From the private collection of Jeff Schrembs.
Elvis and Buddy Holly
Young Buddy Holly was a nineteen-year-old aspiring musician in Lubbock Texas when he first met Elvis. It happened at the local Cotton Club on October 15, 1955. Buddy and his friend Bob Montgomery opened the show as Buddy and Bob, before Elvis came out and took over. Buddy Holly also opened for Elvis that year at the Fair Park Coliseum.
Here is an interesting legend to come out of these meetings, according to Elvis – His Life from A to Z by Fred L. Worth and Steve D. Tamerius:
“According to legend, Elvis told Holly and Montgomery that if they came down to the ‘Louisiana Hayride,’ he’d get them on the show, but when they did show up, Horace Logan [ed. note: station manager at KWKH, which produced the Louisiana Hayride] turned them away, and Elvis wasn’t there.”
In spite of this, Holly has been quoted, “Without Elvis, none of us would have made it.
Here’s a little-known nugget. Elvis’ band, Scottie Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana, caused almost all West Texas Rockabilly bands to change their style, including the Crickets playing behind Buddy Holly, and Roy Orbison’s band.
Elvis and Buddy Holly must have liked a lot of the same songs, because they both recorded these songs by other popular singers:
Good Rockin’ Tonight (Roy Hamilton)
Reddy Teddy (Little Richard)
Blue Suede Shoes (Carl Perkins)
Shake, Rattle and Roll (Joe Turner / Bill Haley)
Rip It Up (Little Richard)
Elvis never recorded any songs released by Buddy Holly, and Holly never recorded any Elvis songs except one. He once said, “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care” was his favorite Elvis song. He recorded it as a demo during a visit to a radio station in 1956. To my knowledge, it was never released during his life.
After his death, all sort of rare Buddy Holly music was released. Because Holly’s career was cut so short, the total number of songs he recorded was much less than Elvis accumulated. But that didn’t prevent historians and record producers from finding every scrap of tape with Holly playing and singing on them. Then they put out albums like this. He was the undisputed king of the lost-basement-tapes, until they started digging for Jimi Hendrix material a decade later..
It is generally known that Waylon Jennings was part of the Crickets on that fateful night fifty years ago. He was supposed to be on the charter plane with Holly, but gave up his seat to the Big Bopper. There are few photos of Jennings with Holly, but here is one:
There is one last Elvis and Buddy Holly connection. Both Elvis and Holly are charter members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 1986,when the first ten inductees to the Hall were named, Elvis Presley and Buddy Holly were chosen. Two rock icons, for sure.
We just discovered this website but, as of July 2014, we wanted Elvis Presley fans worldwide to know about it. Hence the reason for this post.
Note – Priscilla’s biological father was US Navy pilot James Wagner. His parents were Kathryn and Harold Wagner. On 10 August 1944, at the age of 23, he married Priscilla’s mother; they had been dating for more than three years. He was killed in a plane crash while returning home on leave when Priscilla was six months old. When Priscilla discovered this “..family secret…” while rummaging through an old wooden box of family keepsakes, she was encouraged by her mother to keep it from the other children as she feared it would endanger our family closeness. In 1948 her mother met a United States Air Force officer named Paul Beaulieu, from Quebec. The couple were married within a year. Beaulieu took over the raising of Priscilla and was the only father Priscilla would ever know
Though Elvis only met Priscilla a few months before being honorably discharged from the US Army, in March of 1960, and Priscilla was only 14 years old at the time (a fact that was contrary to her; looks, demeanor, maturity, outspokenness, and her outlook on life) Elvis had a deep caring for Priscilla that would eventually be consummated in their marriage on May 1, 1967.
Elvis and Priscilla, through mutual shortcomings and actions adverse to the marital vows they took, (sadly) split up in 1972 and formally divorced with the final divorce decree issued on October 9, 1973.
The property settlement agreement, dated August 15, 1972, was between Elvis Aaron Presley and Priscilla Ann Presley.
It stated the couple had agreed to split the property to avoid further legal costs.
It reads: ‘The parties were married on May 1, 1967 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
‘Unfortunate circumstances and unhappy differences have arisen between the parties by reason of which they have lived separate and apart since February 23, 1972, and by reason of which they intend to dissolve their marriage.
‘By this property settlement the parties wish to avoid unnecessary litigation and the emotional stress and expense which would accompany.’
Some of the interesting details of their divorce settlement are as follows:
Elvis signed over ownership of three of his prized possessions – a 1971 Mercedes-Benz car, a 1969 Cadillac El Dorado and a 1971 Harley Davidson motorbike.
Priscilla had originally agreed to a cash settlement that was 7.5 times less than the amount she finally received.
She signed the paperwork that confirmed she would receive a $100,000 tax-free lump-sum payment.
The official document is at odds with the $750,000 payment she eventually received after she appointed new lawyers who advised her to seek more money.
As well as Elvis’ cars and cash, actress Priscilla also stood to receive half the income from the sale of their three properties in California.
The agreement granted Priscilla ownership of a 1971 Mercedes Benz, a 1969 Cadillac El Dorado, a 1971 Harley-Davidson motorcycle, $100,000 in cash, and half the income from the sale of their three houses in California.
‘It is initialed in ink by Elvis and Priscilla on page three and signed by them on page nine.
‘The supplement specifies that taxes applied to the cash would be paid by Elvis.’
Here are two copies of the actual divorce proceedings
Elvis’ divorce adversely effected him throughout the remainder of his life. Though he was blessed with the birth of his daughter, who he truly loved with all his heart being Lisa Marie born exactly nine months after the wedding, the reality that his marriage had ended contributed to his failing health which included mental, emotional, and addictive behavior.
Elvis Presley endured his triumphs, and his failures, in the public eye. Fortunately, for us and for Elvis, he had an outlet to share his feelings…and his soul being his singing and performing.
During the 1970s Elvis recorded several poignant songs that, to this very day, resonate as they apply to those going through separation, divorce, children of divorce, etc. This include, but are not limited to, these songs; Suspicious Minds, You Gave Me A Mountain, My Boy, Separate Ways, It’s Over, It’s Easy For You, Always On My Mind, etc.
Lastly, Elvis loved Priscilla and she loved him. They both made mistakes and both contributed to the deterioration of the marriage. They were, are, and will be (simultaneously) an American (with an assist from Germany) Love Story as well as an American Divorce Story. This is part of the life, and legacy, of Elvis Presley that continues to fascinate Elvis Presley Fans Worldwide.
1941 Elvis enrolled in Lawhon Elementary School (Elvis was 6 years old)
Milam Junior High School
November 1948 they sold their furniture and moved, in the middle of the night, from Tupelo to Memphis
LC Humes High School
Texas was a state that Elvis often appeared in during his early days with Sun and throughout 1955.
When Elvis returned to live concerts, starting in 1969 in Las Vegas, the very first concert he did other than in Las Vegas was at the Houston Astrodome from February 27, 1970 until March 1, 1970. Elvis set a new attendance record of 180,000 (estimated).
Four years later, on March 3, 1974, Elvis returned to the Houston Astrodome. Elvis set another attendance record, for a “one day appearance” of 88,000 (estimated).
The details of Elvis’ 1970 appearances in the Houston Astrodome are as follows:
February 27th, 1970 (2:00pm). Houston, TX. Houston Astrodome
Songs Performed at This Show: All Shook Up: I Got A Woman: Blue Suede Shoes: Don’t Cry Daddy: Heartbreak Hotel: Hound Dog: Love Me Tender: One Night: Release Me: Walk A Mile in My Shoes-In the Ghetto: I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You: Polk Salad Annie: Introduction of Band: Suspicious Minds: Can’t Help Falling In Love: Love Me Tender (Instrumental)
February 27th, 1970 (7.45pm). Houston, TX. Houston Astrodome(CD-R)
Songs Performed at This Show: All Shook Up: I Got A Woman: Blue Suede Shoes: Don’t Cry Daddy: Heartbreak Hotel: Hound Dog: Love Me Tender: Kentucky Rain: Release Me: Walk A Mile in My Shoes: In the Ghetto: I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You: Polk Salad Annie: Introduction of Band: Suspicious Minds: Can’t Help Falling In Love: Love Me Tender (Instrumental)
February 28th, 1970 (2:00pm). Houston, TX. Houston Astrodome
Songs Performed At This Show: All Shook Up: I Got A Woman: Long Tall Sally: Don’t Cry Daddy: Heartbreak Hotel: Hound Dog: Love Me Tender: Kentucky Rain: Release Me: Walk A Mile in My Shoes: In the Ghetto: I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You: Polk Salad Annie: Introduction of Band: Suspicious Minds: Can’t Help Falling In Love: Love Me Tender (Instrumental)
February 28th, 1970 (7.45pm). Houston, TX. Houston Astrodome
Songs Performed At This Show: All Shook Up: I Got A Woman: Blue Suede Shoes: Don’t Cry Daddy: Heartbreak Hotel: Hound Dog: Love Me Tender: Kentucky Rain: Release Me: Walk A Mile in My Shoes: In the Ghetto: I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You: Polk Salad Annie: Introduction of Band: Suspicious Minds: Can’t Help Falling In Love: Love Me Tender (Instrumental)
March 1st, 1970 (2:00pm). Houston, TX. Houston Astrodome
Songs Performed At This Show: All Shook Up: I Got A Woman: Blue Suede Shoes: Don’t Cry Daddy: Heartbreak Hotel: Hound Dog: Love Me Tender: Kentucky Rain: Release Me: Walk A Mile in My Shoes: In the Ghetto: I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You: Polk Salad Annie: Introduction of Band: Suspicious Minds: Can’t Help Falling In Love: Love Me Tender (Instrumental)
