Share this page
During the successful teamwork with Sandi Pichon on "Elvis On Tour '75", the Praytome Publishing team mentioned in a personal discussion with Sandi that for several years they wanted to do a project about Lake Tahoe.
However; unfortunately, everything concerning Tahoe is a complete mystery. There are only a handful of photos available. All existing information is based on vague reports, second hand word of mouth and Lake Tahoe memorabilia remains the rarest and most sought after in the Elvis World.
Until today, it is inexplicable why there is such a vast amount of material about Las Vegas, but close to nothing exists about Lake Tahoe. Thousands of photos are known documenting Elvis' engagements in Las Vegas. But in contrast, there were 5 engagements in Lake Tahoe where nearly nothing is known - only a handful of pictures, a few reports and a few audio documents.
Why is Lake Tahoe such an enigma?
Such a mystery that Ed Bonja, who was Elvis' tour photographer and responsible for nearly all covershots of singles and LPs of the 70s, names the book "World's Best Kept Secret".
When we talked with Sandi about Tahoe she responded:
"You must absolutely talk to Sue!"
"Sue McCasland from Vegas?"
"Yes, THAT Sue!"
"Sue is MISS Tahoe!"
That was the birth of the "World's Best Kept Secret: Elvis live at Del Webb's Sahara Tahoe".
When the book was announced, for the first time a surge went through the Elvis World. It was said that it is impossible to write a book about Tahoe and a pictorial about Elvis in Tahoe - not true. Although Elvis performed five engagements in Tahoe and performed in a small, but idyllic resort area, only a few photos exist. (And most of the few were taken by Sue McCasland!)
Up to today, Tahoe is still a mystery why such a little known venue where sold out concerts occurred had been forgotten in contrast to Las Vegas. Photos of Elvis and Sahara Tahoe memorabilia are some of the rarest collectibles in the world. A really difficult beginning situation for an informative pictorial definitive book. But Sue really did it! She fantastically managed to dig out the most unknown information and with hundreds of unpublished photos to disclose the "best kept secret".
Her unique connections and contacts to people in the Elvis scene helped her to gain memorabilia expert Joseph A. Krein as the co-author for her book. Sue saw the professional work of the Praytome Publishing team. During the research for "Elvis On Tour '75", Sue had been already on site to witness the various single important sections of the work done together with the team. Soon it was obvious, that she shared the enthusiasm of the team and the love for detail and for Elvis in order to give her precious photos their worthy treatment. Precious on the one hand for the author, because the photos are a perfect completion for her memories of that time with Elvis, and precious on the other hand for the fans, who had not been in Tahoe. In order to let the photos look brilliant again, not only a grade of accuracy and love for detail is necessary, but also the use of the most modern techniques as well as the reproduction.
Important features are:
Like "Elvis On Tour '75" all pictures were in chronological order. Memorabilia is not only displayed but also explained and with several detail advancements, evolution instead of revolution was the motto.
Like on all Praytome Publishing products we attached also in this book great importance to the information content and it should not only be a book which contains random pictures on a single page but if possible precise details concerning place and date as well as authentic stories of people which were there on the different occasions. Equally important for the producers were background information you can get through newspaper articles or show reviews, bills, checks and other paperwork.
Photos which have lost color intensity due to their age, should be post-worked. We wanted to use every possible technological help to remove kinks, cracks or stains to come up to the historic photos. To compile a defintive book about the performances at the Sahara Tahoe we used also every source available, even the amateurish instamatic shots / negatives.
Cost & Performance
Due to the fans reacting positive to the improved paper quantity and print quality in the "Born To Rock"- book, we decided to contine using the same material on this project like we did during the prodcution of "Behind The Image 2" and "Elvis on Tour '75", to achieve again excellent results. This means for the customer and fan great quality while the already low cost / performance ratio, which was already established by the very first book of Praytome Publishing "Elvis - Behind The Image 1", was maintained.
World's Best Kept Secret: Elvis live at Del Webb's Sahara Tahoe.
In 1976 ELVIS is announced with large letters.
Thanks to the fans, the smaller, black letters were always the same: ALL CONCERTS SOLD OUT!
