Elvis Presley | Pan Pacific Auditorium, Los Angeles | October 28 & 29, 1957
|Elvis Presley & Sammy Davis Jr.|
In his first show at the Pan Pacific Auditorium, Elvis was determined to impress his celebrity-studded audience, and he did. With Hollywood celebrities and their children among the more than nine thousand in attendance, Elvis performed eighteen songs ending with 'Hound Dog'.
Throughout Elvis' performance that night, a three-foot tall replica of Nipper, RCA's trademark, sat at one side of the stage. Concluding the show with 'Hound Dog' Elvis grabbed Nipper around the neck (Pictures below) with his left arm and lifted him from the floor, eventually lying on the floor while continuing to sing into the microphone in his right hand.
The audience went wild but the newspapers the following day took a different view - As often happened at Elvis Presley concerts in the fifties, eyewitnesses saw the same stage events differently as they were filtered through predetermined prejudices, both for and against Elvis.
At a party in his hotel suite after the show, Elvis met Ricky Nelson, while hosting entertainers Nick Adams, Carol Channing, Sammy Davis Jr and Tommy Sands. Nick Adams and Sammy Davis Jr entertained the guests with impressions. Elvis' date for the evening was Anne Neyland.
Elvis approached Ricky Nelson telling him 'Man, I just love your new record' and that he loved the 'Ozzie and Harriet Show' saying he watched it all the time. When photoplay editor Maria Borie told Elvis that Ricky was about to go out on tour for the first time and could use some advice, Elvis took Ricky aside and gave him some tips on what to do on tour. 'You'll never know how much tonight has meant to me' Ricky told Maria Borie later in the evening. 'Imagine Elvis Presley watching our show. He repeated episodes I'd even forgotten about. He remembered them word for word. And he gave me some great tips about things to do on my tour'.
Elvis Presley Will Have To Clean up His Show - Or go to Jail
In the media the following day, some writers made no mention of the incident with 'Nipper' in their reviews, while some, like George H. Jackson of the Los Angeles Herald-Express and Hollywood columnist Hedda Hopper, made only passing reference to Elvis' 'rolling' across the stage.
To Dick Williams, though, Elvis by definition was obscene, and in that final number Williams spotted the vulgarity he had come to see. 'The madness reached its peak at the finish with 'Hound Dog', Williams wrote in the Mirror-News the next day. 'Elvis writhed in complete abandon, hair hanging over his face. He got down on the floor with a huge replica of the RCA singing dog and made love to it as if it were a girl'.
Gordon Stoker of the Jordanaires saw nothing inappropriate in Elvis' actions that night. 'Elvis did not do anything on stage with Nipper that was suggestive or off color', Stoker insists. 'We were standing very close to him on stage as we always were. We would have seen him. Williams was simply out to 'get' Elvis -- When you consider that Elvis' playful antics while performing 'Hound Dog' on the Milton Berle Show caused so much controversy, in the 1950s, putting your arm around ‘Nipper’ on stage will get interpreted as more -- and he wasn't alone ....
Elvis Presley Will Have To Clean up His Show - Or go to Jail' declared one headline.
The result was the Los Angeles Vice Squad contacted Colonel Parker and warned him of that same consequence, but according to The Colonel, Elvis remained unfazed. 'He just said, 'Well, if I don't dance tonight, maybe I don't have to take a shower tonight'. Elvis angrily denied this, saying, 'I take a shower every night regardless of whether I dance or just sing'. When Police showed up with movie cameras the following night the show was considerably toned down. Through hand gestures, Elvis repeatedly indicated to the audience that their censorious camera was on him. At one point, he thrust his hands straight out, wrists together, suggesting that his actions were hand cuffed. He even announced to the fans, 'You should have been here last night!'.
Prior to the first concert Elvis gave a press conference where he answered questions ranging from Frank Sinatra's comments that 'Rock 'n' Roll is sung, played and written for the most part by cretinous goons ....'. -- Elvis' response was 'I admire the man' ..... he's mistaken about this' --, his income, his sideburns, his draft status and any plans he might have for marriage.
Elvis Presley at the Press Conference Pan Pacific Auditorium - October 28, 1957 from the book Flashback.
Elvis Presley - backstage - Pan Pacific Auditorium : October 1957.
Elvis Presley, DJ Fontana and Bill Black playing a brand new '57 Fender Precision at the Pan Pacific Auditorium - October 28, 1957.
Glen Glenn : ... the last show was at the Pan Pacific. And, we went down with Bill and Scotty to the Pan Pacific that night. And, that's the night that the cops came out, the first night they didn't. They came out to film Elvis, because they said he was too wild and that's the night that Elvis just wiggled his fingers when he sung 'Hound Dog'. And, we saw him that night. The Pan Pacific, you couldn't even hear Elvis. The girls screamed through the whole concert. And, then it was wild, both nights was wild-- sold out night the Pan Pacific Auditorium and it was something else. You never seen an entertainer in those days like Elvis. The first night he got wild on stage, but the second night he couldn't because the cops were there filming and everything. And the next day after the Pan Pacific, we had breakfast at the Knickerbocker with Bill and Scotty and DJ and Luther and Marshall (The Tennessee Two). Cause Johnny Cash was in town the same time, he was playing shows in California, but not with Elvis and they were all staying at the Knickerbocker. And, Johnny Cash was staying at the Knickerbocker. And, we were reading the Los Angeles Times about the first show. We were sitting in there having breakfast, Bill Black bought breakfast, me and Gary Lambert. And, so we were sitting there reading the review of the show of the night before, about the cops coming in and going to come the next night and all this stuff.
