From November 5, 1971 through September 3, 1973 Elvis Presley performed in concert with this customized Gibson Dove acoustic guitar with an Ebony finish and Elvis Presley inlaid in script on the rosewood fret board. This was one of the most photographed and well known guitars in his performing career due mostly to the use of it on the January 1973 worldwide broadcast via satellite “Aloha from Hawaii“.
“The King” added a sticker to this guitar as well as his Gibson J200 acoustic guitar to symbolize his love of Karate.
The sticker known as “‘The Parker Patch” says Kenpo Karate and became the hallmark of American Kenpo. The patch was designed in 1960 by Dick Tercell for the Kenpo Karate Association of America (KKAA) and it’s founder Ed Parker. The first KKAA black belt certificate that used the Tercell emblem was awarded in January 1961.
When Elvis began his tour on March 1, 1974 in Tulsa, Oklahoma he performed onstage for the first time with this Ebony 1968 Gibson J200 guitar with the same sticker.
On July 15, 1975, Elvis mistakenly tossed the J200 guitar into the crowd after breaking a string on at the Springfield Civic Center in Springfield, MA.
A member of the audience, Lawrence Long, who was in attendance that night with his wife Heather in one of the worst possible ($5.00) seats behind the stage (Sec 19, Row B, seats 1-4) took the only opportunity he thought he would get to take a photograph of Elvis. Fortunately he captured the image of the J200 guitar in flight. He lowered his camera in time to reach out and catch the guitar as it hit the side railing. He handed it to his wife who held it up and Elvis said something to the effect:
“I hope it didn’t hit the little lady. She can keep it.”
The couple held on to the guitar for years and claimed it still had the broken string and still smelled like Elvis’ cologne but it was eventually auctioned by Guernsey’s in New York on October 13, 2002 as part of a 2 day auction that included several other reputed Elvis guitars. The “Elvis Kenpo Karate Gibson J200” sold for $55,000.
Click link or photo below to see the last known photos of Elvis alive.