How do you like that for a news headline? Or, perhaps you would prefer: “Elvis Revealed: Secrets of the King.” You get both in the October 3, 1978 edition of MIDNIGHT GLOBE, a classic example of supermarket tabloid journalism.
The issue followed in the grand tradition of the blockbuster National Enquire story “EXCLUSIVE… Elvis – The Untold Story,” that came out on September 7, 1977, just a few weeks after Elvis’ passing. It can be said that National Enquire started a brand new tabloid genre with that issue. Many headlines promising revelations of new Elvis secrets would grace the supermarket checkout lanes in years to come.
So, do you want to learn some juicy Elvis secrets? Here’s a selection from MIDNIGHT GLOBE ‘s nearly 100 ‘never-revealed-before’ facts about Elvis. They are presented in the sequence in which they appeared.
Press Clippings: “Elvis’ secretaries kept every word printed about Elvis, according to his secretary Becky Yancy. From time to time Elvis would drop by the office and leaf through the scrapbooks.”
So, the ace MIDNIGHT GLOBE writer contacted Elvis’ secretary to try and dig up a scoop on Elvis. It doesn’t look like he found very much. I guess the juicy secrets will come later.
I Don’t Do Diapers: “When his daughter Lisa Marie was small, there was one fatherly job Elvis absolutely refused to do. ‘Elvis never changed a diaper in his life,’ his stepbrother Rick Stanley told MIDNIGHT GLOBE.’”
The reporter contacted a man who would become a major source for Elvis insider stuff in later years, but in 1978, this is the best they could come up with. Pretty weak.
Pimples: “Until he was well into his 20s, Elvis had terrible skin problem – just like a lot of young people. Pimples are his curse. He even had them on his back.”
Wow! I guess that is revealing, but it’s also disappointing. We were hoping for juicier secrets than that.
Pajamas: “Elvis slept in fancy pajamas; some with rhinestones on them.”
Why does that not surprise us?
Leave My Mom Alone: “At the first house Elvis bought at 1034 Audubon Dr. in Memphis, his mother used to hang out the wash. Some snotty neighbors were outraged. Elvis told them: ‘This is my house and my folks can do anything they want.’”
Give ‘em hell, Elvis. I liked this fun episode so much I wrote a blog about it two years ago. But, we’re still not into the juicy secrets yet.
Throw A Punch, Get A Pink Slip: “While in high school, Elvis worked from 5 p.m. until 10 p.m. each night as an usher in a Memphis movie theater. This is generally known. However, few people know that Elvis was fired because he punched another usher.”
Well, the reporter tried to dig up something steamy about Elvis’ high school years. This wasn’t much, but it was better than their ‘revelation’ that Elvis once tried to grow a mustache – without success. At least, there was this next funny one.
Chicken Neck: You would never think that would be a nickname Elvis had for his girl friend, beautiful Ginger Alden.
“When riding on Elvis’ motorcycle, Ginger could never keep her head up under the weight of the helmet and the jerking of the bike. Her head would flop into Elvis’ back – thus the name ‘Chicken Neck.’”
Good, we’re at least up to Ginger Alden. Surely the juicy stuff starts here.
Brigitte Bardot. NOT: “In his younger days Elvis had a secret crush on Brigitte Bardot. When the army shipped Elvis to Europe, he told a friend, ‘The first place I want to go when I get there is Paris and look up Brigitte Bardot.’”
Unfortunately, that’s all they said. Nothing about whether he ever pulled it off. We know Elvis went to Paris and had a real good time. But Bardot??? MIDNIGHT GLOBE had a superb opportunity to give us some really juicy Elvis and Brigitte Bardot secrets, and they blew it entirely. I’m starting to get suspicious.
Elvis the Pelvis: Question: What do you think? Elvis loved it – or Elvis hated it? Answer: He hated it.
”I don’t like being called ‘Elvis the Pelvis. It’s one of the most childish expressions I ever heard.”
Good answer, but it didn’t stop people from calling him The Pelvis. And it looks like the chances of anything really juicy are waning fast.
Did He Like These Nicknames Any Better: “… In the early days he was also called ‘Mr. Wiggle and Shake,’ ‘The Hillbilly Cat,’ and ‘Mama Presley’s Son.’”
This is inexcusable. They left out ‘The Atomic Powered Singer,’ which appeared on many Elvis concert posters, but they did include ‘Mama Presley’s Son. Yuk, who thought up that one? I’m starting to lose confidence in this Midnight Globe article.
The Colonel Didn’t Care: “In 1969, he made an astonishing admission – the Colonel had not seen Elvis’ last three films, nor listened to his last four albums.”
I’ve given up. There will never be any juicy stuff. But, some of the tidbits have been interesting, so I read on.
Proper Apparel for Football Viewing on TV: ‘While watching football games on TV, Elvis liked to wear his pajamas, a robe… and his football helmet.”
What, no rhinestones on the helmet?
The supermarket tabloids have been accused of making up much of what they print, but the big offenses must have come in later years. This Elvis stuff from 1978 is not clever enough to be fiction. If I were going to fabricate Elvis stories, they would have titles like, “What Elvis and Brigitte Bardot Did On Top of the Eiffel Tower.” And they would be juicy.
© 2008 Philip R Arnold All rights Reserved www.ElvisBlog.net