Elvis Presley was as generous as he was rich. Which is to say, very. The King’s famous trait of handing out gifts still gets talked about today.
This is primarily because he didn’t just hand out trinkets. No, Elvis went big in just about everything he did in life, whether that involved close friends or random fans.
This might be best evidenced by the 200+ Cadillacs he gave away before his death. It’s further backed up by a story told by a friend and personal jeweler Lowell Hays. Hays spoke with Billboard back in 2017 about his time with Elvis Presley.
While there is certainly a plethora of details from Hays that stand out, perhaps the most Elvis of the bunch was the tale from a 1975 show.
The King, Hays and the rest of Elvis’ entourage were in North Carolina. In the middle of the set, Elvis called for his jewelry bag.
“He just started handing jewelry to people in the front.”
But as classic as that is, it was Elvis’ comment to Hays after the show that shows exactly who the King was. Hays was apparently concerned about the value of jewelry given away, but Elvis shut it down with the coolness only he had.
“He said, ‘Lowell, I’ll have to sing five minutes longer tomorrow night to pay for it.’”
And if it wasn’t obvious, that was the end of that conversation.
Elvis Presley Gets Protected by His Jeweler
Besides the story of giving away random fans rocks and stones from the King’s collection, Lowell Hays also revealed the one time he had to step in and guard Elvis Presley.
Seems unlikely that it could ever happen, considering how famous the Memphis Mafia was. But one night in Las Vegas, Hays had to play the part of bodyguard for the legendary artist.
Hays had actually outfitted the members of the Memphis Mafia with special necklaces. The chains featured a lightning bolt with the letters”TCB” surrounding it. For those who aren’t diehard fans of the King, the “TCB” is in reference to Elvis Presley’s famous mantra, “Taking Care of Business.”
But while the entourage and their famed necklaces were enjoying themselves at the International Hotel in Las Vegas, Elvis needed their help. Hays said they were distracted, but that Elvis was calling out a fan that was getting a little too close for comfort.
That’s where Hays comes in.
“Elvis is pointing but the bodyguards aren’t paying any attention,” Hays said. “So I bailed out of my seat and took care of it.”
Unsurprisingly, Elvis gave a stern scolding to his bodyguards and friends for not looking alive. Afterward, the King turned back to Hays.
“Then he looked at me and said, ‘Lowell, you have any TCBs?’” Hays quoted the King. “It’s about time you had one of these.”
And from that day on, Hays was rocking a “TCB” necklace.