The book "Elvis live at Del Webb's Sahara Tahoe" offers many memories and impressions of the 70s about Lake Tahoe. From the history of the Lake itself, to the owner of the hotel Del E. Webb, from the architect Martin Stern, Jr. to the opening ceremony of the Sahara Tahoe.
The chronological way of telling the story about all these events and the retrospection to 'what it was like' is not only an eye catcher, but will fascinate the reader. Former employees tell their stories about the fans and Elvis with corresponding pictures to create a complete image of the gambling paradise with Elvis' performances in the mind's eye.
Ed Bonja, Elvis' official tour photographer recounts his memories of the entourage crew accompanied by original Sahara Tahoe memorabilia and personal items (letters, checks, bills, etc.).
The book explains the change of the Sahara Tahoe Hotel (when Elvis played there) to today's version called the "Horizon". There's a spotlight on the connection to the "Barton Memorial Hospital Auxiliary" and how Elvis supported the hospital with his performances. Dick Grob (member of the Memphis Mafia and bodyguard) also with Sonny West (Elvis' friend and bodyguard) enrich the book with great stories about the things that happened while being with Elvis in Lake Tahoe.
Sue McCasland was among the very few fans who were able to take pictures. You have to know that you were allowed to take pictures during concerts when Elvis was on tour, but during the engagements at Las Vegas and Lake Tahoe it was prohibited. There was a much more intimate atmosphere in Tahoe, because of a smaller showroom, so the risk was higher to get caught while sneaking cameras into the showroom and taking pictures during the concert. With that knowledge, one can appreciate the value of Sue's photos - a real treasure, so to say. And thank God, Sue has decided to share her personal treasure with the world.
Almost every existing photo of Elvis' performances in Tahoe from 1971-1976 has been tracked down and restored for the use in combination with historical information in this visual experience. You will see Elvis in a great mood, smiling, entertaining the audience and enjoying the moments where there is interaction with the audience. See him wearing a gorilla mask, see him having fun with Mickey Mouse ears, see him kissing his female fans, singing spontaneously rare versions of "Young and Beautiful", "Return To Sender" or an exclusive rendition of "Happy Birthday" and witness the moment where Elvis gets caught in a water pistol fight. It's amazing!
Different perspectives, different angles and a vast collection of different stage outfits portray Elvis on stage. Complementary items like tickets, newspaper articles, reviews, advertisements, banners, posters, menus, napkins, ashtrays, dice, casino memorabilia, postcards and a lot more. This book will definitely provide you information and shots you have never seen before. The Praytome Publishing team is proud to present you the most comprehensive photo collection of Elvis' performances in Lake Tahoe and are very happy Sue McCasland decided to share her personal collection of memories and unpublished photos.
The book explains not only the origin of the name "Lake Tahoe", but gives a lot more information about the area. There are details about the resort area, the idea of creating a hotel nearby with the opening ceremony of the hotel plus the plans and architectural designs by Martin Stern, Jr. - which, of course, contain the structure of the showroom and, of course, ELVIS!
May 25, 1974 M.S. - © Sue McCasland
See Elvis wearing the Peacock suit (photo on the right side). One of the biggest surprises is the collection of more than two dozen shots from October 1974 showing Elvis in the Sundial suit. The myth that this suit was only worn in 1977 comes now to an end, definitely. That's one of the reasons why this book is call a "definitive book".
Lake Tahoe - a wonderful resort area for people who love to ski and enjoy the beauty of nature
Many-sided because the appeal of the content reaches a very diversified target audience.
Among the fans, there are some who enjoy the nice pictorials where Elvis smiles impishly in the camera and really looks marvelous. There are fans who are interested in the pictures, because they want to study the famous suits.
There are fans who want the pictures in order to archive concretely dated photos according to the concerts. There are those who are interested in the listing of the recordings of the engagements.Other fans will read with enthusiasm the impressions of the concerts from first hand witnesses in order to image themselves there.
Furthermore, people want to read stories and reports of Elvis backstage to know about the meeting of Elvis and Clint Eastwood ("Dirty Harry").
