This is a Medallion of Life for you, Elvis.
From the Sioux... Sioux Nation.
Come on, Chris! Come on.
Put it in neutral, pull on the brake.
Pull the foot brake.
Okay, Etienne, you have to get the shot across the street.
That's an establishing first.
The mic? Mic?
If you could have anything in the world, what would it be?
Yeah, well, it's-it's a logical question.
Uh, I suppose the most important thing in a person's life is happiness.
I mean, not worldly things.
Gee Whiz, I mean you can have cars, you can have money, you can have a fabulous home, you can have everything.
If you're not happy, what have you got?
The King sat in this car. Hmm.
It's an odd feeling.
Now, this is amazing.
The King's Rolls.
Oh, this is wonderful.
Where are you going to be? I'll be up there, driving you.
Go and sit on the far right.
Are we okay?
I-I've never seen more technical adjustments in my life.
I would love a glass of wine. We'll get you water.
Oh. Oh, water? Oh. Wine.
Where the hell's the bar?
We didn't really drink and drive.
We want Elvis! We want Elvis!
We want Elvis! We want Elvis!
You have no idea of how hard he hit American culture.
I mean, it was just one day there was not Elvis, and the next day there was Elvis.
Mike Tyson, somebody said, “He hits you so hard it changes the way you taste.” America never tasted the same after he hit.
♪ A little less con verse lion A little more action ♪ I'm confessing, I do not understand the continuing mythic fascination with Elvis.
You remember the great Chuck D line, “Elvis was a hero to most, but he never meant shit to me.” This is all beyond Elvis.
He was the voice of the country, at its best and at its worst.
♪ Come on, come on ♪ ♪ Come on, come on ♪ When you see what has happened with our country, I think it's a perfect analogy.
Elvis has left the building.
He left the stage and went out the back with a policeman and he is now gone from the building.
What is wrong with America?
I know a lot of people are upset about What's going on.
I'm ashamed of my country, I'm ashamed of my president The world just doesn't know where America is headed.
Where does the country go from here?
"♪ I got the blues Like midnight ♪"
♪ Moonshining bright as day ♪
♪ I got the blues Like midnight ♪
♪ Moonshining bright as day ♪
♪ And I wish a tornado ♪
♪ Come blow my blues away a“
Hey, y'all. My name's EmiSunshine, and this is my band The Rain.
On bass is my daddy Randall. On drums over there is my uncle Bobby.
And on mandolin is my brother John.
You're going to mess my hair up. Oh, you have messed it up.
Yeah, he has. Yeah, you have.
I feel like Elvis Presley left a spirit that inspires me, and I've been singing ever since I was about four.
How does it feel to be fight up there on top?
Feels pretty good.
It all happened so fast, so I don't know.
I'm afraid to wake up. Afraid it's all going to be a dream, you know.
The one-percent get richer and richer and richer.
We are one year out from the elections, Americans will be increasingly drilling down on this.
The split between rural and urban voters.
The urban ones tend to be more democratic, the rural ones more Republican.
♪ Ride, ride, ride ♪
♪ Just beyond the mountain Lies a city ♪ It was the classic American success story Poor boy from a small town rises to the top.
But to the people of Tupelo, Mississippi, Elvis was more than just a popular singer.
He was representative of the American dream.
Folks come from all over the world to see Elvis and his beginnings.
Hello, I'm Terri. Welcome to the birthplace.
Elvis was born in this house. He was born January 8th of 1935.
♪ Will I always be A lonesome cowboy a“ I've been here most my life.
My grandparents lived close to where Elvis's birthplace is at.
And, uh, some of my family actually sharecropped with Elvis's family.
Elvis was a champion for the working man.
My dad was a truck driver for many years. He worked long hard days.
So, you know, I kinda felt that connectivity about Elvis growing up.
Here we go, man. Hey! Right on in there.
Elvis is a big moneymaker for Tupelo.
♪ One, two, three, four 4“ The whole town revolves around Elvis.
You know, I've got college behind me.
I've got trade schools behind me. I've...
But I can't seem to get a job here in Mississippi.
I mean, I work at The Birthplace, but I can't live off of it.
If I didn't have my military...
I'd be on the streets!
The only thing I've felt is happiness.
That things have gotten better for me.
That God has blessed me, and that he's given me a lot of things that a lot of people would like to have.
I mean, I wish that everybody could have luxuries in life.
Herman Melville once wrote very cryptic lines.
He said, “ The Declaration of Independence makes a difference.” Life, liberty, and happiness. Happiness?
No one ever talked about happiness as an actual component of life.
That is our right.
So Elvis Presley acts out those lines in our own time.
And if we shall succeed as by God's help we Will, America will point the way towards a better world.
The American experiment, which begins in 1776, is a remarkable piece of political invention and imagination.
The American message to the world was, “Monarchs, be worried. Aristocrats, be worried.
A new day may be dawning in the world.” It was shocking to people, and inspiring.
Give this man... He's never had a fried shrimp po' boy.
So let's do one with some real love in that.
If you look what the promise of America was 40 years ago, and what America's delivered today...
Pretty stunning disparity.
If you look what's happened to that demographic that Elvis would've been a part of a guy could come out of high school, get a job at the plant, stay there for 30, 40 years, send your kids to college.
That was the American dream.
It's doesn't exist anymore. It's gone.
If you ask me, “How did Elvis become Elvis?” He became Elvis because he was Elvis.
I mean, because he was this particular person.
He was the only child of two fairly solitary people.
And they were like a unit who traveled together throughout life.
The family lost their house in East Tupelo.
They moved to Downtown Tupelo, to one of the three houses designated for white occupancy.
The rest of the neighborhood is black.
Hello. I'm wondering if you can help me out.
I was trying to find the house that Elvis Presley lived in?
Well, it's not on this side.
He had a house on this street?
He ain't got no house over here.
I was hoping, so...
Nah, he had no house over here.
How are you doing? I'm trying to find where Elvis Presley lived.
Uh, I'm not sure exactly about that.
That's the owner right there.
The lady there in the gray shirt. That's all I know.
I don't know much about it, but I know he stayed there a couple weeks while his dad was incarcerated.
Yeah? That's the story?
Want to check out the Rolls Royce?
I've never seen 3 Rolls Royce. So here I go.
So you live in Elvis's house?
But we didn't know it till years ago.
His mama and him lived there when his daddy went to prison for writing a bad check.
Elvis? Elvis. Elvis.
That's all Tupelo has thrived on.
That's the only thing keeping it alive.
We have no say.
We have a neighborhood meeting, what, once a month?
But you know they don't talk about us or our problems.
No, we went to one meeting.
It's always the rich people over there.
They look down on you like you're low class.
But I think people hear Tupelo and they think Elvis Presley.
They think the American dream.
What is the American dream to you?
They say that anybody can make it here in America if you just work hard, you can be what you want to be.
What do you think of that?
To me American dream is: peace, harmony, love each other.
And have your family.
Okay. So how's it going today?
Why? Because it's gone to hell.
Tupelo's gone to hell.
We are looking er a ridge of high pressure that is bringing some dangerous heat for the start of the weekend.
Look at all of those 903 on the map.
♪ And then I would a“
Leo “Bud” Welch and Elvis Presley are practically the same age, and they're both from the hills of Mississippi.
I am Vince Varnado.
A retired first sergeant of the United States Army after 29 years.
I was conceived at the Mississippi State Penitentiary at Parchman.
Parchman Farm. There's been many songs written about that place.
♪ Oh, well A“ You know, here's Elvis.
His father forges a check, and is sent to Parchman Prison, when he's a little boy.
Elvis Presley's father was an inmate at Parchman and so was my father.
It was basically like being on a plantation.
♪ I'm going alone a“
You can sing about the blues, but if you don't live and experience the blues, the music comes from a different depth of your soul.
♪ I'm going alone a“
♪ Alone, darling a“ I heard Elvis Presley years and years ago, you know.
He had a style of his own. And I always have a style of my own.
♪ Going to lay my a“ The blues ain't nothing but a feeling.
Music is music in my books.
But the blues ain't nothing but a good man feeling bad.
♪ I'm going home with Jesus a“
I get lonesome sometimes.
I get lonesome right in the middle of a crowd.
I was an only child but maybe my kids won't be.
Maybe someday I'm going to have a home and a family of my own and I'm not going to budge from it.
♪ Said I got the blues ♪ Elvis moved to Memphis.
There's a lot of bullshit going on in Memphis.
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Was killed in Memphis.
Trying to say, you know, “I am a man.”
♪ Memphis City blues 4“
♪ Light up the screen Watch me light up the room a“
♪ Watch me light up the mic Fat boy be the truth ♪ At a time when racial tension in America is running high voters in Memphis, Tennessee are heading out to cast their ballots.
Candidates for Memphis mayor turn it up a notch.
Need your vote! I need your vote. Need your vote.
The problem with Memphis is poverty.
Where 29 percent of our residents are below the poverty line.
Everybody's talking about the same thing: crime.
