This is the King speaking. Not from beyond the grave but from right here in Graceland. At the tender age of 78 I feel my time is coming to end and I feel I need to unload something that has, let’s just say, all shoke up. I know you all think I died on the crapper in 1977, but there were some who never believed I had actually kicked the bucket. Well those people were right and I’m writing this letter to set the record straight.
I was in a bad way in 77, my heath was as bad as LA smog and I was struggling to keep up with the times and this new fad called Disco. I longed for the good old days when I was just starting out with Berry, Lewis, and Cash, hitting the road from one gig to another. It was tough going, but that’s why started popping pills. I guess that’s when my problem with drugs began, at the time I didn’t think anything of it, neither did Cash, to us they were just wake-me-up mints. They were just a way to stay awake through those long rock n roll nights.
I think this whole thing started back in 71 when I had my little meeting with Tricky Dicky at the White House. At the time, there were a lot of issues Dick and I both agreed on: we both hated the black panthers, dirty hippies, drugs, and those girly voiced Beatles. I asked him if I could be a special federal agent, so I could do my part in the fight against drug abuse and hippies. Amazingly he thought it was a good idea and ordered me a badge from the bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs, good looking picture too. I remember Dicky telling me that if there was anything I ever needed, to just ask, even if he wasn’t the president. It made sense for him to say that, after all we had become friends now. Who would have guessed that just years later I would be cashing in on his word.
Being a special agent was a gas man, but everything around me was taken its toll on me. My family, my career, my health, my fans, it was all becoming one bad trip. In order to fight the war against drug abuse I had to conduct my own research and that meant seeing firsthand how drugs had become their own lifestyle. Acid, Mary Jane, pills, you name it and I tried it… for the good of America. Not going to lie though, every once in a grey moon I would conduct extra research, just to take the edge off.
By 76 I was all over there place, and my friends and family were beginning to take concern. I felt fine, or high, I couldn’t tell anymore but I kept rocking the mic at Vegas. One show I met a “me” impersonator named Jimmy “Bucky” Walters, a Georgia kid and man he was the best one I had seen in a while. If he would have been nine year older we could have been twins. I shook his hand and made his day, I even offered to invite him to Graceland for dinner. I don’t remember if it was my mind or the drugs that invited him. The next night as I was sitting in the limo as fans pounded on the windows when the idea came to me. If I was to fake my death I could runaway to some faraway place and live in peace for the rest of my days, maybe even get sober. It seemed like a breath of fresh air at the time. All I needed to do was “die”.
That’s when I made a call to Dick; I needed help if I was going to pull this off. It was the summer of 77 and ever since our meeting in 71 we had been keeping in touch and he considered me a close friend. Granted when I told him my plan, he thought I had spent the night smoking the reefer with Lennon, but I was able to strong arm him into setting the whole thing up. He used his connections to arrange a little surprise for Jimmy Walters that involved a cocktail with enough drugs to overdose an elephant, and then move him to a lab where they would mark his body with the same birth marks I had and age his face a little with plastic surgery. The end result was a complete clone, except this one couldn’t be used for spare parts anymore.
That night we took him to my place and set the whole thing up so people would find “me” dead in the crapper. Why I ended up in the toilet was some thug’s idea of a joke when I told him to place Jimmy in a room people would find me in the morning. I never told my family because, they would never allow me to go through with it and if I did they would uncover my truth so I decided to leave them and tell them later on after the storm cleared. After Jimmy was all set up, we left for the airport on a one way ticket to China, but not before agreeing with Dick never to speak of this. Shooting a man is nothing like you see in the movies, it takes a lot out of you, and lord only knows how those boys in Vietnam did it. Dick and I disposed the bodies of the two thugs that helped us by dumping off the plane, into the sea, while in route.
Over the years I moved around a lot: from China, staying in Tibet with the monks, to the Middle East, to even South America. I grew out my hair and beard so I could walk around in public, and Dick had some of my assets moved to an off shore account so I could get around. It wasn’t until the early 80’s when I told my family, my daughter Lisa didn’t take it too well and she started dating that kid from the Jackson 5 just to piss me off and get me out of hiding, but it had been too long and I was in too deep into this lie.
I wanted to say the truth before I strum my last guitar string. I am sorry America, I am sorry for running away from my fans, I am sorry for being a junkie all those years and living a lie. I do not ask for forgiveness, I am just here to clear the air and unload my burden. I have acted like a hound dog, and I know nothing can change that now.
Your Runaway King,
Elvis Aaron Presley