Posted by: docdenbow | June 18, 2012

Confession #2

In the summer of 1977 I was 18 years old and desperately in love with a girl called Stephanie. But that’s not my confession. In fact I should point out that my confessions are not to be in any way chronological or in any order of importance – they are merely confessions. I owned a motorcycle in those days, a Suzuki GT185 (reg UDA881L) and that made me really cool, or so I thought.

Anyway, Stephanie was due to go on holiday for a couple of weeks with her folks  and rather than pine I decided to crate my Suzuki up and take a road trip in the U.S.A. Wandering from travel agent to travel agent I eventually got the only flight I could find where they would carry my bike to the U.S.A. New Orleans was to be my destination.

Arriving in New Orleans I discovered that it was like Darlaston only bigger. A real dump, and this was way before Hurricane Katrina so I decided to hot tail out of there and head the 400 miles north to go to see where Elvis lived. Three days cruising on a 2 stroke followed and many visits were made to roadside motels. I do declare that there were times I got so lonely that I found some comfort there.

But I’m drifting.

I got to Memphis and parked up the dusty and tired Suzuki and headed off looking for a bit of light entertainment. With my cunningly forged ID I entered a likely looking bar where there was a live band playing. This band was belting out typical blues based Southern Rock and were inviting audience members up to join them to sing or play. Being marked out as a limey, and a pissed one at that after 7 Budweisers, I was dragged onto the stage and a mic was shoved into my sweaty little paw. The only bit of Americana I knew the words to was “Promised Land,” so I gave it a bash. Much to my surprise I got a few cheers and a round of applause before I fell sweating from the stage.

I returned to the bar and grabbed another bottle of Bud when this tall tubby, but oddly familiar guy, sidled up to me. He looked me up and down and said,

“That was quite some performance boy! Why don’t you join us for some chow back at my place with the fellahs.”

I tried to make my excuses saying I’d got my bike outside but this guy and his friends wouldn’t let me turn them down. One of the guys said he’d follow back on my bike if that was ok, I was too pissed to argue. The fears that I should have had about being bummed by a bunch of Rednecks were no longer there really and truly, because I was now on Bud number 8. So me, the tubby guy and 3 of his mates left the bar and climbed into what was the biggest car I’d ever seen. A proper American Limo.

We drove for 9 or 10 miles and turned into the driveway of a house. Due to the aircon in the car my head was clearing. It was an impressive place, a bit like a mini stately home. So we got out of the limo and my bike disappeared into one of the garages. The tubby guy led me into this house and the other fellows followed a discreet few paces behind. It wasn’t until we got inside into the hallway and saw all of the gold records and photographs on the wall that I realised that I was standing in the home of Elvis Presley!

“You’re Elvis!” I said somewhat obviously on realizing why he looked familiar

“At your service Sir!” he gave a little bow and led on to a small side room that looked not unlike the sitting room of any well to do sort of chap. Nothing over the top, except for the TV which was massive.

There were a couple of exquisite acoustic guitars on stands and Elvis asked me whether I played. I admitted to knowing a few chords and Elvis said that with a voice like mine the guitar playing wasn’t too important.

Anyway me and Elvis sat on the sofa bashing out blues standards and trying to outdo each other in the old vocal stakes. Even if I say so myself I was holding my own. After an hour or so Elvis apologised when he realized that the promised chow hadn’t been forthcoming.

“What’s your favourite food boy?” asked Elvis

“I’ve never tried a proper American Hamburger.” I replied.

Elvis called for Mary Jenkins Langston to cook some Hamburgers for us, and this is where things started to go wrong. I challenged Elvis to a Hamburger eating competition. Elvis ever the sport took up the challenge and me and Elvis were eating Hamburgers as fast as Mary Jenkins Langston could bring them through to us.

At about 3:00 am Elvis went up to the bathroom. He never came back. He had been on the toilet, but fallen off onto the floor, where he lay in a pool of his own vomit. Panicked, his staff contacted an ambulance, which rushed him to nearby Baptist Memorial Hospital, where, after several attempts to revive him, he died at 3:30 pm CST.

The staff quickly rushed me out of there as they didn’t want the press to know a pretty blond blue-eyed boy had been with Elvis the night he died. The press may have got the wrong impression they said.

As I rode out of Graceland I couldn’t help but feel responsible for the death of the King.

Ciao For Now




  1. If this doesn’t get your blog new followers I don’t know what will! 😉

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