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CONCERT DATE: November 9, 1972 Tucson, AZ.

Elvis Still King - Despite Dull 'Helpers'
by Hardy Price
The Arizona Republic
November 10, 1972

TUCSON - Don't look now, Glen Campbell and all you other cats, but Elvis is still the king.

And he's the kind of king who can surmount late starts, bad opening acts, and a huckster with all the grace and charm of Johnny Carson's Art Fern character to please something like 10,000 fans.

Elvis can win out over just about anything - squealing girls, microphone feedback and a million flash bulbs going pop-pop-pop, creating an unscheduled light show.

The second stop on his current tour, Tucson provided an apt audience for the veteran show-stopper. Elvis sang and sang and sang, for something over an hour, with little or no breaks for small talk with the audience.

But that's his thing, singing, with a little movement to the music tossed in; that's what causes all the squealing.

Quick to judge an audience, Elvis knew the crowd wanted the "oldies but goodies" and he gave them that.

Starting with "Love Me" and ending with "Hound Dog," Elvis hit most of the stops in between. Not just a line or two here and there, but the W-H-0-L-E blessed thing.

He's strong, folks, he works hard and he's good.

Within the space of his time on the stage, Elvis evokes a feeling of going home. The majority of the audience looked to be of the first Elvis generation - people who were in their teens when Ed Sullivan was censoring the hip movements of Presley way back in 1956. They really didn't care about his newest hit or his latest movie.

What they wanted (and what they got) was to capture, if only for an hour, that feeling of remembering.

Remembering sock hops and '57 Chevies, The Malt Shop, and going steady.

For that's what Elvis turned a whole generation on to.

Man, you got high just thinking about it all.

But there's no going back, no matter how hard you try or how hard you want to.

With the conclusion of I Can't Stop Loving You," Elvis was off the stage, the lights were out and the feeling was gone.

Then the lights came up and the Art Fern character was up hustling souvenir programs of the show, "... a brand new item, selected for this tour only."

On the debit side of the ledger, an unknown (so unknown there was hardly a mention of his name) comedian opened the show and did 20 very long minutes. Then came the Sweet Inspirations with a very tight, but equally dull, 15 minutes of songs which made Aretha Franklin seem even greater.

And all the time this Art Fern chap is hustling $2 programs, posters and autographed pictures, which was insulting not only to the audience but to Presley.

But the charisma of Elvis overcomes all. The mere thought that he would be out on that stage in less than an hour, kept the fans at least placid during the opening drivel. - HARDY PRICE.

Courtesy Of Archie Bald