The Auction at Graceland•Elvis Week•August 13, 2019
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This lot is closed for bidding. Bidding ended on 8/13/2019

From the Bill Porter Collection

Please Note: All Elvis Presley signatures on the included documents are secretarial.

Once again Elvis takes the stage in Las Vegas, this time wearing a cape that becomes a staple of his costume during this engagement. He appears slimmer if not more subdued and perhaps in a reflection of his personal life, Elvis adds the ballads about lost loves, “You Gave Me a Mountain,” “It’s Over,” and “It’s Impossible” and sings them with the heartfelt emotions of someone experiencing them firsthand. Priscilla is at the opening dinner show on January 26, 1972 and by the end of this engagement on February 23rd, Priscilla breaks the news that she is seeing karate champion Mike Stone. The following year, Elvis kicked off 1973 with his famous televised satellite broadcast Aloha From Hawaii. While the special aired live around the world, it did not air in the U.S. until April 4, 1973 on NBC with over fifty percent of television viewers tuning in to watch. Later that month Elvis began his first tour of the year with 12 shows over 9 days on the West Coast with appearances in Arizona, California, Oregon, Washington and Colorado. Many reviews of this tour reflected the sentiment written in the Anaheim Bulletin, “Elvis Presley once more affirmed his role as the ‘King of Rock ‘n’ Roll’ to overflow crowds at the Anaheim Convention Center. Reminiscent of his recent TV special, Elvis illuminated the stage in a beaded, white pants suit as he strutted out to the pulsating rhythm of ‘2001’ - an appropriate introduction for the man whose genesis was ‘Hound Dog’ and who has left an indelible impression on the evolution of Rock And Roll.” Elvis went directly from his last Denver tour stop to the Sahara Tahoe Hotel where he opened a 17-day engagement. On May 13th Elvis performed a special Mother’s Day show at 3:00 a.m. to benefit the local hospital—only four days later, Elvis became ill and the remainder of the engagement was cancelled. From these two very busy years, offered is a grouping of documents related Elvis January 1972 Elvis Las Vegas engagement and the April 1973 tour and the 1973 Tahoe engagement, that includes:

