I would have posted this yesterday but just didn't feel like it. These are my memories from the last time I saw Elvis on stage.
SUCH A NIGHT
The year was 1976 and I was 17, soon to be 18 on January 6. My mother had purchased tickets for us to go see Elvis in Las Vegas on December 11th and 12th. About a month before we were to go to Vegas, my boyfriend of 4 years announced that his dad was getting transferred to Alabama over the Christmas holidays. Well, it was time to decide what to do. At 18, I was so totally in love with this boy, but then on the other hand, I had been so totally in love with an older man since I was about 10. I had to decide “would I stay and spend the last couple of weekends with my boyfriend or go to Vegas and see Elvis”. Well, after struggling through the hardest decision of my life (remember I was 18)….I chose to go see Elvis. It didn’t take me long to realize I made the right decision.
We saw Elvis on the 11th but that’s not the show that sticks out in my head. It was the one on the 12th. As we entered the showroom that night, my mom tipped the maitre d’ $150.00 for 2 good seats by the stage. We didn’t know it until later but since that was the last show of the engagement, they could name the price for seats by the stage. We were seated to the far left of the stage…yes, we were at the stage but we had been there before and we knew he never went that far to either side of the stage (except on That’s The Way It Is). We were seated at the table with another mother and daughter. It didn’t take the mothers too long to figure out that something had to be done to shut us up. We were pouting and we weren’t going to shut up until we had better seats. They both finally agree to pitch in and give another tip if we could find someone to move us. So, the search was on. We went to several different waiters and were told there was nothing they could do. But, that didn’t stop us. We finally found a waiter that said “yes, he could move us closer to the center of the stage”. So, we gave him the tip UP FRONT…trusting souls we were, right? He told us he would come get us right after the show started.
So, we went back to our table and began our wait which seemed like an eternity. The lights came down and the show started… and we waited, and waited, and waited. By this time, we were looking for this guy! We were about to think that we had been taken and deep down inside knew we were gonna be in big trouble. FINALLY, right when the Sweet Inspirations came out, here came our waiter and said to come with him. Thank goodness there was somebody watching out for these 2 naïve high school students.
He moved us to almost center stage, we were several chairs away from the stage but ALMOST center stage. We were much happier and since we were happier, the mothers were happier (we finally shut up).
Since we had met earlier that evening we had done nothing but talk about getting to Elvis. She was gonna get a kiss and I was gonna get a scarf. Not that I didn’t want a kiss, but I had kissed him before and I really liked having the scarves because I liked having the scarves that would last and you could show other people.
Wasn’t long and he came out on the stage!! Oh my goodness…I had just seen him Houston in August of 1976 and the difference was unbelievable!!! His weight was down, (not to what he used to be but so much different from August that it was unbelievable). His spirits were up, he appeared to be happy.
The entire show was incredible. He did songs that I had never seen him do before like White Christmas, Such a Night, Love Letters (meant a lot to me that night), Sweet Caroline. It was great. He was on more than an hour. The entire show me and my new girlfriend would scream out his name when it was quite for a minute and he would look in our direction and tease back with “yes??”, I love you too honey, etc. We had a blast.
Then that dreaded song started and we knew our chances were about over. As I stood up at our table there were many girls that had squeezed in between our table and the next trying to get down to the stage. I remember looking at the table next to us and there was an empty chair. I honestly can tell you I do not remember climbing onto that chair and running down the middle of the table. But, I did. To this day, my mother will tell you she does not have any idea how I didn’t not knock over champagne glases, bottles of wine, etc. As I got to the end of the table I do remember putting one foot on the stage and leaning out reaching with one hand because I didn’t want him to think I was coming on stage to attack. Just as my hand got was stretched out towards him, he got there and put that scarf directly in my hand! I do think that he must have seen me coming and said “if she makes it without breaking her fool neck, she deserves it”. It was at if he waited for me to get there. I turned around and looked and realized where I was at and then began to shake because I did not know how to get down. Finally, I made my way back down the table and got back on the floor and joined my mother. Just as I got there I heard my mother say “oh my god” and I looked and there went Tatiana, right down the middle of the stage RUNNING behind him. Just as she got to him and tapped him on the shoulder, 2 guys grabbed her and he turned around. He motioned for them to let her go and then he kissed her!!! She came back to the table and we couldn’t shut up! Our missions were accomplished and we were leaving with memories that would last a lifetime!!!
It’s amazing how smart you really can be at 18…because just think I almost gave up a trip to Vegas for time with the boyfriend. Looking back on that now, I am so glad I followed the true love of my life and not the one who would fade out of my life!!!
And, as far my new found girlfriend, Tatiana, we still talk occasionally and enjoy sharing the memories of the night we met. We did meet in Memphis in August 2007 for the 30th anniversary. That was going to be my last trip to Memphis and then I met up with Rosanne again......lol
Here's a picture of me and Tatiana in Memphis in 12/77.