Y'all in the middle of the hood right now in South Memphis. Everybody's got it.
Memphis was significant because it was the distribution capital of the United States of America.
It's the middle of the North, South, East, and West.
When Elvis came to Memphis, Memphis was the place.
It was where all the traditions came together.
Walking down the street, Elvis could hear every type of music.
Black, white... it didn't matter.
Memphis represented the confluence of all these cultures.
♪ I got the Memphis City blues 4“
♪ Ooh, I could feel it A“ I need your vote now. What the hell's going on?
Come on. They're coming after me. Hey!
Yeah! Thank you, man.
I like to call Memphis the city of three kings.
BB. King, the king of the blues, gave us soul.
Elvis, the king of rock and roll.
And Dr. King, who gave this nation a conscience.
And he's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over.
And I've seen the promised land.
I may not get there with you.
But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will gel to the promised land!
♪ Take my hand ♪
♪ Lead me on a“
♪ And let me stand a“
My name is Earlice Taylor. I live in Memphis, Tennessee, and Elvis Presley lived in the project across the street.
We used to see Elvis up there, but he was just like one of us, you know.
Nobody really knew much about Elvis then.
He was very young.
I think probably what drew him to the church was Reverend W. Herbert Brewster, who would broadcast from the radio.
We are living in a sick world...
And a lot of white people would come because they knew about him from being on Dewey Phillips, WHBQ.
That's the first white person that played black music.
Just about everyone agrees.
The American educational system is broken.
Let's not treat this like a line item in a budget.
Let's treat it like its children and their future.
This high school wouldn't be here, if Elvis hadn't gone here.
It would have been torn down by now.
See, I went to this school, and I was president of senior class the last year.
We graduated with Elvis in '53.
I gotta take a leak.
Back in the day, they had a smoking room here.
Remember that song, “Smoking in the Boys Room”?
Yeah. Did you guys ever smoke in here?
And here was a guy from our old high school, that was poor as dirt, didn't have a pot to piss in, but man he could sing his ass off.
Elvis, do you write most of the lyrics for your tunes?
No, I've never written a song.
I've never written a song. I wish I could.
I did good to get out of high school, you know.
My name is Jerry Schilling.
Elvis Presley was my best friend.
I don't know if I was his best friend, but I know some days I was.
I was really into Brando and James Dean.
And this guy, he had that...
Charisma is not even the right word.
He was just totally different.
Oh, that's Elvis's? That's actually his Rolls Royce?
Damn straight, it is. Oh, my God.
We're going to get to East Trigg Church.
Which is where Elvis used to go and sit down on the floor and listen and look up to the music.
Right here is the church. Right here.
I sang at this church from when I was four years old.
Elvis would come at eleven o'clock at night.
He would be able to see all of these great singers that he could learn from, because he really couldn't sing when he first got started.
♪ You thought I was Worth saving a“ Yes!
♪ So you came And changed my life a“
♪ You thought I was Worth keeping a“ So blues and gospel are essentially the same thing.
They are. Just different lyrics.
Soul music is the marriage of those two.
♪ Everything I've got ♪
♪ I couldn't get it, aah ♪ Memphis is the international beacon of soul music, and Stax is literally the center of it all.
♪ Chain, chain, chain ♪ Here, at the music academy, we're creating the next generation of soul communicators.
Got the harmonies? ♪ Chain, chain, chain ♪
♪ For five long years
♪ I thought you were my man ♪ All right, all right, all right.
♪ But I found out ♪
♪ I'm just a link In your chain ♪ I think the story of Elvis is a very interesting story.
Elvis was the guy that was coming up here, from South Memphis, and what he was picking up on was things that he didn't get in his own community, right?
♪ You treated me mean a“
♪ Oh ♪
♪ You treated me cruel a“
♪ Chain, chain, chain 4“
♪ Chain, chain 4“
♪ Chain, chain, chain 4“
♪ Chain of fools ♪
The problem with equal fights for different people exists all over our nation.
It is a problem in constant change and in constant solution.
Our national strength lies in our capacity to solve these problems.
When you talk about the American dream, Elvis Presley is born into an American nightmare.
♪ Southern frees ♪
♪ Bear a strange fruit 4“ I think it's very difficult for people to accept that we went from a settler-colonial slave state to an apartheid regime.
There's no American dream under segregation.
Growing up in Memphis...
Everything from the schools to entertainment...
Everything was segregated.
We'd go down to Beale Street, if we could get in, because it'd be black shows, and then every once in a while they'd have a white show.
The obscenity and vulgarity is obviously a means by which the white man and his children can be driven to the level with the nigger.
I had found it. Elvis had found it.
But it was forbidden music.
You know, the United States of America has always dealt with anything other than being pure white with fear.
And this is woven into the fabric of philosophy and ideology and belief.
When you start looking at the movies of that time, like King Kong...
I mean, come on, man. There was no hidden message there.
Going to uphold white race against the savages.
It's an interesting country.
It inflicts pain on black people, denies it inflicts the pain, but then benefits from the soulful cry that arises from the pain.
♪ For the tree to drop a“
I drove cross-country with my friends once when I was about 21, and we passed through Graceland.
I wasn't really aware of the young man Elvis or what made Elvis incendiary.
He was all fat Elvis.
I had a friend who loves, loves music.
And I was making fun of Elvis once.
And he said, “Hey, you can't make fun of Elvis.
Have you listened to Sun Records?” Elvis, boy, tell us, how did you get to make your first record?
Well, I went into Sun Records and there was a guy in there that took down my name, told me he might call me sometime.
So he called me about a year and a half later.
Sun Records, of course, was home of the great Sam Phillips.
Sam had had a vision of rock and roll long before he opened his recording studio.
He had had a vision of the power, the emotional depth, the sweep of African-American music overcoming, breaking down the walls of segregation.
He'd thought this music was so powerful that a mainstream audience would never be able to resist it.
He saw that in Howlin' Wolf, saw it in 8.8. King's music, but he could not cross them over and he believed the only way he was going to cross this music over was if he could find a white man with a negro sound, and more important, the negro feel.
And that's what he found in Elvis.
How are ya? Ethan, how you doing, man?
My dad was never about the money.
Of course he had a family and he had a family to feed, and a wife, two kids.
But he was always about the music.
I brought you some background.
Yeah? Who's gonna play it?
Elvis is working as an electrician.
He's graduated high school.
He's skinny, broke, doesn't know what to do with his life.
But he does love to sing and play music and he has this fantasy that he's gonna get discovered by Sam Phillips.
Okay. I'm ready as I'll ever be.
Stand by, please.
He gets an audition for Sam Phillips.
Is this interesting? Is this too, uh, too... Okay.
Oh, shit. Is he pulling us over? No. It's somebody else.
No, I don't think it is our guys.
Anyway, he comes over. They give him a chance.
And they spend all night laying down these tracks.
Sam Phillips thinks he's just another bullshit white kid who wants to be Frank Sinatra.
Elvis starts joking around and starts playing what he really wants to play, which is Big Boy Crudup's song...
♪ That's all right, Mama 4“
♪ That's all right for you a“ Phillips stops. “How do you know that song?” And Elvis, “Oh, sorry, sorry, sorry. Am I playing too loud?”
“You're not playing too loud. How do you know that song?” And Elvis is like, “Well, that's the music I really like.” And Sam looks at him and says, “That's the music I like too.”
♪ Well, that's all right, Mama 4“
♪ That's all right for you a“ That's when the stars collided. You know, right there in that one song.
♪ That's all fight ♪
♪ That's all right a“
"♪ That's all right now, Mama ♪"
Elvis was different. He had a different voice.
He puts some feeling into it.
From his body. We all felt it.
My dad brought that cut home to his family and said, “I think I found what I've been searching for.” So your mom was the first one to hear that?
And my brother and I were there too.
Because he gathered everybody around.
That's so cool. That is so cool.
Elvis's first record comes out July 20th of '54.
It's a huge hit.
The record goes on to sell probably a 100,000 copies or more.
“Ms“ ...one thousand screaming hysterical youngsters, predominantly teenagers, worship this gentleman, Elvis Presley and his rock and roll.
This is hero worship of the highest order and to the Nth degree.
There was a time when I was growing up where you turn on a movie, and you'll get an Elvis movie.
And you turn on the radio you get an Elvis song. 80 it was just like he was just the right person to sell and market to a white country.
♪ Fight the power a“
♪ Fight the power fight the power ♪
♪ Fight the power a“
♪ Uh ♪
♪ Come on and get down ♪ It's important to recognize that Elvis as hero does not rest comfortably in the mouths of all Americans.
♪ Elvis was a hero to most ♪
♪ But he never meant shit To me, you see ♪
♪ Straight up racist that sucker was Simple and plain ♪
♪ Motherfuck him And John Wayne ♪
“Elvis was a hero to most but he never meant shit to me.
Straight up racist, that sucker was simple and plain. Motherfuck him and John Wayne.” In the song “Fight the Power,” when I talked about “Elvis was a hero to most,” it was absolutely true.
