PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - Wednesday marks the 40th anniversary of the death of Elvis Presley.
The King of Rock n Roll was 42-years old when he died suddenly at his Graceland home in Memphis. The news of his death was especially hard to take for his fans here in Maine. The King was set to kick off his tour the next night in Portland and many waited in line a couple of days for a chance to get a ticket to the show.
“Elvis coming to the civic center. It was big, big, big deal”, said Elvis fan Anne Salamone.
But it was a show that never happened.
“And then it’s ripped from you. You geared up for it, you had everything in the paper, the hype leading up to it and then nothing”, she said.
Salamone loved Elvis since she was a little girl. After finishing up 8th grade her uncle bought her tickets to the show as a graduation present. Tickets she never got to use, but still holds on to them to this day.
Mark Warner also has a few tickets to the show tucked away at his office inside the Cross Insurance Arena, formerly known as the civic center. He's the arena's box office manager. He remembers the day well. Instead of fans showing up at night for the show, hundreds of them flocked to the building that morning after learning of the King’s death.
“People just congregated back here not knowing what to do, other than wanting to share their grief with other Elvis fans”, he said.
The arena opened its doors, placed a giant picture of Elvis on stage and played his music as a tribute. Anne Salamone came that day to share her grief and disbelief that Elvis was gone. That was her one and only chance to see him perform. Instead, she would have to settle for a later trip to Graceland.
“I never got to see him, but I got to see where he lived, his records, his outfits. Came as close as you could to seeing him somewhere”, she said.
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