August 1, 1971 - © Judy Cherry
In opposition to the former "Live" pictorial books of Praytome Publishing, this is a "Definitive Book" which deals intensively with a specific topic and doesn't put the focus on a special concert as in "Born To Rock".
The content intensively matters about Elvis' complete engagements in the years 1971-76. Furthermore, for the better understanding for the reader as the city itself and the entire surrounding area is explained.
The style had to be adapted to the different requirements as it deals intensively with the topic as you would never had thought it could be possible. When the announcement came out, the Elvis World agreed that it's not possible at all to write a book about Tahoe!
The final product shows about 470 photos and memorabilia with extensive explanations. A picture of Elvis in Lake Tahoe, you never knew before.
October 11, 1974 M.S. - © Sue McCasland
Because of the positive response from the fans concerning the improved quality of paper and also the printing, we decided to use the same material to reach another excellent result.
The producers together with the authors Sue McCasland and Joseph A. Krein made the dream come true to publish a book about Elvis' engagements in Lake Tahoe, which is not to put the other Praytome Publishing projects in the background.
While keeping the thought in mind "Evolution instead of Revolution" and with the help of many fans, insistent research, countless hours of working and unique teamwork, this dream is a reality and after more than three decades, the best kept secret is revealed.
Mother's Day Show - 03:00 A.M.
May 9, 1976 - Elvis wearing the Mickey Mouse Ears - © Sue McCasland
In which category can this book be best placed? The question is easily asked, but the answer is really difficult to answer. It's a definitive book - category: comprehensive and many-sided.
General Information on Trailers
In general fans collect (and Elvis fans are no exception) every little piece of their star. That doesn't only concern print media. They also collect commercial trailers from the TV and even documentaries where their star is only mentioned. Unfortunately the biggest star has to live with the worst marketing.
And when the fan has the luck to get a clip on an Elvis production it is often cheap produced without love, what actually doesn't accord to the artist Elvis Presley. Here, the "Behind The Image Team" goes a different way. The trailer produced by them do not only advertise a product, but they were levied to an art form. They are unusual complex (q.v. the trailer of BTI 3 and the trailer of the book "Born To Rock") and show the love to the detail and the professionalism every product of "Bud Glass Productions" and Praytome Publishing has got. That's why the whole Elvis world is looking forward in advance to every new trailer giving an insight of the newest product.
Here we want to offer you the trailer to the according product you are interested in for download. Don't miss the trailers of our other releases. You find them on the left in the menu by clicking the desired product.
Please note that the according trailers are always clips in the so called web quality (for quicker downloading). So the quality does never show the quality of the DVD/book.
Of course you'll also find all available trailers in the bonus material section (on the medium DVD) in DVD quality.
A lot of costumers attested us in their numerous E-Mails and letters that the trailers are the best the existing in the Elvis world and some even said that only the trailers were worth the money for the DVD. Q.v. "In The Press"!
So now lean back and PUMP UP the volume of your speakers :-)
Information about the "Elvis live at Del Webb's Sahara Tahoe" - Trailer
A new product - a new trailer - a new outfit. With this in mind the idea for the new trailer was born. Compared to the previous trailers this one is a different one although you will notice that it's from the same producers. Annotator Chuck O'Brien (www.chuckobrienpresents.com) did a fabulous job which enriches this new masterpiece.
Review in the German "Elvis Club Berlin" Fanclub Magazine No. 136
DVD / Book Review taken from the Magazine No. 136 by the German "Elvis Club Berlin"
If you are interested in a membership or want to get in contact with the club please use the following website address for more information:
Elvis Club Berlin e.V.
c/o Werner Strube
Postfach 16 02 09
Review by Nadine Steffens - Translation by Nadine Schwenk
Elvis on Tour '75
Photos From The Heart
By Sandi H. Pichon
Author of "Raised on Elvis! Elvis! Elvis!"
I was looking with great expectations at this Elvis year, but as the anniversary of the death approached, I was increasingly disappointed in the abstinence of the official side. This year I was expecting a box set or Elvis on Tour SE. But what can the fans look forward to? To "Elvis at the movies".
