The Auction at Graceland•January 7, 2016
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 1/7/2016
Click play button at right to view a sample of the video.

Recorded only four days prior to filming Elvis on Tour, director Robert Abel captured Elvis Presley’s concert on April 5, 1972, at the Memorial Auditorium in Buffalo, NY. The black-and-white video footage, most likely a last trial run by Abel to finalize camera and lighting directions before principal filming began on the film, was shot on 1/2” open-reel video tape recorded on a Sony Portapak. This offering includes the original Sony V-30H Video Tape reels, which measure approximately 5 inches (12.7 cm) in diameter in their original Sony cases. Also included is a 500 gigabyte hard drive containing a high-resolution (ProRes 422) transfer of the footage in QuickTime format and a Sony 64 Digital Betacam tape master, which measures approximately 5 3/4 by 10 inches (14.61 by 25.4 cm). Also being sold with the physical and digital items above are all of the consignor’s tangible rights in the physical materials (original tapes and recently completed digital transfers) and all of the consignor’s intellectual property rights in the recording.

The performance captured an artist in complete command of his form, with Elvis at the peak of his singing and onstage abilities. He’s as engaged and determined as any pro athlete when the whistle blows to start a game, charging into every note with purpose, riding every melody to perfection. There is, of course, still the jovial and playful taunting and jawing with the band and the crowd, but this concert displays the power and grace of Elvis the performer that can often be somewhat lost behind the legend.

Highlights include a 5+ minute rousing rendition of “Suspicious Minds,” a spot-on “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” and a moment when Elvis has the lights turned up in the arena to see the crowd just as, right in front of the camera, we catch a glimpse of a security guard stopping an eager fan from charging the stage.

The director had to change reels in the middle of the show—the Sony V-30H reels were 30 minutes in length. On Reel 1, Elvis’ vamped up, jazzy version of “Hound Dog” trails off in the 27th minute of recording. When Reel 2 fades in we catch more than two minutes of “Bridge Over Troubled Waters,” a song missing from most audio collections of this concert. On that note, the audio captured here, presumably right into the Sony Portapak camera microphone, is very high quality and better than any we have heard from this show.

Abel started recording The Sweet Inspirations introductory performance for roughly 30 seconds, then he cuts away, then fades in again after 30 seconds or so of “Also Sprach Zarathustra” (the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey), both actions presumably to get his camera and audio set and to save as much of the tape as possible for his main subject. The film picks up again just as Elvis makes his triumphant entrance to the pounding rhythm of “C.C. Rider.” Reel changes and the occasional refocusing aside, the majority of the film records the rest of Elvis’ superb performance with a combination of close-up, medium and long shots, as the director started mapping out his moves for Elvis on Tour. One imagines the copious notes about shot length, lighting, angles and other details that would consume a director preparing to capture Elvis on stage.

The songs performed include: “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” “C.C. Rider,” “Proud Mary,” “Never Been To Spain,” “You Gave Me a Mountain,” “Until It’s Time For You To Go,” “Polk Salad Annie,” “Love Me,” “Blue Suede Shoes,” “All Shook Up,” “Teddy Bear” (with one quick false start) medley with “Don’t Be Cruel,” “Hound Dog” (partial), “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” (partial), “A Big Hunk O’ Love,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “Love Me Tender,” “Suspicious Minds,” “An American Trilogy,” “Johnny B. Goode,” “Lawdy Miss Clawdy,” “Funny How Time Slips Away,” “Can’t Help Falling In Love,” and the closing of the show. The image trails off near the end of “Can’t Help Falling in Love” and then cuts back in for 40+ seconds of the closing, where we see the stage darkened and the last of The Stamps leave as the band plays on, Elvis having already headed for the limo.

This unprecedented offering represents a never-before-seen Elvis Presley concert. The vast majority of Elvis’ performances were not recorded professionally in any format (or even really photographed!), leaving us with very few examples when considering the number of concerts that occurred between the 1950s and 1970s. Its presentation here represents an almost surely unique opportunity to obtain such comprehensive footage of Elvis performing live. The collection is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

April 5, 1972 Complete Elvis Presley Concert Film from the Memorial Auditorium Show in Buffalo, NY - Shot by <em>Elvis on Tour</em> Director Robert Abel
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $12,500.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $137,500.00
Estimate: $25,000 - $35,000
Number Bids: 36
Auction closed on Thursday, January 7, 2016.
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