Today is Friday the 13th, so I thought it fitting to center the post around some of the danger Elvis encountered in his lifetime. What a lot of people might not know is that Elvis wasn’t just a pretty face, a sexy body, an incredible talent, a phenomenal singer/entertainer, etc, etc, he was also a bit of a tough guy. Just the fact that he went into the army and insisted on being treated like any other soldier, pulling KP, marching with a pack, sleeping in the snow, and so forth shows his toughness. But, he was also a Karate expert and had some altercations over the years that demonstrated his badass-ness.
Here is an awesome interview right after Elvis returned to Graceland from the Army. The interview took place in Vernon’s office at Graceland. Isn’t he just so adorable and sexy, yet down to Earth?
A few of the many incidents over the years…
At a concert in Vegas, Elvis was rushed on stage by a group of men who had been drinking all day and listening to their wives and girlfriends go on and on about how beautiful Elvis was. Elvis managed to get in a Karate kick before the men were taken into custody.
George Klein, one of Elvis’ best friends, tells a story of a threat to Elvis while in Vegas that was taken seriously enough that the FBI recommended Elvis cancel his show. Elvis refused to run and hide, but he did ask a few of his guys to be in the audience, armed with guns. At one quiet moment in the show, a man from the balcony yelled out, “Hey, Elvis!.” Elvis dropped into a Karate stance and yelled back, “What?” The guy said, “Sing Hound Dog.” Elvis immediately launched into Hound Dog and later told George it was ‘the best Hound Dog he’d ever done.’
One night in October, 1956, Elvis was at a gas station in Memphis and the station attendant became angry because girls were hanging around Elvis’ car. He became aggressive with Elvis and cuffed him on the back of the head. A fight broke out, and another guy, who was 6’4, jumped in. Elvis took them both on and held his own until police arrived. When the officers asked Elvis for his name, he joked, “Well, maybe you’d better put down Carl Perkins.” 🙂
All three were brought into Court, Elvis was acquitted but the other two were charged with assault and battery and fired. Look at that overgrown bully in the center.
Here are some interesting newspaper articles from the time.
What would be his final incident occurred in June, 1977, just two months before his death, in Madison, Wisconsin. Elvis was riding in his limo and noticed two guys at a gas station (what was his deal with gas stations? :)) attacking a young guy. Tom McCarthy, a Madison detective was in the limo with Elvis and recalls Elvis saying, “Look at those two punks. I don’t go for this two on one deal.” Before anyone knew what was happening, Elvis had bailed from the limo and confronted the attackers, ready to fight. The guys were so shocked and overwhelmed that Elvis was standing in front of them, that they immediately backed off their victim, and ended up shaking hands and apologizing.
How many of today’s celebrities would jump into a brawl to try to protect some stranger? Even though none are as legendary and famous as Elvis, I can’t see them putting themselves in harm’s way like that for their fellow man, can you?
Don’t forget about the giveaway. One commenter on this previous blog post will win:
Elvis was known for his giving heart and charitable work during his lifetime. Lisa Marie and Elvis Presley Enterprises have continued that tradition with their involvement in various charities. In 1984, The Elvis Charitable Foundation was formed. The EPCF created a scholarship fund for students majoring in the arts. The charity also contributes to one of Elvis’ favorite charities, Goodwill Homes, a Memphis facility that provides counseling and services for abused children and their families. The EPCF also assists numerous other charities, especially focusing on arts, education and children’s programs.
Learn more here, including how to donate:
On Elvis’ birthday this year, I released a Vintage Romance short story set in 1957, and of course, my heroine is an Elvis fan. 🙂 As a tribute to Elvis’ generosity, and in order to assist with this worthy cause, 10% of my proceeds for End of Lonely Street will go to the EPCF.
All Toby Lawson wants is to go to college to become a teacher and to be free of her alcoholic mother and some painful memories. But when her mother nearly burns the house down, Toby must put her dreams on hold and return home to care for her. The only time she isn’t lonely and miserable is when she’s listening to her heartthrob, Elvis Presley. His music takes her away and helps her escape from everything wrong in her life.
Noah Rivers has always loved Toby, but no matter what he says, she can‘t get past the fact that her drunken mother once kissed him. He soon realizes the true problem lies in Toby’s belief she’s not good enough for him and in her fear she will be just like her mother.
What will it take to prove to her that she deserves to be happy, and that he would give anything to be the man to make her dreams come true?