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Elvis Free Really Was Something!

13 Mar 2011

ELVIS FREE REALLY WAS SOMETHING!

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“FOR OVER 15 years all it’s ever been for the Elvis Presley fan is take, take, take. This is the first time ever that an Elvis fan has been given anything – that’s why it’s such a great occasion.”

Speaking was Todd Slaughter, critical secretary of the Elvis Presley Fan Club of Great Britain, and the occasion was the most exciting Saturday morning pictures of them all, a British premiere of “Charro” especially organised by Disc and NGC Distributors for Disc readers.

Over 1,000 fans of all shapes, sizes, ages, from all over Britain, packed the Shaftesbury Avenue ABC’s 1 and 2 to give the Trooping of the Colour a real rival!

The first had arrived over an hour before the doors opened and the last came at least mid-way through the film.

A lady from Swansea passed out in the opening minutes when Elvis, playing a wandering cowboy with a heart of gold, is branded on the neck in an attempt to frame him. Luckily she revived in fine style and ride away into the transitional sunset.

Another optimistic chap at the front, blissfully unaware of the technical impossibility of the exercise, was whirring his cine camera every time the famous scowl hit the screen. Others brought their favourite album for company and more dressed specially for the occasion in all the rocker gear.

The film, a pretty good Western in which El only sings the title song over the credits, was viewed with rapt attention, the silence breaking with the occasional snatches of macabre humour.

And afterwards - then the business of being an Elvis fan really started. On the pavement outside, the men moved in with bootleg albums, “So You Want To Be A Rock-n-Roll Star” £3 a time, and other assorted goodies.

Four lucky readers went home bearing giant posters of their hero as he appeared in the film. These were presented by Disc to readers with lucky “programmes,” many more signed a special “Goodluck” card for his next Vegas season in August, and the rest scattered round the West End to complete their day out.

And the film? Well, we’ve seen far, far worse from the King during his rough era. This has some quite good acting and a reasonably gripping plot. Yes, it should be shown round the country. Ask any of the 1,000 in Shaftesbury Avenue last Saturday.

Disc, June 1971


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