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Interview with Elvis Presley : Press Conference Canada 1957

By: Elvis Australia
Source: www.elvis.com.au
June 24, 2006 - 11:58:00 PM
Elvis Articles, Elvis Interviews

Here's the complete transcript of an Elvis press conference in Canada 1957.

Q: Do you have any records coming out?

EP: Yes, the theme song from my next motion picture will be out about the middle of next month.

Q: What is the picture?

EP: Jailhouse Rock.

Q: How did you find Hal Wallis as a producer/director?

EP: Very fine gentleman.

Above - Elvis Presley - November 23, 1956 - Cleveland Arena, Ohio. One of the managers came up to Elvis and told him there was a girl on the telephone who was in the hospital. She had tickets for the show and couldn't come as she had a serious illness. Elvis said, 'I want to talk to her'. And he marched in to a room and held up the entire show for fifteen minutes to talk to that girl. He had a long conversation with her and asked her several questions, with warmth and interest. He said, 'No, honey I don't have a blue Cadillac. I've got a pink one, a black one, a white one - oh yeah, I do have a blue one'.

Q: But he helped you out? Who was the big help in your show Loving You?

EP: Well, there's nobody who helps you out. They have a director and a producer. As far as the acting and as far as the singing and all, you're on the own. I mean, nobody tells you how to do that, you have to learn it yourself.

Q: How do you rate yourself as an actor?

EP: Pretty bad. I mean, that's something you learn through experience. I think that maybe I might accomplish something at it through the years.

Q: You think it's just the sake of acting natural? Don't you do that? In your last two pictures, I'd say you have.

EP: In some scenes, I was pretty natural. And in others I was trying to act. And when you start trying to act, you're dead.

Q: Would you say the Jordanaires helped you a lot in your career with your songs, backing you up?

EP: Well, the boys have done a very fine job, the Jordinares have. But actually there's a lot of groups, you know, a lot of very fine groups that back different people up on their records.

Q: They're under contract with Capitol, are they not?

EP: Yes.

Q: I know you're under terrific strain after a show, how do you taper down? What relaxes the nerves after a big show like tonight?

EP: Well, uh, take for instance last night. We had a show in Vancouver. I didn't sleep any until about ten o'clock today. I just get all keyed up, and it's tough to relax.

Q: What do you do before a show to help defer some of the excitement or the tension?

EP: You just walk around. And swallow! Clench my fist.

Q: How much did you pay for the guitar of yours?

EP: About $500, I think.

Q: Is it specially constructed? Or just a standard?

EP: No, it's a standard guitar. I have a leather cover over it. I had that made.

Q: Do you find that touring is much more hard on you than making movies or doing tv shows?

EP: Well, touring is the roughest part. It's really rough. Because, I mean, you're in a town and you do a show, you come off, you ride in a car, you go to the next town.

Q: Do you prefer it more to making movies and doing tv, or would you rather just stick to making movies?

EP: Well, I think every performer likes to work to a live audience.

Q: How has Pacific Northwest struck you? What you've seen of it.

EP: Oh, it's terrific. It's really beautiful country up here.

Q: How's the weather down in Memphis before you left? Or where you in Memphis?

EP: Yes, I was home. It was beautiful weather.

Q: Why did you have the Great Northern Train stop two miles out of town today and you get off there? What about the fans waiting for you?

EP: Well, I have to prepare for a show that night. And therefore I have to rest -- and we have rehearsals in the afternoon. So I don't have much time. I'm actually pressed for time. It's not that I'm trying to avoid them, because that's certainly not it. It's just that I'm rushed for time and I have to make every moment count when I'm on the road.

Q: Can you make faster time in your Cadillac on the road than you can on the train?

EP: Actually, you're trying to trap me now. I don't know what to say. Next!

Q: Have you ever been thrown by a question? What question do you dislike the most?

EP: I don't know. Like I said, I've been asked everything. If they're too rough, I just can't answer them.

Q: How do you feel about being asked questions about your personal life? Do you think an entertainer should be asked questions about marriage and what girls he's going with, and so forth?

EP: Well, let's face the facts. Anybody that's in the public eye, their life is never private. I mean, anything you do, the public knows about it. And that's the way it's always been, that's the way it'll always be.

Q: Elvis, you've been on the road for a long, long time - it's about time you got a nice rest -- because you deserve it. Where would you like to go for a holiday somewhere?

EP: Africa. No, I don't know - there's a lot of places that I'd like to go.

Q: Have you considered a holiday? I mean, you've been on the go for what, two years now? About a year and a half?