And, the Jordanaires were there with us at the Knickerbocker.
And another with the Colonel - Stage Front. (From the book, Elvis Images II.)
Colonel Parker, Front of stage, From the Book, Elvis Images II.
The Jordanaires, Elvis Presley, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana Pan Pacific Auditorium - October 28, 1957.
There are more photos of Elvis in concert at the Pan Pacific Auditorium, Los Angeles - October 28 & 29, 1957 in the FTD book Elvis In L.A. Also included are photos from the Oct 28 Press Conference.
Live In L.A. also includes a CD with the evening concert from Inglewood Forum May 11, 1974.
The Press Conference Interview - October 28, 1957
A: 'I don't sing. I yell'.
Q: Do you intend to change your presentation due to national criticism?
A: 'I can't. It's all I can do'.
Q: When will you write more songs?
A: 'That's all a hoax. I can't even read music'.
Q: What about your guitar?
A: 'Can't play it--use it as a brace'.
Q: 'What's your emotional power over women?' (Asked by a female reporter).
A: 'Gosh..' replied Elvis, whispering something inaudible into a mike provided for the occasion.
Q: 'Read this!' snapped another reporter, shoving a magazine article into Elvis' hands. It was an article written supposedly by Frank Sinatra attacking the institution of rock 'n' roll music.
A: 'I admire the man, he has a right to his own opinions,' carefully replied the blackshirted Elvis.
Q: 'That's all you have to say?'
A: 'You can't knock success'.
Q: Are you considering marriage?
A: No, he's enjoying playing the field too much.
Q: How long do you intend to wear your 2-inch sideburns?
A: Until Uncle Sam makes him shave them off, perhaps soon. He's 1-A.
Q: How much money are you making?
A: Over $1 million a year, he's not sure of the exact figures.
Q: What do you think of rock 'n' roll?
A: 'It's the greatest ever, mainly because it's all I can do!'
(Above interview includes photos of Elvis from the October 29th Concert)
Elvis '57: The Final Fifties Tours by Alan Hanson - Elvis '57 recalls that magical year when the King played to audiences a quarter of a million people strong, and controversy and pandemonium accompanied him wherever he went. Alan Hanson takes the reader for a rollicking ride through eighteen major cities in the United States and Canada as he chronicles the most exciting tours of Elvis' career. In Chicago, Elvis wore his famed gold lame suit and thirteen girls fainted in an effort to reach him. In Vancouver, British Columbia, thousands left their seats and rushed the stage, forcing him to abruptly end the show.
Also a special thank you to author Alan Hanson for his help with this article.
Elvis Day By Day : By Ernst Jorgensen & Peter Guralnick is a complete account of public, private, rare, forgotten, and renowned moments, captured with such detail and immediacy they read like diary entries in a life--from first steps to the first time the young 'hillbilly cat' stepped on stage; from the creation of a revolutionary new sound to the last days of a universally known, tragically misunderstood music legend.
No longer in print. Grab one if you find one.
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Elvis Presley January 6, 1957 | Warwick Hotel, New York
Elvis Presley The Ed Sullivan Show | His third and final Appearance | January 6, 1957
Elvis, Monday evening, January 7, 1957 following his last appearance on the Ed Sullivan show
Elvis Presley Elvis may move into Graceland Newspaper article | 1957
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Pfc. Hershel Nixon and Elvis Presley shake hands | March 26, 1957
Interview Elvis Presley Fort Wayne, Indiana, March 30, 1957
Elvis Presley Buffalo, NY. Memorial Coliseum | April 1, 1957
Elvis Presley Maple Leaf Gardens Canada | April 2, 1957
Elvis Presley Ottawa Canada | April 3, 1957
Elvis Presley Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Sports Arena | April 5, 1957
Elvis Presley and Knox Phillips | Memphis, TN | Tuesday April 9, 1957
Elvis Presley with Yvonne Lime | Easter 1957
Elvis Presley New Music Gates at Graceland in 1957 | April 22, 1957
April 30, 1957 | Bill for Stone Wall Built at the front of Graceland
Elvis Presley Tacoma, WA. Lincoln Bowl (Matinee Show) | September 1, 1957
Elvis Presley Seattle, WA. Sick's Stadium (Evening Show) | September 1, 1957
Elvis Presley Multnomah Civic Stadium Portland, OR | September 2, 1957
Elvis Presley WDIA Goodwill Revue | December 6, 1957
Elvis Presley December 16, 1957
Elvis Presley Graceland | December 20, 1957
Elvis Presley and Colonel Parker | Isetta Sports Car | Saturday | December 21, 1957
Elvis Presley December 21, 1957 | Evening | Ryman Auditorium, Nashville
Elvis Presley Hannerl Melcher | December 1957
The Movies Of 1957
The Movies In Photos
CDs | DVDs | Books
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Never before have we seen an Elvis Presley concert from the 1950's with sound. Until Now! The DVD Contains recently discovered unreleased film of Elvis performing 6 songs, including Heartbreak Hotel and Don't Be Cruel, live in Tupelo Mississippi 1956. Included we see a live performance of the elusive Long Tall Sally seen here for the first time ever. + Plus Bonus DVD Audio.
This is an excellent release no fan should be without it.
The 'parade' footage is good to see as it puts you in the right context with color and b&w footage. The interviews of Elvis' Parents are well worth hearing too. The afternoon show footage is wonderful and electrifying : Here is Elvis in his prime rocking and rolling in front of 11.000 people. Highly recommended.
Tupelo's Own Elvis Presley DVD Video with Sound.