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Man looking for Elvis poster from 1955 show in Cape

Monday, October 29, 2007

(Photo)
Andrew Hawley is looking for an Elvis Presley concert poster, similar to the one above, from a 1955 Cape Girardeau performance.
(Photo courtesy Andrew Hawley)
In 1955, Elvis Presley, then a 20-year-old, relatively unknown singer, took the stage at the Arena Building in Cape Girardeau.

Children younger than 12 were admitted for free, according to the poster advertising the event. Tickets cost $1 for adults.

Five decades later, a Southern California man says he's willing to pay a lot more than that for just the poster.

Andrew Hawley of Santa Monica recently took out a classified advertisement in the Southeast Missourian offering $10,000 for an original Elvis 1955 Cape Gir-ardeau concert poster.

"I'm on a quest for original Elvis and Buddy Holly concert posters," Hawley said.

As he spoke on the phone, Hawley, an entrepreneur who dabbles in real estate and stocks, said he was admiring his Elvis concert poster from a show at Municipal Auditorium in Topeka, Kan.

"I have a collection of stuff. I trade them, buy them," he said.

Because Elvis Presley toured nonstop, Hawley said he believes the odds of his collecting a majority of posters are in his favor, though he doubts he'll be able to track down all of them.

Hawley's hobby began about 20 years ago with posters for The Doors.

"I loved the graphics and the advertising, the simplicity of it all," he said.

Though a big part of the appeal for Hawley lies in the "thrill of the chase," in finding one of the sought-after posters, he said he likes collecting concert posters because they paint a picture of a time period he never got to experience.

What he finds particularly fascinating is the difference in the treatment rock 'n' roll stars received 50 years ago on tour, traveling by bus, even in winter, rather than by private Lear jet, he said.

"That part of history could easily have gotten lost in time," he said.

Hawley paid $20,00 for a poster a woman pulled off a telephone pole on her way home from a 1956 Elvis Presley concert in Tupelo, Miss., the singer's hometown.

"They're not like baseball cards, not like a Honus Wagner baseball card that everyone wants, because there's not a lot of people interested," Hawley said.

bdicosmo@semissourian.com

335-6611, extension 245


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