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Arizona 2013 by Francesc Lopez






In January 2013, we decided to travel to Arizona. Most of our trips are not entirely Elvis related but we were able to visit some venues while we were in Tucson and Phoenix.

The first leg of the trip was to get to Palm Springs and spend some days there enjoying the warm temperatures. Elvis rented some homes there, but we already visited them before, so we didn't visit anything related to Elvis.

After spending some time in Palm Springs and the surrounding mountains and trails, we headed to Arizona by US Hwy 78 and then changed to US Hwy 8. This Hwy 8 goes through a bunch of dunes where people like to camp in RVs and drive their quads up and down the dunes.

After miles and miles of sand, quads and RVs, we continued on to Tucson, AZ. We checked into a hotel and rested for the night after so much driving.

Sentinel Peak or "A" Mountain is a well known peak just outside of Tucson, AZ with amazing views of downtown Tucson and the surrounding area. The reason for the A being painted on the mountain was because of the celebration in 1915 when the Arizona football team won over Pamona College 7-6. The "A" can be seen from different sections of Tucson, Arizona and stands out most from downtown1.

We visited other Tucson sites such as the Downtown and some of the barrios and also Mission San Xavier del Bac. After all this, we visited a couple of venues were Elvis perfomed

Elvis performed in Tucson on June 10, 1956 at the Rodeo Grounds.

Before the concert Elvis was interviewed by Betty Milburn for the Tucson Daily Citizen newspaper in a little room under the bleachers where he also met also with some of his cousins that lived in town. After the interview, Elvis when to the stage guarded by police officerse.


(Click to enlarge)
Photos courtesy of Brian Petersen

Then the noise really started. The crowd chewed its gum and stomped its feet and shrieked and squealed through "Blue Suede Shoes," "Heartbreak Hotel," and the other Presley hits. elvis himself wiggled and gyrated, grunted and groaned and "sang"


(Click to enlarge)
Photos courtesy of Brian Petersen

As a finale, he jumped from the stage, ran through the gamut of burlesque type wiggling, got down on his knees and literally crawled to the waiting car...


(Click to read the newspaper review)

Below we were in front of the Rodeo Grounds, it is a long structure and it seems that the bleachers have been modernized since Elvis performed here in 1956.


(Click to enlarge)
(c) Francesc Lopez

(Click to enlarge)
(c) Francesc Lopez

And of course, we took some photos under the bleachers where Elvis supposedly was interviewed and photographied leaving the small office room.


(Click to enlarge)
(c) Francesc Lopez

We stopped by the Rodeo Ground offices but they were not sure Elvis played in the Rodeo Grounds even after assuring them that there were photos of Elvis and information. So we left right away to the other venue where Elvis played during the 70s.



    




1 Source: Sentinel Peak "A" Mountain