It’s been almost 50 years since Elvis first met Linda Thompson, the former Miss Tennessee model. The couple ended up living together at Graceland from 1972-76 and in more recent years his former girlfriend has been sharing photos of their time together. In some of her latest Instagram stories, the 71-year-old posted a video collage of couple photos from the elvis_and_linda_gram page.
Linda also shared a picture of The King driving one of his many cars with Tiger Man played over the top.
His former girlfriend captioned the image: “There’s ‘cool’ then there’s ‘Elvis cool’ Great candid…”
Back in 2016, Linda published an autobiography called A Little Thing Called Life: On Loving Elvis Presley, Bruce Jenner and Songs in Between.
The page elvis_and_linda_gram recently posted a clip from an event where Linda was promoting the book, in which she described how she approached writing about The King.
READ MORE: Elvis: When George Harrison and Bob Dylan saw The King in concert
Linda shared some photos of herself with David Stanley inside that hotel that is now called Westgate.
She wrote on Instagram: “What a great few days & nights in Vegas! I love @palazzovegas where I usually stay.
“It was so nostalgic getting to revisit the city where I lived for 9 months of the 4 1/2 years Elvis & I were together!
“I had a lovely lunch & sweet visit with Elvis’s stepbrother David Stanley at the old Hilton international which is now the Westgate.”
The first official image of the now-Duke and Duchess was shared by Clarence House. It was taken at St Andrew’s University in St Andrew’s on June 23, 2005 in Scotland on the day of Kate and William‘s graduation.
It shows the couple, both in white shirts, posing together to celebrate leaving university, both in their early 20s.
While neither could have predicted the future, they appear loved up in the snap, a positive omen for their long and happy relationship, and their shared parenthood.
The picture was taken by Kate Middleton’s parents and has now been analysed by body language expert Judi James.
She claimed the couple appears totally in love in the snap.
Veteran pixel artist Henk Nieborg’s old-school throwback, Battle Axe, seeks to replicate the classic top-down hack and slash action of arcade classics such as Gauntlet, Knights of the Round and Golden Axe. With Nieborg himself on graphical duties and legendary composer Manami Matsumae (Mega Man, Final Fight, Shovel Knight) providing the soundtrack, this one certainly more than manages to nail the look and feel of its most obvious inspirations. However, a lack of content and modes, alongside tired gameplay that doesn’t mix things up in any interesting or surprising ways across a fairly brief running time, leaves this feeling like a rather lacklustre effort.
In Battle Axe players choose from one of three warriors, Rooney, Fae or Iolo and – in either solo or two-player local co-op – set out across the land of Mercia in order to rescue innocent locals who’ve been snatched away by the dastardly sorceress Etheldred and her hordes of evil minions. Split over four short levels, the game sees you blast through foes using your chosen fighter’s three unique combat abilities comprised of a weapon attack, ranged projectile and special move.
Rooney makes use of cannon balls for close quarters and ranged damage, for example, and can pull off a powerful charge dash that’s capable of wiping out multiple opponents at once. Fae wields twin blades, flings deadly daggers from distance and can zip in and around arenas at speed, whilst Iolo – our own favourite of the trio – can teleport, fire off powerful blue energy balls and get up close and personal with his…well his beard, for vicious hairy melee attacks.
On paper there certainly seems to be plenty of diversity in the move sets you’ve got at your disposal but, in all honesty, the moment-to-moment action doesn’t really pack in much variety. Regardless of warrior choice we found ourselves relying almost entirely on our ranged attacks in order to mill through the goblins, orcs and skeletons that stood in our way. On both hard mode – which the game defaults to when you first boot up – and easy difficulty setting, we just never found ourselves needing to mix up our tactics all that often, and this is mainly because the enemies don’t provide much in the way of a strategic challenge beyond the occasional mass pile on.
Indeed, for the most part here the threat presented by your foes consists almost entirely of them mindlessly charging in your general direction – with the exception of Mandragores, a few flying bugs and a handful of tower-bound baddies who stand off to use ranged attacks – and as a result the rhythm of Battle Axe’s combat feels seriously one-note. It’s definitely solid enough in the little it chooses to do, weapons feel satisfying and it looks and sounds fantastic, but it’s just not particularly interesting or exciting because it never steps out of its comfort zone. Of course you could argue it’s remaining faithful to the golden oldies that inspired it, but it feels as though this one needed a few more modern flourishes or a bigger injection of creativity in order to give its action a lift. What you’re doing here the minute the game kicks off is exactly what you’ll be doing by the time it ends, and it’s a shame.
There are the expected pick-ups to grab as you mill around levels – everybody loves a nice health-replenishing chicken dinner – but again this aspect feels somewhat undercooked, with just a health potion, a rather useless bomb and a spell scroll that blasts your surrounding area with fire to round out the available items. You can also gather gems and coins to shop at a merchant between stages, and this mechanic feels much more interesting as you decide whether to purchase a permanent health upgrade, extra shielding or maybe even a bomb or healing item to help propel you through the next area.
This weighing up of the pros and cons of picking between health items, upgrades or weapons – especially on hard mode where you need to complete an entire run without auto health refills between rounds – feels like the most interesting aspect of the game but, again, it doesn’t reach its full potential because the whole thing is over before it feels like it’s really gotten started; there just aren’t enough levels here to make you feel as though you’re properly up against it.
Yes, unfortunately, Battle Axe is a short experience, surprisingly short, in fact. For the rather hefty price tag involved here we really were fairly startled when we first came face to face with the final boss battle after around forty minutes of play (on easy mode), and once you’ve been through the four levels on offer here a few times there really isn’t a great deal to warrant many, if any, return trips. Yes, there’s a NG+ mode that switches things up a little, with mirrored level layouts, a few nasty surprises jumping out of chests and far more in the way of baddies making a beeline for the business end of Iolo’s bushy beard, but it’s just not enough to stop the whole thing feeling a little lacklustre and disappointing from a gameplay perspective.
Even switching things up to hard mode, once you’ve played through the handful of levels a few times and got a handle on where and when enemies appear, it doesn’t make for much of a difference in the challenge you’ll actually face beyond the game’s bosses flinging a handful of minions at you in a desperate attempt to up the ante. Speaking of bosses, the end of stage face-offs aren’t much to write home about either, requiring little more than spamming your ranged attack and moving out of the way of repetitive and easy to read projectiles. We had little to no trouble in getting past these encounters until we switched things up to NG+ where the game chooses to simply spawn an annoying number of bog-standard enemies into the mix, in a brute-force and rather slapdash effort to make things more difficult.
On a more positive note, as we’ve already mentioned, Battle Axe’s action does at least look and feel great, with Nieborg’s supreme pixel skills ensuring that every enemy you smack or thwack explodes in a satisfyingly violent manner, whilst characters are imbued with a really nice sense of weight and heft through the exquisitely detailed animations provided by the veteran artist.
It’s just a shame, then, that the gameplay couldn’t provide more in the way of surprises or thrills. Levels here feel quite underwhelming and pedestrian, a handful of simple short corridors and boxed off arenas with no set-piece moments, no mounts to ride around on à la Golden Axe, and no secrets, treasures or hidden paths to stumble upon. There are a handful of simple achievements to unlock for completionists and offline leaderboards to conquer but, besides this and that NG+ mode, you really aren’t looking at a lot of content to blast through.
With regards to this Switch port, we also had a few framerate issues mar our experience, with some considerable wobbles on a few occasions, most noticeably during the game’s one indoor section; that surprised us given the old-school nature of the graphics and gameplay here.
Overall then, Battle Axe is a very good-looking game, for sure, it’s got a fantastic soundtrack and its hack and slash action certainly isn’t the worst we’ve ever encountered, but it’s all just far too one-note. It plays things much too safe and is over way too quickly, making for a game that, especially for that rather premium price tag, is pretty hard to recommend.
Battle Axe is a good-looking homage to the classic hack and slash arcade efforts of yesteryear that’s dragged down by some fairly dull and repetitive action. It looks the part, sounds the part, nails the aesthetic and vibe that it’s going for completely, but then it drops the ball with regards to level design, enemy AI and in providing any sense of strategy or surprise during a short campaign that gives you very little reason to return once its done and dusted. If only it had a few twists and turns and a handful more levels, this one could have been well worth a playthrough but, as things stand, it’s pretty forgettable stuff.
This week’s News 8 Throwback takes you down memory lane with some of San Diego’s iconic sports legends from Bill Walton to Tony Gwynn.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Sign local basketball dynamo Bill Walton, and they will come. Shortly after signing with the San Diego Clippers in May 1979, season ticket sales rose dramatically. Public relations director Hal Chiles told News 8’s Laurie Singer that Walton was the real McCoy and that it was a distinct possibility that ticket prices would go up.
Bill Walton said it best “I’ll play and we’ll all make money.” Unfortunately, the San Diego native missed 68 games in his first season due to foot injuries (which he also suffered in his final years in Portland). San Diego finished 35–47, as Walton and other key players missed significant time due to injuries.
San Diego Clippers ticket sales after Bill Walton signs
News 8 Sportscaster Lyle Bond chats with San Diego Chargers Lance Alworth, Chuck Allen, and Al LoCasale, talent scout in August 1965
Wide receiver Lance Alworth told Bond he got tired more quickly when he played in the mile high city against Denver. Linebacker Chuck Allen spills some defensive plays secrets. Bond said it looked like the team was in good shape for the upcoming season. Allen said they were looking forward to a championship season. Their prediction was right as under coach Sid Gillman, they had a 9-2-3 record and won their fifth AFL West title. Alworth was elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and Allen is a Chargers Hall of Fame member.
