Elvis Presley

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Author:
Ger Rijff



Ger Rijff

Ger Rijff in 1982 (photo source: Showcase ... / Parool, March 3, 1982)

Gerrit Johannes Rijff was born in Amsterdam on December 10, 1951, and died unexpectedly on 13 July 2019 at the age of 67. He took a special place in the Elvis fandom as a Dutchman: he is praised in circles of connoisseurs as "a legendary icon" and "the leading expert on fifties data and photos", praise that can be summarized in the statement "two words will forever remain synonymous with the fifties Elvis: Ger Rijff".

As a teenager fascinated by rock 'n' roll and all things America, Rijff first made a name for himself in the 1970s and 1980s as a draftsman of rock 'n' roll cartoons for Muziek Parade and Aloha and as a cartoonist of, among others, the hippie strip De Vogels (Daan and Dodo, 1970-1971). He was also involved in pornographic parodies of comics like Suske and Wiske, Lucky Luke and Tintin. More importantly, Tall Hair Gerry (his nickname in America) who had seen Elvis perform three times in the pre-internet era in 1976 and 1977 when everything happened through newsletters (he was once chairman of the Dutch fan club It's Elvis Time) became one of the first Elvis super collectors to uncover an impressive arsenal of Elvis photographs from the 1950s in particular that he shared with his fellow fans in a series of groundbreaking and high-quality books: before RCA's Follow That Dream label, before Erik Lorentzen's Elvis Files, before the Memphis Recording Service and before Boxcar Books, there were Ger Rijff and Tutti Frutti Productions. He also released bootleg LPs and soundboard recordings, releases that led to the creation of RCA's collectively active Follow That Dream label. In addition, he was involved in legal publications, including The King Of Rock 'n' Roll: The Complete 50's Masters box (1992), and was allowed to dive into the RCA archives in the early 1990s with Ernst Jørgensen in search of material for Hits Like Never Before: Essential Elvis Volume 3 (1990). Yet it is especially those fantastic photo books (see the reference list below), including several in collaboration with photographer Alfred Wertheimer, for which Rijff will be remembered.

He had been struggling with his health for more than ten years and since then was mainly active on the internet: you can find his beautiful writings on his highly recommended Elvis Echoes of the Past ... website.

His brother, music journalist Lodewijk Rijff (1944-2010) wrote the books Elvis Presley in 1977: The Biography Of A Phenomenon (1977) which was re-issued as Herinneringen Elvis Presley 1935 1977 1985 in 1985, and with Pim Oets Elvis Presley: Het Volledige Platenverhaal in 1978. Lodewijk contributed with his brother Ger and JeanPaul Commandeur to the liner notes for the 50 CD box The original Elvis Presley Collection in 1996.

Sources:
- Boppin' Around News / Elviswereld neemt afscheid van Ger Rijff ... (last access: 30 July 2021)
- Ger Rijff - Lambiek Comiclopedia ... (last access: 30 July 2021)
- Elvis Echoes of the Past ... (last access: 30 July 2021)

For the book info and descriptions Ger's books were consulted. Additional background information was found in:
- Infinite Elvis; An Annotated Bibliography by Mary Hancock Hinds
- The Printed Elvis by Steven Opdyke
- theelvisforum.org / Ger Rijff books ... (last access: 30 July 2021)


Text updated: 31 July 2021

References:

1976 - Elvis Presley: Echoes of the Past (with Pøul Madsen) original edition
1978 - Elvis Presley: Echoes of the Past (with Pøul Madsen) US reprint

1984 - Recording Sessions (2nd Ed.) (by Ernst Jørgensen et al., layout by Ger Rijff)
1985 - Long Lonely Highway - A pictorial coverage of a rock-Odyssey through 1950's America
1986 - Faces and Stages: An Elvis Presley Time-Frame
1986 - Elvis Aron Presley Baby I Don't Care (Japanese version of Faces and Stages)
1987 - Long Lonely Highway - A 1950's Elvis Scrapbook
1987 - Florida Close-Up (hardback) (with Jan van Gestel, photography by Jay B. Leviton)
1987 - Florida Close-Up (paperback) (with Jan van Gestel, photography by Jay B. Leviton)
1987 - Elvis Close-up (Dutch language Edition) (with Jan van Gestel, photography by Jay B. Leviton))
1988 - Memphis Lonesome (with Jan van Gestel, photography by Lloyd Shearer)
1988 - Elvis Close-up (US Edition) (with Jan van Gestel, photography by Jay B. Leviton)
1989 - Elvis Close-up (UK Edition) (with Jan van Gestel, photography by Jay B. Leviton)
1989 - Elvis: The Cool King (with Jan van Gestel, photography by Bob Moreland)

1990 - Elvis: The Cool King (US Edition, with Jan van Gestel)
1991 - Elvis Album (by Susan Doll, with Bill DeNight and Sharon Fox, photos from Ger Rijff's collection)
1991 - Elvis: Fire in the Sun (with Jan van Gestel)
1993 - The Voice of Rock 'n' Roll
1994 - Growing Up With The Memphis Flash (with W.A. Harbison and Kay Wheeler)
1994 - Inside Jailhouse Rock (with Jim Hannaford)
1994 - 60 Million TV Viewers Can't Be Wrong (with Gordon Minto and Andrew Solf)
1995 - Songs Of Innocence (with Alfred Wertheimer and Jan van Gestel)
1996 - The Original Elvis Presley Collection (by Lodewijk Rijff, with Ger Rijff, Jan van Gestel and JeanPaul Commandeur)
1996 - Shock, Rattle & Roll (hardcover) (with Trever Cajiao, photos from Michael Ochs' collection)
1997 - Shock, Rattle & Roll (softcover, UK edition) (with Trever Cajiao, photos from Michael Ochs' collection)
1997 - Steamrolling over Texas (with Linda Jones and Peter Haan, photography by Ron G. McCoy)
1997 - Talking Elvis (layout by Ger Rijff)
1998 - Studio B Blues
1999 - Inside King Creole (with JeanPaul Commandeur and Glen Johnson)

2001 - The Hottest Thing That's Cool (photos by Alfred Wertheimer)
2003 - Inside Loving You (with Chris Giles)
2003 - The Rock 'n' Roll Years ; My Wish Came True - Volume One (with JeanPaul Commandeur and Trever Cajiao)
2006 - Inside GI Blues (research by Ger Rijff)

2016 - Cartoons & Rock 'n' Roll Tunes (with Kenneth Dokkeberg)

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Page updated: Monday, 17 January 2022