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Elvis Presley
There are stars and then there are stars... And every generation had its share of them. But, then some glittered more than others, catapulting them to superstardom. And, perhaps even above them all was the King. For generations he has besotted fans lapping up everything about him, be it music or controversy, both of which Elvis was a master at providing. This feature explores the many fascinating stories about Elvis’ personal life. How much is the truth and how many stories legend, is anybody’s guess.

Oh, Elvis made some of the greatest music of the century. From Heartbreak Hotel to All Shook Up, the list is endless. But, behind the glitter lay some human fallacies that today might be mundane, but in those conservative days, they shook the world. What did the Bard say about erring being human? Well, Elvis was human, after all. Elvis obviously didn’t have an appetite for stardom alone. He had an insatiable carnal hunger, something he indulged in with great aplomb. The epitaph, ‘Elvis the Pelvis’ fitted him to the tee.

During the latter years of his life, his amorous potency took a deep dip. He was so obsessed by it is said that he took Quaaludes, known in Hollywood as the ‘love drug,’ because they heighten sexual pleasure, rid him of his impotence problem and heighten his performance - none of which ever happened. But that wasn’t the only drug he took. There was a spate of them: ranging from tranquilizers to pills for clearing his bowels, each of which he got addicted to.

But, this always wasn’t the case, especially when the man dubbed, ‘The King’ virtually ruled the music world. Shortly before he married his beautiful wife Priscilla, he told his stepmother Dee that he had taken a thousand women to bed. There were many more to follow.

His stepbrother Billy said: ‘Wherever he went, there were girls waiting to do his bidding. They’d crate themselves in boxes, go to bed with roadies, do anything just to go near him. He had more girls than anybody. Sometimes we’d round them up like cattle and take them to his room for him to look over. If none of them took his fancy, he’d tell us to keep them on ice – keep them nearby in case he changed his mind.’

Ellen Polton, a girl who was invited to meet him in California, described one of these auditions for the role of Presley’s bedmate. She said: ‘Elvis was sitting at the center of a horseshoe-shaped couch, feet up on a coffee table, captain’s hat on his head, with half a dozen girls sitting on the couch on each side of him.’ After looking the girls over, Presley would smile at the winner. The rest had to put up with being his pals’ perks for the night.

Red West supported Presley’s early reputation as a super stud. He said: ‘Once he realised how easily he could get girls, we were routing them through his bedroom - two and sometimes three a day.’ When the Memphis Mafia – as Presley’s team of bodyguards and henchmen became known – were selecting girls for the boss they had to remember that he liked them petite and feminine, with small feet.

He had varied erotic inclinations, and indulged them all. At Graceland, his Memphis home, he had two-way mirrors fitted through which he could watch girls undressing to go swimming. In another part of the house he and the boys could watch couples make love in a bedroom. And he liked to record his own performances with a video camera in his bedroom.

Once he wanted to try wife swapping. He shocked bodyguard Sonny West by suggesting it when they were on a plane with their wives, Priscilla and Judy. West recalled: ‘He said he knew I liked Priscilla, and he liked Judy, so why didn’t we swap for a bit of fun. The girls were terribly embarrassed and so was I. I treated it as if he was joking and, thank God, the conversation moved on to something else.’

Things at times went out of hand, or well almost. On one terrifying occasion Presley almost killed himself and a fan with drugs. The girl, Page Peterson, was a beautiful 18 year old blonde when she met the King in 1971. A devoted Presley fan, she went to a Las Vegas concert with her mother. As she watched her idol strut, pout and flick his hips on stage she thought she would gladly die in his arms. And she nearly did.

You can read the rest of our feature on Elvis Presley in the March 2005 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.

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