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‘Arcade Attack’: It’s pinball vs. video games in AWESOMELY WEIRD 1982 animated sci-fi short
08.21.2017
08:47 am
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Arcade Attack
 
Arcade Attack: Silverball Heroes verses Video Invaders is a very strange short film. Part documentary, part animated sci-fi fantasy, this mini-movie also shines a light on technological obsolescence. Arcade Attack is entertaining, odd, and surprisingly thought-provoking, complete with a totally awesome synth score. It’s a little gem of a picture.

Arcade Attack is a UK production from 1982. It aired on HBO back in the day, acting as filler during the downtime between full-length movies. The short has a couple of connections to punk rock: It was produced and directed by Mike Wallington, who co-directed Dressing For Pleasure, a 1977 documentary on British folks with a rubber fetish (we told you about it), which greatly influenced punk fashion; the Arcade Attack animators, Phil Austin and Derek W. Hayes, worked on the animated sequences for the Sex Pistols movie, The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle

Arcade Attack is strange from the get-go, with an unsettling opening that features a laughing mechanical dummy amongst a collection of old-timey games in an empty arcade on a lonely pier. This is followed by the peculiarly animated (but also super-cool) sci-fi title sequence, before settling into a standard documentary format—or so it seems. A pinball vs. video games narrative develops, with whizzes on both sides showing off their skills and talking about why one form of gaming is better than the other, but something just feels a bit off. Two-thirds of the way through, it shifts gears again for an animated showdown that really needs to be seen to be believed. It’s better first-time viewers don’t know much more about Arcade Attack—and I’m not going to be the one that spoils it for you.

We’ll leave you with an impressed IMDb user:

I was totally flabbergasted and so was the friend who showed me the documentary, who was under the impression it was a timepiece documentary on arcade games. But it was so much more. It turned into an unbelievable trip. Go watch it…NOW.

 
And you can do just that, after the jump…

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Posted by Bart Bealmear
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08.21.2017
08:47 am
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Jodie Foster’s very, very brief pop music career
08.18.2017
09:23 am
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What were you doing when you were 15? How many movies had you appeared in? How many singles had you put out? How many books had you written? (Or read?)

That Jodie Foster, in 1977, was an unusual 15-year-old isn’t news. By that time she had already appeared in at least one box-office hit, Bugsy Malone, as well as arguably the most bracing and accomplished product of the New American Cinema ever committed to film, Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver. She was attending a French lycée which she once described to Andy Warhol in the pages of Interview thus:
 

It’s great, man. All the teachers are like 21 or 22 and have long hair and beards and everything. Being in this school, you don’t have to do anything.


 
A minute later Warhol offers Foster a Bloody Mary (she was 14 at the time). Foster may not have been “doing anything” at that lycée, but two things are clear: she was perfectly fluent in French by that time, and her education was at least good enough to enable her to attend Yale as well as become one of the top actresses in the world as an adult.

In 1977 Foster flirted briefly with pursuing a career in pop music. She released a couple of singles and made some appearances on French TV as a singer. She appeared on the soundtrack for a movie called Moi, fleur bleue (in America the title was Stop Calling Me Baby!) singing a song called “When I Looked at Your Face.” She released that track as a single and also put out another single called “Je t’attends depuis la nuit des temps.”
 
Watch the video after the jump, along with Foster’s rendition of a famous Serge Gainsbourg song…...
 

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.18.2017
09:23 am
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‘Jack Johnson,’ 1970 documentary about the first black heavyweight champion, scored by Miles Davis
08.18.2017
09:02 am
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Even people who don’t like Miles Davis’ electric period (!) recognize the greatness of Jack Johnson, one of John McLaughlin’s finest moments, and a record I’d heard dozens of times before I realized it was the score to a movie. Long before
Ken Burns’ Unforgivable Blackness, there was this 1970 documentary by promoter Bill Cayton and fight film collector Jimmy Jacobs.