LoCasale, the team’s talent scout discussed recruitment with Bond. He said “the hardest part of pro football is when you have to send anybody home after football has been a major part of their life for four years in high school and four years in college. It’s tough to be a has been at age 22 but as I told one recently, it’s better to be a has been than a never was.” LoCasale spent 50 years in football, 34 of those with the Raiders as Al Davis’ right-hand man.
San Diego Aztecs Baseball v San Diego Padres 1987
It is a tradition that has long since passed, but it’s not forgotten. For years, the San Diego Padres would host the San Diego State University Aztecs baseball team for a game prior to the Padres season starting. For the Padres, it was a simple exhibition. For the Aztecs, it gave college players with big league dreams a taste of what it takes to play at the big-league level. Tony Gwynn tells Artie Ojeda when he played for the Aztecs in 1981 against the Padres, he hit a line drive over the pitcher’s head and that caught the attention of Jack McKeon, Padres General Manager.
San Diego Gulls v Portland Buckaroos Benefit Game 1978
In 1978 former San Diego Gulls played an exhibition game against The Portland Buckaroos. The “old-timers” still had all the right moves. Showing them off were Gulls greats Willie O’Ree, Earl Heiskala, Bob Courcy and Len Ronson. News 8 sports reporter Laurie Singer reminisces about the first Gulls game played November 17, 1966. She was there and it was her first hockey game. The 1966 film is also in this story.
1988 12 Meter Race with Ted Turner and Dennis Conner in San Diego
It was a spectacular sight off Point Loma in January 1988 when Ted Turner and his boat Liberty and Dennis Conner and his boat Stars and Stripes competed against each other in a 12-meter race. Turner helmed Conner’s boat and Conner helmed Turner’s. NFL stars Warren Moon and Jim Everett went along for the ride — all part of the Super Bowl hoopla — it was held in San Diego that year. News 8’s Loren Nancarrow reports.
Boxer Archie Moore with Harold Keen 1966
Legendary light heavyweight boxer and San Diego resident Archie Moore discusses his ABC program with News 8’s Harold Keen. “Any Boy Can” was based in Vallejo, California. He taught leadership qualities to youngsters aged 8-15. He said, “we teach basics, 5 points — “EGBDF” — “Every Good Boy Does Fine,” so let us face the future in harmony with mankind, black, white, red, yellow and brown — this is our credo — it’s for all boys.” He said there’s no greater satisfaction than working with children. Keen asked him if he considered doing the program in San Diego and Moore said Mayor Curran was not receptive. But the following year in 1967 it did start in San Diego. It eventually became “Anybody Can” when girls were allowed.
San Diego Stadium Construction February 1966
The stadium grounds on February 1966 looks much like it does in March 2021. The demolition of the iconic stadium is almost complete. Excitement was in the air as the San Diego Chargers went on the construction site on February 19, 1966. Paul Lowe, Bob Petrich, and George Gross chatted with TV 8 about their future home. They had one more season at Balboa Stadium. On August 20, 1967 The San Diego Chargers of the American Football League played their first game there.
San Diego Stadium April 1967
Newly digitized film from April 3, 1967 when stadium was about 70% complete. Beautiful, crisp, clear color film. It likely was a brand new color camera that captured these images. Chargers Speedy Duncan, George Gross, Walt Sweeney, and Bob Petrich toured the new stadium. Former Charger and promotion director Emil Karas is with them. Speedy said “Some how it’s more of a thrill to play in front of 50,000 fans than 30,000.Their first game was August 20, 1967. Designers and architects claimed that the field could be converted from football to baseball easily within 24 hours. The movable seats rolled away on big balloon tires; each section of seats could be towed away by truck mounted cranes. They were anticipating a Major League Baseball team. It became home to The San Diego Padres in 1969.
In this week’s News 8 Throwback we show you a menagerie of talented musicians performing in our city in the 1980s and ’90s.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — The 63rd annual Grammy Awards are this Sunday March 14 on CBS and News 8. We dug into our archives to find artists who have been honored with Grammy awards and nominations. A menagerie of talented musicians performing in our city in the 1980s and ’90s is this week’s News 8 Throwback.
Willie Nelson won 10 Grammy Awards and has been nominated an impressive 52 times. Here he is performing at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on June 5, 1981. Larry Himmel was there and said Nelson’s voice was rich in flavor, tempered by years on the road, slightly seasoned with Jack Daniels.
Willie Nelson and Friends in San Diego 1981
Madonna concert at SDSU Open Air Theatre in San Diego in 1985
Madonna boasts 7 wins and 28 nominations. On April 19, 1985, The Virgin Tour stopped in San Diego at SDSU Open Air Theater.
