Gotta Find My Baby!

June 09, 2022

Madison Square Garden, 1972: 50 Years of Elvis in New York

Elvis performs at Madison Square Garden at 8:30 PM on June 10, 1972


By 1972, Elvis had been famous for 18 years. Despite the events in his personal life, which would culminate in his divorce the following year, his career was going very well. The return to the stage had been magnificent, "That's The Way It Is" was successful, "Elvis On Tour" was already filmed and promising awards, and Hawaii would welcome him again in November of that year for "Aloha From Hawaii" - later postponed to January 1973.

But he still had to perform in a place of immense prestige: Madison Square Garden in New York.

The Beatles, Elton John, John Lennon, and many others had performed there. Ten years earlier, Marilyn Monroe had performed "Happy Birthday, Mr. President" for John F. Kennedy at the venue.

Elvis had done a few TV shows in New York and recorded at studios in the city in the 1950s, but he had never played an open show there. Now he would finally perform in America's most famous auditorium. There would be 4 shows in 3 days, all with a record never before achieved by any artist who has performed there: 20 THOUSAND SPECTATORS - THE MAXIMUM CAPACITY.
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JUNE 9, 1972 - 8:30 PM - OPENING SHOW


Elvis Presley finally arrived in New York on Friday, June 9, to perform in the city for the first time as a solo artist. In the course of the afternoon, he would hold a press conference to talk about the performances and the planned album, as well as his personal life - all while trying to dodge questions that could hurt his image.




That night's 8:30 show had been planned with the management of the mighty Colonel Tom Parker. The Sweet Inspirations would feature a session of great music as an opening act and Jackie Kahane would do his comedy number. Then a short break and then, finally, the lights would go out for the audience to see Elvis come out from behind the curtains in his white jumpsuit with a gold scarf around his neck.

This would be the longest entrance of his shows - Elvis would spend four minutes parading to the audience while a burst of flashes capable of dazzling even the strobe lights of the stage greeted him.

The concert would go smoothly, with little audience banter, and at a fast pace - it was simply a professional performance, which he could do better than anyone in the world, with Parker's "time is money" motto.

The most anticipated song of the night, "Hound Dog", would start with an intentional false start and finally, surprisingly, would be sung with the strong tone that had given him such notoriety at the beginning of his career. Elvis would vary from the musical standards of the time with classics like "Bridge Over Troubled Water" and "Proud Mary", among others, also singing his old hits like "Love Me Tender" and "Heartbreak Hotel".

The show would turn out to be a program with a rather rich menu. After 58 minutes, Elvis would leave without an encore. The effect would be somewhat disappointing for fans who had waited nearly 20 years to see him in their hometown, but it was enough to confirm the usual effective magic of a King of Rock's concert.
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Title:
Elvis at Madison Square Garden
Label:
FTD [FTD 218] [506020 975113 2]
Format:
CD + Book
Number of tracks:
23
Running time:
57:30
Type of album:
Concert
Linked to:
FTD discography
Year:
2017
Recorded:
June 9, 1972
Released:
July 2017
Singles:
---


Elvis at Madison Square Garden it was a book accompanied by CD from FTD. It covers the full June 9, 1972 show, the first at Madison Square Garden and New York City, officially released here for the first time.

The book contains hundreds of pages with text and photos in detail about Elvis' arrival in the city and his first of 4 shows at the famous amphitheater. The work is currently out of print.

Below is a review and audio of the concert.

- 1. Also Sprach Zarathustra: At the beginning of the fanfare, we realize that the audio does not come from a good tape. The FTD tried to alleviate the problems and improve what they could, but even so, the sound of Elvis and the band sounds far away from the recorder's microphone at times.

- 2. That's All Right: Elvis enters the stage and quickly begins the rendition of the classic that made his name in 1954. The version is strong and Elvis' voice sounds magnificent. The audience agrees.

- 3. Proud Mary: "Thank you.Creedence Clearwater Revival's classic is the next number on the setlist. Elvis sounds enthusiastic and even asks the band to perform the song longer than usual. His karate chops at the end drive the crowd wild.

