Elvis Presley was my brother

David E Stanley and the King of Rock 'n' Roll. Best mates. Really.

"Elvis, Elvis, Elvis - hey, that's all I've been doing for 17 years. I guess I'm kinda used to it." I guess he is. David E Stanley, 40, ex-bodyguard, ex-drug addict, ex-evangelist, is doing the one thing he has always done best: being Elvis Presley's stepbrother. Having written Elvis, We Love You Tender, and exhausted America's public speaking circuit (the fraternal angle happily guaranteeing full houses), he is now in London promoting his new book. It is, of course, The Elvis Encyclopaedia.

Of the multitude still living off a fat, dead singer, Stanley can at least claim to be well qualified. At the age of four, he was moved into the Graceland mansion, when his mother married Elvis's father, Vernon Presley. "We walked in and there was the King of Rock 'n' Roll and I didn't have any idea who he was," he chuckles.

The following morning, Stanley awoke to find Elvis had bought the entire contents of a toy store for him and his two elder bothers. "Well, my mom saw right off the bat that he would be quite influential. That disturbed her a little bit, to know that this guy was going to have a lot of control over her sons." So much control, in fact, that 36 years later he is still recounting the incident on the other side of the Atlantic.

"When I started school I didn't have any identity - I was just Elvis's stepbrother. Elvis would come to watch me play football, but then nobody watched the game. They were all watching him instead." Home at Graceland was a rock 'n' roll entourage hideout, and his chief playmate was Priscilla. "She was kinda neat."

But with Stanley's adolescence came bell bottoms, long hair, marijuana and domestic tension. "I loved John Lennon. Elvis hated him - he thought he was dangerous. So there was a period where we didn't get along.

"Elvis went to see the President and said, 'Mr Nixon, we have a problem with America. Jane Fonda and John Lennon are corrupting our youth, and my stepbrother is a prime example of that.' He came back and told me he wanted me to be a narcotics agent and nark on all the guys doing drugs at school. Man, can you believe that?" He roars with laughter, and adds without irony: "God bless Elvis. He was very pure."

In 1972 Stanley went on tour with Elvis and saw another side. "Man, it was wild. Private jets, access to anything you wanted. One night he calls me down to the foyer of some hotel, and there are five of the most gorgeous girls you've ever seen. He says to them: 'I give you the boy, now bring me back the man.' I thought, hey, he's cool, man."

First as Elvis's personal aide, then as his bodyguard, Stanley watched him descend from moderate medication levels into massive drug addiction. "I would say, 'Elvis, this is serious shit, this drug thing is for real.' But then I was doing drugs, too, and I thought, hell, Elvis knows what he's doing." But by 1976 it was clear that he didn't. Elvis was bloated, heavily drugged ("Yeah, he was having the odd overdose"), and a book was being written about his drug addiction by former bodyguards. "Elvis got hold of a manuscript and started crying, sobbing that his life was over. I had to watch him piss it all away. I'd keep having to drag him to the bathroom and clean him up. It was very tough for me to see my hero self- destruct like that."

When Elvis died on his bathroom floor at Graceland, in 1977, Stanley was one of the first on the scene. "I'm the only guy who's got the guts to say Elvis killed himself. I knew it right then. He couldn't bear for the world to find out he wasn't the wonderful apple-pie guy the world knew. And that's why I'm here today, why I talk so candidly about Elvis. These days I care about young people, and the problem we have with drugs. I have to tell them what they did to my stepbrother."

Stanley is a very likeable man with a lot of entertaining tales to tell. He is hilarious on Elvis's daughter Lisa Marie and her marriage to Michael Jackson. "Boy, he would have had a fit. Elvis wasn't a prejudiced man, you see," Stanley explains gravely, "but he sure didn't believe in mixed marriages."

But Stanley as selfless anti-drugs crusader is hard to swallow. "At school I made a lot of extra lunch-money selling autographs," he giggles, and that's just what he's still doing today. He has indeed, been "doing Elvis" for 17 years. How does he feel about the rest of the Elvis industry?

"Sick people. There's too much value put on Elvis. All those Elvis earrings and all that stuff, that's wrong. And Priscilla just makes a living off of her name. I don't get it. You know what it is?" He glares. "Vicarious living."

Property
pets
Arts and Entertainment
tvThe C-Word, TV review
Arts and Entertainment
The Ridiculous Six has been produced by Adam Sandler, who also stars in it
filmNew controversy after nine Native American actors walked off set
Sport
Danny Jones was in the Wales squad for the 2013 World Cup
rugby leagueKeighley Cougars half-back was taken off after just four minutes
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Life and Style
The original ZX Spectrum was simple to plug into your TV and get playing on
techThirty years on, the ZX Spectrum is back, after a fashion
News
Tiger Woods and Lindsey Vonn are breaking up after nearly three years together
peopleFormer couple announce separation in posts on their websites
Sport
football
Life and Style
Google celebrates Bartolomeo Cristofori's 360th birthday
techGoogle Doodle to the rescue
Arts and Entertainment
Haunted looks: Matthew Macfadyen and Timothy Spall star in ‘The Enfield Haunting’
tvThe Enfield Haunting, TV review
News
news
News
The Mattehorn stands reflected in Leisee lake near Sunnegga station on June 30, 2013 near Zermatt, Switzerland
news
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

    £28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

    Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

    £16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

    Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

    £16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

    Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

    Day In a Page

    'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

    Bread from heaven

    Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
    Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

    How 'the Axe' helped Labour

    UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
    Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

    The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

    A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    Welcome to the world of Megagames

    300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
    'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

    Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

    Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

    The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
    Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

    Vince Cable exclusive interview

    Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
    Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

    Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

    Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
    Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

    Everyone is talking about The Trews

    Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
    Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

    It's time for my close-up

    Meet the man who films great whites for a living
    Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

    Homeless people keep mobile phones

    A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
    'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

    'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

    British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
    Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

    Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

    Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
    14 best kids' hoodies

    14 best kids' hoodies

    Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
    Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

    The acceptable face of the Emirates

    Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk