“Now I’m holdin’ on to nothing’
Tryin’ to forget the rest”
– Lyrics to Pieces Of My Life, 1975
1975 did not have a good start. His January shows in Vegas were canceled so Elvis could lose weight. Elvis is on multiple medications which were prescribed pills from his doctor. Though they are approved by a doctor, they are clearly taking a toll on Elvis and his friends are beginning to notice that something needs to be done. Celebrating his 40th birthday, he has a small party in his home and spends every minute with girlfriend Linda Thompson. After spending the next few weeks in solitude, he went to the Cadillac dealership and bought eleven for his friends. Still in a spending mood, Elvis puts in a bid of $1.5 million for a Boeing 707.
A few days later, Elvis was admitted to Baptist Memorial Hospital for tests on January 29th. According to the hospital, it was for a liver problem. Elvis remained in the hospital for a few days. During his stay, Vernon suffered a heart attack and was taken to the same hospital as Elvis. Valentine’s Day, Elvis is released from the hospital and returns home to Graceland. Feeling much better, Elvis decides to go on a spending spree a few days later and purchase multiple cars and horses.
Pieces Of My Life
Feeling much better, Elvis decides to go on a spending spree a few days later and purchase multiple cars and horses.
On March 1st, Elvis won his third Grammy for How Great Thou Art. Elvis was feeling on top, but was brought back down. Barbra Streisand went to the Colonel and asked him to have Elvis star with her in A Star Is Born. There is not enough money for Elvis in the film and the Colonel refuses. Elvis is devastated, and heads back on tour to make the money the Colonel wants.
Elvis enters the studio March 10th and records And I Love You So, Bringing It Back, Fairytale, Green Green Grass of Home, I Can Help, Pieces Of My Life, Shake A Hand, Susan When She Tried, T-R-O-U-B-L-E, and Woman Without Love. With these new hits under his belt, Elvis begins his two-week engagement at the Hilton in Las Vegas to make up for the shows that were canceled in January. The closing show on April 1st, Elvis is in good spirits joking with the audience and even brings his dog, Getlo, onstage. Elvis returns to Memphis and begins resting for the next two weeks before he goes on his next tour.
- 24th: Coliseum, Macon, Georgia – 10,242
- 25th: Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville – 10,532
- 26th: Curtis-Hixon Auditorium, Tampa – 15,000 (two shows)
- 27th: Lakeland Civic Center, Lakeland, Florida – 8,200
- 28th: Lakeland Civic Center, Lakeland, Florida – 8,200
- 29th: Murphy Athletic Center, Murfreesboro – 12,000
- 3rd: Civic Center, Monroe, Louisiana – 16,000
- 4th: Civic Center, Lake Charles, Louisiana – 20,000 (two shows)
- 5th: State Farm Coliseum, Jackson, Mississippi – 10,242 (Benefit that obtained over $100,000 to help tornado victims)
- 6th: Murphy Athletic Center, Murfreesboro – 12,000 (two shows)
After the show, Elvis returned to Memphis to rest until he goes back on tour.
- May 30th: Von Braun Civic Center, Huntsville, Alabama – 40,000 (five shows in three days)
- 2nd: Mobile Municipal Auditorium, Mobile Alabama – 11,240
- 3rd: Memorial Auditorium, Tuscaloosa – 15,400
- 4th: Hofheinz Pavillion, Houston – 24,000 (two shows in two days)
- 6th: Memorial Auditorium, Dallas – 10,000
- 7th: Hirsch Coliseum, Shreveport – 22,000
- 8th: State Fair Coliseum, Jackson, Mississippi – 22,000 (two concerts in two days)
- 10th: Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis – 12,367 the last show of the tour
After much bidding and multiple issues, Elvis finally buys his own plane. He spends $750,000 remolding his Convair 880 jet and named it the Lisa Marie. A few days after purchasing his plane, Elvis is admitted to the hospital complaining of issues with his eye. He is only released the next day. A few weeks later, Lisa Marie arrived to Graceland to spend some quality time with her dad before his summer tour begins.
- 8th: Myriad Convention Center, Oklahoma City – 15,291
- 9th: Hulman Civic Center, Terra Haute, Indiana – 10,244
- 10th: Cleveland Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio – 21,000
- 11th: Civic Center, Charleston, West Virginia – 24,800 (three shows in two days)
- 13th: International Convention Center, Niagara Falls – 23,000 (two shows)
- 14th: Civic Center Hockey Arena, Springfield, Massachusetts – 36,000 (two shows)
- 18th: Cleveland Coliseum, Richfield, Ohio – 21,000
- 19th: Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, Long Island – 33,000 (two shows)
- 20th: Norfolk, Virginia – 22,600 (2 shows)
- 21st: Greensboro Coliseum, Greensboro – 16,300
- 22nd: Civic Center, Asheville, North Carolina – 14,847 (two shows in two nights)
- 24th: Civic Center, Asheville, North Carolina – 7,437 (during his performance, he gave away his guitar and two diamond rings.
Elvis returned to Memphis right after the show. Just as he does after every tour, Elvis goes on a buying spree and purchased fourteen Cadillacs for his friends. He even bought one for a bank teller, Minnie Person. As soon as she said it was almost her birthday, Elvis wrote her a check so she would be able to get the car herself. Getlo, Elvis’s chow chow, ended up getting a kidney infection and Elvis flies him to a vet in a Boston where he will stay until November.
On his way to Las Vegas on August 16th, Elvis is beginning to have difficulty breathing and the plane is forced to land in Dallas. They check into a hotel and Elvis begins to calm down and breathes normally so they continue the trip out west. August 18th, Elvis opens in Las Vegas. He is doing another two-week run but is clearly having difficulties on stage. He begins forgetting lyrics, has the need to sit down during the concert, and at one point the backup singers have to take over.
And I Love You So
Continuing to struggle, Elvis breaks out into laughter on stage when water pistols are thrown on stage and he begins to play with them. The audience begins laughing as well, but the band does not know what to do. Something was wrong, and the Memphis Mafia had to carry Elvis to his room. The next day, August 21st, Elvis is flown to Memphis at 6:00am and taken straight to the Baptist Memorial Hospital with Dr. Nick. Elvis nearly suffered an overdose when taking uppers, and he is in the hospital for extreme fatigue. Due to his illness, the rest of his engagement is canceled in Las Vegas.
Elvis is released from the hospital September 5th and is taken back to Graceland. He has two nurses that will stay with him. One will only stay for a few weeks and the second, Marion Cocke, will stay with Elvis until January 1976. Elvis rests in Memphis until November 27th when he returns to Las Vegas on his $1 million renovated airplane. He opens in Las Vegas on December 2nd to make up for the canceled shows in August. The shows were successful as Elvis was in better shape. The box office made $800,000 for the two weeks.
The family shared a quiet Christmas at home in Graceland. New Year’s is different however. Though Elvis has partied every year before, this year he will celebrate by performing on stage. He took to the stage around 11:00pm and stayed on past midnight. This single show sold 62,500 tickets and earned $816,000. After his health concern earlier in the year, it would seem Elvis was headed in a bad direction. With the help of his nurses and Dr. Nick, Elvis was feeling better and giving the Colonel exactly what he wanted; more money.