Nice read Cliff, thank you.
Found on the web.
Following the Elvis Dream
I cannot let August run out without marking a significant event. I met Elvis Presley in August of 1961…..48 years ago. At the time, I never guessed that I would end up designing guitars. I wish I could both rewind and fast forward my life at the same time so I could have presented the King of Rock with a Luna guitar!!!!!!!!!!
My girlfriend Jeannette was (is) the ultimate Elvis fan. Because I loved her, so was I. When Elvis was filming “Follow That Dream”, a 1962 musical filmed in Inglis and Yankeetown, Florida, it was the perfect opportunity for Jeanette to follow her own dream to meet Elvis. On Aug 8. 1961, we set out from Tampa with her mother Dorothy and her Italian Grandmother “Nana” in an ancient, powder blue 1952 Cadillac. It somehow took all day to drive 75 miles.
Dorothy, as always, was dressed like a Hollywood Goddess and Nana was her stately and imposing chaperone, parting the way like a lead ship parting the waters. Jeanette and I were both sailing behind dressed like preteen dorks…..me in bermuda shorts and top that I made in Home Economics, (with green rick rack trim adding insult to injury) , and Jeanette in an equally embarrassing gold bermuda shorts outfit.
Halfway there we stopped in a diner with a “Welcome Elvis” sign and were forced to gulp down our burgers under the threat of turning the Cadillac around and heading for home if we didn’t finish our food. When we were finally in Crystal River at the Port Paradise Motel where the crew was staying, Elvis stepped out of his 1961 white Cadillac after his Yankeetown shoot at precisely 6:45 PM. Jeanette kept a keen eye on her little wristwatch to mark the time that her Dream came true.
Jeanette asked Elvis to move next to me for a picture when she saw I was shyly standing in the shadow of his light, and this snapshot was taken after his face had moved down to kiss my cheek and was on it’s way back up (thus the blur and the silly look on my face) My autograph book was clenched firmly under my arm, but I never had the nerve to ask him to sign it.
Though I was there that day for my friend Jeanette, in retrospect, I realize I was in the presence of a seminal force who influenced many of my own heroes.
Paul McCartney declared Elvis Presley as one of significant influences behind The Beatles ‘Sgt Pepper’ album. After the release of the 1967 record the band chose to stay at home rather than tour, and McCartney explained they got the idea from The King. “We had this idea that we’d make a record, and the record itself would go on tour for us,” McCartney told Rolling Stone. “That came from a story we’d heard about Elvis’ Cadillac going on tour. We though that was an amazing idea: He doesn’t go on tour, he just sends his Cadillac out. Fantastic!”
The day that he died, John Lennon, my all-time music hero, exclaimed, “Before Elvis, there was nothing” and so it was for the era of rock and roll music.
For those of you that have managed to read my entire nostalgic musings, I have one thing to say. “Thank you very much!” And don’t forget to “Follow Your Dream…..wherever that dream may lead!
Nice read Cliff, thank you.
Nice post-glad you got to meet Elvis great little photo!
Work in Progress!
nice post thanks for sharing
I LOVE reading these stories. Thanks so much for sharing.
what a great and positive story about our man, he certanly was a great guy and lucky you having the chance to meet him, i never met him but had the chance to see him perform 38 times and also seen and took photos of him both on and off stge and was surprised at how relaxed he was with all us fans at hectic times , agin many thanx for posting this.