Elvis Presley 1969/07/31
Taken on:
Elvis Presley - The Way It Was (foreword by Joe Esposito)
Elvis - A Celebration
International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada
Black Mohair Suit
powerful stage presence in total command of every room he has ever worked. But backstage at the International Hotel on July 31, 1969, Elvis Presley was packing back and forth like a panther. In a few minutes, he would march out into what was then the largest showroom in Las Vegas, holding 2.000 people.
It had been eight years since Elvis had last done a live concert, eight years of recording sessions and movie making, eight years since he had felt the electricity of a packed house. Those of us around him had no doubt he'd be a bigger hit than ever. Deep down probably Elvis knew himself. But at the moment he was sweating through his black mohair suit.
As we started walking to the stage, Elvis became very quiet. You could see in his eyes that he was thinking about the show, going over the song list in mind. His tenseness was contagious. Soon we were all nervous. Comedian Sammy Shore finished his act and the house lights went down. The audience was hushed. The Bobby Morris Orchestra began to play and no further introduction was necessary. Nervous time had turned into Showtime. Elvis was back where he belonged. His concerns, of course, were unnecessary. He performed brilliantly for 90 minutes. He fed off people.
As Elvis came off the stage, he had tears in his eyes and was soaked in sweat, but this was the sweat of a job well done.

Joe Esposito
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