EP: 'Bout four years, actually.

EP: Yes.

Q: What was it - That's All Right Mama - or something else?

EP: Yeah, that's the name of it. Actually, I wasn't known at all until Col. Parker started managing me, you see, and I got on RCA/Victor and on television. And then I started being known.

Q: Before that time you were recording on the Sun record label for Sam Phillips down in Memphis?

EP: Yes. Yes, I was known in certain sections, you know, but I wasn't known all over.

Q: Was it Dewey that played the first one? Is he related to the other Phillips in any way?

EP: No, they're no kin.

Q: Just a coincidence.

EP: He says he was the first one to play it, I don't know-.

Q: Do you want to go abroad some day? Overseas?

EP: Yes, I would like to.

Q: Tell me about permanent retirement?

EP: I'd like to. (Laughs).

Q: Voluntary.

EP: Retirement?

Q: Yes, what do you think about just quitting - when?

EP: Well, I'll put it like this -- I'll never quit as long as I'm doing okay.

Q: What do you consider doing okay?

EP: Well, as long as you're pleasing the people, you'd be foolish to quit.

Q: What would you like to tell our listeners?

EP: I'd like to tell everybody how very much I appreciate them listening to my records and everything. And I'll do my best to continue to please them, and put out songs and movies that they like.

Q: When you get caught in a mob, have you ever been seriously hurt by the girls?

EP: Yes, I've been scratched and bitten and everything.

Q: What do you think about it?

EP: I just accept it with a broad mind because actually they don't intend to hurt you. I mean, it's not that. They want pieces of you for souvenirs, is all.

Q: Elvis, you've got quite a crowd out here. What do you consider your best crowd, you're best show you've ever had? Do you have a favorite place?

EP: Well, I have no favorite place. The biggest crowd was in Dallas, Texas last year.

Q: Was that a good crowd?

EP: Yes, I played the Cotton Bowl. I had 32,000 people there.

Q: What is that stone on the beautiful ring on your left hand?

EP: That's a star sapphire. There's a girl gave to me in California. A crowd of people can hurt you and not even realize they're doing it.

Q: You haven't much of a private life right now, do you?

EP: No, sir. I haven't.

Q: Where do you go for a quiet cup of coffee?

EP: When I'm traveling around, I don't go anywhere. I just eat in the room.

Q: When do you head out to the Army, Elvis?

EP: The Army?

Q: Yeah, are you going into the Army? Or military service, shall we say?

EP: I haven't heard from them. I don't know.

Q: You haven't heard anything from them at all?

EP: No, I haven't.

Q: You aren't linked to Confidential magazine, but what do you think about the Confidential magazine trial?

EP: Well, I don't know what to think about it. Just so I don't get involved in it. That's all I worry about.

Q: How do you like the motion picture field, Elvis?

EP: I think it's great. In fact, I like it better than any phase of the business other than public appearances?

Q: You'd rather be in movies than sing, shall we say?

EP: No, I'm not going to say that.

Q: Why don't we see more of you on television, seeing as you can command such big fees?

EP: I don't know. I guess Col. Parker could probably answer that if he's here. He's not here, is he?

Q: We'll speak to him later. What about your trip, what's your reaction to girls across different sections of the country. Are they all the same?

EP: Well, the crowds- young people are pretty well the same all over the country, I've found out.

Q: Well Canadians are supposed to be a little more subdued. Have you found that with Canadian girls?

EP: (Doesn't answer).

Q: Do you think the rock and roll craze is dying?

EP: No, sir, I don't think it's dying. I'm not saying that it won't die out, but I don't think it is right now.

Q: Elvis, who do you think is most responsible for your success in the music field, I mean, getting your big start? Where did you get your start? Was it in Western music that you got your start? How did Hank Snow fit into the picture, if he did.

EP: Well, at the time I started singing, Col. Tom Parker was managing Hank Snow. And that's how we got connected. I don't know why Hank and my name were linked together so much, because actually we wasn't connected in any way in business. I just worked on some of Hank's personal appearances.

Q: Do you know his son at all?

EP: Yeah, Jimmy Rodgers Snow?

Q: Did you ever pal around with him?

EP: Yes, quite a bit.

Q: Did you go to school with him down in Memphis?

EP: No, I never went to school with him.

Q: Do you know Dewey Phillips down in Memphis?

EP: Very well.

Q: He said to say hello to you. I was talking to him on the phone this afternoon.

EP: Good deal.

Q: Elvis, is your first love Western music?

EP: No, sir, it's not. My first, I would say, would be spiritual music.

