From Down Under

 

Elvis In Concert July 1975

    Part Two

 by Geoffrey Mc Donnell (Australia)

 

For his first appearance in Springfield Elvis wore a brand ‘ new ’ suit the Gypsy Suit. During the actual performance on 14th July Elvis didn’t seem to be in a ‘ good mood ’ he quickly threw away his guitar ( after it emitted a loud buzz ) throwing it to a young woman saying ” whoever got the guitar can keep the dammed thing-I don’t need it anyway ” As often as he looked bored he also threw away lyrics with his scarves and  Newspapers described his waistline as ‘ pudgy ’ and ‘ conspicuously ample ” however the reviewer DID note that during THE highlight of the show How Great Thou Art that Elvis did display a potent set of pipes!. The audience were ‘ ecstatic ’ after that performance.

        

Cathi Avenell © Springfield,MA July 14th, 1975 evening show       

Springfield, MA July 14th E/S Civic Center

C. C. Rider; I Got A Woman/Amen; Big Boss Man; 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 & Solos; T.R.O.U.B.L.E; Why Me Lord; How Great Thou Art-with reprise; Let Me Be There; Heartbreak Hotel; Funny How Times Slip Away; Little Darling; Mystery Train/Tiger Man; Can't Help Falling In Love

Gypsy Star Suit

9,000  

So after the first show in Springfield Elvis changed into his “ Aztec Suit ”, however once again during the show Elvis didn’t appear to be in a good mood at all. He appeared MEAN and threw away another guitar to the crowd- thankfully from Burning Love onwards Elvis’s mood loosened up quite a bit and appeared to be enjoying himself.  

 

Springfield, MA July 15th E/S Civic Center     r/t 70 minutes

C. C. 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 & Solos; T.R.O.U.B.L.E; Why Me Lord; You Gave Me a Mountain; Let Me Be There; Heartbreak Hotel; Funny How Times Slip Away; Little Darling; Mystery Train/Tiger Man; Can't Help Falling In Love

Sabre Tooth Tiger

9,000

Still having based his stay in Connecticut he performed on 16th July at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum in New Haven. Still wearing a cleaned “ Aztec Suit ”  and tonight he also appeared well and happy- he even changed song line up to include You don’t have to say you Love me and I’ll Remember You.

 

Cathi Avenell © New Haven,CT July 16th, 1975 evening show

New Haven, CT July 16th E/S Veteran's Memorial Coliseum

C. C Rider; I Got A Woman/Amen; Big Boss Man; 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; You Don't Have to Say You Love Me; Burning Love; Introductions & Solos; T.R.O.U.B.L.E; I'll Remember You; How Great Thou Art; Let Me Be There; Funny How Times Slip Away; Little Darling; Mystery Train/Tiger Man; Can't Help Falling In Love

Gypsy Star Suit

10,800  

 New Haven, CT July 17th E/S Veteran's Memorial Coliseum

2001 theme; C.C. Rider; I Got A Woman-Amen; Big Boss Man; Love Me; If You Love Me Let Me Know; Love Me Tender; All Shook Up; Teddy Bear- Don't Be Cruel; Hound Dog; The Wonder Of You; Burning Love; band intros; T.R.O.U.B.L.E; Why Me Lord?; Heartbreak Hotel; Let Me Be There; You Gave Me A Mountain; Funny How Time Slips Away; Little Darlin'; Mystery Train - Tiger Man; Can't Help Falling In Love - closing vamp.

Sabre Tooth Tiger

10,920

Fan Pete Dube thought this 1975 show was super! Elvis sang with the same level of enthusiasm, power, and volume as the Americas' Own shows 2 days later. Appearance wise he still looked great despite his stomach area looking kinda swollen (he wore the "gypsy" suit). But he was still incredibly handsome, he didn't have the bloated, pale, sickly, weak-eyed look that he got in 76. He was very animated, particularly on the "gyration" numbers "Burning Love" and the "Mystery Train"-"Tiger Man" medley. But Pete was most impressed by how strong he sang. He damn near raised the roof with the power of his voice on the choruses of "You Gave Me A Mountain", and "Big Boss Man" & "Let Me Be There" were 2 other vocal highlights that really impressed! One more thing I'd like to mention is that his presence, charisma, whatever you want to call it was truly magnetic! It was like he exuded an aura.   

