Our 2017 review of Priscilla Presley's Q&A appearance at Ron Onesti's Arcada Theatre never made the website because we were smack dab in the middle of our year-long salute to 1967.
As such, it only went out via email at the time ...
But when Priscilla's name came up again in Forgotten Hits recently, I just knew we had to "officially" post this so that others could enjoy it, too.
So here you go ...
An Open Conversation With Priscilla Presley, from 2017 ...
I spent an interesting and entertaining couple of hours listening to Ron Onesti of The Arcada Theatre interview Priscilla Presley on Sunday Afternoon to a pretty full house.
One of Elvis' vintage Cadillacs was parked out front (a 1974 model, I'm told) with a TCB Lightning Bolt logo on the door, on loan from the Volo Auto Museum to welcome you in.
Ron and Priscilla had promised a "no holds barred" session ... no topic was off limits ... and she did not want to screen any of the questions ahead of time. Ron had asked our readers to supply some of the questions (and quite a few of them actually got used.) Priscilla's book "Elvis and Me" has been out for years so topics like their love life (and sex life) have been circulating for ages ... and they never really got into any of the nitty gritty details in this respect ... still, so much has happened over the past 40 years that plenty of new topics were explored. (As Frannie pointed out to me before I left for the show, it's difficult to ask Priscilla any "What would Elvis think?" type of questions because you're asking her to speculate and speak for him ... it really isn't fair to do so since they've been divorced since 1973 ... but she certainly can answer as to his feelings for events that were happening at the time they were together.) That being said, Priscilla cautioned us early on that she could never really communicate with Elvis on a level playing field ... NOBODY could ... because he was "the one and only" ... he didn't have any other entertainers of his stature to compare notes with ... and his guys, the so-called Memphis Mafia, were there just to joke and laugh and kid around ... keep him company for whatever whim possessed him at the time. As such, even if Priscilla asked him what was wrong or what he was thinking or feeling, he barely ever answered her.
Security was pretty adamant that no recording was allowed during this two hour session so I'll do my best to answer some of these questions the way Priscilla did to the best of my recollection. Truthfully, the dialog never stopped ... they talked for two hours straight covering a wide variety of topics (and I never even saw either of them stop to take a drink of water!)
I've tried to group these in the way we sent them in so this doesn't necessarily follow the flow of the show as it unfolded Sunday Afternoon.
Priscilla's main purpose in doing this, she said, was to set the record straight. Far too many mistruths have been published and circulated and she doesn't like the idea of history being rewritten and repeated about things so many know so little about. The fact that last week marked the 40th anniversary of Elvis' death made the whole experience that much more poignant.
That first meeting ... the early years in Germany ... and the end:
What was the very first thing Elvis said to you?
John Records Landecker
What was your first impression, Priscilla, the moment you met Elvis?
Geoff Dorsett (The Soft Rock Show in the UK)
Hindsight being 20/20, if the young Priscilla knew what you now know, would you accept Elvis’ proposal again? (This came to me because, in her book, Cynthia Lennon states she would not have accepted John’s affections had she known the outcome)
I'd like to know when Priscilla knew for sure she was in love with Elvis and that it wasn't just a teenage crush.
Were you aware, early on, that Elvis had a roving eye?
Priscilla (14) met Elvis (24) in 1959 while he was stationed in Germany during his time in the Army. She knew of Elvis (it's often been reported that she had absolutely no idea who he was at the time) because he was, simply put, the most popular entertainer on the planet ... so yes, when the opportunity presented itself for her to meet him, she was excited to do so ... never in her wildest dreams imagining that he might actually be attracted to her.
A friend of her father, Currie Grant, invited Priscilla to meet Elvis at the house where he was staying. Priscilla's mother's initial reaction was "I wouldn't walk across the street to meet Elvis Presley" ... but when Currie and his wife agreed to take her there and bring her home as well as chaperone her visit, they finally agreed.
Elvis, immediately smitten, spent most of the night talking to her and then serenaded her on the piano. (Ironically, the first song he played was the Jerry Lee Lewis hit "Great Balls Of Fire," complete with a lot of clowning away and lifting his leg on top of the keyboard.) Although she never actually mentioned his very first words ... or her first impression (other than being a little bit star-struck), they visited for as long as she was allowed to stay (and a little bit after that!), getting home past her designated curfew.
