Ask Marty

Memphis Mafia member, and co-best man at Elvis and Priscilla's wedding, Marty Lacker, is a frequent contributor to EIN.

- On this page Marty Lacker answers your questions -

Go HERE to read "Marty's Musings" and his thoughts on recent Elvis news stories

2008

...The Marty Lacker "EIN" Interviews...

Since 2008 EIN has been running "Marty's Musings" where we catalogued Marty Lacker's interesting - and often very amusing - thoughts and discussions about recent Elvis news stories.

In 2008 we also presented Marty Lacker with a pile of questions that EIN readers wanted to ask him.

With fans still contacting us we now present a new section "ASK MARTY" where you can send EIN your questions for one of Elvis' best friends.

Before sending your questions please check that Marty hasn't previously answered your topic of interest by checking below.

Please note that Marty is doing this out of the kindness of his heart and his desire to keep fans happy and informed about Elvis - one of the world's greatest musicians and his good friend.

Click here to send EIN your question for Marty Lacker


Hi Marty,
I have just read the latest news posted on EIN.
Is it possible to get Marty Lacker  to comment on Shirley Dieu's book?
and also the story about the Palm Springs "secret love nest".
Did Marty see the old photos?
Did Elvis really think of it as a Love Nest or was it  just an escape from LA.
How much time did Marty spend there and does he have any stories?
Thanks,
Jeanne
Jeanne,
I have not read Shirley's book so I can't comment on it.

As for the Chino Canyon house in Palm Springs yes, I was there numerous times with and without Elvis as he allowed me to stay there even when he wasn't there.
Whoever wrote that story and called it a love nest was being overly dramatic and he had no idea what Elvis' intentions in getting it was because he did not know Elvis.
Elvis didn't look at it as a love nest and neither did the guys, it was just a getaway place for him to relax when not on tour or in L.A. or Memphis. 
Palm Springs has always been a laid-back place to go and relax
Marty
From: Kjell
Marty! Thanks again for doing this great job!
A question Ive never seen before is Why the hell did  Vernon marry Dee  Stanley?
Wasnt his marriage better to Gladys that he could remarry after such a short  time?
Elvis must have hated her guts and been very surprised/  disappointed that his dad married such a digger?
What was your sincere feelings for Vernon?

Best regards to you!
Kjell

Kjell,
Why Vernon married Dee was a question Elvis and most of us asked. 
She was not a good person and in fact was a troublemaker and Elvis despised her and didn't like being around her the only reason he put up with her was to appease his father. 
Most of the guys didn't like her either.

Vernon didn't like most of us because he didn't want Elvis to pay us, he was always afraid Elvis would go broke.
He was Ok but some of us tolerated him to make Elvis happy.
Marty

Hi Marty
We know that Elvis was a fan of Bobby Darin.
There are photos and even a video of them backstage in Vegas in 1960 I believe.
 My questions are, did Elvis meet Bobby on more than that occasion and did he go see him perform after the 1960 gig?
Did he play his music at home?  Do you remember his reaction when he learned of Bobby’s death?
He is my 2nd favorite singer after Elvis.

 Thanks you for your time Marty.
Steve

 


Steve,
Elvis liked Bobby and his singing and yes he sometimes listened to his records.
They met more than once but not very many times.
He was very sad when Bobby died.
Marty

Hi, Marty !
Do you happen to know who recorded the so called "opening night 1969"?
Its supposedly been released on many bootlegs but the date given August 3, 1969 DS is just a guess. And it`s definitely not opening night July 31, 1969.
I am sure that the first opening night would have been recorded.
I am sure Elvis would have listened to it to find out how the concert sounded.
Can you remember ever listening to the recording?
Do you know more anymore about the tape ?

best
Joachim (Ciscoking)


Joachim,
I have no knowledge of any formal taping of opening night or the 3rd.
I saw no cameras nor did Elvis ever speak of it.
If it truly was done back then it was done unauthorized by an audience member.
However it also could have been done later and falsely presented as opening night.
You might think that Elvis would have checked out what his first concert sounded like but I have no recollection of him or us listening to the opening show - or that that he ever did.
Marty

Hi Marty,
Roberto from Milano, Italy. How are you ?
Hope you’re ok and forgive my English. Let’s go straight to the questions :
1) Reading your answers to another fan, I guess ( and I ALWAYS doubted it ) Elvis WAS not in love with Priscilla. If it’s true that Elvis was blackmailed by Priscilla’s father, that would surely be a terrible news and I wonder HOW that would have been possible even if EVERYBODY knew that a 16 y.o. girl was living at Graceland.

2) I never believed Elvis was stoned 24/7. Surely in some concert vocally and mentally he was “not there” and he had already signed contracts and HAD to go on stage. Only in few occasions shows were canceled because Elvis couldn’t really do it …. One thing : in 1969 and 1970, especially during “That’s The Way It It” was he or not under the influence of those pills ?

Thanks for the answers and Best regards
Roberto, Milano, Italia

Roberto,
Elvis loved every girl he was with for any length of time including Priscilla - but not enough to want to marry them.

It is true that Elvis told me her father threatened to sue him, if he didn't marry her and Elvis was afraid how that would effect his career.

Although Elvis was medicated by his doctors and even though Elvis had pills in him everyday does not mean he was stoned.

People misunderstand and make up their own stories. The idea that some stupid people want to state suggesting that Elvis might have been a mumbling helpless drug addict, as I have said before, is bullshit.
Marty


Hi Marty,
thank you for taking the time to lead the fans back to a time when Elvis was alive. I always wondered if he ever visited american National Parks.
While driving to Hollywood he always passed the great american West with all it’s great National Parks. But a picture of Priscilla with a blurry part of the Grand Canyon  in the background is all I found when it comes to the natural wonders of the U.S. (There is footage of Elvis at the Arizona Crater which isn’t a National Park but it’s close to Grand Canyon and right off the Interstate where Elvis used to drive to Hollywood).
Can you recall Elvis visiting Grand Canyon or other National Parks?
 If yes, why are there absolutly no photographs? If not .. why?

It’s hard to believe that he –the patriot- crossed the american west for 10 years (driving back and forth to Hollywood) without even stopping at the world famous Monument Valley or at the Grand Canyon.
Were his only vacations really only Vail and Hawaii? Isn’t it boring if you do that for 15-20 years?
Did he visit stuff like Niagara Falls etc. when he gave concerts at those nearby attractions?
Did he visit ‚The shrine of democracy‘ Mount Rushmore while in Rapid City? I can hardly believe he never even tried to see any of the famous attractions the U.S. has  to offer. Be it on tour or during his sparetime.
Thank you again for taking the time to reply. We fans really appreciate it.
All the best and greetings from Bad Nauheim/Germany (where he lived during his Army days)
Andreas Warmuth

Andreas
We stopped one time in the 60's at the Grand Canyon during the one time some of the wives were with Ruth US on our way to Hollywood. 

Most other times we were just hurried to get to our destination as that trip back and forth L.A to Memphis or to L..A is a long and tedious drive. 
During his touring years the schedule was too tight from one city to the next to be able to sightseeing.
Marty


Dear Mr.Lacker,
I would like to ask
Do other individuals who knew ELVIS (and know you) "keep up with" your "Ask Marty"  replies and ever e-mail  or phone you to make a comment?
Thanks for your time,Sir.
Randy Erdman


Randy
Not that I know of because they've never commented about it.
Marty

 
Hi Marty,
I see the news that Chips Moman and the American Studios band are going to be rightfully acknowledged this Elvis Week. This seems long overdue.
Did you have anything to do with organising this event?

Do you know if EPE had anything to do with this as they have included it as part of Elvis week?
What does Chips think of this?
Will you and Chips be there for the event?
Thanks
Barry. London

Barry,
I have always pushed for the city and county to honor Chips and the band including for him to be inducted into the new Memphis Music Hall Of Fame which will happen this November, however I did not have anything to do with the marker that was done by a couple of people on the Historical Organization in the city. 
For the last six years I have nominated Chips and the band for the Worldwide Rock N' Roll Hall Of Fame in Cleveland and maybe someday they'll be smart enough to induct them.
This marker is long overdue but thankfully it is finally going to happen and Chips is happy about it as I am.

We both will be there Wednesday (August 13) as well as the band.
Marty

Hi Marty,
thanks for sharing your memories of Elvis.
Do you think fans will get a chance to meet and talk to you and Billy during Elvis week this year like the event at Vernon’s a few years ago.
It was such a thrill to many fans.
I sure hope so.
Thanks Diane

Diane,
No we have nothing scheduled this year.
Except the American Studios recognition marker as mentioned above.
Marty

----------------------------------

Hey Marty...first of all wanted to say Hi, and thanks for taking the time to answer questions. 
What was the problem with Marianna Hill on the set of Paradise Hawaiian Style.?
I came across a few articles, written years ago, and she was pretty rough in her opinion of Elvis and the guys.
Just curious.
Take care.   Dave

Dave,
Marianna was a bit off kilter and goofy and whatever she had to say is probably a figment of her squirelly mind.
Marty

-----------------------

Hi Marty,
I have just recently reread your book from 1978. I am a supporter of Red and Sonny's strategy, though I disagree with their method. I read your recent reaction to Lisa's comments in the media about vampires etc.
I totally understand your reaction to those words. Lisa said recently that she has loads of cousins in Memphis with whom she catches up with two or three times a year. I presume Billy is not included.
I had the pleasure of meeting Lisa a couple of times last week. It was a pleasure. She was so laid back. I reckon you guys would have a hard time not tearing up after speaking to Lisa.
I would hope that after all this hurt, now might be the time, for better or worse, that EPE and you guys could stop the differences and break the ice.
Surely, after all these years, Lisa and Billy need to make up?
Marty, you saved Elvis in '69. Save what's left of the original Elvis people. Why not?

Anyway, I'm not wanting to tell you what to do or how to do it. You were there and I wasn't.
I just see a situation that seems really unnecessary, but someone like you is the person whose going to make it happen, if you want to.
Would love to read your thoughts Marty, would rather see everyone associated with Elvis put some stuff to rest and just be friends.
Take it easy,
Evan

Evan,
Thank you for your comments and suggestions but too much has gone down for any reconciliation to happen. 
Too many years since Elvis died where they have lied and badmouthed us to the point where forgiveness is not easily possible. 
Some of us don't need that kind of crap at this stage of our lives and it shows that what we thought was a close friendship and brotherhood really meant nothing to them. 
As for Lisa, she has been influenced too much by her mother and a couple of her mother's ass kissers in regards to us, she was too young the last time she saw us when Elvis died to know the real truth. 
Her mother alienated her against Billy and they are both still that way towards him and his family.

Neither Billy or his wife Jo want anything to do with them.
They treated him badly and that is something that Elvis would not condone, Billy was like a younger brother to Elvis and his closest friend. I'm sure the only cousins in Memphis she might see is Patsy Presley's two children.
Marty

------------------------
Hi Marty
Elvis's touring schedule took a huge toll on his health. 15 shows in 15 days, sometimes more with matinee concerts, was a joke.
How would you have planned and paced a tour?

Did Elvis ever tell you that Parker was working him too hard?
Thank you for your time, Marty and thank you for being one of the very few truthful people amongst the bull****!!
Best wishes
Paul

Paul,
I agree with you about the greedy fat con man.
If I was his manager I would have had him touring at the most every six months or even once a year and he surely would have toured outside the U.S. also as he said he wanted to do. 

I also would not have booked him in the same Podunk towns over and over again as Parker did.
There were many major cities that Parker did not book him in.
- Marty
----------------------------------

Marty,
Thanks for making yourself available to field our questions. There's nothing better than hearing from somebody that was actually there.
I have always been amazed by Elvis' vocal range. In the later concert years, he seemed to push his voice as far as he could on the big ballads, even sometimes farther than his voice could sustain.
That coupled with the dramatic poses and hand gestures he used on stage, I have wondered if Elvis was inspired by opera?
I think Elvis could have been a great opera singer if he had been trained in the classics. What are your thoughts on the matter?

With Highest Regards,
Armond "Lefty" Joseph

Lefty,
Yes Elvis loved operatic voices of people like Mario Lanza and others and he did have a powerful voice.

He exhibited it more around the house, however it was not strong enough to do opera.
Marty

Hello Marty ,
why haven't you blokes got together and brought out a 'MEMPHIS MAFIA ELVIS T - SHIRT', I would wear it and I have an idea that it would promote Elvis to a wider audience ????
Imagine a picture(outline) of Elvis in the middle with Memphis Mafia words surrounding him ???
It is history, the name!.
Thanks
Pat

Pat,
We had a line of merchandising in the '90's when we did All The King's Men videos. 
We had T-Shirts, shirts, jackets and caps. 
Marty
 
Dear Marty!
Thanks for answering my previous questions!
This EIN site is fantastic and especially that you are sharing so much facts about your experiencies with Elvis.
1. I wonder what the truth is about Jerry Lee Lewis relationship to Elvis? Ive seen so many interviews with him claiming that they were very close friends.My feeling is exactly the opposite!?
It is really amazing and interesting that all other famous stars wants to confirm themselves that they were good friends of Elvis.
That really shows how big Elvis was!
2. Have Lisa and Billy had any contact over the years at all? If not I really think it is tragic. Is Billy very sad over this?
3. How did Charlie Hodge (right) handle the situation between you guys, was he part of the gang, was he a "yesman" or "very close friend" to Elvis?

4. Did Elvis know anything more about Sweden except for "our" Ann-Margret Olsson?

5. Couldnt Elvis "read" guys like Klein and Joe E. and some others or didnt he bother about it?
I hope I dont give you too many questions, but I just get so excited when I concentrate on Elvis life story!
My best wishes Kjell from Sweden

Kjell,
1. Jerry Lee was always jealous of Elvis' popularity and although Jerry's a talented man he's not a very nice human being. Elvis tolerated him the very few times he was around him after the 50's but in truth Elvis avoided him.
As for other celebrities telling false stories about a relationship with Elvis they do it to get publicity.

2. Billy has had no contact with Lisa or Priscilla and he has lost no sleep over it.
After Elvis death they both treated Billy bad, which proved back then that Elvis was not alive because if he was he would have slapped the hell out of her and her mother for the way they treated Billy.

3. In my opinion Charlie was not Memphis Mafia, he always thought he was above that because he was a so-called performer, albeit an unfunny one.
To me, he was an evil little guy who would stab anyone in the back.
Elvis said he kept him around because he had no other place to go and he felt sorry for him. Sorry to speak ill of the dead but that's the truth.

4. Ann Margret is all you need to know that good things come from Sweden.

5. Yes, he knew about Joe and Klein but for whatever reason he put up with them.
Marty

 

Marty,
Your insights into the world of Elvis are great fun to read and most appreciated.
I remember reading a quote from Scotty Moore where he expressed a strong dislike for the release of session and take material from Elvis' past. If I remember the quote right, he felt that it was like "watching Elvis with his drawers down."
Do you think Elvis would have approved of the release of albums (such as on FTD) that included rehearsal and alternate takes?

Of course, without these outakes we would have never heard Suspicious Minds and the other American Sound recordings without the extra overdubs.
If I remember you prefer Chip's original version without overdubs.
For us fans, it's fascinating to hear the creative process, but perhaps Elvis' opinion would be similar to Moore's.
Thank you!
JoeKro77

Joe,
If Elvis thought those alternate takes were good enough he would have approved them to be the ones released to begin with.

I don't think he'd like them released now and also because he wouldn't want to see the fans milked like this buying everything that Sony/RCA and FTD put out today.

And yes, as far as what was cut at American Studios it should just be what Elvis and Chips okayed to be released.
They're both hit makers.
Marty

Dear Marty.
In her recent interview Priscilla said "Honestly, it never really felt like we were divorced. We always cared for one another. I didn't leave him because I didn't love him."
Didn't Priscilla leave Elvis because she wanted a (more stable) relationship with another man?
How did Elvis react at the time?
Knowing Elvis as you do, would he have taken Priscilla back if she had shown genuine remorse or was the damage done irreconcilable?

Thankyou
Mario.

Mario,
That may be the way she felt, which I think is bullshit, but Elvis knew and felt like they were divorced and he began being with Linda Thompson very quickly.
Linda cared a great deal for Elvis in ways Priscilla never did.
And yeah Priscilla played around with other guys while they were married including Mike Stone who she left Elvis to live with Stone.

Elvis tried to get Ann Margret back, but not Priscilla so that should tell you something.
Since Elvis has died she has made it all about her, don't let her smile fool you.
Marty

Marty
You were there on plenty of the movie locations.
Do you have any idea how much unreleased footage exist of elvis, professional and home movies..
We have seen some of Joe Esposito's films, did you ever film any home-movies yourself?

Thank You
Dave...

Dave,
I know of no footage that's available.
I didn't shoot film or pictures of Elvis because he had enough of that from Joe and I was not there to add to his discomfort in having a camera in your face so much.
Marty

 

Dear Marty,
This is the best web-site there is on Elvis. IMHO. Great to read your answers and the insights into the Inner circle. Ok here goes.
- I’ve seen a photo of Elvis in the early 70’s holding a pipe (tobacco) did he smoke a pipe once in a while?
- Did he ever broaden his culinary horizons beyond Meat and potatoes?
- Were there any favorite TV shows that he watched on a regular basis?
- How often did you guys go to Vegas just to hang out and have fun?

