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Lonniebealestreet
08-30-2004, 04:33 PM
I don't think it's productive to sit around all the time and think about what could have been, but this period, as much as any other, deserves some consideration along those lines.

I wonder what it was that lit the fire under Elvis at that time to make him want to rehearse a lot more, and try to really revamp the show. Lots of songs were worked out, and a recording exists from one day of those rehearsals (possibly more exist), including the following songs:

If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
Promised Land
Down In The Alley
It's Midnight
Your Love's Been A Long Time Coming
Goodtime Charlie's Got The Blues
Softly, As I Leave You
I'm Leavin'
The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face
Proud Mary
If You Talk In Your Sleep
The Twelfth Of Never
Faded Love
Just Pretend

Elvis sounded spirited, in charge, in great voice, and liked he really cared and had something to prove. He seemed passionate about his music.

The famous opening show, August 19, featured the following lineup:

Big Boss Man
Proud Mary
Down In The Alley
Goodtime Charlie's Got The Blues
Never Been To Spain
It's Midnight
If You Talk In Your Sleep
I'm Leavin'
Let Me Be There
Softly, As I Leave You
If You Love Me (Let Me Know)
Love Me Tender
Polk Salad Annie
Promised Land
My Baby Left Me
Bridge Over Troubled Water
Fever
Hound Dog
Can't Help Falling In Love

As most of you know, this radically different show was apparently not too well received (though some have disagreed on this point), and so the next night it was back to the same ol', same ol'. Well, that's not totally fair, since many of the new songs did remain, more than at any other time I can think of. But the familiar beginning of 2001 - See See Rider - I Got A Woman/Amen - Love Me, and lots of the "Teddy Bear" type of songs had been dropped in favor of fresher and more contemporary material on the opening night.

What a shame that Elvis did not stick with his instincts and keep on with what satisfied him the most. I'm not saying he should have completely disregarded the audience's impression of the new program, but considered what he could do to make them a little happier and still keep most of the changes which he had implemented, and end up with a killer show that was the best of both worlds.

I'd love to hear from the people who were there, if they knew--if Elvis commented to others, what caused him to want to make the changes in the first place, and then what he had to say after that first show. I've never heard of any dialogue addressing either issue.

The engagement turned into one in which Elvis expressed lots of anger and frustration on stage. (And on the tour that followed, things only got worse. Thankfully a big rebound was around the corner in the spring of '75.) While the impetus for most of this seems to stem from personal issues, perhaps one of them which was not voiced was a feeling of being hampered artistically and locked into performing a certain type of show which to some extent did nothing for him personally.

Never again was a change on this large a scale attempted by Elvis, and though there were many great shows which followed and the audiences left happy, the man behind the center stage mic was the one who suffered.

U.S. Male
08-30-2004, 04:56 PM
That is a a very interesting question Lonnie. I agree, Elvis seamed really in to it as far as the music he wanted to perform during this time, and I don't recall (to my knowledge) him ever rehearsing any more after this?

Maybe he was beginning to over come the divorce that had occurred late during the previous year, and so he dove in to his music again hoping to find some sort of peace?

What really disappoints me is that he gave in to the fans and went back to the same old song routine after the August opening night in Vegas. Had he continued his show playing different / rare songs I think he would have fealt better, and he might have possibly laid the ground work for even bigger projects later on.

Lonniebealestreet
08-31-2004, 12:52 AM
Thanks for your comments, Big Boss. (h)

Joe Car
08-31-2004, 01:30 AM
I remember my wife and I going to a Styx concert (not sure about the spelling) last year and even though we liked the show, we were disappointed that they didn't play a few of their classic oldies if you will, I'm sure Elvis fans kind of felt the same way. At concerts, fans especially older fans like hearing the songs that reminded them of their youth so I suppose middle-aged fans wanted to hear Hound Dog and the other songs that EP was sick of singing. Perhaps if Elvis had been a more selfish artist and thought mostly of himself then his fans, he might have kept changing the song list on a regular basis after that, who knows. He was a man as we all know that needed to be challenged, that always brought out the best in him.

Lonniebealestreet
08-31-2004, 03:20 AM
Joe, that's so true. It's like Ricky Nelson's Garden Party. Or I guess he had become Rick by then.

TCE
08-31-2004, 02:26 PM
I never had the luck to hear him life but I guess we'll never know why Elvis didn't stick to the newer songs and got back to the traditional songs that were played on concerts. Maybe it was the bad review he got when he did the "newer" show or maybe Parker forced him to do it or or... I only know that it truely was a shame he gave up on that, because he had so many great songs to share. My point of view is that it shows that Elvis probably didn't have any influence of what songs should be sung at concerts. But then again I could be wrong. It's only an oppinion. ;) Just like I think that Elvis started to rehearse a lot and go on stage as much as possible was sort of an escape. So he wouldn't feel his lonelyness and pain that much.

Be safe and take care,

Christel (TCE)

P.S. Annie
08-31-2004, 03:15 PM
I think Elvis was the one who decided which songs he would play, I think he choose for the songs he got a good respons for from the audiance. Maybe he wanted to play it safe. If you look at his career you see he did great and exiting stuff and then stuck to it for a couple of years. Like he had to recharge for big changes. He loved to be on stage, and it was one thing he was sure of he was doing right because people would still come to his shows and pay big bucks for it. But this all just my opinion.

jbgude
08-31-2004, 05:10 PM
Sadly he got into this feeling of insecurity ...he wanted to be appreciated and appalude. Notice on some concerts he even says " we just did a **** song and nobody applauded".

Sad that he never wanted to hear the truth after 73 or so -this from a man who realised his mistakes and corrected himself in '68 ....." Ill never do a song I dont believe in "

jb

TCE
08-31-2004, 11:33 PM
P.S. Annie, maybe you're right. One thing is certain: He loved to be on Stage and showed it every time again. I guess that this was the only place he feld happy. He could be himself. J.B. may be right too. As we all know Elvis was often insecure about himself and to hide that he often played the macho man. I know that because I always do the same. LOl. ;) Play miss cool. (h) I know it gives me confidence. I would feel terrible if I stood on stage and there would be no responce. However I'm sure that Elvis only sang songs he felt good about.



Be safe and take care,

Christel (TCE)

P.S. Annie
09-01-2004, 07:36 AM
Sadly he got into this feeling of insecurity ...he wanted to be appreciated and appalude. Notice on some concerts he even says " we just did a **** song and nobody applauded".

jb

I agree with you, he was very insecure, but I think he always has been and always needed the reasurance from the audiance that he did ok. It is a contradiction I think, on one hand he wanted to be on stage more then anything else and on the other hand it could always mean people didn't like him and that he could fail.