Almost immediately after Elvis’ opening show, Colonel Parker arranged a quick press conference for the media and selected vip’s, although again, it’s known regular fans were gained access as well. Apparently it was a last minute thing as people who asked about a possible press conference before the opening show had happened were told that no such thing had been announced ‘officially’, and it was held when other performers started their performances at the hotel to minimize the amount of people who’d possibly get to know about it.
To date, no footage nor audio of the occasion has surfaced – the quotes below are excerpts compiled from various sources, mostly from people who were actually there and made notes (compiled and arranged by Maria Columbus/”PEP”).
The press conference took place at the International Hotels ‘convention hall’ at 12.30am (ie. very early on August 1st) – all photos are from the occasion.
Why have you waited so long to perform Live again? Did you return to live performing because of the phenomenal successes of Wales singer Tom Jones and British crooner Engelbert Humperdinck?
– (Elvis shook his head at the suggestion) I think they are great, but my decision to return was made in 1965, and it was hard to wait… I don’t think I could have waited any longer. We had to finish up the movie commitments we had before I could start on this… I missed the live contact with an audience. It was getting harder and harder to sing to a camera all day.
How do you like being a father?
– I like it.
What things do you do when you are at home at Graceland?
– I ride horse back, swim and talk with the tourists hanging out at the gates.
How does your wife feel about you being a sex symbol again?
– I don’t know… you would have to ask her.
Do your wife and daughter accompany you?
– Priscilla is here, but my daughter is in LA with her nanny. She could not make it.
Are you tired of your present type of movie, have you grown tired of the movie plots?
– Yes, I want to change the type of script I’ve been doing.
What kind of scripts do you like?
– Something with meaning. I’m going after more serious material. I couldn’t dig always playing the guy who’d get into a fight, beat the guy up, and in the next shot sing to him.
Do you feel it was a mistake to do so many movie soundtrack albums?
– I think so… when you do ten songs in a movie, they can’t all be good songs. Anyway… I got tired of singing to turtles.
When you met the Beatles, no press was allowed – why was that?
– I think because we could relax more that way and we could talk candidly.
Do you like to wear leather jackets, like the one you wore in your TV-Special?
– No… I hate wearing them, because they are too hot when your working.
Where did you get the design for your stage outfits?
– I got the idea from a karate-gi I once had.
What do you think of the Hollywood scene?
– I just don’t go for it. I have nothing against it, but I just don’t enjoy it.
How long did you rehearse for these shows?
– I practised for nearly three months. Today I went through three complete dress rehearsals. This was the fourth time I did that show today. I’m really beat.
How did you choose the songs for the show?
– I just sang my favorites, that’s all.
Will you do more live shows?
– I want to…. I would like to play all over the world. I chose Las Vegas to play first, because it is a place people come to from all over.
Are you trying to change your image with songs like “In the Ghetto”?
– No, Ghetto was such a great song I just couldn’t pass it up after I heard it. There are a lot of new records out now that have the same sound I started, but they’re better. I mean, you can’t compare a song like Yesterday with Hound Dog, can you?
How do you like the idea of other groups, like Albert King, recording your songs?
– I love it!
Is it true you dye your hair?
– Sure, I have always done it for the movies.
Did you enjoy performing live again?
– Yes. This has been one of the most exciting nights of my life.
Did you feel nervous during the show?
– For the first three songs or so – I didn’t feel relaxed until after Love Me Tender before I loosened up… then I thought “what the heck… get with it, man, or you might be out of a Job tomorrow”.
Why did you choose a negro backup group?
– Because they help to give me my feel, my soul.
Have you ever seen England’s top singer, Cliff Richard?
– Yes, I met him in Germany a long time ago (they actually did not meet until 1962).
Mr. Presley – I’ve been sent here by Lord Sutch Enterprises to offer you one million pounds sterling to make two appearances at the Wembley Empire Stadium in England. This price will include a documentary that will be filmed during and after the shows – it will only take 24hrs.
– (Elvis points to Col. Parker) You’ll have to ask him about that.
– (Parker) Just put down the deposit.
Would you like to appear in England?
– I definitely would like to appear in there as we have had so many requests. And it will be soon as we are now doing live concerts again.
Is it true you get paid in International stocks?
– (Col. Parker) Certainly not. The only thing we get for free are the crickets in the rooms.
Do you still own about 10 cars?
– I have never owned that many – only four or five at most.
Elvis is there any other individual you would rather be?
– Are you kidding?! (laughing)
After the press conference…
After the Colonel had ‘announced’ that the actual press conference was over, people were given a chance to get their photo taken with Elvis – Elvis kindly posed, signed autographs and chatted with everyone who wanted to meet him. Below are some photos from this little ‘socializing’.