Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Introductions

Tonight there's a lot of Elvis musicians in Sweden. "Elvis 2007 - The Original Cast" is playing in the town of Jönköping and on stage is the TCB Band, the Sweet Inspirations, the Imperials and Joe Guercio with original members from Joe Guercio Orchestra.

Although I'm not in the audience I've had the pleasure of seeing and saying hello to a lot of Elvis old band members in the last few years. The first time was when "Elvis - The Concert" played in Stockholm in 1999 and I shook hands with members of the TCB Band after the show.

But it wasn't until 2005 that I really talked to musicians that once played for Elvis. That year the American Sound Studio Band performed in Uddevalla together with the Sweet Inspirations. I brought my "From Elvis In Memphis" LP with me and all the band members signed it after the show.

I met them again only a couple of months later when they played in Memphis during Elvis Week. This time I had the privilege of interviewing organist Bobby Emmons and pianist Bobby Wood backstage. They were really nice guys who seemed to enjoy talking about their recording days with Elvis.

During my trip to Memphis I also spoke to the Imperials. And in Shreveport one week later I managed to have my photo taken together with James Burton at his international guitar festival. But it was hard work. He was a busy man and didn't have time to chat with a guy from Sweden.

A man who did have time for me was D.J. Fontana when he visited Sweden in 2006 and performed, among other places, in my home town. We met at his hotel before the show and he told me about some of his moments with Elvis. And afterwards, I got his autograph on my "Elvis Presley" LP. Great stuff.

Finally, I met Glen D. Hardin when he played in Uddevalla at an Elvis Christmas concert last year. He seemed like a nice, old man and laughed when my brother asked him about Elvis always throwing water at him on stage.

So there you have it. I think it's fascinating that these old musicians travel around the world to play to fans 30 years after Elvis death. I guess it's like Bobby Wood told me: "It's a good feeling. You know that there is fans out there, people that actually like you."

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