By Maria Davis

(attended (at least) five shows between August 20 – 23)

August 20 – Dinner Show

Fans who know me will know I lived in a fever of anticipation, doubts and apprehension between the date I booked my seats for Las Vegas (on 2nd March). Until the confirmation arrived on 2nd August just 17 days before we were due to leave. During that time I never could really believe that on the 20th August we would have our 13 year old dreams become a reality, and we would see Elvis in person.

Wednesday 20th seemed like the longest day in my life, we had been told on arrival at the Hotel that we must be in our seats for the 8.15pm show by 6pm. And for the Midnight Show by 10pm. However fans we met during the day had told us that the queue started at 5pm. And 9pm. So promptly at 5pm we found ourselves among the first dozen people in the queue.

Here we learnt that regardless of how long the seats had been reserved the only thing that ensured a good seat was how much you were prepared to tip the Table Captain (waiter).

We were advised to offer 10 dollars (£4) and if we didn’t like the seat then give another 10 dollars. As we wanted to be on the front row I decided to cut out the messing about and offer the 20 dollars and see what happened. The time passed quickly as our Fan Club badges served as an introduction to other fans. At long last we moved into the showroom and when my waiter moved forward to show us to our table I quickly pressed the 20 dollar bill into his hand and explained we had come 8,000 miles JUST to see Elvis. We were overjoyed when he seated us on the front row to what would be Elvis’ left hand side, he explained that the centre seats were reserved for the big spenders in the Casino. Now the time dragged, the meal was set down and taken away uneaten – I felt it would just choke me, my head thumped and my heart hammered and I just felt I would die before the show started.

At long last the lights dimmed and a voice boomed out, “Ladies and Gentleman, welcome to the International Hotel and the Elvis Presley Show with the Sweet Inspirations, Sammy Shore, and the Imperials”

With that the curtains parted to reveal the girls who stepped forward to introduce themselves and started singing Born Free, the song from La Manche, and Somewhere There’s Music. Sammy Shore then came on, and made complimentary remarks about Elvis, he was quite funny and I tried very hard to concentrate on him in the hope the time would pass quickly, at about 8.45 Sammy finished his act, and a buzz of expectancy flew around the Showroom.

The gold lame drapes were closed and the band played Elvis’ Intro, a series of beat’y chords is the only way I could describe them, they seemed to go on for ages though I don’t suppose they really did, during this time I was sure I was going to faint – I remembered what they tell the guardsmen on parade !! Contract the stomach muscles and this forces the blood to the head – with that the curtains parted and there stood the combo lead by Charlie Hodge, all in white with an amused smile on his face.

THEN in the most casual manner possible Elvis strolled out, from our side of the stage, my eyes were riveted on those enormous shoulders that long back and those groovy legs! Elvis was wearing black bell-bottomed pants with pale blue inverted pleats from knee to ankle on the outside leg, black ‘matador’ jacket with stand up collar – open to the waist, a silver belt around his hips a pale blue silk scarf around his neck, he turned his head towards the audience and smiled, having reached Charlie Hodge he seized hold of the guitar Charlie was holding and with that characteristic gesture ‘whipped’ the strap over his head, he then took up his stance before the mike, right leg slightly in front of the left, the left heel beating time on the stage, head held up, eyes slightly closed and with everyone waiting for it, he starts to hum a note, and does this three times as if he is trying to get the right note.