- 4. Never Been to Spain: "Thank you. You are a fantastic audience! Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.Relatively new to the setlist, the song pleases the audience and Elvis reciprocates by handing out some scarves and kissing some fans. The rendition itself is very powerful and very well executed.

- 5. Until it's Time For You to Go: "Thank you. Thank you, ladies and gentlemen." The first song of the night directly used to attend to the crazed fans begins. As he sings, Elvis is surrounded by women looking for anything he can give them. The fans next to the recorder comment and laugh about everything. The rendition is standard.

- 6. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: This is the first time Elvis performs it in 1972. Performed since 1970, the song had already fallen into a kind of rut, but the version here is pretty good. Fans scream for some more attention from Elvis.

- 7. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin': Another one from 1970 and also returning in this show, is another one that moves the fans. An interesting fact is that it seems to run at a slightly slower pace than usual - or maybe it's the tape speed that's wrong.

- 8. Polk Salad Annie: A standard 1972 version, but with a sweeping bass solo. The sequence of karate chops at the end sounds phenomenal. The audience applauds effusively.

- 9. Love Me: Even this routine song drives fans wild. Either way, the 1950s hits medley begins and it's time to deliver kisses and scarves to the fans.

- 10. All Shook Up: A routine version less than 1 minute long.

- 11. Heartbreak Hotel: Elvis puts a little effort into the rendition, but even so, the version is pretty routine.

- 12. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel: Another disposable scarves and kisses moment.

- 13. Love Me Tender: Realizing that Elvis is going to sing one of the classics that had recently returned to the set, a fan screams: "He's going to do 'Love Me Tender'!" The version is quite serviceable, with Elvis singing as if he was genuinely interested in the music—unlike versions of later years. He even jokes with the lyrics at the end: "For my darling / I love you / 'Cause you take the pill."

- 14. Blue Suede Shoes: Excited, Elvis adds an extra improv verse to this already routine song.

- 15. Hound Dog: "I was on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1956, ladies and gentlemen, here in New York, and the television filmed me from the waist up. I did this song. It's my message song for the night, man." Elvis makes a false start to joke with the band and stir up the fans. The rendition is excellent and makes the audience applaud effusively.

- 16. Bridge Over Troubled Water: When it came to music that he liked, Elvis always gave it his all. And here it's no different. This is a solid version, vocally strong and fantastically performed.

- 17. Suspicious Minds: The audience claps their hands to the beat of the song during the performance of the 1969 classic. When Elvis approaches the part of the audience where the recorder is, there is a little confusion with cursing - it is not possible to know who it was directed at - as the singer interacts with the fans.

- 18. Introductions by Elvis: Elvis quickly introduces JD Sumner and The Stamps, The Sweet Inspirations, Kathy Westmoreland, James Burton, John Wilkinson, Ronnie Tutt, Jerry Scheff, Charlie Hodge, Glen Hardin, Joe Guercio and his orchestra.

- 19. For the Good Times:Another new addition to the repertoire, it makes the audience calm down and listen to the soft melody for a while.

- 20. An American Trilogy: The audience applauds the beginning of the song in awe. Present in the repertoire since January, it gained notoriety and adoration from the April single. This version has different melody and arrangements that are simply sensational.

- 21. Funny How Times Slips Away: "Ladies and gentlemen, now that you've had a look at me me, I'd like to turn the house lights up and take a look at you." The version is good, with Elvis focusing on the final goodbyes to the audience.

- 22. Can't Help Falling in Love: "Thank you. You're beautiful, ladies and gentlemen. A song from 'Blue Hawaii'." From the comments we hear on the tape, fans are really fighting over a scarf or a kiss - and even swearing at each other - as Elvis sings his 1961 classic.

- 23. Closing Vamp: Elvis bids the last goodbyes and pleases the last fans as the final fanfare is heard.
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JUNE 10, 1972 - 2:30 PM - 2ND SHOW

At the matinee on the 10th, Elvis would perform a show as vibrant as the one the night before. The audience would react hysterically to every move, word and song.

