Elvis Presley was always known for being quite the jokester.
Meanwhile, Alice Cooper, who was known as the “The Godfather of Shock Rock,” has spent his career putting on elaborately shocking performances with fake blood, reptiles, guillotines, and anything else he could get his hands on.
Despite being a master of shock and suspense, even Alice Cooper was surprised by the antics and performance Elvis Presley put on the first time the pair met.
Alice Cooper Meets the King of Rock ‘n Roll
According to a 2016 interview with “Never Mind the Buzzcocks,” Cooper vividly remembered first meeting The King. It was in 1970 and Cooper had been invited to hang out in a Hilton Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Presley had several people over that night including Liza Minnelli, Chubby Checker, and Linda Lovelace.
The group stepped into the hotel room and saw it was scattered with small guns throughout. However, as they entered Elvis’ room, people immediately searched them for guns.
It was incredibly ironic since Alice Cooper would end up with a loaded pistol pointed to Elvis Presley’s head just a few minutes later. After being summoned to the kitchen, Elvis Presley explained that he wanted to teach Alice Cooper the very important skill of being able to take a gun out of someone’s hand.
“He opens the drawer, takes out a loaded snub-nose .38, puts it in my hand and he says, ‘I’m gonna show you how to take this gun outta somebody’s hand. The little devil here on my shoulder says, ‘Shoot him! The little angel over here says, ‘Don’t kill him. Just wound him,'” Cooper joked.
The gun sat heavily in Cooper’s hand as he contemplated his next move. Before he had much time to decide, Presley had knocked him onto the floor. He then had a boot pressed to his throat.
The moral of the story was that Presley knew how to fend for himself. Whether it was screaming mobs of fans, a rocker, or any other threat, he had become skilled in self-defense. Beyond showing off his skills, Alice Cooper remembers it as Elvis Presley just having fun and being himself. He recalled, “He was an amazing character. Very funny guy. But he was Elvis.”
Elvis Presley and Friends
Presley had become insanely popular during his life. In fact, he had started to receive more death threats and blackmail letters as well. This is partly why Elvis Presley had a huge collection of guns. The musician grew paranoid as he got older.
Elvis Presley also had a very close-knit friend group, called the Memphis Mafia, that served as his bodyguards. Presley formed the group of his closest and most trusted associates. It was an honor to join their rank.
However, that never stopped him from wanting to meet new people and throw elaborate get-togethers. From arranging a meeting with President Nixon to talk about drug culture to his run-in with Alice Cooper, Presley met a plethora of influential people during his life.
Over the years he would invite stars to his mansion as well as to different hotel rooms while on the road. His core group was Sonny West, Red West, Billy Smith, Marty Lacker, and Lamar Fike.
He often invited Sammy Davis Jr., Bobby Darin, Nick Adams, and Billy Murphy over to party as well. But Cooper got the honor of pulling a gun on the King.