Jack Johnson was the first black boxer to win the world heavyweight championship. The phrase “great white hope” originates from the terror he struck into the hearts of pale Americans, both by winning the title and enjoying himself in public. His success did not go unpunished. Busted under the Mann Act and sentenced to a year and a day, Johnson skipped bail and fled the country. (In one memorable scene in Jack Johnson, the champ meets Rasputin.)
 

 
In his autobiography, Davis writes that he was boxing in the spring of 1970, when he wrote the soundtrack:

The music was originally meant for Buddy Miles, the drummer, and he didn’t show up to pick it up. When I wrote these tunes I was going up to Gleason’s Gym to train with Bobby McQuillen, who was now calling himself Robert Allah (he had become a Muslim). Anyway, I had that boxer’s movement in mind, that shuffling movement boxers use. They’re almost like dance steps, or like the sound of a train. In fact, it did remind me of being on a train doing eighty miles an hour, how you always hear the same rhythm because of the speed of the wheels touching the tracks, the plop-plop, plop-plop, plop-plop sound of the wheels passing over those splits in the track. That train image was in my head when I thought about a great boxer like Joe Louis or Jack Johnson. When you think of a big heavyweight coming at you it’s like a train.

Then the question in my mind after I got to this was, well, is the music black enough, does it have a black rhythm, can you make the rhythm of the train a black thing, would Jack Johnson dance to that? Because Jack Johnson liked to party, liked to have a good time and dance. One of the tunes on there, called “Yesternow” was named by James Finney, who was my hairdresser—and Jimi Hendrix’s, too. Anyway, the music fit perfectly with that movie. But when the album came out, they buried it. No promotions. I think one of the reasons was because it was music you could dance to. And it had a lot of stuff white rock musicians were playing, so I think they didn’t want a black jazz musician doing that kind of music. Plus, the critics didn’t know what to do with it. So Columbia didn’t promote it.

Watch ‘Jack Johnson’ after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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08.18.2017
09:02 am
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Super ‘wide-angle’ Italian lobby cards for ‘Easy Rider’
08.17.2017
09:26 am
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I haven’t posted much about lobby cards on Dangerous Minds. They can be cool but basically it takes a lot to impress me. Most lobby cards are just random stills from the movie with some text underneath (or in the corner). It’s not often that someone in the process goes the extra mile to make them really interesting.

For some reason the Italian lobby cards that were produced for Dennis Hopper’s 1969 directorial debut Easy Rider are little short of breathtaking. Apparently the movie was called Easy Rider: Libertà e Paura (Liberty and Fear) there, and a fair bit of artistic ingenuity and creativity went into these excellent images that are in fact, strikingly, even wider than the movie’s aspect ratio of 1.85:1. They aren’t merely stills but instead are conceptual collages that create fascinating and wholly imagined tableaux that never actually appear in the movie at all. They’re overstuffed and provocative and full of life and all I can say is “Bravo!” (or “Brava!”) to whatever individual or group of individuals was responsible for them.

In case you didn’t know, there’s only a tiny handful of movies that can be said to have kicked off the bracing, vital American cinema of the 1970s, and Easy Rider‘s on the short list for sure. Among its other virtues, the movie brought into mainstream cinema frank content about drug use.

But forget all of that and take in these marvelous bits of advertising which can be appreciated by all who’ve seen the film, and even those who have not.
 

 

 
See the rest after the jump…...

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.17.2017
09:26 am
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When a superfan crosses the line, things will never be the same again (short film with Sean Young)
08.16.2017
01:10 pm
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bOING bOING’s resident video guru Eric Mittleman has been one of my nearest and dearest friends for over a quarter century. He’s what is called “a keeper” in lifelong friend terms and is one of my all time favorite people. His new short film was recently premiered on bOING bOING and now we’re showcasing it here.

