Elvis Presley’s father Vernon once made an impactful statement about his son just a few weeks before his unfortunate death in 1977.
Vernon Presley was very proud of all his son had accomplished in his life, despite being brought up under humbler means. In fact, Elvis Presley was one of, if not the most successful solo artist ever to live. But with fame comes scandal, imposters, and clout chasers. That is why the King kept his friend group small. The Memphis Mafia varies over the years. However, it only ever consisted of Elvis Presley’s closest and most trusted friends.
Furthermore, Presley enjoyed his privacy… when he could have it. When your whole life is under a microscope for the world to see, you generally have your own safe haven. The King’s was Graceland. According to Express, Elvis Presley had a privacy wall with one-way mirrors installed on the upstairs landing and at the entrance to Graceland.
However, despite the security measures and rumors throughout the 1970s, Vernon, Elvis Presley’s father, once said that his son was no recluse.
In an interview, just weeks prior to his son’s death, Vernon spoke to CBS about Elvis Presley’s fame. The segment was set to be part of the 1977 TV special Elvis in Concert. Unfortunately, it didn’t air until October 1977, two months after Elvis Presley’s death.
“I know he can’t go out like an ordinary person because people see him and, of course, they recognize him. There’s been so many different news reports out that they’ve made him into a hermit-type guy like Howard Hughes was supposed to be. I don’t know how all this stuff gets started, but it’s not really true.”
According to Britannica, Howard Hughes was an American manufacturer, aviator, movie producer, and director. However, Hughes was born into money when his father, Howard R. Hughes Sr. invented a rotary bit for oil well drilling in 1909. The venture made the family extremely wealthy.
Howard Hughes Jr. eventually sold his father’s tool company after his death, making him a multi-billionaire. Although, according to the news source, by 1950, Hughes went into “complete seclusion.”
But was that Elvis Presley? Was he a total hermit, or did he just enjoy his privacy for once?
Linda Thompson Highlights Dates with Elvis Presley
According to his longtime girlfriend, Linda Thompson, Elvis enjoyed quality time with friends behind Graceland’s gates.
“Dates with Elvis consisted of riding golf carts around Graceland or riding motorcycles or three-wheelers or going to movies. He would rent an entire theatre out and show movies all night. And he enjoyed going roller skating occasionally. He would rent the fairgrounds out, ride the rollercoaster 15 times in a row – that sort of thing.”
She says that when Elvis Presley and her would go out like regular people, they were quickly swarmed.
“We tried going out a few times shopping, and we would make it halfway between the car and the door of the store. And people would be just all over us. They would converge immediately, and we’d have to run back to the car. It was very difficult for him to get out like a normal person.”