Elvis at Chavez Ravine

The always entertaining and informative website walteromalley.com pays homage to the 30th anniversary of Elvis Presley's death with a post about the filming of "Spinout." Scenes from the 1966 film, in which Presley plays a race-car driver named Mike McCoy, belts out a few tunes and, natch, woos a trio of beauties, were filmed in the stadium's parking lot.

Writes Brent Shyer: "It is hard to know that it was the Dodger Stadium Parking Lot [in the film] with one minor exception: the Dodger Parking Lot signage was identified by numbers on colored globes with baseball stitching on them. In the movie, during the finish line sequence, the Parking Lot 38 sign is visible (now known as Lot 7). This was the lot near the hillside behind Lot 26 back of the Right Field Pavilion."

Shyer also points out that "a young girl named Rita Wilson was included in the film. Of course, actress Wilson later went on to garner her own stardom and married actor Tom Hanks."

The musical history of Dodger Stadium includes concerts by U2 and the Rolling Stones, as well as the second-to-last concert of The Beatles, also in 1966. (Their final show was at Candlestick Park in S.F.) Here's the link to the post about The Beatles' appearance.

One other musical footnote. In 1963, one year after Dodger Stadium opened, promoter Aileen Eaton (of Olympic Auditorium fame) staged the first - and only - boxing card at Dodger Stadium. The triple-header of championship bouts featured Davey Moore vs. "Sugar" Ramos for the featherweight title; Emile Griffith vs. Luis Rodriguez for the welterweight championship; and Battling Torres vs. Roberto Cruz for the junior welterweight title.

In the 10th round of the Moore-Ramos bout, Ramos knocked down the champ, whose head ricocheted off the bottom rope. Moore's handlers stopped the bout after the round. Moore gave post-fight interviews before slipping into a coma. He died a few days later. His death inspired both Bob Dylan ("Who Killed Davey Moore?") and Phil Ochs ("Davey Moore") to write songs about the incident. (A longtime boxing fan, Dylan also wrote "Hurricane," about the travails of middleweight contender Rubin "Hurricane" Carter.) A few years back, the Daily News' Kevin Modesti wrote a fine feature about the triple-header and Moore's death. I couldn't find the link to that article on the DN's website, but here's the link to Modesti's article from the San Francisco Chronicle archives.

August 17, 2007 4:29 AM • Native Intelligence • Email the editor
 

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