More info from the show!
College Park, MD, September 1974 represents an Elvis in trouble ever since I read about the shows in Jerry Hopkins' "The Final Years", as recalled by band members ("He fell out of the car ... he was all gut ... he hung on to the mike for 45 minutes"). This is the second night, and listening to it is analogous to watching a train wreck in slow motion. Elvis' speech is slurred, his performance (and the band's) is sloppy, and the crowd just loves it! As critic Greil Marcus once wrote about Elvis in concert, "How can one create when all one has to do is appear?" Rather than create, Elvis trashes his own magnificent legacy. He talks and talks and talks about whatever pops into his head, sometimes in the middle of songs! He spends a good deal of time condemning reports of his growing waistline ("I wear a bulletproof vest") and movie magazines claiming he's strung out (" ... [they're] TRASH ... I am a federal narcotics agent ... I have to be straight as an arrow"). Horrendous versions of "Fever" (more terrible bass playing from Duke, who just can't follow EP), "Trying To Get To You" (he misses the last part, says "we forgot the ending") and "Heartbreak Hotel" (forgets the lyrics) are just part of it. He gives the stage to his backing groups Voice and the Stamps Quartet ("Let me get out of the way and shut up") for two songs, neither of which are any good. He says to an older woman in the crowd: "Some grandmothers are dried up like a prune, but you're not, you're pretty". This is the kind of stuff that people who hate Elvis would gladly seize as evidence that he was a wasted, no-talent has-been. I hope we don't ever hear the show from the evening before. Can anyone explain why he was up on a stage instead of in a recovery center?