When Elvis invited her back, she was allowed to visit again under the supervision of the Grants ... but when he called to invite her a third time, her parents put their collective foot down and said that if Elvis wanted to see her again, he'd have to come there and call on her as a proper gentleman.
Surprisingly, Elvis and Priscilla's father got along quite well, maybe because of their respective military backgrounds. (Priscilla also told us that she learned early on that Paul Beaulieu was not her real father when snooping through some of her mother's things one day.) Her real father, a US Navy Pilot named James Wagner, had died in a plane crash. Priscilla's mother had never told her that she had been adopted by Paul Beaulieu (and taken his name) when the two got married. Incredibly, Priscilla remembered going to their wedding when she was about three years old ... yet never made the connection, only ever knowing Paul Beaulieu as her father.
As to Elvis' roving eye, she said that there were two English girls there at Elvis' house nearly every time she visited ... and they seemed to be quite chummy with Elvis. One night, when Elvis couldn't find his white guitar pick, one of the girls told him that she last saw it on the nightstand next to his bed. Priscilla quickly put two and two together and figured they must be more than "friends". (She also said that Elvis respected her and refused to have sex with her until she reached the age of 21. This frustrated Priscilla MUCH more than it seemed to bother Elvis, who was still having sex with a wide variety of girls he wasn't keeping "pure".)
Ron Onesti brought down the house when he asked, "So you're 14 years old ... you've just met Elvis ... didn't you want to run home and text and tweet all your friends to tell them?!?!"
Of course, this wasn't an option in 1959. In fact, Priscilla said she only ever told one friend ... and this woman is still her closest friend to this day. The newspapers soon figured it out when she and Elvis would be seen together ... and there's a very famous photograph of her at the airport waving goodbye when it was time for Elvis to return to The States. (Elvis was asked later, upon his return home, if there wasn't perhaps one special girl he met while he was stationed in Germany ... the girl he left behind. He tried to play it down as best he could ... but soon was pushing to have Priscilla move into Graceland with him ... which she finally did in 1963 when she turned 18.)
She was heartbroken to see him leave, not really knowing for sure when or if she'd ever see him again. I'd say at this point she was already hopelessly head-over-heels in love ... and he seemed to be pretty smitten as well.
She said their greatest concern (especially for Elvis' manager Colonel Tom Parker) was that the press would play up the age difference and the fact that she was just 14 years old when they met. The whole Jerry Lee Lewis marrying his cousin scandal had just hit (and virtually destroyed his career) and Chuck Berry was doing some jail time for violation of The Mann Act (transporting a minor across state lines). They could not afford to risk ruining Elvis' career by heading down this same path. Quite honestly, the press seemed much more forgiving when it came to Elvis ... and he pretty much went through this entire relationship unscathed.
Ron Onesti asked if Elvis was already doing drugs by the time she met him while he was in the Army.
She said he was ... and that it probably started a little bit earlier than that. He would reach the ultimate high while performing on stage and then need a sleeping pill in order to calm down and get any rest at all. Then he'd need an upper to get charged up again the next day. "Elvis didn't like to take pills alone," she said, "and you just didn't say 'no' to Elvis Presley." She told us that she still has ... to this day ... the very first sleeping pill ever gave her. (She took the pill from him ... but then never "took the pill" ... her mother had warned her early on about boys trying to seduce girls through medication and whether she was fearful and heeding this warning or was simply to scared to take it, she has saved the pill for the past sixty years!
Years later, at the point that she left him, ending their marriage, she just couldn't take the drug use anymore ... she couldn't continue to live this lifestyle.
Priscilla says that she flew out to Las Vegas to see Elvis perform at the International Hotel with the intent of telling him that she was leaving him ... but by the time she got there, it was time to go see his show ... and then there was all that "unwind" time after ... by the time they finally got to bed around 5 or 6 am, she was too tired to tell him and decided she would tell him in the morning.
When they woke up, she asked if they could talk. Elvis said, "Sure," and Priscilla said, "I'm leaving."
Elvis figured as much ... "Sure, I understand ... what time is your flight?"
"No, I mean I'm leaving ... I'm leaving you ... I can't do this anymore."
