|Date:||05 Dec 1976|
|Venue:||Las Vegas, NV.
|Costume:||King of Spades suit|
Elvis In Free Fall
Presley At The Hilton
On this Sunday evening, Jackie Kahane had performed his 'warm-up' comedian act for 25 minutes and the audience were getting restless. Behind the gold-coloured curtain, there is movement and Kahane walks to the side of the stage and listens for a minute or so. "Ladies and Gentlemen, I'm being asked to go on just a little longer as there seems to be a few minor problems upstairs in Elvis' suite. Elvis seemingly sprained his ankle but don't you worry, he'll be onstage shortly."
After a long intermission the lights dim and the show starts.
The curtain goes up and Elvis limps on stage from the left. James Burton and John Wilkenson (Guitarists) look nervously at one another. Elvis leans on Charlie Hodge. He looks bad. His face is pale and bloated. His wet hair hangs down over his face like he's just got out of the shower. As he takes the guitar from Charlie and heads for the microphone he looks drunk.
After See See Rider, he explains his 'unconvincing' story to the audience in slurred speech about tripping in the shower. He is not in control of his body movements. He continues singing then asks if the audience won't mind him sitting down. From his stool, he sings a few more songs then begins a dialogue about a black diamond ring he's just acquired.
The audience are getting restless and some start to leave, calling out their frustrations about the poor show and wanting their money back. Even the musicians are getting annoyed at the lack of music.
The tension in the showroom is getting worse and worse then just as it seems things can't get any worse, Elvis seems to slip out of his twilight zone and returns to normality. He gets off the stool. His voice is less slurred, though he's still a bit shaky. From here on, the show is like it should be, though not quite up to it's normal high.
After Can't Help Falling In Love, Elvis leaves the stage with no limping whatsoever!
[this excerpt is adapted from the book 'Elvis: The Man And His Music' recalled from a fan in the audience.]