Saturday, 11 January 2014

Elvis: the best of books, the worst of books

Another bit of my Essential Elvis manuscript that didn't make it into the final version was my list of the best Elvis books. The list was in the first edition but in a far briefer form. 

So, over the coming days (maybe weeks), I will be posting here on what I reckon are the best Elvis books.

But first . . .

Johnny Ramone's list of the best Elvis books. 

The late Ramone brother kept extensive lists in notebooks. Here is his Elvis book top ten.

1. Last Train to Memphis (Peter Guralnik) 

2. Careless Love (Peter Guralnik)

3. Elvis Up Close: In the Words of Those Who Knew Him Best (Rose Clayton and Dick Heard)

4. Elvis Aaron Presley: Revelations From the Memphis Mafia (Alanna Nash)

5. That’s Alright Elvis (Scotty Moore and James Dickerson)

6. Elvis: What Happened? (Red West and Steve Dunleavy)

7. All About Elvis (Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius)

8. The Elvis Encyclopedia (Adam Victor)

9. Down at the End of Lonely Street (Peter Harry Brown and Pat H. Broeske)

10. The Elvis Atlas (Michael Gray and Roger Osborne)

More Johnny Ramone and Elvis . . .

His favorite Elvis songs  . . .

1. Don't Be Cruel, 
2. Can't Help Falling In Love, 
3. Baby Let's Play House, 
4. Viva Las Vegas, 
5. Are You Lonesome Tonight? 

His favourite singers . . .

1. Elvis
2. Bing Crosby
3. Roy Orbison
4. Gene Pitney
5. The Everly Brothers

His favourite Elvis movies . . .

1. Loving You
2. Jailhouse Rock
3. King Creole
4. Viva Las Vegas
5. Follow That Dream
6. Kid Galahad
7. Love Me Tender
8. Kissin' Cousins
9. Elvis: That's the Way It Is
10. G.I. Blues

So did the Ramones ever cover an Elvis song? It seems not. For sure, there isn't one on the quite wonderful Ace records compilation, The Ramones Heard Them Here First. They did, though, do this quite wonderful version of a Tom Waits song . . .

Next You'll be able to see how my favourites compare with da brudder's. Hint: the first one is not on Johnny's list.
Meantime . . . buy the book.

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