The walls and screams of more than 8000 rock ‘n’ roll idolizers gave a tumultuous opening to the first show of the famed Tennessee playboy Elvis Presley, Saturday at the Sam Houston Coliseum.
The howling “hound dog” artist with his rhythmic accomplices were met with mob hysteria to open their two-performance stand here.
Presley’s appearance was preceded by six variety acts to warm up the crowd into its frenzy. The circus prelude included one torch singer, two acrobatic acts, a comedian, a slack wire act and a quartet.
Swept into the Coliseum by a police guard, the greasy, side-burned hillbilly took to the stage an hour later.
Screams and lamentations kept up without relief for four minutes and 50 seconds.
He entered the arena like a wild calf and began his bellowing to the tune of his million-seller, “Heartbreak Hotel”.
All that was heard of this number was the title. Screams from the crowd drowned out any other sound Presley could produce.
Three times he paused his panorama of bump and grind to plead with his audience to listen to him.
Deafening roars were the answer each time.
In the midst of the teenage tumult, a squad of 50 police officers, emergency corpsmen, and firemen were circulating the aisles to keep admirers from rushing the bandstand.
Elvis rolled and wiggled through “Blue Suede Shoes”, added his hippy “oomph” to an agonizing rendition of “Love Me”, and pulsated vigorously as he groaned his “Long Tall Sally.”
Holding his hands to his ears, so he could hear himself, he wore his guitar slung around his neck, seldom striking a chord.
He rocked on his toes, pointed to kids in the audience and sang to them, and made a quick exit on a little number called “Hound Dog.”
Toward the end of Elvis’ second show, Saturday night, a hysterical teen-ager with a flowing pony-tail broke through the police line surrounding the stage and rushed her idol. Police carried her back to her seat, but she had broken the ice.
Teen-age girls en masse clamored for Presley, and rushed the stage until the singer was whisked off in a waiting police car to his suite at the Shamrock Hilton Hotel.
Statistics: No one fainted. No one was injured.