March 1st, 1970 (7:00pm). Houston, TX. Houston Astrodome
Songs Performed At This Show: All Shook Up: I Got A Woman: Long Tall Sally: Don’t Cry Daddy: Heartbreak Hotel: Hound Dog: Love Me Tender: Kentucky Rain: Release Me: Walk A Mile in My Shoes: In The Ghetto: I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You: Polk Salad Annie: Introduction of Band: Introduction Charlie Pride: Kaw-Liga(excerpt, “The Hardest Part Is living Alone hot damn”): Suspicious Minds: Can’t Help Falling In Love: Love Me Tender (Instrumental)
And now the details of Elvis’ 1974 appearance whereby he performed two identical shows:
March 3rd, 1974. (8.00pm) Houston, TX. Astrodome
Songs Performed At This Show: See See Rider: I Got A Woman: Love Me: Tryin’ To Get To You: All Shook Up: Steamroller Blues: Teddy Bear-Don’t Be Cruel: Love Me Tender: Johnny B. Goode: Hound Dog: Fever: Polk Salad Annie: Why Me Lord(with J.D. Sumner): suspicious Minds: Introduction of Band: I Can’t Stop Lovin’ You: Help Me: An American Trilogy: Let Me Be There: Funny How Time Slips Away: Can’t Help Falling In Love
1953 – Elvis Presley graduated from L.C. Humes High School in Memphis, TN.
1958 – Elvis Presley returned to Fort Hood, TX, for ten weeks of advanced tank training.
1963 – Priscilla Beaulieu graduated from the Immaculate Conception Cathedral High School.
1975 – The Elvis Presley single “T-R-O-U-B-L-E” hit #35 in the U.S.
1975 – The Elvis Presley album “Today” hit #48 in the U.K.
2004 – It was announced that TV Guide would be issuing four commemorative Elvis Presley covers in celebration of 50 years of Rock ‘n’ Roll. The covers were to be on newsstands July 1 (July 4th issue).
RULE # 3) Get the history on the autograph, including the complete background, and the owners name and how they got the autograph. No question, concerning an Elvis Presley autograph, is a “dumb question” because you are just gathering information (which you should) so that you feel comfortable with your purchase.
Examples of the questions asked above could be responded to like this: history – my mother went to see Elvis in Memphis in 1974 and we went up to the stage and asked him for a signature.
Worth noting is that sometimes there are SUPPORTING PHOTOGRAPHS that show the item
Always beware of autographs signed with gold or silver paint “felt” pens as these pens did not go on sale until after Elvis’ death. Whenever considering buying an Elvis autograph, please insist on the history and background of how the owner came by the autograph. When – Where – How? Always ask if Elvis signed the item in person. It is a well-known fact that during the 1970’s many fans gave the members of the Memphis Mafia items to be signed at Elvis concerts or at the Graceland Gates. These minders have since admitted that they could fake Elvis signature and signed most of the items themselves. The history holds true for fans that sent requests for autographs by mail to Graceland. Elvis’ secretaries admit openly that they could forge Elvis signature and did on many occasions.
May God bless you all.
Jeff Schrembs’2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
In usual Elvis fashion he would not commit to where he wanted to vacation at but tell everyone to “be prepared” and give the departure dates and times. He thought it was a nice surprise for everyone.
Preparation began in earnest about the middle of February.
After months of false hints, Elvis finally announced that Hawaii was the chosen location.
Members of the group were dispatched in advance to the islands, making arrangements to accommodate a party of approximately 38 people. Like everything involving Elvis planning, preparation, and coordination was essential…and demanded.
The departure date of 3rd March was set.
By 6.00 pm everyone had assembled at Graceland and timing coordinator, Dick Grob, passed the word to start loading the plane. Billy Smith who was over seeing Elvis’ preparation, signalled that Elvis would be ready at 7.30am as planned.
Those not personally accompanying Elvis to the plane left for the airport and boarded.
Elvis came downstairs at Graceland, said goodbye to his grandmother, and left for the short ride to the airport,
Around 8.00pm the door to Elvis’ Convair 880, the “Lisa Marie” was closed.
The private plane taxied through the rain on the first leg of the first and last trip to Hawaii with Elvis
The “Lisa Marie” flew westward landing at Oakland International Airport in California.
It was now close to Midnight, Memphis time. Fuel was added and two other passengers from Los Angeles Boarded.
They had just arrived by a commercial flight, to connect with the Lisa Marie Plane.
The additional passengers filled the plane to capacity of 29 people; in addition to the crew of 5. which was necessary for this flight.
Shortly before 1.00am Memphis time, the “Lisa Marie” was again airborne, westward over the Pacific Ocean.
