Friday, July 13, 2012

A Tale of Two Kings

As I was making a playlist for our ride to Sturgis, I felt in the mood for some nostalgic music, and decided to delve into my Elvis and Cash collection. We all know who Elvis is right? But how much do we really know about "The King" besides that signature haircut and voice. Well, follow LRS as we explore a bit about the King and his love for the King of the Road, Harley-Davidson in this edition of LRS Myths, Legends and Tales from the Road....

If you don't know who Elvis Presley is, well chances are you've been living under a rock for that last hundred years. While Elvis is well known, and his music much beloved, he had another passion besides music, women and drugs. Elvis was a Harley- Davidson enthusiast.
Elvis Presley was born January 8th, 1935. He is probably one of the most well known singers of the 20th century and a cultural icon of his period. During his career he released hit after hit and became labeled as the "King of Rock n' Roll". Elvis was conscripted into military service in 1958, which he worried, would end his singing career. After his basic training, he would be deployed to Germany, and be attached to the 3rd Armored Division. While there, he became introduced to the amphetamines by ones of his sergeants. Throughout his time in the military he convinced others to join him in indulging in the benefits of amphetamines.

Presley also learned Karate while in the military, and found a deep enjoyment from it. He studied Karate seriously and later would even use it in his performances. He was adamant that he be treated like any other soldier, and even donated his arm pay to charity and bought his base televisions, and his fellow soldiers extra fatigues. He was honorably discharged as a sergeant in 1960. Once home He continued his career, which was more popular than ever. He also continued his love affair with the Harley Davidson. Unfortunately, his lifestyle and his experimentation with drugs led to his ultimate demise. He gained wait and his health failed. He tragically was found dead on August 16, 1977.
Elvis Taking Possession of his Harley-Davidson FLH
      30 years after his death, Harley would release a limited number of Elvis Presley Signature edition softails modeled after the 1957 FLH model that Elvis was fond of. The replica started out as a 2007 soft tail and cosmetically overhauled to look like the 1975 FLH that Elvis was know to ride. The first replica sold for just over 100K, and the bikes numbered 2-24 went for $58,000 . Purchase of one of these 25 motorcycles included a limited edition print of Elvis taking ownership of his 1975 Harley (shown above) , a bronze of the bike to match, as well as a pre-delivery party at Graceland in Memphis, Tn.
Delivery of Elvis Signature Series Bikes at Graceland
Elvis Signature Series #1 of 24

A few films in which evlis rode a motorcycle:

In "Roustabout" Elvis is a wandering singer, Charlie, who gets fired and hits the road on his motorcycle.  After crashing his motorcycle he then takes on a job as a Roustabout in a carnival.  Charlie falls for the co-manager's daughter, Cathy (Joan Freeman).  His singing makes the carnival do very well, but after some troubles he quits his job and goes elsewhere.  Still, he is needed back to save the carnival.
Elvis sings "Roustabout", "Poison Ivy League", Wheels on my Heels", It's a Wonderful World", "It's a Carnival Time", "Carny Town", "One Track Heart", "Hard Knocks", "Little Egypt", "Big Love, Big Heartache", and "There's a Brand New Day on the Horizon".

 Pilot Mike Edwards (Elvis Presley) finds himself in a dilemma. His partner and friend Danny (Gary Lockwood, Wild in the Country, 2001: A Space Odyssey) has gambled away the money Mike had set aside to pay their debts. Since they now have no money and a $1,200 debt, the local sheriff takes possession of their plane, Bessie, a cropduster. If they can't come up with the money in twelve days, Bessie will be auctioned off to the highest bidder.

While Elvis may be gone, his memory and his music will live on as many who own bikes blast his songs while breathing the free air of the road from the back of a Harley Davidson motorcycle. So while you roll down the highway, maybe you can't help but feel "all shook up" as you feel the freedom of cruising on your Harley Davidson. Stay tuned next week for another LRS Myths, Legends, and Tales from the Road...

Elvis And Mary Kathleen Selph On His Motorcycle In Memphis Tn June 30, 1972


  1. This is so untrue! Elvis did not have passion for women and drugs. He was surrounded by women who were crazy about Him, jumping and hanging on Him, begging Him to give them a kiss, crying in euphoria, fainting...Elvis was happily married, but He was betrayed by His wife Priscilla, who thanked Elvis for everything good He's done for Her by leaving Him for another man who was her lover and taking their daughter away from Him. She's stabbed Him in the back. From that point he was feeling worst and worst heading down more and more. Elvis was a Heart of Gold, a giver, always thinking more for and about others than about Himself. It's not that He was drugging Himself. He had a problem of loneliness, thinking nobody loved Him, feeling miserable and sad, never being able to get over His Mother's death, and thanks to all of this He was not able to sleep. That is exactly why He was taking pills. He was in a circle that He could not get out of. Elvis was nothing but an innocent boy captured in a body of a grown up man who wasn't able to deal with all the pain he was having in his heart and soul. Elvis is a characteristic representative of the horoscope sign Capricorn. You can be surrounded by the entire world, you're gonna feel sad, lonely and miserable. That is exactly why he had so many people living in His Graceland house living on His expense. He was trying to escape and never was helped. Priscilla made His whole world collapsed. When and if Capricorn is not loved, helped and taken care of He's dying of sorrow. Elvis has died of sorrow not being able to overcome so many things in His life.

  2. Look, I love Elvis, he was the greatest entertainer and singer that ever lived! But, Elvis was not faithful to Priscilla, he had women throwing themselves at him, temptation is a helluva thing! The drugs were all prescribed and he thought if a doctor prescribed them to him then they are safe to take. Unfortunately, there wasn't enough information on these kinds of drugs back then (60's and 70's). It's widespread now (over prescribed drugs). Especially with the internet now. He definitely had a love for Harley Davidson!

  3. Chuck I was going to agree with you. No one loved that man more than me. Since the age of 3 and 55 now I have respected and been crazy about him the whole time. Svetlana unfortunately if you read Pricilla's book she'll even tell you that Elvis was a man that should have "never gotten married." Their marriage was kind of forced due to the age of the time. If he was to have been around this this day and age living with someone is no big deal but he also had a reputation and the fact that Pricilla was so much younger than him. I believe Pricilla loved/loves him or she would not have put as much time and effort in keeping his name good. She has a daughter with him and they'll always have a connection. As far as the drugs....I hate to admit it but it is any documentary by the Memphis Mafia or Lisa Marie and Pricilla they'll all tell you that he HATED street drugs. This is why he showed up with Nixon to help with the Nation's drug problem but in his mind he had it when a doctor prescribes a medication it must be "okay". He knew when they tried to change the contents of his capsules saying "he needs them." I agree that he was a very lonely man. You can have a different woman every night but that doesn't make one have a companion for just him and not who he is. He even was careful with his inner circle. There was not enough information on prescribed medication and the affects it has on the body and Elvis did not die of a drug overdose but died from the affects the drugs had done to his body over the years. I mean there comes a time where the body screams STOP! Colonel Tom Parker played a huge part in his death since in a documentary I watched where he knew he had an issue but Colonel, who he could not say no to, insisted one more...which we've all seen the over weight Elvis on stage. As said by Joe, one of his closest friend..... "It's hard to save a man from himself"