Sunday, May 27, 2007

Elvis had me all shook up!

Elvis and many other celebrities are in
Available Now in its second printing
At, Barnes &;Noble and other book sites
Retailers may pre-order at INGRAM Book Distributors
ISBN  978-0-615-37758-2

"Heaven Knows Mr. Allison," was opening at the Chinese theatre.

Elvis drove past Grauman's during the premiere, in his white Cadillac and the fans screamed at him. I knew Elvis was making a movie called, "Loving You," at the Paramount Studios and that he was staying at the Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel on Ivar. So, I decided to go there to see if I could get a glimpse of him. Sure enough, as soon as I arrived, he was leaving the hotel parking lot in his white Cadillac, with a girl sitting next to him. I decided to wait and try to see him when he came back. He had only completed one film, "Love Me Tender," but he was already a star from his records. He seemed to have filled the space left by James Dean's death. He was young, his music was controversial, or I should say "his body movements" were controversial, and he was the hottest thing in town. It was written in Louella Parson's column that Ricky Nelson, whose singing career had just started, had driven past the hotel several times, trying to get a glimpse of Elvis. It was rumored, later, that he and Elvis had a sexual encounter as well.

I sat on a wall near the parking lot, for a couple of hours. There was a cab parked in the front, with three or four girls sitting in it, with the meter running, waiting for Elvis too. I guess it got too costly for them, so they left and it wasn't five minutes later when Elvis drove into the hotel parking lot. He parked his car just inside the lot and when he got out and said, "Hi," my heart was beating so hard that all I could think of was how many people would have wanted this opportunity to be, alone, talking to him. I asked him if he would sign my autograph book and then asked if he would sign an extra page for my sister, Phyllis?, which he did. I told him I worked at Grauman's Chinese Theater and wondered why he hadn't come to the premiere? He said the colonel didn't want him there because his fans got too rowdy. Then he started asking me questions as we walked toward the front door of the hotel, like, was Natalie Wood and R.J. there? I told him they were and then he asked about Jayne Mansfield and I said she was there with Mickey. We reached the entrance to the hotel and he asked me who else was there? So, I started rattling off names as he got his key from the desk and we headed toward the elevator. I was wondering if he was gay and wanting me to follow him to his room? But, when the elevator came down a plain clothes security guard walked over from a couch he had been sitting on and told me, "This is far enough, Sonny." (If I were a comedian, I would have said my name isn't Sonny). Elvis got into the elevator, turned around and smiled and said, "See you around." I don't know if I was disappointed or just happy to have had those few minutes, alone, talking with him.

I had been to Paramount Studio's gates a few days earlier, just to see who would be going inside. There were two other kids there, doing the same thing. One was a real fat girl who was wearing a flesh colored halter and from a distance, she looked naked. A young, gay guy, was also there with her. I thought he was cute. We saw Anthony Quinn and he signed his autograph for me but seemed irritated doing it. Then a black limousine came out and stopped at the curb. The window slowly rolled down and there in the back seat was famed gossip columnist, Louella Parsons. And she said, "I just saw Elvis." And she was saying how nice he was. I wanted her autograph but didn't have anymore paper. So, I took my birth certificate from my pocket and asked her if she would sign it? She said, "I hope it doesn't make me responsible for your birth." I noticed her teeth looked as though they had been wired in. It was also rumored that she couldn't hold her water and would often wet her clothes. In the limo, she looked like she was sinking into the leather she was so small. But, I was one of her biggest fans.

And then another white Cadillac limo was coming through. Someone said, "It's Jane Russell," but it wasn't. It was Elvis and the limo drove past us.

A few years later while watching an Elvis movie, the young, cute, gay guy, who had been at the gate, was in a few scenes in the movie. I often wondered how he got the part-smile!

( Meeting Nick Adams

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