The night Elvis put Red Robinson in handcuff's!!!
The night Elvis put Red in handcuffs
Legendary DJ fondly recalls rock 'n' roll king's concert in Vancouver
Kate Webb, The Province
Published: Wednesday, August 15, 2007 Article tools
Font: * * * * Fifty years ago, a 22-year-old superstar burst out from under the stage at Empire Stadium and jumped into a shiny blue convertible.
Elvis Presley drove slowly through the stadium's fevered throng of 22,000 fans, who one newspaper later said were transformed into "writhing, frenzied *****s of delight by the savage jungle beat music."
That was Aug. 31, 1957, and 50 years later the Pacific National Exhibition is getting ready to host an anniversary tribute to the first of only three performances the king of rock ever gave outside the U.S.
Local broadcasting legend Red Robinson was there that night, and spent the better part of an hour backstage with Presley before the show. Credited as the first DJ ever to spin Elvis' hits in Canada, he remembers the king as a "caring guy" and a practical joker.
Robinson recounted how, about an hour before the performance, he became the butt of an Elvis prank.
"He's bored, he's out of his mind, he's walking around like a cat on a hot tin roof," said Robinson, who was 20 at the time.
"He goes to the door, there's a police officer, he says, 'Can I have your hat and your badge and your handcuffs?' Comes back in, says, 'Red, we're going to do a scene from [his new movie] Jailhouse Rock,' which hadn't come out yet.
"So he's talking gibberish, and he says, 'Put your arms up over that shower rod.' We're in the dressing room of the B.C. Lions, just the two of us. I do. He locks me in [the] handcuffs, throws the key into the shower and says, 'Red, I guess I'll have to go out and introduce myself -- I see you're all tied up.' "
Robinson somehow managed to free himself in time for the 8 p.m. show. He still chuckles thinking about the days when Elvis' hip-shaking act was condemned as "the devil's music," but remains amazed by the undying devotion of his fans.
"This man has left such an impact on all of us," he said. "The PNE recognizes that Aug. 31 is a benchmark date -- the 50th anniversary -- so what we're going to do is, we've got two of the finest tribute artists up there. We're going to start out with a young Elvis, who's Steven Elliott . . . then we're going to bring on Wally Tiemer and the concert-tour Elvis."
At intermission, Robinson will be joined on stage by Joe Esposito,
who was Elvis' best friend and
bodyguard, and the two will give away a VIP trip for two to Graceland, the Elvis mansion near Memphis, as part of a prize package put together by The Province and the PNE.
To enter, readers need to clip the entry form running in The Province Aug. 26, 28 and 30 and drop it off at the PNE Elvis Booth at the Rogers Amphitheatre between 3:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Aug. 31.
? The Vancouver Province 2007