U2 at The San Diego Sports Arena in 1987 and 1992
Legendary Irish rockers U2 have 22 wins and 46 nominations. They have been to San Diego many times. The three shows we are featuring were all in April–1987, 1992, and 1997.
U2 PopMart Tour Jack Murphy Stadium 1997
Kenny G in San Diego 1988
Kenny G is one of the best-selling artists of all time, with global sales totaling more than 75 million records. The soothing sounds of his saxophone entertained the crowd at Humphrey’s by the Bay on June 19, 1988. He has won one Grammy and has 17 nominations.
Nathan East Profile 1993
It was a big night for Eric Clapton at The Grammy Awards in 1993. Larry Himmel met up with his bass player, Crawford High and UCSD alum, Nathan East. East has been nominated for the coveted award 7 times. In 2013 he recorded the bass line for the 2013 hit “Get Lucky” by Daft Punk. It won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Pop Duo/Group Performance in 2014.
For a complete list of San Diego concerts and more Grammy Award winners, check this out.
RELATED: News 8 Throwback: Local bands rocking San Diego in the 1980s & ‘90s
Check out Throwback Thursdays on News 8 at 10 p.m. on The CW.
In this week’s News 8 Throwback, we take a look back at the spring training seasons of yesteryear as the Padres kick off a month of play in Arizona’s Cactus League.
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Spring training kicked off Sunday for the San Diego Padres for a month of play at the Peoria Sports Complex in Arizona. It’s the first time since March of last year that the Padres were able to play in front of fans and hear real crowd noise.
The excitement over the 2021 Padres season has reached a fever pitch with the team giving phenom Fernando Tatis Jr. a mega-contract extension and the offseason acquisitions of pitchers Blake Snell, Yu Darvish, Joe Musgrove and Mark Melancon. The hype around the 2021 Padres is real, with many baseball writers putting the friars as a top contender for a World Series trophy.
The Padres are set to open the regular season April 1 against Arizona at Petco Park. The full spring training schedule is available here.
Now, let’s take a look back at the spring training seasons of yesteryear with these vintage clips featuring notable Padres players including Tony Gwynn, Ken Caminiti, Fred McGriff, Gary Sheffield and more.
San Diego Padres spring training in 1979
News 8’s Ted Leitner headed to Yuma, Arizona in March of 1979 for San Diego Padres spring training. Third baseman-turned-coach Doug Rader spoke to Ted about his reputation as a player and his plans for the Padres organization. Ted also took a ride around Yuma with Padres relief pitcher John D’Acquisto to see what the city had to offer ball players.
San Diego Padres spring training in 1984
News 8’s Jim Laslavic got an early glimpse of the San Diego Padres team in 1984 at spring training in Yuma, Arizona. Interviews with Steve Garvey, Ed Whitson and other players revealed their hopes for the upcoming season in which they won their first National League pennant. “If there’s ever a time that we’re gonna win it, it’s gonna be this year,” said one player.
San Diego Padres roster at spring training 1993
As the San Diego Padres began their final spring training season in Yuma, Arizona, News 8’s Rick Powers checked in with the players, management and fans about the upcoming season. Amidst many new faces on the team, Powers noted “the big three” expected to be successful in the 1993 season were Tony Gwynn, Fred McGriff and Gary Sheffield.
Padres play last spring training game in Yuma, AZ in 1993
At the end of March 1993, the San Diego Padres played their last spring training game in Yuma, Arizona, and News 8’s Rick Powers was there. Padres legend Tony Gwynn said he would miss playing in Yuma because after more than a decade he had finally found a good fishing spot nearby. The team had practiced in Yuma in 1969 but in 1994 moved to the City of Peoria, along with the Seattle Mariners to play at the first two-team spring training facility ever built, Peoria Sports Complex.
Padres/Astros Trade 1994 and Spring Training 1995
The San Diego Padres announced Padres/Astros trade of December 1994, Steve Finley and Ken Caminiti at a press conference in 1995.
Ken Caminiti at San Diego Padres spring training in 1997
In February 1997, Gold Glove Award-winning third baseman Ken Caminiti arrived at spring training in Peoria, Arizona, with his San Diego Padres teammates. Just five months prior, Caminiti had undergone surgery to re-attach a torn rotator cuff in his left shoulder, but he was hopeful he would be ready for the season opener. Caminiti was also coming off of being named the National League MVP in 1996 – the only time a Padre received the honor in franchise history. He went on to earn himself another Golden Glove in the 1997 season and was named to the All-Star team. Sadly, Caminiti died in 2004 of a drug overdose. He was posthumously inducted into the San Diego Padres Hall of Fame in 2016.