Tag Archives: Elvis

Happy 43rd birthday, Lisa Marie!

Wow…who knew that Lisa Marie Presley shared the same birthday (February 1st) as our BFF, Ginger? It got me to thinking about what other celebrities share our birthdays. As I’ve mentioned before, I can claim Doc Martens, Debbie Reynolds and Susan Boyle on April 1st, but what about the rest of you? Any cool (or better yet, uncool!) celebs born on your birthday? Let me know…

And in the meantime, here’s hoping our two favorite early-February birthday girls had a blast on their big day, yesterday. Much love to you both!

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The Elvis Sandwich @ Peanut Butter & Co., NYC

Last Saturday would have been Elvis Presley’s 76th birthday, and though we didn’t get to celebrate his big day like we usually do, we did ring in Elvis’ 75th birthday in high style last year. So, let’s just consider this post my 2011 birthday tribute to the King. Happy birthday, dude!

Last January 8th, Christine, Greta and I had just arrived in New York City for a friend’s wedding. There was snow on the ground and a definite chill in the air, but, it was Elvis’ birthday and we were determined to try the Elvis sandwich at Greenwich Village’s legendary Peanut Butter & Co..

I mean, sure, we’d had peanut butter and banana sandwiches before (at Graceland no less!) but the fine folks at Peanut Butter and Co. add two key ingredients which really set that freaking sandwich on fire: honey and bacon. It sounds kinda weird, I know, but, trust me when I tell you that this tasty-ass sandwich is a thing of rare beauty, amigos. Incredible!

Washing the whole thing down with a truly decadent Fluffernutter Shake — which consisted of peanut butter, milk and Marshmallow Fluff! — we scooped up a few jars of dark chocolate and honey-infused peanut butter to go, wished the King a happy birthday and set about touring Manhattan.

And when it came time for our last meal in NYC a few days later, guess where we headed? You guessed it, right back down the street to Peanut Butter & Co. for more of their savory/sweet Elvis-y goodness.

Now, if book-ending your first big family trip to New York City with Elvis sandwiches doesn’t spell true fan devotion, well, I don’t know what does.

Happy birthday, EP. We love you!

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Strawberry Fields, NYC

Had he not been so suddenly and violently taken from us at the age of 40, the late, great John Lennon would have turned seventy years old last month. That’s right, seven-zero. Crazy, huh?

In honor of John’s 70th, Christine and I wanted to post some pics we took last summer during our visit to Strawberry Fields, the Lennon memorial in New York City’s Central Park. Located on 2.5 acres of sprawling parkland just across the street from the legendary Dakota apartment building where Lennon lived, and died, Strawberry Fields can only be described as peaceful.

I’m not saying the rest of the park isn’t peaceful, because…wow…Central Park in August is all kinds of breathtakingly peaceful, but, Strawberry Fields just felt almost magical in its stillness.

A designated quiet zone — Lennon’s widow Yoko Ono still lives in the Dakota and apparently grew weary of the singing of the fans in the park — Strawberry Fields has a serenity that truly sets it apart from the rest of the park.

Sure, there were tons of fans milling about, and the crowd taking pictures around the stunning “Imagine” mosaic that serves as the areas centerpiece was pretty intense, but, despite the sheer volume of people there, Strawberry Fields was a very chill place to spend the afternoon.

And though I was a bit disappointed to discover that there were no actual strawberry plants in Strawberry Fields (I know, I’m lame, but, it would have been nice) I gotta tell ya, I haven’t been that moved by a memorial since our 2007 visit to Graceland.

It’s like John’s aura was all around you, and though there was none of his actual music playing anywhere (designated quiet zone, remember?) you didn’t need to hear it to know that it was there, in our hearts. I know that sounds hopelessly cheesy, but, it’s how we felt.

So, happy birthday, John. Seventy years on, you continue to rock the world…

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Mr. Potato Head Elvis

Whoa…could this summer get any cooler? I just got an email from my friends at Elvis.com announcing the upcoming launch of a super cute Mr. Potato Head Elvis! Yay, now my Darth Tater won’t be so lonely.

Introduced to the world by a rocking Elvis tribute artist in a sparkly Elvis jumpsuit, Mr. Potato Head Elvis’ debut is timed to coincide with Elvis Week 2010 and will be followed at Christmas time by a ’68 Comeback Special version in black leather! Whew, now I finally know what to ask Santa for!

