Post here your Elvis' pictures

Tampa Sept 1970

Sun Mar 04, 2012 3:30 pm

From Lee Cotten's Did Elvis Sing in Your Hometown, Too?:
September 13, Sunday Two concerts were held in Tampa's Curtis Hixon [Hall]...each show attracted more than 7500 attendees. At the matinee, nearly everyone carried either an Instamatic camera, movie camera or tape recorder...
For all of that, these two Tampa shows are quite poorly documented: a few pictures, no home movie material and a recording of only the evening show. This is my feeble attempt to redress that balance...if ever so slightly.

Curtis Hixon Hall was an indoor sports arena, convention center, concert venue, and special events center which opened in 1965, and was torn down in 1993. Today at its location you can find a children's museum.
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The look from the stage towards the audience was something like this:
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Matinee show
Not much is known about the matinee show. It was covered by two of the local morning papers (St. Petersburg Press and Tampa Tribune)
The St. Petersburg paper said in part:
He strode out there with complete presence, consummate showmanship, and the screams went up to the rafter and the flashbulbs literally made a strobe effect in the air...Elvis vibrated as of old, lunged with hips and guitar, sang a run of songs in that very Elvis voice, which has never failed or wavered. It's a voice anyone can recognize, with its country inflections, its resonance, its intimacy - a far pleasanter and realer voice than that of, say, Eddie Fisher, his contemporary in the 1950s...And maybe the old ladies saw a successful, redeemed prodigal son, and what the teenyboppers saw, who knows? But those wearing the loafers and the short sleeved shirts and narrow ties, those with the hairdos like Elvis used to have but doesn't anymore, the hair swooping up and forward and around in a great pompadour, they knew what they were seeing: They were seeing the past, and it was still alive.

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The accompanying photos in the review were taken by Tom Bennett.

The Tribune review seemed to long for the old Elvis of the 1950s:
In the old days, in the role of a great sex symbol to millions, he was serious on stage. He sang his songs and retreated behind his guards. But now, he laughed, joked, clowned, imitated other singers and even rolled on the stage for effect. It was middle America’s day. A day to remember how things used to be. Or at least to remember how they used to seem...A man of about 45, who brought his teenage daughters, stomped to his feet to the tune of Don’t Be Cruel and shouted “give it to ‘em, Elvis, do it,” while his daughters remained calm. It was as if he was vindicating himself…showing that the “old man” was, and could still be, hip.

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The staff photo of the Tribune is taken by a Bruce M.?

A fan recalled the roll on the floor from these Tampa shows:
On Sept. 13, 1970, at the Curtis Hixon Hall in Tampa, Fla., my husband and I went to see Elvis in concert. He was totally awesome! At one point he laid down on the stage and said "Well I think I'll finish the show from here folks, but then maybe not; I might get attacked." Then he got up. When he threw a scarf into the audience I almost got it, but a woman in front of me jumped up and got it. But I did get a very sexy look and smile from him.

A photo set from this matinee has floated around for a longest time, and I've probably dated those for every other show on this tour (where he wore the Chain suit) at one time or another. Then finally one of the photos showed a band member in white in the background and the real date was eventually clinched. :)
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Evening show
A little bit more is known of the evening show. First of all, one of the iconic Elvis shots is taken from that show. I'm talking about the one on the cover of Readers Digest Greatest Hits set. That set played a big part in me becoming a fan, but that's another story... :wink:
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This photo is very professional looking and one suspects it was taken by the same photographer responsible for the Phoenix photos on the back cover of TTWII LP. My understanding is that those were taken a RCA photographer whose work in Vegas the previous August had impressed the Colonel enough for him to invite that guy to cover the first tour. I wonder if more of his (whoever "he" is) photos are in the Graceland archives somewhere...?

A recording of the show is available but I have not heard it. The song lineup reveals how short these first tour shows were - they really should have lasted longer than 50 minutes...
That’s All Right - I Got a Woman/Amen - Love Me Tender - In the Ghetto - I’ve Lost You - You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feeling - Polk Salad Annie - Introductions - Johnny B Goode - The Wonder of You - Heartbreak Hotel - Blue Suede Shoes/Whole lotta Shakin Goin’ On - Hound Dog - Bridge Over Troubled Water - Suspicious Minds - Funny How Time Slips Away- Can’t Help Falling in Love
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The local evening papers (Evening Independent & Tampa Times) were in attendance. The Independent published a short picture article while the Times may have run an actual review, which I've yet to locate. They did publish pictures.
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The Independent photos were by Larry Alspaugh whereas the Times photos (on the bottom) were taken by Rick Norcross, who recalled later:
Elvis Presley, Curtis Hixon Hall, Tampa, 1971; The last Elvis tour before he gained a ton of weight and started his slide. I was front row left shooting available light (no flash). The police threw out a New York Times photographer but let me continue to shoot as they knew me from having covered the music beat in Tampa for two years by then.
One of the Norcross photos, which later turned up in a Lichter book:
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Apart from 4 of these Norcross photos and two others I have not seen any photos from this show - hopefully some more would turn up as this is the only tour show where he wore the Metal Eye suit (or whatever it's called...)
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And, err... that's it, actually. Not much, but these 1970 tours are generally so badly documented I thought I'd give it a try. If anyone can anything of informational value, please feel free to do so. :D
Last edited by Tom Wilson on Tue Apr 17, 2012 11:47 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Sun Mar 04, 2012 9:49 pm

nevermind 50 min. some of those september 1970 shows barely made it to 40-45 minutes!!!! That's a crime. This was his first tour since the 50's and the shows were shorter than Vegas. and the setlists were not even as good as the ones in Vegas. makes absolutely no sense. it's a shame because he looked great and was in his prime. The tour in 1971 was so much better. Better setlists and much longer shows.

