1. The Acid Trip.
Although he'd been fascinated by the appearance of the new, then-legal drug LSD, and had already used the Memphis Mafia as guinea pigs in a controlled "trip" that summer, it wasn't until December 28, 1965 that Elvis decided to take the plunge himself, along with girlfriend Priscilla Beaulieu. Since the King was averse to most illegal drugs and not much of a drinker, the possibilities appealed to him... especially since he was on a spiritual journey at the time, the kind of thing that acid was supposed to aid. Read more2. Stalin and Jesus.
The year 1965 saw Elvis on a search for deeper meaning -- like so many who have conquered the world, he found life oddly dull and unsatisfying. Aided by new Mafioso Jerry Schilling, he embarked on a whirlwind tour of religious and metaphysical thought, along with some trips to cults that promised enlightenment. His quest came to a head, however, in a strange desert hallucination occurring on March 5, 1965, one that had nothing to do with drugs or drink. Read more 3. Elvis and Elvira.
Strange but true -- the one-time Cassandra Peterson, known to fans as Elvira, Mistress of the Dark, was once Vegas' youngest showgirl. Presley took a professional interest in her, advising her to focus on her singing, which he thought was impressive. But this wasn't another chorus girl conquest... everyone's favorite Eighties TV horror host was able to keep her virginity. Until Tom Jones came along. Read more 4. The Temper Tantrum.
Contrary to popular opinion, Elvis lashed out at the Colonel on several occasions when he thought his career was going in the wrong direction -- most notably, the infamous "Hound Dog" incident on Steve Allen's TV show. But on June 26, 1954, he exploded before his career had even begun: according to Sun Records employee, when Elvis was called in to record a demo called "Without You" (whose original singer had vanished without a trace), Presley found he couldn't match the anonymous performance and, according to Dave Marsh's book Elvis
, he beat the walls of the studio and repeatedly shouted "I hate him! I hate him!" The singer whom Elvis could not match is lost to history. Read more 5. Elvis the Usher.
Everyone knows The King started out driving a truck, but before that, he worked as an usher... and for those of you not old enough to know what that is, he led folks to their seats in the local movie theater, specifically, the Loews State Theater right there on Memphis' Main Street. And, perhaps predictably, he only lost the job because the girls liked him a little too much. He'd get the last laugh, though, when Jailhouse Rock
would premiere there! Read more 6. TCB and the real Mafia.
That famous lightning-bolt "TCB" logo came to define Elvis Presley in the Seventies... he even gave out "TLC" medallions to favored ladies which stood for "Tender Loving Care." However, many members of Elvis' famed "Memphis Mafia" have claimed the acronym (which stands for "Taking Care of Business") and the lightning bolt which always accompanied it is a direct tribute to Vegas Mafia iconography. (Although some associates have also claimed it was a sign from God, or a tribute to the comic hero Shazam.) Read more 7. Elvis and Goulet.
Did Elvis really hate Vegas rival Robert Goulet? Some say he did, enough to shoot out the TV set Goulet was appearing on in the King's suite at the International Hotel. The official line now is that Elvis' display of marksmanship was totally random, though more than one Presley associate claims the King did not get along with Goulet due to an old rivalry over early Elvis girlfriend Anita Wood. Read more8. The Second Elvis.
Elvis may have been one of a kind, but he was actually born two of a kind... part of a set of twins. The other, to be named Jesse Garon Presley, died during birth, which was not terribly uncommon for a family in 1935 Mississippi. Elvis was haunted by the presence of a twin his entire life, say associates, and the unmarked grave where Jesse lies still exists in Priceville Cemetery, Tupelo, MS. Read more9. Elvis gets Bewitched.
The King had a number of romantic liaisons in the Sixties, most of them famous. Yet few know about his reportedly deep love for Elizabeth Montgomery, better known as the original Samantha on TV's Bewitched.
And although Elvis played knight in shining armor on at least one occasion, Montgomery's marriage, career, and the times both lived in kept these two from realizing their romance. Read more10. His last book.
Ever the ardent spiritualist, Elvis died reading one of his favorite books: The Scientific Search For The Face Of Jesus
by Frank Adams. The King had specifically requested it a few weeks earlier, having heard that it proved the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, said to be Jesus' burial wrapping. Read more