When it landed in Hawaii the plane was met by the four members of the advance party who had been alerted by phone.
The “Lisa Marie”, with Elvis and the group, arrived in Hawaii in the early morning hours of 4th March 1977.
Elvis left his plane and went directly to his suite on the 31st Floor, RAINBOW TOWERS, HILTON HAWAIIAN VILLAGE HOTEL which included a spectacular view.
The remaining group occupied 15 other rooms on the same floor with equally spectacular views.
After two days at the hotel, Elvis rented a Beach House in Kailua, Hawaii on the other side of the island of Oahu.
Elvis lived in the house with his girl friend & cousin Billy Smith, his personal security guard; Dick Grob, and four others.
The remaining group travelled daily the route from the hotel, across the mountains through Pali Pass, to the Beach House.
Elvis spent the days on the Beaches of Kailus Bay, or lying in the sun by the pool at the house on Kaapuni Drive. He took time out from the Beaches to go shopping at the Ala Mona Shopping Centre in Honolulu, and several stores in the town of Kailua.
Elvis also purchased clothing, sunglasses, and other items for himself and others in the group.
He also enjoyed a night of native dances and native food at the Polynesia Cultural Centre,
at Brigham Young University Hawaii Campus, located near Laie, Hawaii
While staying at the Beach House, Elvis talked with everyone, watched television, listened to music and generally relaxed.
He played ping pong with those staying at the Beach House and enjoyed barbecues at night.
He also ate his regular diet of cheeseburgers, pizza, and bacon and eggs during the time he was in Kailua.
On the Beach he relaxed enjoying conversation with his friends, and played touch football with all the guys.
This was a no-quarter game, full of the rough-house tactics and laughter, that Elvis loved so much.
Several players including Elvis sustained minor injuries from running into fences, palm trees, and occasionally other players.
The pictures in The Last Vacation were taken on the vast white sand beaches of KAILUA BAY
showing Elvis relaxed, content, and enjoying the companionship of his close friends. The laughter, recreation, and good times found on the Beaches carried over into the house.
Elvis got sand in his eye and cut the vacation short by wanting to get back to Memphis to have it checked out by his trusted Physcians so on the 13th of March, the entire party checked out of the hotel and departed Hawaii for the mainland.
Jerry Hopkins 2nd book had this Page of Info…
It was decided that Elvis and his party would leave from Oakland because it was two hundred miles closer to Honolulu than Los Angeles. He was taking the Lisa Marie and wanted every margin of safety in fuel loading. Not one to do anything by halves, however, Elvis took thirty-one others with him, and had Joe Esposito reserve more than a dozen rooms in the Hilton Rainbow Tower and rent a house on the beach.
The beach house, in Kailua, about half an hour’s drive from Honolulu, was for Elvis and Ginger and her sisters, plus one bodyguard, the former Palm Springs policeman Dick Grob. The others stayed in the hotel and came over during the day or joined Elvis on his rare public forays. One evening, for instance, they were sneaked into the Polynesian Cultural Center to watch the Polynesian show. Other times, he took Ginger and her sisters and some of the others to one of the small shopping centers in Kailua, buying presents for everyone and, on one occasion, paying the bill for a stranger who was making a purchase for his wife.
Most of the ten days in Hawaii were spent close to home, sitting on the beach, playing Ping-Pong at the house, or touch football on the sand. Those who had been with Elvis for some time said later that his health improved during the vacation, said his color was better, his eyes brighter and clearer.
There was another observer who hadn’t seen Elvis in some time, and he was shocked. This was Kalani Simerson, a onetime performer who operated a successful limousine service. He had known Elvis, and had worked for him, since the early 1960s, when Elvis made his first films in Hawaii.
The last time he had seen Elvis was when he weighed a trim 170 or so for the satellite television show. As before, Kalani was again called to make some of the arrangements for Elvis’s visit, and because of his longstanding friendship, he was invited to join Elvis on the beach socially.
“We played football,” Kalani says, “and it was sad, very sad. Elvis was overweight and just unable to function normally. I guess it was all that medication they said he took. Somebody’d throw him the ball and he’d catch it and start running and he couldn’t stop. He just wasn’t able to control his own body. One time he ran right into a cyclone fence and cut his hand.”
On the fourteenth day, Elvis got some sand in his eyes and abruptly the vacation was ended. Five days after that he was back on tour again.
ED PARKER in his 1978 BOOK (Inside Elvis) ..remembers all the following Details
It was January, 1977; we were in Charlotte, North Carolina. Elvis had just completed a show and he looked haggard… spent. “I need a rest,” he confessed.
“Aw, it’s nothing a few weeks in Hawaii couldn’t cure,” I parried.
“Yeah, yeah, I’ve been thinking about that. And Ginger’s never been there. It would be kind of nice if I could take her over there and show her the Islands.”
