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TOURS 1970

The Houston Astrodome Press Conference
March 1970

This was the press conference held promoting Elvis' appearances at the Houston Astrodome in early 1970:

P: The Press, EP: Elvis Presley

P: What made you decide to come to Texas?
EP: Well, to tell you the truth, I started out here in Texas. I think the first shows that I worked was down here, around Houston, and all over Texas.

P: Do you remember what locations you worked here in Texas?
EP: Well, I worked Houston, worked Corpus Christi, every little town here…Long View, man, you name it. I've been there, really.

P: Elvis, can you give us, I understand with all the big engagements, like Las Vegas, etc…the reason why you selected the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo this year?
EP: Well, uh…they asked me to do it and I was anxious to do some live appearances, you know, I haven't…It had been a long time since I'd been on stage in front of anybody live and I was anxious to do some live appearances and I thought it would be a good opportunity to get I front of the people.

P: You ever seen the inside of the Dome before?
EP: Never have. It scares me…(laughs). It's a big place, man, you know.

P: You've been known in the past as the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Do you think your style has changed much from the days when you were King or do you consider that still your style?
EP: I think the overall thing has improved. The overall sound has improved, I mean, I think it…it's according to the songs, you know. It's just according to the songs.

P: Is your stage presentation still the same way it was or have you improved on that?
EP: Well, I just do whatever I feel on stage, you know. I always did that.

P: Are you going to keep making films?
EP: Hope to. (laughter) Well, I'd like to make better films and…

P: What do you mean by better?
EP: Better than the ones I made before.

P: I mean, playing general types, westerns, or romances…
EP: (Coughs) Excuse me. I can't take this fresh air, man. I'm used to the garbage can at the International Hotel, man. (Laughter) If I can't smell some garbage, I don't feel at home, man, I tell you. (Laughter)

P: Do you have any films in the making right now or any planned?
EP: No there's nothing as far as I know, is there Colonel? Anything in the working?
Col.: No. I can't predict myself…
EP: An 8mm Walt Disney special we're doing next year, I think…I don't know. There's nothing as far as I know, no.

P: When you look back at our opportunity, what will you do to try to fill up the Astrodome?
EP: Well, it'll be the type of stuff that I do. It's a mixture of things, you know. It's a little rock and a little country and western stuff…

P: Essentially the same stuff that you did at the International Hotel?
EP: Yeah. It's the same type of thing. A lot of different type of songs, so I just hope I can put on a good show, mainly.

P: Whatever happened to the Jordanaires?
EP: I can't get them out of Nashville, man. They got stuck in Nashville and they make so much money, and they do so well in Nashville, you can't get them out of there, you know.

P: Do you have any thoughts about the rising interest in country music?
EP: I think it's fantastic. You see, country music was always a part of the influence on my type of music anyway. It's a combination of country music, gospel, and rhythm and blues all combined, is what it really was. As a child, I was influenced by all that.

P: Do you consider yourself basically a country music singer then?
EP: Uh..I'd hate to say strictly country because of the fact that I like all different types of music when I was a child, you know. Of course, the Grand Ol' Opry was the first thing I ever heard, probably, but I liked the blues and I liked the gospel music, gospel quartets and all that.

P: Do you ever pull out any of those old records on the Sun label and listen to them at all?
EP: They sound funny, boy (laughing). They got a lot of echo on them, I'll tell you. (Coughs) But that's what I mean, I think the overall sound has improved today.

P: Well, do you think there's more gimmicks today than there were, say fifteen years ago?
EP: Well, there's probably more gimmicks, but I think that the engineers have improved and I think that the techniques have improved, of overall recording.

P: Consideration…further re-evaluation of your career to get you back in front of live audiences again. In other words, you were available to the public only in films for a long period of time.
EP: I think the most important thing is the inspiration that I got from a live audience. I was missing that. I didn't…

P: Was it rough at the International? Was it a little bit of a strain on you after not being on programs?
EP: It was always terrible. I enjoyed it…I enjoy it. Like, I know I'm going to enjoy it here because it's a live audience and it makes a world of difference.

P: Let me ask you one thing. What's your father up to these days?
EP: He's around here somewhere…Ask him, I don't know. Daddy, what are you up to?
Col.: Mr. Presley…Mr. Presley? I want you to meet Elvis' father, Mr. Vernon Presley.

P: Could he come right up here and sit down?
EP: (Coughs) It's this fresh air, man.

P: Elvis, there's quite an evidence of sartorial splendor. Does this indicate that the…
EP: What? What?

P: The attire is not one that we're familiar seeing.
EP: It was taken from a karate suit, just a regular karate type outfit. (Sirens in background) Are they coming to get me? Is that it? (Laughter)

P: I mean, does this indicate that with your type dress and everything now that you're changing a little bit of style perhaps, in deference to what you did a few years ago?
EP: I don't know. I think that you'd have to see the show, you know. It's difficult to tell. I don't feel any different, you know. I don't think the dress has that much to do with it, I got the idea from a karate suit 'cause I studied karate for a long time and I had them make up a couple of suits like it.

P: What do you do for relaxation? You said you studied…
EP: Karate! If you can relax doing this! (Does a few karate chops in the air) I don't know, I read a lot and go horseback riding, and stuff like that.

P: Do you still live principally in, ah…
EP: Memphis! About half of the time, about half of the time there and half of the time in LA.

P: In that show you have planned for the Dome, do you plan any of the old, old songs, some of the first ones?
EP: I'd like to, you know…

P: Any special ones?
EP: …Try a couple of them, just to see if they work.

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