Empire Stadium - Vancouver, BC


Empire Stadium Vancouver B.C. Canada 1954
Photo courtesy BC Sports Hall of Fame and Museum

In 1954 during the same summer that Elvis, Scotty and Bill first recorded together at Sun the British Empire and Commonwealth Games went to Vancouver, BC and Empire Stadium was built to host it.  The stadium sat 25,000 (10,000 under cover) and had facilities to accommodate an additional 10,000 standing.  The games, initially called the British Empire Games is a sporting competition among member nations of the British Empire.  Since 1930 when 11 countries sent 400 athletes to take part in 59 events, like the Olympics they have been held every 4 years in a member country   In 1954 24 nations sent 662 competitors to compete in Vancouver.  The stadium during the games was the site of the historic Miracle Mile - one of the biggest sport stories of the decade.


Empire Stadium Vancouver, B.C. Canada


Roger Bannister pulls ahead of John Landy at the 1954 British Empire Games
Photo © Ralph Morse/TIMEPIX courtesy Academy of Achievement

On May 6, 1954 at Oxford University Roger Bannister became the first man to run a mile in under 4 minutes.  His time was 3 min 59.4 s.  Just 46 days later on June 21 in Turku, Finland, Bannister's record was broken by his rival John Landy of Australia, with a time of 3 min 57.9 s.  On August 7, Bannister, running for England, competed against Landy for the first time at Empire Stadium.   They were the only two men in the world to have broken the 4-minute barrier.  Bannister won in 3 min 58.8 s, with Landy 0.8 s behind in 3 min 59.6 s.


John Landy and Roger Bannister after competing in the 1954 British Empire Games
Photo © Ralph Morse/TIMEPIX courtesy Academy of Achievement

The CBC televised the British Empire and Commonwealth Games and controversy raged over the issue of Sunday sports.  After the games were over Empire Stadium became home to the BC Lions football club, the newest professional team in the Canadian Football League.  The Lions played their first game there on August 28, 1954, they lost.  It was a Saturday.  Three years later in 1957, Vancouver residents voted in favor of allowing sports on Sundays, just in time for a new controversy, Elvis Presley.


Elvis, Bruno Cimmoll, Mark Raines, RCA Rep. Ernie Henn, Tom Diskin
and Norm Pringle of CDKA Radio at the Press conference in the Stadium locker room
Photo © Red Robinson

On August 31, 1957, Elvis, Scotty, Bill, D.J. and the Jordanaires went to Vancouver by train to perform at Empire Stadium.  It was the second stop of a tour of the Northwest that had started the day before in Spokane.  By this time Elvis had recorded eight No. 1 singles in two years, had made three movies and was about to release "Jailhouse Rock" as his latest single.  Having performed in Toronto and Ottawa in April, this was only the third time they ever performed outside of the U.S. and for Elvis it would be the last.Vancouver's first rock-and-roll show had taken place barely a year before, when Bill Haley and the Comets drew 6,000 people to the Kerrisdale Arena.  Now Elvis had drawn a crowd over four times larger.


Red Robinson, Elvis and Bruno Cimmoll of CKNW (Ken Moore with bear)
Photos © Red Robinson 

20 year old Red Robinson, the DeeJay for CKWX who had emceed the Bill Haley show and emceed Elvis' show said, "That was the first time there was ever a performer in front of 26,000 people in a rented stadium. Sinatra, Crosby, no one ever rented stadiums before him."  According to records given to Red by the promoter Hugh Pickett shortly before he died, there were 25,898 paid admissions and at ticket prices of $1.50, $2.50 and $3.50, the gross receipts came to $61,099.86 of which Elvis probably earned $21,936.32.2


Norm Pringle of CDKA Radio, Elvis and Elsie Pringle
Click here for part one of the press conference (3 Mb)
Click here for part two of the press conference (2.4 Mb)
courtesy Cybercloud

Red said,“With the press conference over, the reporters were ushered out. As Emcee of the show, I remained with Elvis. Let me tell you about an incident that happened while we killed the hour or so remaining until show time. It taught me that, while Elvis was always polite, he also had a wild streak of fun in him. After we’d been chatting for some time, Elvis opened the dressing room door at the stadium and invited one of the policemen outside to come in. He asked to borrow the cop’s handcuffs… then casually handcuffed me to a shower rod.  Then he hid the key and laughed wildly at the joke."