He was called the king of rock and roll.
Which I took offense to because he wasn't no more of a king than Little Richard, no more of a king than Bo Diddley, or Chuck Berry.
♪ I just want to let Everybody know all about it a“ So who's anointing him king?
♪ You ain't nothin' But a hound dog a“
♪ Been snoopin' round the door ♪
♪ You ain't nothing But a hound dog ♪ There's a lot of talk nowadays about cultural appropriation.
Listen, the entire American experience is cultural appropriation.
♪ But I ain't gonna feed You no more ♪ Look at “Hound Dog.” It's an interesting story.
Leiber and Stoller, two Jewish songwriters are in love with R&B, black culture, and they wrote “Hound Dog.” They actually wrote it for Big Mama Thornton.
And she did not have a hit with a very great version of “Hound Dog.” It later went to Elvis Presley, who loved it, and did his own version.
♪ Well, they said You was high-classed a“
♪ Well, that was just a lie a“
♪ Yeah, they said you were high-classed ♪
♪ Well, that was just a lie a“ It became one of his truly famous and defining hits.
♪ Well, you ain't never Caught a rabbit 4“
♪ You ain't no friend of mine a“
My father was born in Memphis in 1944, and there's probably nobody he hated more than Elvis Presley.
As a black kid seeing a white man take black music and become famous and not do anything for black people was a horrible offense.
I think it's very hard to express sometimes, the frustration that black people feel, having given so much to the culture.
And that great value, which really helps to define America, ultimately benefiting others.
What is your response to people who say that Elvis stole black people's music?
They're not listening to the records.
Yeah, there's Arthur Crudup and there's Lowell Fulson and other guys he dug, and he was listening to black radio, but there's also Blue Moon of Kentucky, there's Bill Monroe, there's Hank Williams.
I mean, you can hear it all.
This guy was on a fucking journey that we all need to be on.
Why do you care so much about rescuing Elvis Presley from the...
From the clear charge that he was a racial appropriator?
You are desperate to rescue this man.
My conversation never was just, “This white dude stole black music.” I think Sam Phillips was a business guy who tried to sell those records with black folks, could not get them across.
Found a guy, you know, that's able to sell a black sound with a white face.
He knew what to sell to America.
Is that in and of itself a problem?
No, I don't think so.
I think culture is culture. Culture's to be shared.
You know, you see a black person playing classical piano, you can't say, you know, because he doesn't have “German roots,” you know, that he can't play that classical piano good as anybody else.
If a person is able to do the twisted stanky leg, and it happens to be Justin Timberlake, I think it's cool.
I always felt that way.
Well, shit, the Beastie Boys brought Public Enemy in so, I mean, damn.
“Ms“ Ordinary Americans, they're the ones who get laid off first.
More Americans than ever are dealing with earning minimum wage or less.
Businessman Donald Trump has declared he is running for president.
This didn't just materialize over night.
Is this the America you know and love?
♪ Heading down to Nashville ♪
♪ With my uke by my side ♪“
♪ One hundred dollars In my boot now ♪ There was a moment when it broke.
When Elvis saw a bigger stage. When he knew he wasn't going to go back.
♪ Johnny, June, and Jesus a“ He didn't want to remain a regional star.
He didn't want to remain just a singer.
He wanted to conquer the world.
♪ Johnny, June, and Jesus ♪
♪ And I'm about to Make my stand ♪
“was“ Howdy, friends.
Welcome to the capital of country music throughout the world!
Let her go, boys!
♪ Old king is gone But he's not forgotten ♪
♪ This is the story Of Johnny Rotten ♪
Was it something I said?
No, it was just sitting in this car, and just getting the whole...
Getting a sense, you know.
Just how... Just how trapped he was, you know? Just how trapped.
He was just a poor mama's boy from Mississippi.
And then, you know, he got caught up with a carnival guy.
Enter the Colonel. Here's this guy, the ultimate carny barker.
“Come on in, come on in. You're gonna see things you've never seen before.” Promises Elvis the world.
“If you turn your life over to me, I'm gonna make you a star.” This is the temptation of Christ by the devil.
I don't know anything about getting bookings, or...
Let me worry about the business end.
Elvis makes that Faustian bargain.
And the Colonel, he did all that.
I made a contract for us. We split everything right down the middle.
He was the first 50-percent manager I've ever heard of.
He took 50 percent instead of 15.
But who is Colonel Tom Parker?
I've heard that that's not his real name.
His name was Andreas van Kuijk.
He was an arrogant, narcissistic son of a bitch.
I've heard that he killed somebody.
He was the greatest promoter of all time.
Colonel negotiated a deal whereby RCA paid $35,000 to Sam Phillips.
It was the highest price ever paid for an individual artist.
♪ Now the wind Don't have to hurry ♪
♪ Blowin' across my bones ♪
♪ Rollin' up the pastures ♪
♪ Smoothin' out the stones ♪ Rock and roll just meant the world to so many of us, you know.
Our narrative as a country is one of bloodshed and violence and stolen land and slavery.
And I think the music carried us into a time of revolutionary changes.
♪ Na-Na-Na-Na-Na-Na ♪
80 rock and roll 119 a music for teenagers, you would say?
Rock and roll. It's/us! a music.
It's a craze, but it's a very good craze.
People have been saying that it's contributing to juvenile delinquency I do not agree-Not only because I do it but because it's untrue.
♪ Well, just take a walk Down Lonely Street ♪
♪ To Heartbreak Hotel ♪
♪ Where I'll be Where I get so lonely, baby ♪ When Elvis started recording here in Nashville, he made most of his biggest records right there in Studio B.
You know, like any artist, he went from an independent label making raw, rough, and ready records to a major label making slicker records.
And so the records got slicker the moment he got here.
But they lost the roll part of rock and roll.
What's that part? It's the backbeat.
It's the way it swings.
You play fat on two and four.
That's rock and roll.
And then rock is just...
Scared your parents.
You might dance with a negro. You're scaring my parents, Radney.
Yeah, I've hardly ever sat in a Rolls Royce.
I thought he only drove American cars.
Should we come around? Definitely.
Well, this is the lap of luxury.
The way I see Elvis, you know, there'd never been anyone who became so popular so fast at such an early age.
He didn't have anyone to talk to about what was going on.
He didn't have anything to compare it to.
He was what, 20?
He missed that whole period of time when you grow, and you learn from people your own age and with your own experiences.
To me, he's almost like a Greek tragic figure.
Alone in that experience.
Maybe he was the king, but he was doomed.
Elvis was the first artist to really be what I'd call “cross-branded” into different ways to reach the consumer.
You turn on the television, he'd be on a TV show.
You go to the movies, he'd be in a movie.
You turn on the radio, he'd be on a Sunday morning gospel show.
I mean, everywhere you turned, Elvis had a piece of product.
Today, you know, big artists will have a vodka or they'll have a cologne.
Elvis was pounded into the public's mind probably more than anybody up to that time.
You know, I didn't see him telling the Colonel to back off either.
Because when money comes, it changes everything, doesn't it?
He had it all, and he had more of it than anybody.
The charisma was unbelievable.
The physical beauty was irresistible.
Isn't he just as big now as he ever was?
I mean, isn't the brand expanding?
But at some point you've got to decide.
The car's making a funny noise. There goes the car.
I think this one stopped rolling.
Kind of perfect in a way though, isn't it?
If this car was working great, it just wouldn't be the same, would it?
Did you hear a pop before? Yeah.
Need more oil or something.
No, the other way!
♪ Traveling north Traveling north to find you ♪
♪ Train wheels beating The wind in my eyes ♪
♪ Don't even know what I'll find When I get to you ♪
♪ Cell out your name, love Dan '1' be surprised ♪
♪ It's so many miles and so long since I've met you ♪
♪ Don't even know what I'll find When I get to you ♪
♪ But suddenly now I know where I belong ♪
♪ It's many hundred miles And it won't be long ♪ What do you think I'm doing with this movie?
I don't know what the hell you're doing with this movie.
I got a basic concept, but I don't know if that's really what it is.
I don't know what you're doing.
I'm not sure you know what you're doing. That's what's scary.
Some comparison between, uh, I hate to say “fall,” but the rise and decline of Elvis with the rise and decline of America.
Well, do you think we're in decline?
I think we're stagnant. That's all.
You think America's had better days?
Eugene, I grew up with the great lie of all, you know?
Work hard, you can get ahead. Work hard, you can get ahead.
But that was a lie. They lied to everybody.
When my grandfather was a kid, America's greatest export was agriculture.
And when my grandfather died, America's greatest export was entertainment.
I remember he used to say that when he was a young man, our identity was as the great democratic experiment.
Whenever you mentioned America you mentioned democracy.
But somehow at the end of his life when you mentioned America, people talked about us like we're capitalists, like that was our fundamental identity.
“Ms“ Americans want more data.
A lot of Americans want bigger screens.
Most Americans want more security.
Americans want more public transportation.
Americans want more money in their pockets.
