The Man Who Made Elvis Laugh
As anyone read this book...i love the cover its beautiful here is a excerpt of it!
Mobile, Alabama - 1969: We were going to do a show in the municipal auditorium, which sat 10,000 people. I had finished my show and was standing in the wings watching Elvis perform, as I had so many times before.
Elvis was playing to a section of people, and, as usual, he took the silk handkerchief from around his neck and threw it out to the people in that section. The kerchief fell to the floor and no one seemed to pick it up. He motioned to Charlie Hodge to bring him another bandana and he threw that one to that section of the people. Still no reaction. I could see Elvis get paranoid as he turned to Charlie and said, "Am I losing it?"
Charlie replied, "Don't worry about them, Elvis. All the people in that section are blind!"
It was the summer of '71, we were in our third year and I was still flying on that kite. But, I noticed that Elvis wasn't really the same anymore. He seemed to be bored and not having the fun he did previously. Oh, he was having fun out there, not with his audience, but with his musicians. He'd turn and spit water at them, while they all laughed and got silly. It just seemed they were all out there just to please themselves.
I was still fighting for my life out there, even though I was doing well. I really wanted to ask him what was wrong and why he seemed bored; but, it wasn't my place. I was still just grateful to be part of that show.
I'm sure Elvis had an inkling that I cared about him, however, because usually after the second show, while everyone else was heading up to his suite to party, he would always stick his head in my dressing room door to see if I was still there.
"Hey, Brother Sam, gimme an Amen!"
Then, I would shout, "Hallelujah!"
Early one morning after the second show had ended, Elvis just kind of wiggled his way into my dressing room and said, "Brother Sam, you mind if I come in?"
"Sure, come in, Elvis. Can I get you some water?" He loved Mountain Valley Water; so, I wiped off a bottle and gave it to him as he shut the dressing room door.
I thought, "This is it. He's going to tell me that he and the Colonel wanted to try somebody new. Was the ride finally over?" But, the Colonel told me I had a lifetime contract. Maybe he reneged. But why? I was doing so well, killing the people. It wasn't that at all. He just wanted to talk. As he sat himself on the floor sipping his bottle of water, I thought now was not the time to try and be funny.
"How ya doin', Elvis?"
"Not too good....I had to get away from the crowds and all the bullshit. I just can't be alone a minute. I take a pee; someone is standing there waiting for me to finish."
I remember once we were at the Astrodome in Houston, and Elvis walked off the stage like he does for a few-minute break while the Sweet Inspirations and Stamps do their gospel melodies.
After a few minutes, there was no Elvis around. Everyone panicked. Joe Esposito ran over to me. "Have you seen Elvis?" he shouted.
"No, Joe, I haven't seen him." I knew where he went...the toilet. I just knew he wanted to take a break and maybe take a shit at the same time. I walked over to the convertible toilets they had rigged up for us and knocked on the door.
"Elvis, it's Sammy; they're looking for you. It's time to go back up on the stage." He opened the door and there he was zipping up his jump suit. He did take a shit!
He just started to open up to me. I've always been a good listener, especially if it's a star talking to me, which were few and far between.
Elvis said, "When I'm home and not working, I don't know what to do with myself. Maybe the guys'll come over and we'll play paddle tennis outside, or touch football, then come in and watch TV. But I can't even leave my house and just go for a walk...or go to a movie...or even take Priscilla to a small, quiet restaurant to have a dinner. All we do now after an engagement is fly back to Graceland, then to LA and on to Palm Springs. It seems like all we do is shuttle from house to house."
Right in the middle of all this there was a knock at the door. "Is Elvis in there? It's Joe. We're all heading up to the suite."
"I'll be right out," Elvis said. "Let's keep what we were talkin' about to ourselves, okay, Sam?"
He put his arms around me and gave me a big hug and said, "Amen, Brother Sam."
The next night, Joe Esposito, Elvis' road manager, came into my dressing room and handed me a small package.
"What's this, Joe?" I asked.
"Open it up and you'll see."
I opened up the package and inside was a...
Re: The Man Who Made Elvis Laugh
A what?????....Aw c`mon...what was in the package??!!!!.... this could drive me nuts for the rest of the day!!!!
Enjoyed reading this.... although at this stage it`s difficult to believe what is written about Elvis....hard to know what is truth and what isn`t. I`m sure that the lack of any real privacy must have really got under Elvis` skin at times...Personally,I can`t even imagine what that must be like....How could you ever be expected to be a "normal" person living like that?
Re: The Man Who Made Elvis Laugh