When Elvis Presley was still an up and coming artist he was working hard to establish himself as a serious singer and actor. On April 17, 1956, the King was due to perform in Waco, Texas, to thousands of screaming girls. In an interview just before the gig, he revealed his hidden feelings about his success.
Elvis asked the journalist, Bea Ramirez: “What do you want to know about me, honey?” She replied: “Elvis, have you any idea at all about just what it was that started the girls going crazy over you?”
At the time the King was known as Elvis the Pelvis because of his forever-shaking hips – a dance move that was not being used by anyone at the time – something that drove the women who saw him wild. He replied: “No, I don’t. I guess it’s just something God gave me. I believe that, you know. Know what I mean, honey? And I am grateful.”
However, he then opened up about he really felt about his privilege.
Elvis continued by referencing his quick rise to fame. He said: “Only I’m afraid. I’m afraid I’ll go out like a light, just like I came on. Know what I mean, honey?”
This isn’t the only example of Elvis being hugely worried about his own image. Priscilla Presley, the star’s future wife, confirmed as much after he died. She said: “He didn’t express a whole lot. He didn’t wanna show you how insecure he was.” She then revealed: “I remember Elvis saying that he didn’t really know if he gave up singing, if he did want to retire, he felt that people would forget him.”
But in 1956, he still had hopes and dreams.
Elvis was then quizzed over his future acting career. Bea asked: “But Elvis, have you thought how unhappy all these girls are going to be if you stop singing?” The singer replied: “Oh, I’ll never stop singing, honey, never.”
Later that year, Elvis starred in Love Me Tender, his first-ever feature film; a musical that he sang in.
Priscilla later spoke of Elvis’ feelings just before he died. She said of his mental state: “Shows you where he was. It shows you where he emotionally was and … where in his career he thought he was.”
Elvis was trying to break back into Hollywood’s film industry in his final months – but not as an actor. Instead, he wanted to write, produce, and direct.