Separate Ways (1972)


“Love has slipped away, left us only friends. We almost seem like strangers.”

– Lyrics to Separate Ways, 1973

January 8th, 1972, Elvis has to celebrate his birthday by telling his family that Priscilla is moving into her own place in Los Angeles with Lisa Marie. With the struggle that came over from 1971, it was clear that the couple was on rough times. A few weeks later, Elvis opens at the Las Vegas Hilton International. Beginning February 14th, RCA begins recording shows for the album Standing Room Only. The album would never be released.

Just before closing Elvis closes in Las Vegas, Priscilla tells him that she intends to file for divorce. With this news, he heads straight to California. When he arrives, he finds that Lisa Marie and Priscilla have already moved out. With this news, Elvis goes into seclusion. March 27th he heads into the RCA Hollywood studio and after a two-day session he produces: Always On My Mind, Burning Love, Fool, For The Good Times, It’s A Matter Of Time, Separate Ways, and Where Do I Go From Here. There is a clear message he is trying to send to Priscilla. Elvis is attempting to throw his feelings into his music and creates some of the most emotional tracks of his career.

Always On My Mind

April 5th Elvis begins his next tour in Buffalo at the Memorial Auditorium. He arrives in his private jet and brings a film crew for him to begin filming his next documentary, Elvis On Tour. Following Buffalo, Elvis continues his tour:

  • 6th: Olympia Stadium, Detroit – 16,216 (Largest audience at the Olympia)
  • 7th: University of Dayton Area, Dayton – 13,788
  • 8th: Stokely Athletics Center, Knoxville – 23,800 (two shows)
  • 9th: The Coliseum, Hampton Roads, Virginia – 21,650 (two shows) used in the filming of Elvis On Tour
  • 10th: The Coliseum, Richmond – 11,500. During the performance, Elvis has to stop while the fans calm down after they found out they were being filmed.
  • 11th: Roanoke Civic Center – Roanoke – 10,436 (sold out) While performing, the center is evacuated following a bomb threat. A riot breaks out as women try to make their way to Elvis, but settle for the musicians instead.
  • 12th: Fair Grounds Coliseum, Indianapolis – 11,000
  • 13th: Coliseum, Charlotte – 12,000
  • 14th: The Coliseum Greensboro – 16,300 used in the filming of Elvis On Tour
  • 15th: The Coliseum, Macon, Georgia 0 23,000 (two shows)
  • 16th: Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum, Jacksonville, Florida – 18,758 (two shows)
  • 17th: T.H. Barton Coliseum, Little Rock – 10,000
  • 18th: Convention Center Arena, San Antonio – 10,500 used in the filming of Elvis On Tour
  • 19th: Tingley Coliseum, Albuquerque – 11,847 (The final date on the tour.) Before the show, Elvis meets with a child backstage who is dying from cancer. He dedicates You Gave Me A Mountain to the child during the show.

You Gave Me A Mountain – Live

The tour concludes and Elvis flies to Hawaii to meet Priscilla, Lisa Marie, and several of their friends. He spends most of his time in seclusion until raoqonMay. He manages to travel to Honolulu to watch a karate exhibition. May 8th, tickets go on sale for his concert at Madison Square Garden in New York. Tickets are gone within 24 hours. Elvis and a few friends fly out to Las Vegas May 28th to watch Glen Campbell’s show. The crowd has quite a reaction to Elvis’ presence and Elvis is forced to leave so Campbell can finish the show.

The gun club that purchased the Circle G Ranch from Elvis is facing foreclosure. Vernon buys the ranch back at an auction. Beginning June 9th, Elvis’s concert series at Madison Square Garden begins. All four concerts are sold out with 80,000 in admission. Elvis is the first act to ever sell out the Garden four times in a row. Revenue for the concert series is over $750,000. RCA records the concert series to use on a live album titled Elvis Live At Madison Square Gardens.

Elvis Live at Madison Square Gardens

(20 Minute Video)

The June concert Elvis tour begins.

