Most celebrities over the course of entertainment history have had an entourage of some kind. But Elvis Presley’s entourage was something else. From the earliest days of his career, the legendary rock and roll singer kept a bounty of friends and family around to help him with the minute of both his day-to-day life and his career. Given Elvis’ preoccupation with his image; he made sure that all the members of his entourage adorned with matching black suits. This led to the entourage becoming known colloquially as the “Memphis Mafia”. With “Memphis” coming from Elvis’ hometown and “Mafia” coming from the fact that their uniform black suits looked like the kind the mafia wore.
As Elvis’ career dwindled during the later years of his life; his father made the financial decision to fire many members of the Memphis Mafia. Two of these former members wrote a controversial tell-all book as a result. And the book published only two weeks before the singer’s death. According to daughter Lisa Marie Presley, Elvis’ distress from the betrayal of his former bodyguards contributed to his death. Join Facts Verse as we take a look at why Elvis Presley’s daughter claims the Memphis Mafia killed him.
Elvis Presley Daughter
Lisa Marie Presley was born in 1968, the daughter of Elvis and Priscilla Presley. She lived with both her mother and father together at Graceland; Until her parents separated when she was only four years only. From then on, Lisa split her time between her mother’s and her father’s respective homes until the latter’s death when she was only nine.
During the time that she spent growing up at Graceland, Lisa Marie claims that she grew to be somewhat fearful of the “Memphis Mafia”. Of course, the name given to the various friends and family members that formed her father’s entourage. From the moment of Lisa Marie’s birth until the time of her father’s death. Elvis Presley was falling down the spiral of substance abuse towards his inevitable demise. According to Lisa Marie, her father’s entourage mirrored much of this wild behavior. They not only enabled her father’s behavior, but oftentimes acted worse than he did!
Lisa Marie claims that her days spent with her father after her parents’ separation filled with plenty of fun times. But very little discipline. Lisa Marie had essentially free-run of her father’s Memphis property. Allowing her the opportunity to see and experience plenty of things that a child her age shouldn’t have been seeing! According to Lisa Marie, she was well aware of both her father’s and his Memphis Mafia’s debaucherous lifestyles. She claims that there were always Playboy magazines and remnants of drug abuse scattered around the property. And that there was a never-ending rotation of promiscuous women.
Elvis Presley Passed Away
Elvis Presley ended up passing away on August 16, 1977. After a very long battle with decreasing health and increasing substance abuse. By the time of the late singer’s death, his infamous Memphis Mafia had dwindled down to just one member. With most of the others having fired by Elvis’ father as a result of the singer’s increasing financial troubles. While Lisa Marie doesn’t have many kind things to say about any of the former members of her father’s notorious entourage, there are two former members in particular that she holds a pretty serious grudge against. Those former Memphis Mafia members are Sonny and Red West.
Red West was a childhood friend of Elvis Presley’s, and one of the very first members of the Memphis Mafia. As Elvis began getting more and more famous and needed more hands to help out with his increasingly extravagant performances and lifestyle habits; Red brought his cousin Sonny into the mix. Years later, both Sonny and Red ended up being some of the members of the entourage fired by Elvis’ father due to a supposed lack of funds. Sonny and Red claimed that the real reason they were fired is because they tried to put their feet down and force their boss to give up his substance abuse habits. After being fired, the two conspired together to create a tell-all book utilizing all of the personal details that they had learned about their former boss.
The Tell- All Book
Sonny and Red West’s tell-all book ended up being released only two weeks before the singer’s death. Elvis apparently made aware of the book and it’s release, and he didn’t take the news very well! According to Lisa Marie, the shock of this book being released by two of her father’s former closest friends played a big part in causing his ultimate demise.