Thank You,
Patrick from New Jersey

Patrick,
Yes, for a brief time smoked a pipe but not that often.
As for what he ate, he sometimes would eat Italian food including pizza and spaghetti, corned beef sandwiches and a few other things.
He watched the nightly news, the Tonight Show and Gospel music shows on Sunday mornings.
In the 60's before he began performing in Vegas, he used to go every couple of years just for fun and we stayed mainly at the Sahara.
Marty

 

Dear Mr.Lacker,
I once read an interview of (former actress) Pat Priest, ELVIS' Co-Star in "Easy Come,Easy Go". Ms.Priest said that, the day filming took place on an actual U.S.Navy ship, the sailors were, naturally, delighted to meet Ms.Priest(and the other two gorgeous babes).
But, Ms.Priest said,the sailors were BLOWN AWAY(!!!!!!!!!!!!!)to get to meet ELVIS.
My question: Mr.Lacker,were you with ELVIS that day(s) on the Navy ship and,if you were,please comment on it.
Thanks for your time,Sir.
Randy
 
Randy,
yes, I was there for that movie but I don't remember what Pat is talking about.
Marty

Dear Marty,
Elvis once walked off stage in Vegas 'cos he was sick with the flu' but later came back on to finish the concert.
Were you there that day?
Did Elvis ever walk off the stage and cut a concert short because he was frustrated that he couldn't remember the words to a song?
Once again, thank you for your time.
Best regards,
Augustis

 
Augustis,
Not that I know of - or was present for.
Marty

Hi Marty,
This is my question : why did Elvis stop singing songs like : PATCH IT UP , SWEET CAROLINE, DON’T CRY DADDY, IN THE GHETTO, RUNAWAY, I’M SO LONESOME I COULD CRY etc…
He did these for a little while and after he never sang them again .
Is there a special reason or he was just tired of doing those songs? Even if he didn’t do them that much
Thanks
Take care & say hi to our friends RED , SONNY and DAVE HEBLER
From all of us Elvis fans
Sylvain
Montreal ,,Canada
 
Sylvain,
I guess he was just tired of singing them, he made no mention as to why he stopped.
Marty



hi marty
Theres a guy from ireland called Brendan Boyer, he used to play in one of the clubs in vegas.

He tells a story of how he was playing one nite and elvis was in the club and heard him sing, after the show elvis and a few of his guys came up and shook hands with him.
I’d love to know do you ever remember such a meeting, he also says he was at graceland as a guest of elvis.
He has a photo of elvis and himself but it is from 1966, on studio set it looks like.
I’m not sure how this matches his story.
Does this story or Brendan Boyer bring back any memories for you?
Thanks so much for your insight into the world of elvis,
joe o callaghan ireland

Joe,
I never heard of him but I do recognize that picture from the time he was doing Spinout and I was there on the set.
I never heard Elvis talk about him nor did I see them together at any other time than when that picture was taken.
I doubt he was a guest at Graceland, I never saw him there.
Marty

hi Marty thanks for your time.
Back here In the UK we have a former Rock N roll performer who Is still performing called Tommy Steele.
He became big over here on Elvis's shirt tails In the mid 50s.
In 2008 it was mentioned live on the BBC that Tommy Steele said that Elvis had in fact flown to London to meet him for 1 day In London where he toured the sights of London.
Lamar Fike rubbished this at the time and I think most Elvis fans think It Is not true.

I know It's a long time ago but can you recall anything that might give the UK fans a little glimmer of hope on this one.
Fans still just go on to Wikipedia and put in this Tommy Steele story.
Thanks Marty.
Chris Hart U.K

Chris,
I too have commented on this bullshit story in the past.
Steele, like a few other so-called celebrities have told false stories using Elvis to gain publicity for themselves.  Allow me to state this is plain English.
AT NO TIME AND AT NO PLACE, LONDON OR ANYWHERE ELSE, DID ELVIS MEET TOMMY STEELE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Fact is I never heard Elvis say Steele's name in the 20 years I was close to him and I doubt he even knew who he was.
Marty

Dear Marty,
Did Elvis have two face-lifts and a nose job in the mid 1970s?

Did he ever discuss these with you or any of the guys?
Thank you for your time.
Best regards,
Augustis Mantelis

Augustis,,
Elvis did not have a face lift, what he had was a small procedure to take the bags that were forming under his eyes.
It was done by Dr. Koleyni, a plastic surgeon here in Memphis.
Marty

 

EIN note - The Photo shows Elvis in July 1975 just after the procedure

 
Hello Mr.Lacker
Well we all have pursued why James Burton will not be on the Elvis Cruise in september 2014 but do you know what Red West is saying to James Burton's decision ?

I am surprised about James Burton's decision at first it's not his job to decide who is on the Elvis Cruise and who is not.
And I can't understand why he is talking about the book Red West wrote together with Sonny West and Dave Hebler.
I mean at first it's 37 years ago and I am sure "if anyone was or is mad about this book" then it's Elvis himself and if he left us in 1977.
Do you think Mr.Burton can call Elvis a "friend", did he ever meet up with each other in the private life.
What do you think of this?
Has Red West talked about it with you?
Thank you so much
Tiny Hands

Tiny
Burton is a hypocrite. His comments about Red and others who have made money off of Elvis is ludicrous because James has made more money off of Elvis by playing all those gigs with the TCB band since Elvis died.
He didn't do those gigs for free.
Red has made no comment that I know of but I'm sure he doesn't think much of Burton after this.
Burton is also making himself out to be more than he was as far as Elvis is concerned. Red spent over 20 years as Elvis' friend and protector and was willing to take a bullet for him, Burton can't say the same.
Burton saw Elvis on stage but really was not part of Elvis' inner circle, Red was.
Forget Burton, he's not worth the time.
Marty

Hi Marty,
You, Red and Sonny were a big part in Elvis life.
Have you guys or has Lisa, reached out to each other?

and if all of you haven't.......don’t you think it might be worth the effort? I would think Lisa would want to know everything about her Dad.....good or bad.
I never knew my Dad so that’s how I would feel....
thanks Marty
bruce

Bruce,
That would be the normal thing to do but Lisa has been influenced by her mother and a few of her mother's ass kissers who have painted the five or six of us who don't kiss their asses as the bad guys just to make themselves falsely look like the good guys.
So the answer is NO, we have nothing to do with her or her mother and that's our choice based on their actions as soon as Elvis died.
Marty


Red West Interview: Red West was one of Elvis' closest friends. He first met Elvis in High School and went on to work for Elvis as a bodyguard until 1976. Elvis and Red West became close friends when Red volunteered to help drive Elvis, Scotty Moore, Bill Black and DJ Fontana around the southern US states for their early tours of 1955-1956.  Red West is also a talented composer and actor who still appears in award-winning movies. 

In 1999 Red West was the main guest at the Elvis English Fan Club Convention where he opened up to fans like never before, revealing his true love for Elvis. It is certainly one of the longest and the best interviews with Red West - and at times devastatingly honest.

EIN now presents this fascinating interview for Elvis Week 2010.

(Interviews; Source;OEPFC)

Marty - thanks, as always, for sharing your stories with us with such honesty and candor. We appreciate you.


A few different questions
1. Were you there when Elvis met Jackie Wilson? If so, how was it, and how was their relationship overall?
2. Did Elvis have any type of relationship or friendship with Vikki Carr?
3. What would Elvis think about the informal soundboard concerts and the outtakes being released by RCA? Would he be amused or would it upset him?
4. Were you concerned about Elvis' health in 1977 and did it seem "life and death" to you at the time or did his passing surprise you?
Thanks, Lon

Lon,
Yes, I was there when Elvis met Jackie at The Trip nightclub on Sunset Blvd. one Saturday night and it was an immediate mutual admiration society.
They got along great, Elvis always admired Jackie's singing even when he first saw him in Vegas in the 50's when Jackie was part of a group.
They remained friends including Jackie visiting us at the film studio while Elvis was filming a movie.
Jackie and I also became good friends and we saw each other a few times when he came to Memphis to perform.
By the way in case you didn't know Elvis paid much of Jackie's medical bills after Jackie had a stroke just before he died and was in a hospital.

As for Vikki Carr, no relationship or friendship that I know of.

With the concert recordings, I don't think Elvis would like the soundboards and out takes being released for a couple of reasons, if he thought they were good enough he would have released them in the first place but he didn't.
Secondly I doubt he'd like the idea that the fans are being milked and soaked for the many versions of each song as Sony/RCA and EPE is doing.

I wasn't with him in '77 but from what the guys were telling me then I knew he was not in good shape.
When it happened I was a bit surprised but not shocked as he wouldn't listen to the few of us who talked to him about his problem.
- Marty

Hello Mr. Lacker:
We all know that Elvis loved automobiles and that he kept the 1955 Cadillac (pink one). I also read that Elvis also kept that 1956 Lincoln Continental Mark II until 1976 and then sold it for whatever reason.
What made him finally decide to sell it after keeping it so long?
Also, how did Elvis decide what vehicle he was going to use on any given day?
He had so many to choose from.
Also, was he rough on his vehicles?
Just curious.
Thank you. G. Montz

G,
He must have sold the Mark after I was gone in late '76, I didn't know he sold it.
He kept the pink Caddy because that was the first car he bought his mother.
He didn't have a bunch of cars at the same time, usually just a couple and he usually just used the newest one.
Marty

Dear Marty,
Thank you for answering all of these questions in such fascinating detail - the opportunity to ask someone who was there is so appreciated by fans.
Bob Dylan recorded a song called 'Went To See The Gypsy' for his 1970 album 'New Morning', which is about him seeing Elvis live in Las Vegas. Do you remember Dylan being there at any time and is it possible that he met with Elvis?
Secondly, Jerry Schilling says that Dylan repeatedly phoned Elvis's Perugia Way home in the '60's hoping for a meeting. Is this true?
Thirdly, what led to Elvis recording Dylan's 'Tomorrow Is A Long Time' in 1966?
Thank you for your time.
All the best,
Aaron Spicer

Aaron,
I never saw Dylan meeting Elvis nor did I hear that it ever happened when I was not around.
As for Schilling saying Dylan repeatingly calling in the 60's at the Perugia House, that is a bunch of crap.
As Foreman I would have been told to handle that and the phone number was unlisted and I doubt Dylan had it.
As for the song, Elvis recorded it simply because he liked the song.
In the 60's when Dylan's first album came out loaded with good songs I bought it for him at Martin' Music in Culver City, California near MGM Studios and we listened to it a good bit.
Marty

Hi Marty
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. It's great to gain insight into the life of Elvis from someone that knew him and experienced the most pivotal moments of his career with him.
From 1972 onwards Elvis mainly stuck to the same set list night after night with little change. One of the only exceptions to this is when he completely overhauled the show for the opening night of the summer 1974 Hilton engagement. He opened with Big Boss Man instead of CC Rider and sang many other rarities. But by the very next night he had went back to the old set list.
That one major change in 1974 was a total exception.
Did Elvis mention any specific reason for this?
Thanks, Tyler.

Tyler,
I never heard him give a reason but by then he was bored and not willing to go through the effort of changing.
In addition since he wasn't getting any really good new songs, what was he going to change to.
Marty

Dear MR. LACKER,
I am hoping you will get this mail and I thank you for your time in reading it.
Compared to all the questions that you receive, this is somewhat unusual.
In May 1967 I was working in the capacity of head Pastry Chef at the Aladdin Hotel in Las Vegas and therefore was asked to make the wedding cake for Elvis and Priscilla. During the course of that morning, there was a photo op for the press in the Ball Room. The wedding cake was on the stage with the bridal couple and I was introduced to them. It was a great pleasure for me to shake hands with Elvis and his wife. Precisely at that moment, dozens of flashlights went off but much to my dismay, to this day I haven't seen that photo of me shaking hands with Elvis !
You probably remember that moment because you where there.
For years now, I am trying to locate this picture.
Of course, I am not asking you to provide that photo but perhaps you could help me to contact someone that was there.
What are your memories and do you still have contacts from that day?
With my very best regards. DENIS MARTIG

Denis,
Yes, I remember that day. However I have no photo nor have I seen one of you shaking his hand.
The best thing I can suggest is that you contact the archives department of the Vegas papers as they probably have photos of that day in their files. or if you can find the photographer that worked at The Aladdin back then he might have a copy.
Sorry I can't help you.
Marty

EIN - notes - Please see the Marty Lacker "The Wedding" article below

Marty, i am an Elvis fan from Romania, a small country of Europe.
I am very grateful to you for your kind answers and I dare to ask you a question.
I read in many books about Elvis the story of an incident which took place in August 1964, right after Girl Happy was completed.
The Colonel confronted Elvis about being "on a religious kick" under the influence of Larry Geller.
After the discussion, Elvis fired Joe Esposito (because Elvis believed he was the Colonel's spy) and you became foreman.
My question is: Did Elvis on that day considering to fire Parker as well?

My opinion is if Elvis fired Parker on that day his life and career could be different.
Many thanks. Alexandru Diaconu

Alexandru,
No, Elvis did not consider firing Parker at that time that I know of.
However I wholeheartedly agree with you that he would have been better off and possible still alive if he had fired Parker then.
Marty

EIN Notes that the 'Religious Kick' confrontation by Col Parker is in fact also known as the 'Clambake Incident' as it took place in 1967 before the start of filming Clambake, not in 1964.

-----------------------------------------------------------------
Marty, how are you?
My question:
Did Elvis Like Ice Cream, And If So, Did He Have A Favorite Flavor?
Take care and thank you.
Sarah

Sarah,
Really????????????
Yes, he liked ice cream and not just one flavor.
Marty


'The Wedding' EIN Spotlight: Whatever people's own personal feelings are toward Priscilla, Elvis clearly loved her. We can debate whether he was ‘pushed’ in to marriage by outside forces or whether Elvis who belonged to the women of the world should have married at all, but the fact is that Elvis did marry Priscilla 45 years ago. May 1st 1967 was no ordinary day in Elvis' life.
There were however some odd choices to the day and the ‘last minute’ exclusion of some of those who grew-up with Elvis was a particularly bad and hurtful.
Marty Lacker was Elvis' co-Best Man at the wedding and he has kindly given EIN permission to publish his story of what happened on that famous day.
Go here to Marty Lacker's story with some great Elvis & Priscilla photos

(Spotlight, Source;ElvisInformationNetwork)


Hi Marty,
How do you feel about the FTD's Classic series of Album  releases with outtakes.

How do you rate the work Ernst and Roger do for collectors?

Also regarding Elvis not going back to American Studio because he was poisoned by the Colonel and his father  Vernon. Why would that be?
Didn't Elvis and Colonel realize that he had achieve a tremendous artistic and financial success with Suspicious Minds, In The Ghetto, Don't Cry Daddy, Kentucky Rain and the LP From Elvis In Memphis for which the Rolling Stones magazine recognized a really outstanding piece of recording when it came out.
Parker loved money - so why not let Elvis go back to Chips' studio?
Thanks
Luc Lepage, Montréal, Qc
Luc,
I don't like the outatkes the originals are great and can stand the test of time. 
If Elvis had liked them he would have chosen them to be released but he didn't.


Parker didn't like the fact that he lost control when Elvis did the American sessions and that Chips would not give him a piece of the publishing of Suspicious Mind. Parker had nothing to do with Elvis deciding to record there and that pissed him off because he was a control freak who was always afraid Elvis would learn more about the business side of his career and then start to go against what Parker wanted. 
Elvis made the spur of the moment decision to record their after I talked to him and he didn't consult Parker about it.  Parker thought the session would be done in Nashville as it had been set up by him and Felton Jarvis.
If it had been in Nashville, you wouldn't have ever heard Suspicious Minds or In The Ghetto.
Marty
-----------------------------
Hi Marty,
I’m so glad I found you on this site. I asked you a couple of questions when you were on the Radio site so I am thrilled you are still answering questions.
I was wondering if you think its possible that there is other footage out there of Elvis’ concerts.
It seems so odd that someone as great as he was didn’t have more video’s made. Do you think EPE might have some they are holding onto for the future or possibly RCA. With the hundreds of concerts that he did I sure wish there was more for us to see.
My other question is about the book that you wrote with Billy.
Is there anything you put in there that you wish you would have kept to yourself?

I read your books and I loved them but there were things that surprised me and because I’m protective of Elvis memory I would rather people didn’t get to read some of those things.
I’ve read tons of books about Elvis and sometimes I have to read between the lines because I don’t trust that everyone is telling the truth but I have to say that your book with Billy is the best one out there.
I believe you really cared about Elvis.
Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.
Fran  

Fran,
I have no idea if there is footage out there because that's something that didn't interest us.

As for what we wrote in our book, I stand by everything I said and if I didn't think I should say something I wouldn't have said it.
Elvis is too important a historical cultural icon not to have the complete truth told about him so that generations to come can learn from his life.
One thing they should realize from the book is that money can't buy you happiness nor is the grass always greener on the other side.
Marty

EIN Notes - YES, there is more good quality Elvis concert footage still to be released. New article coming soon!

Dear Mr.Lacker,
 I once read that, in 1971,the city of Memphis asked ELVIS to stop signing autographs at the Graceland gates because of the possible/likely "traffic hazzard" of people driving by jamming on their brakes at the sight of ELVIS.
 Do you know if this is true?

 Thanks for your time, Sir.
 Respectfully,
 Randy

Randy,
I don't remember that happening but it very well might have.
They would have talked to his father about it not Elvis.
However he didn't stop doing it.
Marty 

--------------------------------
Marty,
I recently listened to 2 Vegas Opening Night recordings, namely the August 1972 and August 1974 Opening Nights.
It was so refreshing to hear that Elvis had changed the setlist around quite a bit. Unfortunately, he would return to the more familiar tunes by mid-season and in later years the setlists had become quite static with occasional rarities.
Did he ever share with you, why he didn't keep his renewed setlist for, let's say, a complete season?
If not, what do you think?

Kind regards,
Stefan

Stefan.
That's because Parker had him touring too much, almost every month and it gets tiresome and so he got a bit lazy and content with what he was performing.
Marty
--------------------------------------

Marty,
What do think ELVIS would of thought now about all the drugs & crazy killings nowadays.
9.11, Things like that.
Elvis stated he wanted to help stop 'drug culture' - what would he be crusading for nowadays?

