March 1 1970 - Astroworld Hotel, Houston,
At the Sunday afternoon press conference Elvis
said he hadn't seen anything of Houston outside
his hotel suite and the Astrodome. Elvis went
on to tell reporters "I got a big thrill
out of this appearance, I loved it. I know I'm
signed to do the International Hotel in Las Vegas
again, but nothing has been said about other personal
appearances. I'd like to do them".
Later in the news conference he said "I
knew it would be hard work at the Dome. There
is no personal contact. I decided I just had to
work as hard as I could, do the show and get off.
The sound system bugged me the first night because
I kept hearing my own echo. We had our own engineer
and we got that all straightened out".
Colonel Parker was asked about further plans
for personal appearance tours, to which he replied
"I don't know anything".
During the conference hundreds of teenagers hung
out of windows in adjoining wings of the hotel
cheering Elvis. Elvis was great about the whole
thing. He yelled "Hang on there babies, I'll
be right out" and told the qudiences he loved
He was a warm and friendly man and happily shook
hands with a couple of hundred people at the press
conference and freely answered all their questions.
The purpose of the Sunday afternoon conference
was to give officers of the Houston Livestock
Show, RCA Records and Sherriff Buster Kern a chance
to pay tribute to Elvis and the Colonel.
As you know by now, Elvis broke every rodeo record.
Louis Pearce, Buddy Bray and Dick Weekley, on
behalf of the shows officers, presented him with
a 'King Midas' Rolex watch valued at $2,500. The
officers had presented one to Pearce when he turned
over the presidential reins last year and Elvis
admired it when when the group went to Las Vegas
to make the deal for his coming here. Elvis laughed
"I wasn't hinting". There are very few
of these in the world and Elvis' is No. 343 to
be made in the entire world. Elvis and the Colonel
were also presented plaques naming them life members
of the show.
Sherrif Kern told Elvis "I know you want
to get out of town Monday and this will help you".
He then gave Elvis a gold Deputy Sheriffs badge.
Colonel Parker asked "How am I supposed to
get out of town? Do you want me to hitchhike?".
So Buster presented the Colonel with one too.
Elvis was also given a stetson. Then Elvis said
"I should be given an award for nerve".
RCA Vice-President Rocco Loginestra was on hand
to present Elvis with five gold records. They
were 'In The Ghetto', 'Suspicious Minds', 'Don't
Cry Daddy' and two albums 'Elvis At The International'
and 'From Elvis In Memphis'. It is reported that
this is the first time any artist has received
five gold records in one year.
It was noted by many reporters that a very interesting
thing was taking place. Elvis had been in the
business nearly sixteen years now, and the children
of his original fans were "Tearing down the
roof" at his performances. As teenyboppers
tapped on the window outside, a newsman asks "How
do women in their twenties and thirties react
to you now?" "Well, it varies"
he said with a wide grin.
"And what's your father up to these days?".
A white haired man, stepping into the TV cameras
quipped "What's the trouble here?" It
was Vernon Presley, looking more dapper than in
his Memphis days. Vernon is Elvis' father.
And then there was Colonel Tom Parker. "Well
that's it... Let's go" he said with a wave
of his cigar, and the press conference was over.
(Source : Transcript 'Elvis Monthly' Magazine
No. 125 - June 1970 & 'Strictly Elvis' Magazine
No. 24 - June 1970)
(Thanks to Simon De Wit)