Elton John remembers ‘sad’ meeting with Elvis Presley

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New York Post is out today with story about Elton Meeting Elvis in June 1976. “I looked into the eyes of the King and felt there was ‘nothing there,”

John (who grew up as a gawky English kid, miming to Presley records in his bedroom) got the chance to meethis idol in June 1976. At the time, the Brit’s own fame was peaking, following hits such as “The Bitch Is Back” and “Philadelphia Freedom.”

As he recalls in “Captain Fantastic” (a book out Tuesday, written by Tom Doyle and based on hours of new interviews with the singer), John took his mother, Sheila, to a concert in Washington, DC. But the Elvis of his youth had long left the building.

“It was sad,” he tells Doyle in the book for the first time, recalling Presley’s bloated and drugged state. The two met backstage prior to the show, and engaged in awkward chitchat. John requested “Heartbreak Hotel,” but Presley was unable to deviate from the rehearsed set and couldn’t perform the epochal 1956 single. “Elton looked into the eyes of the King and felt there was ‘nothing there,’” Doyle writes.

John and his mom were then escorted to their seats, and they watched with equal parts horror and admiration. “It was someone who was in a complete drug haze giving nylon scarves away to these fans,” John recalls. “And yet it was still, in a way, magical.”

Sheila, however, wasn’t quite as dazzled by this fading star. As soon as the show was over, she predicted Presley would be dead in six months.

“Well,” John reflects in the book, “it was a year.”

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1 Comment

  1. Bill Rauhuff on

    I wished we could have saved Elvis he left more on the table than probably any entertainer that ever lived. This was a tragedy and avoidable still saddens me and upsets me nearly 40 years later

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