by Emery Columna –
Madison Square Garden, more specifically, New York City is the most difficult place for an entertainer to perform. New York City is where all the sophisticates are. New Yorkers are something beyond hip. Hipness is something people in L.A. developed to try to keep pace with the real motherfuckers in New York. The average kid, by the time they’re in 5th grade knows the sports page backwards and forwards, all the box scores. So you can imagine what the Press is like in New York. Brutal.
So Madison Square Garden is the place where everyone who is Anyone plays, then they’ve truly made it. By all accounts, by 1972, Elvis had made it, a multi-millionaire several times over. Elvis had so much respect for NYC and its importance in Entertainment, that he waited 17 years to play NYC– at Madison Square Garden.
Elvis came heavily armed to this Garden party. Ronnie Tutt was Elvis’ super control drummer. Jerry Scheff, immortalized on The Doors’ L.A. Woman was on Bottom. Cissy Houston sang background vocals with the Sweet Inspirations. The Bass singer from the Oak Ridge Boys was at that time a member of The Stamps. James Burton was Elvis’ principal lead guitarist, you dig? Elvis had a band that could throw down with anybody.
This album is the second of two recorded performances at Madison Square Garden, the first performance was released in 1972 as Elvis As Recorded At Madison Square Garden and now this performance is available 25 years later.
Elvis did not disappoint that afternoon. As Al Dvorin announced the trademark, “Elvis has left the building”, Elvis exited with his reputation intact and bolstered by having conquered New York City.
Internet Listening Pleasure: You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’, Polk Salad Annie, Love me, Reconsider Baby, I’ll Remember You, Suspicious Minds, For The Good Times, Funny How Time Slips Away.