Elvis Presley Wanted to Be an ‘Avenger’ but Wouldn’t Put Himself at Risk

Elvis Presley had a crew of workers who have been keen to step into the road of fireplace for him. Elvis acquired demise threats, which means that his bodyguards had to be continuously alert. He additionally anticipated them to settle different, non-safety-related grievances for him. After a handful of harmful encounters, one bodyguard realized that if Elvis needed to be an avenger, he must be keen to put himself at threat.

Elvis Presley’s bodyguard thought the singer ought to combat his personal battles

As Elvis grew bored of his profession, he started to consider himself as a righteous defender of justice. He’d lengthy been fascinated with legislation enforcement, even often becoming a member of them on drug raids. He sought out a federal narcotics badge, imagining that he would give you the option to use it to get medication off the road. Elvis additionally despatched his bodyguards out on errands to avenge individuals he believed had been wronged. Typically, the wronged events have been his step-brothers. 

“He had complained that this big guy was hassling [his stepbrother Billy Stanley] and his girlfriend,” bodyguard Sonny West mentioned within the ebook Elvis: What Happened? by Steve Dunleavy. “Elvis wanted me to take care of the guy, whip up on him.”

Elvis and bodyguards | Tom Wargacki/WireImage

Sonny West mentioned that the confrontation ended up being extremely “embarrassing,” as the person didn’t seem to be a menace at all. This wasn’t at all times the case, although. As soon as, Elvis’ bodyguards confronted a bunch of people that fought the singer’s stepbrothers. The boys have been unapologetic and pointed a searching rifle immediately at bodyguard Purple West.

“I can see that gun pointing at my belly to this day,” Purple mentioned. “It was a damn fool thing to get into, but it just goes to show you how we would react to Elvis’s orders. I always figured if he wanted to be the avenger, he should go out and do this stuff himself. It’s too easy to get killed. And for what? Just because you are taking orders. No, sir.”

Elvis Presley made his entourage need to defend him

Whereas Purple West bristled at Elvis’ lack of concern about his bodyguards’ security, he was nonetheless keen to do virtually something for the singer.

“He demands fanatical loyalty, expects it,” Purple mentioned. “There have been times that I have felt that Elvis bordered on being a bit of a nut, but look at the loyalty we gave the man. We broke our backs for him. We’ve risked our lives for him.”

He defined that Elvis held energy over him even when he disagreed with a few of his conduct.

“I have risked getting my fool-a** head blown off for him,” Purple mentioned. “He certainly had a power over us. He certainly had a control over me, I admit it. We didn’t do it for the money, because we never got much. We didn’t do it for the women, because we had all had that and we are all married. We didn’t do it for the excitement, because we were all a bit old for that kind of thing.”

He often put himself in the course of issues

Whereas Elvis typically despatched out his bodyguards to do his bidding, he nonetheless generally put himself within the heart of issues. Although he made up tales about his involvement with police enterprise, he did be part of them on drug raids. He additionally concerned himself in fights between full strangers. After seeing a disagreement at a fuel station, Elvis pulled the automotive over and tried to put a cease to it.

Elvis wears white pants and a white shirt. He walks in front of Graceland.
Elvis Presley | Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Photos

“He jumped out of the car, Jerry [Schilling] and Sonny [West] following him,” Priscilla wrote in her ebook Elvis and Me. “Going up to one of the men, he said, ‘Hey, if you want to give somebody trouble, give it to me.’”

Priscilla mentioned that Elvis wasn’t good at preventing, but he managed to break up the disagreement.

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