The filmmaker writes:

This short film is a cautionary tale about our personal and social media data and what can be done with it when it is a little too accessible. When a superfan crosses the line, Jason, a blogger, goes looking for her. He finds something unexpected and his life will never be the same again. The cast consists of Sean Young (Bladerunner), Joshua LeBar (Entourage), Alice Hunter (Another Period) and Claudia Graf (Love & Mercy).  I hope you enjoy it.

One small bit of background information: The main character’s apartment looks exactly like Eric’s own apartment. The TV, the couch. Everything. Except that it’s much, much, much tidier. Weird.

(Runs away)
 

 
Watch ‘Legacy’ after the jump…

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Posted by Richard Metzger
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08.16.2017
01:10 pm
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‘Flesh Gordon,’ the ‘Space Age Sex Spoof’ of the Seventies that’s ‘out of this world’
08.16.2017
11:14 am
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People, we’re in big trouble.

On the far distant planet of Porno, Emperor Wang the Perverted has his sex ray pointed at Earth and every time he shoots the damned thing everyone goes plum sex-mad crazy. People are fucking in the street. Orgies are piling up everywhere. No one is safe. And the cry goes up, “Is there a hero out there who can save us?”

Too right there is. Name’s Flesh Gordon—who is somehow unaffected by Wang’s porny ray.

That’s just the opener for Michael Benveniste and Howard Ziehm’s schlocky sexploitation flick Flesh Gordon from 1974. If you are cognizant with the original 1930’s Universal serials or have seen the big screen version of Flash Gordon, then you’ll know just exactly how the story goes in this “outrageous parody of yesterday’s superheroes.”

Flesh (Jason Williams) teams up with a young woman called Dale Ardor (Suzanne Fields) and a scientist Dr. Flexi Jerkoff (Joseph Hudgins), who just happens to have a rocket ship ready to blast off to beat the evil Wang (William Dennis Hunt). This unlikely trio zoom off into space, land on Porno, and combat Wang and his band of “raping robots.” Along the way, they encounter Prince Precious (Mycle Brandy) the rightful king of Porno and his band of merry men, Queen Amora (Nora Wieternik), and the Great God Porno—a Ray Harryhausen-type monster voiced by none other than Craig T. Nelson. Thrills, comedy, and sex ensue.

The storyline for Flesh Gordon was so close to the original that Universal Studios at one point actively considered suing the filmmakers for blatant copyright infringement. Benveniste and Ziehm avoided this calamity by simply stating that their film was intended as an “homage” to the original source material. They also had all the advertising material labeled with the caveat that their movie was “Not to be confused with the original Flash Gordon.”

Flesh Gordon was originally intended as a hardcore space age romp with full-on sex but unfortunately “the filming of such material was illegal in Los Angeles at the time it was made (hard as that may be to believe now)”

...to prevent their prosecution for pandering, the filmmakers were forced to surrender all such footage [to] the L.A. vice squad, and Flesh Gordon was released without explicit pornographic content.

The end result was a rather tame sophomorish comic sexploitation movie that somehow managed to win over its audience with its likeable schlocky charm. It’s fair to say that films like Flesh Gordon along with the likes of John Boorman’s Zardoz or Ken Russell’s Lisztomania or even Car Wash and Saturday Night Fever say as much about the free-wheeling hedonistic zeitgeist of the 1970s as gritty films like Taxi Driver, Mean Streets, Get Carter, and The Conversation reflect the converse.
 
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More ‘Flesh,’ revealed after the jump…

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.16.2017
11:14 am
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Gloriously pointless trading cards for the awful ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’ movie
08.14.2017
10:27 am
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I’ve never seen the movie Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, which came out in 1978. The movie was directed by Michael Schultz, whose best-known movies are probably Cooley High and Car Wash, both of which are pretty good. Considering the inescapable Britishness of the Beatles and especially Sgt. Pepper, the cast of Sgt. Pepper’s LHCB is simply an extended head-scratcher, with few Britons (Peter Frampton, comedian Frankie Howerd, Donald Pleasence and Paul Nicholas) to be found among a group that includes, most prominently, the Bee Gees, George Burns, Earth, Wind & Fire, Alice Cooper, Aerosmith, Steve Martin and of course, Frampton. (How could Billy SHears not be English?) The real problem with this movie seems to be its essential California-ness, as it was clearly conceived poolside at a Hollywood bungalow by some coked-up asshole who had never once pondered the lonely existence of Eleanor Rigby.

