Elvis’s twin brother, Jessie, died at birth, but the star was given a second chance at a family when David Stanley’s mother, Dee, married the star’s father, Vernon Presley, on July 3, 1960. David grew up living next door to Graceland, and when he was old enough, he became part of the Memphis mob, an inner circle that made sure everything went smoothly and exactly how Elvis wanted it to. David was even in the bathroom of the Memphis mansion the night the King died. He describes a generous and loving man who was always struggling with his gifts and his fame, a man who fought to allow people to truly know and love him.
David was just five years old when he suddenly found himself drawn into the life of the world’s biggest star, along with his brothers Ricky and Billy.
As a child, he only remembers the man who drove him to school in a pink Cadillac “looked at me and picked me up and gave me a hug and welcomed me into his family. He took me in and shared his life with me. I knew my dad had been swept out of my life, and he did this replacement thing.”
But as David grew older, he began to understand the pressures his stepbrother was facing and to see a man struggling to feel worthy of all his extraordinary gifts.
David added: “Seeing him be Elvis, great Elvis, up Elvis, down Elvis, sad Elvis, what a great entertainer he was, to see him do that and towards the end, to see him go through it…”
Perhaps the most extraordinary revelation was that one of the most gifted and natural artists of all time was plagued with doubts, not about his talent but about his worth.
Davi said: “Many times he would sit by himself and say, ‘Why me? Why do I have these phenomenal gifts?’ She always wanted to share it, but she always had the problem of ‘why was this given to me?'”
David said Elvis “went the extra mile to make you feel special” and yet he couldn’t let others do the same for him.
He explained, “Elvis loved to love people, but it was hard for Elvis to let people love him or let us love him. He’d just get into himself and try to figure out who he was.”
No matter how much those around the star tried to help him, especially towards the end, David added: “Elvis was ultimately responsible for himself. We could only take care of him as much as we could.”
While everyone tried to love and support the man, in the end, of course, it was the star’s body that gave up on him. Elvis died on August 16, 1977. Graceland was crowded and his fiancée Ginger Alden slept in the next room, but the star was alone at the end.
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