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Home > Newspaper Articles > 1972 > April 6, 1972 (8:30 pm). Detroit, MI.
CONCERT DATE: April 6, 1972 (8:30 pm). Detroit, MI. Olympia Stadium.
Ah That Elvis - He Never Changes
by John Weisman
Detroit Free Press
April 7, 1972
His lips pursed in a half-pout, half-smile, his white jumpsuit embedded with gold, a shiny red satin scarf-tucked into his navel-deep decolletage, Elvis Presley tucked up his broad, jewelled white belt and did just the barest hint of a bump and grind, and instantaneously an Aurora Borealis of flashcubes eclipsed the 16 super-Trouper spotlights, and the cavernous interior of Olympia Auditorium was lit with the light of a thousand flares. The King was back
16,000 creaming voices broke with emotion as they called out his name, and Elvis flashed that million-dollar smirk as the second, third, fourth barrage of $9.95 cameras brought daylight to the darkened auditorium again and again.
A 30-year-old woman braved the rancor of ushers and the billy-clubs of security guards to rush the stage and heave a plastic seven-foot sign that said "Elvis - We Love Ya" onto the stage. The King picked it up, looked at it and handed it to a retainer. Royalty is its own reward, it needs no reassurance.
HE DIDN'T HAVE to sing, you know. All the crowd needed was to see him - jet black hair tossed carelessly, white go-go boots spotlessly tapping time with the 20-piece band, heavy browed bedroom eyes sneaking glances at the house.
But of course The King did sing - almost two dozen numbers - everything from "Hound Dog" to "Bridge Over Troubled Waters" and Mickey Newbury's "An American trilogy." He sang loud and soft, mumbling and clear, while ambling from one side pf the stage to the other accommodating the ack-ack of screamed entreaties and tracer-flashes of those thousands and thousands of cameras.
Right in the middle of "An American Trilogy," a pointy-toed blue suede loawer was tossed up on stage. It landed inches from the king's foot. He never moved an inch. Finally, during an appropriate musical passage, he picked up the offending object and with a
malevolent smile, tossed it back out into the house. People fought for it.
when he peeled off his sweat-drenched red satin scarf and with the practiced air of a stripper fluttered it into the front row, two fashionable young matrons erupted fisticuffs over the relic.
The same thing happened when he tossed two more scarves into the audience
MORE THAN a pop hero, Elvis is indisputably an American Institution.
"My husband is gonna kill me," a middle-aged lady told a security guard after the show. "But could I please have that there waterglass from up on the stage? Elvis touched it and I wanna show it to my kids"
He tosses of his performance with the practiced air of royalty reviewing the troops. A bump here, a grind there. The right leg starts to gyrate then stops. He drops onto one knee - Profile Left. Then a quick turn, and the same pose, Profile Right. He splits the air with a 10-second series of karate feints and kicks, and the crowd goes wild.
Technique will always show. He was brought onstage to the rousing strains of "Also Sprach Zarathustra." "Hail to the Chief" would be more appropriate
When he left bodyguards and security guards flanking him, it wasn't 30 seconds before a disembodied voice intones "Elvis has left the building. Good night to you all."
A few grumbles, surely. But the crowd started to leave immediately - none of the usual stamping clapping stuff. After all, Elvis is royalty, and you never ask a king to take and encore.
Courtesy of Ron Theisen