Monday, August 13, 2007

The George Klein reunion

Since I got to this event late, had to stand in the back, and the sound was awful (except for George's booming voice) it's hard to give a full report, but I did hear a few stories I'd never heard before.

The discussion started out with George Klein with Dick Grob, Charles Stone, Sam Thompson, Kim Davis, Patty Parry, Marian Cocke, Dr. Nick and his son, Dean, Jerry Schilling. Later, DJ Fontana and Mark James arrived, with Joe Esposito arriving at the very end. Although some of the stories were ones we've heard before, the place was jammed with fans and I don't think they were disappointed.

Dick told a story about Elvis wanting to bring VietNam POWs out to Vegas. He wanted to do something for them. What he ended up doing was write the arrangements for and sing "America". There's more to that story but I just don't remember the details right now - at 1:42 am)

Dean told the story about one time in Vegas (a fun trip - Elvis wasn't working). They needed a car to take Elvis someplace but didn't have one. Someone brought up a car to the valet at the hotel and Dean pleaded with the guy (the valet) to borrow this car. Elvis was already coming out the door. The valet said ok, but the car had to be back in an hour and in perfect shape. The guys told Elvis about this and Elvis decided the valet needed a TransAm. It took them all night, but it wasn't until the next morning that they could find a place to buy the black TransAm they gave to the valet as a thank you.

(Gee, wish we'd had this story for "200 Cadillacs")

After the show I went to ask Mark James if "Always On My Mind" was written with anyone in particular in mind. He answered that there were 2 unusual things about that song - first, he wrote it with 2 friends (Johnny Christopher and Wayne Carson Thompson). This was unusual for him. Second, they were give the song title and told to write a song! I've heard that before about some songs. Mark suggested there was some mildly related personal experience he probably drew from. ;-) (emoticon is my comment)

This was not taken at the GK event. I got this picture of me and Mark James after Marian Cocke's benefit.

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