Elvis at Madison Square Garden
This was a story from a pen pal I had back in the 70's who got to see him at Madison Square Garden.
DID YOU EVER SEE A DREAM WALKING?
By Patricia Ann Cervone
WELL, I DID. The dream came true to life on stage at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum located on Long Island in New York. The dream lasted for four fabulous shows (June 22-June25). He strolls out to thunderous applause and the sky lights up as if the Fourth of July has come to New York early. He opens with See See Rider but no one can hear him as the applause doesn?t stop until about the middle of the song. That perfectly-formed head jerks to the now famous drum rolls by Ronnie Tutt. Next, ?I?ve Got a Woman? sung breathy and sexy-like, then afull circle turn to the unsexy, heavenly ?Amen? with J.D. really getting down low on this one. On and on as the climax builds and the woman seated next to me seems to sum things up when she screams ?WOW!! This guy is dynamite?! Then BOOM! The King explodes into a newly-revised Rock n Roll medley which will stand as a Rock classic and can only be sung by this pioneer of Rock. Onward with Long Tall Sally/Your Mama Don?t Dance/Whole Lot of Shaking Going On/ Flip, Flop and Fly (this one goes way back to early Rock/Blues) and the beat goes on and on. Thriving. Pulsating. Stomping. Oh, to be alive and well at this very moment! And in the third row! Knock ?em dead with Blue Suede Shoes and the King dances to its beat. Swiveling. Swaying. He yells, ?hit it, hit it? as the band romps on. The entire band watches him intently, anticipating his every move. They know when to help him out and when to leave him alone. Hush! He speaks! ?Ladies and Gentlement, I?d like to sing a little bit of ?Love Me Tender?. Wild applause. He sings the opening line and the song abruptly ends. He strolls over to stage center and says, ?Well, I said only a little bit?! Then he finishes the song after throwing out two scarves. The Coliseum is going wild!!
All the standard Vegas songs are included and then some. He alternates his songs for each well-paced show. He sings ?Suspicious Minds? and the audience is thinking; We hope that suit DOES tear off, baby! Even the MEN in the audience are clapping and yelling! Here he is, Elvis Presley, King of the Whole, Wide World. The super sexy ?Fever? is included and although it doesn?t compare to the ?fever? in Las Vegas it is plenty hot enough for Long Island. The medical society here could have made a fortune because EVERYONE?S temperature is rising! WATCH THAT LEG! He stands crouched down in the middle of the stage as if on a horse and he slaps his thighs yelling, ?Yeah, baby, go, baby?! Then he flashes that sneaky half-smile with the little boy eyes and seems to say: ?I didn?t mean to get you all that excited, but I?m glad I did?. He does ?Trilogy? a little faster and does in place marching as the song calls for it. He seems to enjoy ?Trilogy? more now because it seems to be dragging less. Softly on to ?I?ll Remember You? and everyone in the audience is feeling that way about our King. He signs his heart and soul out in ?What Now My Love? and I wondered how any sane woman would voluntarily leave his side for one minute. He included ?Bridge Over Troubled Water? in two shows and I would have preferred him to omit it. It belongs to ?That?s The Way It Its?. Let?s leave it there.
His Saturday night show was as close to a Vegas show I have ever seen him do outside of Vegas. I thought in a minute The King would introduce celebrities in the audience as he sometimes does in the Hilton showroom. On Sunday, as appropriately as ever, he lovingly sang ?How Great Thou Art?, complete with a repeat ending and TWO standing ovations. Makes you want to run out and make a novena! Elvis graciously thanked the New York fans for waiting in line for days in the pouring rain to get tickets to the shows. ELVIS, YOU ARE VERY WELCOME! Come back this winter and we will wait in a blizzard to get tickets, if necessary!
During the Saturday afternoon show, he spots a huge sized bra that was thrown up at him. He knows it is there but he waits until everyone in the audience has seen it. Everyone is screaming so he picks it up and holds it across his chest and says ?well, baby, it?s not my size?! Then he walks over to one of the Inspirations and tells her, ?well, honey, guess it?s not your size either?! Everyone on stage is breaking up with laughter and the audience is having a great time. Suddenly a pair of men?s underwear is thrown on stage. He picks them up slowly. He is laughing hysterically. He giggles, ?We?ve got a lot of naked people out there, man!, and holding up the underwear he snaps, ?And there is a weirdo out there too?! The audience is laughing and clapping and Elvis seems to think to himself, ?man, these New Yorkers? are weird! It seems to be all fun and games. Good, clean fun and games. Elvis is sexy, no doubt, but he is good, clean sexy with a definite attitude of ?Don?t Touch Me? as evident by the tremendous amount of security around him and the stage. How involved can you get sexually if you can?t touch? It?s all in your mind, Baby! And as Elvis proudly boasts in ?Steamroller Blues?, ?I?m a napalm bomb, GUARANTEED TO BLOW YOUR MIND?.
He really goofs on ?Heartbreak Hotel? and he almost blows his cover when he playfully states ?You?ll never be lonely a the Holiday Inn (a nearby motel), then realizing his goof, he repeats, ?You?ll never be lonely at the Hilton Inn (another nearby motel). That?s it Elvis, always keep ?em guessing! A pleasant surprise Saturday was the inclusion of ?Don?t Be Cruel? which was sung a bit too fast but who cares. Elvis starts ?I Can?t Stop Loving You? with a sincere statement of ?Do you know what I can?t do for you?? And, he always seems to include this song in every show so I think the King regards it as a personal tribute to his fans. After ?Big Hunk of Love?, I always get weepy because I know that with the next song ?Can?t Help Falling In Love? the King will vanish in an exit of split-second timing and wild, loving applause. At this point, the words and music are just the pretty wrappings on a package called Elvis. The audience yearns to tear open that package and just when we think we might, the announcer bellows, ?Elvis has left the building? and the package remains closed once more.
Only a very few people really know what Elvis is like underneath all those trimmings and I myself would like to know, someday. But I love looking at pretty packages. And no matter what RCA tries to sell you, there is no way that any record can capture the magnestism and excitement of a live Elvis Presley performance. And regardless of what trimmings he chooses to decorate himself with, Elvis is surely ?gift? to us all to be loved and cherished.
A Special Note of Thanks: A million thanks to the most fantastic officials, staff and security officers at the Nassau Coliseum. What a difference from the gorillas who were hired to maintain order at Madison Square Garden last year. Elvis fans will always be indebted to you for your gentleness and sympathetic ways. Thank you for being so understanding. A very special thank you to Ken Weprin for his sincere efforts in attempting to come to terms with my fanatical devotion to the King. I?ll convert you yet, Ken! Thank you to all the wonderful Elvis fans I met at the Coliseum and I hope to meet many more when I arrive in Elvis Country this summer. See you in Vegas. Elvis Blessings to All!!
ELVIS ? ALWAYS ON MY MIND
Patricia Ann Cervone
This is an article I found stored away from one of my pen pals from way back when. It is typed ?word for word? and I hope you enjoy reading a review of a concert from a fan from way back when.