That time Elvis Presley came to Auburn and said ‘War Eagle’

Thursday, July 2, 2020

That time Elvis Presley came to Auburn and said ‘War Eagle’

Beard-Eaves Memorial Colliseum, May 5, 1974.

Here’s how Auburn Network legend Paul Ellen started his review for The Plainsman: “For at least one day, President Philpott ceased to rule the campus and east central Alabama became a monarchy. The King was here.”

The one day was March 5, 1974. The concert sold out two weeks in advance. The only other time that had happened at the coliseum (for something other than basketball) had been Bob Hope’s stop three years earlier. The University Book Store sold nearly 200 copies of assorted Elvis albums the days leading up to the show. Col. Parker said Auburn was just as important to Elvis as New York City.

The “no flash photography” made it difficult on Glom photographer Larry Parker. But he still scored several fantastic, never-before-seen shots of the rhinestone’d hunk of sideburnin’ love and his on-stage entourage, Sweet Inspirations included.

Unlike that year’s Beach Boys concert, not a single coed took off her clothes. But a girl did slip past stage security long enough to receive the King’s scarf. And we now know that, thankfully… thankfully very much… someone bootlegged the show, “War Eagle” and all.


Want to hear the whole the show? Go for it.

Related: Elvis says “War Eagle.”

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from The War Eagle Reader

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