Thursday, May 01, 2008

Elvis in London

The latest Word podcast had some fun with the claims that Elvis Presley came to London and hung out with Tommy Steele without anyone noticing, suggesting it's a tale with the stamp of something that someone once said in passing that got passed around and more-or-less backed Steele into a wall of having to claim it was all true.

Now, someone who was with Presley on his trip to Europe has officially squashed the tale:

"My apologies to Tommy, but it did not happen," said Mr Fike, who was in the US army with Presley in Germany.

"I was with him the whole time," he told the BBC News website. "I got there two days after he got there. He was confined to base."

Presley did visit Paris and Munich during his 18 months in Germany, Mr Fike said, but added: "Had he gone to England, I'd have been there."

Steele has previously tried to play down the tale:
In a note to the Daily Mail newspaper, Steele said he "swore never to divulge publicly" what took place and "regrets" that news leaked out.

"I can only hope he [Presley] can forgive me," he said. "It was an event shared by two young men sharing the same love of their music and the same thrill of achieving something unimaginable."

Elvis achieved the unimaginable of inventing fame and turning Rock and Roll into a mass-market commodity; Tommy Steele managed the unimaginable of persuading ITV to make Quincy's Quest. We imagine they would have had an awful lot to talk about. Had the meeting ever happened.

We're expecting Tommy to send another note to the Mail in a couple of days saying "Did I say Elvis? I meant I showed Hans Lohmmann, my German penfriend, round London. I always got those two muddled up."

Quincy's Quest? Oh, you do: