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|Here is an Exclusive look at the new exhibit in Liverpool, "ELVIS & US", which looks at the careers of the two most iconic music giants of modern times. In this
review by E.E.R's resident news hound, you will get to know if it's worth a visit?
Elvis Express Radio would like to thank Richard Hector-Jones for allowing us to use the Exclusive new images included within this review, all courtesy of the
"ELVIS & US" exhibit in Liverpool.
After my initial visit to the Elvis & Us exhibit in Liverpool back in October 2011 I had decided not to do a review of the exhibition due to the non photography
rule in operation, I just couldn’t see how I could review something like this without showing some images.
After much tenacity, dedicated research and asking why pictures were not allowed I was invited back to the exhibit with the offer of exclusive pictures from the
Elvis & Us PR company to use in my review, so how could I now refuse?
The answer to the question (as posed by myself and many others over the past couple of months) has just been posted on the Elvis & Us Facebook site, and
I quote: “I'm afraid that not taking photos is part of our contract with Graceland.”
There has been a distinct lack of fan coverage regarding Elvis & Us on the fan forums and websites which I don’t find unusual under the circumstances, but
just let me say this... listen up all Elvis fans, you really do need to go and see it for yourself as it really is a marvellous piece of work! At times I was remind just
how much like Graceland this exhibition is, it’s smaller than you imagine but is jam packed with goodies to enjoy.
The exhibit also tells the Elvis Story from a unique U.K. perspective, starting as it does
on entering into the world of the 1950’s just before Elvis.
Through the doors the entrance corridor is lined with early 1950’s artistes and albums
which take you down to 1956 with ELVIS and HEARTBREAK HOTEL.
BANG ! For us here in the UK that’s when it really started for Elvis, and as John
Lennon said “Before Elvis there was nothing’, and to hear those words spoken by
Lennon himself on the audio guide is nothing short of a magical moment.
On display is the acetate demo recording by Glenn Reeves of Heartbreak Hotel on the
TREE label, this is the very acetate that Elvis would have heard himself at his very first
RCA recording session on the 10th January 1956 in Nashville, Tn.
This, the first room in the exhibit, covers the Elvis years 1956 – 1958 and on display
are artefacts from these years including...
* A ring presented to Elvis by The Louisiana Hayride
* Original 1956 Elvis products (Shown)
* A pair of shoes
* His wallet circa 1957
* A yachting cap with very nicely detailed EP motif
* The key to the city of Tupelo guitar (shown)
* A movie shirt from Jailhouse Rock
* His army registration certificate and an Army over coat (shown)
A nice touch in this area is the mini movie theatre showing the trailer for Love Me
Tender and the Tupelo Welcome Home news real footage, it's the UK narrated
footage that was shown in UK cinema’s and not the USA version. Like I mentioned
earlier, it’s a unique UK perspective.
Along the wall of the curvature on the outside of the cinema booth are four original
acetate recordings of Elvis’ first four movies.
On entering the next section you are faced with walls adorned by black and white
pictures of Elvis and four wooden seated areas where you can sit and view on TWO
large screen TV’s, recollections of Elvis and The Beatles from some of those British
folks associated with The Beatles who were there, well worth a listen for some
The next room is decorated to perfection as the walls and floor are adorned by large
scale Union Jacks and Stars and Stripes flags. This room centres around Elvis Mania
and Beatle mania drawing on their similarities and how the Beatles so wanted to walk
in the footsteps of Elvis.
The next room is very Lennon esq, white, bright and minimalist but don’t be fooled as it
is hiding some hidden gems and focuses on the evening that Elvis and The Beatles
met in person at his home in California on the 27th August 1965.
As you enter you see a large scale profile of Elvis’ face on the wall to your right and
your eyes are drawn to the white fender bass, the very bass he was playing as The
Beatles came to meet him.
It is also in this section where (when you turn around from viewing the Fender Bass
guitar) you come face to face with the pool table on which Ringo and members of Elvis’
entourage played during the visit.
On the walls are the names of those present at this historic meeting, I must add that
this is far from complete and leaves off the less significant folks who were there, one of
which was Sherry Lacker (daughter of Marty Lacker) who told me herself some years
ago her own childhood recollections of this night.
Look to the right and up on the wall are some Beatles LP albums from Elvis’ personal
record collection (another nice touch), and as you go to leave this section don’t forget
to stop and read on the wall to your left the telegrams and messages from Beatles
management to Elvis and Col Parker which go into detail on the arranging of this
meeting along with photos of Elvis and his folks as The Beatles are leaving, also here
is a short but beautiful personal recollection signed from Larry Geller on the wall.
The fifth and final section of the exhibit is perhaps the one which most Elvis fans will
|A Review By Tony Stuchbury For Elvis Express Radio
enjoy the most, concentrating as it does on
his 68 comeback, Vegas years and
celebrity to icon status.
You need to spend time in here otherwise
you will miss smaller items like one of Elvis’
Also on display is a chair from the NBC TV
special (this is the same chair previously on
display in the 68 Special Section at
Graceland last year), a blue shirt as worn
by Elvis for his 68 TV Special press
conference, tickets for the show, a TCB
necklace, invitation to Elvis’ opening night
at the International Hotel in July 1969 and a
Gibson guitar used during the Comeback
Special but also used in 1960 on the Elvis
Is Back sessions.
This room is as bright and vivid as could be
with lots to take in and look at including
Elvis UK Music Hall of Fame Award.
Technologically the TV screens on the wall
are silent, but if you hit the corresponding
button on your audio guide the audio from
the TV screen is transmitted by radio frequency to your own personal unit, VERY
COOL, CLEVER and sophisticated!
You can finish of your tour here by taking in two Vegas jumpsuits and a promo display
for Viva Elvis before handing in your audio guide, or maybe you would like to go
backwards and do it all again.... because you can!
Let me say that for only £6.00 you can spend a good hour and a half (or maybe a little
more) in here, and it is certainly more than worth the admission cost !
I would urge any visitor (if they can) to do the whole Beatles Story experience and to
soak it all in, make a day of it!
And before you ask, yes ELVIS & US does have a gift shop too.
THUMBS UP from me, 9 out of 10, it would have been 10 if non-flash photography was
allowed as it is at Graceland, but hey, there you go.