For fans of “The King” — the long wait is finally over with HBO’s premiere tonight (April 14th) of the two-part, three hour documentary, Elvis Presley: The Searcher. The film was directed by Bruce Springsteen’s longtime filmmaker, Thom Zimny and produced by Springsteen’s manager Jon Landau, Priscilla Presley, and original “Memphis Mafia” member Jerry Schilling, who now serves as the president of the Beach Boys’ Brother Records’ Inc. Among the high profile musicians contributing to the film are Bruce Springsteen, Robbie Robertson, Emmylou Harris, and the late-Tom Petty.
According to the doc’s press release: “(The Searcher) focuses on Elvis Presley the musical artist, taking the audience on a comprehensive creative journey from his childhood through the final 1976 ‘Jungle Room’ recording sessions (at his Graceland mansion). The films include stunning atmospheric shots taken inside Graceland, Elvis’ iconic home, and feature more than 20 new, primary source interviews with session players, producers, engineers, directors and other artists who knew him or who were profoundly influenced by him.”
The documentary also features never-before-seen photos and footage from private collections worldwide, and includes an original musical score composed by Pearl Jam lead guitarist Mike McCready.
In 1972, Elvis spoke about his deepest musical influences, which started in — but weren’t limited to — the church: “I grew up with this, because my folks took me there. When I got old enough, I started to sing in church. But I liked all type of music. Y’know, when I was in high school, I had records by Mario Lanza (laughs) and the Metropolitan Opera. I just loved music. And Spanish, I liked the Mexican-flavored songs. But this thing here, the gospel thing here, is really what we grew up with more than anything else.”
Photo Courtesy of HBO