George Corrie (chauffeur) drives Elvis and fan club contest winner around
Empire Stadium prior to start of the show
Photo courtesy John Corrie and the Vancouver Province

The crowd was seated in the stadium's stands on either side of the football field, and the stage was set up in the north end zone.  It was constructed on the back of two flatbed trucks with a fence put up around it and between the stage and the audience was nearly 100 yards of empty football field with air cadets and police lined up as security.  The opening band played for about 45 minutes before Elvis and the band went on.  When the music began, more or less drowned out by the screams of the crowd, the crowd surged past the 'security' onto the field and sat down in front of the stage.  Scotty said, "We must have looked like ants to them back where they were sitting.  All they wanted to do was to get closer.  They didn't care if they had seats or not."1


Fans cheers in the stands at Empire Stadium - Aug. 31, 1957
Photo courtesy Vancouver Province

Stadium officials stopped the show and told the crowd it would not continue until they got back off the field.  D.J. remembers how defiant the crowd was.  Stadium officials couldn't budge them.  D.J. said, "They tried and they tried, and they wouldn't move, so we finally started the show."1


Scotty, Elvis and the Jordanaires onstage at Empire Stadium - Aug. 31, 1957
Photo © Red Robinson 

The concert had lasted all of 22 minutes. Frightened by the surging fans, Parker told Elvis to cut the show short. When Elvis abruptly left the stage Scotty and the others were left onstage to face the fans alone.1  Unknown to the audience, Elvis had gone into an alcove aside the stairs behind the curtain, gave his Gold jacket to one of his entourage (possibly Gene Smith) who then ran to the car to be whisked away pursued by the fans. Vancouver Sun photographer Ralph Bower said, "they knocked the fence over and chased him, and that's when he got away. They came like a herd of cattle. I was standing there and they run right over the top of me."Elvis walked across the field to the dressing rooms unnoticed in his black shirt.


The Jordanaires and Elvis onstage at Empire Stadium - Aug. 31, 1957
Photo courtesy Elvis Album

D.J. said, "The kids all ran up there and the platform kind of tilted to one side."  By the time they got their instruments loaded into their car, they were surrounded by fans.  All they could do was sit and wait it out.  "They shook the car a little bit thinking Elvis was in there with us," said D.J., "but finally they let us go.  It took about two hours for us to get out.  It usually took us about two hours to get out of all the buildings."1


Scotty and Elvis onstage at Empire Stadium - Aug. 31, 1957
Photo © Red Robinson 

Bower snapped a shot of the crowd just before they trampled him, and the paper ran it on the front page, accompanied by a scathing review by John Kirkwood.  "It was like watching a demented army swarm down the hillside to do battle in the plain when those frenzied teenagers stormed the field," Kirkwood  wrote.  "Elvis and his music played a small part in the dizzy circus. The big show was provided by Vancouver teenagers, transformed into writhing, frenzied idiots of delight by the savage jungle beat music. A hard, bitter core of teenage troublemakers turned Elvis Presley's one-night stand at Empire Stadium into the most disgusting exhibition of mass hysteria and lunacy this city has ever witnessed."  The kids who were at the show, of course, felt differently and they loved Kirkwood's hysterical condemnation of the show.2  Colonel Parker also enjoyed reading the accounts of the riot the next day.  Scotty said, "It really wasn't a riot, the fans were just trying to get closer to the stage to see, that's all."1


Audience rushing Elvis' stage at Empire Stadium
Photo © Ralph Bower/Vancouver Sun

Red recalls that at the show they played "Money Honey", "That's Where Your Heartaches Begin", "Hound Dog" and "Jailhouse Rock".  He said the "biggest single goof" of his long career was when he went on the radio the day following the show and divulged Elvis' room number.  He said, "I went on the air the next day and said 'Wasn't that wonderful, Elvis stayed at the Hotel Georgia, room 1226.'  The kids went up and ripped up the carpet, tore pieces out of the bed. It cost CKWX about $5,000 to repair the room."2



Tickets courtesy RareBeatles.com

Elvis mania had given way to Beatle mania when on August 22, 1964, the Beatles played Empire Stadium.  Their plane arrived earlier than scheduled so they had their driver take them King's Hamburgers and they spent the rest of the time driving around Vancouver, seeing the sites consuming .19 cent hamburgers until their press conference.  Red Robinson emceed that show also.  It was like Deja Vu (all over again) except the Beatles show lasted seven minutes longer and there was seating on the field.  Like when Elvis performed, most at the show heard very little above the screams of the fans.


