WALTER RAINBIRD – Interview with Elvis on the set of Roustabout 1964 (Part II)

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WALTER RAINBIRD – Interview with Elvis on the set of Roustabout 1964 (Part II) 

WR: Much of what you say implies that money is of no importance to you? 

EP: I don’t imply anything. I am very grateful to my good luck. But I am a man of simple tastes. I don’t need the money for myself. For a while, I was like kid with a new toy, but that was never my goal, and it never will be. 

WR: I see you as a young sanguine with normal instincts. I refuse to accept the theory that you hang out with your buddies or shyly go out with girls on dates that end with a shy kiss on their doorstep. 

EP: I’ll admit something to you, but without going into details. Let me tell you that I have lived an intense life and that I am as sanguine as anyone. 

The difference is that I don’t like to advertise it. I have been in love, but it is not true that I am secretly married or engaged. 

I have no commitment to anyone, and you can believe me. I know what they say about Priscilla, even before she came to stay with us. I had to make a decision, and I made it. 

All I can say is that Priscilla is a great girl and I like her a lot. You never know what the future holds for you. All I can do is repeat that I am neither secretly engaged nor married

WR: According to Ann-Margret, you were or are engaged to her. Is this not true either? 

EP: The newspapers quoted her saying that, but later, she told me what really happened.

 They asked her if it was true that she was in love with me. Well, she was and she didn’t want to lie about it. So he told them. This is how it happened. 

WR: And she told you all that? 

EP: Yes. Because he felt he owed me an explanation. She is an honest girl, a good girl, and she spoke the truth. I have great respect for her. 

WR: Does that mean it’s all over between you? 

EP: I haven’t seen her lately, but that’s because she’s been working on a movie. That is all. I like her very much. I think I’ve told you more about my private life than I’ve told anyone. You can’t expect more than that. 

The main thing I want to say is that I am not ready for marriage. I sincerely believe it. I have strong convictions about that. 

Of course, people don’t think that’s the way it is, and think that I’m making it up, but I have a strong conviction. 

There are many, many things that I want to do first and that can take a while. In the meantime, I plan to continue as I am.

I like my present and there is no reason to change anything. I think I’ve matured since I came to Hollywood

You see it reflected in my films. The dialogues are more mature because I’m ready for that. In answer to your question about how “boss” the Colonel is, I’ve let him run my career, and I trust him because he knows the most about show business.

 But I draw my own conclusions and make my own decisions. Which includes everything from choosing the songs for my next movie, recording a new album, falling in love… 

WR: Still, the Colonel has a lot of heavy responsibilities left, right? 

EP: You can bet on it.

Presley smiled as he said it. Walking across Paramount Studios, in an office littered with posters and records, the legend behind the legend is on the phone with a movie mogul. 

“…if they don’t want us” the Colonel whispers, “…they wouldn’t call us. You know what the public wants, and so do we, don’t you? No one has ever lost money on a Presley movie, and you’re too big to be the first… Now, 1964 and 1965 are complete, but if you want a tip, take #1 in 1967 for $750,000 and I guarantee you won’t regret it.” 

Nothing can bother Elvis Presley while the Colonel takes care of business. Difficult producers, complicated entrepreneurs, the Colonel takes care of them. Presley takes care of the girls. 

And as for the new contenders in Pop who are challenging him… Well, Presley has 51 Gold Records to prove he was King for 8 years and he very well can be again. 

“…the Beatles?” Presley asks “…if they bother me?” Of course not. They are artists just like me, and I guess just as dedicated as the rest of us. In the long run, it’s the only thing that counts. 

Mr. Presley is of course entitled to his own opinions. 

Source: WEEKEND Magazine, June 10, 1964

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