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Home > Newspaper Articles > 1970 > November 11, 1970, Portland, OR.
CONCERT DATE: November 11, 1970, Portland, OR.
Sold-Out Coliseum Only Way To Know Elvis Presley in Town
By Early Deane
November 12, 1970
The last anyone saw of the girl reporter from the suburban paper in the mouth-wattering miniskirt, she was seated on a couch in the Benson Hotel lobby writing yet another note to Elvis Presley.
Presley - if he exists - had sent word down from the remote fastnesses of the seventh floor he was not grating interviews.
"Furthermore" said Darrell G. Swezey, area manager of the Wachenhut Corporation, a security firm charged with keeping Presley pure and uninterviewed, "Presley said he hasn't granted any interviews for 15 years"
Swezey said Presley and his party, including his father and manager Col. Parker, had taken over the entire seventh floor of the hotel.
"I've got three uniformed officers up there," Swezey said, "and two plainclothesmen - in addition to myself. We're going to have 43 officers at the Memorial Coliseum to keep things in order."
Presley - if he exists - was to give a concert at the Coliseum Wednesday night.
"Not only are we supposed to keep fans and reporters from bothering Mr. Presley," Swezey said. "We are supposed to keep some members of his own party on the same floor from bothering him"
The girl reporter suggested that this sort of precaution would have been appropiate 15 years ago when Presley was swivel-hipping to a younger beat but it seemed a little intense today.
"Not so," Swezey said "You'd be surprised how many girls have tried to bust out on the seventh floor. And this is without anybody supposing to know what floor he's on."
Downstairs in the grill, Presley's father, a husky, gray-haired man with a gentle Southern accent, said anybody who wanted to see his son would have to clear themselves with through Col. Parker. The colonel, however, didn't answer his telephone or a page.
The girl reporter had pressed an earlier note into Swezey's hands. The note told Presleyshe was a reporter and suggested he might give her a few minutes because at age of 13, she had been an avid collector of his recordings.
"I was a fan, all right," she said, "I saw him in Love Me Tender at least four times. My mother wouldn't let me watch him on television - even after we heard the television cameramen had been warned to keep Presley's hips out of view. I had to go across the street to watch him."
Basil Miaullis, general manager of the Benson, said the security precautions set up for Presley were more stringent than those for Nixon or Atty. Gen. John Mitchell.
"He's safe. I'll say that for him," Miaullis said.
And secure, Presley - if he exists - sold out the Coliseum.
Courtesy of Francesc Lopez