Late-era Beatles songs didn’t exactly lack for colorful characters, and the people behind the movie crammed a bunch of them in there, including Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds, Mr. Kite, Billy Shears, and the eponymous sergeant (all from the album), as well as Maxwell (of “Silver Hammer” fame), Mean Mr. Mustard, and, erm, “Strawberry Fields,” none of whom have anything to do with the album. How they neglected to find someone to embody Lovely Rita, who is just begging to be turned into a mesmerizingly gorgeous movie character, I’ll never know. Rather than recruit Bungalow Bill, Polythene Pam, Desmond and Molly, Sexy Sadie, my dear Martha, or Rocky Raccoon, the movie features several wholly invented characters like B.D. Brockhurst, played by Donald Pleasence, and Billy Shears’ brother, whose name is Dougie Shears. (This is the guy that really gets me. THERE ARE NO “DOUGIES” IN THE BEATLES CANON!!!)

Over the weekend, I spotted a trading card with Steve Martin from early in his career, and the caption read “Dr. Maxwell Edison” and I just couldn’t for the life of me figure out who the fuck that was supposed to be—my best guesses were the protagonist of The Man with Two Brains (actual name: Dr. Michael Hfuhruhurr) and the sadistic dentist in Little Shop of Horrors (actual name: Dr. Orin Scrivello). That led me to the usual bout of Internet research, through which process I learned that Donruss released a set of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band trading cards in 1978, the same year the movie came out.

From the vatange point of nearly 40 years after the movie came out, every card really reads as a devastating critique of the movie; in essence the entire set is an extended series of exhibits as to why the movie sucks. Don’t believe me? See for yourself.
 

 

 

 
Much more after the jump…...

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Posted by Martin Schneider
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08.14.2017
10:27 am
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Meet Anita Berber: The ‘Priestess of Debauchery’ who scandalized Weimar Berlin
08.14.2017
09:52 am
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The woman with the shock of dyed red hair, her body wrapped in a fur coat, and a pet monkey grinning and holding tight to her neck was Anita Berber. She danced across the foyer of the Adlon Hotel opened her sable coat and revealed her lustrous naked body underneath. Men leered, goggled-eyed. Women giggled or turned their heads in shock and embarrassment.

Anita Berber didn’t care. She liked to shock. She liked the attention. If she didn’t get it, she would shout and throw empty bottles or glasses on the floor. Smash! Berber was a dancer, an actor, a writer, and a model. She was called the “Goddess of the Night,” the “Priestess of Debauchery,” the very symbol of Weimar decadence, and a drug-addled degenerate. She was all these things and more. And during her brief life, Berber utterly scandalized Berlin during the 1920s. Not an easy task!

The daughter of two musicians, Anita Berber was born in Dresden in 1899. Her parents divorced when she was young, Berber was then raised by her grandmother. By sixteen, she quit the family home for the unpredictable life as a dancer in cabaret shows. The First World War was at its bloodiest height. The daily reports of casualties and death meant people were reckless with their passions. It was then that Berber started a series of relationships and dangerous habits that became her life.

After the War, Berber began her career as a movie actor—starring opposite Conrad Veidt in The Story of Dida Ibsen in 1918 and then in Prostitution and Around the World in Eighty Days the following year. While Veidt went onto become a major movie star with a career in Hollywood, Berber’s career stalled and she became best known for her performances as a dancer, a sultry temptress or a drug-addled prostitute. With her dark bobbed hair and androgynous good looks, Berber created a style that was copied by Marlene Dietrich (who basically stole her act), Leni Riefenstahl who idolized Berber, was her understudy and had a brief intense relationship with her, and Louise Brooks, whose seductive image in Pandora’s Box was a copy of Berber’s. She had relationships with both men and women, seeing no difference in taking pleasures from either sex. Berber married in 1919, then left her husband—a man called Nathusius—for a woman called Susi Wanowski. The couple became a fixture of Berlin’s growing lesbian scene.

