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Excerpts from The Interview portion of We Remember, Elvis - revised edition

Elvis’ Great Escape

During the first two years Elvis played Vegas he was more accessible to his fans in various ways. He would go into the ladies powder room and flirt, kiss and talk with the women who were totally stunned. And he went door to door on a couple of hotel floors near the one he was staying on (the penthouse was unfinished at the time) going in and talking with surprised guests and inviting people up where he held court behind a roped off section near his bedroom door. He loved meeting the people-and it showed.

I remember the time Elvis “escaped” in 1970 from that hotel “birdcage in the sky” as he called it then, bringing a friend he called “Bill” from his onstage group with him, knocked on our hotel door several floors down from his penthouse suite and practically carried one of my women friends in with him so quickly did he come through the door she had opened. We were totally surprised, in our night clothing and waiting for him to call the room, because he said he would after his last show. He told “Bill” to watch the door; this would just take a few minutes, and then winking at us said, “Thought there was going to be three women here?” I said, yes, one went downstairs. He looked at the two beds and said, “We better get to it-don’t have much time!” And he quickly unfastened his belt (like the red one with the chains on it but this one was white and blue), and dropped it on the floor and then made as to undo his pants. Bill’s face turned dark red; he stared at Elvis with bugged eyes and then turned away and sat down facing the door with an “Oh God, what am I doing here!” look on his face. Elvis struggled to keep a straight face and failed, breaking into giggles.

He sat on the first bed, my friend nearly jumped over it to get pillows off the other bed for him to lean back against. He accepted her help graciously, murmuring, “Thank you dear, that’s nice”. Then with his long legs stretched out on the bed, he leaned back and asked questions: how’d we like the show, what else had we seen in town and so on. I remember how fire seemed to blaze from his eyes; he was still “on” from doing the show, was still sweating and kept wiping his face on the towel he wore draped around his shoulders. one foot keeping a beat all it’s own and he laughed joyously as my friend, who was hugging his belt kept exclaiming she couldn’t believe Elvis Presley was right here! Finally he said, “I don’t believe it either, an’ we got to go, ‘fore they call out the police to find me!” He kissed her bye, put on his belt and then turned to me. I had put some big rollers in the front of my hair earlier but removed them when he showed up. He put his fingers in my hair and gently pulled the curls loose and grinned that grin before kissing me on the forehead. He said bye, bye ladies and left in a rush, after “Bill” who had recovered from Elvis’ joke, checked the hall for any search party. They went down the fire stairs Elvis told me later, and then took the elevator up and when he came off the guys were forming search parties. He told them he had to take a leak and all the bathrooms were bein’ used-what the hell is the fuss about? Not long after those days, his “escape door” was locked to “protect” him but really, so that he couldn’t sneak out again.

- Wanda June Hill



The book We Remember, Elvis by Wanda June Hill
(2nd Edition includes additional transcribed sections of the "Interview Tapes")
We Remember, Elvis - Book Reviews

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