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Oct 12, 2022

ELVIS: The Walk of Fame


Elvis, Spokane, Washington Memorial Stadium. August 30, 1957, 8:30 p.m.

The Walk of Fame

Spokane, Washington Memorial Stadium. August 30, 1957, 8:30 p.m.

On the night of August 27, 1957, Elvis was accompanied by his girlfriend, Anita Wood, his parents, and his other relatives to Central Station in Memphis. He was headed to the City of Spokane, where he would begin a small concert tour. There were photographers and also fans, everyone was able to witness his affectionate farewell and the next day the press echoed this departure and subsequent arrival in the city of the concert.

All the local Spokane papers were excited about his arrival, Elvis had a security detail that had been hired, consisting of three Spokane police officers, for his personal protection at the Ridpath Hotel where he was going to stay to rest his father. arrival on the Great Northern Empire Builder train.

At the Concert, it was planned to protect him with 50 Spokane police officers who will be off-duty at the department and stationed in various parts of the stadium during the show.

Elvis Presley was performing in one of the most conservative cities in the state of Washington, the city of Spokane. Colonel Parker had organized a tour of the Northwest of the United States. It was a section of the country where he was not as popular and for this very reason he took the risk of taking him there. It is true that there were many clubs in the Northwest and Tom Parker knew that soon after Elvis would have to do his military service, so he wanted his image to be on the rise. But the Colonel only hope was to make a profit and bet on large outdoor stadiums on this tour, since the indoor venues did not have enough capacity.

An entry of around 15,000 people was expected but this number would not be reached, the curious thing is that the majority of the public was between 18 and 38 years old, in addition to young teenagers. The head of security on this tour was Kenneth Moore and he did not want to have any unforeseen events, so he gave himself clear instructions on how to protect the artist and warned that if there were tumults and riots, he would immediately leave the stage to protect him.

Elvis, Spokane, Washington Memorial Stadium. August 30, 1957, 8:30 p.m.

In this city the crowd was only two-thirds the size that promoters had predicted. It's true that the Spokane police also hampered the arrival of some overzealous teenagers who would go to extreme lengths to see Elvis perform, but overall there were plenty of boys and girls who came from far and wide to see him.
Elvis would arrive very tired from a long train trip and wanted to rest, so he did not want to give interviews at that time. He would not leave the hotel room and also they never did any kind of rehearsal before the concerts, they usually went out to play in the same way that the sessions were recorded.

The press conference was in before his performance, Elvis was faced with a room full of hostile reporters, members of the radio who were unfamiliar with rock 'n' roll. The questions they asked him were absurd, without relevance. Behind Elvis were his friends whom he called high school classmates, Cliff Gleaves, George Klein, Lamar Fike and Gene Smith. When asked the reason for the company, Elvis replied that it was to keep him from feeling homesick.

The vast majority of journalists were predisposed not to like Elvis, but when writing about him, some changed their opinion when they saw him perform.

At the press conference, Elvis was dressed in a black suit, blue pants with a yellow sash and a large gold medallion given to him by a fan months earlier in Ottawa.

Elvis, Spokane, Washington Memorial Stadium. August 30, 1957, 8:30 p.m.

Although it was not full, there were too many people and the crowd was so packed that it was impossible to order things to work well, because the officials decided to close the stands to concentrate the public.

Elvis was already in the habit of jumping into the back of an open Cadillac to get to the show, which drove him up a ramp through the stadium. He walked through a double file of policemen and was always by the stage. This created an emotional impact on the audience, who saw him arrive on stage and in the same way it was very practical, since at the end of the show, Elvis also jumped into the Cadillac and left in a matter of seconds, without being able to be reached by the crowd.

Elvis had been away from the stage for five months, it was Elvis's longest absence since he first toured in 1954. But as in previous performances, Elvis would come out with full energy to sing and all the spectators who had come to see it and they had sat politely, they already went crazy with the opening number, with the song "Heartbreak Hotel".

Elvis was dressed in a gold jacket and moved across the stage shaking his body in constant motion. The performance lasted fifty minutes and he would sing Eighteen songs, the crowd was a screaming, screaming mass, every move he made got the same reaction. The flashes did not stop during the performance, Elvis was moving back and forth behind his guitar and the impression they say was of being a 10 year old boy having the time of his life.

Elvis, Spokane, Washington Memorial Stadium. August 30, 1957, 8:30 p.m.

Many of the attendees would tell over the years the emotion of the moment, the emotion caused by his performance, his movements, his voice, they could hardly breathe, the screams sprouted unintentionally.

The description was that when Elvis shook both legs of his pants, they screamed, trembled and closed their eyes and extended their hands towards him as if asking for salvation.

Many Spokane reporters judged Elvis Presley's performance as something between exciting and inoffensive, but there was a reporter from the Vancouver Sun who went to criticize the concert to anticipate what could be expected of him when he arrived in Vancouver, in the concert of the day next at Empire Stadium.

But the biggest curiosity of the show would be after Elvis's departure, when about fifty teenagers would pick up handfuls of dirt where Elvis had knelt during the final number of the show, as if it were holy ground or in any case to be able to have a little bit of ground. his memory idol. Some would even pick up the pebbles that were left under the wheels of the Cadillac that transported Elvis.

Elvis was still driving his fans crazy, he was in his golden moment, his performances even in the most conservative places had been successes, despite the bad press.

Elvis was still walking successfully, he was still the King!

"Following the Path of the King..."

Information provided by De Tupelo a Memphis


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