Vegas, December '75
first billboard I saw on the way to the hotel had those famous five letters
forming that magic word, ELVIS. I couldn't believe I was really back, more
anxious than ever to see the man himself. Especially after the experience in
August, this was doubly exciting.
before going to my room I confirmed my show reservations for all shows and the
maitre'd gave me a big smile and a "Welcome Home". When I asked him
how the shows were going he smiled and said Elvis was like a new person since
August and that everyone coming out of the shows had nothing short of raves for
him. I wondered how I'd last until 10:00 P.M. that night.
I won't say the afternoon went fast but seeing everyone-the Stamps, James, Ronnie and Jackie really helped the time go. Everyone was in such great spirits and I kept hearing how fantastic every show was.
Unknown/Sue McCasland ©
Las Vegas, NV. Dec. 2nd 1975 opening/ Dec. 13th 1975 dinner
that awful Thursday morning in August when Elvis got sick I had prayed and
waited for this moment, "2001" brought tears to my eyes and when Elvis
came out I just said a silent prayer of thanks. He looked great. Though he still
was a bit bloated in the stomach, it was obvious he had lost weight. I had never
seen this jumpsuit, white with puffy sleeves with silver and gold threads
running down the arm. The belt was wide and decorated with rows of turquoise
stones, just beautiful. His hair was a bit shorter than it had been on the
Summer tour and
August engagement, more like a layered cut so that when he shook his head it
would fall into place easily. That first look was the most important. After
seeing a very pale, bloated,, sick Elvis in August I had to be sure he was OK. I
know it has been reported he looked pale but to me his color was good. His eyes
sparkled and smiles were frequent, all signs to me of his improved health.
I had my doubts about bow Elvis felt, the shows would have surely erased all of
them. The opening is the same familiar " C.C. Rider ", " I Got A
Woman ", and " Amen ", but from then on it was a new show. He did
" Fairytale ", " And I Love You So ", " Trying To Get
To You " (the best version I've ever heard), " Until It's Time For You
To Go ", " Polk Salad Annie ", (boy did he MOVE--karate and all),
" Just Pretend ", " How Great Thou Art " (always with
standing ovation), " Burning Love " (still moving!), a Medley of
" All Shook Up/Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel/ Hound Dog ", " America
" (absolutely breathtaking), " Love Me ", " Tiger Man
", (complete with strobe lights) and " Can't Help Falling in Love
". I was sitting at the stage and gave Elvis a caricature of himself. He
laughed and thanked me. As he bent down to give me a scarf I reached up and
wiped his forehead. He smiled and said " thank you ". He is beautiful
and seeing him so close only reinforced my belief that he is feeling OK.
Sue McCasland ©
Las Vegas, NV. December 14th 1975
other shows Elvis took requests and did " Wooden Heart ", "
Little Sister ", " Blue Christmas ", " Help Me Make It
Through the Night ", " Little Darlin ", and others. Two songs
that really stand out in my mind are " One Night "and " It's Now
or Never ". I had always wanted him to do " One Night " and when
he began it I went crazy. I just couldn't believe he was really standing in
front of me singing one of my favorites. Thank you, Elvis. " It's Now or
Never " was memorable because he did it in Italian, clowning all the way.
He asked Sherrill to help him with the words. Other suits he wore included the
navy with white eagle, black indian suit and another new white jumpsuit-black
stripes down the legs and'a spray of what looked like diamonds(?) on the back.
Every show was very different and all were fantastic. Sure he was tired but in
one show after doing" Polk Salad ", " Burning Love " and
" Tiger Man "--who wouldn't be tired??? There were no stools on the
stage, and Elvis did just fine without them.
assortment of gifts were hilarious. At one point he was given a HUGE Christmas
stocking full of goodies. He was like a little boy, he took the time to pull
things out and comment or play with the toys, and when he became impatient he
dumped all the contents of the stocking out on stage. He was enjoying himself
immensely. He threw a little football in it to Lisa. He also tried skateboarding
across the stage when he was given a board, and doing tricks with a yo-yo he was
given. The funniest had to be a big yellow hat with flashing red light on top
and gogles with wipers. He put them both on, laughing all the while and started
singing "Treat Me Like a fool"......the words just fit.
Sue McCasland ©
Las Vegas, NV. December 13th 1975 midnight show
kidded constantly with everyone on stage. One night he had Charlie do his Gabby
Hayes imitation, then Gomer Pyle, then Gabby Hayes singing " Guadalahara
". It was hilarious. Elvis asked Estelle what a deranged alligator does.
She just laughed but Charlie pitched in with " Anything he wants ". At
one show Charlie did a Mexican hat dance around a sombrero someone gave Elvis,
while Elvis laughed and clapped. I'd say Elvis laughed through 3/4 of every
show. He said he was happy to be back on stage and it was obvious. It was so
great to see him enjoying himself again.
and Saturday night Elvis introduced Lisa and she stook and waved to everyone. Through
the show she sat holding a Snoopy doll in front of her and her chin resting in
her hands, smiling at her daddy. Vernon stood up and said hello too. I must say
he is really looking much better than in August. Thank goodness the Presley
family is seemingly healthy once again.
Sue McCasland ©
Las Vegas, NV. December 15th 1975 closing show
just cannot end without mentioning Jackie Kahane.Though his routine is basically
the same (forever and ever, Amen), there are a few new lines thrown in and he
was really funny. One night, being aware of the fans falling asleep, he pushed
the mike in front of a fan's face and said, " You've seen enough shows to
do this for me".
It broke up the showroom. Another night Jackie's mike was broken when he
came out and he ad libbed. He was never funnier. Then they handed him a hand
mike from backstage and that too was broken. We laughed so hard the tears were
running down our cheeks. Poor Jackie. He ran around the stage yelling, "
But I don't have any scarves ". Elvis came out commenting on Jackie's
published in “ The Strictly Elvis Generation No. 5 “.