George Harrison enters as Red Robinson introduces the Beatles at Empire Stadium  - Aug. 22, 1964
Photo © Red Robinson courtesy The Beatgear Cavern forum

The show featured several opening acts which included Jackie DeShannon, The Exciters, The Righteous Brothers and Bill Black's ComboThe show began at 8:14 and The Beatles came on at 9:23.  Despite the long show, many reporters still thought the the Beatles' 29 minute set was too short.  William Littler in a grumpy piece in the Vancouver Sun, said, "Seldom in Vancouver's entertainment history have so many (20,261) paid so much ($5.25 top price) for so little (27 minutes) as did the audience which screamed at The Beatles in Empire Stadium Saturday night." 3  As before, the newspapers sent classical music critics to review a rock and roll show.


Ringo Star, Paul McCartney and Jon Lennon onstage at Empire Stadium  - Aug. 22, 1964
Photo © Red Robinson courtesy The Beatgear Cavern forum

Three attempts were made to smash the ten-foot high stadium gates, and it finally buckled under the strain seconds after The Beatles began their performance, but only a dozen or so fans managed to get in before police and ushers got it closed again and held it shut with their bodies.3


John Lennon and Red Robinson
Photo © Red Robinson courtesy The Beatgear Cavern forum

So dangerous was the situation at Empire Stadium that at about 18 minutes into the show, Brian Epstein, concerned for the safety of the crowd, instructed Red to interrupt the show to plead for calm.  When he did so, John Lennon told him to "Get the F**k off the stage!"  Red then directed him to Brian and then John, realizing the circumstances, said, "I see.  Carry on mate."  They played another song and then Brian himself interrupted the show to appeal to the crowd.


George Harrison, Ringo Star and Red Robinson
Photo courtesy Red Robinson

Thousands of teenagers left their seats and rushed the stage, crushing hundreds of young girls against the restraining fence.  Dozens of girls suffered broken ribs and hundreds were treated for hysteria and shock.3


Crowd control as The Beatles perform at Empire Stadium - Aug. 22, 1964
Photo © Red Robinson courtesy The Beatgear Cavern forum


The Beatles in Vancouver - August 22, 1964, original video replaced Mar. 4, 2014
courtesy GlobalBCTV

Finally, Paul McCartney tried to calm the crowd, they played one more song and then left.  Their exit was timed to perfection.  They completed 'Long Tall Sally', bowed low while unstrapping their guitars, bolted from the stage into waiting limousines and with motorcycle outriders, they were out of the stadium fewer than 30 seconds from their last note.  The Beatles drove straight to the airport where they caught a plane to Los Angeles.They had been booked to spend the night in town at the Hotel Georgia, where Elvis stayed, but the experience convinced them to fly on that evening.


The Beatles and the Bill Black Combo on the 1964 tour
Photo courtesy Kittra Moore

Bill Black's Combo opened for the Beatles for most of the shows on their 1964 tour, 30 days in Europe and 30 days across the US and Canada.  Reggie Young was the only original member of the Bill Black Combo on the tour.  Bill Black had already given up the road.  Reggie said he only joined the tour because he wanted to visit England.  The rest of the combo included Bob Tucker (bass), Sammy Creason (drums), Bubba Vernon and Ed Logan (sax).


Empire Stadium Vancouver, BC Canada

Near the end of it's reign, Empire Stadium seated 32,375 and had artificial grass, being the first stadium in Canada to do so. During its tenure it was the largest stadium in Canada in the 1950s and 60s before the covered and half covered stadiums came into being.  It had been home to the BC Lions from 1954 to 1982 and the Vancouver Whitecaps of the North American Soccer League (NASL) during the 1970s and '80s.  The stadium was demolished in the early 1990s and the site served as a parking lot for the Pacific National Exhibition and Playland nearby, the sixth largest fairgrounds in North America.  After several years the property was converted to a soccer field and track on the site of the old field.


Empire Field Vancover, B.C. Canada

The British Empire and Commonwealth Games became the British Commonwealth Games in 1970 before finally becoming simply the Commonwealth Games in 1974.  They are still held every four years.  John Landy retired from track competition in 1957 and in 2001 became the 26th State Governor of Victoria, Australia, retiring from that position after a five year term.  Roger Bannister retired from racing shortly after his famous run and has since pursued a career in neurological medicine. Today, he is director of the National Hospital for Nervous Diseases in London. He was knighted by the Queen in 1975, but Sir Roger had long since won the world's acclaim. Sports Illustrated rated Bannister's breakthrough alongside the scaling of Everest as the most significant athletic feat of the 20th century.4


