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CONCERT DATE: November 9 1972 (8:30 pm). Tucson AZ.

Elvis A Parody of His '50s Self
by Betty Beard
Tucson Star
November 1972


The lights were dimmed, the orchestra and band struck up the rolling theme from "2001: A Space Odyssey," women perched on the edges of their seats and in the midst of screams outstrutted Elvis Presley.

It was a nostalgic trip more than anything else, but like all the good old times, this was one you couldn't bring back.

He is a suburb entertainer who still tries to use all the old tricks to captivate women - half-slanted eyes, tossed hair, an occasional wriggle and jerk and a whole routine of acrobatics in which he ends up almost on the ground with his legs spread apart.

But except for one woman on the left of the arena who persistently screamed and a number of others who seemed to find him sexy, to most of the 9,700 on hand, including Elvis, it was a satire on the things he used to do.

Compared to the frantic movements that banned his lower body from the Ed Sullivan show back in the 1950s, Elvis was as still as an opera singer. Occasionally, however, he would grin and do some wild dancing, to which the audience always responded with screams. Even a move of his eyeballs, and they screamed.

He promised to "do all the songs you want - all 428 of them" and partially fulfilled that oath with his greater hits, Blue Suede Shoes, Heartbreak Hotel, Love Me Tender, I'm All Shook Up and after a great deal of teasing and cracking up ("You know what I'm going to do, don't you), he sang "Hound Dog" - first mellow, and then with the old basic rock that led to rock music as it's known today.

He also sang some more modern songs and came closest to appearing sincere when he sang a spiritual, "How Great Thou Art." Backing Elvis's voice, which has deepened and bettered with his 37 years was his old band and the Joe Guercio Orchestra. Almost matching Elvis for show was his drummer, Ron Tutt.

Always a rather reticent man, he did say a few words to his audience, most of whom paid $10 to see him, such as, "Boy, it's nice to be back in Phoe - Tucson" and "It's a tough way to make a living."

After sacrificing three sweaty white scarves to excited women, he donned a white cape that matched his white suit with golden buttons, spread his arms and left during a good round of applause but not a demand for an encore. Maybe the audience knew that once Elvis leaves the stage he won't return, but they probably figured that the old times are gone for good.

The crowd seemed just as appreciative of witty Jackie Kehane, who delivered some funny jokes, and three beautiful women, Sylvia Shimwell, Myona Smith and Estell Brown, the stars of the singing group Sweet Inspiration, which was created several years ago as a back up group for Aretha Franklin.

Courtesy Of Archie Bald