Berber enjoyed opium, hashish, heroin, and cocaine—which she kept secreted in a silver locket around her neck. She also had a strong predilection for ether and chloroform mixed together in a small china bowl, into which she scattered white rose petals. Once these were sufficiently marinated in this heady concoction, she ate the petals one by one until she fell into a delicious sleep.

Berber’s louche lifestyle coupled with her fame as a movie star and dancer meant she was the subject of gossip and cafe tittle-tattle. It was said over black sweet coffee she was once kept as a sex slave by a married woman and her fifteen-year-old daughter. It was claimed between mouthfuls of chocolate cake that she wandered through casinos and hotels flashing her naked body. While in the bars, it was overheard that she exhausted her lovers with her insatiable demands for sex. 

Some of these tales were false. Most were true. But all of them kept Anita Berber fixed in the public’s imagination.

In 1921, she met and fell in love with the Sebastian Droste, a bisexual dancer who was known as a performer in Berlin’s gay bars and clubs. They became lovers and married in 1922. They formed a scandalous dance partnership choreographing and performing together in Expressionist “fantasias” like Suicide, Morphium, and Mad House. They also collaborated on a book of poetry and photographs called Die Tänze des Lasters, des Grauens und der Ekstase (Dances of Vice, Horror, and Ecstasy). A typical routine went something like this:

In the dance, “Menschen,” or, “People,” we find,

Only two people

Two naked people

Man

Woman

And both in a cage

Hard stiff horrible cages

The two king’s children sang songs

But with tears

The man smashes his cage

Tradition

Society

Convention he spits out.

Which is the kind of nonsense we nowadays associate with the overly pretentious rather than the naturally gifted…but at the time… You can imagine: shock, horror, and spilled sherry.

Berber’s and Groste’s relationship was intense, passionate, and drug-fueled. Because of her considerable use of cocaine, Berber often hurled champagne bottles at the audience if they failed to appreciate her genius. It was inevitable their marriage would not last long and they separated in 1923.

By the time artist Otto Dix painted his famous portrait of Berber in 1925, the years of drug abuse, frenetic lifestyle, and lack of nutrition was plain to see. The painting looks more like a woman in her fifties than a twenty-five-year-old. The woman who once scandalized Berlin with her androgynous looks, her erotic and seductive dances and her sultry on-screen appearance was no longer so appealing. Berber was out of favor as a younger generation of ingenues took over. She began touring her dance shows. During one such tour in Damascus, Berber became fatally ill with tuberculosis. She returned home to Berlin where she died “surrounded by empty morphine syringes” on November 10th, 1928. Anita Berber was twenty-nine. She was buried in a pauper’s grave and may have been long forgotten had it not been for Dix’s portrait that kept her legend alive.
 
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More photos of the ‘Priestess of Debauchery,’ after the jump…
 

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Posted by Paul Gallagher
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08.14.2017
09:52 am
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Mega-post full of rare vinyl picture discs from Russ Meyer, Blondie, Divine, AC/DC & more
08.14.2017
09:44 am
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A limited edition picture disc for Blondie’s 1978 record ‘Parallel Lines.’
 
The first thing I learned while pulling this post together is this—there are entirely TOO many Madonna-related picture discs. The flip side of that dated news flash is the fact that an astonishing number of rare, collectible picture discs exist, many of which I’m sure you will want to get your hands on, if you can. The other thing I learned about picture discs today is that there is a shit-ton of pretty looking vinyl that features nudity. For instance, a few soundtracks from the films of titty-titan Russ Meyer such as Mudhoney, Supervixens and Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill! have all gotten special, topless picture disc pressings.