Marty keep telling it LIKE IT WAS  & commenting on the bullshitters
Thanks
Ron Trund

Ron,
Although he did not take street drugs the prescribed drugs he took would have been a good place to stop the drug culture, they did damage to him physically and mentally. 
Elvis said a  lot of things but he was just talking and trying to sound good.
That's the reality of it all.
Marty

----------------------------------

Hi Marty,
DO YOU THINK ELVIS WOULD HAVE WANTED MORE CHILDREN?
Thank you.
Pete

Pete,
Yes, he always talked about wanting a son.
Marty



Hello Marty
Elvis endured two "comebacks" and both times his career resumed, he found satisfaction and restored his confidence in himself.
The first when he returned from the army, then in 1968 and the 69 Memphis Sessions and the Las Vegas triumph.
My question is about the 1977 Elvis CBS Concert (heartbreaking to watch) when he looked in awful shape.
Was he even able to view this before it was to air ?
The bodyguards book 'Elvis What Happened?' was released in August of 77 containing references of his addiction to prescribed medications. August 17th was to be the first series of concerts after that book was released.
In your opinion had Elvis not have died and he was faced with the fact that his adoring fans now saw the truth of the revelations of the book.
Elvis said the image is one thing and the human being is another.
Supposed he lived and had taken a serious look at himself and began to change the course of life -  Would there have been a third comeback?
You knew him well enough, what do you speculate?

Thank you in advance Marty!
Derek

Derek,
Elvis had said if someone in the audience in one of his shows during that last tour that was planned mentioned it, that he would admit that he had a problem and he was under treatment to fix it - but I don't believe he would have. He was real stubborn about people telling him his problem was changing him and effecting him negatively.
Red West had a talk with him and I had mentioned it in a letter I sent him after I left in late '76 and he told us both to mind our own business.
When you take that stuff you think you're in control but you're not.
I know as I took those pills that he introduced me to for 15 years. Thankfully I quit taking them in '76 and have never taken another one since. 
However, had he been able to stop taking them and lived on he would have been the old strong Elvis.
And it was in great hopes that he'd rid himself of Parker and have chance at making a strong comeback with new challenges like touring outside the U.S. which Parker kept him from doing because Parker was an illegal alien.
Marty

------------------------------------

Hi Marty,
just back Memphis and I live in Scotland
My ques is If Elvis has started doing world tours after aloha show, eg Uk, japan, europe, austrailia etc do u think he would have got back to his prime in health like eg 69/72, instead of going back to vegas & touring the states.
I know there is a lot to do with col parker for not wanting Elvis to tour overseas, personally if it was resolved I think Elvis would have been
totally motivated & life would have taken a new path & direction for him.
What do you think?
Also any thoughts on G Aldens book due to be released in Aug?
Look frwd to your reply
Thanks so much
From Oban ,Scotland
Stephen Dalziel.

Stephen,
If Elvis toured outside the U.S. he would have taken that as a new challenge and hopefully he would have first gotten himself back in good health including not taking the pills.
He did that just before he was challenged with the Aloha Satelite show in '73.

As for Ginger's book you will probably find it in the fiction section of your local bookstore.
I never met her because she came after I left but from what a couple of the original guys who were still there told me she wasn't right or good for Elvis.
Marty

-------------------------------------------

Hi Marty,
Was Elvis really planning on recording Angelica, the song he “gave” to Roy Hamilton?
Did he cherish those recordings at American Studios more than others?

How did he come to pick an obscure Bee Gees song like “Words” and turn it into a masterpiece?
Thanks,
Peter.

Peter,
Yes he was going to record Angelica but when he met one of his great influences, Roy Hamilton, at American he wanted Roy to once again have a hit record and Roy's voice was perfect for that song.

Elvis liked Words every time he heard it on the radio and some times would sing along to it in the car.
Marty

---------------------------------------------

Marty
- hi again from Tony in the UK.
Before I ask my question I must say that being able to read your answers is like one Christmas present after another - you beat the heck out of Santa, my man!!  Thank you so much.

I saw a TV interview with Dolly Parton a month or so ago (probably recorded a while before) in one part of which she gave some background on her song "I Will Always Love You".  As a sort of an aside, she said that Elvis had wanted to record that song and she expressed regret that it didn't happen because he was so good at interpreting emotional songs.
To digress for a moment - one example that immediately comes to mind - Elvis returned Gentle On My Mind from the gentle folky ballad as sung by Dean Martin and Glen Campbell to the heart-breaking song of loss and regret it was meant to be, again reinforcing your words about the impact of American Studios.
Anyway back to Dolly - she then said she believed Elvis had actually learnt and rehearsed the song but it got shelved when she, understandably, refused Parker's request/demand that she give up some of the song-writing royalties. Have you any knowledge of this? 
Assuming this story is true, and I can't see why Dolly would make up such a tale, how frustrating that Elvis was denied - denied himself, if we're being brutally honest about his lack of desire to challenge Col Tom - access to such great music! Grrr!!
Thanks again for all your time and insights.
Tony

Tony
The Dolly Parton story is true.
Parker kept Elvis from getting a lot of good songs for years because he always insisted on getting a piece of the publishing from the songwriter and publisher.
Dolly is a strong lady and business person and she refused to give it to him.

The song was Parton's  'Coat Of Many Colors', I do not remember Elvis thinking about recording 'I Will Always Love You'.

Just as Chips Moman refused to give it to him on 'Suspicious Minds'. Elvis decided to do Suspicious anyway after I talked to him one night during the sessions at American about how that practice was hurting his recording career.
Marty

EIN Notes - please see Spotlight below American Studios 'Turning Point In History'

G’day Marty
I just watched a short clip of Charlie Hodge stating that Elvis himself decided to use “Also Sprach Zarathustra”?
I was under the impression that it was Joe Guercio’s wife that gave him (Joe) the idea?
Would you know the “actual” story behind the Intro?

Kindest of Regards
Ray Faithfull

Ray,
Elvis claimed it was his idea and Joe claims it was his idea, I believe Elvis but it ain't no big deal.
They used it and that's all that matters.
Marty

------------------------------------

Hello Marty,
It's so nice of you to answer our questions.
Here's mine:
We know Elvis wanted to be a serious dramatic actor.
Did Elvis ever express a desire to star in a film with any particular actor?

Thanks,
Nick
 
Nick,
Not that I remember.
Marty



'American Studios - A Turning Point In History': Elvis' pivotal recordings at American Studios in January and February 1969 were a key turning point, not just in Elvis' amazing legacy but also in music history. Extraordinarily the 40th anniversary of Elvis' American Studios sessions has essentially passed without so much as a whimper. There is no sign marking the site where these landmark sessions took place. There has also been no media focus commemorating the string of hits generated from Elvis’ all too brief Memphis convergence with legendary producer Lincoln Wayne "Chips" Moman and the talented musicians assembled in his studio. EPE has not even acknowledged the recording or release dates of these chart topping songs. EIN recently noted the 40th Anniversary of the first chart topping song from these sessions 'In The Ghetto' and now EIN contributor Pamela Mays Decker turns a much-needed spotlight onto these unique Memphis sessions. Click here for this fascinating spotlight. (Spotlight, Source;EIN/PamDecker)



Hi Marty. This is Ron.
I know Elvis loved boxing what would he have said about the UFC and would he have liked it.

Were you there when Elvis worked on Kid Galahad and had to train for his boxing role?
What did Elvis think of training with a boxing professional?
Did he then try it out with any of you guys?

Ron Trudell

Ron,
I'm really not sure what he'd feel about UFC, it's more like a street fight than skilled boxing or martial arts.
Yes, I was there for the Kid Galahad filming.

And Elvis did enjoy training with boxing professionals.

In fact I was a guinea pig for them to test the cut makeup so that when he or a fighter got hit with the glove the glue hiding the blood would get on the glove and a fake cut would appear on the fighter's face.
- Marty

(Marty is third left on the Kid Galahad movie set)

Hello Marty
With Elvis being so involved in martial arts through out his life was he a fan of Bruce lee?
Was he a fan of Bruce's movies,did they ever meet?

Thank you,
Marty w. D

Marty,
First off, I like your name! :-)
Yes, he was a fan of Bruce Lee and we did watch a couple of his movies. As far as I know they didn't meet, at least not ever when I was around.
Marty

----------------------------------

Hello Marty
Hope you are well and thanks so much for doing this for the fans!
We know that Elvis admired Muhammad ali and had that boxing robe made for him, but did Elvis ever go and see him fight whilst in Vegas?
Also was Elvis a fan of boxing in general?

Many thanks Marty.
All the best to you
Pete from London, England.

Pete,
No Elvis did not go to the boxing matches but we did watch some on TV according to who was fighting, mainly championship fights.
I do remember that he liked to watch Ruben "Hurricane" Carter fight.
Marty

--------------------------------

Dear Mr.Lacker
I would like to ask(please?)
Did you ever help ELVIS learn his "lines"(for a movie) by you reading the "lines" of the other person(s) in the "scene"?
Thanks for your time, Sir.
Randy Erdman

Randy,
Just a couple of times but he was very skilled at memorizing his lines with very little help.
Marty

Hello, Marty
Do you know if Elvis ever seriously considered proposing to Ann- Margret.
Surely he could have had some great years with her.

Ann- Margret seemed to be such a wonderful part of his life.
His marriage to Priscilla appeared to be largely miserable except for having his daughter.
Thank you!
Diane

Diane,
After he and Priscilla split up he visited Ann in Vegas when she opened there and did ask her to come back to him and marry him.
A few of us wished that he had chosen her and not Priscilla in spite of the fact that Priscilla's father threatened him with legal and media trouble if he didn't marry her.
Ann would have made a caring and loyal wife to Elvis because they both had great feelings for each other and Ann was much more mature and a helluva lot more fun to be around.
She is a good lady.
Marty

Hi Marty,
Thank you for answering our questions.
Lamar Fike once said that being drafted in the Army was the single most life-changing event for Elvis for 3 reasons:

1) His mother died.
2) He got introduced to drugs, and
3) He met Priscilla.
What are your thoughts on this? Would you agree?
All the best,
Jeanne



Jeanne
I would agree with the his mother dying the biggest life-changing event for Elvis.
Marty



TWO questions sent to EIN about Elvis and Hilton staff
Dear Mr.Lacker,
I would like to ask please
Did ELVIS have favorite room-service waiters at the Las Vegas Hilton?
Thanks for your time,Sir.

Randy Erdman

Randy,
One of the head waiters named Mario always brought Elvis' room service to him in the suite so he was the only one Elvis knew.
Marty


From: Barry Stuart
Hi Marty,
I want to ask you about the very weird closing night concert of September 1973 - the night Elvis tried to fire The Colonel.
In the concert Elvis tells off the Hilton while on stage for trying to sack MARIO the waiter who was Elvis's friend.

The quote is on this EIN website.
Elvis says, "Mario needs a job, and I think the Hilton's bigger than that. No disrespect, but I just wanna’ wake up Conrad Hilton and tell him about Mario's job, that's all."
I was wondering whether Elvis befriended particular waiters at the Hilton - would Elvis have known Marios for a few years?
Thanks
Barry in London
Barry,
Head waiter Mario was the only one that brought Elvis' room service to him
He was a very humble and good man and Elvis took a liking to him. He didn't know any other waiters. 
Parker got upset about Elvis saying that on stage and then told Elvis that he could make Conrad Hilton mad.
Elvis said he didn't care because Mario did nothing wrong.
Parker really was afraid Hilton would cut his perks from the hotel off more than how it would effect Elvis.
Parker told Elvis if he didn't apologize that he, Parker would quit, Elvis then said if that is the way he felt than he's fired.
They didn't talk for a couple of days until Parker presented Vernon Presley and bullshit bill saying Elvis owed him $2 Million for past expenses that Parker put out.
Naturally that scared penny pinching Vernon who talked Elvis into rehiring and making up with Parker.
It's a shame he listened to his father.
Marty


EIN Notes - the '1973 Closing Night' concert  was released by FTD and is reviewed here


Hi Marty,
What was Elvis’s involvement with Nick Adams?
Some publications (“Some”) state that he and Elvis were in a homosexual relationship.
From my readings on Elvis, I can’t see it.

Also, Nick Adams died in 1968.
Was Elvis in contact with him then or commented on his death?
Thanks,
Charlie

Charlie,
Some nitwit started that false rumor that Nick and Elvis had a homosexual relation only because it was revealed that Nick was gay. 
I can tell you that he never acted gay around us and if Elvis was gay then the whole world is gay. 
Nothing but a crock of shit. 
Nick was not around after the early 60's.
Marty

CLICK HERE - to EIN's exclusive interview with about Nick Adams and Elvis

------------------

Hello Marty,
what a pleasure it is to communicate with you.
What music do you remember Elvis listen to the most at home and on road trips.
Did he have favourite artists and songs?

Are there any songs he was eager to record but ran out of time?
From Scott in Glasgow (we love Elvis in Scotland!)


Scott,
In the 60's when we used to drive back and forth in the custom bus I had made a tape of songs Elvis liked and it was variety of songs from Black Gospel, pop songs including Andy William's Moon River, The Four Amigos Mexican album cuts to anything rock n' roll.
Marty

Hi Marty, I was 13 in 1968.
There was a lot of unrest in this country with the war and RFK AND MLK assassinations. I recently saw an interview with Steve Binder about "race relations" and TV.

The 68 Comeback was being taped when RFK was shot.  When looking back that "special" was making  quite a statement without saying a word. The Blossoms were side by side with Elvis during the gospel segment, the lead dancer was African American also in that segment and in the bordello scene there was a very beautiful African American woman  catching Elvis' eye and of course the end of the show IF I CAN DREAM.
About the same time during the Country Music Awards they told the presenter Loretta Lynn do not touch Charlie Pride if he won best song award (he won and she gave him a big hug)
So the question is "Was there any open discussion about the role that African Americans would play in the 68 Comeback"?
thanks bruce bailey


Bailey,
I was not there for the '68 special however I can tell you that those decisions were made by Binder not Elvis except for The Blossoms but Elvis liked them because of their talent not solely because they were Black. 
However, Elvis had an affinity for Black folk and Black music both Gospel and Secular.
Marty

Hi Marty,
I wanted to ask you if you were there during the taping of the 68 special.
What was it like seeing Elvis singing live again, in front of an audience?

There are pictures of Lamar Fike with Elvis at the press conference, were you there?
Also, what about those pictures of him on the same stage but wearing a blue shirt: was he really singing/rehearsing or were they only publicity stills?
Thank YOU for keeping his memory alive.
Best wishes,
Jean

Jean,
I wish I could help but I was not there, I was back in Memphis busy in the music business.
Marty

From: Steve Braun
Marty,
Thanks for taking the time. My favorite Elvis is the 1970 “That’s The Way It Is” Elvis. I thought he seemed so focused and on fire.
I think that “Suspicious Minds” was his greatest, uptempo, concert performance. His movements were amazing.
What are your feeling about that period?
Do you have a favorite period?

Steve,
I like the early Elvis in the 50's and very early 60's.. Plus '69.
Marty

Hi Marty
   Thanks for your time. 
We have heard from many of Elvis’ costars through the years, but one person who has seemed to disappear is Tuesday Weld.  Do you know how she is? 

I always liked her and the fact she never mentioned anything about Elvis after he passed. 
I was just wondering if she still keeps in contact with anyone from the Elvis’ circle of friends. 
thanks, Steve

Steve,
Sorry, I can't help you, I haven't heard from or talked to Tuesday since the 60's.
I don't anyone who has.
Marty


EIN notes that Tuesday Weld turned 70 on Aug 27, 2013 and has become a recluse. At one point she lived on Long Island, NY but her address is not public anymore.
Tuesday Weld herself realised the obvious potential of a "CULT" following when she said, " I love that ‘Tuesday Weld cult’ thing. Fun. And it has endurance. You don’t have to do anything to be it. You don’t have to work. In fact, it’s better you don’t, know-what-I-mean?"

Hi Marty,
i hope you´re fine.
I´m a great fan of Americas National Parks.

We all knows the private movies, showing Elvis at the Metor Crater in Arizona.
There is another footage of Pricilla and in the background you can see the Grand Canyon.
What i would like to know is, was Elvis interested about these places and visited he places like
Yellowstone, Bryce Canyon, Yosemite and others. During his bus tours in the 60´s it must be easy for him to do this.
Can you tell me any other places he may have visited.
 I never seen any pictures, are there pictures available?
Matthias from Germany

Mathias,
the only reason we stopped at the Grand Canyon is because Priscilla and a few of the wives were on that trip and they wanted to see it.
Usually on our cross country trips we drove straight thru except to stop and sleep and eat with no sightseeing.
Marty

EIN - says Click HERE to YouTube Clip of Elvis at Meteor Crater



Dear Marty!
Thanks so much for making you available for us to know more about the man that had so much influence on our lives!
1. What in your opinion was the "big break" between you guys since I understand that you, Lamar ,Sonny and Red and of course Billy are on one side and Priscilla ,Lisa, Jerry and Joe went the other way?

2. Was it already back then  two groups?
Ever since I saw the long video years ago with you and the boys in " The Kings Men" I put a lot of trust in you and the others.
3. Was it hard to deal with Priscilla when she moved in?
4. What effect did it have on you sleeping daytime and being up all nights? I thought that we all need sun and light?
5. Would you say that Elvis and Vernon had a good relationship all the years?
My best wishes to you from Sweden!
Kjell Johansson

Kjell,
Since Elvis died those people you mention badmouthed the five of us trying to make the fans think they were the good guys and we were the bad guys - as for Priscilla she only wanted to be around the guys that kissed her ass which we never did.  I think Lisa was negatively influenced about us by the other three.

Yes in the later years there was a little clique of Joe, Jerry, Dr. Nick and Klein and they had their noses up Priscilla back then too.

Thank you for the compliment on All The King's Men, it's not hard to look honest when you're telling the truth.

I put up with Priscilla to make Elvis' life more pleasant but as I said I never kissed her ass.

As for the day and nite sleeping, you get used to doing something very easy but we didn't always sleep all day especially in the 60's while doing movies.  We got up very very early in the morning to be at the studio.

Elvis loved his father and they got along but he was closer to his mother. Vernon also had a bit of jealousy that Elvis became so rich and famous and he became the provider for his father.
- Marty

------------------------------------

hi marty,
thanks for your time,in being so helpful,just a few questions
Why did elvis choose yourself and joe to be co best man?

