By Leon Smith..
Firstly this video contains a typo error where the date states 15/07/70 when it is in fact the 29th - sorry........................ In preparation for his third Las Vegas season which was scheduled to run from 10 August to 8 September 1970 and totalling fifty nine shows Elvis undertook an extensive rehearsal programme and this incorporated nine studio rehearsals split between MGM's Studios in Culver City and RCA's Studios in Hollywood after which further rehearsals would take place In Las Vegas. The four Las Vegas rehearsals would all take place at the engagement venue, The International Hotel, and would be split between three the Convention Center and two on the stage of the main showroom, one of which took place on the same afternoon as the opening night. Rehearsals began on 14 July 1970 in Culver City and subsequent studio sessions would take place on 15 and 16 July before Elvis and band moved to Hollywood and RCA's Studios for three sessions on 23, 24 and 28 July after which they returned to Culver City for a further two sessions on 29 and 30 July. The Las Vegas rehearsals took place on consecutive days of 4 thru 6 August at the Convention Center and then in the main showroom on 7 and 10 August 1970.
The rehearsals were further complicated with the presence of MGM's cameras as Elvis' contractual obligation pertaining to the filming of "That's The Way It Is" not only required principal filming of the first six shows but also of rehearsals in order that the movie could portray the natural process that Elvis and band underwent in preparation for opening night. It was decided that MGM would shoot at five of the eleven sessions, three in Culver City and two in Las Vegas. MGM filmed both of the first two Culver City rehearsal sessions on 14 and 15 July and a further session on 29 August and in Las Vegas filming took place on 4 and 7 August in the Convention Center and main showroom respectively. Recordings of a further two sessions on 24 August in Hollywood and on 10 August in Las Vegas were made in audio only but neither was filmed.
Of the studio rehearsals there is little doubt that the more serious stuff took place behind closed doors away from the camerasand although always the consummate professional the filmed sessions are more informal and likely incorporated any requests or suggestions from MGM and director Denis Sanders. It is surely in this vein that Elvis approached the final filmed session in Culver City on 29 July as it included a half hour section in the middle which included fourteen songs, most from the fifties and sixites, none of which made it onto the setlist. The most interesting segment is a twenty minute period in which Elvis did what Elvis did best and just sang as if he were at a private party at home and ran through versions of "I Was The One", "Cattle Call", "Baby Lets's Play House", "Don't", "Money Honey", "A Fool Such As I", "Such A Night", "It's Now or Never" and "What'd I Say". None of this bar a ten second clip of "What'd I Say" mad into the original 1970 movie and it was not until 1992 and the release of "The Lost Performances" that further footage was released but even that left material on the cutting room floor.
Although not quite with the same dynamic impact of the "Little Sister / Get Back" medley which immediately preceded this segment it is still great to hear and see Elvis sing some of his classic recordings most of which would never receive a live performance in the years to follow.