Home > Newspaper Articles > 1977 > June 1, 1977. Macon, GA.



CONCERT DATE: June 1, 1977. Macon, GA

Macon News writers Jane Oppy (she's the one with the baseball bat) and Randall Savage (he's the one with the headache) took a tongue in cheek look at Elvis the Pelvis - or Elvis the Paunchy, depending on your viewpoint. On his last trip here, many hardcore fans took exception to the News' views on Presley. This time, we provide something for both the King's friends and his foes.

The King is Dead...
by Randall Savage
The Macon News
June 2, 1977

Elvis Presley is 42, fat and losing his voice.

His once famous bone-grinding wiggle, once banned from television, has now shifted to an occasional twitch that leaves the so-called "king of rock" breathless.

He depends on his reputation and backup musicians to get him through concerts.

And his seemingly constant gulps from the 30 paper cu[ps on stage also helps.

BUT THAT DIDN'T stop over 10,000 die hard Presley fans from flooding the Macon Coliseum with ear-spitting screams when the potbellied superstar walked onstage Wednesday night.

Wearing a white suit with gold sequins, Presley strutted onto the stage about 9:40 om. He walked to the front and both sides of the stage while holding his pudgy, ringless fingers above his head.

He lowered his hands once during that time to pull his sagging britches back up to his protruding waistline.

Presley, who once commanded his concerts from start to finish, twice relinquished the center stage to a member of his backup crew.

He eased out from under the lights and sat down during one of those escapades. He was catching his breath.

However, his problems didn't end there. Several times during the performance, Presley's bass singer picked up the tempo when his quivering voice sagged from the strain.

HIS TENOR SINGER did the same thing for high notes.

Meanwhile, Presley, who boasted to the crowd that he is in "good health despite what you may have heard," was awarded a walking cane by a delirious female.

"Honey, I don't need that," Presley said. But he jokingly hobbled across the stage with the cane for a few seconds.

It wasn't many years ago that women ripped their panties off during performances, stormed the stage and tossed their undergarments at Presley

Not one pair touched the stage Wednesday night.

HOWEVER A FEW women, never more than 20 at a time, rushed forward in hopes of getting one of the sweat-smeared scarfs that Presley pitched at them.

Fans now give him teddie bears, pink elephants and peanut cups.

But the crowd seemed to love him despite his mediocre performance.

A middle-aged brunette justified that reaction by saying "he may be gettin old, but he's still Elvis"

... Long Live The King
Jane Oppy
The Macon News
June 2, 1977

Like a dark blue lizard, the limousine bearing Elvis Presley streaks behind the Macon Coliseum stage.

Just a flash of gunmetal blue through the shadows of benchmen in the basement, the car sets off something like an electric shock. Those who see spring from their seats with a gasp.

Drums and brass roll out the overture to "2001: A Space Odyssey." The collective pulse races to an unbearable speed.

SUDDENLY, HE'S THERE. All gold sequins on white. ina belt wide enough for a bull, Presley wears white boots and all that black, black hair.

It's unbelievable. He's real. It's been 20 years.

Gone, almost all gone, are the feet-apart burlesque-king gyrations he used to grind out "Hound Dog" and "Lawdy Miss Clawdy" to girls who dive bombed him when he was 22.

Now, he's more like a ritualized stripteaser twirling her tassels. A flick of the knee, a stomp of the foot, gets the message across. He seems tired.

Yet, the power's still there. When Elvis hollers out, "See See Rider (CC Rider)," and jerks that right leg, you do see.

RIGHT OFF, he plays off to barrel-voiced J. D. sumner of the Stamps Quartet. Sumner rolls the basses like an old mill wheel, a complement to Presley when the notes get too low.

Presley struts up front where a pair of hands reaches for a scarf, and gets it. "We gone try to make you happy," he drawls.

Elvis goes from "Please, Please Love Me" into "Fairy Tale," a number that shows how good his voice, seasoned by years, really is. Scarves drop at the rate of two or three a minute.

Through all, his famous rockers like "Hey, Boss Man" - probably hist best of the evening - the years of Mississippi white gospel jump and Beale Street black blues pour out, backed up by all the best Las Vegas brass any big time singer could want.

BUT BETWEEN numbers by an Irish tenor and a girl who could fit into the Billy Graham Crusade, he rests in the corner, slumped between rounds.

He comes back, "Is it hot?" A low-voiced growl to the women at the stage corner. "Is it hot out there?" They rush. The traditional Presley garbage - teddy bears, dolls, a huge inflated elephant - rolls up on the stage. Scarves are snatched.

Shifting gears, he sings Frank Sinatra's deeply melancholy "My Way" from a sheet of paper, following it up with "Early Morning Rain." The songs speak to those who have known deep joy and sorrow.

Do they speak to him, an adored millionaire who lives as a recluse - a star who must keep alive the fantasies of millions, though he grows tired, and occasionally ill?

The puffy face, the added weight are there, perhaps the toll of years of being what Elvis was marketed to be.

But nobody will ever do it like he did it, again.

Courtesy of Francesc Lopez