Do you think if elvis mother had lived, she would have stopped his pill addiction, and he,d be alive today.
many thanks
phil uk

Phil,
I'm proud that Elvis asked me to be his Best Man in late November, '66 even though I was not glad he chose to marry Priscilla and under the circumstances he told me about.  To be honest with you the moment he asked me I knew Joe would be pissed and that he would find some way to either replace me or join me, those were my honest thoughts at that moment. 
My premonition turned out to be true when he started a little campaign to do so and I firmly believe he used Priscilla, his wife Joan and Parker to influence Elvis to add him which he did in April '67.

In the end it really doesn't make a difference as I'm just happy he thought enough of me to ask me.
- Marty

---------------------------------------

Hi Marty,
I totally agree with you about James Burton, he had no right to say words against Red.
I met Red years ago in Australia and he seemed very sincere of his love for Elvis.

My question is why wasn't Red or Sonny invited to the Vegas wedding or why did he choose Esposito over Red for dual best man?
Also do you think it time for Elvis to get a new band after them playing the same music time after time with no attempt to change their arrangements or playing style?

Hi There,
It's a shame you didn't give your name but I will answer as best I can.

Burton is a phony hypocrite and what he should have done if he didn't want to be there because of Red is just shut up about it and not put it out in public and diss Red, he should have just made an excuse that he couldn't make the cruise.

As for why Joe and not Red as co best-man, I answered that in my previous answer above.

Yes, I think he should have changed bands after a couple of years but he got comfortable with those guys.
- Marty

---------------------------------------------------

Thank you Marty for sharing your experiences.
It especially means so much to me and lets us see Elvis as a normal everyday guy. I read your first book which is the best one written, with the Billy, Lamar & your book 2nd. So a couple of questions please.
I would like to know if Lamar's book will ever be published and if Red is working on a new book? 
Also any news on Sony's health? 
Also I've repeatedly read that Elvis was a good judge of character. So why did he keep people like George around, who to this day makes assertions that aren't true?

The only reason I can fathom is perhaps he gave him air time early on????
I was lucky to see Elvis in March '77 and he sounded magnificent.
Ellie Schmidt

Ellie,
Whether Lamar's book is ever published is up to his cousin Tommy who is his sole heir and beneficiary and now controls Lamar's estate.  I have not heard anything about Red writing a new book.  Sonny is recovering well and is in therapy three times a week.

As for Klein, Elvis basically pushed him away in late '76 when he wanted most of us to stay away.  Elvis was a loyal person and he remembered George from high school I doubt George playing his records had anything to do with it.

George also, amongst other things, exaggerates and speaks untruths about how often he came up to Graceland. I hear tell he says on his radio show that he used to come up three or four times a week when in reality it was usually just on Saturday night or every other Saturday or when he conveniently heard Elvis was in a generous mood and was giving things to people.
- Marty

-------------------------------

Hello Marty,
Why Elvis did not replace Colonel Parker, Elvis could have done much more with his career like international touring!
We know that Elvis fired Col Parker in late 1973 but then was forced to take him back. Why did he have such a hold over Elvis?
Did Elvis ever discuss getting rid of Col Parker with you?
Fadi, from Lebanon

Fadi,
It was my greatest wish that Elvis got rid of the carny con man but I think he didn't mainly because Parker, from the beginning, made sure Elvis didn't know the business side of entertaining and he didn't really know how managers and other agents really worked.

Therefore it is my belief that Elvis was afraid that if he got rid of Parker he wouldn't do as well as he had been. However what he didn't know is that there were better managers out there who also would have cared about Elvis as well as his career and would have booked him outside the U.S. and given him new challenges.
They also would have opened Elvis up to getting better songs to record no matter who had the publishing.
- Marty

For MORE on 'The Dark Side Of Colonel Parker' GO HERE to EIN's detailed examination

---------------------------------------------------------------

Hi Marty,
I would like to ask you what is your opinion of The Elvis The Concert show with the big screens & TCB Band etc & if Elvis were alive today do you think he would still be using the same guys  ( James Burton, Ronnie Tutt etc )

 
I do believe he would be proud  of the production & maybe tickled that the band have played more Elvis shows than he did…Lol..
 
I  met you in  Memphis in the early 80’s & am glad that you are still doing great & TCB ing.
Best wishes Tony B, South Wales

Tony,
I have never seen that show, without Elvis it's no the same.

Sometimes Elvis go too comfortable and didn't want changes in what he sang or who he performed with in a band. In the later years I think he just got too tired of it all and didn't want to make the effort.

As for how he'd feel now, I think he would be very grateful that people still remember and honor him by going to these kinds of shows. 
He would be very proud and happy.
- Marty

-------------------------------------------------------

Dear Marty,
I know a lot about Elvis thanks to you and dozens of books that I own but I'd like to know more about you.
What have you been up to the last five years and how do you generally pass your days now
.
Do you ever think of updating & reprinting your book?
Best regards,
Augustis Mantelis

Augustis,,
Thanks for asking but I hate to disappoint you as I have not done anything exciting in the last 5 years. 
I have been retired and occasionally do music consultancy when asked.
- Marty

-----------------------------------------------

Marty,
I was watching tv the other day and saw a special on the Playboy mansion.  There are claims that there is an "Elvis Room" in the mansion.  So the story goes.....Elvis spent one night in that room and to this day it has not been touched since.  Seems like nobody "in the know" can establish if this is a myth or fact.  Any ideas???

I suspect that it is only another myth but Elvis at one point did lease or borrow Hefner's playboy jet to get to a concert.
PS.  Thank you so much for all you do. 
Lance Johnson

Lance,
To my knowledge Elvis never went to the Playboy Mansion and he definitely didn't go there when I was with him.
- Marty

NOTE - EIN has also heard this so-called true story but believe it to be the usual hype and complete BS. The topical painting is by artist Kata Billups.



Marty
I appreciate all you do to keep Elvis memory alive.
You have a lot of experience in the industry and help Elvis make better choices for material.
What I would like to know is what you would do to expand his brand?

What Songs would you remix?
What steps can the new owners do to better the experience of Graceland and increase the number of visitors, which has stagnated.
Have you heard any rumors on what the new owners will do to expand his brand?
How would you expand his music sales?
What Countries do you think they could target for the strongest grow?
Thanks Peter
Phoenix

Peter,
That's a lot to ponder. I always wanted him to do a real R&B and Blues album because that is the kind of music he felt.
As for remixing anything I doubt I'd bother, what I would do is throw a lot of the crap out of the terrible songs that Parker and Freddy Bienstock sent him to record. In that line I would burn all traces of him singing 'Old McDonald'.

As far as the new owners, I think they need to first fix up Graceland as I have heard that it is in bad shape, I would also come up with new displays using today's advanced technology.
I don't know what Heartbreak Hotel looks like today but if it hasn't been I would update it and change the décor to something exciting for the fans and I would also build new attractions and amenities for the fans.
Last but not least I'd stop selling some of the tacky crap with his picture on it in the shops across the street.

As for the countries question, I'd just make sure he was promoted throughout the entire world and leave no stone unturned.
Marty

Mr. Lacker,
Thanks for being interested in answering fans questions about Elvis-however this question is about you:
When was the last time you step foot inside of Graceland?
I would appreciate some comments and while I doubt you are remotely interested in visiting the tourist version of Graceland today - I would love to hear how Graceland today compares to the place you knew when Elvis was alive.
-Thanks,
Gene Wagner Tyronza, AR

Gene,
It's been over 25 years or more since I've been in Graceland, I think the last time I was there was when I was one of the people who took Tom Jones there on an evening when he was performing in Memphis.
Graceland to me now is not the same, first the most important part is not there anymore-- ELVIS.

It is a museum now, not a home and it lost all its warmth since he's been gone.
Marty

Hey Marty,
For those of us who are lucky enough to have visited Graceland, we have all seen the artifacts on display, and I believe there is a lot more things that aren’t on display.
Can you tell me was it Elvis’ own wish that these things be kept or did someone else have the foresight to keep these things.
Thanks in advance......
Carolyn Mitchell, Bundaberg Australia

Carolyn,
Elvis' father was a rat pack and hoarder and he hardly ever threw anything out primarily because he was, shall we say thrifty and he hated to give anything away to anyone.
That used to sometimes annoy Elvis greatly but he put up with it.
Those things were not saved because of any thought of memorabilia or to have it when Elvis died, they didn't think that way.
Marty

---------------------

Hello Marty,
I have a couple of questions.
What has happened to Elvis's cousin Patsy Presley Geranen? I had heard she left Mississippi and moved to England. Do you ever talk to her?
Also has Elvis's bedroom at Graceland been left untouched as it was on the day he died?
It seems to me that things from upstairs are being put on display or tour. Therefore it would not be untouched. Or are the things on display replicas?
Thank you so much for taking your time to answer questions from us Elvis fans.
Jennifer Burton

Jennifer,
I have not seen nor heard from Patsy since Elvis died so I have no idea where she is or what she's doing.

As for his bedroom I haven't been up there since July, '76 so I only know what I heard from a couple of the guys. As far as I know everything is supposedly the same as he left it. Since only a couple of people were allowed up there since he died, who knows what is there.

To be honest with you it is not something that concerns us, it's been 37 years since he died, it's time to let the significance of his upstairs not be that important.

Something tells me Priscilla has it in mind to open it up on the tour once the crowds start really dwindling down, it's all about the money for her.
I assume that everything on display is the original item, if it's not that would be tacky and dishonest.
Marty

-------------------

Hi Marty,
We’ve heard for years that Elvis had in his will something to effect that Priscilla was not to profit from his name.
Could you tell us if that is true?
Thank u so much for sharing your amazing memory, I could listen to you for hours!!!
Diane

Diane,
Priscilla was not supposed to use the Presley name for any commercial endeavor. Typically for her she has used it in many ways which is the reason she didn't change her name to Beaulieu or Stone or Garibaldi both of who she lived with after Elvis and with Garibaldi had a son.
She's all about money and always has been.
He also told us a few times after they were split that if something happened to him he didn't want her to have anything to do with his estate, the proof of which is in the fact that she wasn't in his will.
Marty

Marty
We have all read the stories about how bad a way Elvis would get into through his medication, slurred speech, stumbling , even having to be helped to the bathroom and it would appear that he was like this most of the time in the last few years of his life.
Is this really true or made up to make those books sound more "tabloid interesting"?
If he really was in such a bad state, why are there so many pictures of him driving a car , even the night he passed away , he drove into Graceland, surely yourself and the other guys must have been apprehensive before getting into a vehicle with him ?
David Pyper

David,
You exaggerate. When he had slurred speech was because the sleeping pills he took the night before had not worn off.
As for the helping him to the bathroom and the picture you paint that he was some stumbling, mumbling helpless drug attic, that's bullshit.
Maybe a couple of times he had too many sleeping pills and he needed to be helped but for the most part he functioned very well daily with whatever he had in his system.
Elvis didn't do street drugs and he enjoyed most of his days while he was here.

What some people not in the business do not understand that although it may seem like you're having fun being on stage every night while on tour or in Vegas, that routine is very exhausting and tedious.

Make no mistake he enjoyed getting on stage and entertaining you all but you have travelling and other tedious routines to put up with and so sometimes you need medicated help to unwind and relax.
Marty

Hi Marty,
Thanks for your time.
What effect did all the medication have on Elvis's personality the last few years - was he really losing touch with reality?
Thank you
Dave.

(Right: Elvis on the Edge of Reality!)

Dave
Like anyone who takes pills it sometimes effected his moods but on the whole he functioned very well even though he had pills in him daily.
People get the wrong idea about Elvis, he wasn't some stumbling, mumbling drug addict. You can have pills in you and function well and nobody could tell you had taken them.

I know from first-hand experience because I took pills daily too for 15 years and functioned very successfully in my business.
Marty

=

Hiya Marty.
After seeing the photo of Elvis with you and recently viewing footage on Youtube, i was wondering if Elvis was a big cigarette smoker.
Cheers!
Chris, UK

Chris,
Elvis smoked cigarettes in the 60's. He smoked Tareyton cigarette, a pack would last him two or three days.
In the 70's he switched to Hav-A-Tampa slim cigars.
Marty



Hello from Canada, Mr Lacker.
It truly is a great thing you are doing by  making yourself available to answer our questions.
Thanks so much. Over the years I've learned so many insightful details from you on this website. You are one of a very few people in the "Elvis World" I believe.
3 questions please -
1) did Elvis truly want to marry Priscilla?
2) did he keep all of his on stage 70s jumpsuits in his dressing room / closet upstairs at Graceland?

3) what shampoo brand did he use?


Thank you,
Mark A, Winnipeg, Canada

Mark,
Nice to hear from Canada, can you please take Justin Bieber back?
Thank you for the nice comments.
Elvis was forced to marry Priscilla by a threat of a lawsuit and bad publicity by her father.  He told me this the day he told me he was marrying her and asked me to be his Best Man. This was before Esposito was added. 

Priscilla of course denies this but I believe Elvis. Five minutes before the ceremony in Vegas he also said to me, "I don't want to do this."  My answer to him was, it was too late unless he wanted to leave her at the altar.  He cared about her to a certain degree but he was not ready to marry anyone at that time.

As for his jumpsuits they were kept mainly in Graceland.

As for his shampoo I have no idea, at least I don't remember because it's not something that interested me.
- Marty

Please go here to see EIN's spotlight on Elvis' Wedding by Marty Lacker

From: "John Mckeown"
Marty,
I was just wondering what was elvis' reaction to the three great losses to America during the sixties , namely JFK , RFK and MLK .

Was he a conspiracy buff as I would imagine, and did he talk at home on a personal level to you guys about these events.
thanks John.



John,
Elvis was angry when JFK was killed. We were at the Perugia Way house in L.A. and we watched all the proceedings on TV straight through it all.  He didn't like it when both RFK and MLK were killed and he hated that MLK happened in Memphis because it had a negative effect on his hometown that it happened there even though the James Earl Ray was not from Memphis.

Elvis was a very patriotic person and a caring one and didn't like to see senseless murder or the harming of people.
- Marty

Hi Marty,
Thanks for taking the time to answer our questions.
My question is what do you think Elvis would have thought was his crowning career achievement?  What accomplishment was he the most proud of?

Thanks again,
Rob Stafford, USA 

Rob,
His greatest achievement was meeting me.  Just kidding.  Just thought I'd lighten things up.

I'm sure he was happy about a few things, his first hit record, his first movie, the Aloha Show that was seen around the world on satellite which he was the first to do, Lisa Marie and I'm sure there were a few others.
- Marty

Hi Marty
Elvis obviously recorded some amazing music in his career but there are certain songs i wish he had recorded or sang in concert such as 'dark end of the street', 'rainy night in georgia' and maybe even some material by various 70s artists like elton john or billy joel.
Are there any particular songs you wish he had done?

Thanks,
Tyler Lucas

Tyler,
What I would have really liked him to do is and R&B and Blues album. 
In the 50's and early 60's he showed how good he was singing that genre of music. There are too many songs to name them but one recently has come to mind that I think he would have had a big hit on and showed off his R&B ability and that is Aretha's "Dr. Feelgood."  He would have tore that song up. 
Elvis had a natural affinity for Black folk and Black music because he was influenced by it greatly growing up in the 40's.
- Marty

Please also see Marty's comments here about Elvis and an R&B album mentioned in 1972 .

Marty,
we know that Elvis wanted to record two Dolly Parton compositions in the 70s , do you remember any other classics he wanted to cover , or sang to himself around the house, that were scuttled by the col. and his publishing companies, 

thanks Marty
John Mckeown

John,
No, I don't remember any off hand. As the 70's went by he was depressed about the songs Parker and Freddy Bienstock were sending him and he really got turned off about recording and it became a bit of a drudgery for him.
He did those later sessions to fulfill his contract with RCA and also to stop Parker nagging him about it.
- Marty

-------------------------------------------------------------

From: Inoue
Hi Marty,
I’m Japanese.
Do you know Kyu Sakamoto (Japanese singer) was influenced by Elvis, and his song Sukiyaki went to No.1 in the US charts in 1963?

I’d like to know if Elvis knew about him or his song.

Inoue,
Nice to hear from Japan.
I remember Sakamoto and the song but I don't recall if Elvis did or ever mentioned it.  He very well may have because it was a big hit over here back then.  I believe I also played it when I took a short break from working for Elvis and went back to being a radio Program Director and Disc Jockey.
- Marty.


EIN notes that it is not listed in the 2,000 odd records from Elvis' collection that Graceland has released. - See story here -


Hi Marty
3 serious questions for you if you don't mind :
1- In a number of books, there are quotes of Elvis saying (to Parker, the West cousins etc)"I do drugs, this is my choice...".
If this is true, conversely has there been times when he wanted / tried to clean up and not just for a performance but because he realized he was to die because of it and / or because he felt how much he lost control of his voice, body etc.
What are you thoughts?

2 - I watched again recently the aloha shows and it seems to me that again he had a slight paunch at the rehearsal vs the final one : did he really lose weight in between or did he wear something special to hold his stomach?

3 -After a mad 1974 pace touring. From oct 1974 to march 1975 Elvis had a long break and gave no shows at all for a while.
Do you remember how was he doing during this period?
What did he do during time off? did he do any thing special with this "free time"? how did he experience being cut off from the fan / crowd like that?
take care Marty
THANKS Mikael (Amsellem)

Mikael,
Yes, Elvis did say that to Red but not Parker because Parker didn't really give a crap as long as Elvis got on stage and made Parker money. The difference is Red genuinely cared about Elvis, Parker didn't.
What people don't understand is that when you're dealing with someone who is addicted to anything, they are not gonna quit until they're ready to no matter what you say to them about how bad it is for them. Even if they know you're saying that because you love them.
Red, Billy Smith and I also talked to Elvis about the pills and he told us all to mind our own business. He did twice go into the hospital to get cleaned up under the guise of having some other illness but when he got out he went back to taking them.

I think you're seeing things as far as his stomach is concerned during Aloha.
He could have not sung that way with any hidden strapping around his body.

