martes, 17 de septiembre de 2013

Killer Concert

 You can hear a lot of fans screaming... it's best to listen to with headphones... also, be prepared to hear Elvis say a few foul words at the end about 'breakin' the guys neck'!

 February 18, 1973 - Midnight Show
 by Sean ShaverOn the evening of February 18, one of the tables down front was reserved for a private party. All the men were of South American decent. All were dressed in a rather wild manner. Very flashy. The party at this table was a little louder than the others', champagne flowed like water. You could tell it was new money being spent. Part of the way through Elvis' performance, one of the men stood up in his chair, then crawled onto the table. He took a couple of steps and jumped onto the stage, heading straight for Elvis.

 Girls had broken through security and jumped on stage many times in the past; it was more or less expected. You could tell by the look in their eyes all they wanted was a kiss or to be able to say they touched Elvis. But this was different. This was a man (he shouldn't want a kiss!) and he had his arm wrapped or covered by a jacket or some piece of clothing. Most important he looked menacing by the way he headed straight for Elvis with no hesitation at all. To make matters worse, Elvis did not see him approach.

 Before he got too close, Red West intercepted the man and grabbed him by the hand, literally throwing him behind the curtains and into the waiting arms of uniformed Hilton security. No sooner had this first man been disposed of than another guy from the same party leapt to the stage and either help his friend or attack Elvis. This guy was thrown off the stage and into a table full of fans by Jerry Schilling. A girl sitting at that table and slightly injured. Now at least two and possible four more men leapt on the stage to help their friends or to go for Elvis, it was impossible to tell.

 By now Elvis had noticed what was going on and began to yell orders to his men. Forgetting in all the excitement that he was still holding the microphone, he yelled at his men, "Turn the mother****ers loose, let them go." (In the melee no one heard him except the audience, and most of them never knew just exactly what was happening. Was it all part of the show?) Meanwhile Elvis had dropped into a karate stance and was ready to do battle. He swerved his body and aimed himself at the center of all the action. Turning towards one man that had broken through the guards momentarily, Elvis commanded once again to his security, "This one's mine." As Elvis advanced towards this unknown person and prepared for action, another man got through and Elvis found himself facing two opponents. Rather than be concerned for his safety, Elvis was now so worked up he couldn't hardly stand it. The men paused for just a second and seemed to be trying to decide just how to handle this jumpsuited menace. That slight pause was their undoing. Elvis didn't pause, he attacked the one closest to him.

 Sonny West almost had a heart attack when he saw Elvis and these men square off. It sent a chill through him. What if Elvis was hurt by one of these guys? What if they had a gun? What if this was some crazy plot to kill Elvis? As fast as they threw these guys off the stage more kept coming. This was not just some guys wanting a handshake. He knew that not a month went by that some nut did not threaten to kill Elvis. Maybe this time it was actually going to happen. Sonny charged like a bull through everybody on stage and grabbed one guy just as Elvis kicked the other one with a vicious side kick to the head. Elvis' one kick sent his opponent, unconscious, 6 or 8 feet backwards, behind the curtain and into the waiting arms of Hilton security. [A beautiful side kick, I might add.] Elvis quickly turned, still kicking and hitting, to face the other man ...... and attacked only air ...... his kicks and blows fell on emptiness. The reason was that Sonny West had gotten to the other assailant just as Elvis side kicked the first man. Sonny was now happily beating and choking him as he drug him backstage. This was the fourth man taken into custody on the stage. Two others were arrested at their table. All six were handcuffed and taken away. [I read somewhere that Elvis never did anything but throw karate blows and kicks into the air, that he never did anything. Whoever said that must have seen Elvis as he turned kicking towards the second attacker .... the one Sonny was already beating and dragging off stage by the neck.]

 By now the front of the showroom was swarming with people, either on the stage or trying to get on it. Perhaps not over four to six men from the "party" had leap on the stage, but almost a dozen men had gotten up on stage. Why? When Elvis dropped into his karate stance and proceeded to defend himself several of the men fans in the audience had leapt to Elvis' defense. This posed a problem, as neither the hotel security nor Elvis' men could tell who was who, all were thrown off. But it says a lot for the fans who reacted in this way. [They had no way of knowing if these 'attackers?' were armed or not.] They only wanted to help. If they could do nothing else, they could at least get between Elvis and these characters.

 As soon as everyone was cleared from the stage and Elvis was once again alone up there, he apologized to everybody in the audience for the disturbance. The audience reacted by giving Elvis a standing ovation that lasted over five minutes. If the fans would have had their way it would have been made a regular part of the show. If it only had been filmed. [See how my mind works.]

 To this day no one knows just exactly what happened or why it happened. Were these four to six men trying to hurt or kill Elvis? Or were they just big fans that had a little too much to drink and were just showing off in front of their girlfriends? If it was the latter, it is unfortunate that they got nasty and wanted to fight both the security and Elvis when they were thrown off the stage. If I personally had to make a guess, I would guess it was the latter. But, whichever it was, we all found out that night that, unless you were a pretty girl wanting a kiss, you had better keep your butt off the stage.

 I read in one book, that after the incident in the showroom Elvis went crazy with hatred and fear. That he screamed and threatened his security for allowing the men to get as close as they did. That he kept ranting and raving for days about it. Just to show you how far off the actual truth is from that printed rubbish, here is what really happened. [The following is a quote, word for word, from one of Elvis' guys. It was made to me while in Las Vegas a couple of days after the event took place. Several years later I had the opportunity to speak with the same man and I brought up the subject again. 1 have added the more humorous parts of that conversation.]

