View Full Version : Lisa Describes Her Dad Elvis and His Legacy

07-10-2009, 07:54 PM

Q. How often in your lifetime have you heard the words, "You look just like your dad?"

A. It goes back and forth. My mom, my dad, my mom, my dad. Particularly lately. You know what happens when I'm singing? My lip -- if I'm in a certain mood -- my lip will naturally, instinctively go up when I'm snarling or when I'm upset onstage or when I'm really into whatever I'm singing. And that's not intentional. But I see these photos regularly of comparisons of him and me with that lip going up. It's not something that I try to do, but it happens.

Q. Must be genetic.

A. It is genetic, because I honestly don't know what I look like when I'm singing. I don't know how I look, I don't know what's going on, until I see a photo afterwards. Then it's like, "Ah, there we have it."

Q:I have this theory that men find you attractive because you look so much like your dad. But whereas it wasn't OK for straight men to fancy your father, it's fine to fancy you.

A: "What are you trying to say? (silence) I've never thought about it like that. Maybe you're right."

"I have a lot of memories, but I don't go into capitalizing on that," she says. "Something's got to be my own. I'm not doing the record to sit here and broadcast my memories of my father. You know what I mean?"

Q: You were visiting [your father] at Graceland in 1977, when he died?

I was there when he died. I was there for most of the summer. I'm actually not going to go into his death, the day of, the whole thing. Just so you know. I avoid that in all interviews, It's not something I like to capitalize on--particularily for people's amusement."

Q: What characteristics have you inherited from your dad?

A: If you ask my family in Memphis, they'll tell you "Every one of her characteristics," but I'll say sense of humor and temper. He didn't have a quick temper, but when he was angry, he was ang-ry. If you betrayed him or he was hurt by someone, oh, God, the roof would blow off the house. And that's how I get. I want asses served to me on a platter for lunch when I'm angry.

Q: When you think of your father, what do you think of?

A: That he could do no wrong in my eyes. He was a larger-than-life figure to me, someone I admired in everyway. I was daddy's girl. There's a saying that the true test of a human is his ability to handle power. I think it's true. You could give a perfectly fine person a lot of power and watch him struggle with it and try to figure it out. He was in a situation that would never be easy for anyone, and he didn't understand why it was all happening to him. People in that situation destroy themselves, because they don't know what to do with the admiration. Jim Morrison, Janis Joplin--they overdo it, over-indulge, because there's nothing else to compensate. I understand all that.

"I just adored him and the ground he walked on," she says. "I looked up to him and you know he... what's the word I'm looking for? They're some tough shoes to fill, in my mind. My impression of him can probably explain some of my insanity in looking for a perfect male (laughs) in my life."

"I'm female, thank God, because if I was male this really would be difficult," she says. "And, of course, I don't attempt to sound like my father - I do my own thing. Those sorts of comparisons are something I was intimidated by for a very long time. But I had to go with it. Music is a huge part of my life, and I had to park all that fear and not let it stop something that was important to me."

Q: Would you consider singing [your father's] songs?

A: "It would be seen as cheesy right now. I don't have it in my mind to do that at the moment. It would be like shooting myself in the head.

Q. You were only 9 when your father died. What have you figured out about him since then, reflecting as an adult?

A. I have so many reflections of him, but honestly, right now I'm kind of really experiencing what he experienced -- not nearly on the same level. But he was the original warrior in walking the path of becoming an icon. It's something that is very alienating and very lonely. It's also very gratifying, but there's that alienation part of it. So I'm really seeing how that was for him.

"I'm sure there's no way to escape the fact that I was heavily influenced by him," she says. "I was only around his music and him most of the early part of my life. It's impossible not to have been inspired or influenced. The only thing I can say about (his influence) is he dumped his soul into his singing. I'm not saying I do it anywhere near as well as he did. But I definitely learned that's the way to go. That's the kind of music that would move me. That's where I aimed."

Post: When your dad died, you were a young girl. As an adult, are you angry at the people who surrounded him but didn't take care of him?
Presley: Of course. That's what my song "Nobody Noticed It" came from. I wrote that about that anger in me. I'm not going to blame anyone in particular because everybody was responsible.

"I felt like they were trying to take his dignity away, and I felt like it was unjust, and I wanted to strike back and give him something, to take it back."

"One thing he had was a lot of pride and dignity and if anybody tries to take it away, I'm kind of hardcore with that."

Q: I've read in some interviews your views on what if it had gone differently with the people around your father.

A: They could have tried harder. And they could have not been doing it themselves. It's hypocritical -- coming out after and saying all these things he was doing and pointing the finger at him and trying to take him down with his dignity. Yet these guys were disgusting. I was born into watching these men with women, cheating on their wives, doing drugs, with dirty magazine everywhere. They were out of their minds on drugs. They have no room to talk. Can they be forgiven? I think what you're hearing right now is me finally saying something with conviction. You know what, if they shut up and stop it, yeah, but they don't stop. They're still out there, these (expletive)... . So if you shut the f--- up maybe then I'll forgive them.

Q: What are your favorite Elvis Presley records and films?

A: I like Jailhouse Rock and Love Me Tender. The black-and-white films. With music, I tend more toward the '70s stuff because I was at the shows for those, so they bring back memories.


"Sometimes I do. I have to kind of get into a mindset, a certain headspace, I definitely do. I'm more prone to his '70s material, which is what I was around for and watched a lot. I listen to a lot of that stuff. It probably influenced me quite a bit. I'm more drawn to the darker, sadder songs."

Q: Have you ever seen a good Elvis impersonator?

A: I've never actually seen on live--I've seen them on TV. I bumped into one once in Las Vegas. He was in the lobby. There was a Marilyn Monroe look-alike and an Elvis look-alike, and he noticed me, and recognized me like that [snaps fingers]. I turned red and started running.


07-10-2009, 08:34 PM
Very fascinating article! Thanks for posting!(y)(y)

07-11-2009, 06:15 AM
A great read.Thanks! Marlena.

07-11-2009, 10:30 AM
Really interesting. Thanks (y)

07-11-2009, 04:55 PM
Welcome my Friends

07-11-2009, 05:15 PM
Thanx for sharing. have you see that interwiev on youtube when she say all this?