Elvis was heartbroken but she believed he understood. Their divorce was completely amicable ... they held hands walking into and out of the courtroom ... and even held hands during the ceremony.
Priscilla said she last talked to Elvis two days before he died. She had heard that he wasn't feeling well and knew that Lisa Marie was supposed to be flying home in a couple of days as Elvis was starting a new tour. He told her he was having some problems with his girlfriend, Ginger Alden, but that he was all-right and was sure everything would be fine.
Two days later she got the call that Elvis had died and time just stopped. She didn't believe it - refused to believe it. Elvis would often check himself into a hospital for some down time ... a chance to decompress and recharge his batteries. She didn't believe he could really be dead. And then she asked about Lisa Marie and got back to taking care of the business now at hand.
As for the pills, she says she talked to "Dr. Nick" numerous times about it ... and that Dr. Nick was substituting some of Elvis' pills with placebos ... but that Elvis always knew ... and would threaten his doctor to either give him the right stuff, or he was going to find somebody else. Dr. Nick felt that at least if HE was the one administering the dosage, he could maintain some element of control ... whereas turning it over to somebody new who would be blinded by the idea of taking care of Elvis Presley, things could spin out of control rather quickly.
The Beatles / The British Invasion / And The Movie Years:
What did Elvis REALLY think when he saw The Beatles performing on The Ed Sullivan Show for the very first time? Did he think they'd last? Were you a fan ... or was it pretty much an Elvis-centric world at that time? The British Invasion knocked some of the biggest American artists off the charts ... suddenly EVERYTHING had to have a British accent in order to get played. Did he feel threatened by this? Were there any serious thoughts that his career might be over? And, as for The Beatles, was it exciting for you to meet them? What was it like the night The Beatles came to meet Elvis? (kk)
Naturally, Elvis watched The Beatles on The Ed Sullivan Show ... this is where he had made his biggest mark just a few years before. The Beatles to a man would agree that without Elvis, there would be no Beatles.
He was concerned when The British Acts seemed to be dominating the charts. Keep in mind that Elvis was still cranking out movies at this time and while his popularity may have waned a little bit in the way of new fans, the die-hard Elvis fans were still out in full force. His movies regularly did big box office and between the years of 1963 and 1967 (the start of Beatlemania and The British Invasion up to just before his 1968 Television Comeback Special), Elvis had 28 Top 40 Hits, and this tally included 8 Top Ten Hits.
I've heard the story of The Night Elvis Met The Beatles so many times in my life ... and Priscilla recounted it pretty much exactly the way I've always heard it ... with a little bit of interesting insight.
When The Beatles arrived, Elvis and Priscilla greeted them at the door and brought them into the den where Elvis had the tv on with the sound turned off, a large jukebox and a bass guitar. Virtually nobody said a word. Elvis kept playing the same record, Charlie Rich's "Mohair Sam" again and again and again on the jukebox and dabbled with the bass guitar a little bit ... but none of The Beatles spoke. Whether they were just so in awe of being face to face with their ultimate hero (or perhaps flying a little bit thanks to whatever they might have smoked on the way over) isn't clear ... but Elvis finally got up and said, "If you're just all going to sit there and look at me, I may as well go on off to bed." This broke the mood and everybody quickly lightened up and began to have a good time. Some reports say they jammed ... The Beatles themselves can't seem to agree on what happened musically that night. (If you watch their Anthology Film, you'll see them kid about this ... John and Ringo reportedly say they jammed with Elvis ... and then Ringo says later that JOHN jammed with Elvis ... but that he never had.) Paul reportedly showed Elvis a few runs on the bass and soon it was over. Incredibly NOTHING from this night was ever recorded or photographed. (This was actually a condition of their meeting set up front - kk) In hindsight I'm sure every person involved wishes they had these memories documented today.
It gets even crazier. Priscilla insists that when The Beatles first pulled up, they all came in one limousine ... but Jerry Schilling, one of Elvis' closed confidants, says they each came in their own limo and that a total of four cars pulled into the driveway that night. Jerry and Priscilla have debated this for years! A short while back, Priscilla had dinner with Paul McCartney and she asked him point blank, "When you came up to the house to meet Elvis, were you in one car or four cars." Paul admitted, "I don't remember" ... and then went on to tell her how each and every Beatle had a completely different recollection what went on that night. Whenever they would discuss meeting Elvis amongst themselves, they all had different memories as to just what happened that night. They both laughed ... but also agreed that they wished they had some souvenir memento to honor such a momentous night in musical history.