Cleveland, OH July 18th E/S Track Listing Available  

2001 Theme;C. C. Rider; I Got A Woman/Amen; Big Boss Man; Love Me; If You Love Me Let Know; Love Me Tender; All Shook Up; Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel; Hound Dog; The Wonder Of You; You Don't Have To Say You Love Me; Burning Love; Introductions & Solos; Happy Birthday; T.R.O.U.B.L.E; I should Have Been Crucified (Stamps);Why Me Lord; Let Me Be There; Heartbreak Hotel; Funny How Times Slip Away; Little Darling; It's Now Or Never; Mystery Train/Tiger Man; Dialogue; Can't Help Falling In Love...

75mins AV/Q

Coliseum

Gypsy Star

21,000

Elvis here returned to Cleveland to give a 2nd show in the same arena. Without doubt this 2nd show was much better!. Elvis sounds enthusiastic right from the start of the show.Ed Enoch got Happy Birthday sung to him and just before closing this show Elvis gave his most lengthy dialogue all about how hard the crew with him and onstage were working hard to give the best show possible. The fans seemed to go most wild with his performance of ‘ It’s Now or Never ’. The only ‘ bad ’ thing happening from Cleveland onwards was Elvis’s bad mouthing of Kathy Westmoreland. saying during her intro “ Kathy used to be a Sunday School Smoker ”

Elvis flew into New York City arriving at Kennedy Airport at 1.30am As he emerged from his plane it was noted he looked ‘ very healthy ’ in Dark Sunglasses and smoking a cigar. A hundred fans were on hand to greet him. One fan, after seeing Elvis up close, wrote '’ What one notices most is his great staure,what a fine,handsome,pleasant man he is with such a beautiful smile ” Indeed pictures taken around this time show Jerry, Red and crew paying 100% attention that the doors are open for Elvis getting into or out of cars whilst Elvis himself often carry’s a small tub of peanuts with him-he almost looks like a ‘ God ’ himself here and also did during his 2 Nassau appearances on 19th July.                               

 

Uniondale, NY July 19th A/S CD Americas Own

2001 Theme; C. C. Rider;Dialogue; I Got A Woman/Amen; Big Boss Man; Love Me; Dialogue; If You Love Me Let Me Know; Love Me Tender; All Shook Up; Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel; Hound Dog; The Wonder Of You; Trying To Get To You; Burning Love; Introductions/Johnny B.Goode/Chicken Pickin'/Solos/Hail Hail Rock'n'Roll; T.R.O.U.B.L.E; Heartbreak Hotel; Killing Me Softly (Voice); Let Me Be There; Bosom Of Abraham/You Better Run; You Gave Me A Mountain; Little Darling; Mystery Train/Tiger Man; Funny How Times Slip Away; Can't Help Falling In Love

Sound +++-

Nassau Coliseum

Sabre Tooth Tiger

16,500

This is a fine show and without the best of the tour so far…he starts joking during I Got a Woman singing ‘ Woman way across Georgia ’ ( a reference to Diana Goodman? )and saying ‘ where am I? ’, ’oh yes I know where I am! ’. The long drum ending to Amen is exceptional and after welcoming everyone to the show a woman tossed a Bra at him landing on stage. Elvis picked it up and read the attached note ‘ love Joanne ’ Elvis searched the crowd and found Joanne and asked her not to take anything else off before commenting that the Bra must be ‘ Z ’ size for Zebra! After Love Me Elvis asks the crowd to take care that no-one gets hurt running down the aisles, but apart from that just ‘ let it go ’ with which the crowd REALLY began to loosen up!. The next 6 songs seemed to be sung very well tenderly and affectionate with the crowd. Both The Wonder of You and Trying to Get to You are very well sung and very strong. Burning Love is another standout performance leading into the band introductions.

