Friday, August 22, 2008

Read: "That's Alright Elvis" by Scotty Moore and James Dickerson

Read: That's Alright Elvis: the untold story of Elvis's first guitarist and manager, Scotty Moore by Scotty Moore and James Dickerson, 1997, 0028645995.

Interesting look at Elvis' early touring years and recordings. Scotty met Elvis at Sun Studios and toured with him for several years as part of the Blue Moon Boys. The book repeatedly asserts how important Elvis' band was to his early success. But Elvis was the star and he made all the money.

At one point Scotty and the other two band members were put on salary at $200 a week on tour and $100 a week on the road. Scotty only stayed solvent through his second wife Bobbie's job at Sears. In fact it was Bobbie's car that drove the band around the country on tour. In later years when elvis would give aw3ay cars to friends and strangers Bobbie never got one.

A big part of the trouble was the Colonel who immediately after getting involved with Elvis worked to become his manager and get rid of anyone there before him. Scotty never bore a grudge against Elvis and loved him until The King died. But, Scotty and the other band members really got screwed over. Example: Elvis was getting paid $50k for a series of television performances while the band was still making $200. The COlonel saw them as expendable and treated them that way. Elvis would pick up endorsements while the band was forbidden from even doing adverts for local car dealers.

After the 1968 "Comeback" special Scotty gave up playing guitar for over 20 years and worked in Nashville as a studio engineer. Not until the late 1980s and the 1990s did he perform again. At the end of the book it says Scotty will have to perform the rest of his life to keep food on the table.

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