The performance would have a fantastic rendition of "Reconsider Baby", last heard on August 23, 1969. In addition to the usual flashes that exploded every second, professional film cameras would be on the edge of the stage, which indicates that that show, and possibly all three others at Madison Square Garden, may have been recorded for "Elvis On Tour" or some other RCA project with movie studios.
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Title:
An Afternoon in the Garden
Label:
BMG / RCA [07863 67457 2]
Format:
CD / Cassette
Number of tracks:
24
Running time:
61:00
Type of album:
Concert
Linked to:
FTD discography
Year:
1997
Recorded:
June 10, 1972 AS
Released:
March 25, 1997
Singles:
---


An Afternoon in the Garden it was the first official work to cover the full 2:30 pm show on June 10, 1972 at Madison Square Garden. The CD is still in the catalogue.

Below is a review and audio of the concert.

- 1. Introduction - Also Sprach Zarathustra: The fanfare announces the beginning of the show.

- 2. That's All Right: Elvis' voice is strong and steady, but the audio mix gives more emphasis to the band - a mistake, one might say. Sometimes the singer's voice is drowned out by the instruments. A quick version of the 1954 hit enlivens the audience. Elvis tosses his guitar to Charlie Hodge who, by the sound of it, was unprepared for action. The singer jokingly comments: "He just died, didn't he?"

- 3. Proud Mary: Although the audio problem persists, we can hear that Elvis is excited and giving it his all. This is a very good version.

- 4. Never Been to Spain: For some reason, Elvis sounds extremely tired and out of breath in the quiet parts. Maybe it's because of the effort in the previous song or another factor, but even so, the version is very pleasant to listen to.

- 5. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: Compared to other versions, including the one from the previous night, it seems that this one runs at a much higher speed than normal - or maybe it was digitally accelerated. The drums are the instrument that stands out the most, followed by the bass, but overall the listening experience is great.

- 6. Until it's Time For You to Go: Although the audience can be heard a little more than desired, this version is well mixed and Kathy Westmoreland's voice was at the correct volume so that this can be voted as the best mix of the record so far.

- 7. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin': Elvis makes a routine but soulful rendition. At one point, the too-loud cymbal makes him laugh, but he quickly pulls himself together for a spectacular finishing. Ronnie Tutt's drums sound superb throughout.

- 8. Polk Salad Annie: Although we're almost halfway through the performance, it's strange that Elvis still hasn't addressed the audience with more than a "thank you" here and there. But knowing the Colonel, that was probably his idea to spare a few seconds. Elvis seems to forget the lyrics at one point, but even so this is a magnificent version where Jerry Scheff's bass shines masterfully. "Thank you. Well, that woke me up anyway."

- 9. Love Me: The 1950s medley begins and Elvis begins to greet his fans with kisses and scarves. The version is average.

- 10. All Shook Up: Addressing a fan who kissed him, Elvis jokes while chewing gum: "I hope it's bubble gum, dear." Perhaps the mix helped this routine song sound more interesting here.

- 11. Heartbreak Hotel: Elvis sounds bored, which is to be expected from a song that has been on almost every show for four years. He tries to change a few notes here and there, but the version is pretty routine.

- 12. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel: Elvis has a little fun here, switching parts of the lyrics. Overall, he uses the version to hand over more scarves and kisses.

- 13. Love Me Tender: "My first movie, ladies and gentlemen." Fans go wild looking for some attention from Elvis during this 1956 classic. Elvis, however, sounds like he wants to get it over with - which, by the rush in the closure, he did.

- 14. Blue Suede Shoes: Elvis really seems to like this song, performing it with enthusiasm and dedication. His encouragement for the band to continue and accompany him sounds sensational.

- 15. Reconsider Baby: Last performed in 1969, this is a truly rare song that takes fans by surprise. Elvis works well on it and the mix correctly privileges the piano, giving it a fantastic touch of legitimate blues to the performance.

- 16. Hound Dog: "Then I was on The Ed Sullivan Show and I did this song here." When the fans start screaming, Elvis jokes: "You don't know what I'm gonna do yet, just wait a minute!" For some reason, RCA decided to add a weird echo to this track. In general, both the slow and the heavier and faster parts make the audience go crazy.

