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

Es­ti­mated reading time is 5 minutes.

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

“Draws” is ei­ther Mark’s sur­name or a verb about what Mark likes to do. 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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