That was the opening I had been looking for. I left It up to Elvls to bring up the subject of Ginger. But once the subject was raised I used every opportunity to remind her of the attractions the Islands had to offer. I mentioned that Ginger was my favorite flower and that it grew wild in the Islands, and that haunting fragrance was one of the memories that tourists took home with them.
We talked about the beautiful white sand beaches, the lush flower Island, and the opportunities available to relax away from the tempo of mainland life. Elvls’ casual desire for a trip to the Islands soon matured Into a full-blown plan for departure. Ginger became excited as the possibility shifted toward becoming a reality.
In the latter part of February I got a call from Charlie Hodge. “It looks like the boss has finally made up his mind, Ed. Then again, he may change it. But as it stands now, plan toward going to the Islands about the first of March. Elvls wants Lellanl to come. Can you make it?”
“We’ll do it!” I said.
We met Elvis in Oakland, California, during the second week in March. He decided that Oakland should be the departure point because it is 2OO miles closer to Oahu than Los Angeles, That gave an extra margin of safety in fuel loading. Because of the extensive remodeling Elvis had done on the Lisa Marie, the guest list for this trip would be limited to 28 individuals (not including the 5 crew members). Elvis had invited with him on this escape trip those individuals he felt he could trust. They were a small nucleus of those whose love for Elvis had never wavered. They and their families were to be Elvis’ guests for 10 days, at the Hilton Rainbow Towers in Honolulu.
This was an incredibly expensive trip. Fuel alone for the round trip was nearly 825.OOO. Elvis also leased a house on the opposite side of the Island. This became his retreat during the day. There he could relax and enjoy himself without the ever present threat of hotel guests interrupting him. These were happy relaxing days for Elvis. He basked in the sun, played football, walked around in “grubbies” and sampled many island delicacies that he had never tasted before.
There was no formality at our gatherings.
We sat on the ground cross legged and ate native style with our fingers. Elvis sampled guava cake and haopia cake, a delicacy that is laced with fresh coconut. I offered to treat Elvis to poi, knowing what his reaction would be. I was right, he rolled his eyes and said, “No thanks, I’m not going to be putting up any wallpaper today!”
Elvis made periodic forays to the small shopping centers on the windward side of the Island. He wanted to take Ginger and her sisters, Tille and Rosemary, on a shopping spree. Elvis played Santa Claus, and he loved the role.
While shopping he noticed a man buying items for his wife. Elvis waited until the man was about to pay his check, stepped in and insisted on buying it for him. The man was dumbfounded; he ran across the street, called his wife and told her what had happened.
By the next day the story had gone all over the Islands. That was not what Elvis had intended. His sole purpose in shopping at this out of the way place was to retain some semblance of privacy and anonymity. His generous nature had gotten the best of him.
As the days progressed, I could see the color returning to Elvis’ cheeks.
His complexion had improved, and he had begun to regain some of his stamina.
ED PARKER in his 1978 BOOK..remembers all the following Details..#Part 2..
I finally had an opportunity to do something for my friend who had done so much for me. One of the key attractions on the Islands is the Polynesian Cultural Center. It’s one of the few places in the world where the ancient island culture is retained. I suggested to Joe that this would be a unique opportunity for Elvis and the rest of his party. I wanted them to be my guests. The next day Elvis said that Joe had talked to him and that he was pleased with the suggestion. “This would be great for Ginger,” Elvis said. “We haven’t had a chance to go anywhere and see anything.
Do they have all of the old island dances there, Ed?”
“They’ve got dances from all of the islands there, Elvis —Hawaiian, Samoan, Tahitian, Maori, dancers from New Zealand; but, Elvis, wait till you see the dancers from Tonga. They come out with spears and fans and they are all painted up. The gals will never forget it!”
“We’re looking forward to it, Ed.”
It took two days to work out the security details to enable Elvis and his party to enjoy themselves without being Imposed upon. The Polynesians at the Cultural Center were very cooperative. Elvis, the night of the performance, laughed and joked and thoroughly enjoyed himself. It pleased me to see my friend more relaxed than he had been for years. He was still not his former self, but there was a vast improvement. We arrived under cover of darkness.
The show had already started. But there still amassed a body of fans waiting for Elvis on the outside. Word had gotten out, and they insisted on seeing the King. Unlike mainland fans, they admired him from a distance, respected his privacy, and let him enter the show unmolested. Elvis commented on this courtesy many times before his death.
The show was spectacular. Immediately before intermission a member of the staff lead us to a first aid room to await the second half of the show.
We were served pineapple halves filled with ice cream. During the intermission, Elvis asked me about something he had seen that intrigued him.
“Ed, I saw this haole guy talking to a big Samoan dude and he spoke like a native. How come?”
“Elvis, that was one of the missionaries from our church. He served a two year mission in Samoa. After they’re there for a few months, they speak like natives.”
“That’s someth’n else! Two years huh? Does it pay pretty good?”
