Jerry Lee Lewis Was Once Arrested at the Gates of Elvis Presley’s Graceland: Here’s Why

by Emily Morgan
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In 1976, Jerry Lee Lewis gave his nickname of “The Killer” a whole new meaning after showing up to Elvis’ Graceland with a pistol.

Jerry Lee Lewis was a musician unlike any other. He’s known as one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century who blazed a new trail for rock-n-roll music in the 1960s. He also had an undeniable wile side that included the time he was arrested after demanding to see Elvis at his Graceland home.

In the early hours on November 22, 1976, Lewis pulled up to the Graceland gates in his new Rolls Royce and asked the security guards to see Elvis. When the guards told him that Elvis was sleeping, he drove away.

Just hours later, Lewis flipped his Rolls. Police gave him a ticket for driving while intoxicated, reckless driving, and driving without a license.

Nearly 24 hours after his first attempt at Graceland, he returns The next day at 2:30 a.m. For this attempt, Lewis was behind the wheel of his new Lincoln Continental. When he arrives, he rams his new car into the gates.

Jerry Lee Lewis Returns to Graceland, Demands to See Elvis

According to Lewis, Elvis had phoned him telling him to come over and hang out. Drunk and rowdy, Lewis demands to see The King and is again denied entry onto the Graceland grounds. While arguing with the guard, the guard noticed Lewis’ 38 caliber derringer pistol on Lewis’ knee and called the police.

Unbeknownst to Lewis, Elvis was watching the event unfold via his closed-circuit monitors inside the home. Years after the incident, no one has yet to confirm or deny if Elvis ever called Lewis to begin with. However, the two rock stars were known to be fans of various substances, so we may never know.

Some say Lewis was waving the gun yelling, “Tell Elvis to get his ass out here so I can show him who the real King of rock ‘n’ roll is!”

After the supposed assassination attempt, local police arrested Lewis, but most of his charges were dropped. According to Lewis’ sibling, Linda, Lewis confessed to her that he “had been partyin’ and drinkin’ and that he was a little bit out of it.” She added, “he swore his intentions were good. He’s very misunderstood, you see. It’s a shame, really.

“Those two guys really did love each other,” she added. “I do believe my brother just wanted to check on Elvis. He went there to cheer him up and kinda bond with him again.

I guess everybody over at Graceland didn’t want the two of them to get together because Jerry was really havin’ one big party at the time. If he and Elvis had started runnin’ the roads together, can you imagine what that would have been like? It probably would have been more than Memphis could have stood.”

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