Gotta Find My Baby!

October 13, 2022

October Encore in Lake Tahoe (CD - Memory Records, 2007)

October Encore in Lake Tahoe
Memory Records [MR 2055-2]
Number of tracks:
Running time:
Type of album:
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Unofficial discography
October 13, 1974 MS
September 2007

October Encore in Lake Tahoe is a CD by the Czech bootleg label Memory Records. It features the full midnight show of October 13, 1974 in Lake Tahoe, Nevada, erroneously dated as the 10:00 p.m. show that same day. The CD is currently out of print.

Although Elvis performed some memorable shows in early 1974, the September/October tour of that year was not one of his best. The Summer season in Las Vegas had ended on September 2 with the infamous concert now known as "Desert Storm" and the fall national tour kicked off with the famous - and also infamous - performance known as "Chaos in College Park" on 27 September, often cited as the lowest point in Elvis' career.

Fortunately the King of Rock improved his mood and health a lot for October, which would mark the last month of touring that year. Elvis' South Bend show on thr 1st (released by FTD in 2003 as "Dragonheart") was better than expected, although it was notable that Elvis struggled a bit, as his voice still wavered at times.

Things improved greatly from then on, with Elvis really rocking all places he passed by until October 9. Just like "Dragonheart", the concerts in St. Paul, Minnesota, on October 2 and 3, Detroit on the 4th, the two Dayton performances on October 6 that were largely sold on bootlegs, and the great Wichita concert on the 7th were proof that Elvis could do a lot better than he did in the past few months if he had the right support. Apart from Dayton, all other concerts were released in full or as bonus tracks by FTD in 2019 as "St. Paul to Wichita - October '74".

The last concerts of 1974 took place in a small season in Lake Tahoe, from October 11 to 14. Elvis was still in good shape after the terrible month of September, and he really made a point of showing it, but all his problems were already starting to show in the horizon again. He'd sing with his soul as he always did, but part of him worried too much about what could come next.

But more than the fantastic concerts themselves, perhaps the most important thing to note from this small season is that it was here where Elvis wore his now famous Mexican Sundial suit for the first time. The CD cover shows Elvis wearing it, but just because Memory Records got the wrong date for the concert in the first place.

Elvis wearing the Mexican Sundial suit on October 12, 1974

The King of Rock first wore it for the Midnight concert on October 12, 1974 and then repeated it for the 10 p.m. concert on October 13, which Memory Records though was what we hear here. In fact, this audio is from the Midnight concert on that day, where Elvis wore the 1974 American Eagle suit for the last time.

As for the Mexican Sundial, the singer wore it for the last time in 1974 in the Closing Show on October 14 as he thought gabardine was a very heavy, non-breathable cloth. It would return to stage two and a half years later, as its elasticity helped soften Elvis' physique changes.

Below is our review of this work.

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

- 2. See See Rider: Elvis starts the presentation with a breath he has been missing for a long time. He interprets the song with mastery and doesn't miss a word or slur. The notes are executed phenomenally and the singer even inserts new vocal inflections into the song. The ending is fantastic. He still has some acidic humour in him though: "Who fixed this mic? Did 'Jerky Kahoon'- Jackie Kahane do that again?"

- 3. I Got a Woman / Amen: Elvis skips the "well, well, well..." routine and gets to the song right away. His rendition is a lot faster than we are used to hear in this period and it all seems to end too fast. The "striptease" routine makes the women go completely nuts before an amazing dive bomb by JD Sumner - which Elvis asks him to do again because "he can go lower than anybody, he goes down to a low flat". JD then does his "engine stall" and brings the song to a definite end.

- 4. Love Me: No time to lose, the song starts and agains sounds faster than usual - in fact, at only 1 minute and 20 seconds, it is. Of course Elvis uses it for the already known "kiss and scarf" moment, but he really does sing all the way.

- 5. All Shook Up: "Love Me" barely ends and we already hear the first notes of his next song. It's a 53 seconds throwaway, but very well performed.

6. Teddy Bear / Don't Be Cruel: Elvis really rushes this set, starting one song after another without even pausing a little. Of course, Tahoe's time slot - 1 hour - may have been a decisive factor to it. As Elvis sings, more kisses and scarves are given to the audience.

- 7. Heartbreak Hotel: This great audience recording really has all we need in its mix. The version sounds so good that it almost resembles many soundboards we have available with a low quality. The rendition itself is average. 

- 8. If You Love Me (Let Me Know): Even if it sounds fast-paced, the music has its value for the show. Elvis really liked it and seems to be enjoying himself all the time.

- 9. Fever: The "no pause" stint keeps going and Elvis delivers one more to the audience. He laughs and makes puns while singing and interacting with his fans.

- 10. Big Boss Man: Not the best rendition there is, but surely one of the best. JD sounds over all instruments in the speakers.

- 11. It's Midnight: "This next song is a new record that we have out, ladies and gentlemen. I hope you like it." It's amazing how magnificent this version sounds. Elvis even does a little key change throughout and the audience can be heard noticing that.

- 12. Hound Dog: Just a show-filler so Elvis can do more of his "kiss and scarf" stuff.

- 13. Band Introductions: Elvis introduces the group Voice, The Sweet Inspirations, JD Sumner and The Stamps, John Wilkinson, "Funky" James Burton (with a small solo), Ronnie Tutt (with a solo) and Duke Bardwell (also with a solo).

- 14. Lawdy Miss Clawdy: As usual in this period, Glen Hardin is intruduced with this song. Elvis introduces Charlie Hodge, Joe Guercio and his orchestra after the song. He apparently forgets Kathy Westmoreland.

- 15. Celebrity Introductions: Elvis introduces a few celebrities.

- 16. Bridge Over Troubled Water (With Reprise): As noted before, this amateur tape has such a high quality that we are treated to a very upclose and personal version of this wonderful song. Elvis uses all of his vocal power to deliver a very solid performance beautifully accompanied by the orchestra and backing vocals. Kathy Westmoreland's bits could sound a little lower, though. The song is so well received by the audience that Elvis reprises the last part of it even more perfectly.

- 17. Johnny B. Goode: Part of the setlist since 1969, the song comes right after the end of "Bridge...". It's a standard version for the time.

- 18. Hawaiian Wedding Song (With Reprise):  "How many of you saw 'Blue Hawaii'? The most requested song in it was the 'Hawaiian Wedding Song'." Elvis does a lovely version and then jokingly comments that Kathy Westmoreland "loves this song because every night she can get a lei [meant as 'lay']". He then asks to reprise the end and does it in a very high note that prompts Kathy to follow him.

- 19. Let Me Be There (With Reprise): Elvis keeps throwing high notes in this beautiful rendition. It's very fast-paced, but he does a reprise at the end to make it last a little longer.

- 20. Can't Help Falling in Love: "You're a beautiful audience. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen." The show ends and Elvis is still in a very good mood and doing lots of key changes while singing and giving the last kisses and scarves away.

- 21. Closing Vamp: A small excerpt of the closing fanfare can be heard.


- 22. Why Me Lord: The last two tracks in the CD are extras from the 10 p.m. concert on the same day. For JD's desperation, Elvis repeats his jokes about "all the booze JD drinks" and breaks him. Overall, it's a very good version with a nice banter.

- 23. I'm Leavin': Despite being played in almost every show in the August / September season in Las Vegas, this song was already a rarity by this point. After this, it'd only appear in another 4 concerts in 1975 before being totally abandoned. It is a very average version, though.

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