Elvis and the Birth of Rock and Roll | Archive | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

Elvis and the Birth of Rock and Roll 

Thursday, Apr 25 2013
Photographer Alfred Wertheimer's famed 1956 series of Elvis Presley shots presents an oddly austere black-and-white dreamscape, one so well composed and presented it seems detached -- an almost out-of-body experience. That's thanks to the journalistic technique Wertheimer called "photographing in available darkness." With tonight's event, Elvis & the Birth of Rock & Roll: A Discussion With Alfred Wertheimer, the venerable shutterbug is likely to provide a big helping of first-hand dish. Just as Wertheimer still hoards hundreds of photos never made publicly available, he also carries a trove of on-the-spot observations, made during his March-to-July stint as the official, RCA-commissioned Presley documentarian. During this period, remember, Presley's career was still more controversial than assured -- although his breakout disc, Heartbreak Hotel, had been out since late January, it didn't reach No. 1 until April, when he was in Las Vegas getting reviews like this: "A bore. ... His musical sound ... is uncouth, matching to a great extent the lyric content of his nonsensical songs." Wertheimer's shotgun seat during pop culture's biggest joyride remains worth revisiting. Grammy Museum, 800 W. Olympic Blvd., #A245, dwntwn; Wed., May 1, 7:30 p.m.; $15. (213) 765-6800, grammymuseum.org.
Wed., May 1, 7:30 p.m., 2013
click to enlarge 8790867.t.jpg

Location Info

Related Stories

  • Dan Bilzerian Arrested in L.A. For Allegedly Trying to Make a Bomb

    Dan Bilzerian, the professional gambler and full-time playboy, was arrested at LAX last night based on a criminal complaint out of the Las Vegas area that claims the 34-year-old tried to make a bomb. The complaint from the Clark County District Attorney's office is dated November 13, an official said...
  • Henry Rollins: Invisible Cities

    I am in my second week in Las Vegas. It is a hell of a thing to be getting familiar with intersections and places. It is a big city in a small town. Besides a 72-hour timeout for an injection of culture in Los Angeles several days ago — when I...
  • Dissing Las Vegas? Readers Respond

    Viva Las Vegas? Henry Rollins' column once again filled our mailbag this week — with his suggestion that Las Vegas is out of ideas ruffling some readers' feathers ("Fake City," Aug. 8, 2014). Stephanie Forte writes, "If you were to visit my home in Las Vegas and peek inside my...
  • In The Identical, Elvis Lives — and His Twin Does, Too

    The Identical is Elvis slash fiction that could have been written by a spinster church organist. Its premise is intriguing: What if Jesse Presley, Elvis' twin brother who was stillborn at birth, was in fact secretly given to a traveling minister (Ray Liotta) and his infertile wife (Ashley Judd)? What...
  • Las Vegas Is Out of Ideas 32

    I’m in Las Vegas. I will be in and out of the city for several days. Before anything else, the heat. It is incredible. Walking around in 106-degree air makes you question your sanity. Yet here we are out in it — that is to say, myself and countless other...
Reach the writer at jwhiteside@laweekly.com

Related Content

Related Locations

Now Trending