50 Magic Minutes Of Elvis

Madison Square Garden, June 9th 1972 

By Joan Lima

 

It all started the week of April 29. During that week, I read that Elvis was coming to Madison Square Garden in June... but no definite date had been set. Upon writing R. C. A., newspapers, etc., I learned that the rumors were false. Elvis wasn't coming after all. 

Spring Fever Fan Club New-York, NY June 9th 1972

Finally, on Sunday, May 1, the truth was out-Madison Square Garden confirmed that Elvis was indeed coming and would give three concerts on June 9th and 10th. Tickets were to go on sale May 8. The long wait began. One whole week to wait to but the tickets, and then a whole month before the concert. 

June 1st came and " That's The Way It Is " was playing all over town. I went to see it and that makes the waiting almost impossible.I thought I was dreaming--it couldn't be true. But I had the evidence in my hands--those beautiful tickets that said, "Elvis concert"... Madison Square Garden... June 9. 

We arrived around 6:00. All over Broadway, signs attested that " Elvis Is Here. " Photos were being sold everywhere. Banners, stickers, photo albums were all available on the spot. Elvis fans were everywhere; all ages, all sizes, from all walks of life. 

Spring Fever Fan Club New-York, NY June 9th 1972

We went inside the Garden and waited for the show to begin. At 8:25 the announcer came on to tell the audience that the show wouldn't start until everyone was seated, and that no one was to run up to the stage. 

Finally, The Sweet Inspirations came out. They were good, but we wanted Elvis. Then Jackie Kahane was announced. He was funny and I'm sure he would have done all right (if he had a chance), but over 20, 000 fans had come to see Elvis. As a result, Mr. Kahane was booed off the stage after a few minutes. 

It was 9:00 and time for intermission. At 9:15 the Space Odyssey Theme and... there he was. . . as big as life. Elvis came out singing " That's All Right. " You almost couldn't hear him for all the screaming that was going on. Flash bulbs popped all over the arena. For a few minutes I felt as if I was being hypnotized. Between cameras, binoculars, etc., I didn't know if I was coming or going. I had never seen Elvis in person before, and I was thrilled completely. He was just sensational! 

Spring Fever Fan Club New-York, NY June 10th 1972 matinee

" Proud Mary " was followed by " Never Been To Spain. " You had to be there to believe it. When he started a medley of old tunes, the fans went wild. One girl, who caught Elvis' scarf, was so overcome that she ran down the ramp from the high seats and jumped straight down. I guess she was hoping she would land on stage with Elvis. She disappeared from sight--I don't know what became of her. 

After the old tunes, Elvis sang " Bridge Over Troubled Water. " Elvis did this so beautifully... better than I had ever heard anyone do it. He puts so much of his heart and soul into his songs that you can't help but be moved by them. Elvis then asked for the house lights to be turned up and everyone began to scream in delight. 

The show moves on and Elvis acknowledges his co-workers, the band, and everyone who has anything to do with the show. "American Trilogy " brings the crowd to their feet. They're on their feet for a screaming, standing ovation. The emotions reach such a peak between the fans and Elvis that it seems as if they are going to burst. You just can't imagine the excitement. 

Spring Fever Fan Club New-York, NY June 10th 1972 matinee

The second half of the movie "That's The Way It Is" gives a good indication of how exciting an Elvis concert is, but you must see him in person at least once. 

And so the last song, " Can't Help Falling In Love, " began and soon Elvis disappears leaving an audience of over 20,000 screaming their lungs out. The show is over. All the impatient waiting and preparations for Elvis' coming are finished. 50 magic minutes of seeing Elvis in person. When it's all over, you wonder if it really happened, but you have the 50 minutes to remember. 

Some New Yorkers, reporters, critics, etc., were very unkind of Elvis years ago. They made such statements as "He won't last" and "He's a bad example for American Youth. " He proved them all wrong. Today, 16 years later,Elvis forced them to eat their words.This time around, ALL the New York papers and magazines gave Elvis the rave reviews that he so richly deserves.

More photographs of the June 9th 1972 concert in the Jumpsuit Junkies section

Originally published in Strictly Elvis No.55