- 17. I'll Remember You: This is only the second time Elvis has performed this song live, the first being six months earlier. He does a serious, committed version that sounds really pretty and well-mixed.

- 18. Suspicious Minds: "Thank you. You're a beautiful audience, thank you very much. 'Suspicious Minds', baby!" This is perhaps the best mixed track on the entire record. Both Elvis' voice, instruments and backing vocals have their spaces guaranteed and the audience doesn't drown out the sound of any of the parts. Elvis enjoys some karate chops while performing and does a phenomenal chop sequence at the end.

- 19. Introductions by Elvis: Elvis quickly introduces JD Sumner and The StampsThe Sweet Inspirations, Kathy Westmoreland, James Burton, John Wilkinson, Ronnie Tutt, Jerry Scheff, Charlie Hodge, Glen Hardin, Joe Guercio and his orchestra.

- 20. For the Good Times: This is definitely another fan favorite at the time, as it gave Elvis another chance to dedicate himself to his fans. The mix here isn't very good and the backing vocals are barely heard in some parts, but it's still a pretty strong version.

- 21. An American Trilogy: It's impossible to know what BMG wanted to do with the mix of each song as there are so many ups and downs. Fortunately, this is an up moment, with a perfect mix. Elvis gives his all in a phenomenal version and with a lot of emotion, which is only somewhat hampered by the exacerbated reaction of the fans who scream as if he was doing a striptease number and a feedback on the flute solo.

- 22. Funny How Times Slips Away: "Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen. I'd like to tell you that it's really fantastic being back in New York. A really good audience, thank you. And now that you've had a look at us I'd like to turn the house lights up and take a look at you." A version very similar to the one in Greensboro on April 14 - seen in "Elvis On Tour" -, has Elvis showing all his vocal ability by changing a few octaves at the end.

- 23. I Can't Stop Loving You: A great version with a satisfying mix that privileges the magnificent work of James Burton. Elvis also gives his all in this spectacular rendition.

- 24. Can't Help Falling in Love: "Thank you. You're fantastic. Take it home!" With a perfect mix, this fantastic version is a great ending to the show. Although the CD does not specify, the "Closing Vamp" is included in its entirety at the end of the track, including the "Elvis has left the building" by Ed Enoch.
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JUNE 10, 1972 - 8:30 PM - 3RD SHOW

This is the best-known show of that weekend at Madison Square Garden. It is the only one recorded by RCA to have been released at the time.

The label would make an edit - taking just a few seconds of audience interactions or "silences" - and make it available to the public a mere eight days later, on June 18, on an LP titled "Elvis: As Recorded at Madison Square Garden".

In this show is another one of the rarities, the live version of "The Impossible Dream", sung here for the last time.
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Title:
Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden
Label:
RCA Victor [LSP 4776]
Format:
LP
Number of tracks:
21
Running time:
53:00
Type of album:
Concert
Linked to:
Official discography
Year:
1972
Recorded:
June 10, 1972 ES
Released:
June 18, 1972
Singles:
"American Trilogy / The First Time" (Apr/04/1972)


Elvis as Recorded at Madison Square Garden was Elvis' 81st LP and 185th work (including singles and EPs). It contains the entire 8:30 pm show on June 10, 1972 at Madison Square Garden in New York, the penultimate of only four Elvis performances in that city in the 1970s. The work is still in print.

Below is a review and audio of the concert.

- 1. Also Sprach Zarathustra: As usual, the fanfare heralds the start of the show. Probably because we are used to it, the original mix of the LP is what we like the most.

- 2. That's All Right: Right from the start we can note that the execution speed is faster - either because it was done like this live or because it was accelerated so that a simple LP could contain the entire show. Elvis' performance is full of enthusiasm.

- 3. Proud Mary: There's a little feedback at the beginning of the track, but nothing that spoils anything. Listen to James Burton's melodious guitar responses and the backing vocals and you'll be in heaven. Perhaps because Elvis is tired, this version is a little less fantastic than the afternoon one.