Elvis, do you mind my asking how much money you grossed last year?
About a $1,200,000.
And What are some of the big things you've done with your money?
Like I said earlier, if hasn't changed me.
It's just I can afford things I never would have gotten otherwise if I hadn't gotten lucky in life, you know?
Nobody who thinks about Elvis should forget he was always an embodiment of the American story.
So, if you picture him coming to New York, it's a turning point, not just in Elvis's life, but in the life of the country.
And now, ladies and gentleman, I'm going to show you the greatest thing your eyes have ever beheld.
He was a king and a god in the world he knew.
But now he comes to civilization.
Ladies and gentlemen, the eighth wonder of the world!
Attention all stations.
Kong is going West.
He is making for the Empire State Building. Stand by for further reports.
Welcome and enjoy the View.
“0 beautiful, for spacious skies... for amber waves of grain.” I think of all those people in those wagon trains going West.
What, indeed, would they think if they could be up here now?
Seeing what's been built.
And at the same time, how much we've lost.
♪ New York, New York New York, New York a“
♪ It's a wonderful town a“ I've never been to New York, personally.
This is probably the furthest north I've been.
Yeah, this is literally just like a foreign port.
Thank you for your service. Thank you for your support.
How are you ladies doing?
“Ms“ Washington is so far removed from reality. This is such a complex issue.
This all comes just days after an unarmed man was shot and killed by an officer...
Oh! Every other day, man.
He's a moron!
I mean, Elvis is about to OD.
This is the... in a nutshell.
Elvis is about to OD.
If Elvis is your metaphor for America, we're about to OD.
If it's out in the open that people can just buy a candidacy, we're on the brink of the destruction of our democracy.
Imagine if America had been exactly what people said it was, right?
A country where it didn't matter whether you from Germany or from Tanzania, from Russia, or Brazil.
You would be treated the same.
And the content of your character would define what you are.
But the moment that anybody got off a boat from Europe or from Asia, anywhere else...
They landed in a place where the indigenous people had suffered a genocide.
And then they built the infrastructure of a nation with slavery.
♪ Working your whole life Wondering where the day went ♪
♪ The subway stays packed like A multi-cultural slave ship ♪
♪ It's rush hour 2:30 to 8:00, non stopping a“
♪ And people coming home after Corporate sharecropping a“ So, I think that the American dream was always someone's fantasy.
And someone else's drunken nightmare.
♪ How much is that doggie In the window? A“
♪ The one with the waggly tail 4“
♪ How much is that Doggy in the window? a“
♪ I do hope that dog Is for sale a“ New York in the '503 was really instrumental in Elvis's career.
Maybe more so than any other city.
In the '50s, we were still intimidated by the North.
♪ How much is that Doggy in the window? a“ Ladies and gentleman, Lot Number 9, that is the “Triple Elvis,” a Ferus type.
We shall start the bidding here at $48 million.
Forty-eight million, 50 million! Fifty-five, 58 million.
Sixty million. And we're off.
Like many country boys before him, Elvis came to perform in New York City.
It was a cold, chilly alien place filled with fast talking businessmen, promoters.
Everybody wanted a piece of him.
In the South, I mean, people are friendly until they're not.
In New York, you never know where people stand.
I have 63 on my right! Sixty-four million.
Give me 65 one of you.
You heard it, ladies and gentlemen, 65.
Seventy million is bid.
Isabel, try 72.
Seventy-two million, 73 million.
And you're out, you're definitely out.
At $73 million.
Selling here the “Triple Elvis.” Fair warning.
With you, Isabel, yours it is, sold at $73 million.
For a country boy like Elvis, and in some ways like myself, New York was like landing on a distant planet.
Just as it is now, it was the epicenter of capitalism.
Elvis had to be overwhelmed with the sense:
“Yes, you have talent. Yes, you're different.
But, boy, it's about the money.” It's about the money.
Pretty bad publicity lately.
I got quite a bit of bad publicity because of my actions on the stage.
There's people, regardless of who you are or what you do, there's going to be people that don't like you.
If there wasn't somebody on my side, I'd be lost.
Hi, I'm Mike Myers.
You're probably asking yourself, “What is Mike Myers doing in this movie?” Let me explain.
So I'm here to represent the Canadian immigrant view on America and Elvis.
Okay, welcome to Wayne's World Party on, Garth.
Party on, Wayne.
New York. Hey, we're in New York.
I've got a gun. Let's get to a Broadway show.
You know, growing up in Canada, it's a wholly different experience.
It's like America and Canada are born of the same mother, which is Britain, and you guys left home and became movie stars, and we stayed home with mother.
I'll be here. I'll always be here.
America is fantastic at creating a mission statement that you guys are the keepers of democracy, and there's a messianic need to spread this around the world.
In Canada, it's peace, order, and good government.
Which is not terribly sexy, but if you look around the world, it gets a lot sexier.
Get outta here! Get out! Out, out!
The mission statement is about the individual.
It's about power and powering over.
It's almost like Rome ruled the world with that phalanx formation and Britain under the three-masted ship, America has ruled the world with the moving image.
And the projection of image around the world.
This is one more revolutionary thing that Colonel Parker conceived of.
He conceived of the idea.
He even wrote it into the RCA contract that they would promote Elvis's exposure on national television.
Elvis Presley is the fastest rising young singer in the entertainment industry today.
We think tonight that he's going to make television history for you.
We'd like you to meet him now... Mr. Elvis Presley.
His first TV appearance ever, he walked out on that stage.
He was halfway snarling and halfway laughing.
He grabbed that microphone like it was some caveman grabbing his woman and dragged it across stage.
And the place went crazy.
♪ Well, get out of That kitchen a“
♪ And rattle those Pots and pans a“
♪ Get out of that kitchen a“
♪ And rattle those Pots and pans a“
♪ Well, I want my breakfast 'Cause I'm a hungry man a“ I think Elvis Presley drives those girls nuts by shaking and jumping and laying all over the stage.
It's kinda crazy.
No, it's just all depends, I mean, on how you look at it.
If you want to think it's nasty or sexy, you could, but to me it's just so limber and loose.
I mean, it's really marvelous.
Elvis Presley was a truck driver, who still can't read music and whose main appeal appears to be sex.
Rock and roll has got to go.
These programs are not for the good of the community.
We set up a 20-man committee to do away with this vulgar, animalistic, nigger, rock and roll bop.
Good evening, ladies and gentlemen.
Your Mercury dealer and your Lincoln dealer present The Ed Sullivan Show!
Ed Sullivan said publicly that he would never have Elvis on this show.
His show was a family show.
So Elvis goes on The Steve Allen Show.
I've got you a very cute little hound dog right here.
Where he is in fact humiliated.
He's forced to dress in a tuxedo and sing “Hound Dog” to a dog.
At the same time, what does Ed Sullivan do?
He devotes the entire show to John Huston's film of Moby Dick.
Thar she blows!
You've got Gregory Peck coming on.
Hi, Ed. John Huston talking about the challenge of making Moby Dick.
And so Elvis is going up against Moby Dick.
And he kills Moby Dick.
And then Sullivan has to go back to Colonel Parker and pay dearly.
We've signed Elvis Presley to make his first appearance on our show.
Last week with Elvis Presley, all of the records in our history were shattered.
It was the greatest audience that's ever listened to our show and perhaps to any show.
I can't figure this darn thing out.
You know, he just does this and everybody yells.
♪ Baby, it's just you I'm thinking of A“
You know that's very annoying, don't you? Wait. W-Wait.
This was Elvis's car.
Is it? You like my glasses?
“Can we have a selfie?” Everybody has a fucking camera now.
So Elvis was the most perfect-looking guy that ever lived, in a visual medium where the way you look is important.
I mean, the guy had it all.
Rich, famous, adored.
Women everywhere. Admired and talented.
You could have a list of 19 things and the 20th one that's missing is your Achilles' heel.
Hello, Elvis? You know, less than two years ago you were earning $14 a week as a movie usher.
Today you're the most controversial name in show business.
Has this sudden notoriety affected your sleep, your appetite, or the size of your head?
Well, everything has happened to me so fast in the last year and a half.
I'm all mixed up, you know.
I can't keep up with everything that's happening.
He rose to an absolute height, power, and success.
At that moment he was at his most vulnerable.
Left, right, shoulder. You got it!
Left, right, shoulder! Hey!
Elvis Presley no longer has that rock and roll beat.
The tempo is hup, two, three, four for Private Presley, courtesy of the Memphis draft board.
When Elvis joined the military, it was an affirmation of everything that I had been taught by my father about the American dream and protecting the dream.
I... I, Elvis Presley...
It was the cold war, and the country was dealing with this new, huge amount of power it's acquired post World War II.
It is, indeed, the new Rome.
And Elvis becomes the poster child of what a good American boy should do.
Elvis didn't join the army. The army came after him.
Believe me, that was the last place in the world, at that time, he wanted to go.
When the draft came up, the Colonel thought it'd be a great idea to go to the army, and it would tell everybody that he was a good American boy.
