In this space we want to include all the opinions about the book, from single 

person, websites or professional writers........

We think is a good idea to have a more large idea about the book and in the 

same time to open our mind

in the path to follow with the second volume .

 

We post any comment in time order without any censorship.

We hope you can appreciate it.


 

A REVIEW OF...TEENAGERS' HERO

By Lee Dawson



Teenagers’ Hero is a new book by Steve Rino limited to just 1000 copies (each one numbered).
Within it’s 413 pages are 444 photos, many of them being previously unseen before.

This is volume 1 and it takes the reader on a journey through the first 6 months of 1956 as Elvis toured and
his break onto television and the movies. One of those 444 pictures are of Elvis’ 3rd screen-test [Pg 149],
(We are all aware of the photos from the ‘Rainmaker’ and the ‘Blue Suede Shoes’ screen-tests), of a mean
and moody looking Elvis opposite Cynthia Baxter.

This is the definitive day by day journey and for the first time we, as fans, get a real sense of those early days
as Elvis and Rock ‘N’ Roll as a genre takes hold across America. I love the way the book is laid out, this book
really is a labor of love and I have to applaud Steve Rino for the stunning work and the research he has done
in order to bring us something that is so unique amongst the plethora of books that are written about Elvis.

One of my favourite parts (and there are many) is on page 26 where we hear from ‘Bill Randle’ and his tale of
how he tried to get Elvis onto various TV shows including the ‘Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts’ and how he
was turned down due to his acne and Godfrey threw him out. I love it how it’s explained that back in ‘56, Elvis
looked the equivalent to the Punks of the late 70’s and when ‘Randle’ tried to get him onto the ‘Perry Como
Show’, producer Mickey Glass took one look and announced; “We’ll never put anything like that on the Perry
Como Show”. A deal was struck to get Elvis on the ‘Jackie Gleason Stage Show’ hosted by the Dorsey
Brothers and we are told that the only person who liked Elvis on this show – besides the public – was Jackie
Gleason himself.

This is not one of those expensive books that contain photos, and little else. This is a book that has it all!
Rare & unseen photos, together with 90 newspaper & magazine clippings, 50 newspaper concert adverts and
several show tickets along with other relevant information all put together in the correct order. This book is
something very special and puts a lot of the overpriced picture books to shame.

My only complaint is that some of the text becomes hard to read against the dark backgrounds but apart from
that – I LOVE THIS BOOK – And I cannot wait for volume 2. You really cannot miss out on this book!

 

I think everybody who loves Elvis and Elvis in the 1956 knows very well Kay Wheeler and her importance 
in the period in her activity as founder of the  first and bigger Elvis' fans club from Dallas and his activities as 
starring star in some classic rock movies "Rock Baby Rock It" and "Hot Rock Band" .
More details  www.kaywheeler.com 

 

Dear Steve: Just when I thought I had seen all the Elvis books worth seeing-- YOUR BOOK ARRIVES! What a treat it was to open up Teenagers' Hero at my dull office today and find the atmosphere suddenly exploding with the drama and magic of days gone by. To my utter delight, I was amazingly suprised and thrilled as I looked through the pages .And yes, you did get the PRESLEY PINK color right on the front cover (that is really important to the very cool)! I loved your selections of photos especially and how you also dispersed photos of the fans and audiences with the Elvis concert photos and news clippings--it made all the magic come alive again! You certainly captured the 1956 ELVIS MOMENT! I'm so happy that I was right there in all its wonder and fun never to be forgotten. Thanks for "etching it in stone" for all generations. Every Elvis fan must have a copy of your book! Love ya, Kay Wheeler

 

From Roland, Vienna  May 18

though I have this one at the side of my bed, on a staple called *soon to read* for a few month now, I haven´t made it that far.
there are still stories to read and still routes to follow..

when I first held it in hands, the first thing that came to my mind was *whoa, it´s heavy!*
and going through the first half of pages, I recognized that this was not only about it´s weight.

even I´m not that big fan of elvis´ career in the 50ies, I couldn´t let this release pass by .. you don´t get a hand-numbered book that often :-)
So I pretended to read about the anger of his mother when he went out on the long road to stardom, I expected to read stories about his first manager, about the relationship between him and the boys.
but what I´ve got at last was a mile-per-mile tourbook of the first half of 1956. realizing that, I was caught to it.
how many miles they did have to spent from A to B, then playing a show for a coke and a burger and then drove even further to the next club in the next town.
and with every page red I wish that someday we´ll get a book like this one for each year of elvis´ career.
luckily, the author doesn´t put in too much if his own thougths, how it could´ve been there, what could´ve been then.
most of all, he lets the articles do the storytelling.. and that´s the most interesting thing for me.
here we don´t have a journalist, listening to old tapes, writing down what he´s hearing now, 50 years later.. no! we have to chance to read how it was back then!

