Name: Duke Bardwell
Musical role: Bass Guitar

Bardwell took over from Jerry Scheff for the whole of 1974 and the first Vegas tour of 1975. He and Elvis weren’t the best of friends, to say the least. Elvis often picked on Bardwell onstage and during the Dayton Ohio matinee concert on 6th October 1974, Elvis introduced Duke Bardwell, remarking. “Play something Duke, just do the best you can”.

Eventually, Felton Jarvis erased all of the bass parts Bardwell recorded at the studio sessions, either at Elvis’s instigation or with his consent, replacing them with new recordings by Elvis’s proven old friends Mike Leech and Norbert Putnam. “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” would be Duke Bardwell’s only surviving master with Elvis, and then only because RCA rushed it out as a single before Felton could get to the overdubbing. “Elvis was good at that syncopated funky stuff”, Duke said later.

Bardwell doesn’t think of his time with Elvis as a pleasant one. In fact, shortly after he left the Band in order to do studio work for others, he threw away his 14k gold TCB-necklace.

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