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Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:18 am

For those who may be recalling this great show, here is an article that will come out in the local Pittsburgh magazine remembering the show.

http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Pitts ... the-Clock/

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:38 am

thanks for sharing this article. My husband and I both have the vinyl, and FTD of this show, plus he has a 30 minute video of this concert. A real shame it wasn't broadcast on live TV as a new years' eve special. Isn't this show the most bootleged Elvis concert of all time? Elvis only ever did two new years' eve shows and this one is the most remembered of the two.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Tue Jan 01, 2013 3:54 am

DJL wrote:For those who may be recalling this great show, here is an article that will come out in the local Pittsburgh magazine remembering the show.

http://www.pittsburghmagazine.com/Pittsburgh-Magazine/January-2013/Rock-Around-the-Clock/


Someone needs to send them a nice color photo from the show, like some of the ones (by Bob Heis?) that graced this wonderful December 1977 double LP set of the show:


771201_Rockin_FRONT.JPG


771201_Rockin_BACK.JPG
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Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Tue Jan 01, 2013 7:22 am

Good point Doc. Not impressed with the photo included in the article.

sgoodyear, your right this would have been an awesome new years eve special. Although it's interesting because it was super cold snowy in Pittsburgh like it is here tonight.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Tue Jan 01, 2013 2:03 pm

Ty DJL for sharing this - Its a good show that Elvis gave I think from 31/12 /76 -


Every New Years eve i tend to play the Lp or cds or watch this on dvd and such
to remember this -
And to bring in the New Year - Love It -
::rocks
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Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Tue Jan 01, 2013 4:18 pm

I was lucky enough to attend quite a few concerts, including 4/09/72. But when me and two of my 17 y.o. friends decided to take a road trip (by plane) to Pittsburgh, we had the best time! We weren't even carded for our beer at the coliseum! But damn it was cold, the floor beneath the auditorium covered an ice rink I believe.......worst yet, was the foot run back to the Hilton in the snow because the cabs were all taken! Wonderful memories...Happy New Year Everybody!

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Tue Jan 01, 2013 5:54 pm

Here is my ticket stub- I recently sold this item as I am in the process of selling some items. I've been lucky enough to attend many great landmark concerts by Elvis on the east coast.
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Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:19 am

Greybeard wrote:Here is my ticket stub- I recently sold this item as I am in the process of selling some items. I've been lucky enough to attend many great landmark concerts by Elvis on the east coast.

76 12 31 stub.jpg




Please, tell us more about seeing the 12-31-1976 Pittsburgh show.

I lived with that audience recording for years, and can recite just about the entire thing by memory. Yes, it was Elvis in 1976, but he really gave the 20,000 a heck of a show and New Year.

Was it the same being there? Better? Worse?
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Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:34 am

It was much better- it was a shock to see how far he had fallen by February 1977. In fact, by the time I saw him last in Philadelphia that year I wondered if I could actually endure another concert with him in the shape he was in by then.

Pittsburgh was an amazing event for those of us lucky enough to witness it. The audience recording, though good, doesn't come close to matching the experience of being there.

Incidentally, those photos on the famous LP - the center front shot as well as the rear shot were taken by the same person who recorded the show (John Herman). Bob Heis and John Herman were standing virtually next to each other at that show (Bob can be heard constantly yelling to Elvis on the Herman tape). we were all there in the same group of seats. I have many of Herman's slides that he shot at the show. They vary in usability as photography on film tends to be. I cannot share them unfortunately.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:38 am

I'm not sure who took these 2 photos of the December 31, 1976 show - does anyone know?

Image

Image

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:01 am

paulsweeney wrote:I'm not sure who took these 2 photos of the December 31, 1976 show - does anyone know?

Image

Image


I believe I posted those recently. Found them on eBay, with no credits mentioned.

I listened to the show from start to finish yesterday. Yes, he oversang in some spots (as he did throughout that brief tour.) But by God, I'll tell you something, friend, he was on fire that night. No fooling around. Early in the show, he directs the band to watch the tempos. He speaks clearly, offering heartfelt wishes for the year ahead. He mercifully and abruptly ends the band solos when he tells Briggs to "go straight to Love Letters." He takes requests. And then, to make the night complete, he plays guitar and piano. I have a feeling the show would have continued, were it not for the woman who pissed him off before he started Rags To Riches. ("Don't TELL me to play it. I will when I get ready. Do you understand me?")