- 4. Never Been to Spain: Although the overall mix is not the best, this version still has its value for having a well pronounced bass, a phenomenal guitar and a good participation of the orchestra and backing vocals. Elvis gives his all, as always.

- 5. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: The orchestra is the star of this track, with the violins sounding magnificent at first and then slowly being replaced by brass and backing vocals as Elvis delivers a quiet but impressive rendition.

- 6. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin': "Thank you. You're a beautiful audience, thenk you very much." With a well-placed bass section in the mix, this version resembles the 1970s in many ways. Elvis delivers a solid, soulful rendition.

- 7. Polk Salad Annie: Elvis' voice sounds extremely tired as he thanks the audience. Overall, the version is very good, but it doesn't have the same cohesion as the one made just a few hours earlier. The mix favors Elvis' voice, part of the orchestra and backing vocals, but the bass - which makes all the difference in this track - is not there. In the end, the force with which Ronnie Tutt hits his drums seems to indicate that Elvis is putting on one of his best displays of karate chops.

- 8. Love Me: Starting his 1950s hits medley, Elvis seems bored with the song.

- 9. All Shook Up: A disposable just to please and serve fans.

- 10. Heartbreak Hotel: There's a good mix here and Elvis enjoys it.

- 11. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel: Nothing special here, just another routine song to hand out scarves and kisses.

- 12. Love Me Tender: "My first movie, ladies and gentlemen." The fans take over the track, but you can still hear that Elvis sounds extremely bored and tired.

- 13. The Impossible Dream: "We'd like to do our version of 'The Impossible Dream'." The classic that closed most of his shows in 1971 is performed here in an exceptionally fantastic way. Even the mix is perfect. There isn't a mistake to be noted and Elvis correctly exclaims at the end: "Good God!" It's a shame that he'd never sing this song again in his career.

- 14. Band Introductions: Elvis quickly introduces JD Sumner and The Stamps (Rich Sterban, Ed Enoch, Donnie Sumner, Bill Baize) The Sweet Inspirations, (Estelle Brown, Sylvia Shemwell, Myrna Smith), Kathy Westmoreland, James Burton, John Wilkinson, Ronnie Tutt, Jerry Scheff , Charlie Hodge, Glen Hardin, Joe Guercio and his orchestra.

- 15. Hound Dog: "This is a song that I did on The Ed Sullivan Show, in 1912." Unlike the afternoon version, there is no echo in the track. Elvis' voice sounds tired, but he still treats the song well.

- 16. Suspicious Minds: While it's slightly better than the afternoon version, there's not much to add here. The mix correctly privileges the drums and backing vocals in the right places and the ending is very good.

- 17. For the Good Times: It's the bass that drives the track here. Elvis sings softly as he attends to his fans and the band does a great job.

- 18. An American Trilogy: This is a more laid-back version than the afternoon one, with Elvis joking and even scaring the fans who scream wildly with his "what?" at first. With no muffled instruments in the mix, this is a great version.

- 19. Funny How Times Slips Away: For some reason, Elvis' whole line about "now that you've seen us..." sounds distant. The rendition itself is very good and Elvis doesn't joke much at the end or make his usual funny comments.

- 20. I Can't Stop Loving You: This is proof that Elvis was always thinking about his audience and how to improve his performances. He makes a sensational rendition, but still feels the need to improve its ending and repeats it to the delight of the audience.

- 21. Can't Help Falling in Love: "From 'Blue Hawaii', ladies and gentlemen." Elvis finishes the show rather hastily, without even thanking the audience. The version here is the routine one.

- 22. Closing Vamp: As always, it's the end of the show.
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JUNE 11, 1972 - 2:30 PM - CLOSING SHOW

Elvis would present the standard show, with no rarities added. This one of the rarest shows - having few photos and audio sources - was the last of the King of Rock in New York.
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Title:
From New York to Chicago
Label:
SR Records [---]
Format:
Double CD
Number of tracks:
50
Running time:
122:00
Type of album:
Concert
Linked to:
Unnoficial discography
Year:
2010
Recorded:
June 11 and 17, 1972 AS
Released:
2010
Singles:
---


From New York to Chicago was a bootleg by SR Records released in 2010. It contains the full shows from June 11 and 17, 1972 in New York and Chicago, respectively. The work is currently out of print.