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Mon Mar 05, 2012 2:00 am

Great post. Thanks for sharing Tom Wilson ::rocks

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:08 am

Great post.

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Curtis Hixon Convention Hall (circa 1970)
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Tiger Man in Tampa
http://www.elvis-collectors.com/ccshowrev20.html

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:08 am

Great post! Thanks.

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Mon Mar 05, 2012 12:55 pm

Ho, I agree ! Great post ::rocks Thanks for sharing !

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Mon Mar 05, 2012 6:32 pm

Well done !

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Mon Apr 16, 2012 6:28 pm

Just found this online - the Tampa Times review mentioned above. :smt023
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Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Mon Apr 16, 2012 9:35 pm

Fantastic work, Tom Wilson! Man, did Elvis look superb, and the shows, however long, were memorable. Don't forget this tour was piggy-backed after a full month of Vegas shows, which had been preceded by two months marked by studio sessions and live band rehearsals.

Thank you for sharing. More please!!!

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:31 am

Can't believe i missed this thread, many thanks Tom i always thought that he looked awesome during this concert more than any other.

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:41 pm

When I was six years old we lived right down the street from the hotel (it was then called the International Inn) Elvis stayed at for this Tampa concert. My mother took my two brothers and I to see Elvis leave the hotel for the matinee show. There was a small crowd of fans waiting by his limo.

When Elvis strode out in his white suit, I was thunderstruck to see my mom go weak in the knees. She said to him "Elvis you're a living doll!" and he smiled said "Thank you m'am".

That was my introduction to Elvis.

I've always wanted to find somebody who had a snapshot from that hotel exit. I recall even a professional photographer was there with a flash so big, Elvis shielded his eyes even though it was daylight out.

Thanks for the post.

- John
johnstarr1@aol.com

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Sat Oct 05, 2013 10:50 pm

Thank you very much for your story, John, you're very luck but you already know that, right? :wink: To see Elvis in 1970...what a dream, i love 70 shows.
This is what i have from September 13, 1970 Tampa, leaving the hotel - i hope this photo is from Tampa, but maibe you'll tell better.
After i read your post i'm not so sure this is from Tampa, he was wearing his glases in the photo - i can't wait to read your next post.
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Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:31 pm

hilton22000 wrote:Thank you very much for your story, John, you're very luck but you already know that, right? :wink: To see Elvis in 1970...what a dream, i love 70 shows.
This is what i have from September 13, 1970 Tampa, leaving the hotel - i hope this photo is from Tampa, but maibe you'll tell better.
After i read your post i'm not so sure this is from Tampa, he was wearing his glases in the photo - i can't wait to read your next post.


Thanks, I recently saw this photo from another source. There is no way to positively ID it as Tampa, but it is ID'd in the Kieran Davis book as being his Sept 13th 1970 Tampa hotel exit.

It certainly "resonates" with my 43 year old memory of the event, and is a dead-on match for the basic spatial "blocking" (locations) of everything from Elvis, to the Limo -- even it's apparent angle -- to the hint of the old stairwell I grew up playing in (dark area behind Elvis). I can even point to the spot on an old aerial photo postcard of the now-gone hotel and ID the exact spot Elvis exited (back/side exit) But none of that is unique or clear enough to say for certain "yup! this is a photo from there!"

If it is the International Inn where we were, the dark area behind and to the right of Elvis was an open stairwell where my mom said she was standing up one level that day. I would have been just to the left and behind the man in the blue and white striped shirt/vest, near our old green station wagon -- which I recall mom kind of illegally parked in haste.

I do remember a well dressed man holding a large camera right where this guy in the blue/white shirt is in this photo. And I do remember the limo, of course.

My brothers and I are unclear which exit we saw: Elvis did two shows that day 4 miles from the hotel, and he did come back to the hotel between shows. One was an evening show. Close scrutiny indicates that the jump suit he seems to be wearing in this shot matches the one known shot of him on stage for the matinee show (he changed it for the night show) So if this is Sept 13th, he is likely leaving for the matinee show.

I remember it being daylight, but it is possible I saw an evening exit with twilight and/or bright parking lot lights. I have an above average long term memory, but it ain't perfect. I'm not positive I recall him wearing sunglasses, but I seem to recall that being part of my childhood confusion as to why he would shield his eyes from the guy with the camera/flash, in daylight.

And the very clear memory of the guy with the big camera does throw things off a bit; as kid I wondered why he had a giant flash bowl on the camera in the middle of the day. That's why I remember it; it seemed odd. I don't recall if he actually popped the flash. As a trained photographer now, I know now that using flash in daylight is not at all uncommon in some situations with pro's to fill in shadows cast by bright light. Then again, I might have been at the evening exit...

Of course, the only solid proof that would be an un-cropped photo that showed my brothers, mother or I. That would be adorable! And unlikely.

Thanks for the higher resolution photo. I don't suppose you have an un=cropped version?

John
Last edited by RB2 on Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Wed Oct 16, 2013 10:27 pm

Who is the guy with the sunglasses? Looks to be an entourage member, but not someone I recognize.

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:05 am

i have wondered that too. he is in more than one picture from that tour.

Re: Tampa Sept 1970

Sun Oct 20, 2013 2:16 am

elvisjock wrote:Who is the guy with the sunglasses? Looks to be an entourage member, but not someone I recognize.


He might be one of Presley first cousin (and Graceland gate guard) Harold Loyd's sons, Roger or Larry.


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With Joe Esposito, Vernon Presley, Larry Loyd, Red West leaving Tampa, FL - Monday, September 14, 1970