...including, apparently, your iPhone, if you want it. Last week Warner Digital began offering King classics Elvis On Tour, Viva Las Vegas, and Jailhouse Rock on On Demand and as downloads from iTunes. And the delightful folks at Warner were kind enough to offer yours truly a free download of the immortal Elvis On Tour, which will play on any device that accepts, you know, video downloads from iTunes. Rather than hog the item myself—particularly as I'm a little old-fashioned about watching films on mobile devices, despite my desire to be not so much of a luddite—I thought I would offer it to my readership. Or, rather, to the lucky and interested party in my readership who can answer these three multiple choice questions concerning the King and his oeuvre. Yes, this is a contest. As it's a contest that involves answering questions, it won't be played in the comments section. Rather, send your answers to me, under the subject line "Elvis," via e-mail at the address firstname.lastname@example.org. First person to send an e-mail with the correct answers will have a link for the free download sent to him or her. So. Are you ready? Get set...here goes.
QUESTION 1: Which of the below-named guitarists never backed up the King?
a) Scotty Moore
b) James Burton
c) Richard Lloyd
QUESTION 2: He appeared in an Elvis film when he was a child actor; he went on to play Elvis in a television biopic. Who is he?
a) Rick Schroeder
b) Kurt Russell
c) Tony Dow
QUESTION 3: Whose cover version of "Heartbreak Hotel" adds the qualifier "I never will" to the line "Take a walk down Lonely Street?"
a) Willie Nelson's
b) Alvin and the Chipmunks'
c) John Cale's
Results to be announced tomorrow morning.
UPDATE: Ooops! Someone who didn't read the post thoroughly left some answers—all correct—in the comments. I've deleted that, and—duh!— blocked comments. (You can tell I don't do this sort of thing too often.) James K., if you still wanna play, send the answers to my e-mail (email@example.com) under the subject heading "Elvis"!
FURTHER UPDATE: Well, we have a winner. Or, by my lights, we have two winners, which I'll have to sort out with my Warner contact (gulp). Details will come tomorrow; in the meantime, do not e-mail answers. E-mail to say hi, sure, but the contest is done. Thanks!
FINAL UPDATE: Partly because of my own screwup (not closing comments right off the bat), and partly because someone doesn't read posts as thoroughly as they ought (I won't name names, but tsk, tsk), a state of affairs transpired in which, to my mind, there were two winners. Thankfully my pals at Warner decided to show mercy on this contest-running novice, and will award a free download of Elvis On Tour to both James Keepnews and the commenter known as Chris O. I thank everyone who sent responses.
The answers? On question 1, it was c), the great guitarist Richard Lloyd, who had never backed Elvis. Both Lloyd and his former Television partner Tom Verlaine will tell you plenty, though, about the greatness of both Scotty Moore and James Burton, the first being Elvis's earliest guitarist and the latter being the anchor of the TCB Band.
Question 2 everybody knows the answer to; of course the great Kurt Russell appeared with the King in It Happened At The World's Fair and played the King in John Carpenter's fabulous made-for-television Elvis.
Question 3 was kind of a trick question. First of all, I was a little surprised at how relatively few covers of "Heartbreak Hotel" there have been. Which isn't to say that when Elvis did a song, it didn't stay done, but that fact never stopped any fools rushing in, particularly Nashville-based ones. And that's not to say that Willie Nelson is a fool; his cover's a right nice one, and apt. As for the Alvin and the Chipmunks rendition, it sounds just like Alvin and the Chipmunks. But the one in which the line "take a walk down Lonely Street" is followed by the boast "I never will!" is in a radical reinvention of the song by the then-maniacal John Cale. Except—and here's the kind of trick part—Cale himself recorded two versions of his minimalist arrangement, and he only adds that line in one of them. It's not on the studio recording of the song that appears on 1975's Slow Dazzle, his second LP for Island Records. It is, rather, on the live recording of the song released on the album June 1, 1974, a document of a concert held on that date at London's Rainbow Theater featuring turns by Cale, Brian Eno, Nico, and headlined by Kevin Ayers (of whose discography that album is officially a part). James and Chris were both aware of this; one respondent, conversant only with the Slow Dazzle recording, was not. So there you have it.
Thanks to everyone who played. James and Chris, lemme know how those downloads work out for you.