Just How Much of Musical History Has Been Lost to History?
Bones Howe ran the tape machines on the first Hollywood sessions for 22-year-old Elvis Presley in 1957. “They drove out west in a stretch Cadillac, all the guys in the band and all their instruments,” recalls Howe, now 80. On breaks from the studio, “they’d drive up Sunset and slow down so Elvis could wave at the girls on the sidewalk to see if they’d walk out into the traffic.”
The sessions went swell, and “All Shook Up” shot to No. 1. One day a few years later, Howe walked in the back door of the studio and noticed a trash can full of tapes. “I recognized a bunch of red and white boxes,” he says, “the original Elvis session tapes I worked on.” He took the trashed outtakes home and stored them in his cool and dark underground garage until after Elvis’ death when RCA came knocking, with a checkbook.