Elvis Presley - MEAN WOMAN BLUES

First performance: 30/09/1987


Coverinfo

 
Bruce (and others) join Roy Orbison for the filming of Roy Orbison & Friends: "A Black & White Night", shot in beautiful black and white and broadcast on Cinemax in January 1988. The film is shot in the Cocoanut Grove, a nightclub in the now-torn-down Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles. Orbison's cover of Elvis Costello's "The Comedians" requires three takes. Backing group is the TCB Band (who accompanied Elvis Presley between 1969-77) . The resulting film is later released on Roy Orbison & Friends, A Black & White Night .
 
 
 

  • Roy Orbison: lead vocals, guitar, harmonica
  • T Bone Burnett: acoustic guitar; musical director

TCB Band:

  • Glen D. Hardin: piano
  • James Burton: lead guitar
  • Jerry Scheff: upright bass
  • Ronnie Tutt: drums
Guest performers:

  • Bruce Springsteen: guitar, vocals
  • Elvis Costello: acoustic guitar, electric organ, harmonica
  • Tom Waits: electric organ, acoustic guitar
  • Michael Utley: keyboard
  • Lyle Lovett: keyboard
  • Alex Acuña: percussion
  • Ezra Klinger & Pavel Farkas: violin
  • Jimbo Ross & Peter Hatch: viola
Guest Vocalists:

  • J. D. Souther: backing vocals; acoustic guitar; vocal arrangements
  • Steven Soles: backing vocals
  • Jackson Browne: backing vocals
  • Bonnie Raitt: backing vocals
  • k.d. lang: backing vocals
  • Jennifer Warnes: backing vocals 

Songinfo

"Mean Woman Blues" is a 12-bar blues song written by Claude Demetrius. It was first recorded by Elvis Presley as part of the soundtrack for his 1957 motion picture, Loving You. Jerry Lee Lewis recorded a version of the song on Sun Records which was released in 1957 as part of an EP, The Great Ball of Fire. Jerry Lee Lewis' version differed significantly lyrically from the Claude de Metrius version as recorded by Elvis Presley. Roy Orbison's 1963 recording used the lyrics from the 1957 Jerry Lee Lewis version.
 
 
 

Bruce on the artist

Whenever he could, Bruce would mention the enormous influence, Elvis had on him and on his music. Elvis is the most covered artist by Bruce (23 times) together with Chuck Berry, Pete Seeger, Bob Dylan. The Influence of Elvis on Bruce, is described in a documentary compiled from previously existing footage by Dennis P. Laverty, a former Old Bridge resident who now lives in Staten Island (and who calls Springsteen and Elvis Presley "my two favorite rock stars". He used concert footage and previously released interview segments with Springsteen and various rock experts to show just how important Elvis Presley was to Springsteen.
 
 
Rollingstone

"It's a cliché story, but watching Elvis Presley on The Ed Sullivan Show changed Bruce Springsteen's entire life. "It was the evening I realized a white man could make magic," he said in 2012, "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." He urged his mother to buy him a guitar after that, and in 1976 he went to Graceland after a Memphis show and even hopped the fence in a failed effort to meet the King himself. Elvis died during the recording of Darkness on the Edge of Town, right as Springsteen was hoping the King would cover his new song "Fire." Springsteen channeled his sorrow into "Come On (Let's Go Tonight)," which later morphed into "Factory."

keynote speech :

"In the beginning, every musician has their genesis moment. For you, it might have been the Sex Pistols, or Madonna, or Public Enemy. It's whatever initially inspires you to action. Mine was 1956, Elvis on the Ed Sullivan Show. It was the evening I realized a white man could make 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 have seemed difficult, if not impossible. And I always tell my kids that they were lucky to be born in the age of reproducible technology, otherwise they'd be traveling in the back of a wagon and I'd be wearing a jester's hat. It's all about timing. The advent of television and its dissemination of visual information changed the world in the fifties the way the internet has over the past twenty years. Remember, it wasn't just the way Elvis looked, it was the way he moved that made people crazy, pissed off, driven to screaming ecstasy, and profane revulsion. That was television. When they made an attempt to censor him from the waist down, it was because of what you could see happening in his pants. Elvis was the first modern Twentieth Century man, the precursor of the Sexual Revolution, of the Civil Rights Revolution, drawn from the same Memphis as Martin Luther King, creating fundamental, outsider art that would be embraced by a mainstream popular culture. Television and Elvis gave us full access to a new language, a new form of communication, a new way of being, a new way of looking, a new way of thinking; about sex, about race, about identity, about life; a new way of being an American, a human being; and a new way of hearing music. Once Elvis came across the airwaves, once he was heard and seen in action, you could not put the genie back in the bottle. After that moment, there was yesterday, and there was today, and there was a red hot, rockabilly forging of a new tomorrow, before your very eyes."
 

Lyrics

I got a woman mean as she can be
I got a woman mean as she can be
Sometimes I think she's almost mean as me

A black cat up and died of fright
'Cause she crossed his path last night
I got a woman mean as she can be
Sometimes I think she's almost mean as me

Kiss so hard, she bruise my lips
Hurts so good, my heart just flips
I got a woman mean as she can be
Sometimes I think she's almost mean as me

The strangest gal I ever had
Never happy unless she's mad
I got a woman mean as she can be
Sometimes I think she's almost mean as me
Yeah
Ooh ohh
Yeah
Oohhh

She makes love without a smile
Ooh hot dog that drives me wild
I got a woman mean as she can be
Sometimes I think she's almost mean as me
Sometimes I think she's almost mean as me
Sometimes I think she's almost mean as me