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 In June 1972, Elvis performed four sold-out concerts at Madison Square Garden, New York.

 The first on Friday June 9.  On Saturday the 10th, he made two performances, one in the afternoon and the other at night.  And on Sunday June 11, Elvis would complete what would be some of the greatest and most iconic performances of his entire career , and represented his first live appearance in New York.


[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L-ZPZTsodes]

Elvis that day began a tour that would last until June 20.

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 Among the great media coverage that this unprecedented event had, stands out an superb article in “The New York Times” published on June 18, 1972 by Chris Chase, entitled “Like A Prince For Another Planet” what showed us the whole essence of man and myth, and that made history. ..

Below is an excerpt from the article.  In the photographs you can see the complete article:

“On Friday night, June 9, an air of shabby carnival hung over Seventh Avenue. The sidewalks around Madison Square Garden teemed with kids and toothless old men hawking Elvis pennants, Elvis posters, albums of Elvis pictures. There were cops on horses and cops on foot, and vendors with brown paperbags containing Elvis T-shirts circulated among the ticket-holders. But few ticket-holders stopped to buy. They kept moving toward the arena, their excitement so palpable it seemed to cut through the muggy twilight.

Elvis Presley had never before sung a live concert in New York, and some of these fans had been waiting 17 years.

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 Inside the Garden, excitement turned to awe. Around a raw wood stage were ringed thousands and thousands of seats and, by the time Elvis came on, every one of them would be filled. Not to see a hockey game, or a world’s championship prizefight, but to view-in person-one man. One man can fill this place, you told yourself in disbelief. All by himself, he’s a team, he’s a convention.

 The tickets said 8:30, but by 8:15, there was already a goodly crowd, and an MC of sorts came out on the stage and pushed souvenirs (…)

At 9:15, Elvis appeared, materialized, in a white suit of lights, shining with golden appliqués. the shirt front slashed to show his chest. Around his shoulders was a cape lined in cloth of gold, its collar faced with scarlet. It was anything you wanted to call it, gaudy, vulgar, magnificent. 

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He looked like a prince from another planet, narrow-eyed, with high In dian cheekbones and a smooth brown skin untouched by his 37 years. He was girdled by a great golden belt, a present from the International Hotel in Las Vegas for breaking all at tendance records (“I wear it around, just to show off,” he’d said at the press con ference, grinning) and when he started to work with the mike, his right hand flailing air, his left leg moving as though it had a life of its own, time stopped, and every one in the place was 17 again. (…)

Elvis used the stage, he worked to the people. The ones in front, in the best seats, the ones in back, and up in the peanut galleries. He turned, he moved, and when a girl threw a handkerchief on the stage, he wiped his forhead with it and threw it back, a gif of sweat from earthy god.

The music was mixed, old rock with new, he did “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” and the ballad where the fello asks the girl to lay her warm and tender body next to his, but it was when he’d get to one of the old Elvis numbers, “That’s’ All Right, Mama,” or “Love Me Tender,” that the Garden came unglued. Young girls moaned, and stood in their seats trying to dance, and one kid took a giant leap from a loge seat clear to the stage, only to be caught (by some of that army which protects Elvis from his lovers) and taken away before she could come too close to her heart’s desire. You had to hope she hadn’t broken her leg in that vain but glorious effort.

 It was 1958 again, and I heard a man who was pushing 40 ask his daughter, “Ain’t be better than Tom Jones?” and the daughter said yes, and the father smiled. “That’s all I wanted to hear”

 I thought of a Grateful Dead concert, a couple of years ago, down on Second Avenue. Motorcycle gangs roaming the corridors, the smell of grass so heavy you could scarcely avoid getting a contact high, an adolescent on a bad acid trip in the lobby, a carnival of, and for, the angry, the lost.

 In Pepsi-drinking Elvis‘ heyday, the world was more innocent, or people were more willing to pretend it was. On the Ed Sullivan Show, they used to shoot Elvis from the waist up, so the grinding of his hips wouldn’t drive little girls wild, and mothers be moaned their daughters’ in fatuation.

 Almost 20 years later. those daughters brought their own teen-agers to hear the man whose appeal bridges a generation gap.

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 Once in a great while, a special champion comes along, a Joe Louis, a José Capablanca, a Joe DiMaggio, someone in whose hands the way a thing is done becomes more important than the thing itself. When DiMaggio hit a baseball, his grace made the act look easy and inevitable: whether it turned into a pop fly or a home run, it was beautiful, because he did what he did so well.

 Friday night, at Madison Square Garden, Elvis was like that. He stood there at the end, his arms stretched out, the great gold cloak giving him wings, a champion, the only one in his class.”

The New York Times

June ,18, 1972.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvi4JRI27s8]

New York humiliated Elvis in his youth.  Steve Allen dressed him in tails and made him sing to a dog, Ed Sullivan snatched his hips and his moved with his waist-up.  But now that was just a bad memory for Elvis, and he showed the world that New York, although in the past turned its back on him, now he surrendered at his feet.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bCPPHu1xSEA]

They say that the audience in New York was the most demanding in the United States.

 Well, that’s how Elvis conquered The City That Never Sleeps.  This is how he became invincible, as a man and as an artist.  And this is how he would occupy his throne as King and as Prince for all eternity.

Information provided by ELVIS. El Chico De Tupelo.

  Rosa Garcia Mora.



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