Ron asked about Elvis' alleged flings with Nancy Sinatra and Ann-Margret.
Priscilla said that while she and Elvis were apart, all the movie magazine were playing up this big romance between Elvis and Nancy Sinatra ... but she insists that Elvis and Nancy were never anything more than just friends ... and that Nancy and Priscilla were friends as well. (Nancy Sinatra threw Priscilla's baby shower when she found out she was pregnant with Lisa Marie.) However, being an ocean apart and reading every day about Elvis' hot new romance definitely weighed on her ... and she began to wonder if she would ever see him again.
When Elvis came home from the Army, the first show he was scheduled to appear on was The Frank Sinatra Show, where Nancy was also present. (This was believed to be more of your typical Hollywood Photo Op than anything else ... a few years later, they also made a movie together.) Priscilla said Elvis was a little bit nervous about doing the show because he and Frank were each going to sing each others' songs ... and he was afraid that Frank would show him up on stage. Instead, quite the contrary happened ... and Elvis was in fine form that night, singing the Sinatra hit "Witchcraft". The show was a hit and Elvis definitely held his own against the crooner who captured the world's heart the decade before he did.
As for Ann-Margret, that's a different story ... and Ann posed a real threat to her relationship with Elvis. They definitely had an affair ... and Priscilla said she learned to live with the idea that this is simply what singers and entertainers did ... they had their life on the road with any number of meaningless flings and, as long as they didn't bring it home and could be the perfect husband once they got there, you just learned to live with it.
But Ann-Margret was more than just a meaningless fling ... and Priscilla had serious concerns. Elvis finally admitted to it ... and then assured her that it was over. He said they were just too alike ... they both sang and danced and acted ... and in a career like that, there's really only room for one ... you just can't have two ... so he broke it off. According to Priscilla, Ann-Margret took the news pretty hard ... and would still try to contact Elvis to find out why ... what had gone wrong ... even leaving him a message one time that read "I Just Don't Understand," the name of her big 1961 hit. Ironically, she married actor Roger Smith just one week after Elvis' wedding to Priscilla in 1967. She and Elvis remained close friends for the rest of his life ... and Ann and Roger are still married today.
Food For Thought (aka DON'TCHA JUST LOVE IT WHEN ALL THIS STUFF COMES TOGETHER???):
Ann-Margret's big screen break came playing the lead in the hit musical "Bye Bye Birdie," whose lead character, Conrad Birdie was based on Elvis being drafted into the army ... which is where Elvis first met Priscilla, his only wife. Ann's follow-up film was starring opposite Elvis in "Viva Las Vegas," the movie that kick-started their affair ... only to end a few months later when Elvis decided he didn't want to be "competing against himself" in a show business career. I swear, you couldn't script something this inspired!!! (lol) kk
The 1968 NBC Television Special:
Several of us had questions relating to this program ... and Priscilla and Ron talked about it quite a bit as well. Parts of many of our questions were answered (although some not specifically) and I would LOVE the opportunity to talk to her more about this at some point in time, especially with the 50th Anniversary coming up next year.
Therefore, in random order, here is what we were wondering, recapped by some of what she told us onstage at The Arcada Theatre Sunday afternoon ...
What thoughts were going through Elvis' head as he prepared for his 1968 Comeback Special? Was he concerned that his time may have passed musically and that this might not go over well? Or was he so motivated and confident with what he knew he was about to unleash that he couldn't wait to show the world that he still had a fire burning, wanting to perform again? While we've all come to know it that way, did he ever refer to this moment as his "comeback" ... or did he believe that this was the next logical step in his career at the time ... getting out of the movies and going back on the road? Did he look at this moment as standing up to The Colonel? And describe Elvis' feeling of respect for The Colonel over the years ... and their arrangement that often benefited The Colonel with as much as 50% of Elvis' take. (kk)
What kind of 50 year anniversary specials and releases might we expect from Priscilla and the Sony / Legacy record label revolving around this epic television moment and subsequent soundtrack album as well as elite cable TV examinations and documentaries or DVD products underscoring the celluloid and sonic melodic world of Elvis during 1968? What sort of ideas and campaigns might be in the works in order to draw attention and remind the world about this Elvis endeavor that she watched develop and viewd in 1967?
