From Down Under

Elvis Tour #21, August 27 - September 8, 1976 

    Part two

 by Geoffrey Mc Donnell (Australia)

 

 

Keith Alverson © Macon, GA. August 31st, 1976

August 29, 1976 (8:30 pm) Mobile, AL. Municipal Auditorium. R/T 65 Minutes

TRACKLIST

2001 Theme / C.C. Rider / I Got A Woman – Amen x 2 / Love Me / If You Love Me / You Gave Me A Mountain / All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / And I Love You So / Jailhouse Rock / Fever /America The Beautiful + Reprise / Introductions & solos: Early Morning Rain - What'd I Say - Johnny B.Goode - Drum solo-Bass Solo( x2 )- Piano Solo-Electric Piano Solo/ Love Letters - Hail Hail Rock & Roll / Hurt ( twice ) / Hound Dog / My Heavenly Father Watches Over Me ( by K. Westmoreland ) / That's All right / Mystery Train - Tiger Man / Can't Help Falling In Love /Closing Vamp

JUMPSUIT

 Elvis Presley: White Bicentennial suit / Inca Gold Leaf suit belt

 Musicians: Blue pants & shirt

ATTENDANCE: 10,720

As a whole show this Evening Show in Mobile WAS better, but ONLY from " Love Letters " onwards. The show before that is once again very slow/poor and no performances better than " reasonable ". Yet in " Love Letters " his singing/sincerity seems genuine and despite getting Kathy to fill in time during this latter part of this show theirs no doubt that Elvis sings pretty good with " Hurt " ( twice ), " That’s All Right " and " Mystery Train/Tiger Man ". The Trouble is ALL Newspaper reporters had long gone home by then and that’s why they thought his show wasn’t very good. In fact they rated his final show in Mobile, Alabama on 2.6.77 as much, MUCH better than this appearance!. Just before closing the show in this better way Elvis says that he’d like to go on for longer , but J.D. gets tired. However all this tour Elvis’s overweight condition never goes away-despite dropping a little weight in September. However it has to be said that many photo’s from this tour actually show Elvis looking even WORSE than in 1977 as far as his physical condition goes. He just seems so " bloated " and presumably his stomach not working?.

From his Hotel base in Mobile Elvis flew to Tuscaloosa and changed into his stage clothes on his plane, not leaving until 9:15 p.m. to go to the University of Alabama’s Memorial Auditorium. So it was straight to the show and back again in his own " isolation bubble! ".

 

Keith Alverson © Macon, GA. August 31st, 1976

August 30, 1976 (8:30 pm) Tuscaloosa, AL. Memorial Coliseum.  R/T 62 Minutes

TRACKLIST

Also Sprach Zarathustra / See See Rider / dialogue/ I Got A Woman - Amen / Love Me / If You Love Me ( Let Me Know ) / You Gave Me A Mountain / All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / And I Love You So / Jailhouse Rock / Fever / America The Beautiful / Introductions & Solos : Early Mornin' Rain - What'd I Say - Johnny B. Goode - Drum solo-Bass Solo ( x2 )- Piano Solo-Electric Piano Solo/  Love Letters - Introductions - Hail Hail Rock 'n' Roll / Hurt /Hound Dog / Heavenly Father ( Kathy Westmoreland ) / Mystery Train - Tiger Man / Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp.

JUMPSUITS

Elvis Presley: White Bicentennial suit / Inca Gold Leaf suit belt

 Musicians: Blue pants and shirt

ATTENDANCE: 12,000

Compact disc: Old Times They Are Not Forgotten

Compact disc: One Night In Alabama

Compact disc: Tuscaloosa Night

This show of ALL shows comes to us via an incredibly  " Good " SOUNDBOARD recording. Pity then that the performance doesn’t match the sound!. Fantastic sound can’t make Elvis’s performance any better than " very average "! At least he sounds " clear and straight " even if very subdued and giving virtually the minimum length performance.Unfortunately Elvis looks the WORST I have ever seen him ( in pictures from this concert ) Fat, sweaty and very unwell. Allowing for the intros Elvis’s contribution to singing in this show wouldn’t be much more than 45 minutes! Pretty short. However this isn’t the WORST show this tour and positive well sung performances here were: C.C. RIDER, AND I LOVE YOU SO, a bit better than usual JAILHOUSE ROCK and once again LOVE LETTERS  perfectly sung and dripping with sincerity.