 Unfortunately during the introductions Elvis manages to overstep the mark on 3 of the introductions. First he introduces the Stamps individually and highlights Ed Enoch as being someone mentioned in the bible, then Bill Baize gets introduced as “ one of the straightest guy’s of the group and by that Elvis says he means he has no qualms about showing his affection in public! ”, Then Kathy gets introduced saying “ She takes affection wherever she can get it-Kathy Westmoreland ”. Next Elvis says he has “ never figured this guy out-John Wilkinson because he went on a blind date one time ” ( one has to wonder hear if BOTH Kathy and John getting ‘ negative ’ remarks in the same show was this because John & Kathy had a date??, or because in 1970 Elvis ‘ stole ’ John’s date with Kathy?).

Steve Toli © Uniondale,NY July 19th, 1975 matinee show

Thankfully after this James Burton plays J.B.Goode before at Elvis’s request also playing his ‘ Chicken Picking ’ Following his new single which Elvis performed well all this tour a quite strong Heartbreak Hotel led into another request for Voice to perform their version of ‘ Killing me Softly ’. After Let me be There Elvis very unusually gets Charlie Hodge to help him sing and set up an impromptu version of Bosom of Abraham/You’d Better Run- which is yet another unexpected highlight in this great show!. After You Gave Me Mountain –with a few changed lyrics the rest of the show was somewhat ‘ routine ’ except that he gets J.D to repeat the end of Funny how time slips away and also jokes around with a fan wanting both a scarf and a kiss by showing her a scarf and here’s the kiss on the scarf instead of her!. 

Musically this has been an outstanding show and only during the introductions did his Humour not tickle the funny bone. Why even Joe Guercio got given a ring up on stage!. Critic John Rockwell of the New York times wrote that ‘ when he is putting out as he did Saturday afternoon ,reaching for the top notes and shaping phrases with the same easy individuality that has always marked his best work, he is still the king ’. Col Parker, hearing about this ‘bad intro ‘behavior was at first subtle requesting Elvis to sing "You'll Never Walk Alone." At the Evening Show.

 

Uniondale, NY July 19th E/S CD America's Own Vol. 2

C. C. Rider; I Got A Woman/Amen-long version; Big Boss Man; Love Me; If You Love Me Let Me Know; Love Me Tender-near solo version; All Shook Up; Teddy Bear; Hound Dog; The Wonder Of You; Polk Salad Annie; Introductions/ Solos; T.R.O.U.B.L.E; Why Me Lord How Great Thou Art-with reprise; Let Me Be There; You'll Never Walk Alone-with reprise; Funny How Times Slip Away; Little Darling; I'm Leaving'; Dialogue;Can't Help Falling In Love

Sound ++-

Nassau Coliseum

Gypsy Star

16,500

Musically the Evening show was just as good as the Afternoon show and containing other ‘ rare ’ and not often performed highlights. Big Boss Man was again outstanding and Elvis actually sings most of Love me Tender on his own before anyone else joins in ( cause you take the pill version ) maybe here the Sweets were NOT singing because of Kathy’s intro? Polk Salad was the result tonight from the audience and I’m Leavin' was quite a surprise too. Biggest surprise was an incredible version of You’ll Never Walk Alone performed by Elvis at the piano which caused one rock critic to remark after woods that his rendition of the song showed ’ The power and emotion that established him as the King of Rock n’Roll ’. Even How Great Thou Art stunned fans with his sheer power as Elvis held the notes exclaiming for a long time and reprised the ending. Unfortunatly at this Evening Show after again saying that “ Bill Baize has no qualms about showing affection in public ”  Elvis says about Kathy “ Kathy Westmoreland will show affection anywhere in fact she gets it from the whole band ( affection you fool ) ”( Maybe another reference to John Wilkinson? )  Elvis here seemed to be making Kathy’s introduction as if they were in a boxing ring!.

Shortly after this show Elvis flew out of Kennedy Airport to land at Piedmont Aviation next to Norfolk Airport ,between 1 and 2am. Elvis immediately disappeared to the Holiday Inn across the street from the ‘ new ’ Scope arena. Despite ‘ press ’ reports that the Afternoon Show in Norfolk went ‘ Smoothly ’ it did not as insults from Elvis during the band Introductions reached a climax.   