Harvey Kubernik (I have met and encountered Priscilla many times over many decades.)
My question might be a rather simple one ...
I heard or read that during the taping of the '68 Comeback Special, while Elvis was singing his signature song (Love Me Tender) he had made an apparent blunder, trying to be funny, and that Priscilla stormed out of the theatre (or was threatening to leave.) I guess this was her favorite song and she was upset that he didn't sing it seriously enough for her (?)
***If you listen to the song, you can hear that he starts a bit giddy, but then brings it back home and really finishes the song strong.
The apparent goof or attempt to be funny was, I believe,
"You have made my life a wreck ... uh, complete, and I love you so"
"Love Me Tender, Love Me Sweet, Never let me go ...
You have made my life complete, and I love you so."
Bob was one of our guests at the concert. (kk)
A lot has been written over the years about whether Colonel Tom Parker was mostly good or bad for Elvis. For better or for worse, throughout his incredible career, Elvis depended on the Colonel, who reportedly took an almost unheard- of 25 percent commission. I have also heard, though I cannot confirm it, that somewhere around three-quarters of Elvis's income went into the Colonel's pocket, possibly without Elvis knowing about it. Reportedly for a very long time the Colonel forced Elvis to do many so-so movies and sing many so-so songs which he Elvis reluctantly did but was unhappy about. I do know that one person stood up to the Colonel and "won," namely Steve Binder who was the director of Elvis's 1968 "Comeback Special" and insisted that it NOT be a "Christmas" show which is what the Colonel had insisted on.
So my question for Priscilla is whether, both when she was with Elvis and now in retrospect, she felt that Colonel Parker was mostly helpful or mostly harmful to Elvis. And also, I would like to know if her opinion has changed over the 40 years since his passing.
Tying into this, it seems that Elvis at times would become resentful of Colonel Parker ... but was reluctant to break away because of all he had done for him in the way of furthering his career. Did you and Elvis have discussions of this nature? (kk)
Choosing to make a comeback in 1968 was a bit risky ... music was changing so rapidly at the time, getting MUCH heavier with groups like Cream, Steppenwolf, The Jimi Hendrix Experience and, shortly thereafter, Led Zeppelin. Meanwhile, after the television special aired, and while all of this was going on, Elvis was on stage wearing a white jumpsuit in Las Vegas. Did he have concerns that he no longer fit in musically? Or was his confidence boosted by the loyalty of so many long-term fans? (kk)
I imagine that you and Elvis watched the NBC Television special together ... what was the mood like when it ended? What feelings were going thru yours and Elvis' minds at the time? Did you feel to a certain extent that you were about to lose him to his fans once he started touring again? (kk)
Priscilla said that she never really had any issues with The Colonel - that he was always representing Elvis' best interests - and that even after Elvis' passing, she and The Colonel got along just fine.
As for the comeback special, yes, Elvis was somewhat nervous ... but the fact that Producer / Director Steve Binder was NOT nervous ... and instead pushed Elvis out on that stage and made him do perhaps the most electrifying performance of his career, turned everything around for The King Of Rock And Roll. Elvis KILLED it that night ... I don't care how many times you watch this special ... it NEVER diminishes the impact he made on a world where many had probably already written him off as passe.
Keep this fact in mind ... Priscilla had never seen Elvis perform before ... during the time she was with him, Elvis was making movies ... he wasn't out on the road doing concerts and touring ... or doing television appearances ... he'd fly out to location and make his latest film and then fly home again ... so she had never had the experience of what it was like to see Elvis live on stage ... and she was blown away. ("Now I get it," she laughed ... and how could she not?)
