


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