I had to smile at that question, “They pay their own way, they receive absolutely no pay whatsoever while they’re on their mission.”
Well, how do they live?” Elvis asked.
“They either save the money before they go, or their family supports them during that period of time.”
Elvis thought for a moment, “That’s really something!”
The show resumed and I watched my friend in the reflected glare of the fire dancers’ torches. He was happy. He was at peace. And for the first time in many months he was thoroughly enjoying himself. For a change he was being entertained instead of entertaining others. Those special moments were soon but a memory.
We returned to the mainland, and Elvis resumed his hectic pace.
The trip had been good for him. He slept better, he had more stamina, and I felt that his health had improved greatly..
LARRY GELLER chatting with ELVIS
4th MARCH 1977
Rainbow Towers Hawaiian Village Hotel, Honolulu
We’re here at last on a vacation that was long overdue.
Everyone is drained from the grueling effects of being on the road and the enormous pressures of working for Elvis under unforeseen, horrendous conditions.
The one-nighters; the debilitating winter cold; taking care of Elvis, an exhausting job unto itself—all have taken their toll. Everyone looks older than they are.
Elvis is a driven man and he needs this rest more than anyone else.
He desperately requires more than a short vacation in Hawaii. Hopefully this will signal some kind of change, because his condition is getting worse, and this short surcease from agony is just the tonic—for the time being. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.”
I can see on everyone’s face the relief of just being in this tropical paradise.
The Rainbow Towers has a spectacular view from the thirty-first floor. Elvis spent most of the daylight hours on his balcony today with its panoramic view of Waikiki Beach and Diamond Head.
His suite was open to any of the entourage, and their wives and girlfriends, who cared to come in and visit with him.
He is so happy being here, pointing out the various points of interest to all from his balcony. Ginger has two sisters, Terry and Rosemary, with her, and Elvis is taking great pride and joy in providing this trip for them.
Actually, there are thirty-eight of us: what a family Elvis has adopted.
Everyone is hopeful that Elvis will take full advantage of this golden opportunity to get outdoors, exercise and eat better, instead of his typical fried-food diet and stuffing himself with cheeseburgers and fried potatoes right before he goes to sleep.
Health and nurturing are everywhere. The air is clean and aromatic, and the Hawaiian fragrance of pineapples and tropical flowers in this atmosphere has already enveloped all of us.
It’s so seductive.
5th MARCH 1977 part 2
Feeling fantastic in Hawaiian bliss, dressed loose and comfortably in my new Hawaiian floral shirt. As I entered Elvis’ suite, he had just come out of his bedroom to have some breakfast. A few of the guys were hanging around on the balcony. As I approached Elvis, he smiled and greeted me with “Aloha, L.G.”
Some weeks ago, when I gave Elvis a complete kit of vitamins and minerals for his birthday, he took them for only two days. Now I felt this was an ideal opportunity to direct him toward a healthier regimen. I placed in front of him on, the coffee table a packet of vitamins and minerals I had prepared.
“Take this power pack, Elvis. It will pick you up and give you some natural energy. I put in some extra E and a potent combination of the B complex, vitamin C and some minerals. If you take these every day, they will help strengthen you. “
Elvis opened the vitamin pack and gulped them down with fresh orange juice.
Then he looked over to me with a grin and said, “I want to get these down before Dr. Nick comes in.
Remember last year when we were on tour and you came in with a load of vitamin pills like these for me? And Dr. Nick said, ‘That crap doesn’t work; he doesn’t need those’? Well, you know, he’s a doctor, and most of them are locked into the old traditional-medicine ways .of doing things, that’s how they’ve been trained. I don’t want to hear him bitch and complain again. Doctors think they know everything.”
For the remainder of the day Elvis stayed in his suite relaxing, spending a lot of time sitting on the balcony, enjoying the view and this incredible tropical air wafting through the open balcony windows.
The majority of the group spent the day on the beach in front of the Rainbow Towers, went shopping and then went out for dinner at the various restaurants that are part of the Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel.
6th MARCH 1977 part 3
Elvis decided to rent a beach house in Kailua on Kaapuni Drive, on the other side of the island.
This will provide the privacy he requires, so that he can lie in the sun by the pool or go down to the beach
This afternoon we all played football together for the first time in well over a year.
Elvis played so hard that Joe told him to go slowly, because he wasn’t used to moving his body like that and it was dangerous for his heart.
But there’s no stopping Elvis once he has his mind set on something.
7th MARCH 1977 – OAHU part 4
Elvis was sore today due to yesterday’s vigorous football clash.
In fact, most of us feel the effects of roughhousing it yesterday.
We all sat by the ocean most of the afternoon relaxing and joking with one another, and by the expressions on everyone’s face it looks as though we died and went to heaven.
