Elvis Presley’s Best Friend Opens Up About Trying to Help The King’s Addictions: ‘We All Tried’

by Katie Maloney
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What is Elvis Presley’s true story? One of his closest friends shared what it was like working with the King of Rock n’ Roll.

Undoubtedly, Elvis Presley had an entire world full of fans. However, according to one of his best friends, Joe Esposito, Elvis was never really sure if fans loved him for who he truly was or for the rock n’ roll image he created. Joe met Presley when they were both drafted during the Korean War. After serving together, Joe became Elvis’s tour manager. He toured with him, planned all of his shows for him, and even lived with Presley. During an interview, Joe opened up about his relationship with the King of Rock n’ Roll, specifically when his health started to decline.

“We all tried. I tried. His friends tried. His father tried. Priscilla tried,” said Joe while talking about attempting to help Presley live a healthier lifestyle.

Elvis Presley never drank because his mother had a drinking problem and he did not want to follow in her footsteps. However, he did overtake prescription drugs. Joe said that Presley felt the pills were harmless because they were doctor-prescribed.

“We all tried to help Elvis,” said Joe. “It was sad for us to see him go through these spurts. But then sometimes he would clean his act up. We’d go on vacation…and he’d be great. He didn’t take any pills, he just had a great time. He enjoyed life.”

However, Joe said it wouldn’t be long before something would trigger Presley to start using the pills again.

“But then something would go wrong, mentally, but he would never tell us about his problems, and then he would go back to doing it again,” said Joe.

Elvis’s best friend, Joe Esposito, talks about his experiences with The King of Rock n’ Roll.

When Did Things Start Getting Worse For Elvis Presley?

During his interview, Joe acknowledged that there were layers of complexity involved in Elvis’s mental health struggles. However, he said he believed that Presley really started to struggle after turning 40. He had always been a sex symbol around the world. For decades, he had fans swooning over him. But when he turned 40, he gained weight and the media were “cruel” in their depictions of The King.

“He was concerned about, ‘Will people love me when I’m 50? Will people love me when I’m 60. Will I still be a sex symbol?’ He didn’t know and that bothered him,” said Joe.

“Being a superstar is a lot of pressure. It really is, every little part of your life is scrutinized…Plus, he even said that one time, “Do people love me for Elvis Presley, or for who I am as a human being?”

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