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Happy 25th Birthday Tetris!

Saturday marked the 25th birthday of one of our all-time-favorite video gamesTetris! Yep, that crazy-addictive block-stacking insanity has been making our fingers hurt for twenty five years now. Crazy, huh?

Tetris #1

I remember first seeing Tetris on my stepmom Wendy’s Gameboy in the late-80’s and thinking: “Wow, what is one boring-ass game…this thing will never catch on!” Hmmm…I guess that shows what I know about gaming.

And even though Christine and our friend James went crazy for Tetris when we first moved to L.A. in the early-90’s, I must admit that my fondness for the game peaked much more recently. Looking to fill up our then-new iPod, Elvis with some cool games and stuff when we first bought it, I downloaded two games: The Sims Bowling, which totally sucks, and, you guessed it…Tetris.

And guess which game I play almost nightly before going to bed? T-E-T-R-I-S! It’s crazy, I know, but there is something so freaking comforting about strategically stacking those stupid blocks over and over again every night. And I can’t even begin to tell you how many times that game has saved my life on punishing airport layovers or insanely-long days on movie sets. Yikes…

Tetris #2

Tetris #3

So, happy 25th birthday Tetris and many thanks to the mad Russian techie, Alexey Pojitnov, who made all of this possible way back in 1984. History may find more deserving Russians to celebrate, but you’re the king of Kremlin Kool our house, dude!

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Birthday cupcakes for Elvis!

Yesterday was Elvis Presley’s birthday, and keeping with a tradition we started last year, Christine and I celebrated what would have been The King’s 74th birthday with some sweet Yummy Cupcakes! Yee-haw!

Cupcakes for Elvis #1

Last year, we were kind of bummed that Yummy Cupcakes didn’t feature their rocking Elvis cupcake on his actual birthday — they missed it by like, two or three days — and we told them so. Well, I guess the power’s that be made note of his actual birthday this year, because, lo and behold, guess which special cupcake they featured yesterday afternoon? You got it, the Elvis cupcake!

A sugar coma-inducing blend of peanut butter cake and chocolate/banana buttercream frosting, this cupcake was so sweet, and so totally Elvis that we were both kind of blown away. It was so rich, in fact, that we actually had to cut the sweetness with vanilla ice cream, something I’m sure Mr. Presley would have heartily approved of.

I think he also would have dug the other two cupcakes we purchased in his honor…a very tasty Chocolate Raspberry number with chocolate frosting and a raspberry filling and our old standby — and my Stepmom Wendy’s favorite! — the Peanut Butter Cup cupcake! If you haven’t tried it yet, get thee to Yummy, amigos, because this cupcake rocks!

Elvis cupcakes at Yummy Cupcakes, Burbank!

Elvis cupcakes @ Yummy, Burbank!

The Peanut Butter Cup cupcake consists of chocolate cake topped with vanilla frosting, chocolate and peanut butter sprinkles and a wedge of an actual peanut butter cup on top…but the secret to it’s success is a dollop of peanut butter filling inside the cake itself. Man alive, Elvis would have loved that shit…amazing!

So, as we blow out our Graceland “Forever Elvis” candle one more time…we wish the King nothing but love on his big day. Happy Birthday, dude, we’re already counting the days till your 75th…

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Elvis movies: “Viva Las Vegas”

Nerdy as it sounds, ever since our memorable trip to Graceland last year, Christine and I have been trying to see all 31 of Elvis Presley’s movies. Now, if you’ve seen even one of them for yourself, you know how truly difficult this task really is. Because, well…most of them kinda suck.

But with the lone exception of the King’s first movie “Love Me Tender” (1956), which I think was an outright bomb, everything else we’ve seen has at least one or two elements or songs that make them fun and totally worth watching. And despite some awkward turns in a few of the clunkier pictures, Elvis is still freaking Elvis, baby, so…he still totally rules!

For example, “Kissin’ Cousins” (1964) has the King playing a military man and his blond hillbilly cousin, and better yet has not one, but several scenes with a fleet of hooting, hollering mountain gals called the “Kittyhawks” descending upon the homestead to steal single men. I kid you not, that happens at least two or three times in the movie. Crazy!