The vast majority of picture discs in this post contain interviews with the artist or band, though in some cases they do actually play music like a record should. Now before you remind me that music doesn’t sound all that great on a picture disc, I’m already well aware of this. I do however love collecting vinyl of this nature not just for their novelty appeal but because I also view them as a form of art that is still a vital part of vinyl culture today. When I called this a “mega-post,” I was not kidding as there are over 25 images below for you to check out, many of which are NSFW thanks to Russ Meyer of course. You have been warned!
 

Side A of a picture disc featuring music from the Russ Meyer films, ‘Good Morning…And Goodbye!,’ ‘Cherry, Harry & Raquel,’ and ‘Mondo Topless.’
 

Side A of a picture disc featuring music from the Russ Meyer films, ‘Up!’ ‘Beneath The Valley Of The Ultra Vixens,’ and ‘Supervixens.’
 

Side B of the Russ Meyer album above.
 
More after the jump…

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Posted by Cherrybomb
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08.14.2017
09:44 am
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Elvis Presley’s adventures in yoga and Eastern mysticism
08.11.2017
07:44 am
Topics:
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Col. Tom Parker, Elvis Presley and Larry Geller on the set of ‘Spinout’ (via Bodhi Tree.com)
 
In the spring of 1964, Elvis’ hairdresser, Larry Geller, introduced him to the teachings of Paramahansa Yogananda. The founder of the Self-Realization Fellowship had a lasting impact on Elvis, who often visited the SRF’s Mt. Washington headquarters and Pacific Palisades retreat during his Hollywood years, and developed a close relationship with Yogananda’s successor, Sri Daya Mata.

Priscilla did not welcome the arrival of cosmic consciousness in her life with the King:

Larry was a total threat to us all. He would spend hours and hours and hours with Elvis, just talking to him, and he wasn’t anything that Elvis represented; he didn’t represent anything that Elvis had believed in prior to that time… [Elvis] read books studiously for hours and hours. He had conversations with Larry for hours and hours — he was going on a search for why we were here and who we were, the purpose of life; he was on a search with Larry to try to find it. You know, Larry would bring him books, books, books, piles of books. And Elvis would lay in bed at night and read them to me. That was the thing when you dealt with Elvis: if he had a passion for something, you had to go into it with him and show the same love he had for it. Or at least you had to pretend to.

Of course, these new enthusiasms were amplified by Elvis drugs. Not acid, so much—during the one trip Geller and Elvis took together, they ordered pizza and watched The Time Machine on TV—but friends observed troubling interactions between the King’s diet pills and his Kriya Yoga practice. From the second volume of Peter Guralnick’s Elvis biography:

He felt a new serenity in his life. To the guys it seemed more like madness, and they felt increasingly alienated, resentful, bewildered, and angry all at once. Elvis appeared to be leaving them with his almost daily visions, his tales of going off in a spaceship, his delusions of being able to turn the sprinkler system of the Bel Air Country Club golf course behind the house on and off with his thoughts, his conviction that he could cure them of everything from the common cold to more serious aches and pains by his healing powers.

 

 
Geller’s spiritual counsel did not endear him to Colonel Tom Parker. Guralnick reports Larry’s contention that one terrible number in 1967’s Easy Come, Easy Go was a clear message from the King’s manager:

The inclusion of the musical number “Yoga Is As Yoga Does,” which Elvis performed as a duet in Easy Come, Easy Go, was no accident, Larry felt, but intended, rather, as a direct insult to Elvis’ (and Larry’s) beliefs — but Elvis went ahead and recorded it anyway. Only after the scene in which it was included was shot did Elvis finally react. It was then, in Larry’s account, that Elvis “stormed into the trailer, shouting, ‘That son of a bitch! He knows, and he did it! He told those damn writers what to do, and he’s making me do this.’”

More after the jump…

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Posted by Oliver Hall
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08.11.2017
07:44 am
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