Meeting Elvis

Early 1965 was Herman’s Hermits most hectic time, and after all that recording, filming, and an extensive U.S. tour, Hawaii was ideal for crashing out.  On arrival at the Kahala Hilton, I received a telegram from out of the blue saying “Elvis and The Colonel welcome Herman’s Hermits to Hawaii”.  So I responded to Tom Moffatt, who was THE D.J. on THE radio station, K-POI, and he set up the meeting with Elvis, the transcript of which can be read – here.

Barry Whitwam, Peter Noone and I went to the Hawaian Polynesian Village and we were ushered to a large beach hut.  Elvis arrived with his helpers who looked like beach attendants, all dressed in white trousers, no tops and sandals.  Elvis who was clean cut and polite, met us and we all bantered.  The Colonel greeted me and commented that I was a fat version of Brian Epstein – thanks!

I stayed in touch with The Colonel who loved to spin out tales of how he promoted Elvis which were always very interesting.

The last time I saw him was in the mid-90’s when we were in Las Vegas and we visited him at his home.

I’m not the only one who thought it was special to meet Elvis:

JAILHOUSE ROCK (Elvis Presley) inspired RUBBER BULLETS (10cc)

Rubber Bullets was 10cc’s first U.K. number 1 in 1973.  It starts as a lyrical parody of Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” – see lyrics to 1st verses.

Jailhouse Rock - 1st verse         
The warden threw a party in the county jail 
The prison band was there and they began to wail 
The band was jumping 
and the joint began to swing 
You should've heard them knocked out jailbirds sing 

Rubber Bullets - 1st verse
I went to a party at the local county jail
All the cons were dancin' & the band began to wail
But the guys were indiscreet 
They were brawling in the street
At the local dance at the local county jail                                                                    

Rubber Bullets (1973) wasn’t banned by the BBC but airplay was limited on release perhaps as it was considered inflammatory with The Troubles in Northern Ireland . On the Top Of The Pops session above 10cc were forbidden to sing their ‘vulgar’ rhyming couplet . . .

“We all got balls and brains, but some’s got balls and chains”

. . . at 3’23” Kevin Godley rolls eyes as he sings mimes replaced lyrics.

Here’s the original record version – Rubber Bullets original version

Rubber Bullets - chorus
Load up, load up, load up, with rubber bullets
Load up, load up, load up, with rubber bullets
I love to hear those convicts squeal
It's a shame these slugs ain't real
But we can't have dancing at the local county jail

Here Eli Reiter for Esquire (2020) analyses the history of rubber bullets: Killing Them Softly: 50 Years Of Rubber Bullets, From Belfast To Black Lives Matter

The term ‘rubber bullet’ is misleading. It conjures up an image of something bouncy, like a squash ball – unpleasant enough to be struck with at high velocity, though unlikely to cause long-term damage. But rubber bullets are much more bullet than they are rubber.

In 1970, the Ministry of Defence invented the rubber bullet as a non-lethal way to combat protestors in Northern Ireland. Two years later, they claimed their first life. In the 50 years since, they’ve killed, maimed and blinded thousands of people around the world. And now, they’re used by police against Black Lives Matter protestors and anti-lockdown protestors

As the saying goes ‘truth is stranger than fiction’ – click green links below:

(4 June 2020) Troubling videos capture L.A. police violence, aggression amid demonstrations

(21 June 2020) This Is What Rubber Bullets Do To Your Head

(2 July 2020) Fort Lauderdale SWAT police are heard on video LAUGHING and joking after shooting peaceful protesters with rubber bullets including one woman who suffered a fractured skull

(11 May 2021) LAPD Fire Rubber Bullets Into Crowd at Massive Punk Show

(22 September 2021) COVID-19: Australian riot police fire rubber bullets at anti-lockdown protesters in Melbourne

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