Suddenly Elvis blasts into Blue Suede Shoes, follows with I Got A Woman and All Shook Up, at the end of which he gives that famous “ah!” and hands the guitar to Charlie, seized the mike like a bull-whip and says;

Good-evening Ladies and Gentlemen, Welcome to the big, funky International Hotel, with those little funky angels on the ceiling, and Man you ain’t seen nothin’ until you’ve seen a funky angel, Before the evenings out I am sure I will have made a complete and utter fool of myself, but hope you get a kick out of watching. During the show you will see I will drink a lot of water – wa-wa (only the fans know this is Lisa’s way of saying water, and Elvis always called the water his WA WA) that is because the desert air is very dry and it effects my throat, I also have here some Gaiteraid (laughter here) (this is something that is advertised on American TV and they claim is used by athletes and it quenches the thirst 12 times faster than water it is a pale yellow colour) Elvis continues “it is supposed to act 12 times faster than water” he held it up and said, “looks as if it has been used before to me, but if it aids my gaiter…”

He then took hold of the mike and walked to the right of the stage starting to sing Love Me Tender, as he reached the far right he bent down to kiss the girl sitting there, and then the next one, he then continued to work his way across the front row singing all the time and kissing each girl in the front row, the men stood up and offered him their hands and he shook hands with many of the men sitting in the front. As the stage is only about six inches above the level of the tables as Elvis moved from one girl to the next each stood up in turn so that he didn’t have to double himself in two to reach them.

The stage is some 90 feet wide and before he had got one quarter of the way across all the girls in the front row had stood up in anticipation. As it takes him quite a time to move down the line of females people start calling out and running forward in the hope of hurrying him up. While doing this and singing Love Me Tender, he had usually finished the song before he got to the left hand side of the stage so would then return to the center (but our turn came later), he then said I would now like to do for you some of my big records, actually they were no bigger than that ( indicating with his hands the size of a 45rpm) he then sang Mystery Train, Jailhouse Rock, Heartbreak Hotel, ( this was just fantastic, more about it later) and Don’t be Cruel.

He then crouched down near the ground left leg bent under him, right leg stretched out to the side, guitar slung out to the side ‘like a tommy gun’ ( try taking up this stance sometime it will nearly kill you, Elvis must be the fittest man in the business he held this pose for nearly five minutes while he fooled around with the following dialogue;) So I looked her square in the eye because that’s all she had was one square eye, and there we were like this see, both with our guitars – bumpin’ and she said to me, is that your pick man ? and I said, Yep! That’s about the size of it, and she said, funny lookin’ pick man, so I said, well, don’t look at it then, and so there we were watchin’ my sweat dropping on the floor, (his sweat was dropping on the floor) and I said to her, baby. baby, and she said, deeper- deeper, so I said baby, baby, ( in a deeper voice ) so she got disgusted and got up and left, I think she went to spray her hair or something, so I was left there like this so I said ….” -from here he roared into Hound Dog, then Tiger Man, while singing this the lights were flashing on and off and his hair was flying all over the place and he was shaking like mad.

At the end of Tiger Man Charlie Hodge brought over a stool and took away the guitar Elvis had been playing.

Elvis went to sit on the stool, but made his arms and legs very stiff like a puppet, he had three false attempts to sit down, before being able to get himself comfortable. Charlie then handed him an electric guitar (the other one was a country guitar), and Elvis said I would like to talk to you a little bit about how I came to get started in this business, a lot has been written about it, but never from my side. 

In 1954 I made a record for my own use and it got to be played on the radio and got pretty big in my home town, I started playing in little clubs and little football fields, in those days you didn’t see people around with long hair and sideburns and people said, who is he? what is he? is he is he? he’s squirley man, he’s just out of the trees, get him!

You didn’t see people moving around on stage too much, they were getting it in the back rooms, you know, but you didn’t see it out in front, then I met Colonel Sanders, no I mean Colonel Parker, and then I got to be on Television. I did the Milton Berle Show, and the Steve Allen Show, and the Ed Sullivan Show, and on the Ed Sullivan show, they dressed me in a tuxedo, and filmed me only from the waist up, – and they had me singing to a Dog, you know You ain’t nuttin’ but a Hound Dog, and the dogs on heat and I don’t know it, and there am I singing You ain’t nuttin’ but a Hound Dog, and the dogs goin’ -(here Elvis imitates the dog panting away), so they take the dog and lock it away, don’t know if it was to protect me from it or it from me, and Ed Sullivan is sitting there saying Son f’Bitch, and I’m saying Thank you, sir, Thank you, sir cos’ I don’t know what it means.

