On This Day: Elvis Presley Holds Legendary Press Conference at Madison Square Garden in 1972

by Samantha Whidden

On this day in history, music icon Elvis Presley held his legendary press conference at Madison Square Garden in 1972. This was right before Presley performed on the Madison Square Garden stage for the first time. 

In an effort to kick off the press conference on a funny note, Elvis Presley declared, “Would you like me to sit down? … First of all, I plead innocent of all charges!”

After a few laughs, Elvis Presley revealed why it took him so long to perform in New York City. “I think… I think it was a matter of not getting the building, the proper building. We had to wait our turn in order to get the building.”

When asked about his upcoming projects, Elvis Presley revealed that he just finished a movie of the last tour he previously did. “It’s the first live concert that we ever filmed, so that’s my next project that’s coming out,” he explained. He also revealed his thoughts about making personal appearances again. “I just missed it. I missed the closeness of an audience, of a live audience. So just as soon as I got out of the movie contracts, I started to do live concerts again.”

In response to considering doing more demanding movie roles in the future, Elvis Presley shared, “I’d like to do something in the way of a movie script if I can find the right kind of property. In fact, we’re looking for it now. You’re talking about a non-singing type thing? Yeah, I’d like to do that.”

Elvis Presley Shares His Thoughts About the Lawsuit Between Nashville Record Companies and Independent Songwriters 

Meanwhile, Elvis Presley spoke about the at the time lawsuit between Nashville record companies and independent songwriters. “I think there’s so many companies that everybody becomes independent. Once they have one hit record and they form their own companies and there’s so many. And also the people who write them are starting to record their own songs and that’s why I said it’s more difficult to get good material.”

While speaking about his publishing house, the musician noted, “I’m a publishing firm but I’ll take songs from anywhere or from any writer if they’re good. It doesn’t have to be in my company, it could be just completely an unknown person or anybody who writes a song. If they can get it to me and if its good, I’ll do it.”

When asked about the lawsuit filed by the Nashville songwriters committee, Presley admitted, “Honey, I’m really not aware of this particular suit that you’re talking about so I can’t answer you accurately, you know? I don’t even know the details about it. I went to Hawaii to get a tan for… New York, yeah! So I’m not aware of it, really.”