  • December 16, 1971 Letter to Bill Porter from Tom Diskin with a secretarial Elvis Presley signature that states, “This is to confirm our agreement that you will render your services as sound engineer for the Elvis Presley Show at the International Hotel, Las Vegas, Nevada for the period of starting Tuesday, Jan. 25, 1972 through and including Wednesday, Feb. 23, 1972 for the agreed compensation of One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00) per week. You further affirm that you are a member in good standing of the union organization covering this activity and authorized to work in this capacity. Your signature below is your acknowledgment and agreement of the terms set forth in this letter.” The agreement has been signed in black ink by “Bill Porter”; 
  • January 7, 1972 letter to Bill Porter from Tom Diskin on MGM letterhead enclosing the signed copy of the contract covering Bill’s services for the Elvis Presley Show at the Las Vegas Hilton, January 25th through February 23rd; 
  • December 10, 1971 letter to Bill Porter from Tom Diskin on MGM letterhead inquiring as to his availability for Elvis’ January engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton. The letter also contains a handwritten notation, “OK I told him verbally 12-15-71”; 
  • December 16, 1971 letter to Bill Porter from Tom Diskin on MGM letterhead enclosing the agreement pertaining to the Elvis Presley Show engagement at the Las Vegas Hilton, January 26th through February 23rd, 1972 requesting all copies be signed and returned for completing signatures. The letter also contains a handwritten notation, “12/17/71 Returned all copies, signed”;
  • January 6, 1972 cover letter to Bill Porter from Tom Diskin on MGM letterhead enclosing the schedule of rehearsals and requesting that Tom be contacted in room 447; 
  • Typed Rehearsal Schedule chart with dates, locations, participants and start times. A further note along the bottom indicates that rehearsals are closed to all visitors, no exceptions please; and 
  • Handwritten note in red ink, dated 1-26-71 that reads, “Tom Diskin is in Room 447 @ Int’l Hotel.”
  • February 20, 1973 “Letter of Agreement” to Bill Porter with secretarial Elvis Presley signature that states, “This ‘Letter of Agreement’ sets forth the terms and conditions of the Elvis Presley Show for your services on the forthcoming activities: 1. ELVIS PRESLEY SHOW TOUR / Starging [sic] Sunday April 22nd through and including Monday April 30th, 1973 a period of nine days. We will make payment of one hundred fifty dollars ($150.00) per day and will provide transportation and hotel room. The total payment for the nine days would be thirteen hundred and fifty dollars ($1,350.00). / 2. ELVIS PRESLEY SHOW - SAHARA TAHOE HOTEL STATELINE, NEVADA / This engagement will start on Thursday May 3rd through and including Sunday May 20th - a period of two weeks and four days. We will make payment at the rate of twelve hundred and fifty dollars ($1250.00) per week and provide transportation to and from Lake Tahoe. / Your signature below is your acknowledgment of and agreement to the terms and conditions set forth in this ‘Letter of Agreement’.” The amount of $1350.00 has been changed to $1500.00 in black ink and initialed;
  • Typed Tentative Line-Up: Rehearsal document (set-list) for April 1973 that lists, “C.C. Rider,” “I Gotta [sic] Woman,” “Love Me Tender,” “You Gave Me A Mountain,” “Steamroller Blues,” “You Don’t Have To Say You Love Me,” “Medley: Love Me / Blue Suede Shoes / Heartbreak Hotel / Johnny B. Good / Hound Dog,” “What Now My Love,” “Suspicious Minds,” (Introductions) “I’ll Remember You,” “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” “American Trilogy,” “Big Hunk Of Love,” and “I Can’t Help Falling In Love With You”;
  • March 15, 1973 letter to Bill Porter from Tom Diskin on MGM letterhead that encloses the contracts and provides further details on accommodations, itinerary, Sahara Tahoe contact information, and airport information. Several handwritten notes appear in the margins;
  • General cover letter from Tom Diskin on RCA letterhead that mentions the latest itinerary and list of hotels and a reminder of the Phoenix show time and departure airport. A handwritten notation appears in the margin;
  • The three-page (3) detailed “Schedule for Show Members” that includes specific times for departures, arrivals, hotels, building and show times for the April 1973 tour; 
  • Itinerary for the April 1973 tour that includes day of the week, date, city, state, venue and show times. The bottom makes mention of the “Sahara-Tahoe Hotel show that runs May 4th thru May 20th - A total of seventeen (17) days.”;
  • The hotel list for the tour containing the addresses and phone numbers for hotels in eight different cities; and
  • Typed memo to “All Show Talent” regarding the “Special Mother’s Day 3:00 A.M. Show” that states, “A special Mother’s Day 3:00 A.M. show will be presented following the Saturday May 12th midnight show. This show will be presented as a benefit performance for the Barton Memorial Hospital Building Fund and in honor of Elvis’ mother, Gladys Presley. Special payment will be made to our Elvis Presley Show talent for this performance by the hotel.”

These important documents, perfectly paint a timeline of events leading to the employ of Bill Porter for the 1972 engagement and for the chain of events during the 1973 April tour and May engagement that led to the cancellation of the shows after the 16th being cancelled. All documents measure 11 by 8 1/2 inches (27.94 x 21.59 cm) with one smaller notecard measuring 6 by 4 inches (15.24 x 10.16 cm) and the collection of seven (17) documents is accompanied by a letter of authenticity from Graceland Authenticated.

The documents present with few, if any, significant defects and have been meticulously well-preserved. Only original mailing folds and the occasional wrinkle belie their age. Near Mint condition overall, with some lesser.
Jan/Feb 1972 and April/May 1973 “Elvis Presley Show” Tour Related Schedules, Documents and Correspondence from Elvis Presley’s Concert Sound Engineer Bill Porter (17 Pieces)*
Current Bidding (Reserve Has Been Met)
Minimum Bid: $250.00
Final prices include buyers premium.: $937.50
Estimate: $500 - $1,000
Number Bids: 7
Auction closed on Tuesday, August 13, 2019.
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