So then I go to Hollywood, that’s what happens to you in this business, you have a hit record, go on Television and then you go to Hollywood, and I’m not ready for it, and its not ready for me, and I made Love Me Tender, Loving You, Loving Her, Loving anyone I could get my hands on at the time, Jailhouse Rock, and I’m getting used to the life you know, driving around in a Cadillac with my feet up, and the dark glasses on saying I’m a movie star, I’m a movie star, and eating hamburgers and drinking pepsi and I made King Creole, then I got drafted, and shafted and it was all over for me, and the guys in the army – they were watching me to see what I would do, and when they saw I was doing just like they were – then everything was alright.

The guys in the service must get awful lonely because they call one another – ‘Mother’ that’s only the half of it, well you know I picked this up but I wasn’t very popular when I got back to Hollywood, I’d see some big producer and say ‘Hello Mother’, … (here he made a gesture indicating – get lost !!!) then I made G.I. Blues, Blue Hawaii , Viva Las Vegas, Girls! Girls! Girls! but the point of telling you all this is to say – I got into a rut and I really missed contact with the live audience, that’s why I am here to-night.

This brought a round of applause, and he started to tune up the guitar and say how do you play this thing?” he twanged one of the strings and said “is that a G ? Man if your G string is wrong its terrible.” He then started to sing Baby What Do You Want Me To Do, Are You Lonesome Tonight? He hummed a few notes of Its Now or Never, every time this happened he received a round of applause and he used to say I’m not going to sing that thing. He then sang Yesterday and used to sing, “I’m not half the stud I used to be” then he used to sing the chorus of Hey Jude. This is when he worked his way along the front row again kissing all the girls, this second time he went to each and every one and when he had reached the far left side worked his way back to the middle again, so everyone on the front row had been kissed at least twice, so far.

On this first night for us, Elvis seemed to be taking such a long time to get to our side mainly because some fans having got their hands on him just wouldn’t let go. I was standing up beside my chair and he was about half way across the stage and he looked over in our direction so I stretched out both my arms and beckoned him over. I nearly died when I saw him walk over to me! As he bent down to give me a kiss I told him “Elvis you are simply great, we have come from England to see you, you’re just marvellous!”

He kissed both me and my sister, and then moved on down the line as he came back he kissed us both again, when the furor had died down he announced “This was a big seller for me recently”, and sang In the Ghetto, he then said, this is my next single which I recorded a little while back, he then began to sing Suspicious Minds.

This song was the most exciting number which he did, the single is a very tamed version of the live cut. I just hope when the album comes out they have on it the Las Vegas version. It was during the verse, which is the quiet part that Elvis was really ‘turned on’ the first time we saw him singing it it took us unawares but afterwards every show was full of anticipation of this number. You see in the slow part he used to crouch down and the lights would go dim, and he would play out the lead from the mike, with each line he sang he crouched nearer the floor, and in the few seconds pause before the chorus began again, he would either roll across the stage, do a somersault or do a flying leap to the front of the stage.

usually the people sitting dead centre would scream out sure that he was going to land on their table — but no he stopped about 3 inches short of the edge of the stage! These were feats that could have ended in disaster for a lesser artist. Never once did he lose his balance or get entangled up in the mike cord. I used to love to watch him playing out the lead knowing that he was getting it clear of his body for this most spectacular part of his act. At the Very end of this song he was almost lying, on the ground and was so carried away – that his eyes were almost glazed – it just brought the house down.

