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CONCERT DATE: November 15, 1972 (8:30 pm). Long Beach, CA.

Elvis Presley still has fans "all shook up"
by Denise Kusel
Press Telegram
November 17, 1972

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Elvis Presley has left the building." That was Big Al. Front man, souvenir hawker, quasi-bodyguard and master of ceremonies. And that's how the Elvis Presley Show ended Wednesday night at the Long Beach Arena for a sell-out crowd who came to see The King. Big Al was in another time warp - another era when frenzy fans used to rush the stage, vault over footlights to grab, glimpse, gape and groan at the sex-charged swivel-hipped 21-year-old from Memphis. But Elvis Presley is 37 now and so are a lot of his fans. They weren't about to leap out of their seats to mob the stage at the end of the show. Even the few long hairs who were sprinkled through the generally over 30 audience were too busy watching the Myth to pull 1950s pranks.

WATCHING Elvis in action is a little like electroshock therapy: nerves jolted into action and then a numbing blank while I tried to regroup my mental energies and remember what happened after the Presley band began the set with a booming "2001 - The Space Oddesy," The theme is usuallyreserved for special occasions. But then, Elvis is a special occasion. He's The King and even if he seemed a little bored with the audience; his routines trite, painfully coached and contrived, he was still good. Gone is the sneer. Gone, the gyrating hips - tucked neatly into a girdle cinch which he wore underneath a white jumpsuit with the silver studs and garish gold belt. Gone, too, is his wife. And Wednesday night The King seemed a little bit melancholy ... a littel preoccupied with his own problems to really get into a dialogue with the audience. Presley's four year old daughter, Lisa was in the audience. She was, he said, "Watching her daddy perform for the first time ... making a fool of himself in front of 14,000 people."

BUT there's no foolin' about the Presley talent. His voice is mature - grown rich with life. His smile is warm and magical.

He performed a multi-medley of old standby hits like "Heartbreak Hotel," "All Shook Up," "Are you Lonesome Tonight" and "Love Me Tender". He moved easily, spanning generations, and added new offerings like "Burning Love" (a nostalgic Fiftyish sound pop chart climber) and the exciting "Suspicious Minds." The first time I ever saw elvis was when I was 13 years old. I climbed up a fire scape ladder at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel and then crwled in a window. He was standing in the hall outside his suite of rooms. He gave me his autograph. And then I was escorted out (through the front door). I left happy. Wednesday night I left the Long Beach Arena happy. So did 14,000 others.

Courtesy of Francesc Lopez