SEE YA LATER ELVIS!!

Comments: 1

Bill Blue hands guitar

Hello again.  Thanks for your support and reading my blogs.

Life as a gigging musician throws up some interesting stories and chance meetings and over the course of my blogs I’ll try and share some of them with you.

As I mentioned in my first blog, I met Elvis Presley.

It wasn’t planned, it was totally by chance.

In 1976, I used to have a fan who had a small turboprop airplane and was a private pilot. He used to sometimes fly me to and from gigs which saved hours of driving.

One night in June 1976, we flew back into Chesterfield County Airport, a largely private airfield around 4 miles from the middle of Richmond.

We were unloading the plane and leaning amps and guitars against a gate that led to another part of the airport where the private jets were parked.

As we were working, a car, smart but not a limo, pulled up next to the gate and the driver got out and yelled something out to us.  I couldn’t hear him so I went over to the car to speak to him.  The window to the back seat was wound down.  I looked inside and said ‘holy shit!’.  I was looking at ‘The King’. He was wearing his full rhinestone cat suit and those big wrap around shades.  I remembered that he was playing The Coliseum in town that night and he must have come straight from the show to the airport.

He smiled at my profanity.  I didn’t know quite how to start a conversation with him, but then it came to me.  I said ‘Hey Elvis, I played with Arthur ‘Big Boy’ Crudup.’  Arthur had written ‘That’s Alright Mama’.

Elvis said ‘Wow, how’s he doing’.

‘Not so good’ I said. ‘He died in 1974.’

‘Oh man, I’m sorry to hear that’ said Elvis.

Then Elvis nodded at my guitars leaning against the fence and said ‘Are you playing here tonight?’

I said ‘yes’.

He said ‘We just played here, it was great!’

I said ‘Of course it was great, you’re Elvis, you just played the Richmond Coliseum.  I’m playing a juke joint, probably with 3 bored hookers and a few bartenders and drunks as an audience’.

Elvis laughed.  This was cool, we were just 2 musicians chatting about our gigs.

At that point Elvis’s driver/bodyguard said, ‘We gotta go’.  Word had got out that Elvis was flying out of this airport and a crowd was beginning to form along the perimeter fence.

I moved my guitars so that they could drive through the gate to where Elvis’s private jet was waiting.

Elvis said ‘Nice talking with you man and good luck with the gig’

I said ‘See ya later Elvis’.  And he was gone.

His car drove out towards a waiting jet.  Elvis got out of the car and got on the plane. Nothing happened for around 10 minutes and then Elvis came to the door of the plane and waved at the now pretty big crowd that was pressed against the airport fence. Everyone went nuts when they saw him.

It was a very cool moment to meet the man who inspired me to pick up a guitar nearly 20 years before.

Anyone else out there ever met Elvis?  Or maybe you’ve met one of your musical heroes? Comment below, I’d love to read about that.

If you haven’t already, do check out my record ‘Mojolation’ on my album page.  It’s a record I’m really proud of.   “We’ll be putting up some live video soon and also “fanfare” announcing details of how you can buy my new record “The King Of Crazy Town” as a download or CD.

All the best –

Bill

 

One Comment

  • Jean Paul says:

    Dans les années 1980 j’étais pompier de Paris. A l’époque je n’étais que Sergent et nous portions la “tenue de sortie” quand nous étions en dehors de la “fire station”. En ce temps là les pompiers de Paris assuraient la sécurité des théâtres et salles de concerts, et les sous officiers, dont je faisais partie, avaient pour mission de passer dans ces établissements pour vérifier si les pompiers assuraient bien leur devoir en service (tenue impeccable,connaissance des lieux, connaissance des moyens de secours et leur emplacement… leur job en en quelque sorte)
    Un soir de février 1981 un concert de Rorry Gallagher avait lieu dans le Palais des Sports de Paris (lieux mythique du rock et du Blues) …Arrivant dans les coulisses (backstage) pour y effectuer une ronde de sécurité, je croise un garçon, à l’air sympathique, aux cheveux longs en chemise à carreaux en train de boire une bière.
    Un peu plus loin, derrière le rideau rouge, la guitare en bandoulière, un jeune gars préparait son entrée en scène pour le spectacle. Intrigué je demande, en mauvais anglais, au buveur de bière si le guitariste que j’aperçois est bon? Il m’assure que oui et nous commençons à discuter comme de vieux amis, de la France, du gout du rock et du blues pour les français… Il me propose de boire une bière ensemble, ce que je refuse, étant en service, tout en continuant notre petit bavardage. Les lumières s’éteignent, la salle scande le nom de la vedette de ce soir, 4500 spectateurs ça fait du bruit !… Je m’excuse auprès de mon nouveau copain et je me dirige vers la salle pour voir quelques instant l’entrée en scène de la Star de ce soir. Lumières !!!! A mon grand étonnement le guitariste entrevu derrière le rideau de scène n’est que le bassiste du groupe ??? Soudain dans un bruit d’accords très rock and roll bondit sur l’avant scène mon copain d’un soir : Rorry Gallagher !
    Je suis resté tout le concert moi qui ne devait faire qu’une ronde de sécurité. J’ai maintenant 71 ans… Et sa photo est toujours présente dans la chambre d’amis.

    Bien amicalement
    JP

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