Part two (1965) •
“It became like the First and Second Family,” Lamar says. “It just galled Billy and Marty, and I wouldn’t put up with it. I told them all to go fuck themselves.”
Suddenly, there were rules. Only Joe and Priscilla were allowed to take pictures of Elvis, according to Billy, “and then after they took them, you couldn’t even get a copy of them. Same with home movies.”
In general, Elvis did not want the wives to come out to California or accompany their husbands on trips. “He was going to play around, and he didn’t want anybody carrying tales,” as Lamar puts it. “Being with Elvis put a hell of a strain on a marriage. And on being a family. I was home so infrequently that my kids would see an extra place at the table and wonder who was coming.”
Billy’s wife, Jo, was especially hurt over the way Elvis excluded the wives, as many of the guys now had families, and he didn’t always seem to respect those ties. She also thought she was in a vulnerable position because of Elvis’s closeness to Billy. Though the two men were first cousins, Elvis regarded him as a brother, someone he had reared and guided from the days when they first came to Memphis and lived in the slums. “I saved you,” Elvis told him over and over.
“Elvis couldn’t live without Billy,” says Jo. Part of it was the connection to Elvis’s past, especially to Gladys, since Billy had been close to her. Part of it also was that Elvis’s father and Billy’s father had been in prison together, so there was nothing that Elvis had to be ashamed of with him. Consequently, Elvis wanted Billy with him all the time, and he resented it when Billy got married.”
•Excerpt from Baby let’s play house by Alanna Nash #elvis #elvispresley #elvisandpriscilla #memphismafia