Photographer unknown © Macon, GA. August 31st, 1976

The show isn’t bad  and the sound is " incredible " to be able to hear J.D. Sumners voice ringing out the speakers! ( during AMEN ), but you can tell pretty soon ( in this show )that Elvis’s heart/mind is elsewhere than onstage. Interaction with fans seems " minimal " ( He did give a girl in a plaster cast a scarf and autographed her cast, but he didn’t make a fuss over as he usually did with children put on stage ) and  some words are missed out and Hurt is only " fair ".Maybe part of the reason was that Elvis had just been informed that his recent ex-bodyguards WERE writing a tell all book because both LOVE LETTERS and  AND I LOVE YOU SO were concert highlights. This evening too after Tuscaloosa Dr.Nick came to replace Dr.Ghanem on tour with Elvis and once he had brought Elvis’s " medications " back into some sort of balance the tour was able to continue and by September Elvis was even able to put out some " good " shows once again.  After the show just as soon as Elvis could get back on his plane again he flew to Macon arriving at 1:00 a.m. However unlike in 75’ this time he ignored fans, got into a 1970 Chrysler and went straight to his hotel.   

 

August 31, 1976 (8:30 pm) Macon, GA. Macon Coliseum. R/T 70 Minutes

TRACKLIST

2001 Theme / See See Rider / I Got A Woman - Amen / Love Me / If You Love Me / You Gave Me A  Mountain / dialogue/All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don’t Be Cruel / And I Love You So / Jailhouse Rock / Fever /America, The Beautiful / Introductions & Solos : Early Mornin' Rain - What'd I Say - Johnny B. Goode - Drum solo-Bass Solo ( x2 )- Piano Solo- Electric Piano Solo/ Love Letters - Introductions - Hail Hail Rock 'n' Roll / Hurt / Hound Dog / That's All Right / Blue Christmas/ Mystery Train - Tiger Man / Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp.

JUMPSUITS

Elvis Presley: Blue Bicentennial suit / Original belt

The Sweet Inspirations: White pants & shirt

Kathy Westmoreland: White pants & shirt

J.D. Sumner: Blue pants & shirt

The Stamps: White shirt, black vest & black pants

Sherrill Nielsen: White jumpsuit sleeveless

Musicians: White pants & shirt

ATTENDANCE: 10,200

Compact disc: Southbound

Photographer unknown © Macon, GA. August 31st, 1976

This concert again comes to us on a very good SOUNDBOARD, however again Elvis’s singing isn’t that great. Only during playing guitar on THAT’S ALLRIGHT/BLUE CHRISTMAS does he sound " good ". I find him kidding around saying he’s gonna do a medley of some of his records starting with " Crying in the Chapel " VERY FRUSTRATING when he just launches into the " regular " All Shook Up!. Again " Jailhouse " and " Love Letters " seem a bit better than average and this show is LONGER and from a good video I have seen of this show his attitude towards fans seems to have totally changed for the better from last night when he flew direct from Tuscaloosa to Macon driving straight past 100 fans at the Airport without spending any time with them. Not only does Elvis spend a lot of time with fans during this show accepting an incredible number of gifts, but on the occasion a man asks him to play guitar he does it and says ok to which the man can be heard saying " Thanks! " 

It’s difficult to think of a better example of Elvis relating to fans well other than this show. Some of his comments/kidding around is actually very witty and so after this show his performance is DEFINITELY improving! Early on in the show though Elvis seems visibly disturbed when handed what he calls a “ Voodoo Doll " which he says;" That’s not me that’s Charlie!-you don’t stick pins in this do you? " There’s also a lot of chat between Elvis and J.D.’s direction about him borrowing one of J.D.’s rings ( some kind of “ in ” joking around as Elvis gave away his ring to a fan when arriving in Mobile? ) and more comments about J.D.’s hand of rings during the intros.The show is still longer and better, but not quite yet up their with the quality of his voice. Following this show Elvis flew directly to Jacksonville arriving in the early hours of the morning and onto his Hilton Hotel.  