Regarding time off between tours. During the time he took a break he mainly relaxed at Graceland with side trips to Palm Springs, Hawaii and Denver - and he enjoyed himself. Although he enjoyed performing he was like anybody else he had enjoyment during his leisure moments.

Some fans need to stop looking at him like he was not human like everyone else, he was and they also need to stop nitpicking and imagining things that are not there about him. Remember, he put his pants on just like you and every other man or woman does.
He was a great entertainer and a good person but he was not perfect.
Marty

------------------

Hi Marty,
When you were there for Elvis filming his movies there must have been a lot of mess-ups to break the boredom. I am sure plenty of scenes had to be done time and again.


There must be hour upon hour of outtakes from Elvis's films do you think that we will ever get to see them.
Can you remember any humourus moments that were cut or re taken again?


Thanks
Chris Hart.UK

(Right: Marty Lacker on set, third from the left)

Chris,
The movie studios are the sole owners of anything put on film by anyone and they have vaults that hold all those old movies, whether they have any outtakes is something I don't know.
Something tells me that if they did you would have seen them by now on TV or the internet and exploited by those studios and certainly by his ex-wife.
As for funny moments in outtakes I'm sure there were some but I can't recall any specifically as it's not something I think about.
We did play pranks on each other to relieve the boredom between takes during filming but they were never on film.
Marty

----------------



Hi Marty.
Thanks for providing this interesting and informative service
With so many stories of Elvis giving away personal items such as clothing, jewelery, cars, etc. to people, for various reasons, can you remember if there was any item [other than the obvious, such as Graceland, Lisa Marie the planes, etc.] that Elvis would never part with?
I wish you and your family good health and a belated Happy New Year.
Allan.

Allan,
I'm sure he had a few personal things from his mother that he wouldn't part with but other than that he was subject to give anything away. Don't be too sure that someday he might have sold the Lisa Marie plane.
One thing he never had a problem with is giving away a girl he was going with for a couple of years or sooner and that included the one he married.
Marty

---------------

Dear Mr.Lacker,
Did you ever wish YOU could live in Beverly Hills or any other "exclusive" area of Los Angeles?
Also, was it "not done"(or rarely done) by people-associated with ELVIS to request ELVIS' autograph to give to family-members or friends?
Thanks for your time,Sir.
Randy Erdman

 

(Right: Elvis with fans outside his Hollywood home)

Randy,
We used to live there almost 6 months a year when we were filming.
In the late 70's my family and I moved to Irvine, California for a couple of years just to change the scenery from Memphis but allow me to give you some wisdom of something I realized one day while we were shooting Kid Galahad and living in that big mansion on Bellagio Rd. in Bel Air, Ca.
I looked around my room for about 15 minutes and came to the realization that living there was no big deal, the room had four walls a floor and a ceiling just like every other house built, it's what you bring to it that counts. Make your life happy and satisfying no matter where you live.

I understand in a way what you're talking about and that's having money. Having money is nice, it's what makes the world go around but you know what, I know people with millions that are the most miserable bastards you'll ever meet and that's because their lives are not worth a crap.
Beverly Hills looks nice on the outside but you have some of the most shallow people on the inside. It can also get boring with the sun shining almost every day and you can only do the same things every day before you get bored there just as you would anywhere else.

In other words what I'm trying to say is that the grass is not always greener on the other side. I don't miss Beverly Hills, Bel Air or any other part of California, I'm content in Memphis at this stage of my life because I have a loving family and a few loving friends and that's all you need.

Beverly Hills and Hollywood is a nice place to visit at least once in your life but other than that it ain't no big deal.
Sorry to philosophy but it's just how I feel and something I wish people who come to realize themselves, whatever you think Beverly Hills symbolizes to you make wherever you live your Beverly Hills.
Marty

--------------------------

Hi Marty,
Do you recall Elvis ever meeting Evel Knievel, and if so where and when?
In Lee Cotten's Day By Day book it states that Élvis was a spectator at Evil Knievel's attempt to rocket over the Snake River Canyon' He goes on to state that other celebrities were also attending even John Wayne.
I believe this was a publicity stunt.
Can you help clarify?
Thanks.
Scott Jenkins

Scott,
Elvis did not watch Evel's rocket ride other than on television.
I really don't recall whether they met, they might have in Vegas when I wasn't there but I do know they didn't while I was with him.
Marty



Hi Marty!
The story is that Col Parker kept Elvis working too hard so that he could support his own gambling habit and debts to the Hilton.
Do you think Parker was addicted to gambling?

If so, can you tell us his habits.
Best, Ciscoking

Ciscoking,
He was a degenerate gambler and that was one of the big reasons he kept booking Elvis in Vegas and in my opinion for too little money.
He did so that the Hilton would give him free range as far as gambling and owing them money and for big perks they gave him like free offices, free rooms and free food.

He was such a degenerate that he insisted that nobody be allowed to gamble at his table when he did and when playing roulette he would bet almost every number at the same time.
Marty

------------

Hi Marty
I'd like to know if you know anything about Elvis tapes that are still missing from RCA's archives. Especially the session tapes of Roustabout (at least to my knowledge). I'm A Roustabout has only an acetate, where are the reel tapes of it. Is it possible somebody stole them?

How come things like that happened. It's seems incredible with the artist magnitude of Elvis. Some tape are also missing for the 1971 sessions (We Can Make The Morning for example has no alternates available). Here and there some tapes are not found.
I know that RCA in the 50's dumped a lot of them to obtain more space.
But after 1960, how come some tapes were not secured and more protected, with safety copies? Incredible to me!
What did you do with studio session tapes in your company?
Thanks
Luc

Luc,
This is the first I've heard about any tapes being missing and if they are than I imagine someone at RCA has sticky fingers.
Master tapes are usually kept in a vault in big labels like RCA.
Any master tapes at American Studios as an example were kept behind lock and key.
When Elvis did a session those tapes were given to Felton Jarvis who was the producer assigned to Elvis by the label to make sure his sessions went well even though he really didn't produce Elvis' records and he supposedly gave them to the necessary people at RCA. Before he was assigned to Elvis, in the 60's when Elvis cut in Nashville that was Chet Atkins responsibility.

The movie soundtracks were handled by the film studio who in turn gave them to either Parker to get them to RCA or to RCA directly.
In other words, who knows who the culprit is but I can tell you it was not Elvis or any of the Memphis Mafia.
Marty

EIN notes.. RCA/FTD's Ernst Jorgensen in 2006 told Ken Sharp...
... "In the early 90s, I got to know exactly what tapes were in the RCA vaults. There were two things they didn't know. They didn't know what they had and they didn't know what they had lost. So when we eventually established what they had we went in to examine what was lost. There was a guy named Bruce Hailstalk who ran the tape vault, and he was the keeper of the vault in New York. There were vaults in other places, in Nashville, in Indianapolis and in Los Angeles. He was one of those people who kept everything. He had shipping paperwork going way back.

Right - What RCA vaults looked like in 1989, could you find a missing tape?
Ernst Jorgensen and his 'Recording Sessions' coauthor Eric Rasmussen in the RCA NY Vault. Photo courtesy Ger Rijff – Scotty Moore.net (James Roy)

He was the one who had to break the news to me that in 1959 the president of RCA Records thought he'd save some money on warehouse spending so he dumped literally ten thousand tapes including the tapes with the outtakes of most of Elvis' Fifties repertoire and even some of the masters. Just to save a buck. That was one headache.
... Sometimes you'd find some stuff at the other vaults. I also had to go outside of the company and find people who were involved at the time. Eventually you find people who knew something about somebody and some of the tapes would turn up again.
... There were certain 60s soundtracks where we only received the master and somebody forgot to send us the outtakes. We had to go back to the movie companies, and in some case we were successful and they had two sets instead of the one that they naturally would have had. There were other movies where so far we haven’t found those reels - like Roustabout. We found the Fun In Acapulco soundtrack tape under some strange numbers and a few of the others."
Go HERE to the complete 'Ernst Jorgensen interview with Ken Sharp'
and even more on the subject 'Ernst Jorgensen interview with Arjan Deelen'

-----------------

Hi Marty,
my name is Joe and I have question for you.
There has been a lot of talk over the past on the Elvis message boards, of Elvis being unusually subdued for his Aloha show
and that he wasn't as good vocally and didn't move around as he had in previous years. The general consensus was that during the rehearsal show, he was more himself.
Given the stakes involved, I think he sang tremendously.
How would you rate the Aloha show and was Elvis, his band members and you guys satisfied with his overall performance?
Do you think Elvis was more subdued than at his normal live concerts?
Did he not move so much due to his heavy suit and the fact he would sweat a lot in front on the cameras?
Thanks again for your time and trouble

Joe,
Elvis put on a great show and I can tell you that for both the rehearsal and the show the Honolulu Civic Center was electrified.
The reason the show might have looked that way is because it was for live TV and his movement were explicitly choreographed because of the cameras that had to be right on so it would hit the TV screens correctly.

He and us were overjoyed when he finished the show and celebrated upstairs in his hotel suite.
Marty

----------------

Marty,
Happy New Year and a belated Merry Christmas!
Thanks for taking the time to answer fans questions. Here is mine:
Bing Crosby and David Bowie did a duet of the Little Drummer Boy in 1976, both were recording with RCA. With the success of the duet, was Elvis ever approached by RCA to do a duet with an up and coming star???
And what did Elvis think of Ziggy Stardust doing a duet with old Bing??
Thank You
Patrick Hughes,
Montreal.
 
Patrick,
Parker wouldn't allow duets on a record because he didn't want to split the royalties.
The thing Elvis did with Ann Margret was for the movie.

Elvis didn't know who Ziggy Stardust or Bowie was and so he never made a comment about it in my presence.
Marty

--------------------

Hi Marty,
Is it true Elvis found it difficult to say sorry and would placate the person/himself/situation by buying gifts.
Did you ever see Elvis struggle to say sorry when he knew he was in the wrong?
Thanks,
Mario

Mario,
The only person and time I ever heard him say I'm sorry is me - and that was after the one and only disagreement we had in 20 years.
For whatever reason he had a problem saying it and yes, he would buy someone a gift instead.

Some of us would have rather heard Elvis say "I'm Sorry" than getting a gift.
Marty

Hello Mr. Lacker,
My question, if you would please answer it: 
DID ELVIS EVER HAVE A MANICURE OR PEDICURE?
Thank you.
Angela

 

Angela,
To my knowledge no he didn't unless Priscilla, Linda or one of his girlfriends gave him one in private.
Why, would you have liked to do that for him? LOL
Marty



Hi Marty,
We know that Elvis met up with President Nixon, but was Elvis really a liberal or conservative in his political thoughts..

Elvis appeared to be anti-racist and understood what it was like to be from a poor background, so would these not represent more liberal viewpoints?
Thanks
P Kayla

P. Kayla,
Elvis was a very patriotic American and he supported whatever President was in office. He had an affinity for Black folk so yes, he was anti racist and he cared about the plight of people especially the needy. He was one of very few people I have known in my life that gave just out of the sheer joy of giving and helping people in need.
In that aspect I doubt he'd look favorably on the Republicans in Congress today.
Marty

-----------------

Hi Mr Lacker,
Great to see you're still doing this,
I always enjoyed your answers on The Elvis Express Radio site.
Something I've wondered about for years - background: around Spring 73, Rex Martin's newsletter had an article about the forthcoming album (what became the Elvis - Fool album) and said a radio station played a preview of the following Elvis tracks:
- Snow Don't Fall & No Lonesome Tune (both written by Townes Van Zandt)
- Don't Let the Sunshine Fool You (written by Guy Clark)
The article goes on to say "Elvis' singing is fresh, interesting and sincere"
As a big fan of all 3, My Questions, sir:
a) Do you recognise any of these titles? I think they both were involved with Sunbury in Nashville, so you may have met them? Did Elvis record (or attempt) any of these tracks? (please say he did!)
b) Was there any (perhaps impromptu) recording sessions between March 72 and July 73 you can recall?

c) Didn't Lamar Fike try to help Townes Van Zandt at some point in the 70s?
Did he ever play/pitch Elvis any songs by these guys?
d) It's been well documented that Elvis was to record Steve Earle's "Mustang Wine" - I've seen it decribed as being in the list in both 75 and 77. Do you remember the preparation for the 75 session? Was it attempted at all?
Sorry it goes on but you're my only hope!
Thank you,
Happy NY to you, EIN and all Elvis addicts
- rod mckenzie

Rod,
I have never heard of those titles and as far as I remember neither did Elvis. Nor do I know anything about him going to record Mustang Wine.
Stories have been written and rumors spread since he died that are false concocted by those who wanted some connection to Elvis to make themselves look good but are not true.
As for '72-'73 the only sessions I know of is what he did at Stax because he was in a bad frame of mind about recording due to the crappy songs that he had been getting from Parker and Bienstock. When he asked me to get him a studio to record (STAX) he told me that the session didn't mean anything to him and that he was doing it only because Parker was nagging him to do it.
Marty

EIN Notes that Elvis also caused a rumour about late 1972 sessions because he said to Tony Prince in August/September 1972 that "Elvis exclaimed that it was a big coincidence I was asking that question as, at that very moment, they were looking for songs and are recording a new album in America of blues and rock."
This was obviously not true at the time, so perhaps Tony Prince misunderstood exactly what Elvis said.
See John Wilkinson Tribute and Tony Prince Interview here

----------------

Hi Marty,
My name is Dorian
Do you think that Elvis would love to use the new technology for the concert like the big concerts today?

It is a shame they had no big video screens in the seventies so that fans in the arenas could have really seen him close-up.

and do you think that he would love and be excited to play in the biggest stadium around the world with new concept for the live concert?

Dorian,
He probably would like that but Parker always balked in booking him outdoors because he was afraid of bad weather where many wouldn't show up because of it and therefore Parker couldn't stuff his pocket with as much money.
Elvis had been offered outdoor concerts back in the 7o's including Wembley Stadium and Parker turned them down.
If Elvis had got rid of Parker things would have been much different and better for Elvis both career wise and personally.
Marty

------------

Hi marty,
thanks for your time.
I wanted to know your thoughts on the new upcoming ginger alden book?

What stories do you think she will write?
Will she tell the truth about being engaged to Elvis - or maybe as she was so young she really believed they would get married?
Thanks
Juan

Juan,
Since I haven't yet read the book and doubt if I will, I can't really answer that. However from what I have been told by Billy and a couple of others and knowing Elvis as I do, I doubt some of things he supposedly told her are true especially about getting married.
I'm sure parts of the book will be exaggerated and embellished versions of what really happened between the two of them.
Marty

------- 
To Marty,
I am an Elvis fan from Austria since 1987. Also wanted to let you know that we have a very active Austrian Fan Club, of which I am happy to be a member of.
I'd like to know if Elvis in private ever mentioned if he liked the music of The Doors and if he was aware at the time that Jerry Scheff also participated in the LAWoman recording session. It is known that Jim Morrison cited Elvis himself as one of his favorite singers, so it would be nice to know if Elvis also like their music.
A Happy New Year to you!
Sincerely
Stefan

Stefan,
To be honest I don't remember him ever mentioning them. Elvis' awareness of other artists especially hard rock artists and groups was limited because he was only knowledgeable of the artists he heard on the radio while in the car and that was limited to one or two radio stations.
Marty

EIN adds that there were no vinyl records of The Doors found in the record collection that Elvis left behind in Graceland. See Spotlight on Elvis' Record Collection >> " Elvis' Personal Record Collection"
 


Hi Marty,
Reading your previous answer to another question one thing stuck out for me: "He hardly ever spoke ... of Sam Phillips or his days at Sun.” Can you think of any reasons why Elvis hardly ever spoke of Sam - since it was Sam who gave him his start to his career? Or even speak about his days at Sun? With it being such a pivotal, and exciting, time for Elvis I’ve always found it strange.  This also with the fact he sang many 50s songs on tour which he must have enjoyed and not just to appease fans.
Wishing you all the best,
Gary.

Gary,
He never really gave a reason but knowing Sam as I did, Sam was a bit overbearing with his telling people what they should do.
By the time Elvis progressed he didn't like it when people told him things like that.  I think too that Elvis always resented the fact that Sam sold his contract at a time when Elvis was starting. 
He felt that money was more important to Sam than he was, even though Elvis in a way made Sam what he was.  It wasn't just a one way street.
Marty

------------
Hi Marty
There is a story around that a few months before Elvis passed away, you went to visit him.  He would not come down to see you, left you sitting in the den for hour, until you finally got tired of waiting and left. 
Is this true, was Elvis sick - or someone making up stories about you?
Why do you suppose Elvis did not want to come down to see you? 
I would think Elvis would have like to visit old friends.
Regards J mcnally

J,
Not true.  In July, '76 right after Elvis ended his tour with a concert in Memphis which I was with him at, he was in a bad mood during the concert and when it was over, he went back to Graceland and some of us went to our homes.  Usually after a tour or a movie he would retire upstairs and stay there for about 4  or 5 days and just rest and reflect.  After four days I called the house and spoke with Billy who said, "I'm glad you called, Elvis wants everyone to stay away for a while I didn't want you to come up and be stopped at the gate."  I replied, "Good, it's about time, he's the one who always wanted us there all the time."

Billy told me later that after that, the only times he really saw most of the guys were on tour or if they went to the Memphian Theater at night to see a movie.  Elvis was in a state of mind where he didn't want people around him all the time anymore.  He spent 18 to sometimes 24 hours upstairs with just Billy and his wife Jo.