Elvis then used to walk off stage, take off the scarf which was just wringing wet and put on a smaller fresh one, he would then walk back on stage go over to the right and start singing What I’d Say and kiss everyone again right across the stage, he used to allow the person sitting in the center front to pull the scarf off him and keep it, this was presumably the chief casino guest, I never saw any of the fans get the chance of having one. The show would then close with Elvis singing Can’t Help Falling in Love, at the end of this song he would go down on one knee with this arms outstretched as the curtain came slowly down and the audience gave him a standing ovation, usually on their chairs. There were no curtain calls, when the curtain came down it stayed down.

Basically this was his act, but I will go on to list the different numbers which he did at the shows we saw, and also anything different which occurred, that I can remember. What has amazed me is that he didn’t sing the songs in the same order each night and I am sure there were certain numbers which the band didn’t know if he would do them until he just started off.

Some of the situations in which he ad-libed were just marvellous and he showed how he was just the master of the situation. Sometimes he would pretend he had forgotten what he was going to do next and would say to Charlie Hodge, “What do I do now? Oh yes I know” or he would pretend he couldn’t play the guitar and that he was trying to mime to James Burton’s playing, One night when he kissed one of the women in the centre front she said to him it wasn’t enough, a most mischievous grin crossed his face, the person in question was quite small and thin. Elvis stepped forward, seized her by the shoulders, practically lifted her off her feet, he opened his mouth wide and then bit her hard on the mouth and threw her back at her husband. You can imagine the reaction from the audience – they went wild. Another night when someone asked for more he muzzeled them hard on the neck.

 

August 21 – Midnight Show

Anyway on to Thursday night. We saw the Midnight show, and Elvis- wore- black bell-bottomed pants with red inverted pleats, the black karate top was not in any way loose, it fitted him rather like a British sailors jumper but the shoulders were beautifully tailored, it had the stand up collar, and was open to the waist, instead of a silver belt he had a black and red girdle around his hips, the end of which hung almost to the floor, He made his entrance like a burlesque dancer by putting out his left leg, for a few seconds before walking on stage.

On this night 21 st August 1969 he sang, Blue Suede Shoes, I Gotta Woman , All shook up, Love me Tender, Jailhouse Rocks, Don’t Be Cruel, Heartbreak Hotel, Memories, Mystery Train, Tiger Man, Baby What Do You Want Me To Do,? hums- Its Now or Never, Runaway, Are You Lonesome To-night, Yesterday, Hey Jude, In the Ghetto,Suspicious Minds, What I’d say, Cant Help Falling in Love.

This was the night I made my LAS VEGAS debut!!! The audience was very excitable, and we were in our usual seats in the front, everyone started to stand on their chairs. My sister Gladys stood on my chair, anyone who knows her will know that she was then about 10ft tall, I was standing up (on the floor ) and the person behind me was also standing on her chair, so I knew when Elvis came over he would miss me as I would be way out of sight. With agility which surprised me, I hopped on to a chair, on to our table and on to the stage, I didn’t run on after Elvis, I just stood parallel with my chair, Elvis was singing in the middle of the stage, when he saw me standing there he walked over towards me, (still singing) he came straight over to me and I flung my arms around him and gave him a gigantic hug. The audience let out a tremendous roar, fans on the opposite side of the showroom said, “you looked as if you were hugging a bear” – “Gladys said I just saw Elvis’ face come over your shoulder, and while he was so imprisoned she ruffled his hair, and can report it is as soft as silk, it wasn’t greased or “dressed” in any way, well we knew that, but it is nice to be able to say I now know because I touched him!!!

I let Elvis go and the next thing I knew was that Mr. Diskin was hovering near and he helped me step down on to the table and my chair, and the floor again, As Elvis was returning to the centre of the stage again someone ran on from the side, Elvis had his back to her and didn’t know she was there until she pounced on him -spun him around and kissed him hard, she just hung on and Mr. Diskin was hovering at the side watching anxiously, eventually Elvis pulled himself free, he looked a bit annoyed, and the girl in question returned to her seat.

