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Why was the '75 summer tour so damn good?

Wed Jun 25, 2003 12:59 pm

An average Elvis show is still a good show....

Of all tours I think the '75 summer tour is one of the (or perhaps THE) best tours Elvis ever did. Just listen to the shows he did in July '75 (Memphis, Asheville, etc.). He's in a unbelievable good mood. This translates in good performances, different songs and lots of humour...

So what makes this tour so much better (and joyfull) than the previous and next tours? It's kinda like the same as the sudden "re-born" Elvis in the end of December '76. We all know that that was because of his new relationship with Ginger. But what was the reason (or cause) that Elvis was so happy during summer '75?

Wed Jun 25, 2003 1:33 pm

Albert, everyone will give you their own opinion on this, but 'a fact' is that prior to the June/July 1975 you refer to Elvis was considerably heavier. Come the June/July tour he had lost a fair amount of weight.....could be the reason (?).

Coincidentaly (?) the December 1976 TOUR comes straight after Elvis being considerably heavier for most of 1976, I think it's fair to say Elvis must have been his lightest during the December 1976 tour than for any other time in 1976.

Interesting fact (?) I read some years ago (not sure if it was Jerry Hopkins Final Years or not), but anyway I remember somewhere it being said Elvis was heavier in March/April/May 1975 (sometime over these months) than he was when he died.......true/false ? Can't really go on his 'bloatedness' of June/July/August 1977 as this maybe an indication of medicatiion rather than 'true weight'.

Wed Jun 25, 2003 2:01 pm

......i pray Asheville soundboard gets a release one day.....

Summer 1975 was indeed excellent period for Elvis!

Wed Jun 25, 2003 4:04 pm

Elvis was quite heavy in March/April 75, but he didn't have the sickly, bloated look that he had in 77. Despite the loose-fitting jacket he wore you can still see he's got a sizeable paunch sticking out. He did lose a bit of weight for the May/June tour, and kept most of it off for the July tour. This period was probably the last time that Elvis was reasonably healthy. These 2 tours were Elvis' best from the last 3 years of his career IMO. The Dec. 76 tour was great relative to 76-77, but Elvis sang better overall in the spring/summer of 75.

Wed Jun 25, 2003 4:17 pm

My mother-in-law and her sister had the opportunity to see Elvis' 8:30pm show in Niagara Falls, NY on July 13, 1975.
A group of them took a bus down from Toronto the day of the show.
She gave me her ticket stub and I still have it.
I am constantly asking her about the experience.
She indicated that the show was fantastic, of course.
Man, what it must have been like... I can only imagine.
Here's the set list for that show:


Also sprach zarathustra
See see rider
I got a woman / Amen
Love me
If you love me (let me know)
Love me tender
All shook up
Teddy bear / Don't be cruel
The wonder of you
Burning love
Introductions by Elvis
Hail hail rock & roll
Why me Lord
How great thou art
Let me be there
Heartbreak hotel
Funny how time slips away
Little darlin'
Mystery train / Tiger man
Can't help falling in love
Closing vamp

Wed Jun 25, 2003 4:55 pm

The summer 1975 shows are some of my favorite because of how he changed the set list more often and sang some rarely ever performed songs (Return To Sender, Pieces Of My Life, Shake a Hand, You'll Never Walk Alone) but also the sense of "energy" that he put in to each song as well.

I also like the spring tours from 1975 as well. Elvis usually seamed in a good mood and sounded terrific.

My only wish is that somewhere - someone - has soundboard recordings from the July tour and will finally "set them free"!

this is a weighty issue

Wed Jun 25, 2003 5:13 pm

Which came first, the chicken or the egg?

I don't know what the answer here is, but I thought I might suggest that Elvis's weight being down during those two periods (summer '75 and late '76) may have been another result of whatever was going on that was responsible for his great onstage demeanor during those times, rather than the cause. But who knows.

Also, regarding his weight in '75 being possibly greater than at the end of his life, I don't know about that. I would be more likely to believe that it was the case during the summer of '76 however.

Thu Jun 26, 2003 5:49 am

Elvis was great ALL THROUGH 1975, really.

But, I agree, the summer tours -- especially the July outing -- were extra-special. And I'd say that's true not just "by the standards of 1975" or in other such qualified context.

