From Sonny West himself. And don't pooh-pooh this theory just because he was one of the "evil" MM either. The guy was there, and - on this theory at least - I believe him.
Q: What did you think of the Colonel?
A: You know, so much has been written about him that's just plain wrong. When he heard that Elvis died, I know his heart must have skipped three beats. I know it. He loved Elvis, I don?t care what anybody says. I'll never forget, after the opening night in Vegas in '69, the Colonel came in to the dressing room and said, 'Where's my boy?', threw his arms around Elvis, and had tears going down his cheeks. People have criticised him for not wearing a suit at Elvis' funeral, but that was just the Colonel. There was talk that he was an illegal alien and that's why Elvis never went overseas. Not true. The Colonel was illegal, but he was very good friends with Senator Lyndon Baines Johnson, who later became our president. So the Colonel could have asked him to fix things up for him, there was no reason why the Colonel couldn't go to other countries. I tell you, I think he was the best manager ever. I learned so much for him when we travelled together doing security for Elvis' shows, he was an amazing man.
Q: So why didn?t an overseas tour eventuate?
A: Two reasons: the guns and the pills. At the end, Elvis couldn?t do without either, and you can't get that sort of stuff through airport security, no matter who you are. And the Colonel had no contacts over there really, so it became out of the question. It's kind of why they put together the Aloha show. If Elvis couldn't come to the people in person, they'd do it by satellite.