so, all have right now is hope.
the hope, that volume 1 will sell well enough to make volume 2 reality.
and if the people on the message boards look close enough behind lines like *cheap paper*, *dark and un-sharp pictures* and phrases like that, I´m pretty sure it will :-)

 

March 18

Reviewed by Amber Smith (with Nigel Patterson), 18 March 2009  from  www.elvisinfonet.com 

 

Recently released in Italy is Teenagers’ Hero by Steve Rino.  A self-published effort, Teenagers’ Hero is the result of a mammoth effort and the result shows……..

400+ pages……..445 photos…….50 concert newspaper ads……..90 newspaper & magazine clips…….and all on one of the most important years of Elvis’ amazing career…..…1956!

The book sequentially chronicles Elvis during the first half of his most powerful and important year (at least in the 50s). 

All of the hundreds of photographs are in black & white.  This reflects photography at the time.  What gives Teenagers’ Hero its bang for a buck (it isn’t cheap) is its chronological compendium of facts, photos, newspaper articles, reviews and pot pourii of tit bits from Elvis’ electrifying 1956. From 1 January to mid 1956, the reader becomes immersed in the undying phenomenon of Elvismania at its deafening peak.

There have been few books to focus on Elvis in 1956.  Brian Petersen’s excellent 1994 published The Atomic Powered Singer is the most notable.  Other books including Early Elvis: The Sun Years (Bill E. Burk) and Howard DeWitt’s Elvis: The Sun Years, are in their own way, equally impressive, but both cover a time span beyond just 1956.

Both the Rino and DeWitt books have electric merit thanks to their proliferation of primary archival material which vividly brings to life the excitement and potency that the Hillbilly Cat exuded at the peak of his rocking’ powers. Teenager's Hero stands proudly alongside these earlier releases.

Beatlemania has been very well chronicled and preserved.  Elvismania, as powerful, sadly, less so, and books like Teenagers’ Hero help redress that skewed imbalance.

There is a potent urgency to the material presented by Steve Rino, one that perfectly showcases the raw energy of the most sexual and idolised performer the world has ever seen. Rino's book presents a vivid picture of the young King of Rock 'n' Roll as he struts and swaggers and gyrates his pelvis right into the shocked faces of conservative mainstream America. This is indeed, rock 'n' roll heaven.

I am dumbstruck by the negative comments on Teenagers’ Hero, much of which come from several well known people in the Elvis world.

Let’s look at the negative comments, one by one:

The paper used is too thin - Hey guys………Teenagers’ Hero is a big book!  With over 400 pages and the exorbitantly high costs of publishing a book in the noughties, selecting a slightly thinner paper stock is a good compromise in getting a book to print.  And it’s not like the pages are flimsy and falling apart.  They are a respectable 150gm glossy stock!  This is a well produced, perfect cloth bound release. 

It may lack the quality glossy pages we sometimes get from US, Japan and UK releases, but those books usually only have around 100 pages. I would suggest this allowed the authors to select a heavier page for their book.  Looking back at early Ger Rijff books, they were no where near the quality of his later glossy, hardback “classics”.  And Mr Rijff, on the FECC forum, has regularly commented on the problems, costs and lack of demand for 1950s Elvis books today!

The photos are too dark - Here I have to agree.  There is a dark tone to the book due to too much black background, at times making it difficult to read the words.  

Most of the photos aren't previously unpublished - OK, Steve Rino says most of the photos are previously unpublished, but we recognise most of the visuals. Despite this, it has to be said there are so, so many great photos and archival reproductions, as well as several rare photos in Teenagers' Hero, and importantly, they all delight! Steve Rino is forgiven here for his unnecessary hyperbole.

Teenagers’Hero is a scrapbook - Hello?? What is your point?  Since when is publishing a scrapbook type book a crime?  There are many Elvis books in a similar format.  Is the format redundant or something?  I don’t think so.  If anything, it works really well in presenting the vibrancy of the first half of the Hillbilly Cat’s most potent and important year in his rock ‘n’ roll defining decade. Much of what still exists from 1956 is newspaper articles which are perfectly suited to the scrapbook format.

