elvis’ golden caricatures volume 5 (stuck on the 60s)

ELVIS IN THE ’60s has not cap­tured the at­ten­tion of car­i­ca­tur­ists as much as the Elvis of the ’50s and the ’70s. In the former, he was vi­brant, sexy, charis­matic, and at times a man-of-many-faces. In the latter, he was re­splen­dent, then pre­dictable, and fi­nally, tragic if not pa­thetic. In between—mainly 1962 through 1967—his image was often so damn whole­some, so non-sexy, he might as well have been spayed!

In 1968, things changed. Elvis’ look(s) changed. He lost weight and got rid of the some­what doughy look that popped up in sev­eral movies. He rid him­self of the pouffy ‘do’s and combed his hair straight back while growing the biggest, flashiest side­burns of his life. He grew a beard for one movie and donned a three-piece ice cream suit for an­other.

He looked goooood.

He also brought a more in­vested, more ag­gres­sive ap­proach to his recording—even though he was still al­most ex­clu­sively cut­ting sound­track songs for those movies. But A Little Less Con­ver­sa­tion and Let Your­self Go were a step in the right di­rec­tion.

And then there was De­cember 8, 1968, and the world saw him very dif­fer­ently: Singer Presents Elvis gave us not Elvis the Pelvis but Elvis the Pan­ther. Sleek, decked out in black leather, alert to every bit of stimuli, he was in com­plete com­mand of the tele­vi­sion screen.


Golden Caricatures Volume 5: photo of Elvis in the 1968 NBC TV Special (standing up).

While watching Singer Presents Elvis on De­cember 3, 1968, it was al­most im­pos­sible to imagine that this was the same man who had just spent the past few years making movies like Harum Scarum, Frankie And Johnny, Double Trouble, and Clam­bake!

Elvis Presley was be­coming in­ter­esting again, and the artists have taken no­tice: in both this and the second volume of ’60s car­i­ca­tures, it is this Elvis ap­pears the most often.

Oddly, the equally sleek, sexy, and per­haps in even more an­i­mated Elvis that re­turned to live per­for­mance in Las Vegas in July 1969 in an all-black proto-jumpsuit has caught few car­i­ca­tur­ist’s at­ten­tion.

Fi­nally, it was dif­fi­cult to pin­point ex­actly what year sev­eral of these im­ages are meant to re­flect …


Golden Caricatures Volume 5: caricature of Elvis and Sinatra by Hirschfeld.

Artist: Hirschfeld

This is the ad­ver­tise­ment for the Frank Sinatra Timex Show tele­vi­sion spe­cial to “Wel­come Home Elvis” from two years in the US Army. The art is by the inim­itable Hirschfeld—who, like Elvis, is uni­ver­sally known by one name.



Golden Caricatures Volume 5: caricature of Elvis by Bogdan Covaciu.

Artist: Bogdan Co­vaciu

I’m going with the striped shirt and the com­plete lack of side­burns to mean this is sup­posed to be Presley back­stage during the making of the Frank Sinatra Timex tele­vi­sion show.



Golden Caricatures Volume 5: caricature of Elvis by David Pugliese.

Artist: David Pugliese

In 1960, after two years in the US Army, Elvis made two movies: a western in which he played a half-breed cowboy who didn’t sing, and an­other where he played a sol­dier who sang more often than he talked!

One made a modest profit and little else, the other made a lot of money and gen­er­ated an album that sold mil­lions of copies. Guess which one served as the tem­plate for the bulk of Pres­ley’s movie ca­reer?



Golden Caricatures Volume 5: caricature of Elvis by Matt Burns.

Artist: Matt Burns

This one is dif­fi­cult to pin­point, but the haircut and the lack of side­burns could mean it’s the early ’60s.



Golden Caricatures Volume 5: caricature of Elvis by Mark Draws.

Artist: Mark Draws

Looks like the Presley of the Follow That Dream and Kid Galahad era.



Golden Caricatures Volume 5: caricature of Elvis by Alberto Sting Russo.

