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Interview with Mac Davis Part 3

Q: Did Elvis ever tell you about ”In the Ghetto”?
A: We never talked about ”In the Ghetto” that I know of. I don’t remember having a conversation with him about it. Next time I saw Elvis after that was at the Memphian Theatre and at that time I was finally getting some notoriety as a performer. I’d done the Johnny Carson show some and this and that and I was doing a college concert in West Memphis, Arkansas and Joe Esposito or somebody called me and said Elvis wants you to come to the Memphian Theatre and see a movie with us and so I went over there after my concert and found the place. I got me some popcorn and a glass of beer and walked down through the aisle. Then I see Elvis sitting in the middle of the theatre. He was with Linda Thompson. And I just went down to that row and stepped across the fellow that was sitting on the end of the row and went down there and sat down next to Linda on the other side of him and said, ”Hi.” And we sat and talked and laughed throughout the whole movie and we never did talk about music. It was the first time I’d really sat down with Elvis and got to know Elvis as a person. And he was just like a big old kid, you know. It was like he never got past nineteen, I don’t think, in a lotta ways. And we sat and laughed and had a great time and just about the end, the movie was just about over. I went out to use the bathroom and one of the gang around him came back and says, you know, ”I hate to tell you this, Mr. Davis, but you’re not supposed to be sitting next to Elvis.” And I said, ”What do you mean?” He says, ”Well, nobody sits next to Elvis.” I said, ”Well, I had, you know, tell me if I’m wrong but was it Elvis that invited me to come down and go to the movie?” He said, ”Yeah, but nobody sits.” He says, ”You notice Sonny and Red West don’t even sit with him. Joe sits behind him. Everybody sits back in the back.” I said, ”Well, where was I supposed to sit?” And he said, ”Well, with the invited guests back in the…” There was a row back in the back for all the local people. Boy, I got hot. I really got hot under the collar and I told that guy, I said, ”You just tell me how to get back to my hotel.” He said, ”No, no, don’t get upset.” I said, ”I am upset. I am thoroughly upset.” And that was a big deal about it. Later, I was still arguing with him, but I was still mad when we came out and the movie was letting out and Elvis came up and said, ”Where’d you go?” And I said, ”I was in the bathroom.” He knew I was mad. He says, ”What’s the matter?” He says, ”You look upset.” And I told him what had happened. And he says, ”Who said that?” And I said, ”I don’t wanna get anybody in trouble.” I just said, ”You know, I just think you oughta know that this goes on around you all the time. I don’t see how you can have a life.” He said, ”Who told you that, man?” I said, ”I’m not looking to get anybody in trouble.” That’s just the deal. And, you know, he says, ”What can I do to make it right?” I’ll never forget ”What can I do to make it right, man?” And I said, ”Let me have your home phone number.” And he kinda went, ”Okay.” He says, ”Charlie.” Called Charlie Hodge. ”What’s my home phone number?” Charlie looked like somebody’d hit him in the face with a bucket of water. He went, ”Huh?” He goes, ”What home phone number?” He says, ”The one, you know, my home phone number.” And Charlie says, ”The one you answer at home?” And he says, ”Yeah, the one me and Priscilla answer when people call the house.” ”You mean the one that we call and Joe calls and I call?” And he says, ”Yeah, that one.”
Charlie has a big conference back there and Charlie finally comes walking on and he wrote the number down on a matchbook cover, handed it to Elvis and Elvis says, ”Okay. So there you go.” And I said, ”That makes everything okay.” And I said, ”You know, I write three top ten records, you’d think that, you know, I oughta be able to just at least call you up and say, hey, I think I got a hit for you or something, you know.” I never called it. And I knew I wouldn’t when I asked for it but it was like a matter of principle to me and I kept it in my phone book for probably fifteen years after he passed away. I still had Elvis’s number in my book and I never called it.

Source: Elvis World Japan

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