I can’t remember the last time Elvis was outdoors in the sunshine, playing and enjoying himself so much. It’s like the old days. God willing, this will shake him out of his stupor.
Strangely, he won’t expose his body. No matter how hot it is, he wears his athletic pants, a short-sleeve sweatshirt, a terrycloth hat with the brim turned down and his sunglasses. Is there some other reason than the beach being open to the public?
8th~9th MARCH, 1977 Kailua Bay Part 5
Author/inventor Bernard Benson invited Charlie, Celest and me to his beach house a few miles from Elvis’. Bernard has arranged a special meeting for us with the leading Tibetan Buddhist master of the Hawaiian Island, Rimposhe, who escaped Chinese invasion of Tibet. We first met Bernard in Las Vegas last December, and he’s been an avid Elvis fan ever since.
Rimposhe does not speak English, which, in the long run, doesn’t matter. He is a small, radiant man. I could not take my eyes off him. He was clothed like a lama, wearing the traditional saffron robe. His face was a very fine Mongolian type, and beautifully formed: a high brow with piercing yet happy eyes, and his face lit up as if the energy of the sun was shining from it. He smiled a smile of one who knows.
We all sat together in Bernard’s large living room overlooking the magnificent Kailua Bay. Everyone was silent for an hour or so. The meeting had a tremendous healing effect on me, and I realized that the silence and the electricity in the air were releasing layers of tension and frustrations that had gradually accumulated. I felt it slowly melting and dissolving as I sat with this mysterious, still, silent man. I saw him turn to his attendant devotee, a young Tibetan clad in an orange robe and with a shaved head. I saw his lips move but could not hear his softly whispered words.
The young monk said, “Master said, ‘One can never “know” truth that is beyond the mind; the mind can only create an idea of truth, an image of truth. Truth is the creativeness behind all creation, yet that which is created is not truth. Only the uncreated is creative, and that is the truth. Therefore, discover in the silence of the mind the true unity in all things. Disregard personal separation. Live in the conscious realization of your oneness with the Creator of all mankind.’ “
The young monk then said to me, “You should do a meditation, ‘Om mani padme om.’ “(Translated, it means “The jewel in the center of the lotus,” a symbol of the divinity within the flesh.)
10th MARCH, 1977 Kailua Bay Part 6
Elvis’ Beach House, Kailua Bay
This afternoon Charlie and I related our experience at Bernard’s to Elvis and asked if he wanted an audience with the Master. Elvis was hesitant.
“Not now, Charlie. I have a little trouble with that one. I don’t need to meet any masters right now.”
“I’m on the right path.” He waved a spiritual book he was holding and clutched the chai he was wearing around his neck. “I’m sure you had a good experience and they’re good people, but not now—maybe some other time.”
11th MARCH 1977
Ed Parker, a strict Mormon who was raised in Hawaii, set up an evening for Elvis and the entire group to visit the Polynesian Cultural Center at the Hawaii campus of Brigham Young University. We all piled into a caravan of vehicles at about 8 p.m. and drove for about thirty minutes to the Center.
Through Ed’s organizing with the campus and local security and Elvis’ personal security staff, we were secretly ushered into the open-air pavilion, so that Elvis went unnoticed among the hundreds of tourists—until he reached his seat.
Within moments his presence became known. News spread like wildfire, and most eyes were glued to our special section in the grandstands where Elvis was enjoying himself, instead of on the exciting show 13th MARCH, 1977 Kailua Bay Part 7
Elvis decided it was time to leave paradise. The next tour begins on the twenty-third, and he wants to spend some time back home at Graceland.
One by one, he presented everyone with a special gift.
Afterward he said, “I gave everyone gifts so that they would have something to remember our trip to Hawaii and us all, happily, being together.
“This trip cost a good one hundred thousand, but money is not what matters.
Before we left they even had me sign that “WILL”. Y’know, just in case, flying over the ocean and all that. Only it’s the times like this, sharing not the money, but the good times, that transcend money.”
Back on the mainland, we all returned to our homes to prepare for the next tour, a nine-day swing through Middle America. Though everyone enjoyed the vacation, and Elvis did get to relax, it wasn’t nearly enough. End
Ginger Alden Interview about this vacation:
QUESTION: Can you tell us a little about THE LAST VACATION? Elvis seemed to be in excellent spirits,
Resting and Sunbathing with you on the Beach and having a lot of fun.
GINGER: My time with Elvis was so special and the Hawaiian Vacation was alot of fun.
Elvis knew I had never been to Hawaii and wanted to take my whole family but only my sisters could go at this time.
We left on my sister Terry’s Birthday, the 3rd of March. He was in a great mood, despite the fact, he had mentioned that more of his group had asked to go along and he reluctantly let them.
My Sisters and I stayed with Elvis in the back of the Lisa Marie during the flight as he joked, laughed and sang.
The trip was so beautiful, but unfortunately cut short when Elvis irritated one of his eyes and we had to return to Memphis.