He started putting on this act of Private Presley.
It started the public persona, the trademarking.
He was in boot camp in Texas when his mother died.
One, two, three. One!
One, two, three. Halt!
I've experienced uh, happiness and loneliness, and, uh, tragedy, like losing my mother while I was in the army.
Between losing his mother and being drafted, it was the lowest point in his life.
The rock and roll king is about to embark for foreign service, 18 months in Germany.
Elvis Presley, Private Presley, soldier nowadays in Uncle Sam's service.
Black, White, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, gay, straight, disabled, and not disabled.
We are and always will be the United States of America.
The avowed goal of the Communists is world domination.
By force and subterfuge, the Soviet Union succeeded in conquering the people of Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Poland.
For too long, we have fixed our eyes on traditional military needs.
Prior to ordering our forces into battle, I instructed our military commanders...
In Angola, in Kampuchea, in almost every continent...
Forty-five hundred American troops are now deployed in Iraq and Syria.
If the United States of America is not an empire, then there was never an empire in the history of humanity.
There's never been a country that even dreamed of the level of influence and power that we have.
The cultural imperialism, the military imperialism, the economic imperialism of the United States is the global fact of the last century.
And Elvis Presley is at the center of the center of all of that.
- ♪ Do you ever ♪ ♪ Do you ever ♪
- ♪ Do you ever get ♪ ♪ Do you ever get ♪
- ♪ Do you ever get one ♪ ♪ Do you ever get one ♪
- ♪ Do you ever get one them ♪ ♪ Do you ever get one them ♪
♪ Days ♪ Identified! Fire!
On the way!
♪ You ever get One of them days? ♪
- ♪ Ever get one of them days? ♪ Yeah! ♪
♪ When nothing is right ♪ From morning till night ♪
♪ You ever get One of them days, boy? a“
- ♪ Ever get one of them days? ♪ Yeah! ♪
Hello, Elvis! Hello. I'm happy to be here.
He puts on a military uniform, he goes overseas, picks up a guitar, that goes all around the world.
He'd never performed outside the United States.
And he's still known on every continent, to this day.
You can't do that if you don't have an empire.
♪ For I can help ♪
♪ Falling in love... a“ The Americans wanted to place army units here in the area to stop the Russians if they invade Germany.
And that's the reason why we have so many American installations here in the state of Hesse.
There was a lot of German-American community in the late 19403, early 19503.
It was a very vital thing and its changing music, lifestyle.
We just grew up like we'd been living in the States, many people, at least half of the inhabitants over here have been American soldiers.
We can say “The King” has been living here.
Oh, whoa! Whoa!
Elvis! Over here!
If you look at people's careers, both music and film, when you're away from the public for two years, you come back, it's over.
But what did Elvis do in the army?
He got to live in his own house, with all of his Memphis pals.
He goes out to nightclubs.
And this is when, supposedly, he developed a pill habit by doing guard duty.
Probably what he discovered was incredible boredom.
The tedium in military service is awesome.
And it is contrasted, of course, with moments of stark terror.
You seek things like drugs, you seek things like suicide in order to escape from it.
And if Elvis was introduced to drugs in the ranks, it does not surprise me.
This is what we do to people when we make them warriors.
Elvis had a friend in the army.
This guy knew this young girl whose father was a colonel in the Air Force, and Priscilla got to meet Elvis at a critical point.
The loss of his mother, and he thought the career was over.
So he was very vulnerable.
And she was somebody he could talk to because she was young and innocent.
And that was the best thing that happened to him.
The most publicized soldier since Napoleon, Elvis Presley, with girlfriend Priscilla Beaulieu to see him off, was leaving Frankfurt at the end of his army service.
So it was farewell to military glory and to 16-year-old Priscilla.
What fame for that girl, to have been a friend of the Emperor of Rock and Roll.
He comes back as a mysterious, unknowable person.
He radiates Americanness.
He radiates conquest.
Welcome home, guys! Welcome home!
Now to get down to the serious side of it, Elvis, can you give us some of your future plans?
Well, the first thing I have to do is to cut some records.
And then after that I have the television show with, uh... with Frank Sinatra.
We want Elvis!
We want Elvis!
When I saw Elvis walk on The Frank Sinatra Show, he was a different Elvis than when I said good-bye to him when he was going to the army.
♪ It's very nice To go travelin' ♪
♪ But if is also nice 70 come home ♪ Where the heck are the sideburns?
♪ Well, I'll be a hound dog a“
♪ And that's the opening Friends 4“ Do you have any advice for the boys your age who are now going to have to put in a certain amount of duty in the service?
The only thing I can say is to play it straight, get the people on your side, let 'em know you're trying, you... you... as the army would say, you've got it made.
If you're going to try to be an individual or try to be different, you're going to go through two years of... misery.
He had gone from this underground rebel to this accepted major star.
I think Elvis left the city as James Dean and he came back somewhat as John Wayne.
Women“ 4“ Vietnam... 4“ Vietnam is a country which is divided via civil war which has gone on for ten years.
The dissatisfaction of many Negroes...
To me, Elvis was captured the same way I was captured: by the aura of the dream, by the myth of the dream.
The dream has never been what we, in our history books, say it is.
The dream has always been a myth.
What I did was go to a war with 50,000-plus Americans dying and two and a half million Vietnamese dying.
And I came to see that it has nothing to do with democracy and the spreading thereof, and everything to do with commercial interests and an imperial move by the United States.
♪ Elvis, Where are you When I need you most? ♪
♪ White comp sequins... a“ Let's not forget Elvis Presley is living in the '608 right alongside the black power movement, right alongside a huge revolt of the very people whose culture he was “inspired by,” and I would say stole.
You didn't see Elvis in the middle of no civil rights marches, did you?
Say that again.
I said, you did not see Elvis in the middle of no civil rights marches.
He didn't side with Harry Belafonte, did he?
But now, think about the alternative Elvis.
He goes to the military, he sees a bunch of stuff.
Imagine him coming home and marching with Dr. King.
He had peers and contemporaries who made braver choices.
Marlon Brando marched with Dr. King.
Jane Fonda met with the Black Panthers.
Mr. Presley, on the subject of the service, what is your opinion of war protestors, and would you, today, refuse to be drafted?
Honey, I just tend to keep my own personal views about that to myself.
Because I'm just an entertainer and I'd rather not say.
Do you think other entertainers should keep their views to themselves too?
No. I can't even say that.
I don't give Elvis Presley a pass because I know how much power he had, and I know what he could have done with that power.
“Sports“ Former world heavyweight champion Cassius Clay refused to take the oath of induction into the army.
The black, Muslim fighter who is also known as Muhammad Ali was immediately stripped of his title by the World Boxing Association.
The iconic figures of service in the military by celebrities are Elvis Presley and Muhammad Ali.
My conscience won't let me go shoot my brother or some darker people or some poor, hungry people in the mud for big, powerful America.
And shoot them for what?
They never called me nigger.
How can I shoot them poor people? Just take me to jail.
Ali becomes the poster child for the other side of the coin.
I believe in this country, but I don't think this country is perfect by any means and I'm going to stay here and suffer for that.
I'm going to do my jail time.
You my enemy. My enemy is the white people, not Viet Congs or Chinese or Japanese.
You my opposer when I want freedom.
You my opposer when I want justice.
And one has to ask the question now, retrospectively, of course, who was the wiser individual?
Who more understood what was happening to the republic?
How can it be that we have trillions of dollars to spend on a war in Iraq, but we apparently don't have the money to rebuild the crumbling inner cities of America?
This is a Bernie Sanders rally... 27, 000 people.
Mr. Trump, you've criticized Secretary Clinton for voting for the Iraq War, but you yourself supported the war.
Wrong, wrong, wrong.
You're being very mean to me tonight, Coltrane, very mean to me.
Hold on a second. All right, we're taking a little poll.
Yeah! Beavis and Butt-Head over here.
People say, “Let's make America great again.” And I say, “Well, America is great when America does great things.” And we have not been doing a lot of great things lately.
America has been doing a lot of bad things.
It's not about Declarations of Independence and Thomas Jefferson.
Because what is the United States now, really, but a standard of living?
Hillary Clinton reportedly attracting more money than any other candidate...
Trump is worth just under $ 9 billion.
You know, we angst about this now, but I don't know when this film is going to come out, or what have you, but, I mean, Trump's not going to win.
I mean, Trump is not going to win.
Excuse me. Excuse me.
Look into my crystal ball.
Many surprises await you in the future when I'm president.
I'm so glad I finally solved the issue of Obama's birth certificate.
Because when I'm president, all my attention is needed for an issue of much greater national concern.
Is Elvis Presley still alive?
We have a significant problem as a democracy with money in politics.
Once upon a time, the world regarded America as an amazing experiment in self-government.
To have a country that thought it could govern itself was all revolutionary.
The assumption was, it would fail.
That it would be riven by dissension and corruption.
People assumed that the United States would have to have a king and a strong man would come in.