Q: Like Peace In The Valley and that, eh?

EP: Not exactly that. I mean, some of the old colored spirituals from years back.

Q: Your actions make quite a reaction in the audience. What is your opinion of the audience?

EP: Well, I mean it would look pretty funny out there without one. Actually, I suppose you're talking about all the yelling and everything. Actually, it's good because it covers up my mistakes, you see. Whenever I hit a sour note, well nobody knows it but me.

Q: What's this new flame, Anita Wood?

EP: Anita Wood. She's a .

Q: She's what, Elvis?

EP: She's a. Oh, incidentally, she won a beauty contest last night where she gets a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures. She called me last night.

Q: If everything folded up tomorrow, which it isn't going to by the looks of things, what would you do?

EP: Go back to driving a truck.

Q: You like driving a truck?

EP: No. I don't know what I'd do. That's counting your chickens before they hatch. Actually, I'd like to become, to learn a lot about acting.

Q: Who's your favorite actor, Elvis?

EP: I have quite a few.

Q: How about James Dean? Did you like him?

EP: Yes.

Q: You really did?

EP: And Yul Brenner, and Marlon Brando, oh quite a few of them.

Q: Any plans for more motion pictures?

EP: Yes, sir. I have contracts for about eight more.

Q: What about TV appearances? We don't see you too often on TV, except the Ed Sullivan show occasionally.

EP: Well, I have no control over that. I have an agent-a manager that takes care of that.

Q: Are you happier now, or where you happier when you were driving a truck and could have a quiet cup of coffee?

EP: Well, I'm happier now in a lot of ways. And in some ways, I mean, I was having a lot of fun then, you know.

Q: What do you think of tv compared to the movies, you worked in both of them?

EP: I like movies better than I do tv work. If you goof in movies, you can just go back and take it over. In tv, you just goof. There's no going back and taking it over.

Q: Elvis, how are you fixed for the future? I know the contract for Victor is good for two or three years. What are your plans after that?

EP: Uh, well, I have quite a few things. I have two music firms. And then I have, like a said, a seven-year contract with Paramount Pictures whereas each year it amounts to more money.

Q: When you see things sold on the street, some of them saying "I like Elvis" and others saying other things, do you get money for each sign?

EP: "I hate Elvis."

Q: Do you get a percentage when they sell an "I hate Elvis" button?

EP: To be truthful, I really don't know.

Q: Hard to keep track.

EP: Yes, it is. In fact, I don't know who sells the "I hate Elvis" buttons.

Q: Well, it's the same man who sells the "I like."

EP: He's a communist.

Q: Elvis, you've come in for a lot of criticism for your wiggling on stage, and some people have called it suggestive. Do you mean it to be suggestive?

EP: No, I've never thought of it as being suggestive. That's just my way of expressing a song, that's all.

Q: You seem to be popular enough on your singing and appearance alone, would you stop the wiggling if criticism grew too fast?

EP: No, sir, I can't. Because.

Q: Toning it down?

EP: To be truthful, I can't do ballad, really, as well as I can the other kind because I don't have the voice for it.

Q: Do you think disc jockeys made you?

EP: Definitely yes. I mean, well, if disc jockeys didn't play it, the people couldn't hear it so they couldn't know what was happening, you know. I contribute it to a little bit of everything. I contribute it largely to the people that have accepted me, and then the disc jockeys, and the good handling that I've had, the management and everything.

Q: Getting back to the religious songs, if you could put an album out, say an extended play, what songs would you put on it? Have you ever considered any of them, maybe some of the songs you know?

EP: You talking about religious? Oh, I know practically every religious song that's ever been written.

Q: Is that right?

EP: Yes.

Q: What do you think of Pat Boone?

EP: I think he's undoubtedly the finest voice out now. Especially on slow songs. I mean, I'm not saying that to make me look good. I actually think that. I mean, I thought that - I mean Boone was recording before I was and I bought his records even back then.

Q: What chance do you think the female vocalist has of getting in the limelight or on the top ten nowadays?

EP: You talking about any female vocalist?

Q: Just female vocalists in general? I mean, do you like their singing?

EP: Yes. I would imagine it's just according to the songs they sing. In other words, your material can make you or break you. If you sing a good song, naturally it will sell. If you sing a bad one, it won't.

Q: What is your favorite female singer right now?

EP: Uh, Patti Paige and Kay Star.

Q: What is your favorite of the songs you've recorded?

EP: Don't Be Cruel.

Q: I got a good one here, why do all the good artists come from Tennessee?

EP: Uh. I don't know.