I felt he genuinely had a good time on this trip and it was so wonderful to see him relax, go out to a shopping mall and sing. I have never forgotten the thrill of that Vacation.
ROSEMARY: (Ginger’s Sister) Yes, Elvis wanted to take our whole family but they couldn’t leave their jobs so Terry and myself went along with Ginger. We had a great time in Hawaii seeing Elvis relax and take in some sun.
Rosemary, can you tell us about the Famous Photograph
– when Elvis has dived on top of you ?
Yes, I have taken a lot of ribbing over the years with that photo!
We were at a Vacation Home in Hawaii and a few of us were talking with Elvis.
I noticed that he kept cutting his eyes over in my direction when he suddenly got up,
started to walk past me then threw himself on top of me!
Elvis and I were laughing so hard and I just more or less spontaneously,
Threw my leg into the air and someone took the photo.
I still can’t help but laugh every time I see that picture!
Did you see any sign of Elvis’ Drugs Problems…….
..Never …..I never saw it… as a matter of fact, I remember when we were there, he said, “Joe, why don’t you order up some of those drinks with the Umbrellas in them?”
So Joe ordered some Mai-tais, or whatever they were, and Elvis would sit there and take a little sip of it and you could tell he couldn’t stand it, you know.
I’ve had people say to me that he drank a lot too.
I never saw him drink and I remember that Mai-tai thing, that’s the only time I saw him drink alcohol and he’d drink it like I did, one sip at a time, not really enjoying it.
But it was a Fun Vacation, kind of neat because we ended up leaving the hotel and renting a House so Elvis could go out more.
He tried to be more active, he tried to play football with the guys.
Now this is starting to sound like a Me, Me, Me Interview, but you know the photos taken in Hawaii?
And Joe will attest to this to, I swear to god that it’s true.. Joe used to do a lot of photography, and we were on the beach and he was taking photos of me.
Elvis was sitting there with Ginger and Rosemary and Elvis would say
“Hey Joe, why don’t you take a picture of Me and Shirley?”
ELVIS SANG “IN THE MISTY MOONLIGHT” TO JOES GIRLFRIEND (RARE FACT)
INTERVIEW with Shirley…
…..In another he is singing “IN THE MISTY MOONLIGHT”
Elvis was actually going to record that song for me. I used to say to him “You know Elvis, you would sing that song so well, that song was made for you” and he would say, “You know, give me the music on that, I might wanna do it.”
Here’s the funny thing about it; he told me that he was going to record it, and he told Charlie Hodge to get the music.
The night he passed away, the music was laying right next to his bed.
Some extra comments (various Sources)
ELVIS made plans during the stay to show Ginger the U.S.S. Arizona Memorial
Which was only cancelled at the last minute !
Everyone remarked on how relaxed Elvis seemed:
At times he appeared to enjoy Terry Alden’s company almost as much as her sister’s
Ginger got Elvis to play Ping-Pong with her ~ despite Elvis saying that he felt foolish,
swinging at a little ball that he could hardly ever keep on the table.
Joe is quoted as saying “The holiday was a painful exercise in Nostalgia”
Dr. Nick got concerned when Elvis got some sand in his eye!
and thought the Cornea might be scratched…
saying it might be better for Elvis to return to Graceland to recuperate!
With Characteristic generosity Elvis picked out a gift for each member of the party
to serve as remembrance of the good times that they had had……
and promised GINGER that next time they would have the experience for themselves.
ELVIS’ LAST WILL was signed and witnessed… “3rd March 1977”
…Earlier in the same day… before they flew to HAWAII.
Other Hawaii Vacations/Trips by Elvis
Hilton Hawaiian Village Hotel – Waikiki Beach – Ohau
Ilikai Hotel (adjacent to the Hawaiian Village) – Waikiki Beach – Ohau
Coco Palms Resort (closed / devastated by Hurricane Iniki) Wailua – Kauai
1957: Hawaiian Village Hotel : Honolulu / Shofield Baracks concert
1961: Hawaiian Village Hotel : Bloch Arena concert /
1961: (continues from Concert…) Blue Hawaii (+ movie scene) / Coco Palms Resort (movie finale)
1962: Hawaiian Village Hotel : Girls, Girls, Girls
1965: Ilikai Hotel: Paradise Hawaiian Style
1968: Ilikai Hotel: Vacation (May)
1969: Ilikai Hotel / Coco Palms Resort: Vacation (May)
1969: Hawaiian Village Hotel : vacation (Oct)
1972: Hawaiian Village Hotel : November Concert / press conference
1973: Hawaiian Village Hotel : Aloha from Hawaii (January arrival / rehearsals)
1977: Hawaiian Village Hotel : Vacation arrival / – entourage stayed at the Rainbow Tower
(Elvis and selected friends moved to his rented Kailua beach house afterwards)