Elvis On Stage (1970)


“A live concert to me is exciting because of all the electricity that is generated in the crowd and on stage.”

– Elvis Presley, 1973

Elvis begins 1970 by flying from Memphis to Los Angeles to begin rehearsals for his show at the International Hotel in Las Vegas. By January 19th, he heads over to Las Vegas The first performance had a celebrity-filled audience 1970-march-1a and had a reception following. The performances were the same as they were the following summer. With two performances a night, Elvis had a difficult time fighting off a sore throat and congestive issues. Pushing through, Elvis continues to do some of his best performances.

RCA sets up shop in the International Hotel to record songs for On Stage – February 1970. The performance in Vegas closes February 23rd. After his performance, Elvis makes his way to Houston for a press conference before his tour begins at the Astrodome. February 27th Elvis does his two performances. There are technical issues which caused tension on stage. The final performance at the Astrodome had almost 210,000 people in attendance.

You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me – Live

After the performance, the family returns to Palm Springs and spends their time there along with Las Vegas and Los Angeles. On May 24th, Elvis threw a surprise party for Priscilla included with homemade ice cream. After almost three months, the Presley’s return to Memphis so Elvis can begin recording again. Beginning June 4th, Elvis had a five-day recording marathon where 34 songs were completed. In these sessions, some of the songs included Bridge Over Troubled Water, Heart Of Rome, How The Web Was Woven, I’ve Lost You, and You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me.

Heart Of Rome

On StageFebruary 1970 hit the charts of June 20th and remains on the chart for 20 weeks. Elvis had an August engagement at the International Hotel and began rehearsals July 5th. MGM film crews begin shooting the rehearsals for Elvis: That’s The Way It Is. On August 10th, he opens at the International Hotel and holds his third engagement with Vegas. This is when Elvis really introduces his unique jumpsuits. With all the success of Elvis’s role in Vegas, there is a scandal in the mix. A paternity suit was filed claiming Elvis to be the father of the child.

During a performance on August 26th, Elvis was threatened with a kidnapping. There was even a call made to Colonel Parker’s office saying Elvis had been abducted. Joe Esposito’s wife receives a call in Los Angeles saying unless they come up with $50,000 cash, Elvis would be killed. Security is then increased at his performances. Elvis closed out in Las Vegas on September 7th, Priscilla in attendance. A third show was added on his last night because hundreds of people had already been turned away.

I’ve Lost You – Live

September 9th, the excitement really began for Elvis. His first concert tour since 1958 began. He performed for a full house in Phoenix. Becoming so tired, he lies down on the stage during a performance and the crowd loves it. The tour continues on in September.

  • 10th: Keil Auditorium, St. Louis at 13,000 paid admission.
  • 11th: Olympia Arena, Detroit at 16,000 all the way to the rafters.
  • 12th: Miami Beach Convention Center (two shows) with 12,000 admissions.
  • 13th: Curtis Hixon Hall, Tampa with 15,000 with two shows. (Elvis messes up the lyrics to In The Ghetto and finds it so funny he cannot compose himself. The band stops playing waiting for Elvis to get it together.)
  • 14th: Municipal Auditorium, Mobile with 11,000 admissions.

Elvis takes a much-needed break and heads home to Graceland for relaxation. He was completely exhausted. During his month break, Elvis makes his way to the studio and records Rags To Riches, Where Did They Go Lord, Snowbird, and Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On. Priscilla and Elvis go to Las Vegas to vacation and see entertainment. Not perform himself.

Rags To Riches


Elvis had an obsession with badges and on October 11th, he is sworn in as a Special Deputy Sheriff of Bel Air, California. He had made it a hobby to have law enforcement swear him in and carried all the badges in a briefcase. Two days later, Elvis returned to Memphis and relaxes because of the tour exhaustion. A few days later, he returned to Los Angeles to prepare for his next tour in November.

  • 10th: Oakland Coliseum, Oakland having 14,000.
  • 11th: Portland’s Memorial Coliseum having 11,800 attendance. (Elvis: That’s The Way It Is opened nationally.)
  • 12th: The Coliseum, Seattle having 15,000.
  • 13th: Cow Palace, San Francisco having 14,300.
  • 14th: The Forum, Los Angeles having 37,398 for two shows. (The same day, Elvis is served with paternity papers from Patricia Parker.)
  • 15th: International Sports Arena, San Diego having 14,659.
  • 16th: State Fair Grounds, Oklahoma City having 11,000.
  • 17th: Denver Coliseum with 12,000.

Elvis flies back to Los Angeles for a break. On December 3rd, Elvis met LAPD Chief Edward M. Davis and presented him with a custom-made Colt .45 and a check for $7,000 to help fund and buy clothes and toys for needy children. The donation was made without publicity per the request of Elvis. Elvis: That’s The Way It Is album hits the charts and stays there for 23 weeks.

Where Did They Go, Lord

The paternity suit had bothered Elvis and he goes on the offensive side with Patricia Parker. A cross complaint is filed alleging that the suit is an attempt to extort money from Elvis. He denies that he slept with her, therefore saying the child cannot be his. Elvis requests $1,000 in damages because of all the harm caused to him and his family. He also asked for $1 in court costs. The next few days of the consisted of the incredible story of Elvis meeting President Nixon. This story is so unbelievable it will have its very own blog post. A quiet Christmas is held at Graceland. Elvis was the best man at Sonny West’s wedding held on December 28th. The gang spent another New Years at T.J.’s.

1970 ended up being something Elvis had dreamt about for years. He was finally on tour again but found himself completely exhausted from the touring schedule itself. Not wanting to discontinue his touring, he pressed on and his health began to decline.


Little Sister

You Might Also Like

1 Comment

  • Reply Misty September 22, 2016 at 9:35 pm

    That first quote sums up why I routinely pay hundreds of dollars for concerts. I can’t imagine what kind of electricity Elvis created on stage!

  • Leave a Reply