Steel Pier Atlantic City owner George Hamid was always trying to remain on the cutting edge of entertainment.

This included reading the tea leaves correctly in the winter, as to who would be in demand by summer, when the pier would open on Memorial Day Weekend every year.

In 1957, Hamid missed out on booking The Future King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley by just $3,000 dollars, and Elvis unfortunately never played The Steel Pier or anywhere else in Atlantic City, ever.

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It was an unfortunate miss, to say the least.

Hamid negotiated feverishly with Colonel Tom Parker to book Presley at Steel Pier. It all came down to just a few thousand dollars.

Hamid refused to budge on paying Parker’s demand.

Parker was Presley’s flamboyant Manager from 1955 until Presley’s death in 1977.

Presley was one of the few musical greats to never play Steel Pier.

Adjusted for inflation, $3,000 in 1957 is the equivalent of $30,000 in 2022.

This major loss taught George Hamid a valuable lesson. Fast forward one season to 1958 and Hamid was determined to never again repeat his mistake and the loss of Elvis led to the most iconic booking in Steel Pier history the engagement of “America’s Son” Ricky Nelson, scheduled to perform his first-ever live concert at The Steel Pier in Atlantic City.

The date was August 31, 1958, which became better known as the day Ricky Nelson “Rocked The Steel Pier.” 44,000 fans broke the all-time attendance record and physically moved the pier, leaving many to believe (Ricky Nelson included) that the pier would collapse into the sea.

Don Hurley
Don Hurley

We’ll never know what Elvis would have done at Steel Pier but, every indication is that it would have been very special.

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