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Bruce Springsteen's team producing HBO Elvis Presley doc

Coming to HBO in 2018 is the new three-hour documentary, Elvis Presley: The Searcher. Fans commemorating the 40th Anniversary of "The King's" death in Memphis got a sneak peak this week of the project, which is directed by Bruce Springsteen's longtime filmmaker, Thom Zimny and produced by Springsteen's manager Jon Landau, and original "Memphis Mafia" member Jerry Schilling, who now serves as the president of the Beach Boys' Brother Records' Inc.

Backstreets.com reported, "Based on Thom's remarks, and as is evident in the sneak preview, the doc will be focused squarely on Elvis' music, his legacy as an artist and musician. No kitsch. Graceland granted Zimny access to rare footage, documents, and stills; he also worked with collectors to include additional photos, Super-8 and other never-before-seen footage. . . Thom spoke of conducting more than 50 interviews for the project, with subjects including Bruce Springsteen, Tom PettyRobbie Robertson, and Emmylou Harris."

  • ElvisPresley.News reported The Searcher will be "a comprehensive creative journey from his childhood through the final 1976 'Jungle Room' recording sessions."
  • Jerry Schilling, who was among the very few to serve and advise Elvis throughout the decades, told us that over the years, giving advice to Elvis regarding his life and career was tricky at times: "All I can say is, I think I was the only guy for him that he never fired. And sometimes I'm sure he would (have) rathered not to have heard my opinion. And I tried to not always be the one standing on a box giving it, because I was there at the grace of this guy."
  • Pete Townshend told us that he's amazed by Presley's guitar playing as featured in the expanded versions of Presley's '68 Comeback Special DVD's: "Y'know, the offstage 'unplugged' thing that he did, well it's quite clear that this guy is a great acoustic guitar player too. Y'know, he did this long before anybody did 'unplugged.' He could play them, he delivered them, and it was just him -- just spectacular stuff. And it was never meant to be released."
  • During his 2012 keynote address at Austin's South By Southwest music festival, Bruce Springsteen recalled seeing Elvis debut on The Ed Sullivan Show on September 9th, 1956: "It was the evening that I realized that a white man could create magic. That you did not have to be constrained by your upbringing, by the way you looked, or by the social context that oppressed you. You could call upon your own powers of imagination, and you could create a transformative self. A certain type of transformative self that perhaps at any other moment in American history might've seemed difficult, if not impossible."
  • No premiere date has been announced for Elvis Presley: The Searcher.

Photo by Jim Spellman | Getty Images

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