Tuesday, July 14, 2009

"Was this really true or just a dream?"

Writing about Dixieland Delight and Pieces Of My Life made me remember a letter I received many years ago from a Norwegian guy who actually saw Elvis in concert in July, 1975. I store a lot of Elvis magazines and clippings in a box, and going through it I found the letter. Looking at the postmark I noticed that it was posted in Norway, January, 1989.

The reason he wrote me in the first place was that I had seen a small ad in the Norwegian fan club magazine Flaming Star, where he was selling pictures of Elvis that he had taken while travelling with the fan club to USA in 1975. Having no idea what it must have been like attending an Elvis concert, I sent him a letter asking him to share his memories.

A couple of days later I got the letter I still have in my possession. It was a very nice two page letter where this lucky man from Norway tried to tell me of his impressions 14 years earlier, when he saw Elvis three times, once in Terra Haute, Indiana on July 9 and twice in Charleston, West Virginia, on July 11 and 12. Here are some of the things he wrote:

I'm 35 years old now, and have been an Elvis fan since I was seven. But I have to admit that it was a remarkable experience to see Elvis on stage: me and all the other 8 000-10 000 fans in the auditorium had the feeling that he sang only to me. He had each and everyone of us in the palm of his hand, he captivated us completely.

I couldn't believe it was happening, I had collected his records for many years, had seen the movies and now he stood right in front of me. Was this really true or just a dream?

The concerts were good, the sound first class all through the auditorium and the audience was loyal and polite, until the last song when several hundreds of fans rushed to the front of the stage. The concerts were better than one could imagine, mainly thanks to the atmosphere and excitement in the auditorium, 10 000-12 000 (at most) Elvis fans, it can only get good.

An atmosphere at a concert is almost impossible to explain, but I hope you have gotten some idea of what it was like...

Yes, the letter gave me some idea, although I'll never be able to feel what it was really like. The closest I've ever gotten to experience something like it was when Elvis The Concert toured Europe in 1999, but of course it can't be anywhere near the real thing, amazing as it was. That will always be my one impossible dream: to have seen Elvis in concert.

PS: Thanks to the Internet and Facebook I got in touch with the guy from Norway again, 20 years since he wrote me that letter. He assured me that it was OK to share his letter with you, and I hope you liked his memories of Elvis in concert.

1 comment:

Troy Y. said...

Hey Thomas, you and I have the same impossible dream.