(Right;Elvis July 1976 in Memphis - Photo by George Hill)

A  few months after that I decided I wanted a change of scenery and my family and I moved to Irvine, California. prior to that I stopped taking pills that I had taken for 15 years and my health and mind were in much better shape.  In a letter I sent him I told him about it and suggested he might want to do the same, he got pissed at me when he read it and yelled that I was trying to tell him how to live his life and I should mind my own business.
In July '77 I called him and talked to him on the phone and we had a good conversation.
In addition, you may have me mixed up with the lying backstabber, George Klein, who Billy told me came up there shortly after that Memphis concert and Elvis refused to come down and see him and so he left after trying to out-wait Elvis.
Marty

------------------------
Hi Marty,
Elvis always wore a diamond "ELVIS" ID bracelet in the late '60's
through to the mid 70's.
I never saw him wear it in his  last years, and
it's not on display at Graceland in his jewelry collection. I've heard
that Elvis gave the bracelet to Lamar Fike.
Is that true? Do you have
any information about this?
Thanks for your time - and Happy New Year to you,
Rosanne

Rosanne,
That is true, Elvis did give it to Lamar.
Elvis didn't always wear it.
Marty

Question for Marty:
We've all read about how unhappy Elvis was about the quality of the movies that he was making in the sixties, the movie songs in general, etc.  With that said, I've always wondered whether or not the Hollywood years were good for him in one respect.  Working on movies required him to keep a more normal schedule and interact with a wider array of professionals on a day to day basis than the 70's touring years, or at least that would be my guess. 
He couldn't show up on a movie set for a full days work, working for someone else, under the conditions that he could working for himself on a concert tour.  Do you have any thoughts on that? 
Do you think that some of the issues with which he dealt in the last few years of his life would have started to surface earlier, had he been touring in the 60's instead of making movies?
Thanks, Martin

Martin,
In a way you're correct it was good for him to interact with others in the business although as soon as the movie was over he rarely saw them again.
His problem was more of Parker's dealings than touring.
Marty

------------------

Hi Marty,
Did Elvis ever cook anything?
What about BBQs at Circle G perhaps?
Thank you very much.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Josie

Josie,
The short answer is no, not that I remember.
The guys did the BBQ-ing.
Marty



Hi Marty,
Thanks for being available to answer fans' questions it is very kind of you to still take time out after all these years.
My questions is, If you visit the TV room in Graceland you can see hundreds of 45rpm singles and albums which would have belonged to Elvis.
I have seen an article on records that Elvis owned - but what records do you remember in particular Elvis listened to?

Do you remember him finding a new single by another artists and playing it over & over cos he loved it so much?
Was there also a jukebox in the Jungle room, and did Elvis ever ask you to buy records for him, in which case which ones?

Thanks for everything
Susie T (in australia) 

Susie,
He didn't listen to records that often but what I do remember is that at one time in the 60's he used to listen to two black Gospel albums a lot, one by The Harmonizing Four and the other by The Golden Gate Quartet. He really liked bass singer Jimmy Jones who was part of the first one.

Also in the 60's when we were in L.A. doing movies especially at MGM I used to go to Martin's Music Record Store close to the studion in Culver City and buy the latest records that I thought he'd like.  We had a charge account there and I do remember buying Bob Dylan's first album mainly because of the songs I knew Elvis would like.  Other than that I really don't remember all the other records.
In the 70's when I was one of the leaders of the Memphis Music Industry I used to bring him some of the records we recorded here.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and Happy New Year.
Marty

Elvis' Personal Record Collection: In response the recent Marty Lacker question above, EIN has updated its spotlight on 'The secrets of Elvis' record collection'.
Way back in 2004 Britain's excellent Record Collector magazine featured a very interesting article about what was in Elvis' personal record collection when they examined the list EPE supplied of over 1000 albums and singles. It provided a great insight into Elvis' eclectic musical interests with many titles sure to surprise fans. The artists featured are a wide variety of names well known to fans and many artists fans will not have heard of before.
EIN also checks out a further detailed look at "Elvis' crates of Vinyl" and what records he collected.

Please go here for the revised EIN spotlight.

(Spotlight, Source;ElvisInfoNet)

------------

Hello Elvisinfonet.
I wonder if Marty Lacker can give me an answer, why SUN in that timeline, and later RCA, speeded up all Elvis tapes before releasing them.
I know Colonel Parker had something to do with that, and I know that it was done when Elvis recorded songs for SUN.  But I can’t understand that RCA continued this procedure with upspeeding all the tapes before releasing them, from 1956 and all the way to the end in 1977. Had Colonel Parker so much power over Elvis and RCA, that he could do this all the way, just because he thought that this upspeeding buisness was good for Elvis and RCA, got Elvis more populer among fans, and more money to cash inn for him self, and the record company.
The real thing is, that Elvis sounds ten times better, when you hear him in the right speed, and also with a better sound mix, when it becomes to the many releases from SONY and FTD, the sound is often very flat and dry.
Elvis have such a great potencial, and why don’t SONY and FTD do something with this matter. I can’t understand it.
Hope you can give me an answere on this, and why they did it.
Best Wishes- Rolf E. Johnsen

Rolf,
To my knowledge no Sun records were speeded up. Fact is Sun Studios was very limited in their technology and equipment back then.  As for RCA I know of no records that were speeded up while he was alive. What they have done since his death might be something else but none of us are privy to that knowledge.
As for Parker he did dictate to RCA how to handle all Elvis product, however, Elvis was always given advanced copies of what he recorded and if something didn't sound right to him he would tell them to change it.

As for the mixes sometimes Parker would insist that RCA stick Elvis' voice out to far above the track and that would piss Elvis off and he'd complain.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and Happy New Year.
Marty

EIN notes that as far as we know the 'Elvis At Sun' and 'Tupelo box-set' both present Elvis' SUN recordings exactly as they were laid down in the studio and at the correct speed.
Similarly 'Girl Happy' is the one RCA release as far as we remmeber where they knowingly sped up Elvis' recording. We are getting back to Rolf for more info.

--------------

From Ash Doyle
was elvis 5 foot 11 in bare feet or around 5 feet 10 in bare feet.
What is the story with Elvis using "lifts" in his shoes in the sixties. is that true?
In most photos Elvis looks taller than most of you guys, did he want to be taller for some reason?  
…thanks marty …

Ash,
He was 5'11". 
He wore lifts because in the movies it looks good if you're tall and he just got used to them.  Many actors use them but most people don't know that.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and Happy New Year.
Marty

Hi Marty.
Whats do u think was elvis very last great moment?
I personally think it was Elvis singing unchained melody on the cbs 77 special, what a voice.
What do you think of this performance?
Thanks, keep well.
Ricky Frankland, Rotherham uk.

Ricky,
Elvis' last great moment for me was the Aloha Show.
To be honest I had a hard time watching the '77 performance because of the shape he was in.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and Happy New Year.
Marty

----------

Hi Marty,
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions.
I've read many times that Elvis liked his food cooked "well done", but how did he take his coffee? And, did he ever drink tea?
Thanks, Jeanne

Jeanne,
Elvis took cream and sugar with his coffee - but the only time I remember him drinking tea was when he had a sore throat other than that he was a coffee man.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and Happy New Year.
Marty


December 2013

From 'Memphis 9 lives"
Elvis throughout his career brushed elbows with so many celebrities Ricky Nelson, Lee Majors, Sammy Davis Jr, Dean Martin, Tom Jones to name a few.
Which were his closest that he really enjoyed hanging out with ?
Just curious did he ever meet or mention meeting the war hero Audie Murphy while making movies. ?
Thank you Marty

Memphis 9 lives,
I'm curious about that name.
He really didn't have any close celebrity friends contrary to what some of them have written in the past few years in trying to get attention by using Elvis.

He was always friendly with whoever was there at the moment either on a movie set or backstage in Vegas.  In the 50's he was a close friend to Nick Adams and Natalie Wood but that stopped in the early 60's.  of course he was close to Ann Margret as they both fell in love with each other.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty

--- EIN notes that Marty has also commented on Tom Jones' friendship with Elvis in the past as Tom Jones often recalls his time with Elvis during recent publicity interviews.
Marty noted to EIN at the time..
"Tom Jones recently talked about his close friendship with Elvis. As for Jones saying he should have talked to Elvis in the last few years about his pill taking, the moment he would have said something about it, he would have never seen Elvis after that because Elvis would tell the guys to keep him away. Elvis would politely listen depending on the mood he was in but if he was in a bad mood he would have told Tom to mind his own business and then banned him from coming around.
They were friends but they were not the bosom buddies Jones likes to make people think. Now it seems he's using Elvis to get publicity for himself with his always talking about it and bringing it up."

-----------------

hi marty
is it true, just prior to elvis passing, the decision had been made for elvis to appear for 1week at the Wembley arena in London England either 1977 or 78.
This was in Charles Stone's recent book.
Also what was the name of the book elvis was reading when he was found unconscious at graceland on aug 16th. Some biographies say it was the "Shroud of Turin" book while others say it was something more mainstream.
many thanks
phil - a long time elvis fan.

Phil,
I was not around in the last 8 months so I really can't answer that. I will tell you that as early as the 60;s he wanted to perform outside the US including London but Parker wouldn't book him there because as we later found out Parker was an illegal alien and was afraid to leave the US in fear he would be discovered.
Elvis probably said he wanted to do it in '77 or '78 but he said that often.
I personally think if Elvis had been given that new challenge he might still be alive today.
As for the book I can't tell you for sure as I was living in California at the time of his death.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Marty

-----------------------

Hi Marty
- There's been a great deal of discussion about Elvis' performance at the LA FORUM , MAY 11, 1974. Led Zeppelin were in the audience and it has been released as the FTD release- Live in L.A. The muddy sounding soundboard is not the best way to appreciate the concert, though personally I love it.
Can you recall how good was Elvis that night or any memories? All the evidence points to a great show.
David Stanley makes VERY positive comments in his Encyclopedia about Elvis's performance.
Thank you, Warm regards,
David Tinson

David,
I'd like to help you out but I wasn't there that night.
I do know because some of the guys that were there that Elvis had no idea who Led Zepelin was as that was not his kind of music.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New
Year.

Marty


EIN adds that Elvis certainly was aware that the legendary group were in the audience that night.
In our review of the FTD release we noted....
... A particular line that directly relates to Los Angeles is a slight change in lyrics on Trilogy. Elvis sings, "look away, Disneyland" but he otherwise delivers a serious performance. There’s even a reference to the infamous "Elvis meets Led Zeppelin" story after a false start on Funny How Time Slips Away. Elvis says, "If we could start together fellas, because we got Led Zeppelin out there, and Jimmy Darren, and a whole bunch of people. Let’s try to look like we know what we’re doing, whether we do or not!" It’s a tongue in cheek comment with laughter all around.
See FTD review here

Marty,
It's a pleasure to communicate with you - the most authentic of the Memphis Mafia in my opinion.
My question is this - as Elvis' friend what do you think he'd think about his continued fandom these 36 years after his death?
Would he be shocked by it, humbled, reassured, or would he have expected it?
Also, do you think he had any idea how much pleasure he gave to us (and continues to give us)?

Anytime I go to Graceland I always tell Elvis thank you and hope he has a way of knowing it and that it's very heartfelt.
Thanks, again, Marty, and Merry Christmas to you and yours!
Lon - Atlanta, GA

Lon,
I thank you for the compliment.
I think in a way he'd be surprised that it has lasted this long but it would make him very happy. He sometimes would ask if we thought people would remember him after he was gone.
I think he knew he pleased all of you because that is what he always strived to do as he was thankful for the fan's support all those years sand making it possible for him to have what he did.

Thank you for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty

----------------------

Hello Marty,
If you could bring back Elvis and spend one more week with him, what year would it be, and what would you do together?
Was there any year you spent with him that you have fondest memories for.
Thanks for doing this for us fans.
Nick

Nick,
You have a good imagination.
It would be 2014 and what we'd probably do is just sit and talk as we used to do

I would relive 1969 when he finally stopped those crummy movies, did the American Studio sessions and the first year of Vegas which was great because it was something new.  The subsequent years he did all that was boring because Parker as usual ran it into the ground.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty

 Dear Mr.Lacker,
I would like to ask(please?):
Did ELVIS ever listen to 8-Track tapes in his cars? (Or were the "luxury cars" such as ELVIS drove not even equipped to play 8-Tracks??)
Thanks for your time,Sir.
Randy Erdman

Randy,
Nice to hear from you again.
To be honest I don't recall that 8 tracks were in his cars.  He mainly listened to the radio.

When we had the Dodge Motor Home and the custom bus in the 60's to go back and forth to Hollywood, I had made tapes of his favorite records and some I thought he'd enjoy and we played those on our trips across country.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty


Marty
A cheery wave from the UK and thank you for giving us your fascinating insights.
Elvis worked with some fantastic musicians - such as Boots Randolph, Floyd Kramer and (probably my favourite) Hank Garland. How much influence did they have on song arrangements and did Elvis relish working with these guys or was studio work just work?
Thank you again
Regards, Tony McCrorie

Tony,
The musicians just usually followed the demos, especially the Nashville and L.A. musicians. The exception were the musicians at American Studios who are some of the most creative and innovative musicians in the business which is why they cut so many hits, they were also guided by Chips Moman the producer who suggested sounds and arrangements during those Memphis sessions. Elvis also had input into the arrangements.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty

EIN NOTE - Please check out this fascinating EIN spotlight on Elvis at American Studios - The Turning Point

-

While Elvis was making motion pictures I.m sure many parts were offered to him was there any film roles that were offered to Elvis that he really wanted to commit to doing but did not work out because of Colonel Parkers mismanagement of Elvis film career. Parker helped George Hamilton get the role of Hank Williams in Your Cheating Heart which boosted his career while Elvis was making movies like Harem Scarem.
There had to be some serious film offers Elvis cared about what became of those ?
Thanks Marty

It was rumored that Elvis had been offered the Jon Voight part in Midnight Cowboy but Parker turned it down.
He was offered the Kris Kristoferson part in A Star Is Born but Parker talked Elvis out of it even though Elvis stated he wanted to do it. Parker gave the lame excuse that Elvis wouldn't get top billing that Barbra Streisand would but I think the real reason is Parker didn't want Elvis to be exposed to Barbra vast and shrewed knowledge about the business end of movie making that might influence Elvis against the dealings of Parker.
Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty

-

Hi Marty,
I would like to know if after The Beatles met Elvis in 1965, did he ever meet any of them again? I have heard both Ringo & George visited him backstage in the 70’s. Is this accurate and were they pleasant meetings? Also after the 1965 meeting, they appeared on Ed Sullivan about a month later. Did he catch that show? Thanks
John C.

John,
Ringo and George did meet him backstage during one of his concerts but he never met all 4 of them again. However a few of us would visit them at the houses they were staying at in L.A. in the next couple of years and they acted as if they were thrilled that we showed up. That includes when four of us went to see them the next day after they met Elvis.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty

EIN NOTE - Go here for more on John Lennon, Elvis and The Beatles

-

Marty,
I've seen a pic of elvis on his motorbike taken in '77 on the anniversary of his moms death and he appears to be alone.
We all know when he left Graceland after arguing with priscilla and vernon in 1970 (Nixon trip) he was initially alone, my question is do you remember or was it a regular thing that he would leave Graceland alone.
By the way Marty thank you from all the fans for making yourself available to us like this .....
john Mckeown , ireland

John,
He sometimes went out by himself but most times at least one of us was with him. In the early years he used to go out in a black panel truck that was mainly used to haul garbage to the dump and drive around Memphis. He used the truck because people wouldn't think he would be driving that and he could get around and not be bothered or followed. He used to take a bunch of bananas and a jug of ice water and be gone most of the afternoon. We really never knew where he used to go when he did that.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy new Year.
Marty

 

-

Hi Marty,
Did Elvis ever read the book by Jerry Hopkins? What were his thoughts on the book and the interviews some of his circle gave?
Also thanks for giving us a glimpse into his life and story.
Without you guys like you who were there, all we would have is the half truths by the people who weren't there.
Glen Wahl

Glen,
I don't think Elvis ever read the book.
Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty

EIN NOTE - Go here to read EIN's controversial review of the 2009 re-print of Jerry Hopkins "Elvis"



To Marty,
Elvis biographer, Peter Guralnick, stated that he felt Col. Tom Parker was more good for Elvis than bad. He stated the reason why most of the Memphis Mafia did not care for him was by in large because The Col, along with Vernon, always thought the Memphis Mafia needed to be cut off and off the payroll. 
Marty, did you ever feel pressure or resentment from Col or Vernon about your friendship/business relationship with Elvis?

Also, I had read or seen on a special (can’t remember) that after the Comeback special,  Elvis wanted to go back touring with Scotty and DJ and do a 4 piece like in the early days. Shortly after that was discussed, The Col came in an told Elvis, NO, we are going to Vegas. Is this true? Did you ever hear talk of such a tour?
Thanks, Charles,

Charles,
Guralnick was a suck up to Priscilla and Parker and would not say anything negative about either. Fact is EPE backed his second book so the things he wrote in his book were not always the truth or how it happened but they were written to fit his agenda.  Much of it was his uninformed opinions not the way it was.  He listened to some of the crap they fed him to make themselves look good.

Parker was good for Elvis in the early years and he did a good job keeping Elvis popular while he was in the army and unable to perform.

However after he got out of the army Elvis should have rid himself of Parker because Parker wouldn't change with the times and continued to treat Elvis like he was one of his carnival side shows. 

He kept putting Elvis in those terrible movies that Elvis complained about all the time to us but wouldn't say anything to Parker. the movie songs almost killed Elvis' recording career and they made Elvis unhappy personally.

I never trusted Parker and I was never afraid of him, we had a couple of arguments and I didn't back down from him. I have this thing about me that when I meet someone and he seems to be not a good straight up person I get this tingle up my spine, the day I met him my spine tingled like hell.  I have never been wrong about someone when that happens.  It doesn't happen often.  My feelings were borne out when Elvis died and the lawyer appointed for Lisa found out all these back door deals Parker made for himself at Elvis' expense. That included demanding piece of the song publishing from songwriters and publishing companies before he'd send Elvis the demos of their songs.  That's why Elvis cut some of those terrible songs in the 60's and late 70's.

