Being incredibly famous, Elvis Presley couldn’t just walk around Memphis like a normal person. Instead, he purchased Graceland in 1957 which ended up becoming something of a gated community for his inner circle. When not touring or making movies in Hollywood, his home was his playground with the Memphis Mafia.
Whatever Elvis wanted to do, his Memphis Mafia would accommodate for him, no matter how outlandish.
The King was a night owl who would sleep all day and then live throughout the night.
This was because he worked in the evenings when touring, with Las Vegas shows taking place at dinner time and midnight.
Plus, he was able to entirely hire out venues in the middle of the night when he wouldn’t be bothered by members of the public.
Elvis’ cousin Billy Smith and his wife Jo lived with The King at Graceland and spent their lives with him.
On their YouTube channel Elvis Fans Matters, the Memphis Mafia members remember how they would get to bed around six or seven in the morning after spending their day at night with The King.
Just before hitting the hay, they would take their kids to school and wake up mid-afternoon just in time to pick them up.
One highlight of messing around with Elvis from when he was married to Priscilla saw The King driving a small tractor or lawnmower with him and Billy in the front and the wives pulled along in a little cart behind.
Jo said: “Later when Linda came we did all kinds of crazy stuff. Everybody that was at Graceland had to fit in. I mean everybody had to be a little bit crazy, a little bit silly – like Elvis used to say, ‘They’re gonna put us in the home for the silly!’”
The King created a game called War where you had to knock over as many on the opposing team by any means necessary. Then there were the firework fights in which the entourage would fire them at each other for fun. The more dangerous the game, the better from Elvis’ point of view.
The Memphis Mafia would also play sports in hired out parks at night and watch movies at the local cinemas dependant on what The King wanted to see.
Billy and Jo remembered having a lot of fun with the others, who could be quite different personalities, but they’d all be centred in on Elvis and his interests.
They shared how Lamar Pike could be particularly dramatic and comical, always keeping the Memphis Mafia laughing.
Then there was Joe Esposito who Elvis called “Motormouth” because he spoke so fast.”
Jo Smith said: “Except for our families, that’s the only family we knew. That’s the only people we knew and like Billy and me after I came, we were really young… and went through all that time to Elvis’ death just being around those people.
“And knowing that they were like family. I mean, they were our family.”
Published at Wed, 08 Dec 2021 12:33:00 +0000