 After the show was over and everyone was back upstairs in the penthouse Elvis called Sonny, Red and Jerry over to him. They could tell he was mad. Really mad. The way it was told to me was, "You could tell when Elvis was really pissed off, and I never saw him any worse than he was that night. We all thought we would be praised for our handling of the attack, for doing our jobs so well. But when he had us alone in his room he said the funniest thing to us. Well, it wasn't so funny when he said it, but it was funny both later, and now remembering it. Instead of praise, he demanded to know why we had interfered, why we had gotten in between him and the five or six men. He yelled, "God **** you Sonny, I told you that one was mine. You guys never let me have any fun. For fifteen years I've been training [I suppose he meant his karate training] for just this very thing. And now it happens right there on the ****in' stage in front of thousands of people, and what happened? You assholes jump in there and spoil it. Out of the six of them couldn't you leave me at least two or three?" He screamed, "I 'could' have taken them all, and RIGHT THERE ON STAGE!!!! IN FRONT OF ALL MY FANS!!!!"

 For a few moments we stood there flabbergasted. Then Elvis, noticing our expressions and our shock, ever so slowly began to smile. The smile turned to a chuckle, then to a laugh. Then the three of us began to laugh. Soon the four of us were laughing together. His anger was over in just that moment. But for days afterwards whenever he would see us, he would shake his head and say, "Right there on stage. I just can't believe it, right there on stage. Man it would have been perfect."

 But you know something, I'll believe till the day I die that he really held it against us for throwing those guys off the stage. He really wanted to take those guys on. For him to have whipped those guys, on stage, in front of several thousand screaming fans, would have been better for him than getting an Oscar. The three of us discussed several times the possibility of hiring some guys to do it again, but we were afraid someone would get hurt. Elvis would really kick *** if he thought he was being attacked. No matter how much Elvis would have loved it, we just couldn't take the chance of someone getting hurt. And, if something like that would have ever happened again, for real, we would do just like we did the first time. We just couldn't take the chance that one of them wouldn't be armed, or professionals.

 There was no doubt Elvis could have kicked the shit out of any four ordinary guys; he was really bad. With all his karate training, and with his temper; what with him being attacked and everything ..... there could have been a serious problem that day. I don't doubt for a minute that they were up there to hurt or kill Eivis. We don't know for sure, but when did you ever hear of that many men from a foreign country with taped hands jumping up to say 'hello?' But, let's, just for the minute, imagine those were just stupid drunks trying to show off, when they all jumped on the stage, Elvis would have began to defend himself, four-five-six guys all at once, if Elvis really felt threatened, and he would have, with that many strangers coming at him all at one time, he could have done some real damage up there. I'm talking about some of them being killed. Eivis could have done it easy man, no problem. Don't you believe all that crap you may have read in some books that Elvis was not bad. Not only was he bad, he was the fastest guy in karate I ever saw except Bill Wallace. And the. only guy I ever saw that could take more punishment than Elvis was Ed Parker. God can you just see the headlines, ELVIS PRESLEY KILLS SIX FANS THAT WANT TO SHAKE HIS HAND!! ELVIS CLAIMS THEY WERE ATTACKING HIM. No man we did the right thing.

 I have also read that we were too hard on those guys after we got them backstage. I believe it was in Larmar's book, I mean Goldman's, that it said we beat them up and scared them. Shit, can you imagine what would have happened to them if they had jumped up on the stage at Caesars Palace when Frank Sinatra was performing? Sinatra would have given them all a little present, concrete shoes. Them assholes would have just disappeared off the face of the earth. Hell, Sinatra's had photographers hurt worse than what we did to those creeps."

 [Isn't that a great story? Much better than the altered version that we have read in other books. 'Course, it would not sell as well to the public this way. What a shame the truth will not be read by any but the few who own this book.]

 The penthouse buzzed with rumors that the men were killers. Elvis, who enjoyed such fun and games any time, now added fuel to the fire by telling all his guys to be ready for any other attacks. Being both serious and playing, Elvis told his guys, "if anyone ever kills me don't let them live to brag about it. I don't want no 'sum *****' to be able to walk around and say they killed Elvis Presley." While all this was great fun for Elvis, it was a nightmare for those that worked for him. One of Elvis' little games was getting something started, working everyone into a frenzy; then walking away and watching all the commotion. He had to do something to have fun, didn't he?

 Not only was this the greatest diversion he had had in a long time but it was the kind of 007 stuff that he dearly loved. Almost as good as his secret trip to the White House and FBI Headquarters two years before.

 Downstairs in the lobby, much the same thing was happening. Every day new fans were arriving in town that had not been privileged to be at the "killer" concert, as it was soon dubbed. The story was told and retold. Soon the ones that were there had Elvis singlehandedly holding off a hundred armed assassins.

 Perhaps all this excitement got Elvis' adrenaline flowing. I do know the shows sure improved. Where a few weeks before on the Hawaii concert Elvis displayed no karate at all, now he would blaze through several minutes of an attack by an invisible assassin. But, after this display of prowess it would take several minutes for him to catch his breath.

 Just over a week later Elvis finished this exciting Las Vegas engagement and headed back to Memphis to rest and recuperate. For the first time since the preceding October, Elvis had a full month off without anything being scheduled for him. No tours, no recording, no nothing. So what did he do? He courted Linda. He courted Linda 24 hours a day. But he still called Priscilia and Lisa every so often. But he made sure he called when Linda was asleep or making one of her now, less frequent trips home. Gentleman Elvis didn't like calling Priscilia when Linda was around because he didn't want her to feel uncomfortable.

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