When we buy a book there are a few questions we need to ask to decide if our purchase has been a good one:

  • Does the book add to our knowledge of the Elvis story?
  • Is the archival material good?
  • Is the book well designed?
  • Are there previously unpublished photos?
  • Is the book good value for money?

In the case of Teenagers' Hero, the answer to all of these questions is YES!!!

EIN recently showed Teenagers’ Hero to a group of 7 fans.  Not one found the book to be one they wouldn’t want in their collection!

Teenagers’ Hero is hoped to be the first in a series by the author.  Fingers crossed sales are healthy enough to see further volumes.

V erdict: Don’t believe the nay sayers,  Teenagers’ Hero is a great book.  Coming from a country ( Italy ) not renowned for Elvis publications, Teenagers’ Hero is different from most other recent Elvis books and with its focus on the most important year for the young Hillbilly Cat it is a goldmine of photographic, narrative and archival information.  Shame on those who have to criticise………their motivation does not appear to based on objective reasons!

March 18

BY Simone from www.lamette.it 

Steve Rino – Elvis Presley – Teenagers’ Hero (Teenagers’ Hero, 2009)

 Steve Rino è forse il più grande fan e collezionista di Elvis Presley che ci sia al mondo, e se non è il numero uno, occupa comunque un posto d’onore nella top ten. Teenagers’ Hero, per farla breve, è l’autoproduzione più corposa che io abbia mai visto in vita mia, sul grande Elvis e non solo, e sono orgoglioso di ospitare nella mia biblioteca casalinga la copia n° 504 di 1000 di questo imperdibile ed enciclopedico volume. In sintesi: “Teenagers’ Hero” raccoglie qualsiasi tipo di testimonianza cartacea documenti l’attività e la vita privata di Elvis nel corso dei primi 6 mesi del 1956; 444 foto, 50 concerti, 90 articoli tratti da giornali e magazine dell’epoca, 130 giorni documentati di 181 totali. Va detto, inoltre, che buona parte del materiale è assolutamente hard to find – in quanto apparso in precedenza soltanto nel contesto stampa originario – o addirittura inedito.

 Altra precisazione di Rino: dal momento che il book – stampato in Italia! – è per il 95% fotografico (il desiderio dell’autore è quello di lasciar parlare direttamente la Leggenda), gli scatti sono stati tutti rigorosamente restaurati secondo un principio di massima fedeltà al negativo originale. Ogni ulteriore commento sarebbe superfluo.

Un prezzo non elevato (considerata la mole spaventosa del book) per un pezzo da collezione che documenta il boom del Re del Rock in piena “Heartbreak Hotel” era.

Si vocifera che Rino abbia intenzione di proseguire – anno per anno, libro per libro – fino al fatale 1977. Sarà vero? Ci riuscirà? Un buon motivo in più per ordinare il mastodontico, potenziale primo capitolo.

Steve Rino – Teenagers’ Hero – The dawn of a new world: 1956, the first six months, Teenagers’ Hero, 2009, 413 pag., 42 €
 

 

Andrei  February 24

A new book. Title is a real definition for Elvis. I have to judge this book as all other serious fans did, thinking at my own experience I reached in last 20 years, a great period when I steped hardly from a poor fan to a serious one. All time I was looking for real informations, especially in my case about music, films and later pictures and real facts.
I read many books in my country case, many only between rows, because their contents belongs to simple romantic books or using same small and incomplete biography rows, but not as simple related facts. Now i know exactly witch titles offer us what any fan need. For 56 year, Steve Rino let fans knows, by his biographic page from Teaneger's Hero book.
I learnt that not too many, but serious authors, most of all, Elvis' fans, put a hard work in their lifes to make possible great photo books, to produce them and offer to other fans a REAL ELVIS.
It is a big problem between our Elvis' fans world. Not too many cares about reality. Large public believe in mass media lies, they buy lies and believe them. But from Elvis' fans I have a condition, they must chose reality and share it unchanged with other fans.
For a beginner fan, this last book, it is maybe the last chance to have pictures, articles and reviews, details about songs, shows, all in one book, simple to find and discover how bussy was Elvis only in that half of 56 year. And all as a day by day cronology. Great ideea, about how much Elvis traveled from city to city, noticed on maps.
Elvis himself put a lot of hard work, especially between 54-57 years and later in same way between 69-77.
Thinking at all other books, a few i didn't find yet, from biographic page, I realize that Teaneger's Hero with another work of 2 years as author said, belongs to same kind of quality. I always looking for real contents, I never judged an original produce with and about Elvis, much more by quality of colours against real content.
This last book it is really a new and maybe last chance for fans to discover what Elvis really did, only in that half of year. Fans, it is clear. Those who cares, don't miss such a great book. It is an oportunity.
I like to thank to Steve Rino, from what i know, he's also a serious fan. Same time i like to thanks to all other authors without such books are impossible to be done, without real Elvis' details witch remain in time only incomplete or much worse, lies for large public.
TCB