And, he looks really good. It's one of a handful of times in '76 where he not only looked thinner but also healthier in the face. It boggles the mind to think that this is the same guy who was practically in tears from depression, a few weeks earlier in Vegas, or who we'd see blown up like a parade balloon on the 1977 tours. I bought the bootleg album at an Elvis expo at the Auburn Mall (Auburn, Massachusetts) in '78 or '79. Even then, as a young jock, it puzzled me that he looked so good in the album photos (especially the profile shot on the back), yet seemed so heavy when I saw him in person earlier in that same year.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 2:47 pm

Greybeard wrote:It was much better- it was a shock to see how far he had fallen by February 1977. In fact, by the time I saw him last in Philadelphia that year I wondered if I could actually endure another concert with him in the shape he was in by then.

Pittsburgh was an amazing event for those of us lucky enough to witness it. The audience recording, though good, doesn't come close to matching the experience of being there.

Incidentally, those photos on the famous LP - the center front shot as well as the rear shot were taken by the same person who recorded the show (John Herman). Bob Heis and John Herman were standing virtually next to each other at that show (Bob can be heard constantly yelling to Elvis on the Herman tape). we were all there in the same group of seats. I have many of Herman's slides that he shot at the show. They vary in usability as photography on film tends to be. I cannot share them unfortunately.


What about being there exceeds the thrill of the bootleg recording? Just the sheer charisma? Or were you close enough to make eye contact during the show?

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:17 pm

elvisjock wrote:I have a feeling the show would have continued, were it not for the woman who pissed him off before he started Rags To Riches. ("Don't TELL me to play it. I will when I get ready. Do you understand me?")


That's not quite what Presley says or what actually happens.

A gal near the front -- and super-fan John Herman's tape recorder -- responds to Elvis and he quickly replies, with his tongue set firmly in cheek. She was being cute and so was he, there was no aggression.

From the 12-31-1976 recording:

Elvis: This next one is a song that I recorded about six years ago. Anyway, I'm gonna do it.

Woman: Play it!

Elvis (mock voice): Don't tell me when to play it, I will when I get ready, you understand me?

(Crowd laughs)

Elvis (to band): Key of E.


Perhaps our own Greybeard can confirm this.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:24 pm

It's so nice to hear anecdotes from that magical evening, even the running back to the Hilton, makes it come to life again. Thank you, and Please tell us some more.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:27 pm

Does anyone know who shot the blurry video, about 40 mins long? And would anyone know if the original is sharper? Would be great to have that in good quality.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:33 pm

Wiebe wrote:Does anyone know who shot the blurry video, about 40 mins long? And would anyone know if the original is sharper? Would be great to have that in good quality.


If you're speaking of the quality close-up footage, it was shot by the same guy who recorded the known tape, John Herman.

Apparently, back in the day, Herman lent his original, crystal-clear footage to someone he trusted, and it was never returned. After that, copies began appearing all over the fan market. This is one reason he does not share his archive anymore.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 3:39 pm

I actually mean the angle that is slightly more to the left and has Elvis full length and the band. I had a VHS copy once that had original sound. I believe CC rider is complete and most of the well well well banter and much more, Hurt is in it and the Karate moves.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:00 pm

Next to the awesome close ups, there's this cool balcony (second ring behind the mixing desk?) angle footage, where the whole stage is displayed.
We're very fortunate that this legendary concert was documented so well in audio, video and pictures.

I can fully imagine the disappointment by the fans who saw the developments as of February.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 4:15 pm

That's also great footage. I could only dream of having all this film digitally remastered.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 6:29 pm

drjohncarpenter wrote:
elvisjock wrote:I have a feeling the show would have continued, were it not for the woman who pissed him off before he started Rags To Riches. ("Don't TELL me to play it. I will when I get ready. Do you understand me?")


That's not quite what Presley says or what actually happens.

A gal near the front -- and super-fan John Herman's tape recorder -- responds to Elvis and he quickly replies, with his tongue set firmly in cheek. She was being cute and so was he, there was no aggression.

From the 12-31-1976 recording:

Elvis: This next one is a song that I recorded about six years ago. Anyway, I'm gonna do it.
W
Woman: Play it!

Mock is in the ear of the beholder. It is typical behavior for someone on as much speed as he seemed to be at the time.

Elvis (mock voice): Don't tell me when to play it, I will when I get ready, you understand me?

(Crowd laughs)

Elvis (to band): Key of E.


Perhaps our own Greybeard can confirm this.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 8:42 pm

elvisjock wrote:
drjohncarpenter wrote:
elvisjock wrote:I have a feeling the show would have continued, were it not for the woman who pissed him off before he started Rags To Riches. ("Don't TELL me to play it. I will when I get ready. Do you understand me?")