Mr. Diskin knew that we were going to Las Vegas and he had written to me to say he hoped we would get the chance to say ”Hello” I had sent him. a note to say we had arrived and that we had, a present for Lisa which I would like to leave with him. On the Friday morning we had a phone call from him to ask us to go down to the suite which they were using as an office and to bring our gift with us. We were invited inside and Mr. O’Brien gave us coffee. Both Mr. Diskin and Mr. O’Brien sat around the table with us and asked us how we had liked the shows and how many we had seen and how many we intended to see. The office was just terrific, so many pictures of Elvis which I had never seen. Surprisingly but thrilling, the biggest photograph was a black and white lithograph’ of Priscilla which was on one wall over Mr O’Brien’s desk.

We handed over the present which was a Child’s Victorian Parasol in shell pink silk, trimmed in lace and pink silk tassels. I asked Mr. Diskin if it would be possible for us to meet Elvis and he said NO! he explained — Elvis loves to entertain, and in order to do this show he has to be able to withdraw and be alone between times, only in this way can he recharge and keep going, do you know he has done 47 shows up to to-day, the first week the band kept bringing in wives and children all wanting autographs and photographs and the place was a shambles, even the band has got to concentrate on the job in hand if the show is to stay together and be tight.

They had allowed an elderly fan to go in to meet Elvis and she had turned up with about six scrap books which she had proceeded to open all over the floor and expected Elvis to start looking through them, well he just didn’t have the time for it, some fans had managed to get to see Elvis but they had just been lucky, and they were around at the right time.

It was his and Mr. O’Brien’s job to watch Elvis for any sign of a crack up, and to try and protect him from too many outside pressures, If too many people started getting through to Elvis then they would be in trouble with Colonel Parker. Although disappointed we accepted this, I then asked if I could leave the Convention tickets to be autographed, and he said yes. He talked about the previous nights show and I represented myself as the person in the black dress. Was it you? he asked me quite surprised, I told him, you don’t have to worry about me, I am quite harmless, I would never run on stage, I just stood there because someone was on my chair and I thought the stage was safer than the table. He then said, when I saw you stand-on the table I thought it will collapse and it will be a shambles, its alright if one or two people go on stage but when too many rush forward then the show must close and it is spoilt for everyone. …….

At one show 200 girls had rushed forward all trying to get to Elvis.

Mr. Diskin told us Elvis had rehearsed for six hours a day and he puts as much into rehearsals with only one person watching as he does with 2,000. Mr. Diskin then asked me if I would be willing to bring back the Elvis mementos which had been given for prizes at the Convention to which I agreed. He asked us what our plans were for the rest of the holiday and I told him after going to San Francisco we would be going to Los Angeles and then to Memphis, I asked him if he thought Elvis would return to Memphis when he finished on the 28th. and he said he didn’t think so as Memphis wasn’t a holiday and Elvis will need a vacation. During the time we were in the suite the phone was ringing all the time and people were coming and going so we thanked them for their hospitality and left. Mr. Diskin said he will be getting in touch.

I have forgotten to mention that the previous morning (Wednesday 20 th Aug. at 5.20.am.) I had gone down to post a letter and as I left the lift I saw Mr. Vernon Presley crossing the foyer. I went over to him and told him how pleased we were to see him, we knew him so well from his photos, He looked at our badges and asked are you from England, and we told him we had come specially to see Elvis, he asked us if we had enjoyed the show… so we told him !!! I also told him we would be going every night while we were there, “glad to have you along” he said.

After we left Mr. Diskin we were stopped by Mrs Hatcher and her daughter Marilyn, they asked us if we were English, and then said, Mr. Presley saw you in the restaurant yesterday and told the people sitting near that you had come all the way from England to see Elvis, he was so proud. Marilyn is the lucky fan whose face is seen on the ’68 TV Special crying while Elvis is singing, when Colonel Parker knew she was at the Hotel he took her along to meet Elvis. Lucky Marilyn.

