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VIVA AL'S VEGAS
Canadian Mountie and EER regular listener Al Boulianne's Las Vegas Report
"As you know we landed at the Las Vegas airport with a mission. The mission was to see more about Elvis, especially his Hilton stage and backstage areas. I
also wanted to see his private suite...

While driving to the LVH (the old Hilton) I saw the hotel  from a distance and started to get Goosebumps. My wife had to tell me to relax several times. Then we
arrived at the hotel, it was so overwhelming  to be at the same door that Elvis went in and out a few times during a few nights in Vegas. In the entrance was a
not too good statue of Elvis however it describes his records attendances and that he was the king.
We settled in and of course they confirmed with me that it was indeed the Elvis hotel and pointed me in the direction of the show room where Elvis performed
all those historic shows. The staff stated that the powers that be should rename it the "Elvis showroom". When I asked about the Elvis suite, I was told that it
had all changed now and looked nothing like it did then, I was told the hotel had turned Elvis' suite into three separate and it does not look at all like the one
Elvis had. When ask for a visit I was turned down because high gamblers were staying there.

Even then, I tried the elevator that brought me only on floor 29. Then I tried to go to floor 30 by stairs and it was all alarmed so my mission for the suite was a
failure. That  night we attended the very little show place almost across the showroom. It was there that Elvis attended Chuck Berry show one night with his
entourage. It  is very small about 60 seats and it was Trent Carlini playing as an impersonator.  IT WAS HORRIBLE!!!!

We wanted to leave however being a nice Canadian couple we staying until the end but we could tell that in Carlini’s  face that we were absolutely not impress.
Even my wife, who is not a big Elvis fan, fell sorry for me. I know I know Lee what  you are thinking,  what the hell were you doing in an IMP concert. The
answer was that I wanted to see the place where Elvis directed Chuck Berry show one night by telling him what to sing.

We saw also the Million Dollars Quartet. It was unbelievable. It was very well done and the actors did a wonderful job. Lots of laugh (especially with Jerry Lee)
and some little tears.

We really enjoyed Vegas. Even if we were in the North wing which was supposed to be opened by an Elvis concert in 1978 which never happened, it was nice
to be there.  We visited King Museum which had great Elvis stuff including the last vehicle he bought and gave to Kathy Westmorland in 1977. Original
Peakcock bell was there and lots of great things.

Funny when we were telling people where we stayed, most of them said “oh the Presley hotel”. It always made a smile on my face.

The day before we left, I told my wife that that day it was my Elvis showroom and backstage mission. She laughed and said that I would never get in there. My
answer was "watch me".  I meet Wayne a security guard and told him about my mission and he said “MISSION WILL BE ACCOMPLISH MY SON”. I could not
believe how nice he was. Hi sister who passed away a few years ago was very close with Lamar Fike. She spends a lot of time around Elvis and the gang at
parties and even for some Christmas at Graceland. Everytime she went to Graceland she cooked pastry and everyone were gaining weight.  I remember Joe
Esposito talking about her so I believed Wayne’s story.  He said that their other brother was a preacher and was always confronting her hanging around these
rock n roll guys and she always replied, you don't know my friends and you don't know him so clean your own back yard first. She got married and Lamar was
sad because he had a crush on her but for her Lamar was only as a friend.  Later when she passed away, Lamar attended her funeral.

Wayne met Elvis backstage in 1969 threw his sister. He said that Elvis came to him and said:
"You must me Wayne. Hi I am Elvis Presley" He said that he was told not to look at him in the eyes because he did not like it however he couldn't help and Elvis
laughed at it. He saw several of Elvis Vegas shows until his last in 1976.

Wayne brought me and my wife on the stage and behind the stage in Elvis elevator and infront of the door of his dressing room located under the stage. We
could not get into the dressing room as it was occupied but he stated that it is all original with same door etc...

One of the highlight was the little corner on the side of the stage (about 2X2 feet) that they left with original floor. It  was there that every night behind the
curtain, Elvis said a little prayers  before hitting the stage and you can see it in That's the way it is. Pictures and videos were taken until it was time to leave.
One thing about the show room, it is a lot smaller that I thought it would be. It was the bigger one in 70's but not really big now. I accomplished half of my
mission but I am very happy and proud of what I saw and new friend I made. Now I will never look at any Elvis Vegas concert the same including that's the way
it is."
The Vegas Statue Plaque Reads:
ELVIS: ''THE KING'' OF LAS VEGAS

AN EIGHT-YEAR EXCLUSIVE RUN

N THE LAS VEGAS HILTON SHOWROOM

837 CONSECUTIVE SOLD-OUT PERFORMANCES

ENTERTAINED SOME 2.5 MILLION PEOPLE...

ENOUGH TO FILL THE ROSE BOWL 25 TIMES OVER!

LAS VEGAS' ALL TIME FAVOURITE, AND SUCCESSFUL PERFORMER.