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CONCERT DATE: March 23, 1977 Tempe, AZ.

Elvis Brings Pelvis to ASU
by Barbara Yost
The Phoenix Gazette
March 24, 1977

Two of the hardest jobs in show business are found at an Elvis Presley concert. First, there's the comedian who has to come out before Elvis, when the fans are already beginning to squirm and check their watches. By 9.30 PM on an Elvis night, no one wants to listen to jokes. So Jack Kahane uses a trick; he doesn't try to beat the crowd, he joins them, by talking about the King of rock and roll and telling Elvis and teenage jokes. And he wins them over.

Second hardest job goes to a guy who comes on with Elvis. His job is to catch the electric guitar that Elvis tosses over his shoulder, then follow him back and forth across the stage dodging sweat beads and replenishing the scarf supply around the King's neck as he tosses his gifts off stage into the mass of wiggling arms. Compared to those two, Elvis has it easy coming on stage for the millionth time after 25 years behind a guitar.

Elvis Presley appeared for a millionth time last night, to panting fans at Arizona State University's Activities Center. They came, some for their hundredth time, bearing gifts of flowers - one bunch in the shape of a chrysanthemum guitar, and sounds of adulation. Some wore black flowing ensembles, and leather boots. They wore sequined ELVIS T-shirts and Elvis capes and badges, and they carried pictures of him.

It was a long wait until the King. As if performing in Las Vegas, Elvis did a late late show, not appearing on stage until 10 PM. By then, the fans were ready, and as the back-up orchestra eased into "2001: Space Odyssey," the crowd began to stand and squeal, straining to catch the first glimpse. He appeared, as usual, in a white jumpsuit, this one resplendent with a sparkling gold el sol emblazoned on chest. He blinked a few times, eyes deep in flesh, and vaguely distant, and broke into C.C. Rider.

As fans began to trickle towards the footlights, the barrel-chested Elvis lumbered back and forth, grinning down at faces, bending to clutch a hand or fling a scarf. And right at his heels was his scarf supplier, on the job. Every time ASU ushers looked away for a moment, the crowd surged forward, tossing flowers, reaching forward with stuffed animals. One, a jovial Mickey Mouse in red checked overalls with a note pinned to his ear, never did make it into Elvis' hands.

Ah, but the lucky ones who managed to catch a falling scarf damp with the man's sweat! There was more than one squabble over two feet of colored cloth. His selections were predictable: Jailhouse Rock, Hound Dog, It's Now Or Never, Little Sister, Teddy Bear, Don't Be Cruel and the customary finale Can't Help Falling in Love. If his body has become somewhat beefy, his voice is as lean and mellow as ever.

As Elvis ticked off each song and swigged Gatorade, one wondered how many more times he can come on stage and sing Hound Dog and grab hands and toss scarves and make eyes at his back-up singers. But, of course, the answer is obvious: as long as fans come for their hundredth time and spend money on memorabilia and chrysanthemum guitars and grinning Mickey Mice. And as long as his concerts are sold out.

Courtesy of Scott Hayward