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 Post subject: A Growing Fervor For Elvis In Europe
PostPosted: Mon Nov 05, 2007 11:18 pm 
Jewel in the Lotus
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By Doreen Carvajal (Herald Tribune), Oct 21, 2007

Along a narrow side street on the Right Bank, a familiar figure in a shiny gold tuxedo looms from a little shop the color of blue suede shoes.

The crooked smile, smoky eyes and tousled hair are instantly recognizable but, just in case, the shop owners hail the "King of Rock and Roll" and their petite Graceland in bold gray and red print: "Elvis My Happiness."

Elvis Presley never performed a concert in Europe in his long singing career, but that unfortunate oversight apparently is helping to stoke the burnin' flames of desire for all things Elvis in this Parisian colony and other unlikely outposts, from Elvis Matters in Belgium to the Flaming Star in Norway, where the perennial best seller is a €10, or $14, pair of Vegas vintage sunglasses.

When Elvis Presley's septuagenarian backup bands showed up in Europe recently, they rocked a sold-out concert hall in Jonkoping, Sweden, then pressed on to finish up an 18-day European tour in Paris for an original-lineup performance organized by Elvis fan clubs across five countries.

These fans are discriminating aficionados who aren't satisfied with an Elvis impersonator in a white jumpsuit and who yearn for a taste of the original.

"They're hungry for anything Elvis," marveled Joe Moscheo, a bass singer with the Imperials, a backup gospel band for Elvis that finished one European tour in October and is returning for a second next month.

"They ask a lot of questions and they're very fanatical," Moscheo said. "I hate to use the world cult, but these people are serious. It's not just like they say, 'Let's go to a concert.' They know what he wore, what he ate and what he sang."

Many of these fans don't know enough English to define the difference between Heartbreak Hotel and a hound dog cryin' all the time.

But the music remains universal enough to build fan clubs of 4,500 members in France and 1,600 in Germany. There is enough passion in the Netherlands that Elvis's record company, Sony BMG, this year released a CD titled "The Dutch Collection," with a selection chosen by fans, who voted from a list of 150 songs. A reissue of Elvis's "A Big Hunk O'Love" recently clawed up to No. 12 on the BBC's Top 40 singles chart in England, behind 50 Cent and Sugababes.

"It amazes me day after day," said Peter Verbruggen, president of the Elvis Matters fan club, which opened an Elvis store more than two years ago in Turnhout, Belgium, near the Dutch border. The club also runs a store in Antwerp, in the north of Belgium, and is considering opening a third branch.

"Everybody is surprised by the success," said Verbruggen, who started his club in 2003 with hopes of drawing 300 people and watched membership soar to 2,200. "One of the reasons that Elvis is so popular is the fact that he's never been here before and he's still a mystery. Another explanation is that Elvis is a universal icon who touches so many different people from all parts of society. He's everything: the rebel, the crooner and the actor."

Elvis's oeuvre is so varied that fans divide themselves by periods, debating the relative merits of '50s Elvis, '60s Elvis and his comeback as Vegas Elvis.


"There is a great difference between most of the American fans and the European fans," said Peter Beines, chairman of the Elvis Presley Gesellschaft in Bonn. "Americans prefer Elvis impersonators while the original musicians for Elvis are more popular in Europe. The Americans prefer music from the Elvis of the '50s, but European fans, especially in Germany, prefer the concert Elvis of the '70s."

The U.S. and European markets also differed in music sales trends after the 30th anniversary of Elvis's death in August.

"In the states, there was no huge uplift in terms of Elvis sales. But what we saw in the rest of the world, predominantly in Europe and Australia, is that we were able to get Elvis back to number one for albums in five countries," said Timothy Frafer-Harding, a vice-president of Sony BMG.

In life, he noted, Elvis never managed to hit No. 1 in Germany, but 30 years after his death his compilation album climbed to the top of the charts.

All of the major clubs are watching the average age of their membership fall with a new generation of young people in their 20s joining the clubs. The average age of the French membership of Elvis My Happiness, the fan club that operates the Paris store of the same name, is 27 and dropping, according to Jean-Marie Pouzenc, club president.
Pouzenc is the author of two books on Elvis, including a new edition published in August of "Elvis à Paris," a glossy title that minutely explores the brief period in 1959 when Elvis, the uniformed soldier, visited Paris, staying in the Hotel Prince de Galles and passing time with the chorus girls at the Lido club.

For the 30th anniversary of Elvis's death in August, Pouzenc led a pilgrimage of 300 fans to Graceland, a tour that he said represented the diversity of Elvis's fan base in France that includes President Nicolas Sarkozy, who has let it be known that Elvis is on his iPod.


"The strength of Elvis is that he touches everyone," said Pouzenc, who presides over the Paris store in a yellow shirt emblazoned with gyrating Elvises. "When you go to Graceland you can see that with people there from all countries, races and religions."

But don't ask Pouzenc if he can translate "Just a hunk-a, hunk-a burnin' love into French." ("Morceau d'amour brûlant," suggests an old club magazine.) "It's too difficult," he said.


Source: Elvisnews



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 12:16 am 
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What an interesting article! :D My favorite line in the whole thing is this right here--" The strength of Elvis is that he touches everyone" :D :D So true, so very very true!! :D Thank you so much for sharing this with us dear Laurie. :D


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 06, 2007 6:51 am 
Jewel in the Lotus
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Thank you, Laurie! :P It's really nice to have these kind of news about Elvis.

As an example: Last week I took two nights out of home, into the mountains, to take some air -higher and purer energy's vibrations- because I really needed some expansion for my soul.

I was expending the night in a beautiful country house, converted in hotel. First thing in the morning, I put on the TV (from the bed), waiting for the news on the California's fires. The very first thing I could see right then of the Spanish early news, was Elvis' face and the voice in off saying that he is the biggest seller in music at the present time, even when being dead for 30 years... A nice way for me to wake up to the world! :P



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 2:19 pm 
Jewel in the Lotus

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The very first thing I could see right then of the Spanish early news, was Elvis' face


Well, Amanda, that was Elvis' way to say "good morning" to you!! :wink:

(Do you like his song "Spanish Eyes" , by the way, the thought occured to me as I read your post.... :wink: ?)



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 5:34 pm 
Jewel in the Lotus
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Yes, a very nice way to say me "Good morning"... :P :P :P

Quote:
(Do you like his song "Spanish Eyes" , by the way, the thought occured to me as I read your post.... ?)


Well, that song is not one of my favorites, but OF COURSE I like it. Can't remember now who was the one close to Elvis that said this song was one of his favorites...

The best thing about that song is that it suits me, 'cause I do have "Spanish eyes". :wink:



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2007 4:52 am 
Jewel in the Lotus

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......'cause I do have "Spanish eyes". :wink:


:lol: sure you have, and beautiful not with teardrops (as the song says) :wink: :P



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2007 4:41 am 
Jewel in the Lotus
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:lol: :lol:



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