Home > Special Themes > U.S.A. TRAVEL - 2010 Part 2




U.S.A. TRAVEL - 2010 Part 2 by Carlito Belprimo



As I wrote before, my travel went on visiting famous natural places, but not linked with Elvis, so after a week of traveling, I reached Las Vegas, NV. Of course, it was impossible to not go to visit the Hilton Hotel. I knew already that The Hilton showroom had been changed very much from what we know when Elvis performed there, but for an Elvis fan, this doesn't make a difference. I wanted to see, to feel, to breathe the air, the place where once, The King performed so many times during the 70's.


(Click to enlarge)
(c) Carlito Belprimo

As we went there, the Hilton and the area around was changed much from the 70's. Once I went inside I searched for the main showroom. I found it, but in front of the main entrance was one young guy sitting behind a desk, controlling that nobody would enter the showroom. I almost begged him to let me go inside even just for a minute, but no way, it was in preparation a big event and he couldn't allow nobody to go inside.

I left and went back to the hall where my wife was patiently waiting. My thinking was: "I waited 20 years for this opportunity, I traveled from Italy, I don't intend to renounce just because a young boy so zealous tell me not, enjoying his minute of power over my desires!" "He really doesn't know the determination of an Elvis fan" and most of all, "he doesn't imagine that I know that damn Hilton Hotel better than him!" I have seen TTWII hundred times, and being an architect myself, I know very well that even with remodelings, there are some parts of a building you can't change much ( the only alternative is to tear it down) and in my mind I already had a plan of the area around the showroom from the fact that Elvis passed through the kitchens to reach his dressing room on the floor below the stage.

With all this in mind, I went to a big open space where I supposed was next to the corridors that surround the showroom (the kitchen corridors), I searched for some door and in fact I found it. I opened it and went through a staircase about a floor down, in front of me was a long corridor that surrounded the showroom, I walked and walked. I met a cook but he didn't say a word to me. I met another cook and this time he asked me what I was searching, I simply asked him if this was a good way to reach the back of the stage (I had my professional camera hanging on my chest, maybe he was thinking I was a photographer for the event they were preparing inside the showroom) and he nodded and told me to go on walking like I was doing.


(Click to enlarge)
(c) Carlito Belprimo

After a while, I found myself on the back of the stage, where is the loading and unloading of equipment to the scene, from there I entered the stage and towards the end I got right on the stage! Theere were people who were talking , perhaps in preparation for the show, they saw me but did not say anything, my presence not only didn't bothered them, but it seemed quite normal, perhaps because I looked like a professional photographer? ...I don't know, however, I stayed there for a while doing some photo even if the room was not well lighted, there was a soft light that did not allow me to take good pictures and I did not want to use the flash to avoid attracting too much attention. The arrangement of the audience was totally changed ... no tables or booths, chairs ... just a movie theater setup, it was clear by now that the room had become a hall just for shows, without dinners or cocktails. The only thing that perhaps had remained unchanged was the space ... understood as the internal volume of the building, in this way I only had a good perception of the size of the audience and with a little imagination, I tried to think about when Elvis was performing in the same place. For those who have seen Elvis performing live this can make smile because for them it is sufficient to "remember" and not "imagine" but for thousands or millions of fans like me, the use of imagination is crucial, to try to identify with any member of the audience watching an Elvis concert.


(Click to enlarge)
(c) Carlito Belprimo

Standing on the stage in front of the audience, I knew there had to be at my right side one stairs that I could take to reach the floor below where I supposed to be the dressing rooms area. Bingo! In fact it was just like so, moreover, the doors of the various dressing rooms were opened, but I immediately had the impression that everything had changed, so I stayed only a few minutes without even taking pictures because I was beginning to be afraid that someone of security could intervene. Keep in mind that there were small security-cameras everywhere.

I tried to go even in the Elvis suite but it was accessible only through a special key to be inserted in the lift. Instead the safety stairs were controlled by security cameras even with an advertisement against intruders so I thought it was too risky to venture further, also because at most I could get in front of the door to the Elvis suite, not more. Passed about one hour when I was back to my wife still waiting me in the Hotel Hall worried for where I was and if security caught me and put me in trouble.


(Click to enlarge)
(c) Carlito Belprimo

After leaving Las Vegas, we went to Los Angeles where I had the opportunity to visit the Forum of Inglewood, but only from outside and the house in Hillcrest Road from outside the gates too.


(Click to enlarge)
(c) Carlito Belprimo

After L.A. I went to New York by plane, and was able to visit the MSG but just from outside, I could not visit the arena, I just reached the box offices inside the building.


(Click to enlarge)
(c) Carlito Belprimo

I hope to travel again along the U.S.A. in the future and maybe to can visit other places linked with Elvis. All I did during our travel, was possiblly to thank my wife's patience. She was not an Elvis fan but accepted my wishes because she knew it was all part of my life-dream, even considering the fact that we were on honeymoon.


(Click to enlarge)
(c) Carlito Belprimo