Carol Wheeler © Norfolk,VA July 20th, 1975 matinee show

Norfolk, VA July 20th A/S Audio

C, C Rider; I Got A Woman/Amen; Big Boss Man; Love Me-false start; If You Love Me Let Me Know; Love Me Tender-false start; All Shook Up; Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel; Hound Dog; The Wonder Of You; Polk Salad Annie; Introductions & Solos; J.B.Goode;Suzie Q; T.R.O.U.B.L.E; Why Me Lord; How Great Thou Art-with reprise; Let Me Be There; Funny How Times Slip Away-with reprise ending; Little Darling; Mystery Train/Tiger Man; dialogue; Promised Land; Can't Help Falling In Love

Sound +++ 82mins

Scope Cultural Convention Center

Navy Blue Phoenix

11,300

Early on in the show Elvis made an off hand remark that the arena looked like a spaceship, Later during the strobe lighting affect of Tiger Man Elvis quipped “ I told you we’re taking off! ” Song highlights were many including Big Boss Man, a ‘ rare ’ version of Susie Q  and yet another over the top strong version of How Great Thou Art. Introductions started by saying that he ” has seen an aggressive change in Bill Baize who used to show off affection in public. ” “ The little girl that does the high voiced singing, she’s from Los Angeles- she’ll take affection anywhere, from anybody, anytime from anywhere in the world-Kathy Westmoreland ”. Kathy just gave Elvis the finger after this. Apart from the bad mouthing Norfolk A/S is pretty much up to the same energy standard as yesterday’s Afternoon show.   

Norfolk, VA July 20 E/S Track Listing Available

C, C Rider;Dialogue; I Got A Woman/Amen-twice!; Love Me; If You Love Me Let Me Know; Love Me Tender; All Shook Up; Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel; Hound Dog; The Wonder Of You; Polk Salad Annie; Introductions & Solos; T.R.O.U.B.L.E; Why Me Lord; How Great Thou Art-with reprise; Let Me Be There; Funny How Times Slip Away-with repeat ending; Little Darling; Mystery Train/Tiger Man/Can't Help Falling In Love/Closing closing vamp.

AV/Q

Scope Cultural Convention Center

Black Phoenix

11,300

Tom Diskin talked Joe Esposito into telling Elvis ( just before he went on stage ) to STOP bad mouthing Kathy during her intro- which fired Elvis right up like a red flag to a bull! Straight after the first song Elvis decided to mention what it was like having 11,000 fans breathing on him-he said he smelt “ Garlic and Green Onions and that the Sweet Inspirations  had been eating Catfish ”. Then the show continues normally with a STRONG version of Hound Dog then Elvis remarks adding ‘ This show maybe ‘ old hat’ to you, but this audience haven’t seen it before ’ ‘ Stamps, Sweets, if you don’t look up I’m going to kick your ass ’.The Wonder of You and Polk Salad Annie are well sung then . During the Intros Kathy at first gets a more ‘ normal ’ intro first with Elvis saying “ The little girl with the high voice singing is from Los Angeles her name is Kathy Westmoreland ”…then he adds the ‘ sting ’ “ If you don’t like the way I introduce you and can’t take it, then get off the spot! ”.  

photographer unknown © Norfolk,VA July 20th, 1975 evening show

During this show the Sweet Inspirations and Kathy Westmoreland walked off because these comments by Elvis towards them. Only Myrna Smith remained on stage to which Elvis took off one of his rings and gave it to her as a gesture-at first she didn’t accept it but then did eventually. Oddly enough to a ‘ casual ’ listener to this Evening show you may be almost unaware that anything is going on indeed many fans may have thought it was just a part of the show?!. Tom Diskin talked the Sweets into performing at the next show in Greensboro but Kathy Westmoreland missed this show.

Elvis flew to Greensboro straight after this show. Whilst Elvis was in Greensboro he saw a local dentist twice to take care of an infected tooth. first visit to a Dr J.Baxter Caldwell was at 5am to have the abscessed tooth cared for. The tooth was under a bridge that covered a gap in his lower bicuspid already Caldwell removed the bridge and opened the tooth allowing it to drain and relieve the pressure. The bridge was left out.