 

Diana February 4

I Got the book in no time at all and I really enjoy it.  The way you've put it together really makes 
the reader experience the frenzy and energy of those times.  And such wonderful photos to bring everything to life.  Extraordinary.  
And your writing in English lends authenticity to the crescendo of international mania that's about to build. 
Wonderful book

 

Harald January 17

Normally I be a 100% fan of Elvis in the years 1969 - 1977, but also the beginning of elvis fantastic career is very, very important - so I have many items also from the 50's and 60's and I have all important books for the 50's years called: Reflections 1956 / The Atomic Powered Singer / Did Elvis Sing In Your Town (50's) / All Ger Rjiff boosk from the 50's-periode / Elvis at 21 De-Luxe-Box from USA - about 7 kg weight!!! / Elvis mit 21 Jahren - German-release of the books.... and so on.

 What I say to you for the first seeing the book is with one word: Absolutely fantastic - so many photos, infos and text only for a first half month on 1956 in a book of about 400 sides is unbelieveable and amazing. Your book volume 1 is a milestone of books-publishing in all of the elvis years since 1953 - Fantastic work by you and your team - congratulations. This book is a real collectors item and a must of each really elvis-fan and collector -and what to be important is: the book is very limited of only 1000 books - I'm sure, that you sold all 1000 books and get questions to print a second edition...

 For me it's a great book, but only a little, little fault - is only paperback and by so a very heavy book I think it's better to make a hardback book - but this is my own opinion.

 So Steve - you are a great fan and collector and a great publisher of a amazing book. Thanks for this book. I hope you make more in future. On which day came out volume 2 of teenager's hero?

 

Melanie  January 8

<<Hi Steve,

I received the book today.  I looked through some of it and I love it!  You did an AMAZING job on it!  I love the newspaper 
clipping and photos.

If you're looking for a beautiful and informative book about Elvis, you will love this book!  It's packed with beautiful 
photos and a lot of information about Elvis in the first half of 1956.  It's a treat to read, and it's a lot of fun to look through.>>  

 

Peter  January 7

<<HI Steve got the Teenager`s book!
It is a stunning, great book and was a great surprise for me!
I like this book; please produce the seconds volume soon!
 
Personally I`d like to give my opinion to some details!
 
The best contents of this book are:
- song listing of many of the concerts (where did you get them??)
- views and historical descriptions of the concert halls and auditoriums
- local maps, containing all the cities, where Elvis had performed live
- special comments and stories, such as "Jackie Gleason liked Elvis...,
the story of the concert on the ship Mount Vermount.... stories about
the 50` Vegas Concerts...
- newspaper articles and press comments
- other opinions of people connected with Elvis
- overall excitement side by side, creating a "live atmosphere" as
being in the fifties
 
What I missed a little bit are:
- the quality of the concert photos
- more unreleased photos
- comments of Tom Parker concerning the concerts
- background stories about the 56 period from Scotty Moore
or D.J. Fontana
 
Anyway - great work; good luck for the next volume!!!>>
 

Ron  January 6  

<<Hi Steve
Still have not finished your book, only got half way, but I LOVE IT....great to have so many 'new' photos of Elvis, on stage, 
from his best years 
( my opinion ).You feel 'You are There', following the maps and 
pictures of the tours and venues, from the start of his career.
Also nice was the other artists whose details you gave us, Buddy Holley,Carl Perkins etc.,

It is a Wonderful book and  you can be very proud of yourself, for all the research and hard work that has gone into it.
Your book is, like Elvis Presley a life in music by Ernst Jorgensen, (my all time favorite Elvis Book) one 
that i shall go back to, time an time again
Once Again Well Done>>
 

Erik 4 January

have not yet been through the extensive information, but find this a great document for Elvis live in 1956.
The systematic way of giving all the concert dates with pictures and newspaper articles are very fine.
This
is an excellent way of preserving history. I will recommend this book strongly to all of my friends
.
Thanks for a great work done