Monday, June 26, 2017

Buildings That Hosted Both Elvis and the Beatles

Photo taken at the Market Square Arena show.
And people were commenting that
they thought he'd lost some weight.

June 26, 1977, 40 years ago: Elvis Presley closes his tour at the Market Square Arena in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Cost of a ticket: $15 -- about $60 in today's money. Warmup acts began at 8:30 PM, but Elvis didn't take the stage until around 10:00. He sang 22 songs, over the next hour and 20 minutes.

For comparison's sake, on their North American tours of 1964, 1965 and 1966, the Beatles usually sped through 11 songs in a shade over half an hour.

His set list:

* Also Sprach Zarathustra (a.k.a. the theme from 2001: A Space Odyssey, written by Richard Strauss)
* See See Rider (Ma Rainey, redone by several rock acts)
* Medley: I Got a Woman (Ray Charles) and Amen (Curtis Mayfield)
* Love Me (Jerry Lieber & Mike Stoller)
* Fairytale (Pointer Sisters)
* You Gave Me a Mountain (Marty Robbins, best-known version by Marty Robbins)
* Jailhouse Rock (Lieber & Stoller)
* It's Now Or Never (based on O Sole Mio)
* Little Sister (Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman)
* Medley: Teddy Bear and Don't Be Cruel (Otis Blackwell)
* Release Me (Eddie Miller & Robert Young, best-known version by Engelbert Humperdinck)
* I Can't Stop Loving You (Don Gibson, best-known version by Ray Charles)
* Bridge Over Troubled Water (Paul Simon -- after this song, Elvis introduced the band and backup singers)
* Early Morning Rain (Gordon Lightfoot)
* What'd I Say (Ray Charles)
* Johnny B. Goode (Chuck Berry)
* I Really Don't Want to Know (Don Robertson & Howard Barnes, best-known version by Les Paul & Mary Ford)
* Hurt (Jimmie Crane & Al Jacobs, best-known version by Timi Yuro)
* Hound Dog (Lieber & Stoller -- after this song, Elvis thanked the crowd)
* Can't Help Falling In Love (his usual finale, written by George David Weiss)

At which point, Elvis left the stage, was escorted to his waiting car, and was driven back to his hotel. As usual, to discourage people waiting for an encore that was not forthcoming, an announcer said, "Ladies and gentlemen, Elvis has left the building."

No one knows it yet, but it will be his last concert. In just 51 days, Elvis Aaron Presley will be dead, from a heart attack, brought on by years of heavy use of prescription drugs, at the age of 42.


Elvis' 1st paid performance was, as you might guess, in his hometown of Memphis, Tennessee, at the Bon Air Club, on July 17, 1954.

He had 1,778 live performances, including TV appearances. Of these, by far the most, 764, were in Nevada, due to his Las Vegas commitments. On his early tours, where he was practically worked to death, he did a lot of shows in Southern States, sometimes 2, 3, or even 4 shows in 1 day, without very many days off.

177 were in Texas, 82 in Florida, 80 in Louisiana, 66 in Tennessee, 53 in North Carolina, 52 in Arkansas, 42 in California, 41 each in Georgia and Virginia, 40 in Mississippi, 36 in Alabama, 32 in Ohio, 27 in New York, 26 in Missouri, 23 in Indiana, 20 in Oklahoma, 16 in Michigan, 12 in Pennsylvania; 10 each in Illinois, Nebraska and Washington; 9 each in Hawaii, Minnesota, New Mexico, South Carolina and Wisconsin; 7 each in Arizona, Kentucky and Maryland; 6 each in Kansas and Oregon; 5 each in Colorado, Iowa, Rhode Island and West Virginia; 4 each in Connecticut and Massachusetts; 3 in South Dakota; 2 in Utah; and 1 each in Maine and the District of Columbia.

He never gave a concert in the States of Alaska, Delaware, Idaho, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, North Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming. Of these States, the only one that had a building that could hold him on his 1970-77 tours was New Jersey, the 14,770-seat Convention Hall (now Boardwalk Hall) in Atlantic City. The Meadowlands Arena wouldn't open until 1981.

He did 5 in Canada: 2 in Toronto, 2 in Ottawa, 1 in Vancouver, all in 1957. He never did a show outside North America, because his manager, Colonel Tom Parker, was actually Andreas Cornelis van Kuijk, an illegal immigrant from the Netherlands. He didn't accompany Elvis on his Army tour of 1958-60, either.


There were 16 buildings that hosted concerts by both Elvis Presley and the Beatles. Not together, obviously. They are listed here in the order that they fulfilled both halves.

1. CBS Studio 50, 1697 Broadway, New York. Built 1927, still stands, seating 400. Home of The Ed Sullivan Show, and renamed the Ed Sullivan Theater in 1967.

