Did Elvis Presley not like being alone

The victim of the complexes

b Elvis ever left the building? Almost 30 years have passed since the day he died bloated, drugged, and gun-crazy amid the cheesy opulence of Graceland. Yet no death has ever been so temporary since Jesus Christ left the tomb on the third day. Elvis' daughter, Lisa Marie, who was then nine years old, spent the days leading up to his funeral with his body, hoping her father would change his mind.

As it turned out, Elvis' resurrection was not long in coming. A little later, the Yellow Press reported that he was returning in person - and it is still doing it at irregular intervals. His remains, however, are in the Graceland Meditation Garden - under a bronze plaque adorned with a cross and his personal logo. The initials TCB are reminiscent of the motto of his Memphis entourage: Take Care of Business.

Elvis is gone, but his widow Priscilla is alive. Last week in London she presented the book "Elvis by The Presleys" and a new documentary DVD about the King (see box). Elvis may have gone the way of all flesh, but Priscilla still looks like the 14-year-old girl whom the GI made beautiful eyes in 1951.

Myths are designed to deny death, but cosmetic surgery also has its way of withstanding the signs of the times. "It looked like a little doll," says Elvis' cousin Patsy fondly of the schoolgirl Priscilla, who, abandoned by her parents, came to Graceland as the King's ward and bed playmate.

The appearance of today's 60-year-olds is still doll-like and delicate. She hides her essence behind layers of make-up and wax-pale cheeks. Priscilla's pursed lips have been under too much tension since she was lifted. There are no signs of dissatisfaction on a face that has not been alive. With her eyes wide open, she still looks at the world in a daze and amazement; and her voice continues to be that of a short of breath and intimidated teenager.

Whether she admits it or not, Priscilla Presley is a damaged creature. "I am his creation," she says in this interview. "I was still a child when he devoured me. At no time have I been myself because I didn't want to disappoint him under any circumstances," she says.

Elvis determined the color of her hair. They had to be as black as his own and were then teased into waves that contradicted the laws of gravity. He also insisted on mascara, which turned her eyes into volcanic craters, and the false eyelashes that fluttered up and down over them like dark birds in the twilight. He even chose the fumble she swapped for the school uniform as soon as she got home to "play his femme fatale," as she says. He controlled her mood with amphetamines and talked her out of her favorite dish (tuna salad) because he couldn't stand the smell of tuna.

"He was quite critical," she says, pointing to her motionless face. "That is the result of his constant criticism." Once when Elvis caught her staring out the window and frowning while she was doing her homework, he slapped her on the forehead with the palm of his hand. "I should learn to look up with only my eyes, not to speak with my whole face, so that my skin would stay smooth. You see, his rules are so deeply immersed in me that I still obey them when I do don't want to. " And while Priscilla Presley says that, her eyebrows stand completely still.

"Elvis was fixated on my purity," she says. He courted her like a medieval minstrel and defended her virginity as soon as she moved into Graceland. Until their marriage in 1967, the two settled for heavy petting. They saved everything else for their wedding night in Las Vegas. Priscilla became pregnant immediately and his criticism continued. "Elvis was always raving about women who let themselves go and used their pregnancy as an excuse to gain weight. So I lost four kilos during my pregnancy. Apart from apples and eggs, there was nothing to eat. I didn't drink any milk. It I wasn't even allowed to have a doctor come because Elvis didn't want new people around. Graceland was a kind of cocoon that we had lost ourselves in, "she says.

With the birth of their daughter, he began to painfully reject her. In the book she promotes, Priscilla testifies that "he simply couldn't have sex with a woman who was also a mother". There is even talk of the end of intimacy. During the conversation she rejects this. "Of course we continued to have sex! After all, he was still old Elvis, very creative and playful." Then why the post-pregnancy sex embargo? "Oh, I suppose he suffered from a Madonna complex." It sounds a bit governess.

Their marriage failed, and in 1973 they divorced. "He was still very accommodating and kind to me, but only when we were alone and he didn't feel he had to impress anyone. Elvis was a southern boy, girls were kept at a distance in this world. The other women and I were allowed Leaving Memphis only at certain times to go to Las Vegas - mostly for the first or last day of a show. That left Elvis and his buddies time to play the bad guys with the showgirls. Which doesn't mean I'm an angel myself would have been." The euphemism is characteristic of them. Priscilla's maiden name is Beaulieu, and with her elegant southern style she is reminiscent of Blanche du Bois from Tennessee Williams' "Glass Menagerie". She adds shyly: "I took a lover. That's how I got out of it."

Which demons do you think Elvis was driven by? Priscilla says he was very vulnerable. She wanted to cherish and care for him. Still a child herself, she had to replace Elvis' mother, whom he had lost early. "Growing up, he was criticized for the way he looked, the way he wore his hair. That made a pretty big impression on him - because that's what he did to me, after all. People made fun of his pedantry Afraid of germs, for example, he always brought his own cutlery with him. "

Elvis is said to have been dissatisfied with his body, which his fans revered like a phallic totem. Is it true that he didn't like his skinny legs? "He didn't have any problems with his legs," says Priscilla. "But on the beach he always wore a T-shirt and even went into the water with it. He was convinced that, as Elvis, he should have a hairier chest. Today he would of course get the little hair he had remove with wax. "

Graceland was the court of an absolute monarch whose nighttime activities were fueled by an amphetamine-containing inhalant called amphetamines. Priscilla has her own reserved language to describe his mood: "Elvis was just very spontaneous. It could be that he suddenly urged us all to go horse riding or motorcycling with him. Sometimes we just got on the plane to Vegas . Objection was excluded. " As at court, rumors circulated in the corridors of Graceland. And the paranoid king suspected his fawning entourage of treason. Every morning he would put the intercom on before coming down for breakfast. Because he couldn't bear to share the air with someone he'd just had a fight with, he just wanted to know who was in the kitchen.

After their separation, Priscilla could watch Elvis bloat and collapse at the same time. Fattened on bacon cheeseburgers and liters of ice cream, his body increased in size. He himself hid his abundance under jeweled capes or tent-like overalls. His appearances grew louder, self-deprecating in a dull and ridiculous way. "Towards the end he was completely insecure. People kept accusing him of not filling the concert halls anymore. Sometimes entire rows of seats had to be draped so that it didn't look so empty. Nobody dared to tell him openly that he was in was in serious trouble and had a drug problem. Imagine if he was still alive. He would be in his 70s today - and how good-looking Cary Grant looked at that age! "