Alice Cooper recalls meeting Elvis Presley in 1970
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Elvis Presley’s love of firearms is well-documented. The star had an extensive collection of guns at Graceland and took his favourites with him on tour or when he was in residency at Las Vegas. Most famously, The King shot and destroyed more than one television at home when he didn’t like a certain person being shown on screen. Alice Cooper, by contrast, is more famous for carrying a large snake around with him and on stage. Except for the extraordinary moment when he met Elvis for the first time ever – with a loaded gun in his hand.
Cooper described the unbelievable scene in hilarious style during hosting spot on Never Mind The Buzzcocks. The meeting took place in 1970 during one of The King’s lengthy engagements in Las Vegas. As usual, he was staying at his luxurious penthouse suite at the Hilton Hotel. Scroll down to see a video of Elvis’ spectacular Hilton suite.
He said: “I got this thing that said ‘Elvis wants to meet you.’ I got to the Hilton hotel and the elevator opens up. It was me, Liza Minelli, Chubby Checker and (porn star) Linda Lovelace. He invited these four people that night.
“We got up there and they searched us for guns, which was kinda silly because there were guns everywhere once you got in.”
A clearly starstruck Cooper described how The King still retained his powerful charisma and superstar aura.
He said: “When he came in the room he was Elvis. He wasn’t the fat Elvis, he was… Elvis. He was the guy.
“He goes, ‘Hey man, you’re the cat with the snake ain’t you? That’s cool, man I wish I would have thought of that. That’s cool man. Hey, I want to show you something.’
“We go in the kitchen and he opens a drawer and takes out a loaded ’38, a snub-nosed ’38.
“Puts in my hand and he says, ‘I’m going to show you how to take this gun out of somebody’s hand.’”
Cooper revealed the thoughts that shot through his head in that particularly crazy moment.
He said: “The little devil here on my shoulder goes, ’Shoot him.’ The little angel over here says, ‘Don’t kill him, just wound him.’ Before I can decide what to do, I was on the floor and he has his boot in my throat. And I’m going, ‘That’s good Elvis, that’s great.’”
As well as his passion for firearms, Elvis also practiced martial arts throughout his life, after discovering karate during his military service in Germany in 1958.
In a separate interview, Minelli described how Elvis demonstrated karate to moves to them all that night.
Cooper couldn’t resist one last funny anecdote about his night with Elvis.
He said: “Of course, only three of us came down on the elevator that night. Now I don’t know what he did with Chubby Checker that night…”
While singer and dancer Checker was a legend in his own right, as the man who popularised The Twist, naturally nobody believes he spent the night with Elvis. Cooper seems to be implying that Lovelace stayed the night.
However, she was actually there that night with her boyfriend, West Side Story dancer and actor David Winter, who was a friend of The King and had choreographed his film Viva Las Vegas.
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