That's my opinion of Parker based on first hand personal experience. Unfortunately Elvis because of not really knowing about the business side of entertainment didn't confront him about it all because he was afraid he'd lose his career when in truth there were a number of other honest, good people out there who would have been a better manager and thought of Elvis' well being more.  Jerry Weintraub the guy who ran Elvis' tours in the 70's was one of them.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy new Year.
--  Marty

-(For More info please read EIN's spotlight The Dark Side of the Colonel)

Hi Marty,
Which scumbag took the photo of Elvis in his casket ?
 and why would he do it?

thanks Paul UK

Paul,
It was first announced that it was Elvis' disowned cousin Billy Mann, Elvis didn't want him around.  Then a few years ago the son of Generoso Pope who owned the Inquirer revealed that it was David Stanley who they paid to take the picture.  It also has been speculated by some that it was Dick Grob because he for awhile supposedly stood guard over the casket and Vernon Presley later caught him taking pictures inside Graceland which was a no no and Vernon fired him.

I have to lean towards Stanley because Pope wouldn't have said that and he should know because he's the one who paid for it.

Thanks for keeping Elvis' memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Marty

-

Dear Mr. Lacker,
I would like to ask please.
What were your impressions of ELVIS' valet, Kenny Hicks?

   Thanks for your time,Sir.
       Randy Erdman

Randy,
Kenny was around only a very short time and he was basically OK but he really didn't fit in with us original Mafia.

Thanks for keeping Elvis' memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty

-

When, in your opinion, did Elvis become a Superstar? become an Icon? become bigger than Life?
I saw Elvis 3 times, the first time in St Louis at the old Kiel Auditorium in 76, looking back the show was probably just above average but the crowd was in such a frenzy that they threaten to stop the show after 3 woman got on stage. I saw him at the Chicago Stadium in Oct 76 (great show) when he sang HURT it gave you goose bumps, even today when I play the CD from that show I still get them. What a voice. I like to thank you Marty for being his friend. I even thank Red and Sonny West, I have no harsh feelings for them, in fact I wish they wrote "What Happened Elvis" 2 years earlier, maybe he would still be with us. Thanks Marty.............Sincerely Bruce Bailey

Bruce,
Elvis became a regional phenomenon in the 50's and a superstar almost immediatey nationally in the very early 60's. Proof of that is how big he was even while in the army and in Germany where he was unable to perform but his records did it for him. He became an even bigger icon after he died.

Thank you for keeping his memory alive.  Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
Marty

-

Hello Mr Lacker
I just saw an interview with Whitney Houston on Youtube where she told the story of meeting Elvis in 1969. What strike me as slightly exaggerated was that she said that Elvis and her mother Cissy Houston (right) where, quote "really close" and that she worked for Elvis for "many years". Is that really true?
Or was even a megastar as Whitey Houston trying to boost her own image by claiming to be close to Elvis? Like Tom Jones does. As i understand it Cissy only worked with Elvis in August 1969 and then she stopped working with Sweet Inspirations for a solo career.
Thanks you
Andy from Sweden

Andy,
You are correct Cissy only worked for Elvis as part of the Sweet Inspirations a very short time.  However Elvis admired her talent and also knew of her strong connection and background in Gospel music which he was really into.

I was there when Cissy and her husband brought little Whitney backstage in Vegas and she was a nice little girl.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty 

Early Sweet Inspirations with Cissy Houston left, Myrna Smith, Sylvia Shamwell and Estelle Brown .

Please read EIN's exclusive interview with Myrna Smith (RIP) here.. Myrna Smith Interview:


Hi Marty,
I would like to know why instead of building that stupid racquet court,
he or some of his so called friends couldn't build a proper recording studio on the grounds so when he got the urge to sing he could have recorded with a professional sound instead of all those bootlegs we now have with poor recording on a cheap tape recorder.
Thanks Lonnie

Lonnie,
Thanks for asking although I'm not too happy with your "so-called friends" remark.  Most of the original guys were true friends who loved him and yes, there were a couple who were always there for what they could get.

The racquetball court was built as a suggestion of Dr. Nick who was an avid and good racquetball player and he suggested it so Elvis could get some much needed exercise. Because prior to that the only exercise he got was an occasional use of an excercycle in his upstairs dressing room. 

A home recording studio is a good idea but by the time the court was built Elvis was really turned off of recording which I blame Parker for because of the crummy songs he sent Elvis to record  Only the songs that he, Parker, had a piece of the publishing.  Fact is when I stopped working for him and got heavily involved in the Memphis Music Industry the company I started after I left American Studios was involved in building Memphis Music high rise headquarters just a mile south of Graceland on EP Blvd. and I purposely included a state of the art recording studio in it thinking he would use it at times and not have to go far from Graceland which he didn't want to do. He loved the idea when I showed him the plans but the project fell through when the land owner changed his mind about selling.

Recording studios are expensive to build and since he didn't really want to record much the cost was a bit high for the studio to sit idle. At least he got some good use out of the racquetball court.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty


-

Marty,
How different do you think Elvis' life would have been had his mother not passed away so early?  She seemed like such a strong influence, would Elvis have avoided the self destructive habits he developed?
Thanks, Terry

Terry,
I think Elvis would have not taken as many pills for one thing and there is a strong possibility that Elvis would have got rid of Parker in the 60 and especially the 70's because she basically did not like him or trust him and when she saw what Parker's actions were doing to Elvis she would have influenced him to get rid of him.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty


-

Hi Marty,
In the early days Elvis often downplayed his voice, saying in the Hy Gardner interview that he couldn't sing and saying the same thing in a couple of articles I read in newspaper clippings from 1956. Did he really believe this at the time, or was this just a way to appease the haters and the negative publicity he was receiving back then? Surely he realized what a magnificent voice he had, I hope. Thanks btw for your honesty all of these years, it's much appreciated by us fans

Thank you for your nice comments, I wish you would have included your name.

Elvis knew he had a good voice and he really was proud of it.  His voice even got stronger as the years went by.  Elvis was a humble guy in the beginning and he wouldn't publicly brag or tout his talent, he just wanted people to like him very much.

I can tell you that in private he used to, in a joking way, tell us how great and good looking he was and then we'd all laugh including him.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year
Marty
-

Elvis, always neat and tidy at home!

Hello!
I love EIN; I check it every day. I would love to ask Marty a question - Here it is. . .
Imagine you’re back in one of Elvis’ homes or one of his hotel rooms either in Vegas or on tour. How did he keep his personal space? Was it tidy or disorganized? What items did he keep close to him at all times?
 
Thanks!
Kels'

Kels,
Elvis spit on the floor, wiped his dirty hands on the walls, peed on his clothes laying on the floor and other disgusting things.

JUST KIDDING! (Sorry I just couldn't resist). His room was always neat and clean as well as all his houses. For one thing there were maids in every one of them who kept the house including his rooms clean and neat and he did the same in hotel rooms.

I will say this, you sure asked a question I've never heard before.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty


-

Dear Marty,
I’ve been an Elvis fan from Budapest, Hungary since 1962 (I was only 13.).
Since then he’s been in my life every day. I love everything he did but I have my all time favorites (Heartbreak Hotel, Hound Dog, Jailhouse Rock, One Night, A Fool Such As I, It’s Now Or Never, It Hurts Me, Love Letters, If I Can Dream, Long Black Limousine, and so on). I would be very much interested in your personal favorites from the 50’s, 60’s, 70’s as well as your choice of the artistically most outstandings recordings.

Another question. America The Beautiful was released by RCA many years ago. The quality is very poor.

Since that a lot of bootlegs were released this song from other concerts and in much higher quality. Why do RCA not satisfy the loyal fans with a better quality recording of this song?
Sandor Berzi


Sandor,
Nice to know that Hungary likes Elvis too.

I like most of what he did at Sun Records in the 50's.  I liked a few from the early 60's before the crummy movie songs were released. Songs like Don't Be Cruel, Marie's The Name Of His Latest Flame, The Girl Next Door, Surrender, Santa Claus Is Back In Town and the stuff he did at American Studios here in Memphis in '69.


As for RCA and the records they keep releasing with no regard for the quality or how many times they release the same songs, the explanation is simple, the only thing they care about is the money they milk the fans for, they really don't care about y'all.  It's just a business to them no sentimental attachment to Elvis and what he did for them years ago.  Most who run the label now weren't even born when Elvis started or was alive.

Thank you for keeping Elvis' memory alive and enjoy his original music not what has been released since he died especially not the alternate takes of songs they keep releasing.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year,
Marty

-

Hello Mr. Lacker:
I have always been curious about this. Was Elvis aware of the "Moody Blues" band from England and Justin Hayward. Did Elvis or any of you guys ever get into any of that type of music? Songs like "Tuesday Afternoon" and "Nights In White Satin". Did any of this appeal to Elvis? Or, not his cup of tea? Thanks, G. Montz.


G. Montz,
Elvis and most of us original guys were not into hard rock or any of those groups.  He didn't even know who Led Zeppelin was until he met them.

Thanks for keeping his memory alive and have a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Marty


From Susan Togher, Hi EIN, please can you ask Marty what his personal memories of Dee Stanley were.
She died recently and while we all know Elvis didn't like her and she wrote that terrible book was she really as bad as people make out?
What memories does Marty have of her.
Thanks in advance
Sue 


Sue,
Sadly, I have absolutely nothing good to say about Dee.  I hate to speak ill of the dead but the woman was basically an evil, conniving woman who purposely caused trouble with the wives which Elvis was fully aware of and is one of the reasons he despised her or even being around her. He also went to great lengths to not be around her.

There is more to say but I'll let her rest in a degree of peace.

Merry Christmas,
Marty


Hi EIN, I would like to find out more info about a comment Elvis apparently frequently made about Marion Keisker that she was the first one to see Elvis' potential and without her "I wouldn't even be here".
If you are able to ask Marty Lacker if Elvis ever mentioned anything about the role Marion Keisker played, I would be really grateful.
Thanks Jan Jones


Jan,
He hardly ever spoke of her or Sam Phillips or his days at Sun.  I'm sure he mentioned her in the very early years because he was grateful for what she did.  Other than that as the years went by he didn't speak of those early years.

Thanks,
Marty


PAST EIN Readers Questions for Marty

From: Parente, Bob 
Back in 1969, at American Studios, Did Chips offer Elvis “Dark End of the Street”? 
Roy Hamilton cut the song while at American (at the same time Elvis was recording) and it sounds like the perfect song for Elvis. 
Did Elvis try to record the song?
It seems like Elvis was pretty aware of those songs that Chips wrote – and even sang a bit of a Chips song during that session.

Hi Bob,
Chips was the co-writer of Dark End and because he cut it on Roy during the afternoon during the same time Elvis cut at night, he did not suggest the song to Elvis. Elvis was very interested in what Roy did during those sessions because Roy was one of his idols.

I agree with you about Elvis doing that song. I had always wanted Elvis to do an R&B album because Elvis really felt and understood that music but he never got around to do it.  It would have been perfect for him to do that album at American because Chips and the musicians were excellent in that genre of music, they cut a  lot of big R&B hits for other artists.

A bit of trivia, Chips and bass player Tommy Cogbill both played on Aretha's first album that the NY Times named the R&B album of the century last year.
- Marty

---- Did Elvis ever meet Karen Carpenter?

Yes. Karen Carpenter's sole meeting with Elvis was in his dressing room in Vegas and there was about 12 people in the room. Elvis, Karen and her brother Richard, me and another guy were sitting at the big round table in the middle of the room and Karen was a bit of demanding arrogant, smart alec.
Elvis said a few words to her and she interrupted him and shoved a stuffed doll she had with her towards him and said in a demanding way,"Sign This."
I looked at Elvis and he had that look in his eye when he looked at me as if to say, "who the **** does she think she's talking to."
Her brother sat there the 15 minutes they were there absolutely silent and it was easy to see she was the dominant of the two. Elvis then said to her,"I'll be happy to if you ask nicely and not demand that I do it."
- Marty


From: Steve P, 
Marty can you please clarify how Elvis got to record at American Studios? I know George Klein tries to take credit but I know you were already involved with Chips Momam. 

Marty- This is exactly how it happened word for word, blow by blow and Sonny and Lamar are my witnesses.  Unfortunately Felton is no longer with us or he'd verify it. Chips has publicly stated a number of times that it was me who did it.

The time was the evening of Thursday January 9, 1969 the day after Elvis' birthday.  We were sitting in what is now known as the Jungle Room although we called it The Den.  Elvis was sitting in the big chair next to the window facing the waterfall stone wall. Felton Jarvis was sitting on an ottoman in front of and facing Elvis.  On the couch next to Elvis' chair sat George Klein, Lamar Fike and Sonny West.  I was sitting in the chair up against the wall to the left of them.

Much to my chagrin Felton was discussing with Elvis about his session coming up the next Monday in Nashville and Felton was asking Elvis what musicians he wanted. Because I was tired of Elvis continuing to record with those same old tired Nashville musicians who were primarily country and played the same old licks on almost every record I wanted Elvis to record with Chips Moman and his American Studio rhythm section because after becoming part of the Memphis Music Industry a couple of years before then I had quickly realized how creatively great those guys were which is why by that time they had produced over 100 big hits in that tiny studio using the same six man rhythm section. 

It's also where I produced Rita Coolidge's, (who I had discovered and signed to my new record label) first couple of hits using those guys.  I felt that Elvis and them would be a perfect match because they all came from the same southern background. I just wanted Elvis to once again have big hit records and be back on top of the charts where he belonged.

So while listening to Felton, I unconsciously was shaking my head back and forth as if to say, "Oh NO not again!"

Elvis saw me and looked over and said,"What the hell's wrong with you?"  I once again, as I had mention Chips to him before said,"I just wish for once you'd try Chips Moman and his rhythm section, they're great Elvis." Elvis gave me his usual answer, "Maybe someday." Not once did George make a peep.  The comment George makes in the book about none of us would speak up to Elvis because he gets mad, is a crock. Some of the rest of us original guys had no problem suggesting things to Elvis especially if we thought it would benefit him. Most of all we weren't there for gifts or money.

Just then Lottie the maid came out of the kitchen and said dinner was ready. Everyone got up to go in the dining room but me because I did not want to go in there and listen to them discuss the Nashville session.  Elvis said to me,"C'mon, let's go eat." I told him I wasn't hungry and he knew I was lying because he knew I never saw a meal I didn't like, especially steak which was being served that night.  So I kept sitting in the chair talking to myself about that session.

It wasn't more than thirty seconds when Felton came out and said, "Elvis wants to see you in the dining room." I told him,"With all due respect Felton I have no desire to sit there and hear any more about your Nashville session." He then said,"No, Elvis wants to cut in Memphis." I asked if he was kidding me and he said no. With that I was out of that chair in a flash and in the dining room. With Felton standing next to me I said to Elvis,"Is he kidding me, you want to cut in Memphis?" he said, "Yes, but I have to start Monday night." He then said,"You and Felton set it up with Chips Moman."

Felton and I went to the front hallway to the phone and I called the studio,they told me Chips was at home so I called him there.  I said, "Lincoln, (his real name), do you still want to cut Elvis", he said, "Hell yes."  I then said,"Well you got him but you have a problem. He has to start Monday night and you already have Neil Diamond booked." Chips said,"Screw Neil, he'll just have to be postponed."

I then told him the session had to be a closed one and nobody who does not have anything to do with it cannot be invited.  He said,"No problem, you can handle that." He said that even though I was not working for him at that time I didn't become General Manager of the studio until a few months later when he asked me to.  I then handed the phone to Felton who made the financial deal with Chips on behalf of RCA.

When he got through with that we went and sat at the table where I sat next to Elvis on the right. I waited until he finished eating and then I said, "Elvis would you do me a favor?" He asked what. I then said, "With this session you're gonna have a great and talented producer and some of the most creative and talented musicians, the sound of the studio is fantastic and we all know you can sing, would you please get some good songs this time?" He looked at me and said, "Well I was waiting to finish eating and then I wanted you to come upstairs and listen to some new songs by this new songwriter, Scott Davis." that was Mac Davis' real first name.  We went upstairs to his room and he played a tape of songs to me and the guys including, "In The Ghetto" and "Don't Cry Daddy." I was happy because they sounded like hits to me.  There was also another song I liked called, "Home" but he didn't do that one, I wish he did.


Below are the key questions from our 2008 interview and question session from EIN readers

EIN: What is Marty Lacker doing in 2008?

Marty:  As Little as possible.  I’m at the stage of my life where I cherish being able to just relax and spend time with my family including my grandchildren.  A project I am working on is campaigning to get Chips Moman and the American Studio band into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame for the over 120 big hits they recorded at the studio.  To get Chips a Grammy Trustee Award and the band a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.

EIN: Marty, you first met Elvis during your high school days.  You appear to have come from dissimilar backgrounds but you obviously clicked.  What was it you had in common?

Marty:  The way we dressed and our hairstyles.  Whereas most guys back then wore jeans and t-shirts and had crew cut hairstyles, we dressed in loud color clothes with our hair in Pompadours.  That’s the way we dressed in NY where I had just moved from and he dressed that way buying his clothes on Beale Street. That’s the only way we knew of each other, as we were not close in school.

EIN: How did Elvis change as a person between 1952 and 1977?

Marty: He became more polished and worldly.  He also developed a sense about people and what they were about.  Whether they were intelligent and trustworthy.

EIN: Are there any plans to re-issue your first book, Elvis: Portrait of A Friend?

Marty:  No.  That’s over and done with.  It’s been 28 years since it was released.

EIN: What was Elvis’ biggest mistake as a person?

Marty: Not taking care of himself and getting too dependent on his so-called medication. In my opinion also trusting Colonel Parker too much and not confronting him about things he wanted to do or not do.  Especially in the late 60’s until the end.

EIN: What was Elvis’ biggest mistake as an artist/performer?

Marty: Not putting his foot down to Parker about the songs he was given to record by Parker and Hill & Range who really only had their own interest in mind as opposed to his.  The only reason some of those records sold was because of the super loyalty of fans that would buy anything he did.

Brian: Sonny West has said in recent interviews that Colonel Parker was very good friends with President Lyndon Johnson, and members of his administration so he would have asked them to fix up things for him to accompany Elvis on a World Tour, the real reason it didn't happen was because of Elvis's drug problems at the time, and the problems the could cause going through customs.