The more delighting are the releases of the Memphis Recording Service. Or the latest release of Praytome Publishing. After "Paternity Suit", "Elvis in Tour '75" follows. An announcement I was looking forward to because I don't have a lot of the pictures in my collection and it is, besides 72, one of my favorite Elvis years.Let's get to the content of the book. After the forewords of Sonny West and Charles Stone and a short introduction of the author Sandi Pichon we directly go to the Tour summary of 1975. The summary is very felicitous, besides the sales of the concerts, other suits of 1975 are being shown, amongst others the Penguin Suit. The concerts included in this book are:
Jacksonville, FL - April 25, 1975
Atlanta, GA - April 30, 1975
Atlanta, GA - May 1, 1975
Atlanta, GA - May 2, 1975
It starts with the concert of April 25th in Jacksonville. Besides the basic data like the venue, the suit, the number of visitors ect. we get a picture of the arena as well as the track listing of that day. Sandi reports in an interesting and funny way, how she experienced the concert back then: the surroundings of the concerts, and how a city can go crazy when Elvis was there for several concerts. She mentions that Elvis tickets were to be raffled over a radio station. Jacksonville was - just as the other concerts of that tour - completely sold out in advance. So the rush on the radio station was so huge, that the lines of the telephone switchboard in the station failed. Not bad for someone the press called "fat and forty" at that time... The radio station then chose a different way, and informed that the first person to show up at the station with a Hound Dog or Blue Suede Shoes would get the tickets.
Parallel to that story you see pictures of Elvis on his way to the concert, entering the stage and starting the concert. All pictures are in chronological order, theoretically you could make a flip-book out of it. The pictures of Elvis you see on the first pages are "stunning". Elvis looked great and even though it is only pictures, it is easy to see that there is an artist on stage who has absolutely everything under control. Except a handful, I don' know any of the pictures in the book and they are in an unbelievably good quality. In addition you also get the information on which record the concert was "released". Elvis also talks in this book. The reports of Sandi are being followed by quotes of Elvis. When you read her stories and look at the pictures that are arranged matching the text, you get the feeling of attending the concert. One of the most beautiful pictures in this book for me is from the concert described in this book: the show from April 30th, 1975. Sandi gives Elvis a picture of him in 6th grade. The way Elvis looks at the picture makes you smile. You can see how much he likes it. It is really amazing how much effort the fans put into their gifts for Elvis and how much thought they must have given them.
After reading the book, I first listened to a show of Atlanta and looked at the pictures again. This book is related to the concept of "Born to Rock" (also released by Praytome Publishing), respectively a successor.
It is not a book that shows concert pictures of Elvis from different years with such informative subtitles as "Elvis laughing on stage" - where you see a picture from 1971 but the subtitle indicates 1975…You get details and facts with the matching pictures. The book covers one closed topic with 400 unreleased pictures. The layout and content fit together and you will find a new highlight on every single page whereas the design stays the same, which is very rare for an Elvis product nowadays. Persons are not being introduced in the beginning of the book - so that in the middle of the book you can't remember who is who - but within the story. Highlights are also the perspective shots of Elvis. You see from different angles, from the side or as a close-up, what Elvis is doing at a certain moment. That gives you an extensive insight of the concert and Elvis, where the design is really a big eye catcher because of the different angles you are about to see.On the website of Praytome Publishing you find video clips of the "Making Of" the book. They put great effort in showing the fan the process from the PC to the finished book. Praytome Publishing talks about the restoration of every single photograph of the 400 used pictures, details of the concerts were put together with a lot of effort, and you can literally see that in the book. The processing is - as usual for Praytome Publishing- really high quality: hardcover and especially the coated paper.I have to add one more thing.
At the end of the book you will find an advertisement for upcoming products, amongst others an ad for "the world's best kept secret": "Elvis Live at Sahara Tahoe"… If that book is similar to this one and has the same quality, it will surely become a classic.
© 2007 by Elvis Club Berlin
Review in the Spanish "Club Elvis" Magazine No. 62
Book Review taken from the Spanish "Club Elvis" Fanmagazine No. 62 (2007)
If you are interested in a membership or want to get in contact with the author of the article, please use the address given on the flyer below.
© 2007 by Club Elvis - Spain