They watched the special together at home ... just the two of them with Sonny West ... and nobody spoke a word during the entire hour it was on ... but the moment it was over they whooped it up big time. Soon the phone was ringing and it just didn't stop ... Elvis was getting calls from all over the world telling him how incredible he was that night. (Again, I'd love to know if in Priscilla's mind at that exact moment she felt the greatest joy ... along with the greatest fear ... that she was now losing him to the fans ... and life as they knew it would never be the same. - kk)
Topics that were never covered:
If he were still alive, Elvis would be 82 today. What do you think he would think about the changes made in music over the past 40 years? Can you envision him as being the perennial favorite like Tony Bennett, still recording and making odd appearances here and there? Recording duet albums and LPs of standards? (Let's face it ... RCA has remixed Elvis' music in so many different ways over the years, trying to keep him a "vital artist" with a new audience, he's practically done all of these things anyway!) RCA has never missed an opportunity to keep his career in the spotlight ... and he is consistently one of the "top earning dead celebrities" year after year. Would he be amazed that his music is still considered relevant today after so many years? (kk)
Would Elvis be amazed that he is more popular now it seems that he was 40 years ago?
Was Elvis as romantic in private as his public persona seemed to be to his fans?
Incredibly, not a single Michael Jackson question was asked. (I found that quite surprising.)
What would Elvis have thought of Michael Jackson, the self-proclaimed "King Of Pop"? And what would he have thought of Michael marrying his daughter, Lisa Marie? What do YOU think about their marriage ... both in hindsight and at the time? When all the allegations came out against him about inappropriate behavior with young boys ... and the drugs he took at the end ... were there hints of this all along? Was the drug thing kind of a deja vu for you, having gone thru some of this with Elvis? (kk)
One fact that is not often mentioned is that Elvis was very smart and well read. What type of books did Elvis read? (Phil Nee)
Priscilla said that Elvis had a huge library of books ... and they were all over the place topic-wise ... he was always trying to learn more, learn as much as he could. He always believed he had a greater purpose ... that God must have had bigger plans for him. Yes, he could sing and he could entertain, but if he could get that kind of following just by moving his hips, then he must be destined to be more of a leader - he was always searching for that greater purpose.
Can you talk a little bit about the whole Elvis / Nixon thing? Was Elvis pretty much out of control at that time? Timing-wise as I recall, you were leaving (or just about to leave) ... did you ever see this coming? And how did he rationalize this need for a meeting in his own head? Was he really sincere in wanting to "clean up America"? (kk)
Inquiring Minds Want To Know ... A Couple of "Mood-Breaking" Questions That Never Came Up (and Perhaps It's Just As Well):
I recently visited Graceland and the Elvis Presley Experience. I enjoyed my visit there and learned a lot about Elvis.
My question is: Why do they show videos of all of the huge collection they have of Elvis memorabilia and yet have hardly any of it on display?
They have a clear display rack that has four levels of display cases and yet only one level of items actually displays the items. The other three levels show various size boxes that supposedly these other items are contained in. What good does it do us to see closed boxes in these displays? They should display items in all the display cases, not just one level.
Also, the "fairgrounds" area could be used to show many more items instead of trying to create something that I can see at any local county fair.
When I was there in July, nobody was in that area.
Thank you for listening to my question.
The Graceland Tours is another topic that never came up ... but Bill was able to join us as Ron Onesti's guest for "A Conversation With Priscilla Presley" (kk)
You lived every teenage girl's fantasy dream by being married to Elvis Presley - and then you broke his heart -
You left him and then, after he died, have spent the last 40 years capitalizing on his name, a name you chose to give up while he was still alive.
You've gone from being the envy of every girl to being despised for a completely different reason.
How do you answer to that? And the millions of dollars you've made thru Elvis Presley Enterprise in the years since Elvis' death?
Yep ... probably wise to steer clear of this one!!! (kk)
Priscilla's Acting Career:
Priscilla, of course, had her own career after the death of Elvis, starring on the hit television series "Dallas" for five years as Jenna Wade ... and then costarring in the Naked Gun Movies.
Our readers wanted to know about this, too ... and Ron worked some of these questions and topics into his "Lightning Round" of questions ...
If given the chance, would you have shot J.R. Ewing?
Absolutely! I would have LOVED to shoot JR ... with a big ol' 45.
