Monday, March 28, 2016

Steven Seagal Fights Are Like Elvis Presley Songs


1950's - 1970's

There came a time in the late 70's after Elvis Presley's death that many of his followers wanted to see him only in those parts of his movies where he sang rather than watch the whole movie. 

Fans just waited for the five songs or more when he would appear to do his musical and magic moves. There were many of these Presley formulaic movies with an economical budget and our clean, sauve, tancho-haired King performing his hits. He made more than 30 films.

The first few films e.g. Jailhouse Rock, King Creole and Loving You were great to watch but as the years went on his movies became too lollipop and sugary, so fans just wanted to watch him sing. 

These fans would enjoying seeing him serenade his leading ladies on the silver screen when his films came around again for second showings in the smaller theatres in Singapore. They just adored his shaking the dance floor with hot hipped gyrations and pelvic emotions. There were Presley fans today who would watch the same movie three, four times and maybe more. They never got tired of him. 
Furthermore Singaporeans would find it expensive to go to Las Vegas in the 70's just to see him perform, unless they were filthy rich. This same group of people would have collected his records too, especially the Italian EP's (Extended Plays) and the Elvis Top Hits (LP's) Long Plays that have a dozen of his songs on each album. 

Samplings of Presley movies that were popular for their song and dance scenes would include: Viva Las Vegas (with Ann Margret on video below), Blue Hawaii, G.I. Blues and many more. In fact, 241 of his songs were made specifically for movie projects.

There was one movie that Presley did not sing. Do you know the title of the *movie?


1980's - 2000's

Similarly with action hero Steven Seagal, a 7th Dan Black Belt in Aikido who appeared in the early 80's but smashed and punched his way to fame only in late 1988 with Above The Law

He, like Presley, was a mega star with audiences who were keen on martial arts films.  They waited for his movies and had only one thing in mind, to watch him in fight scenes on screen with his Aikido moves where he would twist, punch and mostly push his opponents into a bloody pulp.  Everything else was secondary.

Then came the mid-1990's when video technology spot-lighted the glimmering Laser Discs and the smaller DVD's. Home audiences bought by the truck-load videos of Steven Seagal movies and the focus was to watch him agonize his cowardly enemies again and again on the 19-inch small screen. He was fast, he was exciting and, after Bruce Lee's untimely exit, he was different.

When his movies were distributed in the market, faithful viewers bought his films in LD and DVD format specially to watch the fight scenes. They were hot and again like Elvis songs, the top talk in Singapore corner kopi-tiams and sarabat-stalls. Like Presley, Seagal made more than 30 movies.

Here was the big, tall man in black Buddha suit, black, straight shiny hair tied into a piquant pony tail with black beads and all. Oh, and they just loved his moves. He would slap around his nasty enemies with ease like a polar bear would a bunch of seals. But the punches came thick and the cracking brittle bones could be heard breaking on HiFi, Stereo and THX.

In a scene from Glimmer Man Seagal was insulted by the gang's bodyguard, "Why don't you and I take your sensitive pony-tail and those sissy beads and get out of here!" 

Seagal simply shoved his opponent through a glass partition in one fell swoop. The villian never got up. From his first, Above The Law to On Deadly Ground and the two Under Seige movies, Seagal was at his best the ten years from 1987 to 1997. But in later periods of his career when the novelty ended, so did his movie contracts.

The on-screen personality and charisma when Presley sang and Seagal fought soared well above the movie plots they were in. The stories were just a platform for their performance. Seagal fights are like Presley songs. The audiences just wanna watch the action.

Today with an IT gadget like the computer, Presley and Seagal fans could enjoy both their graceful art displays repeatedly without fuss.  You Tube has opened the world to instant everything.
                          Steven Seagal Fights Video by John John.
*Answer: Charro.

There are millions of Elvis Presley and Steven Seagal fans out there and I am one. This posting has no intention of undermining these mega-stars. For their time and even today's, Presley and Seagal are still the best.
                                Elvis Presley Video by rockwindow10

Caricatures from:

Images: Google.

You Tube   Steven Seagal by John John.
Videos:     Elvis Presley by rockwindow10


Unknown said...

Hi Andy. Thanks for this latest article. I would like to venture a guess as to the title of the Elvis Presley movie in which he did not sing at all. I believe its a Western with the title 'CHARRO'. The producers decided to pull out the song LET'S FORGET ABOUT THE STARS, which was originally to be featured in the movie. The movie was entertaining enough. However by the time this was made in 1969, the interest for Westerns have died. His earlier Westerns LOVE ME TENDER and FLAMING STAR were made when Westerns were in their peak of popularity.

By the time Steven Seagal appeared in the movie scene, Elvis had already died. Otherwise, he would have loved Steven's Aikido. Just before Bruce Lee died, there were rumours that MGM was negotiating to have Elvis co=star in a Bruce Lee movie. Elvis took instructions for Karate and was most impressed by Mike Stone, whom Elvis introduced to Priscilla. Unfortunately there was some romantic involvement between Mike and Priscilla. Elvis was infuriated and banned his musicians and staff from watching the hit TV series of the time, THE STREETS OF SAN FRANCISCO. The lead character of the TV police drama was Inspector Mike Stone!

