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Elvis concert site to be torn down

Fri Apr 08, 2005 4:21 am

Veteran's Memorial Auditorium, also known as the Barn, in Des Moines, Iowa is to be torn down. Vets was the site of three Presley concerts over the years, in 1956, June 20, 1974, and June 23, 1977 which was his fourth to last show. It is being torn down in favor of a new auditorium that will be the new host of the Iowa High School boys and girls state basketball tournaments as well as the Iowa High School boys wrestling tournament which is one of the premier wrestling tournaments in the United States. I have been to Vets a few times and can say first hand that it earned its nickname of the Barn for good reason. I also know someone who was at the 1956 concert and remembers it well. Another one bites the dust.

Fri Apr 08, 2005 6:58 am

Reminds me of when Market Square Arena in Indianapolis came down. There were many protestors there who did not want the building that Elvis played his final performance to be destroyed. They did, however, take a part of the stage where Elvis stood, along with some photographs of the concert and put them in a museum in Indy.

Bobby Bare sang a song called Time. There is a line in the song that says They're tearing down buildings that I watched them build.


Kind of sad, actually.

Fri Apr 08, 2005 9:20 am

I hate hearing this again.......I was outraged when Market Square went down. I understand the reasons it had to go, but I had a visceral reaction of anger anyway.
I live very near the West Palm Beach Auditorium (which I believe was the smallest venue Elvis played in the 70s). I've been trying for the better part of a year to get them to let me inside to take some pics . It was bought out by the Jehovah's Witnesses years ago, and they don't have the same affection for Elvis that we do, needless to say :roll: . One more reason to dislike them( as if having them bang on my door first thing in the AM wasn't enough :P ). I hear rumblings that the structure has seen better days and may not be cost effective to use for many years more.Hell, it was a piece of crap when it was new...........it's shaped like an upside down funnel,and the roof never kept out water from day one (thus earning it the dubious moniker of "The Leaky Teepee"). This structure may not be much longer for this world either.

Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:21 pm

John -

I remember thinking how stupid and short-sighted it was when they 'filled in' The Cavern in Liverpool some years ago.

The Beatles and many other groups and singers started out playing there.

I was proved right when they eventually had to excavate the site [luckily it is underground] and return it to its former glory !

All the time and expense they could have avoided with a little forethought.

Fri Apr 08, 2005 3:39 pm

ColinB wrote:John -

I remember thinking how stupid and short-sighted it was when they 'filled in' The Cavern in Liverpool some years ago.

The Beatles and many other groups and singers started out playing there.

I was proved right when they eventually had to excavate the site [luckily it is underground] and return it to its former glory !

All the time and expense they could have avoided with a little forethought.


Colin,

I don't think the original Cavern is there anymore. I've been there and there's Cavern on the Matthew Street but it's next to the original site. When Macca played Cavern in 1999 he made a reference to that. Damn shame though. They were going to build a tube there but obviously someone changed their minds. Brilliant! Beatles among others got their start there. Cilla Black used to work at the cloak room.