Elvis was very energetic in Vegas in March-April, with an interesting set list (as he was during his previous Vegas outing) and a seemingly upbeat mood throughout. He was also great on the April-May tour, but I think that he got even better for the May-June one, before which he also lost quite a lot of weight. This was the last time that Elvis really looked dynamite, I think, in terms of his physique and his general projection of physical robustness. Sure, he was a bit overweight, but he wore it well as he did through much of the preceding couple of years.

And then came July -- carrying more weight now, but really giving it all he had and pulling out perhaps some of the best shows of the '70s. Still looked great, too, and the boy still knew how to rock. August in Vegas tends to get dismissed for the brevity of his stand there and for the alleged effects of his ill health, but he was still able to put on quite a spectacle and a bonus was the legacy of one-off songs from those five performances. And the December Vegas gig was fantastic....even the newspaper critics of the day noted both how good he was in his singing and performance and how fit he looked, though he'd actually packed on more weight than ever before by now. Finally, Pontiac was an event, and a near disaster, but he still did a good job.

It was a very good year. At least on stage.

Thu Jun 26, 2003 9:37 pm

Yes,Elvis was indeed amazingly good in July 1975.I was following that tour starting in Oklahoma City on July 8 and ending in Ashville on the 24th.I managed to get into 5 of the shows and I was totally swept off my feet by his performances.But the one that really sticks in my mind is the evening show Saturday July 12 in the Civic Center of Charleston,West Virginia. Talk about fireworks and sheer drama.I have never - before or since- ever witnessed the likes of that particular concert.

Elvis came on stage wearing his Indian Feather Suit and absolutely electrified the audience who stood up cheering and roaring in appreciation of his appearance.

He delivered a high-spirited and good-humoured performance with such a seemingly unendless power of energy that I kept saying to myself (and I remember this so well even today,hardly ever having mentioned it before)
How is it possible to sing with such gusto and force and look so completely happy and at ease and at the same time absolutely mesmerizing all the people in the arena ?

Pure heaven and happiness.Even those who had uttered foul things about
his persona and the superiority of the other top stars of '75 were suddenly converted into fans,shouting at the top of their lungs and jumping up and down in their seats.And that down-to-earth person called me running down
towards the stage until I bumped into Felton Jarvis who I got acquainted with previously in Memphis.Fortunately,somebody snapped some photos and I sure treasure the one with Elvis on stage only 3 metres away.

Talk about the good times.

Thu Jun 26, 2003 11:04 pm

splanky wrote:Yes,Elvis was indeed amazingly good in July 1975.I was following that tour starting in Oklahoma City on July 8 and ending in Ashville on the 24th.I managed to get into 5 of the shows and I was totally swept off my feet by his performances..

You lucky bastard :lol:

I can only imagine what a great experience this would have been for you. Sometimes I put on the CD "Gyrating Asheville", put on the loudness and surround button, turn up the volume and just trying to pretend that I'm one with the audience.....

A shame though, that this happy, upbeat spirit wasn't there when Elvis recorded the Today album. Again, most of the songs sounded a bit downbeat and sad (once again).

summer 75

Fri Jun 27, 2003 3:40 am

i was lucky to be at the ashville shows , they were unreal but one show that gets little mention is the greensboro show, i don't know of any tape but i was there and to this day i remember how strong his voice was and the crowd of 16k stayed on there feet the entire show

lucky lucky lucky!

Sat Jun 28, 2003 11:59 am

reading these memories makes the hairs stand up on my neck! It is difficult to imagine the feeling that you all must have got. Having been to see the Elvis in Concert show several times I know the feeling I got when 2001 came on and that is just with a video image! They really must have been magical times.

I agree that it would be great to one day get a soundboard from this tour. There are so many available between 74-77 that it seems strange that nothing has seen the light of day yet. It is hard to believe that no concerts were recorded particulalry once it was clear Elvis was on top form.



Sat Jun 28, 2003 9:08 pm

During the May/June tour I guess you can hear Elvis asking the audience several times whether they had seen "that movie last night on TV, 'That's The Way It Is'?", or something like that and making some jokes about it. On the other hand I guess he was pretty proud of both, the movie and the reaction when he asked the audience. At least that is my personal impression. Could have had to do with it, couldn't it? I mean TTWII featured the ultimate Elvis performance and his comeback was already 5 to 6 years in the past. I think he wanted to live up to the expectations somehow. I always noticed that he treats the oldies much better than he had done in years. Or am I wrong? Somebody else noticed that, too? :?

Sun Jun 29, 2003 12:33 am

I noticed that, too, and I've always wondered if the movie being on TV helped inspire him to kick out all the stops for the June and July tours. He did a great job, regardless.