Below is a review of the show on the 11th and audio of both concerts.

- 1. Also Sprach Zarathustra: Although the CD marks this as a part of the initial fanfare, it actually doesn't exist. What we hear is the beginning of "That's All Right", with Elvis entering the stage.

- 2. That's All Right: The audio from this source is not the best and there is a lot of noise, leaving the tracks extremely muffled and unintelligible at times. Elvis is in great shape and from what we can hear, he makes an excellent rendition.

- 3. Proud Mary: The atmosphere is electrifying during the rendition, although it is very similar to so many others ever made.

- 4. Never Been to Spain: Elvis begins his interactions with fans with this slower song. Execution speed is probably too slow and tape speed is to blame. Overall, it's a very good version.

- 5. Until it's Time For You to Go: The fans scream during the rendition and it seems that Elvis is attending to them. The version is the standard for the time.

- 6. You Don't Have to Say You Love Me: Elvis makes a false start and then restarts the song. There is nothing new here, apart from another very well interpreted version.

- 7. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin': Tape speed hurts this version, but not to the point of being unbearable - apart from a cut right in the middle of it. We can hear Elvis giving his all and the backing vocals following along magnificently.

- 7. Polk Salad Annie: In 1972 Elvis had already changed the length and arrangement of this song. This new version is heavily reliant on the bass, which does a phenomenal job in its solo. The ending also sounds great.

- 9. Love Me: The 1950s medley begins. Elvis sounds more enthusiastic than the night before and, overall, the version really is better.

- 10. All Shook Up: A throw away, but well executed.

- 11. Heartbreak Hotel: The tape speed hurts the rendition, making it sound a lot like the post-1975 versions.

- 12. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel: Elvis does a good version, even if this is one of the ones he already found boring.

- 13. Love Me Tender: "My first movie, ladies and gentlemen." Elvis sounds bored, but fans are still screaming wildly for a scarf or a kiss. There is a slight distortion on the tape, but nothing to worry about.

- 14. Blue Suede Shoes: Unfortunately, we can only hear a few seconds of the rendition because the tape runs out. When the sound returns, Elvis is finishing the song.

- 15. Hound Dog: The 1956 hit starts without Elvis introducing it, as usual this season. The version is very good and has a slightly different ending.

- 16. I'll Remember You: Because it's a relatively new song on the setlist, Elvis gets a little lost with the lyrics - although it's barely noticeable. The jewel that would be the version of Aloha begins to be shaped.

- 17. Suspicious Minds: The rendition begins with a light feedback - which had already become a hallmark of Elvis' concerts at Madison Square Garden. The version has a good rhythm and Elvis indulges in it. As he poses, he makes the comment that would become customary: "I hope this suit don't tear up, baby!"

- 18. Band Introductions:  Elvis introduces JD Sumner and The Stamps, The Sweet Inspirations, Kathy Westmoreland, James Burton, John Wilkinson, Ronnie Tutt, Jerry Scheff, Charlie Hodge, Glen Hardin, Joe Guercio and his orchestra.

- 19. For the Good Times: A slow version, but a pretty good one.

- 20. An American Trilogy: Despite having entered the repertoire in January, this song was already turning into one of the most anticipated of the shows due to the tremendous success of the April single. Elvis delivers a strong, cohesive version that excites the audience.

- 21. Funny How Times Slips Away: "It's been great being here, you were a fantastic audience." The whistles and screams of the fans are deafening and nearly drown out Elvis' rendition. Overall, it's a good version that serves to warn the audience that the show is approaching its end.

- 22. Can't Help Falling in Love: "You're a beautiful audience. This song is from 'Blue Hawaii', just for you." The 1961 classic warns the audience of the impending end of the show as Elvis delivers the last kisses and scarves.

- 23. Closing Vamp: The fanfare, heard for a few seconds, marks the end of Elvis' last show in New York in his career.
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BONUS: CHICAGO STADIUM - JUNE 17, 1972 AS

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