On returning to his hotel Elvis dined on a tray of cantaloupe, honeydew melon, apple slices, banana chunks, grapes and cottage cheese before retiring. Elvis eat breakfast at 5pm of an omelet and fruit. During Elvis’s 8.30pm show at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum Elvis apologized to the Sweet Inspirations ” for any embarrassment I may have caused you ” All seemed to go well after that. In actual fact it was yet another good show ( despite Kathy being missing ) Early on he told the crowd about his dentist visit and performed very well as normal indeed Dick Conrad’s local review noted that Elvis “ sent shock waves through the crowd ”. He summed up the show, writing, “gurgling into the microphone, swaying like the Elvis of old and singing at least as well, Presley more than satisfied the faithfull”.

Only the fact that Elvis sat down on stage after Polk Salad Annie gave any indication of anything wrong ( something he also did a lot during his Las Vegas August shows before canceling ) Elvis had a LOT of fun later in the show when 7 year old boy Mitch was brought on stage wearing a jumpsuit just like Elvis. Straight after the show at 1am on 22nd Elvis returned to Dr.Caldwell to have the rough Edges on the problem tooth smoothed.Dr. Caldwell also advised Elvis to have root canal on the tooth-for this visit Elvis was accompanied by Diana Goodman.                   

 

Sean Shaver © Greensboro,NC July 21st, 1975 evening show

Greensboro, NC July 21st E/S  Coliseum   r/t 70 minutes

C, C Rider; I Got A Woman/Amen;dialogue about dentist visit; Big Boss Man; Love Me; If You Love Me Let Me Know; Love Me Tender; All Shook Up; Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel; Hound Dog; The Wonder Of You; Polk Salad Annie; Elvis sits down for a rest;Intros + solos;j.b.goode;hail,hail rock n'roll; T.R.O.U.B.L.E; Why Me Lord; How Great Thou Art-with reprise; Let Me Be There; Funny How Time Slips Away;7 year old ' Mitch ' brought on stage in a jumpsuit dressed like Elvis; Little Darling; Mystery Train/Tiger Man; Can't Help Falling In Love 

Gypsy Suit

16,300

Kathy refused to go on stage at the Greensboro show, but later she saw Elvis directly after the Greensboro show walking along the hotel corridor with Diana Goodman, 2 minutes later Red West was called to Elvis' room to bring Kathy to him. Diana was gone and Red left Kathy alone with Elvis who was sitting cross legged on his bed in his pajamas where he gave Kathy a horrible choice - a gift wrapped wristwatch in one hand or a gun in the other, then he asked Kathy which one she wanted. After taking the wristwatch, Kathy continued with the tour and was back in Las Vegas, in August at Elvis' request, but not before much heartache, wrestling whether to stay or leave the Elvis Presley show. You see because of the touring arrangements ( that basically meant that Elvis would move onto the next city straight after a show in the previous city the band and Kathy wouldn’t move on until the next morning…so apart from onstage they might not meet ( except when in the same place for a few days such as Charleston or Asheville ) in fact Elvis himself had made this comment as early as near the end of the May 7th closing tour show in Murfreesboro that they only saw each other up on stage.

So basically instead of having the chance to communicate whatever Elvis may have wanted to say to Kathy he couldn’t due to the tour arrangements which basically amounted to a communication breakdown Elvis unwisely wasn’t exactly sure he even wanted to be with either Linda Thompson or Diana Goodman during this tour ( he tried to get Sheila Ryan but she had just moved in with James Caan ) and so Elvis took out his frustration and meeting with Kathy by bad mouthing her onstage. I think by the end of the tour ( and certainly by August in Las Vegas ) Elvis realized that he had ‘gone too far’ but NO amount of Jewelry giving out/cars could take away the ‘ guilt ’ he felt after woods. Also the toothache/various unknown pills and moods seemed to be seriously affecting Elvis on this tour- so much so that even after Elvis had apologized to Estelle she recognized a ‘ vast change ’ in Elvis the person.

Part Three