Monday, January 21, 2008

Take me to the fair

In the latest issue of the magazine from The Official Elvis Presley Fan Club of Great Britain there's an interesting article called The "fair" side of Elvis. It's written by Albert Fisher, who in 1962 had the chance to hang out with Elvis during the filming of It Happened At The World's Fair.

Albert Fisher, who was 21 at the time, held a position as head of Television and Motion Pictures for the World's Fair in Seattle. It was his job to talk film and TV producers into bringing their productions to the Fair, and then assist them while they were there.

In the article, Fisher remembers his first meeting with Elvis: "I was impressed. I was a nobody and Elvis stood up to great me. Colonel Parker didn't budge...nor did he even hint at extending his hand."

After a couple of days Albert Fisher became comfortable being around Elvis and got his permission to bring along an 8mm movie camera and shoot home movies during the making of the picture. This rare footage was released by Fisher himself on DVD in 2005. Here's a sample:

When Elvis was to resume the movie in Hollywood he asked Albert Fisher to be Technical Advisor on the film. Apparently, this was light and pleasant duty. Fisher writes that he would walk onto the set, take a look around and say: "Yep. This looks like the World's Fair." He would then hang out on the set or go sightseeing.

In 1963, when the film premiered, Albert Fisher got his friends together and went to the first showing of the film to see his name among the screen credits. But as the credits began to roll he was heartbroken. Because guess who was credited as Technical Advisor? Yeah, of course, a certain Colonel Tom Parker.

Still, Albert Fisher, now a well respected TV producer himself, treasures his time with Elvis: "I hold on to my memories of my brief time being able to pal around with one of the greatest entertainment legends in history...Elvis Presley."

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