From Down Under

 

Elvis In Concert July 1975

    Part Three

 by Geoffrey Mc Donnell (Australia)

 

Next day on the way to Asheville Elvis changed his departure time 3 times before finally flying off to Asheville himself ( MUCH earlier than expected )and leaving the band on the airport runway because they didn’t move fast enough for his last minute change of plans. Next thing they knew Elvis’s plane returned and picked them up. Lowell Hays the Jeweler couldn’t believe what was happening!? The moment Lowell did get to Asheville Elvis asked to see him straight away. Elvis seemed to be recognizing now that he had seriously messed up with his ‘ Tantrums ’ and asked Lowell if either he or anyone in Asheville could immediately supply him with jewelry? Lowell couldn’t but made arrangements to get lots sent out from Memphis within the hour! Once Lowell DID arrive back from Memphis with all the jewelry Elvis proceeded to buy almost everything he had!. Elvis then gave something to everyone in the group- he gave each of the Sweet inspirations a $5,000 ring! Then in that frame of mind Elvis gave his FIRST show in Asheville! Just before closing in Asheville Elvis presented J.D.Sumner with a $40,000 ring!.

Ron Wolfe © Asheville,NC July 23rd, 1975 evening show

The next day on 23rd Elvis visited another local dentist ( as he still had tooth trouble ) however whilst the dentist was out of his room and Dr. Nick present Elvis proceeded to go through his bag stealing pharmaceutical samples! Once back in his hotel room Dr. Nick took the samples away from Elvis and caused Elvis to go into a rage, as Dr. Nick wouldn’t give them back, next thing Elvis is in the bathroom changing into his pajamas getting ready to take a brief nap before the 2nd Asheville show but as he comes out his Dad has arrived and whilst Elvis put his arms around his dad-same time from the little berretta gun Elvis was carrying in his pajamas  the gun goes off and the bullet ricocheting off a chair and hitting Dr. Nick in the chest-lucky for Elvis it didn’t do any harm and just burnt Dr. Nick's chest-meanwhile Vernon asks Elvis what the hell is going on?. Shortly after  this Elvis was to give his 2nd performance in Asheville Whether Elvis shot his gun in his hotel in Ashville, or threw his guitar to the audience, giving a fan another $6,500 ring in the final tour show, his demeanor was very odd in July 1975. So far he had given away $85,000 Jewelry!. ( and that’s the documented stuff-NOT including rings given away to sound engineers and others! )

The back-up singers had shown their disapproval by coming in very late to back Elvis' version of "Love Me Tender" in Uniondale, then Elvis was publicly chastised by someone he'd looked up to since he'd seen him, aged 15. In the Ashville, 22nd July show, Elvis featured a very long version of " Amen,  " then announced " Why Me Lord? " - but as he started J.D. Sumner didn't join Elvis to sing with him, forcing Elvis to continue the song as a solo performance. J.D.Sumner is a professional and was so disgusted with Elvis' pernicious vindictive behavior during this time, that he decided to teach Elvis a lesson. Following this, Elvis ate humble pie to J.D. throughout the rest of the show, praising J.D. unnecessarily then, to avoid introducing Kathy, Elvis asked J.D. to make the intros ( as he left the stage for 7 minutes making a bathroom visit ). Later, in shows such as Las Vegas, on 8th and 12th December, Elvis introduced the Stamps FIRST, when usually it was LADIES FIRST, however Elvis, like a Gentleman, returned to ladies first in 1976 and for the rest of his shows. However, by the final show in Ashville, on 24th July, all had not been resolved as during the singing of " The Hawaiian Wedding Song, " after Elvis really emphasized the penultimate word " MY " at the end of the song, he just left it hanging there, not singing heart and not finishing the song ( whether distracted by a fan or not it’s VERY odd leaving the end of a song up in the air like that ). On this tour, Elvis had also had flown in, his Memphis jeweler and, as in the Uniondale A/S, during the show ( where he had given Joe Guercio a diamond ring for his birthday ) Elvis gift wrapped jeweler and presented it to the whole entourage.

 

Harold J. Newton © Asheville,NC July 22nd, 1975 evening show

 

Asheville, NC July 22nd E/S Audio  r/t 85 minutes

C, C Rider; I Got A Woman/dialogue/Amen; Big Boss Man; Why Me Lord-solo; dialogue/Love Me; If You Love Me Let Me Know; Shake A Hand; All Shook Up; Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel; Hound Dog; The Wonder Of You; Memphis Tennessee; Funny How Times Slip Away; Polk Salad Annie;Intros;What whilst Elvis leaves the stage by J.D.Sumner; T.R.O.U.B.L.E; It's Now Or Never; You Don't Have To Say You Love Me; How Great Thou Art-with reprise; Burning Love; dialogue; Let Me Be There; Heartbreak Hotel; Little Darling; Mystery Train/Tiger Man; dialogue; Can't Help Falling In Love.

