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The Big Huerta Hounds Elvis Presley

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leiber

Well, it had to happen. Someone had to question history, had to question authority, had to question Sam Philips, had to question RCA, had to question if Elvis did the right thing, had to question the three people reading this. I have a feeling I may rankle some feathers amongst the rock and roll history and Elvis lovers cognoscenti…but what is art for? Is it a safe haven for the everyday folk to be led by the nostril to accept what is offered by the limited few in the know that bestow blessings on certain lucky peeps to go forth and be cool and let the artists’ dollars multiply? Or is writing an article such as this make a fool such as I because I bring up the sanctity of Elvis and RCA? For one thing, art is for the masses, thinking and unthinking. Art is also what you make of it. If only one person sees art does art truly exist? Would art exist without Simon? Art is whatever the hell you want it to be and if no one but yourself enjoys it then you have a very knowledgeable audience and one needs to be happy with this. I am very blessed to share my art and writing through the magic and kindness of Sir Iman Lababedi.  I am not a trained nor a skilled “artist”, in fact, this painting that is the subject of this week’s ARTicle will attest to this. This is one of my first paintings, very primitive and childlike, but I think it does convey the idea or feeling that I was trying to put on canvas.

My thought was that Elvis’s soul and purity were forever ruined when he left Sun Records and signed with major label RCA and was fed songs by a team of writers and Colonel Parker song-hawker/ass-kissers. But, dig, only through RCA would he get the worldwide distribution that Sun couldn’t handle. Now I am not dissing Leiber and Stoller (from whence the pic idea for painting of them came from), they wrote some tremendous, legendary songs. I am just representing the little people that lost Elvis when RCA prettied him up. His Sun Records output is some of the purest form of rock and roll to ever grace vinyl. It continues to move The Big Huerta to this day! Much like your Springsteen when Born to Run hit the roof. The club/bar band days of pure rock and roll magic were forever gone. Elvis no longer belonged solely (soul-ly) to his mother. Elvis the person no longer existed. He was now known as Elvis the corporation. Perhaps, a part of Elvis died when he signed that contract in the lawyer’s office. Perhaps, RCA was the devil in disguise. Perhaps, he was laying to rest the Hillbilly Cat to become the King of Rock and Roll. Perhaps, my loyal readers are now down to two…

I painted this in 2008 and named it “Leiber, Stole Her and How!” I hadn’t been painting for too long. This is one of my first attempts. I used the legendary picture of songwriters Leiber and Stoller and substituted a lawyer and the devil looking on as Elvis peruses the sheet music to “Jailhouse Rock”. Elvis is giving the viewer the finger as a last act of defiance before signing over his rights to lawyers and RCA. His mother, Gladys, is represented along with Elvis’s future, both laid to rest. The lawyer is profiled as if Archie Bunker himself painted this. It wasn’t meant to offend…maybe it was because Mel Gibson was in the news very much at the time…also the devil is smoking a cigar ala the Colonel..hey, if you say “but Big Huerta, that don’t move me” it was one of my first paintings…give me a break!!!  And it’s for sale at RCA prices! So let’s get real gone…

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