Following the release of Sonny and Red West’s tell-all book about Elvis Presley. As well as the singer’s death only two weeks later. Numerous former members of the Memphis Mafia went on to give interviews and release books. Detailing private things about the singer’s life. And Lisa Marie Presley sincerely feels have hurt her father’s posthumous dignity. While Lisa Marie may hold the largest grudges against Sonny and Red West; there seem to be no former members of the Memphis Mafia that the late Elvis’ daughter has much respect for. Not only does Lisa Marie despise the Memphis Mafia for selling out her father. Harming his dignity after his death. But she also feels that many members of the entourage played a significant part in enabling the unhealthy behaviors of her father that led to his downfall.
What is the True Hollywood Story Episode?
In the years following her father’s death, one thing that has greatly upset Lisa Marie Presley has been the release of the 1999 E! True Hollywood Story episode “The Last Days of Elvis”. The episode consisted predominantly of fresh testimony from former members of the Memphis Mafia. And the stories shared therein were expectedly salacious and demeaning toward the late Elvis Presley. Once again, Lisa’s outrage stemmed from the fact that she felt the Memphis Mafia members contributing to the program were not only harming her father’s legacy posthumously. They should be trying to maintain his dignity, but were also hiding their own culpability in their former boss’ demise!
According to Lisa Marie, it was during her viewing of “The Last Days of Elvis” that she came up with the song “Nobody Noticed”. Which would later be released on her 2003 debut album. The song is about how no one close to Elvis stepped in to help the singer during his slow and painful demise. Instead, they simply enabled him or turned a blind eye. Lisa Marie claims that she was emotionally distraught after her viewing of “The Last Days of Elvis”. And that writing and recording “Nobody Noticed” helped her deal with the pain.
When members of the Memphis Mafia are confronted with the notion that there may have been more that they could’ve done to save their former boss from his ultimate demise. they tend to disagree. Elvis was a man who didn’t like taking no for an answer. While Elvis’ late father claimed that he had fired many Memphis Mafia members because his son’s budget simply no longer allowed for their employ. Those same Memphis Mafia members allege that they fired for the sole reason that they said “no” to their boss.
Elvis Presley Career
Elvis is far from being the only pop idol to die from a debaucherous lifestyle; seemingly completely alone amidst an entourage of enablers. In fact, it’s a story that’s as old as pop music itself! The higher Elvis climbed towards the top in his career, the more alone he became. Even if members of the Memphis Mafia had wanted to try and save Elvis from the downward spiral of his substance abuse. It’s hard to think of what any of them could have said to do so successfully.
The members of the Memphis Mafia started out as close, personal friends and family members of Elvis Presley. And slowly grew to include more suspect members as Elvis became more famous. Some of the very first members of the Memphis Mafia include Elvis’ cousin, Junior and Gene Smith; as well as the aforementioned childhood friend Red West. Sadly, Red would be one of the former members that would seemingly turn against Elvis during his later years. After bringing along his aforementioned cousin, Sonny. By the time all said and done. A late addition to the Memphis Mafia by the name of Billy Smith was the only remaining member left under Elvis Presley’s employ at the time of the beloved rock and roll legend’s death.
What is the Memphis Mafia?
The Memphis Mafia had a catchphrase, with that catchphrase being “TCB”, which stood for “taking care of business”. These three letters found on plenty of Elvis Presley merchandise. And also adorned on the private jet that the Memphis Mafia used to get around the world. All the members of the Memphis Mafia had unique roles. Sonny and Red West functioned predominantly as bodyguards for Elvis up until their firing in 1976. Meanwhile, other members of the Memphis Mafia, such as guitarist Charlie Hodge; found himself sometimes being a touring musician for Elvis Presley. Sometimes being his stylist! According to former members, none of these roles were explicitly assigned. The members just knew that they needed to become attuned to Elvis’ needs in order to stick around.
While former Memphis Mafia members Sonny and Red West claim they let go from Elvis Presley’s infamous entourage. As a result of trying to get the late rock and roll legend to give up his substance abuse habits. Daughter Lisa Marie Presley claims that they fired because they enablers that were sucking up all of her late father’s money. Now it’s time to hear from you: did you know that Elvis Presley had a large and intimidating entourage that known colloquially as the “Memphis Mafia”. And that daughter Lisa Marie Presley feels that some members of said entourage helped contribute to her father’s death?