The fact that we are a capitalist society where you use money to buy things, it is logical that you would want to use that money to protect what you have by having people in office who will write laws that benefit your company, hurt your competitors, benefit your industry, and that's, in fact, what does happen of course.
You get up and bowl about America...
There is no America. There is no democracy.
♪ It's a rich man's world a“ We no longer live in a world of nations and ideologies.
The world is a college of corporations.
The world is a business.
And I have chosen you to preach this evangel.
♪ I spend my day preppin' America overseas ♪
♪ Pensions for the workers? Nigga, please ♪
♪ Embezzlement etiquette Private settlement 4“
♪ I'm better With confederate rhetoric ♪
♪ From my mansion in Connecticut Foreclose, evict hoes out of tenement:
♪ I twist words Like a speech impediment a“
♪ I hope you got Good credit, bitch ♪
♪ If not, better get A new job with benefits a“
♪ While I play golf with niggas I get cheddar with, new money ♪
♪ Buys brand new carats ♪
♪ My old money bought Your great grandparents a“
♪ You got grills in your mouth I ain't mad at ya ♪
♪ I own every gold mine In South Africa a“
♪ Thanks, baby You made me a billion a“
♪ Plus I own a building for each Of my children's children A“
♪ That's the shit snort coke in the whip Miss USA suckin' my dick ♪
♪ Yeah, What! Fuck the law Cause real jail 129 for suckers ♪
♪ I go to country club prison You dumb motherfuckers a“
♪ I am the one percent Fucking bitch, yeah ♪
♪ You know my CEO Corporate steeze, please ♪
♪ Overthrow governments overseas In a breeze a“
♪ Politicians in my pockets For a few hundred G's A“
♪ So if I'm ever in court My assets will never freeze a“ Sandra Bland! Michael Brown! Shut the whole system down!
Sandra Bland! Michael Brown! Shut the whole system down!
Sandra Bland! Michael Brown!
I felt it under the transmission. Yeah, right here.
Eugene, it was between the passenger and the driver on the front seat.
This is where your feet are right here.
What do I do? Just stand right here?
Start the car. Start the car?
Don't take off the brake!
Why didn't you get one of his Cadillacs?
That would have been poetic. It's an American-made car.
I think it's a bad metaphor.
I think the better metaphor is one of his Cadillacs.
The ones he gave away. You know, we were making Cadillacs.
Yes... We were driving Cadillacs.
The future was ours. Yeah, I know.
We were masters of our own universe.
This is sort of... This is a reach.
This is... He got completely outside of himself. This is the Vegas.
Yeah. Okay, all right.
Pardon me, would you have any Grey Poupon?
But of course.
I did think it was weird that Elvis had 3 Rolls Royce which is very English, very royal, not terribly American.
Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?
America made such a point of not having a king.
I never understood Burger King, Muffler King, Elvis the King.
I never understood why Bruce Springsteen was “The Boss.” I thought, “Don't we hate the boss?”
Consumers said they would not buy cars...
GM CEO could not fully answer that question, but insisted 25 billion will keep them afloat.
You could work at General Motors, and if you didn't like General Motors, you could walk across the street and get a job at Ford.
If you didn't like Ford, you could walk out of Ford and go over to Chrysler and get a job.
I got laid off in 2011.
I tried searching for other jobs, but no call backs, no nothing.
When I think of going west with Elvis, I think of Route 66.
West Memphis, Arkansas, Oklahoma City, Flagstaff, Arizona...
♪ Up the snowy spires a“
♪ Where the air Is thin as glass 4“
♪ Once a year The cold mists clear a“
♪ You can see inside the earth a“ Anytime you go on Route 66, whether you're going east or you're going west, it's overwhelming 'cause it's just so big and it's so flat.
And the country looks uninhabited.
It looks empty. It looks like it's still waiting to be discovered.
♪ Mast and wheel Of polished brass a“ Those were times on those trips where he really talked about important things in his life.
I read a lot of philosophy, some poetry.
Have you ever heard of a book called Leaves of Gold?
It's different men's philosophy on life, death and everything else.
♪ I set velocitations ♪ This country is so much bigger than we thought.
Its story is so much more complex and deep than we thought.
♪ Set careful calibrations ♪
♪ Ever inward ever in ♪ The United States of America!
♪ I sailed deep Into the hollows a“
♪ Deep inside the earth ♪ The politics of today are politics of grief and nostalgia and lament for something that seems to be slipping away.
This is an empire in decline.
Everyone I know, they're stuck in like restaurant jobs and stuff like that.
It's not really like a good job, a career.
Something that they love, they just do it because they have no other choice.
Back in the day, minimum wage was what, $2 an hour, $2.15 an hour?
Yet, you would get a soda pop at that time for 10 cents.
Nowadays, minimum wage is $7.50 an hour.
Yet, you go and get a soda for $2 in a soda pop machine.
So, if that doesn't give you a comparison, what does?
You never stood in that man's shoes, or saw things through his eyes.
Or stood and watched with helpless hands, while the heart inside you dies.
80 help your brother along the way, no matter where he starts.
For the same God that made you, made him too.
These men with broken hearts.
I'd like to sing a song along the same line.
♪ If I could be you If you could be me ♪
♪ For just one hour a“
♪ If we could find a way to get inside Each other's mind a“
♪ Oh ho, walk a mile In my shoes ♪
♪ Walk a mile in my shoes 4“
♪ Yeah, before you abuse Criticize and accuse a“
♪ Just walk a mile in my shoes 4“ Now you may find Hollywood to be a lonely town.
You're new here and good friends are hard to find.
Just as in any other industry.
And I want you to know that you may feel free to regard my home as your own.
♪ Well, it's been building up inside of me ♪
♪ For, oh, I don't know How long ♪ Elvis the actor.
It's interesting that right when he was changing the world with music, some part of him wanted to be an actor.
I mean, nobody wanted to hear anybody else play more in the world.
And what's this guy start doing? He starts acting in movies.
Why don't you stick to what you know?
You mean stay where I belong? You might say that, yes.
Well, thanks for the advice. I hope you won't mind if I don't take it.
♪ Don't worry, baby ♪ Elvis loved Hollywood.
He liked being the star. He liked being Elvis Presley.
♪ Don't worry, baby ♪ Don't worry, baby ♪
♪ Ooh ooh ♪ Anybody ever tell you you're very handsome?
When I first started dating Elvis, there was a little bit of trepidation.
This is Elvis Presley, you know, and he has dated movie stars and models.
There were moments when I was even awestruck by the magnitude of who he was, his fame, and how he was idolized.
So right now we're in Hollywood.
We're about to go see the legendary man himself known as “The King.” We're about to see his star. It's over here.
Absolutely, I've seen the celebrities.
Katy Perry, Quentin Tarantino.
The Kardashians live in that area.
Stevie Wonder, Miles Davis. I can go on forever.
Cameron Diaz, Jack Black.
I've seen Johnny Depp, Billy Zane, big names like that.
God, it's so endless.
Next on your left, across the street, you will see the mansion of Jack Benny.
You'll mainly probably see them if you're lucky enough to drive by as their gates are opening and you look into their windshield.
Think about driving the least. Okay.
Let's do it.
Hey, guys. Oh, hi!
Say hello to Mila! Love you!
I never really wanted to be famous.
It wasn't like something that was like on my sheet of things that I want to accomplish in my life.
I wanted to be an actor because I like acting.
Fame came with that. It was fairly awesome for a good portion of time.
You look at Elvis, was anybody ready to be in a world that everyone's watching?
This is America, not the 80 Wet Union!
The US is entering its own version of the Dark Ages.
This is the time for real Wisdom.
I think what happens when you rise very quickly to a position of enormous, overwhelming power is that you don't know how to use it.
And in fact, it can use you.
I think something similar happened to Elvis in the sense that he became the creature of other forces in American life.
Corporate forces, the forces of popular culture.
Making all of us worshippers of things not worth worshipping.
Around here, there's just one reason the show must go on: the gross.
That's why I'm here.
So the Colonel signs him up to this, at the time, the biggest movie contract in the history of movies.
And everybody thinks that's a good thing, that he signed the biggest deal.
Well, what it did, is it totally sabotaged him as an actual performer.
Really, I give credit where credit is due.
When Elvis was young, he was a bad motherfucker, boy.
Elvis was bad.
Singing his ass off.
He sang so good they let him do movies. He couldn't act.
They said “Fuck it, let him sing all his dialogue.”
♪ You get the sandpaper You get the pails ♪
♪ You get the hammer, bah ♪ You get the nails ♪ You don't even have to be able to talk.
Just sing and get famous.
Elvis got absorbed by the rules of Hollywood.
A very powerful structure that will not bend to anything from the outside.
You put out movie posters, right?
Are they horizontal or vertical?
Vertical. All the time?
To fit in the little glass box outside the theater.
So all that outside-the-box shit...
