I've been a fan since I was 12 and saw Elvis on the Tommy & Jimmy Dorsey TV show. My first "concert" was when Elvis first came to Philadelphia in the 50's. He wore his gold suit for the evening show. It looked like a lightning storm with all the flashes going off. My dad and mom came and I was trying to film the show with his 16mm camera. The only thing that came out on the film was snap shots of Elvis whenever there was enough light from the flashbulbs. I clipped those pieces of film years later and took them to a photo shop but the fellow said they would not come out.
Then after high school I drove my 1957 Custom Oldsmobile to Memphis. As I got to the gate Elvis' limo was just pulling out and I thought, "OH NO, he's going back to California," so I followed the limo until it pulled over to the side and the driver came back to my car and said, "Elvis don't like anyone following him around but he asked me to invite you to the midnight show" It was Joe Esposito. He told me to be at the gate around 12 midnight. That night,I followed Elvis, driving a cream color Lincoln with a van behind him to the theater. We parked and Elvis was walking toward me (to the theater) and extended his hand and said something like "Hi, I'm Elvis" (I would have never guessed!!). I shook his hand and began walking at his right side. I believe Priscilla was at his left. He asked me, "I hear you're in a band?" I said "No sir" (at the time I wasn't), "but I sing and play the guitar." (I think he already guessed that) During the movie, "Tammy and the Doctor," if I recall correctly, Elvis would crack jokes and everyone would laugh and just enjoy it. After the show we went back to the gate and I got out my guitar and sang some of Elvis' songs to fans and the gate guards. One was Elvis' cousin Harold Loyd.
The next night I left for Nashville and when I got there, I heard Elvis was coming to do a recording session. I went to the studio and sure enough the big ol' Greyhound bus pulls up and Elvis comes out to meet some press people and goes into the studio.
I hope you enjoyed this adventure. I enjoyed sharing it with you. You know, growing up, my nickname all through Jr. High and High school was Elvis. My friends Frank and Louie went around to clubs and even did a record hop down in Atlantic City. Just a lot of clean fun. We'd do all the Elvis songs.
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