Elvis, October 28, 1956 and January 6, 1957. Beatles, February 9, 1964 and August 14, 1965. Each also taped an Ed Sullivan Show at another location: Elvis at CBS Television City in Burbank on September 9, 1956; and the Beatles at the Fontainebleau Hotel in Miami on February 16, 1964.

2. International Amphitheatre, 4220 S. Halstead Street, Chicago. Built 1934, seating capacity 9,000. Hosted the Republican Convention in 1952 and 1960, and the Democratic Convention in 1952, 1956, and, infamously, 1968. Hosted the NBA's Chicago Packers in 1961-62 and the Chicago Bulls in 1966-67; and the World Hockey Association's Chicago Cougars in 1972-75.

Elvis, March 28, 1957. Beatles, September 4, 1964; and August 12, 1966.

Demolished 1999.

3. Olympia Stadium, 5920 Grand River Avenue, Detroit. Built 1927, seating capacity 15,000. Hosted the NHL's Detroit Red Wings 1927-79, and the NBA's Detroit Falcons in 1946-47 and the Detroit Pistons 1957-61.

Elvis, March 31, 1957; and September 11, 1970; April 6, 1972; September 29, 1974; and April 22, 1977. Beatles, September 6, 1964; and August 13, 1966.

Demolished 1987.

4. Maple Leaf Gardens, 60 Carlton Street, Toronto. Built 1931, seated 13,718 when the Beatles played there. Hosted the NHL's Toronto Maple Leafs 1931-99, the NBA's Toronto Huskies in 1946-47, the WHA's Toronto Toros in 1974-76, and some home games of the NBA's Buffalo Braves in 1971-75 and Toronto Raptors in 1997-99.

Elvis, April 2, 1957. Beatles, September 7, 1964; August 17, 1965; and August 17, 1966.

Converted to the Mattamy Athletic Centre, the new home of Ryerson University Athletics, in 2012, seating 2,796, but the familiar outer faces and roof with its maple leaf logos are intact.

5. Sam Houston Coliseum, 801 Bagby Street, Houston. Opened 1937, seated 9,200. Hosted the ABA's Houston Mavericks 1967-69, the WHA's Houston Aeros 1972-75, some University of Houston basketball games 1937-69, and several minor-league hockey teams.

Elvis, October 13, 1956; Beatles, August 19, 1965.

Demolished 1998.

6. Veterans Memorial Coliseum, usually called the Portland Memorial Coliseum, 300 Winning Way (formerly listed as 1401 N. Wheeler Avenue), Portland, Oregon. Opened 1960, still stands, seats 12,888. Hosted the NBA's Portland Trail Blazers 1970-95, and a succession of minor-league hockey teams, including the Western Hockey League's Portland Winterhawks since 1976.

Beatles, August 22, 1965; Elvis, November 11, 1970, April 27, 1973 and November 26, 1976.

7. Seattle Center Coliseum, 305 Harrison Street. Opened 1962 as part of a World's Fair, and could be seen in the Elvis movie It Happened at the World's Fair. Seated 13,200. Hosted the NBA's Seattle SuperSonics 1967-94, and minor-league hockey.

Beatles, August 21, 1964; and August 25, 1966. Elvis, November 12, 1970; April 29, 1973; and April 26, 1976.

Demolished 1994, and replaced on the same site with the KeyArena.

8. Cow Palace, 2600 Geneva Avenue, just outside San Francisco in Daly City. Built 1941, still stands, seats up to 16,500 for concerts. Hosted the 1956 and 1964 Republican Conventions. Hosted the NBA's San Francisco (now Golden State)Warriors 1962-71, the NHL's San Jose Sharks 1991-93, and the 1960 NCAA Final Four.

Beatles, August 19, 1964; and August 31, 1965. Elvis, November 13, 1970; November 28 and 29, 1976.

9. Public Auditorium, 500 Lakeside Avenue, Cleveland. Built 1922, still stands, seats 10,000. Hosted the 1928 and 1936 Republican Conventions, but never a sports team.

Beatles, September 15, 1964; Elvis, November 6, 1971.

Now hosts the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony.

10. Baltimore Civic Center, 201 W. Baltimore Street. Built 1962, still stands, seats 14,000. Hosted the NBA's Baltimore Bullets 1963-73, and a succession of minor-league hockey teams.

Beatles, September 13, 1964; Elvis, November 9, 1971 and May 29, 1977.

Currently named the Royal Farms Arena.

11. Boston Garden, 150 Causeway Street. Built 1928, capacity 14,890. Hosted the NHL's Boston Bruins 1928-95, the NBA's Boston Celtics 1946-95, and the WHA's New England Whalers 1973-74.