The Beatles meet Elvis in Bel-Air - August 27, 1965 

In the summer of 1965, while the Beatles were in Hollywood and Elvis was making movies there, a meeting was arranged and on August 27 they met at Elvis' house on Perugia Way in Los Angeles (Bel-Air).  John Lennon would later recall, "After about an hour we stopped and began to talk about the thing we all knew best --entertaining. In particular, the experiences we'd all had on tour. ``Some funny things happen to you on the road, don't they?" Elvis smiled and said, ``I remember once in Vancouver we'd only done a number or two when some of the fans rushed the stage. It was lucky the guys and I got off in time. They tipped the whole damn rostrum over!  Yeah, we pay the price for fame with our nerves don't we!" 5

page added November 20, 2007

1 excerpted from "That's Allright Elvis" by Scotty Moore and James Dickerson
2 according to an article by John Mackie in the Vancouver Sun
3 according to The Beatles Diary by Barry Miles
4 excerpt from Academy of Achievement
5 excerpt from John Lennon's Ze King and I courtesy The Estate of John Lennon

Special thanks to Red Robinson for his assistance with this page, and also to FECC members Little Darlin, E-cat and Ian.



Gary Olsen from Great Canadian Casinos and manager of the Red Robinson Show Theatre
on stage during the tribute to Elvis at PNE -Aug. 2007

Photo © Dee Lippingwell courtesy Red Robinson


Red Robinson, Bruce Allen and Joe Esposito at PNE's Elvis tribute - Aug 2007
Photo © Dee Lippingwell courtesy Red Robinson

''Next thing I knew, I was biting the cop's arm'
'It was pandemonium . . . When I turned around I saw all the fans in my section running down the rows.' It was August 31, 1957. Elvis Presley performed his first and last show in Vancouver. It was a day that hundreds of Province readers will never forget . . .
 

by David Spaner,  The Province
Published: Sunday, August 19, 2007

They wanted all of Elvis.
It seemed that all of North America's teenagers had tuned in when Elvis Presley performed on TV's Ed Sullivan variety show -- from the waist up. Sullivan had made the decision to protect impressionable youth from Elvis's gyrating pelvis.
So, when it was announced that all of Elvis would be in Vancouver on Aug. 31, 1957, the whole town was talking. Elvis was popular like no performer before or since, with the possible exception of The Beatles a few years later. He had a casualness, a sensuality, a rebelliousness that startled the staid North America of the day.
Like any good mythological event, there are various versions of what transpired on Aug. 31, those there disagreeing on everything from audience size (16,000? 22,000?) to its length (35 minutes? Five minutes?) to whether it turned into a riot.
But some things about that day are clear. It was the last concert Elvis would perform outside the U.S. and the first large-scale gathering of the youthful cultural combustion then incubating across the Lower Mainland and the rest of North America.
The rambunctious goings-on of the day were a precursor of more to come in the 1960s and '70s. The excitement around Elvis's Vancouver appearance foreshadowed a generation gap wide as the Grand Canyon that would explode a decade later with the counterculture's Summer of Love.
Province music critic Ida Halpern wrote that Elvis's performance was "an artificial and unhealthy exploitation of the enthusiasm of youth's body and mind . . . One could call it subsidized sex."
But Vancouver youth responded differently. As Colleen Chapman, who was 13 when she attended the concert, wrote us: "We were young and impatient to see this new symbol of rebellion who was giving us the kind of music we wanted. Of course, I tell anyone who will listen this [concert] story because, as someone who is born and raised in Vancouver, it makes me feel part of the beginning of monumental change."
The Elvis concert at the PNE's Empire Stadium is a big part of local rock lore and when The Province asked for the recollections of readers who were there, we were overwhelmed by the response. We're thankful to everyone who contacted us but are able to print only a fraction of the responses.
What happened on Aug. 31, 1957? Here are some recollections of the youth of the day:

'The most exciting day of our teenage girl lives'