Many Performers were caught with drugs or other substances while touring internationally such as Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones and many others Johnny Cash for example was busted for legal prescribed drugs while crossing the Mexican Border. The Colonel was worried the same thing could happen to Elvis. I have been reading about the Colonels relationship with Eddie Arnold and according to what I found out the Colonel controlled Mr. Arnolds in a similar way to Elvis to getting side deals with RCA.  However the Colonel booked Eddie Arnold in Europe, Mexico, and Canada when he managed him. My question to you Marty is……I know you didn't like the Colonel, but could this all be a myth and a misunderstanding about blaming the Colonel for no world tour? 

Marty: No myth.  First check and see if Parker accompanied Arnold to Europe.  As for Mexico and Canada you didn’t need a passport back then to enter.  The biggest factor is that Eddy, unlike Elvis, would confront Parker when he didn’t want to or wanted to do something or go somewhere.  Let’s put it this way.  After Elvis died, Parker claimed he knew nothing about Elvis and drugs as his excuse when asked why he didn’t do something to help Elvis.  Parker was a con man who would say anything to not make himself look bad.  Secondly, ALL of Elvis’ drugs were prescribed medicines and there would be nothing illegal for him to take that stuff outside the US.  Third, he probably would have taken Dr. Nick with him further making it legal. 

Fourth, Elvis on numerous occasions stated his desire to tour Europe and the Far East. He talked with some of us about important things to him and I see no reason why he would not tell us the truth about touring.  I love Sonny like a brother and I’m not putting him down but he had a tendency of believing Parker in everything he told him especially when Sonny was part of the tour advance team with Parker.  Parker was very good for Elvis in the early years but he couldn’t or wouldn’t change with the times after the early 60’s.  He was an old-fashioned carnie con man whose money was, “get the money and run”.  With no thought about the future. Or what it might be doing to Elvis.  And NO, I didn’t like him because of that.

Annemaree: If Elvis could have changed anything in his life what do you think this might have been and also with all the conspiracy news that Elvis may have faked his death, do you believe there is any truth in any of these findings?

Marty (shown opposite in Germany):  He wouldn’t have married Priscilla.  I also think he really knew that the pills were bad for him and he might have finally decided to stop taking them.

Scott/John/Peta: Why did Elvis seem to lose his self later in life and became lost and dependent on drugs?

Marty:  He was dependent on drugs long before later in life.  I think he just plain got bored and that’s why touring Europe and the Far East would have been good for him.  Every time he was presented with a new challenge he got himself straight and did a fantastic job on stage and getting himself in shape.

Scott/James/Anne/Sarah: Why did Elvis not fight more against Tom Parker to do good music and movies?

Marty: Because Elvis was non confrontational especially where Parker was concerned.  That was due to Parker’s control factor that he instilled in Elvis from the beginning.  “If you don’t do as I say, your career will end and the Hollywood moguls will kill your career”

Elvis wanted to go on being Elvis Presley, he didn’t want to lose it.  The sad part is that if he knew anything about the business side of entertainment, he wouldn’t have lost his career if he dumped Parker as there were a number of people who would have been a better manage from the mid 60’s until the end.  He might still be alive if he had done that.

Scott: Marty, tell me about Elvis and his creative process as an artist.

Marty:  His talent was natural, no formal training so he did what his inside feelings guided him to do with what he had to work with.  Sometimes he needed guidance as Chips Moman did during the ’69 Memphis sessions.

Scott: Did Elvis lose his grip on reality because he was too protected from it by his friends?

Marty:  There is a misconception of our relationship with Elvis, which has made many fans think that even to the point where they blamed us for many of his negative things he did including his death.  That is done out of ignorance, ignorance of what the relationship was all about.  Elvis was a strong, grown man in many ways who made his own decisions.  We only did what he told us to and wanted us to do.  When you hear complaints, sometimes from people he knew that we kept them from seeing him which is pure hogwash.  When they called or came to the gate about coming up wanting to see Elvis, when he was awake we would always ask him if he wanted to see the person, if he didn’t he’d tell us to tell the guy he was asleep.  Sometimes he really was asleep and we knew not to let anyone in that did not work for him or was not close to him if he was asleep.  It was his house, and his life and he called the shots.  Just like we all make our own decisions about what you want to or not want to do.

Shane/Barry: Among Elvis' friends (the guys) which was the most popular among the majority of the group and which the least liked?

Marty:  The entire original MM were equal in Elvis’ eyes.  A couple thought they were more special but to him and the rest of us, they weren’t.  Some of us were smart enough and content to realize that.  He was closer and trusted the original MM more than the guys who came later and that came directly from him.  If anyone was really the closest it would be Billy Smith who was like a younger brother to Elvis.

Kim/Celia: Did Elvis watch his own movies?

Marty: Usually Not.  I only saw him watch them twice in the 20 years I knew him.

Shane: Elvis What Happened?  What would have happened if it had been released 3 (or 4) years earlier ?

Marty:  It might have helped him get himself straight which was the main reason they wrote it despite what some nay Sayers think.

Tyler: How tall was Elvis for real?

Marty: About 5’ 11”

David H: Were you at Elvis's home when he shot the screen out of the television because Robert Goulet was on?

Marty: yes,  but he did that in L.A. too.  And he shot screens out in hotels while on tour not just when Goulet was on.

David H: Did you attend Elvis's funeral/viewing?

Marty: No, I was in living in California at the time and my wife was ill and although there was ticket to Memphis waiting for me at the airport I couldn’t leave her.

David H/Sheila: Marty, what are you're best memories of Elvis's Lake Tahoe engagements.

Marty:  Really nothing special except the scenery was beautiful.  They were just like his Vegas and other shows.

Regina: Did Elvis really want to marry Priscilla or did the Colonel want him to marry her.

Marty:  Elvis told me, the day he asked me to be his Best Man that Priscilla’s father threatened him with breach of promise and that he would go to the media and tell them he had been living with her since she was 16, if he didn’t marry her.  He told me that.

Parker advised him to marry her, even though he said he didn’t want to.  To be fair, Priscilla and her father denied that on Elvis By The Presleys, which really should have been called Elvis By The Beaulieus.  I prefer to believe Elvis because of how agitated he was about it.

Thomas: Were you upset that the Colonel interfered in Elvis and Priscilla’s wedding plans and inserted Joe Esposito as co-best man after Elvis had chosen you?

Marty: No.  I was just pissed as to the way I found out.  It didn’t surprise me knowing Joe.

Nadine: is it true that Elvis caught Priscilla in the arms of her dance instructor Steven Peck barely 4 months after Lisa's birth and that they went right after that to Hawaii to reconcile and to give the marriage a second chance?

Marty:  Elvis did not catch him in his arms.  However, some of us suspected that’s what she was doing with him and later with Mike Stone.

Cris: We've heard about the love affairs in Elvis's life over the years, but was their any one woman Elvis truly called a "Best Friend" that he really trusted and kept in touch with over the years?

Marty: Not really but he did care a great deal for Ann Margret.

Carolyn/Candice/Sue T.: Marty...can you tell us your first reaction when you heard that Priscilla was going to open Graceland to the public? Did you think it would have been the success it is now? Did you have any concerns as to exactly what the pubic would be able to view?

Marty:  There is a misconception that Priscilla did this all by herself but the fact is that Vernon Presley purposely named three executors to succeed him upon his death.  He would not give Priscilla the sole power because he knew Elvis did not want her to have anything to do with his estate, which is why she was not in his, will.  She caught Vernon on his deathbed and he finally gave in.  The three executors were her, the National Bank Of Commerce and the accountant, Joe Hanks.  It was the bank’s Advisory board that made Graceland a success more than her. 

In addition, Jack Soden had enough business savvy to make it work.  When it came to business, Priscilla was no rocket scientist.  The one business she tried after she left Elvis, a boutique, failed.  If anybody should get the credit it should be Jack and the bank.  When I heard the news it didn’t surprise me because I knew she would go after the money under the guise of doing in for Lisa Marie.  Priscilla has become a millionaire because of what she’s made from the estate.

EIN: Elvis impersonators or ETAS have become an industry of their own; particularly with EPE sponsoring ETA contests around the world.  What are your views on this?

Marty (shown far left with Elvis)I’m not fan in any shape or form of Elvis impersonators.  Calling themselves Tribute Artists is a joke; they just want their 15 minutes of fame.  If they had any talent they should put it to use being themselves. 

Problem is most of them don’t have the talent.  They will never be Elvis or anything close to it.  If you want to hear Elvis music, play an Elvis record.  If you want to see him perform, play a video or DVD of ELVIS!

Jeanne: What is your fondest memory of Elvis?

Marty: His smile.

Jeanne: What do you miss the most about Elvis?

Marty: Him.

EIN: Marty, we’d like to mention the names of a few people linked to Elvis and ask for a short comment from you about each:

Jeanne Carmen:-Met her one time, exaggerates her friendship.

      Tempest Storm:- He dated her a few times in the 50’s.

Alan Fortas:- One of the most well loved original Memphis Mafia, like a brother to most us original guys and one who Elvis really liked.

Paul Lichter:-Fake,scam artist,bogus.  Absolutely no connection to Elvis.

Sean Shaver:-Nice guy who followed Elvis on tour and took many pictures.

Bitsy Mott:- The Colonel’s boy.  He was from the old school of Parker but a nice guy.

Bill E. Burk:-Longtime Memphis Newspaper Columnist and reporter who Elvis knew. He did a great job of keeping Elvis’ memory alive after Elvis died.

EIN: Marty, is there anything else you would like to say?

Marty: I thank you at EIN and all the fans for keeping Elvis’ memory alive.


Below are EIN's two in-depth interviews with Marty Lacker about his times with Elvis.
In it we ask questions about early years with Elvis, Dr Nick, Vernon, The Colonel and the other men in Elvis' life - Priscilla, Ann Margret and the other women in Elvis life plus Elvis being an individual full of contradictions and complexity. 
 
The interview in two parts is well-worth reading
 
We also feature Marty's full questions and answer session from 2008.
Marty Lacker opens up to EIN: In Part 1 of our two part interview with Memphis Mafia member, Marty Lacker, Marty tells us about the famous celebrities, the pills, marriage and the Memphis Mafia, the $10m concert offer for Elvis to play in front of the Pyramids in Egypt and the real reason Elvis shot out his TV set when Robert Goulet appeared on the screen. Part 2 of our fascinating talk with Marty will be published next week. (Interview, Source: EIN)

Marty Lacker talks to EIN (Part 2): In the second part of our candid interview with Memphis Mafia member, Marty Lacker, Marty talks about the Memphis Mafia, the women in Elvis' life, Lisa Presley and the idea that Elvis faked his death. As usual, Marty is very open about his views and pulls no punches. (Interview, Source: EIN)

Marty Lacker answers your questions: EIN's last interview with Memphis Mafia member, Marty Lacker, was in 2005, so we thought it long overdue to catch up with him again.

This time, apart from introductory and closing questions from EIN, we asked you, our readers, to nominate questions for Marty.

EIN thanks Marty for taking the time to answer what turned out to be a diverse and interesting set of questions. We also thank you for providing questions for Marty.

The interview that follows covers a lot of ground, including how Marty and Elvis became friends at high school to Elvis' marriage to Priscilla, the role of the Colonel, a world tour, the reality of Elvis' relationship with the Memphis Mafia and Marty's campaigning to have Chips Moman and the American Studio Band inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. (Source: EIN, Aug 2008)


Ask Marty


EIN Website content © Copyright the Elvis Information Network.
Elvis Presley, Elvis and Graceland are trademarks of Elvis Presley Enterprises.
The Elvis Information Network has been running since 1986 and is an EPE officially recognised Elvis fan club.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did You Miss these Popular Interviews?
Linda and Sam Thompson in Australia:
John Wilkinson Tribute & 1972 Interview:
'Elvis: Walk A Mile In My Shoes' - Arjan Deelen Interview:
RIP - Bernard Lansky talks to EIN:
Allyson Adams 'The Rebel and The King' Interview: 
Joseph A. Tunzi
David Stanley (2012)
Author Chris Kennedy Interview about D.J. Tommy Edwards:
Vernon Presley Interview:
EIN interviews John Scheinfeld director of  'Fame & Fortune'
Jerry Leiber Interview for EIN
Elvis Paradise Hawaiian Interview - with Peter Noone
Sam Thompson, Elvis' bodyguard, 2011 Interview
James Burton Interview - Rick Nelson & Elvis:
Elvis Drummer Jerome "Stump" Monroe EIN Interview:
Donnie Sumner Remembers his friend Sherrill Nielsen: 
Lamar Fike EIN Exclusive Interview
Jamie Aaron Kelley - EIN Interview:
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'The Complete Masters' and more:
D.J Fontana Interview - Elvis Week 2010 special: 
Red West Interview:- 2010 Elvis week special
Linda Thompson - Interview Special:
Elvis in 1969 - Ann Moses & Ray Connolly Interviews:
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'On Stage' and Elvis' Legacy in 2010:
Paul Lichter
Dr. Nick talks to EIN
Alanna Nash
Ernst Jorgensen (2009)
Joseph Pirzada
Jeanne LeMay Dumas
Larry Geller
Mac Davis
Roger Semon
Ernst Jorgensen
Wayne Jackson (Memphis Horns)
Ernst Jorgensen (Record Collector)
 
Did You Miss these Popular EIN articles
'The Nation's Favourite Elvis Song' Spotlight
Linda and Sam Thompson in Australia:
Elvis Passwords - We’ve Hacked them all! 
Fourteen Key Elvis Singles:
Remembering ELVIS in 2013:
ELVIS WEEK 2013
Elvis And The Vocal Group Tradition:
Happy Birthday EIN EIN turns 100 – a retrospective!:
Aloha From Hawaii - The Concert 2013- EIN Exclusive
Elvis at Madison Square Garden 40 Years Ago
'The Wedding' Elvis & Priscilla EIN special Spotlight:
'Elvis In Ottawa' Spotlight & Elvis Interview:
'Elvis: Live at the International' Book Review:
Book Review: Elvis in Vegas
'Promised Land' FTD CD Review:
'The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956’ Review:
Elvis By Special Request '71 At 40 (Book Review):
"Kissed By Elvis" Janet Fulton Interview:
'1956, Elvis Presley’s Pivotal Year':
"ReBooked At The International'- in-depth Review:
EIN Spotlight on Alfred Wertheimer:
'Elvis Memphis to Madison 1977' The Gas Station Incident:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 2' Book Review:
'Elvis In Concert' 1977 TV special; Should it be released officially?
Ernst Jorgensen interview about 'The Complete Masters' and more:
Dark Side of the Colonel
 
Did you miss these Reviews
'Elvis Files Magazine ISSUE 5' Review:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 6 1971-1973'  Book Review:
'Love Me Tender' Blu-Ray Edition Review:
'Houston We Have A Problem' - CD review:
'SOLD OUT' FTD CD Review:
‘Elvis At Stax’ [Deluxe] Reviews:
‘The King Revealed’ Magazine Review:
'Hot August Night' FTD CD Review:
‘The King Revealed’ Magazine Review:
'Elvis - The Man & His Music'#100 review:
'Elvis Files Magazine ISSUE 4' - Review:
'Elvis - Aloha Via Satellite: A 40th Anniv Release' Book Review:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 1 1953-56' In Depth Book Review:
'Aloha From Hawaii' 40th Anniv LEGACY CD Review:
'Elvis Files Magazine ISSUE 3' - Review:
Aloha From Hawaii - The Concert 2013- EIN Exclusive Review:
‘Elvis On Tour’ E-book Review - with Great jumpsuit photos-
'From Elvis Presley Boulevard' FTD In-Depth Review:
'Prince From Another Planet’ In-Depth Review:
'Elvis: Walk A Mile In My Shoes' - EIN Review:
‘Greatest Live Hits of the 50s’ MRS CD Review: 
Once Upon A Time: Elvis and Anita (Memories of My Mother) - Book Review:
'A Boy From Tupelo' special In-depth Review:
Bootleg Elvis (Book Review)
'G.I.Blues Vol.1' FTD Soundtrack - CD review:
'The Elvis Files Vol. 5 1969-70'  Book Review:
'From Hawaii to Las Vegas' FTD CD Review:
'Blue Hawaii - The Expanded Alternate Album' Review:
'Elvis: Live at the International' Book Review:
'The Complete Louisiana Hayride Archives 1954-1956’ Review:
'48 Hours To Memphis' FTD CD Review:
Elvis By Special Request '71 At 40 (Book Review):
'The Elvis Files Vol. 4' Book Review:
'Young Man with the Big Beat' In-Depth Review:
'Fashion For A King' FTD in-depth Review:
"ReBooked At The International'- in-depth Review:
'Stage Rehearsal' FTD Review:
 
Audio-Visual
Best of Elvis on YouTube
Graceland cam
EPE's Multimedia Elvis Gallery
Sirius Elvis Satellite Radio
Elvis Radio (ETA's)
Elvis Express Radio
Ultimate Elvis Radio
Elvis Only Radio
"Images in Concert" PhotoDatabase
Radio Interview: Vernon & Gladys Presley
Sanja's Elvis Week 2007 Photo Gallery
'EIN's Best of Elvis on YouTube'
The Music of Elvis Presley - Australian Radio Show
Reference
All about Elvis
All about Elvis Tribute Artists
All about Graceland
All about Lisa Marie Presley
Ancestors of Elvis
Art Archives
Book Releases 2009
Contact List
Elvis and Racism
Elvis as Religion
Elvis CDs in 2007
Elvis DVDs in 2006
Elvis Film Guide
'2007 New Releases'
Elvis Presley In Concert "downunder" 2006
Elvis Online Virtual Library
Elvis Research Forum
Elvis Rules on Television
Graceland - The National Historic Landmark
How & where do I sell my Elvis collection?
Is Elvis the best selling artist?
Links to Elvis' family & friends
Links to other Elvis sites
Marty's Musings
Online Elvis Symposium
Parkes Elvis Festival 2009 (Australia)
Presley Law legal archives (Preslaw)
Presleys In The Press
Sale of EPE (Archives)
6th Annual Elvis Website Survey
Spotlight on The King
"Wikipedia" Elvis biography