Home > Newspaper Articles > 1977 > May 30, 1977. Jacksonville, FL.

CONCERT DATE: May 30, 1977. Jacksonville, FL.

ELVIS! Sequins, Gold Chain and That Style
by Steve Crosby
The Florida Times Union
May 31, 1977

He's 43 years old. He's slightly - well, let's be honest - potbellied. And Monday night he was wearing a white pantsuit, trimmed in gold chain and sequins.

Heavens to Truman Capote, the idea is enough to make anita Bryant swandive into her orange juice, except that this was - Elvis!

Elvis, and if he ever returns to the Jacksonville Coliseum, heed this well: Do not under any circumstances stand within three city blocks of the stage when he starts tossing scarves into the audience and kissing women.

Normally sedate, ordinarily dignified, matrons kill.

And Monday, Elvis was appearing before a packed house. Coliseum officials said that all 10,300 tickets were gone long, long before showtime. This was the Jacksonville concert Elvis was to have given here April 3, but wound up in a Memphis hospital instead.

But Monday night, he made it and he gave those 10,300 a show. All the old Presley standards C.C. Rider, Well I got A Woman, Fairytale. And on, and on.

It hardly seems possible, but it was 21 years ago that he first appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show and the network cameras cut him off at the waist.

A whole generation of kids grew up believing the man had no legs.

But, what he couldn't show in 1956, he can in 1977. And he did.

Elvis twitched, rotated, shook, gyrated, motivated and, every now and then, he sang.

Pretty well too, if you like his particular style of country-rock-whatevertheheckitis-music.

There are souvenir stands. How about $3 for a booklet, just chock full of pictures of - Wayne Newton? Nope.

How about $5 for a portrait, suitable for framing, of - Robert Goulet? Wrong man.

No, it is Elvis, all Elvis.

There are Elvis buttons and Elvis beltbuckles and Elvis scarves.

No Elvis albums thou.

He travels with an elaborate show - it takes a bit of wading through before you get to the point where The Man appears.

Of course, it's worth it just to watch the folks. He enters through the back, during the intermission and the real Elvis in - folks know exactly where to station themselves.

"Here they always bring him over from the Hilton in a limousine," one expert was saying. "But in Memphis, Chuck Lastrada drives him." Oh.

The first act of the show, which started only 15 minutes late, was something called Joe Bersho and the Hot Hilton Horns. Well, that's what it sounded like, anyway.

And they're good. They wait through the the theme from Rocky as nicely as Maynard "The Lip" Ferguson does on his current Top 40 version of the tune.

Then there's a Canadian comic, who was not what the crowd came to hear, but they listened, just the same.

"I don't like flying," he told them. "You drive up to the airport and what's the first sign you see? Terminal.

He told them his job is warming up the audience.

"Now, the women don't need any warming up, if some of them got any hotter, they'd set the place on fire.

Some often, he said are mothers.

"They're sitting there saying, 'I can't believe I'm here! I've been in love with him since high school!'"

Comedians, singing groups - even the gospel singer with the world's deepest recorded bass voice aside - the people were there for Elvis.

One middle-aged woman on her way into the Coliseum peeped out from under her beehive hairdo and said to a friend: "Are you excited?" said the friend, "I haven't been worth a doggone all day!"

Courtesy of Scott