Sound ++-

Civic Center

Memphis Indian

7,437

Elvis' three shows in Ashville are incredible, what a 'special' 3-CD box set these would make if ever fully available. Asheville gives us the most rarities: " Wooden Heart; Memphis Tennessee; Return To Sender; Shake A Hand; Turn Around; Something " and, in the final part of the 24th July show, " Pieces Of My Life, " sung for Vernon Presley who is in the audience. Certainly the first show on 22nd in Asheville was yet another ‘ good ’ one ( especially considering the departure shenanigans from Greensboro before! ) Elvis comes on starts well and probably gives the longest and most extended version of ‘ Amen ’ this tour so far!, then even " Big Boss Man " gets a reprise featuring J.D.!  " Why me Lord " ends up being a very moving Solo version before after woods Elvis comments that J.D didn’t sing it!. Before he attempts to sing ‘ Shake a Hand ’ Elvis makes a very lengthy explanation about the ‘ Creeping Crudd ’ he caught in Greensboro and then after finally getting the ‘ C ’ chord he wanted Elvis does a surprising and good version of another Album track ‘ Shake a Hand ’.

Surprisingly Elvis sings Memphis Tennessee and it’s a great version! Polk Salad Annie is a really physical wild version ( as the photo which graced the cover of the 1977 CBS tapes video shows! ) Also the cover photo from this show also was the cover shot of a bootleg called “ A rocking April fools Day with Elvis ”1.4.75 Dinner Show. Funny thing about J.D. Sumner doing the intros for Elvis whilst he leaves the stage is J.D. introducing Glen D. Hardin as ‘ Glen Dandy Hardin! ’. Kathy and the Stamps just before the Joe Guercio Orchestra intro. After Elvis returns he sings his usual latest record he explains that he had to go to the bathroom claiming it was the first time it ever happened to him. " You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me " leads into another very strong version of HGTA with reprise. after " Burning Love " Elvis can’t believe everyone is still in their seats and makes comment on this. Elvis claims not to be to sure of the words to " Heartbreak Hotel " but still performs it anyhow. One more amazing gesture from Elvis happens before closing his show with C.H.F.I.L. where Elvis praises up J.D.Sumner and gives him a $40,000 ring!! As Bob Terrell a local entertainment writer put it," You ought to see that rock. It’ll knock your eyeballs out ".                             

 

Asheville, NC July 23rd E/S CD Gyrating Asheville  r/t 80 minutes

2001 Theme; C, C Rider;Dialogue; I Got A Woman/Amen; Big Boss Man; dialogue; Love Me; If You Love Me Let Me Know; dialogue/It's Midnight; All Shook Up; Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel; Hound Dog; The Wonder Of You; Turn Around Look At Me; Polk Salad Annie; Introductions/Johnny B.Goode/Solos/School Days; T.R.O.U.B.L.E; Why Me Lord; How Great Thou Art; Let Me Be There; Shake A Hand; Fairytale; Introduction Of Vernon; Genesis dialogue; Little Darling'; Mystery Train/Tiger Man; Funny How Times Slip Away; It's Now Or Never; Promised Land; dialogue;Can't Help Falling In Love.

Sound +++++

Civic Center

Gypsy Star

7,437

Well after the ‘ Gun Drama ’ in his hotel thankfully Elvis didn’t take too many pills before he came onstage for his 2nd Asheville show!. It’s another ‘ superb show ’ After opening with a very strong " C.C.Rider " Elvis ends yet another very lengthy version of ‘ Amen ’. " Love Me " has the ending held long, then Elvis attempts to make a ‘ joke ’ about Asheville saying “ Asheville and remove it-Asheville and remove it ” After " If You Love Me " Elvis makes special mention of Ashville native song writer Billy Ed Wheeler before performing ‘ It’s Midnight ’ the only time this tour. After  " The Wonder of You " Elvis gives a short but sincere version of ‘ Turn Around Look at Me ’ which is THE Concert highlight so far!. After Polk Salad Annie Elvis says he’s getting older NOT better. The introductions go without any ‘ incident ’ then After Rocking to T.R.O.U.B.L.E.( where J.D. can’t be heard? ) Elvis does a really funny send up of ‘ Why Me Lord ’. " How Great Thou Art " is an amazing version and receives the strongest applause the whole show so far from the audience!. both ‘ Shake A Hand ’ and ‘ Fairytale ’ are good performances before his father is introduced and Elvis makes a little explanation about the book of Genesis. Before performing " Funny How Time Slips Away " ( again with reprise ending ) Elvis actually receives a gift from the audience. After " It’s Now or Never " Elvis asks if anyone  wants to hear any other songs before he leaves the stage? and does " Promised Land ". Just before closing this ‘ Great ' show Elvis says “ we have 4 airplanes flying to give you the best sound ”

Ann Buchanan’s local review caught much of the essence of this evening “ Shimmering and Sparkling in his outrageous black and sky blue costume Elvis Presley belted out songs and burlesqued his own sexy image with Humour ” she continued ” Every move of his India Rubber Body sent his audience into a Frenzy ”. Before the final show in Asheville Elvis didn’t do anything out of the ordinary and performed another superb show taking many requests from fans they wrote and threw in a bucket before the show.