Beatles, September 12, 1964; Elvis, November 10, 1971.

Demolished 1998.

12. Cincinnati Gardens, 2250 Seymour Avenue. Opened 1949, seats 10,208. Hosted the NBA's Cincinnati Royals 1957-72, University of Cincinnati basketball 1949-89, Xavier University basketball 1949-2000, and various minor league hockey teams.

Beatles, August 27, 1964. Elvis, November 11, 1971; and June 27, 1973.

Closed last year, and will soon be demolished.

13. Memorial Auditorium, 650 S. Griffin Street, Dallas. Built 1957, still stands, seats 10,000. Hosted the ABA's Dallas Chaparrals 1967-73, before they moved to become the San Antonio Spurs.

Beatles, September 18, 1964. Elvis, November 13, 1971; and June 6, 1975.

Now part of the Kay Bailey Hutchison Convention Center.

14. Indiana State Fairgrounds Coliseum, 1202 E. 38th Street, Indianapolis. Built 1939, still stands, seats 8,000. Hosted the Indiana Pacers in their American Basketball Association days of 1967-74, and several minor-league hockey teams.

Beatles, September 3, 1964. Elvis, April 12, 1972.

Now named the Indiana Farmers Coliseum.

15. Mid-South Coliseum, 996 Early Maxwell Blvd., Memphis. Built 1963, still stands, but is closed and unlikely to reopen, seating 10,085. Hosted the ABA team known as the Memphis Pros in the 1971-72 season, the Memphis Tams in 1972-73 and 1973-74, and the Memphis Sounds in 1974-75. Also hosted Memphis State University (now University of Memphis) basketball 1963-91.

Beatles, August 19, 1966. Elvis, March 16 and 17, 1974 and June 10, 1975.

16. Milwaukee Exposition, Convention Center & Arena (MECCA), 400 W. Kilbourne Avenue. Built 1950, still stands, seats 10,783. Hosted the NBA's Milwaukee Hawks 1951-55 and Milwaukee Bucks 1968-88, Marquette University basketball 1974-88, and several minor-league hockey teams. Now used by the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee's basketball team, hence its current name, the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, though it's still usually called the MECCA.

Beatles, September 4, 1964. Elvis, June 28, 1974; and April 27, 1977.


All of these buildings were indoors. Thus, none ever hosted a World Series or a Super Bowl. The Olympia, Maple Leaf Gardens and the Boston Garden hosted Elvis, the Beatles, and a Stanley Cup Finals. The Boston Garden, the Portland Memorial Coliseum, the Seattle Center Coliseum, the Cow Palace, the Baltimore Civic Center and the MECCA hosted Elvis, the Beatles, and an NBA Finals. The Portland Coliseum and the Cow Palace hosted Elvis, the Beatles, and an NCAA Final Four.

Once the Cincinnati Gardens is demolished, probably sometime this calendar year, that will leave only 10 of these buildings still standing: The Ed Sullivan Theater, Maple Leaf Gardens, the Cow Palace, the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, the MECCA, the Royal Farms Arena, the Public Auditorium, the Dallas Memorial Auditorium, the Portland Memorial Coliseum and the Mid-South Coliseum.

Maple Leaf Gardens and the Cow Palace will be the only buildings left to have hosted Elvis, the Beatles and an NHL team. Those 2, the MECCA, the Royal Farms Arena and the Portland Memorial Coliseum will be the only 5 buildings left to have hosted Elvis, the Beatles and an NBA team. If you count the ABA, add the Indiana Farmers Coliseum, the Dallas Memorial Auditorium and the Mid-South Coliseum, to make it 8.

Maple Leaf Gardens is the only building to have hosted an Elvis concert, a Beatles concert, and a Muhammad Ali fight: The Greatest took on Toronto native George Chuvalo there on March 29, 1966. Chuvalo, the Heavyweight Champion of Canada, went the 15-round distance, but lost. They would fight again in Vancouver in 1972, and Ali would win another decision.

Chicago's International Amphitheatre was the only building to have hosted an Elvis concert, a Beatles concert, and a Democratic Convention, hosting the Dems in 1952, 1956 and 1968. It also hosted the Republican Convention in 1952 and 1960. The Cow Palace, outside San Francisco, also hosted Elvis, the Beatles, and the Republicans, in 1956 and 1964.

Although Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City (then named Convention Hall) hosted the Democratic Convention and the Beatles within a few days of each other in August 1964, as I said earlier, neither it, nor any other building in New Jersey, ever hosted an Elvis concert.

Neither Elvis nor the Beatles ever played old (1925-68) Madison Square Garden. Elvis played the new Garden in 1972, and all 4 individual Beatles played it after their 1970 breakup, including George and Ringo at the Concert for Bangladesh in 1971, but never all 4 together.

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