John Corrie: My father, the late George Corrie, was the chauffeur who picked Elvis up from the train and drove him around Empire Stadium.
The train stopped under the First Avenue overpass to avoid the large crowd at the Great Northern Station on Main Street.
As we knew in advance of this arrangement, my mother and two sisters and I were there to see Elvis get off the train. My mother shook his hand.
I was nine years old at the time.
- - -
Diane Turcot: I lived in White Rock and was at the train tracks where Elvis's train went slowly past on his way to Vancouver. I was actually about five feet from him as the train stopped to pick up passengers, and Elvis came to the platform to wave to the crowd. My mom took me to the concert.
- - -
Kathie Sieb: My husband and I were there even though we didn't meet until four years later. I was a teenager in Revelstoke and listened to Elvis music constantly. What excitement when a concert in Vancouver was announced. My friend and I bought the tickets by mail and planned the big trip.
- - -
Doddie Lafleur: I was married June 14, 1957, and my dad and mom took my husband and me to the Exhibition racetrack for the day. My dad surprised us and had tickets for Elvis.
- - -
Donna Brown: I think the tickets were all of $2.50 each -- seemed a bit steep at the time, but we were eager to see this new phenomenon.
- - -
Sheila Clowes: I lived in Nelson. My mother got tickets for my cousin and me and drove us to Vancouver for the concert. I was a big Elvis fan right from the start of his career, so that was a very special day for a 14-year-old. However, I was not one of the riotous young fans who vaulted barricades. We small-town gals were not so bold!
- - -
Joe Webber: I was born and raised in Abbotsford. I had been an Elvis fan for about a year, and when the concert was announced my mother bought tickets and we made the hour-long trek along the old highway to Vancouver. Being from a small town, I had never seen so many people at one time in my life.
- - -
B.J. Beckett: I was in attendance with three other friends and one chaperone. We were 13 years old at the time and that was the only way our parents would let us go.
- - -
Rob Terrien: I lived across the street from the PNE when Elvis was at Empire Stadium. I was seven years old and got into the show by climbing over a fence.
- - -
Arlene Smith: Why did I even want to go to this really huge music concert? It was to spite my father. In our household we always watched Ed Sullivan on CBC, except that on the night that CBC was going to broadcast the Pelvis, my father watched whatever was on KVOS. In those days, it was Father Knows Best and you did not argue. Having missed the Elvis Presley appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show, I used my earnings from working in Stanley Park to buy my ticket to the concert.
- - -
Bettye Knight: I can remember everything, especially entering the Win A Date with Elvis contest. I sent in hundreds of entries and didn't win. The girl that won got to sit in the Cadillac when Elvis arrived at Empire Stadium. And it could have been me.
- - -
Lois Gordon: I was a starstruck young girl of 12 and attended with my mother. It was my first concert and at that time I thought that if he only could see me, he would run away with me.
- - -
Marni Bush: My best friend Joani and I had front-row seats to see Elvis. He was driven around the track in a convertible before the show. He looked right at me and was waving to me -- I am sure. We were 12. I was Marni Skelding and she was Joanie Anderson and we are still best friends.
- - -
Diana Fisher: My girlfriend Rhoda Cunningham and I were at that concert. We were with our boyfriends, who we eventually married. Elvis was a bright shining thing in the distance and we were shouting with the rest of the crowd.
- - -
Pauline Winter: At 14 years old, I was the only one of my friends allowed to go to this concert. Much to my dismay, some hoods in black leather jackets started to come across the grass all defiant, but the police moved them out. In no time the crowd could not contain itself and surged forward onto the grass. My cousin Denise and I made our way down to the field and elbowed our way to the front. We were so close and totally enthralled. And there he was: Elvis.
- - -
Shirley Gautreau: The kids started rushing the stage and were told to sit down or the concert would be stopped. My girlfriends and I stayed in our seats, hoping the people would go back and sit down, but the throng just kept getting bigger and bigger and finally my friends and I went on to the field as well. One of my girlfriends lost her watch and was down on all fours looking for it. An announcement came over the loudspeaker that Elvis had left the premises. We were so disappointed.
- - -
Marion Guild: It was pandemonium. All around me were other kids and cops. Suddenly, I saw my shoe underneath the foot of a cop. I tried to get his attention, to no avail. The next thing I knew, I was biting the cop's arm. He moved, I got my shoe and ended up right in front of the stage, where I was mesmerized by the beautiful sight of Elvis.
- - -
Sharon Jones: We were caught up in the crowd that jumped the wall and ran on to the field with thousands of other screaming, out-of-control fans. My skirt was ripped across the back.
- - -
Jack Boyle: The crowd just seemed to want to get closer and security was not well enough organized to stop them, but it wasn't a riot. Kids just didn't riot in those days.
- - -