What did you REALLY think at the time about an entire YEAR of "Dallas" simply being written off as Bobby Ewing's dream?" (kk)
This one never came up so she never got the chance to answer it ... but did say that the cast had a lot of fun together on the set. Larry Hagman (JR) and Patrick Duffy (Bobby Ewing) started to embody their television characters off the screen as well, acting very much like the rich, spoiled Ewing brothers both on and off the set. "And Larry," she said, was always ready with a glass of champagne ... of course this was a 7:00 in the morning!" Priscilla says she was originally only supposed to appear on one season ... but the character became so popular that they ended up extending her role for five years!
I would ask her, "Tell us about working on the 'Naked Gun' movies."
Gary Theroux / "The History of Rock 'n' Roll"
(Actually, I thought it would be pretty damn funny to play the "Nice Beaver" clip! lol kk)
And, much to my pleasure, Ron went there!!! He asked her "something about her beaver ... didn't she have a pet beaver on the set of The Naked Gun"... Priscilla at first seemed a little bewildered by the question ... and then sort of brushed it off ... but WE all knew what he was talking about!!!
And apparently we were not alone ...
My first thought was to ask her about her beaver ... the stuffed one that Leslie Nielson saw in a scene from Naked Gun. (Phil Nee - WRCO)
Did she do much work with OJ on Naked Gun? If so, how did he seem?
(Mitch Michaels / The River)
Priscilla worked with OJ Simpson on the Naked Gun movies ... what was her reaction when she first heard about the murder of Nicole Brown Simpson? Do you believe that OJ got away with murder? (kk)
You worked with OJ Simpson on the Naked Gun movies. Did you ever see that side of him? Where you believe he could have been that violent of a man to kill his ex-wife? (Ron Onesti)
Yes, actually I did. OJ and Nicole were getting divorced while we were making the third Naked Gun movie and it was clear how upset he was. We were friends with both of them ... in fact, I dated Robert Kardashian for a time ... so I got to know both of them pretty well ... but when the news of the divorce came down, OJ just got this look in his eye ... and several times he said, "If I can't have her, nobody will."
I had heard from Nicole's sister, who was dating one of my friends, that he had hit her in the past ... and the first time I ever went there, up to their house, I was dating Mike Edwards at the time, and he told me that OJ took him aside, slammed him up against a wall, lifted him up by his neck and warned him "Stay away from my wife. If I ever see you near my wife, I'll kill you." (Talk about your memorable first impressions! - kk) Mike said it scared the hell out of him ... and he could see the demon in OJ's eyes ... he was dead serious ... so yes, I have no doubt that he killed Nicole.
More From The Lightning Round
Here are a few off the top of my head ...
When was Elvis the happiest? (Phil Nee)
What's her favorite Elvis memory? (Mitch Michaels)
We were both happiest in Hawaii ... we could just be ourselves there ... and be alone without any other demands being imposed on us. And we were happy at Graceland, when it was just the two of us horseback riding.
What is your favorite Elvis movie? (Phil Nee)
I love the first four ... but King Creole would be my favorite
What was Elvis' favorite of his movies? (Ron Onesti)
Definitely King Creole
What is YOUR favorite Elvis song? And which of his recordings were among his favorites? (kk)
Favorite Elvis song? (Ron Onesti)
My favorite would have to be either "An American Trilogy" or "If I Can Dream"
His favorite was "It's Now Or Never"
(Wow ... I wouldn't have guessed that one! kk)
Who were some of his influences and inspiration starting out in the music business? (Ron Onesti)
Oh, there were just so many - but mostly Elvis just wanted to sound unique - and he was - he didn't really sound like anybody else
Boxers or Briefs? (Ron Onesti)
(complete laughter by everybody on hand)
Priscilla: (still laughing) Well, definitely NOT boxers ... and sometimes briefs
Ron Onesti: No, I meant you!!! (more laughter from everyone)
Great interview - great afternoon. (kk)
Kudos to Ron Onesti for landing the former Mrs. Presley. I have always loved Elvis Presley's vocal range and appreciation of R&B. Tell me it wouldn't have been fun to hear The King cover Otis Redding's "I've Been Loving You Too Long," penned by Otis and Jerry Butler or "The Thrill Is Gone," a masterpiece by B.B King ... how about Lou Rawls' touching "Dead End Street?"
I still recall being at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis watching E struggle through thes last concert of his career. The audience cheered as much out of pity as it did for love.
Author: Otis Wilson - If These Walls Could Talk
Vintage autographed photo from Davie Allan ...