Q: Is it real rhythm crazy down there? Are people happy for the music? 'Cause that's how it sounds on record.

EP: Yes it is. I don't know. I supposed you're speaking of Pat Boone and a couple of others.

Q: Are there any plans in the immediate future for marriage?

EP: No, sir, none whatsoever. None that I know of.

Q: How are your mum and dad? Where are they now?

EP: They're in Memphis. They're at home. I talked to them this afternoon.

Q: How do they feel about you being on the road? Does it bother them? I mean, they'd like to see their son once and awhile, I imagine?

EP: Well, it's my life, you know. They don't say too much about it.

Q: What thing that got a big plug recently is that if you went into the Army you'd have to get your hair cut. How do you feel on that? An awful lot of newspaper publicity on it. Would it bother you at all?

EP: No, I don't care.

Q: Doesn't bother you?

EP: It will grow back. I mean, if was a case of cutting it off and never having any more, then I would grumble.

Q: What about the sideburns trademark?

EP: Well, I'm stuck with them. I had 'em long - when I was old enough to grow them. When I was sixteen years old.

Q: What's your age now?

EP: 22.

Q: How does it feel to be right on top of the industry? Any drawbacks?

EP: A few.

Q: What are they?

EP: It has its advantages, and disadvantages.

Q: Don't you seek out privacy all the time?

EP: Well that is the main thing. Naturally, you can't go places like other people. You can't go to ball games. You can't go to the local theatre and things like that. Like, back at home, whenever I want to see a movie, well I have the theatre manager show it to me after the theatre closes up at night. We have a fairgrounds there, and I rent the fairgrounds after it closes up sometimes.

Q: How has this effected your mom and dad?

EP: Well, in a lot of different ways. They're just like they've always been, I mean as far as being themselves. But it is kind of a strain on them, because, you know, people never leave them alone, to be truthful about it.

Q: Have you moved into your new home in Graceland?

EP: Yes.

Q: Elvis, we've heard newspaper accounts of some scuffles you've been in where the other fellow seemed to get the end of your fist, what about these newspaper reports, are they accurate?

EP: Uh, yes sir, I would imagine.

Q: What happened? Did you lose your temper?

EP: Well, it's just a case of get them or be got. You know?

Q: What started the incidents most of the time?

EP: Somebody hitting me or trying to hit me. I mean, I can take all the, you know, I can take ridicule and slander, and I've been called names you know right to my face and everything - that I can take. But I've had a few guys who try to take a swing at me and naturally you can't just stand there, you've got to do something.

Q: What's your favorite sport, Elvis?

EP: Football.

Q: You like playing football? Where were those pictures taken in that fan mag of you playing football?

EP: That was taken at a park near my house.

Q: That's down in Memphis?

EP: Yeah.

Q: It's been said your only extravagance has been your cars. Would that be accurate?

EP: Yes, it's accurate. I'm just now realizing how extravagant it was. Because I have too many. I mean, nobody drives them. They sit up and they get stale. The tires go down on 'em. Actually, I have no need for them-I just went ape-I just went crazy when I-.

EP: I'll tell you what I did the other day. I have, I had, a German-made Messerschmit, a little car. And there's a guy there in town who has been wanting that Messerschmit for the last year. And so, he owns a clothing store, one of the top clothing stores in Memphis. So I went up there the other day, and I told him, I said you've been wanting the car so bad, I said I'll make a deal with you. He said okay and I said you let me pick out all the clothes in here that I want and you can have the car. So I was up there for about two hours and a half, and the store was a wreck when I left.

Q: What do you think of serious music?

EP: Serious music?

Q: Like opera, symphony?

EP: Truthfully, I don't understand it. I'm not going to knock it. I'm just don't understand. Just like I don't understand jazz.

Q: What do you think of young actresses as dates? How do they compare to the girls back home you dated before you were a star?

EP: Well, they're just like everybody else. They just got a lucky break in life. Just like other girls.,

Q: What about this fabulous collection of teddy bears? What started that?

EP: Oh, that got started from a rumor. An article came out that I collected stuffed animals and I was swamped with them. Actually, I mean naturally I keep them because people give them to me, but I never even thought of collecting stuffed animals in my life.

Q: Do you appreciate them now that you have them?

EP: Yes. Yes.

Q: Or do you just save them?

EP: I keep them. I have them all over the walls, in the chairs, everywhere else.

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Elvis Presley Video Video Preview: Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD

Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD + 16 page booklet. Never before have we seen an Elvis concert from the 50's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered Unreleased Film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don’t Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. This is an excellent release no fan should be without it. The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people.

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