♪ Oh, I went to the doctor 4“
♪ And I said, “Doctor, please ♪
♪ What do you do When your true love leaves?” ♪
♪ He said, “The hardest thing In the world to do... ♪ I got a feeling I'm heading for disaster.
♪ ...Is to find somebody Believes in you ♪ He becomes, essentially, an employee in his own factory.
♪ Don't make a sound... a“ He does what he's told over and over and over again.
Is that the beginning and the end of the world for you?
Is there no emotion left in you but the lust for money?
And begins to curdle.
So, you understand, this is Elvis Presley.
It's like he's put on the bench doing these shit-ass movies for like ten years.
Their lives are not worth that.
♪ Then I went to the whale and I said “Killer whale, please 4“
♪ What do you do When your true love leaves?” a“
♪ He said, “I only have One trick up my sleeve 4“
♪ I sing it over and over ♪
♪ Till she come back to me ♪
Elvis Presley... Right beside the Beatles.
What do you think of the comment that you're nothing but a bunch of British Elvis Presleys?
It's not true! It's not true!
I'm... I'm an Elvis Fan, you know.
You know, you went to see those movies when we were still in Liverpool.
And you'd see everybody waiting to see him, right?
And I'd be waiting there too.
And they'd all scream when he came on the screen.
So we thought, “That's a good job.”
♪ I believe in yesterday ♪ When the Beatles came to California to visit Elvis...
♪ Suddenly ♪ he was a '50s relic.
♪ I'm not half the man I used to be ♪ What Elvis had meant to John Lennon as a young man was he lit the world on fire.
Poor old Elvis.
Somebody said today he sounds like Bing Crosby now, and he does.
Here are the Beatles!
I'm reminded of a famous story about Colonel Parker and Elvis.
That at the height of Elvis's popularity, he was doing these movies at Paramount.
And there were so many girls at the gate, that the Colonel put a blanket over Elvis so that the girls wouldn't see him and go crazy, and they'd let the car in.
But then when the Beatles came, it was all Beatles all the time, Elvis was still doing movies at Paramount, but there weren't any girls there.
And the Colonel still put a blanket over Elvis, so that Elvis wouldn't see that there was no girls there.
When I heard that story, it really did open my heart to Elvis.
He went from a comic figure to a tragic figure.
I think people get trapped in fame.
Yeah, it's been good for my life.
It's also been bad for my life.
You know, started to feel, at a certain point, where... my fame was outstripping my talent.
Based on what I've done professionally, I should not be getting this much attention.
Love you, Ashton! We love you!
I think in some people's case, they reach a point in fame that is so large... that they have to be able to afford a kind of living to protect themselves from the very fame that they've created, or go away.
♪ I walk along A thin line, darling ♪
- ♪ Darling ♪ - ♪ Dark shadows follow me ♪ You know, Elvis, at a point, thought about going into a religious life.
The time when he was unhappy with the movies, he actually wanted to go in and have us live in a commune, and just kind of do a religious thing.
I am submerged in eternal light.
I am submerged in eternal light.
LA has been a place of crackpot religions since at least the 1880s Scientology is just one more version of the cults offering transcendence, making you the being God wanted you to be.
Making you God.
♪ The age of reality a“
A few miles from where we are right now, Elvis had the most dynamic experience of his life.
We were driving through the Arizona desert on the old Route 66.
And Elvis was just transfixed looking at the clouds.
Elvis, all of the sudden, said, “Look! What the hell is Joseph Stalin's face doing in that cloud?” It was unmistakable Joseph Stalin.
The eyebrows and the mustache and that hairline.
He pulled the bus over. He said, “Larry, follow me!” We run into the desert and Elvis turns around, and he said, “A lightning bolt came out of that cloud and pierced my body.
And now, Larry, I don't believe in God anymore.”
“I don't have to. Now I know. God is love.” Elvis said, “That's it, man.
I'm done. I'm quitting show business.
How could I go back and make one of those teenybopper movies that don't mean a damn thing?
I've gotta do something meaningful in my life.”
When I went to work for Elvis in the '60s, I felt I missed out on all of the excitement.
The rock and roll part, if you will.
Because we were doing the movies.
But then there was the '68 comeback special.
Elvis hated that word, the “comeback.” He said, “Look, ain't no comeback because I ain't been nowhere.
I've been making movies. So I just wanted to show them I could still do it.” He said he was a little nervous because he didn't want to flop.
Colonel Tom wants 25 Christmas songs because it's a Christmas special.
And Elvis actually says no.
Singer, maker of the world's finest sewing machines, presents:
“ELVIS,” Starring Elvis Presley.
In his first personal performance on TV in nearly 10 years.
♪ Warden threw a party In the county jail ♪
♪ The prison band was there And they began to wail a“ He burnt the house down. It was the most rockin' thing you'd ever seen.
But the best part of the whole thing was he and the original band.
♪ That's all right, mama a“
♪ Just any way you do That's all right 5'
And just played all those Sun Record hits. I got chill bumps thinking about it.
I was like, “That's rock and roll! That's it! That's the Elvis I like!”
♪ Well, since my baby left me I found a new place to dwell ♪ This is a man breaking out of a prison.
♪ Well, bless my soul What's wrong with me? a“
♪ I'm itchin' like a man On a fuzzy tree ♪ He's got this full black leather outfit.
He's in control of his body, he's in control of his voice.
He's direct, he's relaxed, he's funny even.
♪ I was... a“ Hold it, hold it, man.
Ho! Ho! Hold it.
I got my lip hung on this microphone.
You remember that, don't ya? You know that...
Did 29 pictures like that, baby.
And at one point, he just lifts up the microphone stand. He lifts it up.
And he holds it like a harpoon. And he says “Moby Dick.” Moby Dick!
I thought, “My God, he's Captain Ahab.” He's saying, “I'm going for it all.” It's just one of these epiphanies.
Where thousands of meanings come crashing down all at once.
He is a living metaphor for any picture of America you might want to draw.
That's the American fantasy.
Not untold riches. Not power over other people.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
♪ I know you'll have me a“
♪ And I know I'll have me too 5“
4“ Don't be cruel a“ I Ah ah ah a“
♪ To a heart that's true a“
♪ I don't want no other love a“
♪ Baby, it's just you I'm thinking of A“ It looks to the world like in the comeback special, there you are again.
Yeah for that one night. Yeah.
That's all. That's it?
That's it... That was it.
I said, “Elvis, you're back, man. You're back.” He said, “Yeah.” And he said, “And I'm going to stay back too.” He said, “I ain't gonna make no crappy movies for a while.” The '68 special was so hot with great ratings, that Vegas started calling.
They did so many nuclear testings under Vegas, that in many ways, Vegas is like a radioactive mutation of capitalism.
Most people don't understand Las Vegas. They understand it backward.
They think it's a city of fantasy and deceit when, in fact, it is probably the most pure and honest expression of the prevailing values of our society.
And where the only thing that counts is the money.
♪ Never know How much I love ya ♪
♪ Never know how much I care a“
♪ When you put Your arms around me ♪
♪ I get a fever That's so hard to bear ♪
♪ You give me fever 4“
♪ When you kiss me a“
♪ Fever when you hold me tight 4“
♪ Fever 4“
♪ In the morning a“
♪ Fever all through the night a“ Heather, go see if she's got any better wine.
Want me to tell you a story? Please.
Casino. They filmed it here. True story.
I know where the bodies are buried, some of them anyway.
Because I'm Jewish. I move in the right circles.
I kiss the right ass.
Elvis came into town in 1969.
In those days, all the characters hung around here.
Presidents, ex-presidents, stars, the boys.
They're all friends of mine. And I take good care of them.
If you look at vintage Las Vegas, from the Rat Pack to Elvis Presley, the casino was the king.
It's a place that the mob staked out as a playground for adults.
It was sin city.
The takeover of Las Vegas from being owned by the mob to being owned by the corporations marked a radical turning point.
The Hilton International was the beachhead of corporate control of Las Vegas.
And Elvis was a very conscious choice to clean up the image because he's about as American as apple pie.
“Here's hoping you have a very successful opening and that you break both legs.” Signed Tom Jones.
I can only imagine the deleterious effects that this city had on Elvis Presley.
You could rent anything here. It's all you can eat.
Last year alone, this hotel had some seven million pounds of leftover food.
That's right. Pig slop. Made from sushi and roast beef.
Money, money, money. That was it.
Money, money, money.
He got big money in Vegas because of the Colonel.
Colonel lost a lot of money gambling. Millions.
Elvis sang for it.
Bring your cameras over here.
I like to live up to my reputation of being a nice guy.
This is it, folks.
The story is, after the '68 comeback special, Elvis is screaming he wants to go on tour.
And the Colonel's like, “Let's jut play Vegas.
I'll make the world come to you, Elvis.
You don't have to go to the world.” Well, why does the Colonel want to do this?
Because he's a lying sack of shit is my opinion.
See, the Colonel was not an American citizen.
We found out later that he wouldn't take Elvis overseas because if he did, he'd have to have a passport.
I'd like to go to Europe. I'd like to go to Japan and all those places.
