Elvis Presley's father thanks fans for letters and flowers following star's death
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Elvis’ death on August 16, 1977, shocked and devastated millions. With hindsight, many say that they could see it coming. A popular picture portrays a depressed and isolated star locking himself away at Graceland, destroying his health with poor diet and prescription pill abuse. But the two people (apart from Losa Marie) dearest to him in his final months absolutely refute this image of The King. Vernon and Ginger were not close, indeed most of the Memphis Mafia dismissed the star’s final girlfriend, but their descriptions of Elvis line up to make a strong case for the real truth about his final days. SCROLL DOWN TO WATCH THE FULL VIDEO OF VERNON TALKING ABOUT HIS SON, WITH INCREDIBLE CONCERT FOOTAGE FROM ELVIS’ LAST RECORDED SHOW.
Ginger shared his bed and his life. Vernon lived next door, sharing a garden fence with Graceland, and was completely involved in his son’s business affairs, tours and daily life. His office was in the grounds of Graceland.
In an interview recorded in June 1977, Vernon said of his son: “I know he can’t go out like a normal person because people see him and of course they recognise him and they worry him about this and that. There have been so many different news reports out and they made him into a hermit-type guy like Howard Hughes was supposed to be. I don’t know how all that stuff gets started, but it’s not really true.”
Touchingly, Vernon added: “One thing that was good, he never changed his feelings about people, or anything. I’m sure he was very happy with his success and all the things that happened to him.. but it didn’t male him think he was something that he wasn’t, you know.”
Ginger went even further, angrily denouncing “disgusting lies” told about her fiance. She slammed “the perception that lingered for many years, just before Elvis died, that he was unhappy, that he was this big guy who was just not the old Elvis that we all knew, that he maybe even lost the will to live.”
“Right up until the day he died, there are things that I’ve seen in books, and I said this wasn’t the person I witnessed. This wasn’t the person that I loved, this wasn’t how he was those last nine months, and I was with him 98% of the time.”
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She also described the huge fun enjoyed by a playful superstar: “He was never bored. He didn’t act down, we laughed, we watched television, played the organ in his room, sometimes we went out, we rode three-wheelers – he had these great, fun three-wheelers – we went motorcycle riding.”
“Elvis had good days and not so good days but the majority of the time he was in a very good mood and he was looking forward to many things in life. He was never sitting around a Howard Hughes-type fellow, feeling depressed at Graceland.”
And even on the very last night of his life, Ginger says the star was excitedly looking to his future and discussing their own wedding plans.
Ginger said: “Elvis was looking forward to many things, marriage, more children, serious films and his next tour.
“He was in a good mood, we had just set a wedding date literally hours earlier and he told me a couple of weeks before he passed that he had been off too long. He was ready to go back on stage, something he loved with all of his being.
“The garbage being placed out to the public is wrong, untrue and needs to stop.”
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