Artist: Al­berto “Sting”  Russo

Elvis as the Walking Dead had Roustabout been about Zom­bies or vam­pires.



Golden Caricatures Volume 5: caricature of Elvis and Priscilla's wedding by unknown artist.

Artist: Harold McWilliams (?)

May 1, 1967. Most of the public had never seen Priscilla Beaulieu and when we did, we saw a woman who bor­dered on being a living car­i­ca­ture of a country & western singer, with the dyed black hair piled up high atop her head and the heavy make-up, es­pe­cially the eyes. A few years later, free of being Mrs. Presley (and the make-up that re­quired), one of the most beau­tiful women in the world emerged.



Golden Caricatures Volume 5: caricature of Elvis by Gabriel Balazs.

Artist: Gabriel Balazs

While two of these sketches ap­pear to be from the early ’70s, the drawing is here as one of the few car­i­ca­tures of Elvis from the movie Charro. That movie and Elvis’ at­tempts to cap­ture the look and feel of Clint East­wood’s Man-With-No-Name would seem a fairly ripe ground for artists.



Golden Caricatures Volume 5: caricature of Elvis by Joan Vizcarra.

Artist: Joan Viz­carra

June 29, 1968, on the itty-bitty stage in NBC’s studio in Bur­bank, Cal­i­fornia.



Golden Caricatures Volume 5: caricature of Elvis by Senad Nadarevic.

Artist: Senad Nadarevic

Elvis the Pelvis in the ’50s or Elvis the Pan­ther in black leather in 1968?



Golden Caricatures Volume 5: caricature of Elvis and Lionel Rose by Chris Grosz.

Artist: Chris Grosz

In De­cember 1968, Elvis in­vited Li­onel Rose to his house in Los An­geles for a visit. The 20-year-old Abo­rig­inal boxer had come to Cal­i­fornia to de­fend his world ban­tamweight title against Mex­ican chal­lenger Chucho Castillo.

Ap­par­ently, the two men spent a couple of friendly hours to­gether chat­ting and put up their dukes for the cam­eras. I don’t know why Chris Grosz makes Presley look bad here, but the (stupid) ar­ticle that this drawing ac­com­pa­nied was even more in­sulting to Elvis.



Golden Caricatures Volume 5: caricature of Elvis by Hanif Bahari.

Artist: Hanif Ba­hari

This Elvis has ei­ther spent too much time with Bram Stoker or with Lou Reed.


Elvis caricature 61 Camelo 1

FEATURED IMAGE: Artist Fe­lipe Camelo’s image here seems to have used a very young Bob “Mr. In­cred­ible” Parr as his model.


Elvis 1957 goldsuit standup 1000

POSTSCRIPTUALLY, I have planned four vol­umes of car­i­ca­tures of Elvis in the ’50s, and two each for the ’60s and the ’70s. There are at least two artists who have done enough high-quality car­i­ca­tures of Presley to merit a volume of their own, Al Hirschfeld and Al­berto “Sting” Russo. Here are links to the vol­umes:

The First Pub­lished Car­i­ca­ture of Elvis Presley
Elvis’ Golden Car­i­ca­tures Volume 1 (Rockin’ the 50s)
Elvis’ Golden Car­i­ca­tures Volume 2 (Rollin’ the 50s)
Elvis’ Golden Car­i­ca­tures Volume 3 (Rat­tlin’ the 50s)
Elvis’ Golden Car­i­ca­tures Volume 4 (Shaggin’ the 50s)
Elvis’ Golden Car­i­ca­tures Volume 5 (Stuck on the 60s)
Elvis’ Golden Car­i­ca­tures Volume 6 (Wild in the 60s)
Elvis’ Golden Car­i­ca­tures Volume 7 (Elvis by Hirschfeld)
Elvis’ Golden Car­i­ca­tures Volume 8 (Love Let­ters from the 70s)
Elvis’ Golden Car­i­ca­tures Volume 9 (Aloha from the 70)
Elvis’ Golden Car­i­ca­tures Volume 10 (Elvis by Russo)



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