I've never been out of this country except in the service.
I think if you look at the first year or two, Elvis was a fan of Vegas.
But as the years went by...
You know, we were there two shows a day, 40 days at a time.
You know, it's easy to get prescriptions for sleeping pills.
♪ It's 4:00 in the morning And I'm turning in my bed I'
You get immune to one thing, you get something stronger.
And it's just a vicious cycle.
You know, you just drop a pill and drop a pill, and then you double it, and you triple it.
♪ 5:00 in the morning And I'm wishing it was 1:00 a“ Celebrity is the industrial disease of creativity.
And it's toxic. And then when you get to Vegas, it's the condensed soup version of any idea that human beings have had.
It's the sludge of making things.
Excuse me. I can't take this fresh air, man.
I'm used to the back...
The garbage can at the International Hotel, man.
If I can't smell some garbage, I don't feel at home, man. I'll tell ya.
We were awake all night and asleep during the day.
We lived like vampires.
Four hours 3 might.
Something like that, if I'm lucky.
Tough to relax.
Just walk around, swallow and...
I knew he had a problem.
But I never looked at him as an addict.
The insecurity of being an entertainer is the worst.
You go on the stage, you're in dream land. Then you crash.
Down a very deep hole info a strange place called wonder/and.
I get things in my mind and /, uh, I get a little confused and a little, about half mad, you know.
You get in moods sometimes Where you're very happy, you get in moods where you're very sad...
Where everything looks dark and gloomy and it looks like there's nothing for you in life.
I guess everybody feels that way.
I ask him, “What do you think your biggest flaw is?” And he said, “I'll only say this once, and I'll probably never admit to it again, but I recognize that I'm self-destructive.” It's like one of my relatives was dying right in front of my eyes.
But I didn't know what to do.
From three different sources I heard I was strung out on heroin.
It was just prescription medication, but you're an addict just like a street addict if you're addicted Percocet and Dilaudid and Demerol.
In his mind, he was able to rationalize it.
America's public enemy number one, in the United States, is drug abuse.
Didn't Elvis want to be the head of the FBI or something?
He wanted to be the Drug Czar.
Might that go into the irony hall of fame?
“Yeah, Elvis, that'd be a great idea.
Go talk to Nixon to run the DEA.” Rumors that you hear about me are trash.
I'm an eighth-degree black belt in karate.
I am a federal narcotics agent.
They don't give you that if you're strung out, if you're...
Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, thank you.
“Pure products of America go crazy,” said William Carlos Williams.
That's where we are in America.
That's basically where we are in the movie, okay?
We're in the second act where it's just all gone to hell.
Let's deregulate the banks. The bankers are oppressed.
What could possibly go wrong if we deregulate Wall Street?
These towers got knocked down.
Let's go start a bunch of wars in the Middle East.
Somebody's using crack cocaine.
Build prisons from coast to coast.
I mean, just ridiculous failure after ridiculous failure.
There's a new report out.
Gender pay gap won't close for another 170 years.
America ls going to be guided by Christian values.
Have you ever taken the time to talk to somebody Who ls homeless?
How should we handle immigration?
The legislators are not doing the/Hobs.
The fact is, it's a disaster of the first order on the world stage for seven billion people to see, and there's no escaping that.
This election is gonna be Who can get their supporters to come out and vote.
Trump got his final digs in on Hillary Clinton.
Presidential candidates are making their final pitch to voters.
They marched for civil rights and voting rights for workers' rights and women's rights, for LGBT rights...
What do you have to lose by flying something new?
And here we go.
It took us a long time to get here, but it is the final countdown.
Big voter turnout is expected.
I'm a Southern belle. I voted for Trump.
This is a fuming point.
It's going to change the course of this country.
I want my daughter to grow up seeing a woman lead our country.
I'm not voting. - And that's a perspective...
If the Democrats lose, you are so fucked, you have no idea.
Pennsylvania goes to Donald Trump.
This is one of the most stunning results...
No one saw it coming.
From Pennsylvania... Gets Trump to 260.
We can now project the Winner of the presidential...
The son of 3 Queens millionaire.
The president-elect of the United States of America, Donald Trump.
And here we go.
Go right ahead, sweetheart. That's it.
Right around that.
How are you? Hi.
And in one second, we'll be ready to roll.
Isn't she pretty? She's pretty.
Monique. Isn't she pretty?
Hi, Monique. Hi.
This is a Medallion of Life for you, Elvis, from the Sioux... from the Sioux Nation.
Oh, that's lovely. Thank you, sweetie.
The look that he gave my daughter Monie was such a serene look.
All I remember when I met him, he kept saying, “Who's this beautiful little Indian girl? Isn't she beautiful?” It, like, touched his heart. Yeah.
This is sacred land that we're living on.
It's our land.
It seemed like he just knew he was going home.
And just that quick it was over.
They hustled him out.
He put his head up and took a deep breath, and then he turned and he was gone.
I wonder if you're lonesome tonight.
You know someone said the world's a stage and each of us play a part.
You read your lines so Le... cleverly.
I saw the CBS special and I called the Colonel.
And I said, “How could you let him be filmed looking like that?” I just remember standing and looking at the television set and thinking, “Oh, my God, this is not even the same man that I said good-bye to eight months ago.” It was horrifying to me to watch.
But the power that he had on “Unchained Melody” that night was just gut wrenching.
This is a song that I just recorded.
And, uh, it's an old song called “Unchained Melody.” And I'd like to play the piano so it'll take just a second.
That song brings him pain for some reason. I don't know why it does.
But it was just...
It was like it was the greatest performance he'd ever done.
You put the butter in the skillet and do it like you do a grilled cheese sandwich.
When he was home, I would fix his breakfast.
That day, I was gonna make him some bacon... an egg omelet, some coffee.
But when she called down, she was crying, saying something bad has happened.
So, I went upstairs.
When I saw him on the floor in the bathroom, one of the body guards was there.
He was standing looking at me, and I went to screamin' and just hollerin'.
“Don't look at me. Do something.
Don't look at me. Do something.”
Elvis, at every turn, picked money.
“Should I stay at Sun Records or should I go to RCA?
Well, there's more money at RCA.”
“Should I take this big giant movie contract even though I don't have any creative control?
Well, it's the biggest movie deal ever, let's take it.”
“Should I go on tour like I want to?
Or should I take the biggest offer a live performer's ever had?” Which is what he got in Vegas.
Every chance, he prioritized money.
And where did it put him?
Dead and fat on the toilet at 42.
You know, Ronald Reagan was really the person that lit this fuse.
Ronald Reagan said, “Would you like to have a new swimming pool?
Or will children be able to get testing for AIDS?” And what Reagan basically said was...
“You want the swimming pool, don't you?
And you should have the swimming pool.” You can take lessons from a lot of things.
We are vulnerable, our heroes are vulnerable, our country is vulnerable.
Addiction leaves a spiritual void.
As a nation, we seem to be addicted to so many things, you know.
I think man's inhumanity to man went wrong.
We have to make sure that art and culture stays honest and true as much as possible.
It can protect human beings from dogma, and brings human beings together for our similarites and knocks aside the differences.
That's why, you know, you make films.
We make music. We do art.
And those are the three things that governments always want to control.
But they're too slippery.
♪ Oh, my love a“
♪ My darling a“
♪ I hunger for... ♪ Elvis Presley, the Mississippi hay whose country rock guitar and gyrating hips launched a new style of popular music, died this afternoon at Baptist Hospital.
Presley was 42 years old.
I! didn't even matter a great deal whether you liked Elvis or not, he changed our lives.
The King is dead.
♪ I'll be coming home ♪
♪ Wait for me A“
♪ My love a“
♪ My darling a“
♪ I've hungered for your touch a“
♪ A long lonely time ♪
♪ Time goes by a“ Really.
♪ So slowly a“
♪ And time can do so much a“
♪ Are you still mine? a“
♪ I need your love ♪
♪ Ooh ♪
♪ I need your love ♪
♪ God speed your love ♪
♪ Me ♪
♪ Heading down to Baton Rouge ♪
♪ To ease my worried mind ♪
♪ I'm heading down To Baton Rouge ♪
♪ Maybe I go tonight ♪
♪ Oh ♪
♪ On the Memphis train To Heaven, hey ♪
♪ I'ma take it From Beale Street to LA ♪
♪ I'ma make it ♪
♪ On the Memphis train To heaven, hey ♪
♪ You want to ride off Into the sunset ♪
♪ You want the White horse To come and save you ♪
♪ You want the white horse ♪
♪ To come and save you ♪
♪ Once upon a time ♪
♪ When I was in high school ♪
♪ I was in love with a lady ♪
♪ And you treated me so cool ♪
♪ I was driving ♪
♪ A Chevy '73 ♪
♪ Had four on the floor, girl ♪
♪ 120, it would be me ♪
♪ And I remember Marvin Gaye ♪
♪ Singing ♪
♪ “Let's Get It On” ♪ I hope you got it, brother.