By the way there is one Singaporean who had met up with Steven Seagal personally about ten years ago. That man is an Aikido expert himself. He is Kelly Tan. Also guitarist for LOCOMOTION.

All the best Andy!




Yes I agree. Both were a joy to watch when in their prime. But age took the toll on both, and when they grew fat and pudgy, it became uncomfortable to watch.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks for early comments guys. Would be great to meet Kelly Tan and discuss with him about Steven Seagal, my favourite action hero.

The article actually suggests that fans of these two stars do not watch their movies for the story but rather to watch Elvis' music scenes and Seagal's fight scenes.

With You Tube around I think this opinion is true.

Victor said...

Nice article, Andy, although I never saw any of these movies when I was young as we were not very well to do in those days.

chakap chakap said...

Steven Frederic Seagal (born April 10, 1952) is an American actor, film producer, screenwriter, film director, martial artist, Aikido instructor, musician, reserve deputy sheriff and entrepreneur.

A 7th-dan black belt in Aikido, Seagal began his adult life as a martial arts instructor in Japan; becoming the first foreigner to operate an Aikido dojo in the country. He later moved to Los Angeles, California, where he worked as a martial arts instructor on Never Say Never Again; accidentally breaking actor Sean Connery's wrist during production.

In 1988, Seagal made his acting debut in 'Above the Law'. By 1991, he had starred in four successful films. He achieved further fame in 1992, in 'Under Siege','On Deadly Ground' (1994), 'Under Siege 2': 'Dark Territory' (1995). In the 1990's, Seagal starred in three more theatrical films and 'The Patriot'...

If you love hand to hand combat and bone breaking smash ups, watch his shows.

He also sings.


Steven Seagal is one of my idols cos I took up Aikido before TKD, which I prefer; likewise Shadows inspired me to take up music.

FYI I organised a concert in the late 70's at the National Stadium sponsored by my Tae Kwon Do Club which featured Western Union Band, Frankie Cheah, D' Starlights show band from the Philippines and the Min Choo Sisters. With 30,000 in the audience it was one of the biggest local artistes shows.

SUNNY WEE said...

Amazing. Didn't realist that you are a Steven Seagal fan. Both Elvis and Seagal will get well as one movie star to another. One is a great action hero with swift movements and stings like a bee. The other is a gelek king and sings like a bird. Agree that Seagal is heavier now but still efficient in hand to hand combat situations Nevertheless, watch his latest action movie, 'Absolution'.

HH said...

I also enjoyed browsing your blog a lot. You have a lot of knowledge about local musicians of those days! Do you think I could meet you for coffee to talk about whether any of these musicians would be right for the show I'm working on?

FACEBOOK said...


Jalani Mohd.
Jimmy PresLee
John Cher
Toh Richard
Rustico Yanga Pamintuan
Srikul Chompoothip
Wichuda Kaewsarn
Willie Wong
Ade Supriyadi
Christine Keung Ho Vyen
Harry Ooi
Lee Tracy
Hanche Presley

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thank you all. And to my good friend Singapore Elvis Jimmy, thanks for connection. Wow that's a lot of The King's people around. Any Seagal fans too?


CLARIFICATION - I'm NOT Singapore Elvis, please, but just an Elvis Tribute Artist keeping Elvis' legacy alive, thank you

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

OK, Jimmy, you are an "Elvis Tribute Artist from Singapore". I must learn not to use titles too loosely because some of these titles are won during such competitions and I realise now Jimmy is NOT Singapore's Elvis. Thanks for the correction.

Unknown said...

Hi Andy,

Just like you were/are the Paul Anka of Singapore, Wilson David was/is the man! And you are simply too humble to say that you were using "titles too loosely".
Soon after the death of Elvis, Wilson David and his band held a concert, featuring many of Elvis's best known songs, at the old National Theatre. Amazingly it was full house! I remember your good friend, Larry Lai, introducing Wilson. To the delight of the appreciative audience Larry said in jest that this was an over-suntanned Elvis! When the show commenced proper, to his credit, Wilson David did extremely well and the crowd was delighted with the performance! It was the closest thing to seeing a live Elvis show in Singapore at that time! Some 20 years ago, my friends and I backed Wilson for a charity gig at the Mandarin Hotel, Orchard Rd. I remember him wearing an all black outfit, black pants, black turtle neck and black jacket. No fancy jumpsuits etc. With his presence and his voice, he did a marvellous job of entertaining all present! Well done Wilson David!! Cheers!


It's wonderful to see someone like you help keep Elvis legacy alive in South East Asia.

ANDY: Pop Music Not Pills. © said...

Thanks Alphonso for the encouragement to keep our Elvis Tribute Artistes going. And to John Cher for featuring Wilson David. We could do a posting with your detailed observation of the concert.

And terima kaseh to Merlin Lim for appreciating this post.

ERIC said...

Thank you for sharing. I never watched these movies. Will download it!!!.