  • 12th: Memorial Coliseum, Fort Wayne – sold out
  • 13th: Roberts Memorial Coliseum, Evansville – 11,500
  • 14th: Milwaukee Auditorium, Milwaukee – 10,500
  • 15th: Milwaukee Auditorium, Milwaukee – 11,000
  • 16th: Chicago Stadium, Chicago – 65,000 (two days, three shows)
  • 18: Tarrant County Convention Center, Fort Worth – 14,122
  • 19th: Henry Levitt Arena, Wichita – 10,000 (Elvis Live At Madison Square Garden is released)
  • 20th: Civic Assembly Center, Tulsa – 9,500 (The final date of the tour)

Elvis returns to Memphis June 21st and spends the rest of the month and most of July relaxing. He frequently rents the Memphian for him and his friends to watch movies. July 5th, George Klein brings Linda Thompson to an evening of movies and Elvis is quite taken by her. He invites her to his next Memphian night and this is the beginning of their relationship. There are plans of another television special in the works. Elvis Live At Madison Square Garden goes gold and will remain there for 34 weeks.

Separate Ways – Live

On July 27th, Priscilla files for a formal separation in California. She requests custody of Lisa Marie and unlimited visitation rights. The next day, Elvis makes his way to Las Vegas for his summer concert series. He opens his show in Vegas on August 4th and though his latest record has 1972dressingroomshot1gone gold, he is finding himself in a depression. He meets Linda Thompson in Vegas. She spends a few days there before returning to Memphis. Once she leaves Elvis spends some time with Cybill Sheperd.

Elvis is continuing to gain noticeable weight and continuing to show the effects of his frequent drug abuse. The drugs he is using is prescribed by a doctor and is taken under a doctor supervision. Therefore, Elvis does not see an issue with the use. On August 18th, after much deliberation, Elvis decides to file for divorce from Priscilla. During a performance, Elvis’s pants split and found himself behind a curtain continuing to sing while changing his pants. From this point on, he would not perform without his custom suits on.

For The Good Times

Priscilla and Lisa Marie fly to Las Vegas to see Elvis’s show and stay there until the show concludes. The shows finish September 4th and he stayed in Vegas to see some other shows. The next day, the deal to broadcast a special from Hawaii is closed by Colonel Tom Parker and NBC.  Elvis returns to Memphis on September 30th, but then heads straight to Los Angeles to record some dialogue for Elvis On Tour. Once he has completed this, he returns to Las Vegas and stays there for the rest of the month. Elvis On Tour opens nationally on November 1st and the film does quite well.

Elvis On Tour Trailer

Elvis is constantly traveling between Los Angeles, Memphis, and Las Vegas. Elvis is getting into a deeper depression and spending most of his time in his home after he learns about Priscilla’s affair with karate expert Mike Stone. After a little break, Elvis goes right back on tour in November.

  • 8th: Municipal Auditorium in Lubbock, Texas – 10,000 (sold out)
  • 9th: Community Center Arena, Tucson – 9,700
  • 10th: The Coliseum, El Paso – 9,000
  • 11th: Oakland Coliseum – 14,000 (Burning Love And Hits From His Movies made its way on the charts and remained there for 25 weeks)
  • 12th and 13th: Swing Auditorium, San Bernardino – 7,200 (sold out)
  • 14th and 15th: Long Beach Arena, Long Beach – 14,000 (sold out) Priscilla and Lisa Marie attend the last concert
  • 16th: International Center, Honolulu – 27,900 (4 shows)

The tour ends and a press conference is held at Hawaiian Village which is when the television special is announced. Elvis returns to Los Angeles on November 30th and then over to Las Vegas. He makes his way back to Memphis on December 10th. Lisa Marie spends the holiday at Graceland, but Priscilla stays in Los Angeles. Elvis has a lavish Christmas and gives Linda Thompson a mink coat. There is a huge party held at Graceland for New Years. He is not in a very good mood but does the best for his daughter. 1972 was a rough year for Elvis, but things are beginning to look up when 1973 begins.


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