Don Wadella: Yeah, it was a riot. I was sitting in Section X, about three rows up. When I turned around, I saw all the fans in my section running down the rows. So, to keep from being trampled, my friend and I jumped the barricade and ran just ahead of the crowd. I was about 10 feet from where Elvis was standing, singing.
- - -
Bob Reid: Back in the 1950s, Empire Stadium had a policy of having cadet organizations as ushers. It turned out to be my squadron's turn to usher -- 583 Coronation Squadron from Maple Ridge. I was 16 years old and it was a great thrill to be able to attend Elvis's performance. About halfway through his performance, people poured out of their seats on to the grass area. The announcers told everyone to return to their seats if they wanted Elvis to continue. As people were doing this, I and some of the other cadets were near the stage.
Elvis came over to us and asked us how we were doing and how we liked the show so far. He said that he liked Vancouver and was having a great time. In a little while he said that he had to get back to work, but before he left us, he reached down and shook our hands. Unfortunately, in the crowd were a number of rowdies who were determined to reach the stage. Being young and naive, I and other cadets linked arms to stop them. When the wave hit us, our linked arms locked us in place and the crowd swept over us -- I remember one of the smallest cadets was behind an iron fence and the crowd went right over top of him. Several of us were scratched and had minor injuries.
I saw the Vancouver police with dogs and batons going after the worst of the rowdies, who were fighting and determined to cause real problems.
We were heroes at our high school the next week. I did not wash my hand for some time as the girls wanted to shake the hand that Elvis had touched.
- - -
David Macphail: I think it was in the middle of "Hound Dog" that he bolted across the stage to his right and leaped into a waiting Cadillac convertible. It quickly sped out the northeast exit. Most fans didn't even realize that "Elvis had left the building." Perhaps it was here in Vancouver that the saying originated.
- - -
Barb Paine: I found out later that evening that Elvis did not leave the building as everyone thought. My father, Ernie Hancock, was a manager in the works department of the PNE and that evening he told us that they had built a trapdoor in the stage and when the crowd swarmed the stage, Elvis actually went under the stage. A person dressed like Elvis had jumped in the Cadillac and once the stadium was clear, they took Elvis out in another car.
- - -
Marlene Krcic: I remember going to see Elvis with my grandmother and my mother and sister. I was 13 and so totally in love with Elvis (and I still am). I will always love my grandmother and mother for making the effort to get me there.
- - -
Sharon Hatton: It was probably the shortest concert ever held in Vancouver. At the end, realization came that we had a bigger problem. My girlfriend only had one shoe. How were we going to be allowed on the bus (remember, this was the '50s)? and explain to my friend's parents how she lost her shoe?
- - -
Irene Ventress: I don't remember it being 35 minutes long. Felt like a few minutes and he was gone forever.
- - -
Sharon Patton: The only comment I wrote in my diary was that he was wonderful. I was 16 years old and lived in Ladysmith. My mom took me to the concert, and even allowed me to run up to the stage and touch Elvis's pant leg.
- - -
Kirsten Hansen: I was 19 years old and had just arrived with my parents and six siblings from Denmark on May 4. So to see Elvis was a big excitement. I went with a girlfriend from work. We worked at the White Lunch on Granville and Robson. When I mention that day to younger people today, they just can't believe that I saw Elvis.
- - -
Gabrielle Page: I was only 13 so was only allowed to go if my father drove us there, accompanied by my little brother. How embarrassing! My girlfriend Jo and I were already big Elvis fans. There were always endless arguments with our square friends, who preferred Pat Boone.
- - -
Nikki Howard: I met up with my friend Diane at Empire Stadium after she talked her folks into delivering her and her sister Pat there. The most exciting day of our teenage girl lives. Most of all I remember taking a swipe at Elvis and actually touching his foot. We were so high on adrenaline that we walked all the way home to Kitsilano.
Barb Sandover: Stan Sandover and I had a date to see Elvis. We started going steady that night. We celebrated our 48th anniversary on July 3 of this year.
- - -
Carol Tauber: I was 17 in the summer of '57 and had paid $3.50 (half a day's pay) for a ticket to my very first concert! The next morning my dad asked me what had happened at the concert, and I replied: "Nothing." After all, it was 1957!
- - -
Cheryl MacDonald: I was 11 years old. My mom took me to see Elvis. I cried all the way home because the concert was cut short. Little did I know that one of the kids storming the stage would be my future husband, and I never let him forget his bad behaviour.
He passed away in August 2004. Last August, my son and I went to visit Graceland. It was a very emotional trip for me.
- - -
Brian Buick: My mom, Laurene, was at the Elvis show. She carried the ticket stub in her wallet until the day she died, April 29, 2003. She was 65. I now have that ticket stub. Her seat was Section B, Row 8, Seat 2.
© The Vancouver Province 2007

 

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