 

Ron Wolfe © Asheville,NC July 24th, 1975 evening show

Asheville, NC July 24th E/S Audio   r/t 75 minutes

That's All Right; I Got A Woman/Amen-with reprise; Big Boss Man; Dialogue;Love Me; If You Love Me Let Me Know; All Shook Up; Teddy Bear/Don't Be Cruel; Hound Dog; dialogue; An American Trilogy; Heartbreak Hotel; Jailhouse Rock; Something; Return To Sender; Wooden Heart; Hawaiian Wedding Song; Bridge Over Troubled Water; Polk Salad Annie; Introductions/Johnny B.Goode; T.R.O.U.B.L.E;Shake A Hand -long intro; intro of Vernon; Pieces Of My Life - How Great Thou Art, with reprise - Can't Help Falling In Love - Closing Vamp.  

Sound +-

Civic Center

Aztec Indian

7,437

Tonight Elvis takes everyone by ‘ Surprise ’ by opening with ‘ That’s Allright ’This time after ' Amen ' Elvis complains about a feedback and makes J.D do the ending again!. Oddly tonight " Hound Dog " gets the wildest applause so far , then Elvis changes the show style by pulling request songs out a bucket. after picking Memories Elvis says ‘ skip that one ’ and does " An American Trilogy " ( for Nancy ) but because of his talking all the way through stuffs this version up. " Heartbreak Hotel " and " Jailhouse Rock " led into a fine performance of ‘ Something, ’  " Return to Sender " and " Wooden Heart " are also very good ‘ off the cuff ’ versions and " The Hawaiian Wedding " song is ok, until repeating the ending he doesn’t bother to finish it. Qupping ‘ next song ’ Was this a spite at Kathy or distracted by fans this time?. Steady performances follow and " Shake a Hand " is once again good. After introducing Vernon Elvis performs at his request another current Album track ‘ Pieces Of My Life ’ which is ‘ breathtaking ’.  " How Great Thou Art " with reprise is another superb version and receives VERY strong audience applause ( in fact wildest applause the whole evening! ) maybe sensing this Elvis then closes the show. This show not quite as long features 6 big surprise requests and closes out an incredible 3 different show in Asheville-despite the strong shows Elvis didn’t get the same type of ‘ wild ’ applause he received in Uniondale and did everything he could to get extra crowd reaction- including  motioning to fan Lloyd Perry of Bristol, Tennessee, who was seated in the front row to come forward. When Perry did Elvis handed him a ring worth $6,500 The next day in the harsh light of reality and with the press taking down his every word. Lloyd said “ I ain’t felt this funny since I got married ”.

After taking the wristwatch ( after the Greensboro show ), 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. Whether Elvis shot his gun in his hotel in Ashville, or threw his guitar to the audience in the final tour show, his demeanor was very odd in July 1975.  

Harold J. Newton © Asheville,NC July 23rd, 1975 evening show

Yet for all the ‘ energy ’ Elvis put into his shows this tour singing T.R.O.U.B.L.E. at every show as well as performances of Album tracks such as " Fairytale, " " Shake a Hand  "and " Pieces Of My Life " neither the “ Today ” Album or singles attracted the kind of success or sales that the artist was putting into promoting it! No wonder that after this tour Elvis put minimal effort into singing ‘ new album tracks ’ or promoting a current record single release!. At the end of the day it must have been a deflating experience for Elvis after his Summer tours.

After the last show Elvis returned to Memphis. Following the July tour, on July 27th, Elvis went on a preposterous spending spree for cars. Earlier in the year he had asked Joe – his right hand man, to pick an aero plane, costing one million, for him to travel around in-on tour. This made sense as Elvis traveled so much but with the very expensive ( $846300 ) refit in the late Summer/Fall, an extravagant luxury. This seems particularly so when one flies to Denver on a whim for peanut butter sandwiches. Elvis bought a Falcon Jet for the Colonel for Christmas, but with the JET STAR all ready to use, it was unnecessary, so the Colonel didn't keep it. Possibly the " Lisa Marie " and other planes were bought because Elvis was jealous John Denver had bought his manager a Rolls Royce.