News createt: 31-01-2011
Priscilla Presley "Woman of the Year" tribute
Priscilla Presley's "Woman of the Year" tribute at the Nevada Ballet Theatre's Black and White Ball turned into a family reunion with several surprises on Saturday at CityCenter.
Daughter Lisa Marie flew in from England with her husband, American guitarist Michael Lockwood, joining Priscilla's mother, Ann, Priscilla's son Navarone Garibaldi and other relatives and friends.
Even Jerry Schilling, a member of Elvis' Memphis Mafia, made it. He was in the wedding party when Priscilla and Elvis where married on May 1, 1967, at the Aladdin.
At the end of the red carpet at Cartier, Presley stopped for a few minutes to talk about Elvis, and I asked if any performer could have the same sort of impact as he when he ascended to worldwide fame in the mid-1950s.
“It would be hard to fathom, having someone come in like Elvis,” she said after a bit of a pause. “He was such a force, so unique. I think it’s different, too, because we’re in such a media-crazed world now, to have someone start off as he started off and to do it the way he did, with no media around to send everything he did out virally, would be hard.
“The way things happen today, I think it would be very, very difficult to have someone work their way up the way he did. We live in a world where things, as you know, travel so fast. News travels fast, so it would be difficult to grow in the same way he did.”
What about the concept of Elvis on an “American Idol”-type show? When Elvis was toiling across the country, playing county fairs and learning how to be a rock ’n’ roll artist, there was no such powerful vehicle as “Idol” to bring a would-be star into living rooms across the country in an interactive contest show. “The Ted Mack Amateur Hour” was that era’s version of “Idol,” but the weekly talent showcase was hardly the star factory “Idol” has become.
“Who knows if Elvis would have performed on ‘American Idol?’ There’s always speculation,” Presley said. “He was so much of a talent, and he grew in an organic kind of way, back in the day, and that worked. Listen, I can’t put down ‘American Idol.’ They have made some great talents. It’s a different world, a different day, a different format.”
As Presley, who herself has appeared on “Idol” as a mentor, spoke, a few costumed members of “Viva Elvis” passed through the crowded entrance at Cartier. One donned a rhinestone-encrusted jumpsuit, the type Elvis wore at the International and Las Vegas Hilton.
“I’m just happy that we had Elvis to actually be the center of that culture,” Presley said, “and we have people look to him as their idol and icon.”
A program surprise came when Mötley Crüe frontman Vince Neil was among those speaking on Presley's behalf.
At a pre-event reception at Cartier in Crystals, Presley and Neil cleared up the mystery of why he was there.
Neil, who was scheduled to be at the podium for about a minute, stayed in the chauffeur's quarters at her Beverly Hills residence about a decade ago.
He was a friend of her former longtime companion Marco Garibaldi , who was doing business deals with Neil at the time.
Priscilla at the tribute:
Navarone Garibaldi, Priscilla and Lisa Marie:
Priscilla with some of the cast of Viva Elvis: