Joe Esposito died the day before Thanksgiving, so this post is unfortunately late. Blame it on the time demands of getting through one holiday and getting ready for another.
It saddens me to do these memorials to friends and musicians from Elvis’ world. The circle keeps getting smaller. Since ElvisBlog began 11 years ago, we’ve remembered Charlie Hodge, Lamar Fike, John Wilkinson, Gordon Stoker, Millie Kirkham, and Scotty Moore.
Like every other Elvis website, Graceland.com posted a memorial to Joe Esposito, but is was surprisingly brief. It did mentioned that Joe served as Elvis’ road manager, but omitted other functions he performed – bodyguard for a while and sometimes assisting in the bookkeeping. Joe was also co-best man at Elvis’ wedding to Priscilla.
(Editor’s note: I did not copy the “Remembering Joe Esposito” title that Graceland.com used. That’s been the way I memorialized all the folks mentioned above, and this continued the pattern.)
One interesting factoid about Joe Esposito is mentioned the book ELVIS: His Life from A to Z – “It was Joe Esposito who arranged females for Elvis to date.”
Did you know that Joe Esposito had bit parts in eight Elvis movies?
You can see him through the windshield in this shot taken during the filming of Spinout.
One thing I found out about Joe Esposito while doing research is that Google has way more images of him in his later years than during his time with Elvis. Here’s a good one of him having some laughs with Linda Thompson. Everyone says he was a great guy, fun to be around.
I got to know Joe just a little bit. Here I am at Elvis Week 2007 at a book signing table outside the venue for a concert presented by Darwin Lamm, Editor/Publisher of Elvis International magazine. I got to play pseudo-bodyguard protecting Joe and DJ Fontana from any pushy or unruly fans. Fortunately there weren’t any.
I will forever be grateful to Darwin for giving me the opportunity to hang out back stage with these two men plus Scotty Moore, Gordon Stoker, and Millie Kirkham.
Here is a picture of Joe with Elvis two months before Elvis died.
And here’s a photo of Darwin vising with Joe Esposito two months before his passing.
Joe was an important earlier contributor to Darwin’s magazine, and the two have been friends for decades.
We’ll miss you, Joe. Say hi to Elvis for us.
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