TCB, baby


By Cheryl Eddy

Somehow I found myself in San Jose -- where temperatures broke 100 degrees yesterday -- bringing the average age way down at the San Jose Stage Company's final performance of Idols of the King. The show, which featured a cast of three including a mostly plausible (if vigorously spray-tanned) Elvis impersonator named Scot Bruce, managed to mix songs from all three EP eras (1950s hillbilly cat, 1960s Hollywood, 1970s jumpsuit) with a series of atonal vignettes, one of which actually included references to the Paul Lynde era of Hollywood Squares.


The experience made me want to rush back to the city, home to my hotter-than-Blue Hawaii apartment, and watch one of the King's least fortunate cinematic efforts, 1968's Live a Little, Love a Little -- directed by frequent Presley collaborator Norman Taurog. Released the same year as Elvis' landmark TV special, which heralded his much-delayed return to live performing and signaled a popular comeback of sorts, Live a Little, Love a Little exists to remind us how weirdly far the King's career trajectory had taken him to that point. Witness the psychedelic freak-out (unintentionally hilarious, probably even back in '68) that accompanies the song "Edge of Reality," and wish a much-earlier Elvis song lyric would've entered into somebody, anybody's mind while they were filming: "You may have a pink cadillac, but don't you be nobody's fool."

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