"There is no limit to what a man can do or where he can go if he doesn't mind who gets the credit." - President Ronald Reagan.

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Sunday, April 15, 2018

"Elvis Presley: The Searcher" In Gallup

Above, a screenshot of Elvis Presley: The Searcher while Emmylou Harris was commenting. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

Last evening, I headed off to Gallup to the Red Roof Inn where I reserved a room to catch Elvis Presley: The Searcher on HBO. Since I don't have cable or satellite, this was my best option if I wanted to see the program.

I got there around 4:00 and almost drove past it as their giant sign was thrashed by a recent windstorm. Fortunately, I saw a smaller sign on the building.

Above, where I had dinner. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

After checking in, I headed off down the street (historic Route 66) to Virgie's Mexican Food. I ordered a combination plate of two beef enchiladas and crunchy taco. To water it all down, I also ordered a Corona beer. It was a good thing I did as the enchiladas were hot (not as hot as those at Genaro's). After a couple of bites, perspiration started running down my forehead. Funny thing, it stopped after a while, but started up again as I was walking to the cashier to pay my tab.

Above, the dinner plate. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

I headed back to the Red Roof Inn, but on the way, I picked up some snacks to munch on while watching.

It is a good thing that I did head back when I did. HBO was showing The Searcher at 6:00. This was a relief as I originally expected it to be shown at 8:00.

(I stayed overnight at the Red Roof Inn and left early this morning. When I turned the corner onto my street, three deer were foraging in a resident's yard. This was the first time seeing deer in my neighborhood.)

Above, the documentary had many rare photos of Elvis early in his career. Photo by Armand Vaquer.

On Elvis Presley: The Searcher, it was a 3-hour documentary in to parts and Priscilla Presley and Jerry Schilling served as executive producers. Part 1 was about the start of Presley's career up to his induction into the Army. Part 2 dealt with Presley's career and life after he was discharged from the Army to his death.

Of the two parts, Part 1 was more fascinating as it showed the influences of Presley's musical style and what he did to learn from other artists, primarily black singers. The influences included rhythm & blues, country and gospel. I liked how the documentary did not stop to show the "talking heads" of people commenting, instead, it just kept Elvis on screen and the people commenting would just have their names flashed. Those included the late Tom Petty, Bruce Springstein and Emmylou Harris along with Priscilla Presley and Jerry Schilling. There's a lot on Sam Phillips of Sun Studio.

Part 2 was interesting as rare videos of Elvis in concert were shown. The documentary paints manager Col. Tom Parker as "the villain" for many of his management decisions.

The documentary was "about the music" instead of Elvis's personal life. I agree with a review at RogerEbert.com in which it is stated that ""Elvis Presley: The Searcher" feels like a long overdue act of artistic redress."

My grades: Part 1: A +; Part 2: A.

See a review by SFGate by going here.

See a review by Den of Geek by going here.

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