Bicentennial suit w/blue
Feb 16, 2008
Elvis in action during his last concert in his hometown. Memphis, Tennessee. This July 5, 1976 show - one of the better 1976 shows - is released on bootleg as "Goodbye Memphis".
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I just visited the Coliseum last week, on my first trip to Memphis—just diggin' all the Elvis sites. Realised the venue was close to my hostel and that it had been abandoned some 6 years ago. Just think: this is where The Beatles' infamous "firecracker" show took place in 1966, when the Klan promised a few "surprises" for them. And of course, Elvis' homecoming shows in 1974, 1975 and 1976. That's my favourite live album of his! It was sad to see the letters spelling M I D S O U T H C O L I S E U M falling into disrepair. The place seemed haunted: of course, all the doors were locked, but the dark, empty arena was undoubtedly filled with thousands of ghosts. I could hear the last, distant strains of Can't Help Falling In Love, or Elvis as he admonished those who had previously put him down: "You, by God, watch me!" I could hear the rapturous applause of countless capacity crowds. Around the back was the VIP entrance through which stepped McCartney, Lennon, Harrison, Starr, Springsteen, Presley et al. And adjacent to this now derelict shrine to rock & roll legend was the former site of the Zippin Pippin - the wooden roller coaster Elvis adored so much - and the old fairgrounds where he spent many a hot summer night. Elvis would have driven right past it on his way to the arena's VIP entrance, and when he rode the Pippin one last time, just a week before his death, I wonder if he spied the Mid South Coliseum and looked ahead to his scheduled homecoming concert later that month...the one that was never to be. This is sacred ground, let's preserve what's left!