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CONCERT DATE: September 27, 1974. (8:30 pm) College Park, MD.

Elvis, A Memory Thrust Forward
by Judy Bachrach
The Washington Post
September 28, 1974

They came because they remembered. But not all of them. There was a 14-yeard old who loved him, an 8-yeard old who kept screaming at him to sing "Hound Dog". And there was a grudging 15 year old who vastly prefers Eric Clapton but was dragged here by a pushy mother.

But most of them came because Elvis is not simply Elvis, the 38 year-old man whose mild pauch bulged through his belted white jumpsuit with a Napoleonic collar. Elvis is memory thrust forward. And for the privilege of reliving memory they paid from $5 up to $10 and filled most "but not quite all of the seats at Cole Field House at the University of Maryland. It was said that Elvis himself ordered prices not to exceed $10.

"I remember," said Floyd Lamore, now 25 "when I was 6 in Macon, Ga. My parents got me out of the bathtub to watch Elvis on the Ed Sullivan show. My mother was a bible belt Christian and she'd heard about his wiggling.

"I remember, honey" said Cheryl Borman, a 29 year-old resident of Lothian in Anne Arundel County, who was listening to Lamore's conversation, "and I didn't have to get out of no bathtub to do it."

She grinned shyly at her husband, a 33 year-old tractor trailer driver, "Oh my God, honey, he (Elvis) has got everything."

"Shoot, Cheryl," said her husband.

"He didn't want to take me," Mrs. Borman giggled. "He was afraid I'd embarrass him."

In fact, however, although it's been almost 20 years since Elvis twitched his first twitch and shocked the Bible-belt Christians and lots of others, the comments about his sensuousness have not exactly been muffled. And this, despise the fact that Elvis uses within his spiel such soulful hymns as "How Great Thou Art."

"The Sexiest, honey. He's number one said Shirley Maxwell. Shirley Maxwell is a stripper who performs under the same of Sabrina. And last night she appeared at the University of Maryland wearing a lot of hair (most of it hers and tight yellow pants outfit with white braid made by Fredericks of Hollywood ("Who else!")

"Honey," continued Shirley Maxwell, "I've liked that man," by which she meant Elvis, "since I was 6 and saw him on TV."

"Listen," said Ella Swiger, 56, a grandmother from Pasadena, Md, "the first I saw Elvis was in his movie "Love Me Tender". And I turned to my daughter and I said "He can put his shoes under my bed anytime."

So the answers didn't vary. Not really. And to some extent neither did the kinds of people who came. There were, to be sure. students from the University of Maryland who arrived because the concept happened to be held on their campus.

Jan Beacham and Mike Thompson, both seniors, came because Thompson is "into everything old." To him "old" is "Bo Diddly, Sha na na you name it".

Jan Beacham, too, is fond of "old". When told that Elvis was 38 if he's a day she replied, "nothing wrong with that, man"

But the majority of the people at the concert would have been distressed to hear Presley called "old". This is because the majority of the people there were at least as old as Presley. True, they did not wear his white jumpsuit with the sequined peacock on the back and front.

They even more conservative than their idol, wore pantsuits, green jackets, white shoes, bouffant hairdos.

True, they did not weep mightily at the sigh of him or throw bras on the stage in large quantities. But there wasn't a woman there who wasn't grateful when Elvis resplendent despite a bandage on his right hand the result of a scratch inflicted by an over eager fan - handle her one of his many scarves, after first mopping his brow with same.

In fact, one member of the band spent a good deal of time putting new scarves around Elvis' neck, scarves which weren't destined stay there long.

"He's like Frank Sinatra" said Floyd Lamore, "Know what I mean? He'll leave on forever.

And maybe he will.
And maybe he won't.

After one very exuberant song, Elvis the Pelvis the energetic, the forever young was plain tuckered out, at another point he mixed out the verses to "Love Me Tender".

"I guess he is getting old" said a woman two years his senior. And she smiled when she said that because she understood him and the whole idea of getting old along with you fans.

And there wasn't a freak in sight.

Courtesy of Francesc Lopez