August 22 – Dinner Show

Friday saw us booked to see the Dinner show at 8.15pm. Elvis wore the black and red outfit he sang Blue Suede Shoes, I Gotta Woman, All Shook Up, Love Me Tender, Jailhouse Rock, Don’t Be Cruel, Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, Memories, Mystery Train, Tiger Man, Baby What You Want Me To Do, Runaway, Are You Lonesome Tonight?, Yesterday, Hey Jude, In the Ghetto, Suspicious Minds, What I’d Say, Can’t help falling In Love. I forgot to mention earlier that when Elvis was talking about his early life he said he was training to be an electrician but had got wired the wrong way, this night he said his first employer was in the audience and that it was his wifes birthday, he came over and kissed the lady in question.

Every performance had its share of celebrities. Early on in his performance Elvis had started sweating so heavily that it ran down his face into his eyes and he had difficulty in keeping his eyes open, he kept asking for Kleenex or whatever was handy, he mopped his face and then pretended to mop under his arms before throwing the table napkins and Kleenex back at the owners. He worked all out at this performance as usual, and at the finale looked so bushed I thought he just can’t do it all again at Midnight, it had been so exciting we decided that somehow we would have to get back in the Showroom for the midnight show.

 

August 22 – Midnight Show

The only hope was in the balcony and after waiting until 11.30.pm. and giving a suitable bribe we were allowed up and two seats found for us, At 12.30am , Elvis strolls on to the stage looking so fresh as if he had just woken up from a hundred years sleep. He was in all white gear – the first time we had seen him in it and he just looked terrific, he wore white pants, white tunic (like the black one) white girdle, white boots and a red silk scarf. He sang .. Blue Suede Shoes, I Gotta Woman, All Shook Up, Love Me Tender, Don’t Be Cruel, Jailhouse Rock, Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, Memories, Ma Babe, Mystery Train, Tiger Man, Baby What You Want Me To Do, Funny How Time slips away, Runaway, Are You Lonesome Tonight? Yesterday, In The Ghetto, Suspicious Minds, What I’d Say, Can’t Help Falling In Love.

Diana Ross was there in the front row, and Elvis introduced her by saying “A great gal, and I love her” he bent down and kissed her and she smiled and waved to everyone and seemed so excited that he had introduced her. One of the girls with her asked Elvis for the glass of water from which he was drinking & he obliged by handing it down so carefully. Someone asked him for something which we didn’t hear only his reply “after the show Baby you can have anything I’ve got”

We also heard later that at this performance Priscilla sat on the front row and that when Elvis went along the line kissing everyone when he came to her he said “Haven’t I seen you somewhere before?” I cannot vouch for this but there was so much confusion at the stage during this part of the performance that I could have missed her. I was glad to have the opportunity of seeing the show at least once from the balcony as only from this vantage point could you appreciate the width of the stage and lighting and the colours, the sound of course was superb.

Saturday morning brought a call from Mr. Diskin to go back to the suite again, he handed over my Convention tickets which Elvis had signed we told him that we had managed to get up to see the midnight show. How did you like the white suit he asked, well we told him!!!!

Mr. Diskin then said they would love to see the show from the balcony but they just never had the time to go, we tell him that we were going to do all in our power to get back to Vegas for Thursday 28th, and the two final shows, I told him I had heard that Jimmy Savile and Rosko.(UK DJ’s) were due in that afternoon and he said he would look out for them. Mr. Diskin then picked up a copy of the Monthly and asked me if I knew about it, (??!!) he had it opened at the page where the Hound Dogs Fan Club said they would all meet for the 8,15.pm. performance on the 23rd. (that night) I will tell Elvis about this just before he goes on stage and he will remember, I went cold because I knew that the Hound Dogs Fan Club just were not there, Mr. Diskin then told us that it had been arranged for a car to collect us from our Hotel in Los Angeles on Wednesday morning and take us to M.G.M. to see the office, just then he said Ah, here is the young man who will take you and introduced us to Bob McPhepson.