“It Happened at the World’s Fair” (1963) has a funny cameo by a pint-sized Kurt Russell and some gorgeous shots of Seattle and it’s then brand-spanking-new Space Needle. “The Trouble With Girls” (1969) is a period piece set in and around a traveling roadshow type of deal called a Chautauqua — don’t feel bad, we’d never heard of a freaking Chautaqua either! — and features some of the strangest camera angles you’ve ever seen in a Hollywood movie. It’s downright groovy, man. Gotta love those late-60’s filmmakers…wow!

“Girl Happy” (1965) and “Clambake” (1967) both feature a super-cute Shelley Fabares playing basically the same role in basically the same movie, but “Clambake” has a way better theme song!

“Blue Hawaii” (1961) has Elvis surfing with a bunch of adoring Hawaiian kids and a strangely-sinister Angela Lansbury playing his mom. Yes, his mom. I don’t know if Lansbury was gearing up for her iconic role in “The Manchurian Candidate” (1962) or what, but she is crazy weird in this movie…yikes!

And of course, the best of bunch we’d seen to date was “Jailhouse Rock” (1957) which is not just a great Elvis movie, but is also a really great movie in its own right. Cinematic, funny, dark, and beautifully shot in a brooding black and white, there is a reason Elvis fans love this movie. For not only is this probably the King’s best role — playing essentially, a twisted version of himself — this movie is just plain awesome! Seriously, if you were ever gonna buy an Elvis movie on DVD, this is the one to get!

Which brings me, finally, to the most recent Elvis movie on our list…“Viva Las Vegas” (1964). Christine had already watched — and insanely raved about! — this movie without me when I was in Santa Fe, and now we finally caught it again on TCM…and let me tell ya, this is the only other Elvis movie that you simply must have on DVD!

I think Elvis is usually better in his comedies, and here again, he shines playing a gambling race car driver/waiter at the Flamingo Hilton. But this time, the King is joined onscreen by the spectacularly gorgeous Ann-Margret. I don’t know exactly when the term “knockout” came into favor, but I can guarantee you it had something to do with Margret. Seriously, that face, that hair, those legs, that um…posterior…wow, this chick has it all.

And not only can she hold her own with Elvis in the singing and dancing department — actually, I think she’s a way better dancer, but that’s just me — but Ms. Margret can act too. And as written by Sally Benson — who also co-wrote my favorite Hitchcock film, “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943), yay! — her character is no throw-away girlfriend role, but rather a living, breathing firecracker-of-a-swimming-instructior to be reckoned with.

And the chemistry between her and Elvis…wow, I kid you not, you can almost see the sparks crackling off these two onscreen. They are incredible together, and though the first five minutes of so of the movie kinda dragged a bit, the minute Ann-Margret showed up in those skimpy white hot pants…it was on, baby!

Yes the movie has some crazy shit in it — their first date includes a dance class, skeet shooting, water skiiing, a helicopter ride over Hoover Dam and ends on a houseboat, where Margret lives with her father! — but the chemistry between these two keep everything rolling at such a crackerjack pace that you hardly care.

And the extended race car sequence at the end of the movie is really something to behold, especially when you consider the fact that they didn’t have CGI back then! Those are real cars, driven by real stunt men, yo!

I know that George Lucas has said that the chariot race sequence from “Ben Hur” (1959) inspired little Anakin’s pod race scene in “The Phanton Menace” (1999), but I swear to you, there are more than a few similarities between the race in “Viva” and the one in “Menace”. Don’t believe me? Read a hilariously geeky break down of the similarities here.

Anyway, another thing we both loved about “Viva Las Vegas” are the songs! This is one of the first Elvis movies I’ve seen that featured so many rocking duets, and though the title track is still the star, the rest of songs seriously kick ass. And when you factor in two (!) smoking solo songs for Ann-Margret, well, how can you go wrong?

So, if you like your movies loud, fun and loaded to the gills with out-of-control star wattage, check out “Viva Las Vegas”. And if you have a favorite Elvis movie you’d recommend we check out, by all means, let us know.

We’re still dying to see Presley’s last movie — “Change of Habit” (1969), with Mary Tyler Moore as a nun! — but they never play it on TV and the old-ass versions on DVD look pretty crappy. Here’s hoping a deluxe edition is in the works! And in the meantime, we’ll busy ourselves with some of the other movies on our list…next stop, “Harum Scarum” (1965)!

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