Photographer unknown © Jacksonville,  FL. September 1st, 1976

 

September 1, 1976 (8:30 pm) Jacksonville, FL. Coliseum.R/T 70 Minutes

Possible TRACKLIST ?:

2001 Theme / C C Rider / I Got A Woman - Amen / Love Me / If You Love Me Let Me Know / You Gave Me A Mountain / And I Love You So / Jailhouse Rock / All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / Fever / America The Beautiful + reprise /Introductions & solos: Early Morning Rain - What'd I Say - Johnny B. Goode - Drum solo-Bass Solo ( x2 )- Piano Solo- Electric Piano Solo/ Love Letters - Hail Hail Rock & Roll / Hurt / Hound Dog/ Funny How Times Slips Away/ dialogue/ That’s All right /Blue Christmas / How Great Thou Art/ Dialogue/ Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp. 

JUMPSUITS

Elvis Presley: Blue Bicentennial suit / Original belt

ATTENDANCE: 9,500

September 2, 1976 (8:30 pm) Tampa, FL. Curtis Hixson Hall. R/T 60 Minutes

Possible TRACKLIST?:

2001 Theme / C C Rider / I Got A Woman - Amen / Love Me / If You Love Me Let Me Know / You Gave Me A Mountain / And I Love You So / Jailhouse Rock / All Shook Up / Teddy Bear - Don't Be Cruel / Fever / America The Beautiful + reprise / Introductions & solos: Early Morning Rain - What'd I Say - Johnny B. Goode - Love Letters - Hail Hail Rock & Roll / Hurt / Hound Dog/ Funny How Times Slips Away / Mystery Train-Tiger Man/ Can't Help Falling In Love / Closing Vamp. 

JUMPSUITS

Elvis Presley: White Bicentennial suit / Inca Gold Leaf suit belt

ATTENDANCE: 7,500

The " Big " problem with the September 1st and 2nd shows is that several times I have tried to obtain these taped shows only to get many, many times over supplied with the Jackson 5.9.76 show as the 1.9.76 one and even MORE times receiving the Roanoke 2.8.76 show as the Tampa one! I can assure you they are NOT these shows! Therefore until the Day these shows become available I can only guess as to the track list and make some very brief comments ( with many  thanks to Martha Collins  notes who documented/ followed this tour from 1st-6th September ).Apparently ticket scalpers were very well " hidden " before this show in Jacksonville. Also it was reported that their were T.V. Cameras on the Coliseum steps!

Jackie Kahane performed his " usual " jokes for this first part of the show but was introduced as Mr.Jack Kahane-presumably as some kind of attempt at " Dignity " in his pre-stage announcement?. Then Elvis came on stage in Jacksonville after a 24 minute intermission at 9:40 p.m. as the lights dimmed- Frank Young ( of the Times-Union ) thought his show was in great spirits and good with heartfelt LOVE LETTERS and accompying himself on guitar for BLUE CHRISTMAS. However Martha felt watching the show that despite Elvis being quite " loose " their were still flashes of " Negativism " in his performance and he was certainly " Cautious " in his approach with fans. During " AMEN " Elvis got the audience to sing along, then teased them by saying “ What do you think this is? "Hava Nagela? " as Elvis though the crowd were singing too fast! Indeed fans felt it was a " good " show as Elvis joked around changing the lines during AND I LOVE YOU SO  to " How lonely Charlie’s been,but life begin again when he gets a fifth in his hands ".

Photographer unknown © Jacksonville,  FL. September 1st, 1976

During the intros Elvis bumped into a microphone and quipped “ Exuse me Mike ” ( unknowingly tying in with one of Jackie Kahane’s ‘jokes’ that he’d been making for YEARS-remember this in Jackie’s Memphis 75’ jokes?!. )Elvis  had  Larry Geller cut his hair for today’s show. Most fans thought Elvis seemed to be enjoying himself during this show ,but that he lacked concentration most of the time except on a few numbers.

In Tampa ( Elvis arrived and changed into his stage jumpsuit on the bus, although Elvis’s show was poorer again and Headlines in Bob Ross’s St.Petersburg Times article was “ Elvis still a heavy on the Superstar Scale ”. Bob claimed that highlight of Elvis’s 60 minute performance was his giving out of scarves whilst his voice was a weak parody of that which had made him famous being more " gravely " these days. Elvis also laughed a lot during this show. Meanwhile some old friends of Colonel Parker ( who hadn’t seen Elvis since 1970 ) watched his show in Tampa, but they were so shocked at Elvis’s detracted state that they left before the show was over and without saying goodbye to the Colonel. In video footage I have seen from this show ( amongst other shows from Early September 76’ )Elvis is obviously overweight but still drives the fans nuts with MYSTERY TRAIN/TIGER MAN.

                                 

Part three