That's not quite what Presley says or what actually happens.

A gal near the front -- and super-fan John Herman's tape recorder -- responds to Elvis and he quickly replies, with his tongue set firmly in cheek. She was being cute and so was he, there was no aggression.

From the 12-31-1976 recording:

Elvis: This next one is a song that I recorded about six years ago. Anyway, I'm gonna do it.
W
Woman: Play it!

Mock is in the ear of the beholder. It is typical behavior for someone on as much speed as he seemed to be at the time.

Elvis (mock voice): Don't tell me when to play it, I will when I get ready, you understand me?

(Crowd laughs)

Elvis (to band): Key of E.


Perhaps our own Greybeard can confirm this.


I don't hear any aggression in Elvis' voice.
He was joking with her.
He was having fun that night.
The show was not going to go on too much more.
They were well past midnight, and the piano segment was usually near the end of a show.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:01 pm

He was easily agitated, just as he was in Birmingham, when he told an audience member to "shut up." Speed'll do that to you.

I agree, the show was probably over, or just about over at that point. Rags To Riches was a natural point to "take it on home." Still, the audience member was rude, and Elvis responded in kind.

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:07 pm

elvisjock wrote:He was easily agitated, just as he was in Birmingham, when he told an audience member to "shut up." Speed'll do that to you.

I agree, the show was probably over, or just about over at that point. Rags To Riches was a natural point to "take it on home." Still, the audience member was rude, and Elvis responded in kind.


One of the funniest Elvis reactions ever must be right before Jerry's bass solo somewhere in May '77.
A fan is screaming "Nooo" right before the start and Elvis shouts "Shasssh"! or something like that... followed by a laughing crowd :wink:

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:29 pm

elvisjock wrote:He was easily agitated, just as he was in Birmingham, when he told an audience member to "shut up." Speed'll do that to you.

I agree, the show was probably over, or just about over at that point. Rags To Riches was a natural point to "take it on home." Still, the audience member was rude, and Elvis responded in kind.


Nothing in Elvis' tone of voice indicates anything but good hunour. And I don't recall a whole lot of speed-inflected chattering during the show, either.

Let's not bring down a topic discussing perhaps the last excellent professional night of his life.

Greybeard, you were there -- is the interplay between Elvis and that female fan good-natured?

Re: Remembering Pittsburgh 1976

Wed Jan 02, 2013 10:32 pm

Doc...I believe that the comment was tongue in cheek also..I was on the floor near stage and very close to John Herman.

The question about the out of focus footage is valid...that particular long film was shot completely out of focus. I have that footage and sold my reels of the film some years back. I did not film it though. How or why it was filmed that way we can only guess. I had a similar thing happen when I took a new Super 8 movie camera to Philly...not knowing exactly how it operated left me with 80% of the film shot with that camera being out of focus.

As for the feeling of being there as opposed to listening to the recording...well it is like night and day. Experiencing what was such an unexpectedly good performance was a treat. John had spoken to me about Elvis' appearance in Vegas just weeks before so I was prepared for the worst. It was really something to see him looking more fit than just weeks earlier and in good spirits.

Listening to a show for those who were there evokes memories of what you saw and heard. That is why I am always amazed at discussions about "best shows" by folks who never saw the actual event. You cannot simply assume what you hear is the way it went down. The comment made earlier about Elvis being agitated for example. Without witnessing the sly smile that follows such a comment changes the way you perceive the moment. One concert that always comes to mind is the way people think the last Philly show was an Ok show- yet I being there know how incredibly sad it really was.

Another thing that happens because of how busy people like us who were recording, photographing, filming etc is that we were so caught up in what we were archiving we really didn't fully enjoy the event. Oh sure we had a great time but it was like we were "working" the event as well. John Herman shot over 20 minutes of film.ran 2 cassette recorders.and shot over 175 photos. While I assisted in the process it still took focus off the event for us.

After I returned home from Pittsburgh I sent a note off to Elvis wishing him a Happy Birthday and telling him what I witnessed in that show. I went on to tell him thanks for the entertainment he had given us all through the years- a tradition I have continued with those around Elvis I have had the pleasure to correspond or chat with- from Scotty & DJ to John Wilkinson I thank them all.

John & I discussed this concert quite a bit in January and when he told me how terrible Elvis looked when back on the road in February we were puzzled. We also discussed what might happen if he indeed should pass away. Little did we know that very event would occur in 6 short months.