Mr. Diskin then said are you going to the show tonight and I said yes, (I am sure I told him we were going to the midnight show) he then said will you sit in the same-seats? and I said I hope so, there was something in the way he spoke that made me determined that if I waited all day I would have to get those two seats. I told fans going to the 8.15.pm. show that if Elvis mentioned the Hound Dogs they would have to cheer as if it was them to whom he was referring, I had heard that Peter Wilson was arriving with Jimmy Savile and Rosko so I had him paged all -day so I could tip them off that Mr. Diskin was looking out for them but by the time the show had started they had not arrived.

August 23 – Midnight Show)

To be sure of getting our seats for the Midnight Show we started queuing at 6.pm. so we were first in the Showroom and sat in our usual seats. Fans who had gone to the 8.15.pm. show and who usually sat over on the right side joined us at our table saying that at the earlier show Elvis had for the very first time played all the show over on the left, our hearts sank because we realized that it must have been for our benefit and we were not there!!! When he came on at 12.30. he was in the white outfit again but was wearing a pale blue scarf he was back to the usual routine of playing the show more from the right, he sang Blue Suede Shoes, I Gotta Woman, All Shook Up, Love Me Tender, Jailhouse Rock, Don’t Be Cruel, Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, Memories, Mystery Train, Tiger Man, Baby what do you want me to do? Runaway, Loving You and ..RECONSIDER BABY (my mind was in a turmoil at this one because I had brought a letter for Elvis from a great Elvis fan, Martin Kerridge and I know this is one of Martins favourites, no one had reported Elvis singing this before, and I couldn’t help wondering if Martin had asked Elvis to sing it) Are you Lonesome Tonight? Yesterday, Hey Jude, In the Ghetto, Suspicious Minds, What I’d Say, Can’t Help Falling In Love.

After this show we met Mr. Vernon Presley in the coffee shop, and he signed my Convention tickets, I asked him from where did Elvis get his energy, I don’t know, from me I guess !!! he replied. Fans asked him if Elvis would issue a picture of Lisa, and he said no, they asked was this because of security and he said no, Lisa is his family, she is not show business. Later we saw Mr. Presley talking to some other fans from England we realized from the coming and going and the telephoning that something was in the wind and after about an hour we saw Vernon take them down towards the dressing room, so we presume he took them to Elvis, lucky things, this was at 6.a.m. Priscilla had gone to L.A. on the Saturday, and was not there that night, we had heard that when Priscilla was there Elvis would go up to their suite at about 3am, but when she was not he stayed up and sometimes would go into the Casino around 5.am. The guard told us Elvis used to go into the employees coffee shop between 4 and 5 am . and he would fool around pretending to draw a gun (all the guards were armed). Elvis used to say “Don’t pull that thing out now”.

Sunday afternoon saw us on our way to San Francisco, so sad to leave Vegas, Tuesday evening saw us in Los Angeles and on Wednesday morning Bob McPherson called for us in a Bonneville Estate and took us out to MGM and the Colonels office. We were simply dazed by the sight of it all and could quite believe it when we were told there is nowhere like it in the world. Every time Elvis receives a gold disc the Colonel gets a copy too. Those are all framed on Green Baize and cover all the walls of the office, we also saw the special award from Cash Box for the TV Special which is the album cover in gold, among the gold discs received during the past five months, are His Hand in Mine, and Loving You.

Some frames held five gold discs strung together, the whole of the ceiling was covered in the June Kelly portrait, and every sleeve, single, EP or LP was displayed, one wall is covered with certificates from the Artists Federation of America, (or some such similar name ) for the design of the album covers, the design director is Colonel Parker. Bob McPherson confirmed that the Colonel decides what will go on the album covers, the name of the artist responsible for executing the work was also listed.